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By The Qwertz
Just when I was left in a mild depression after the finale of Bravo’s Project Runway, along comes the third season of the spectacular, gossipy bitch-fest that is Blowout. I know, what would be so great about a show that highlights a hair dresser and his day-to-day musings and activities? Now, I may not know the difference between a layer cut or a razor cut, but I know a bitchy, self-obsessed, ego-driven queen when I see one, and it is the latter that makes this show a guilty pleasure.
What does Jonathan have in store for us this season? More thrown phones? More hair product being hurled across the room in disgust? Unlimited amounts of Dirt™? More beauty school zings after the jump.
This season opener opens up with Mr. Jonathan Antin himself in what is surely one of the longest voiceovers EVER. In these four minutes, we are reminded of how grating his voice is. Second, we are quickly reminded what the point of this series is: to showcase Jonathan. A series of clips from previous seasons quickly remind us what makes this show so good — his ego and how it drives him to find other people to build him up. The other stylists Jonathan employs and relies on to further his name are a quirky lot and their individual behaviors add an extension of drama — nay, a HAIR EXTENSION of drama to this show.
Unfortunately for us, Jonathan borrows a few pages from the Donald Trump Manual on Self-Aggrandizement for Total and Unabashed Dummies. Admittedly this is a man who started out cutting hair and now has his own show on Bravo — the American Dream for the 21st century. Enough of the niceties though. Jonathan reminds us that after he built his shop and hired his stylists, it was time for the next big step — JONATHAN ANTIN WATER. OK, luckily for us he skipped that chapter of Trump’s book and only developed a showerhead to filter water for your hair — but more on that later. Next though was the world’s greatest hair care product called — you guessed it — Jonathan Product. Admittedly the packaging is pretty, but I’m loathe to use anything in my hair that is called Dirt. Moreover, Jonathan reminds us that Jonathan Product is the fastest selling hair care product in the world and that hair care products are a THIRTY BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. The producers indulge our taste for heated arguments by showing what is one of the greatest reality moments ever when the marketing guy for Jonathan product, who was fed to the teeth with Mr. Antin’s antics, finally says “Oh, so your beauty school education is going to allow you to tell me how to do my job?” HA, beauty school zing!
Lest you think Jonathan Product was enough of an ego boost, we are reminded that working under the employ of celebrities is what really makes a person in this world. Jonathan services the biggest celebrities like the made-up celebrity group, The Pussycat Dolls. What’s that? His sister OWNS the Pussycat Dolls? Anyhow, it is his product and celebrity exposure that keeps his two shops busy. Funny, I would have relied more on my talent to feed my business.
Lastly, the most unholy of all things unholy — we learn the man has spawned. Yes, at the end of season two, he proposed to his girlfriend and in the season interim has had a little boy that Jonathan describes as his “newest and greatest venture.” Aww, now if that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.
FINALLY, after the opening credits we ride with Jonathan to his office while he talks about family. His salon and his stylists are his family. His product is like his family. Oddly he has a new family that is coincidentally his ONLY REAL FAMILY– the Antins. Jonathan explains his salon is expanding to Hawaii after spending $200k on his second salon and another $2.5 million on Jonathan product, but somehow this all adds up to his businesses valuation of “up to $100 million dollars.” Hey, no one said you have to be a MENSA member to cut hair. You do, however, need to be able to cry at the drop of a hat, and we are treated to Jonathan’s first tear shed. Aww, his child is a venture, and he cries over money. Seriously, this man cries more than the kids in The OC say “hey.”
Getting into his salon in the morning, Jonathan goes around harassing his stylists, kissing many too many people, and stepping in to show a stylist a thing or two. I always love when I am in a salon and someone comes over to show my stylist what to do. Instilling confidence in the consumer — not a strongsuit here. Up in his office, Jonathan’s assistant Rosie says the morning show called and wants to discuss the leading issues in our lives today — namely “fly-away hair, static electricity and hat head.” It’s here we learn of Rob Lee, who is Jonathan’s business manager a.k.a. the slave of satan. Jonathan goes downstairs to kiss a few more women, shake hands with the poor, and kiss children. Uh oh, there’s a baby in the room, which of course means Jonathan has to bring it alllll back to him. “My baby is the best in the world — he sleeps through the night and wakes up laughing, unlike me where I stay up all night and wake up screaming” which I guess was supposed to be a joke as evidence by the fact Jonathan turns around to another stylist who doesn’t laugh, but that’s ok. Jonathan is man enough to laugh at his own superciliousness.
Next, after kissing a few more women, Jonathan heads to a meeting with Steve, a clothing designer who has hired Jonathan to do the hair for the fashion photo spread. Now Steve has a very clear-cut idea of what he wants for HIS fashion spread in HIS photo shoot. He just wants to know what sort of plan Jonathan has for the models’ hair. Jonathan retorts to the specific requests with “umm, well, you know — great hair. You’ve seen the hair I do — like that.” Oh, this will go smoothly.
After the break, we are treated to the first board meeting for Jonathan product. Taking over the meeting (which consists of four people incidentally) Jonathan stands up in the room while pointing and addressing one of the other three people. Very awkward. New on the line are two more products including a hairspray and some volumizing spray that have gone ahead in development, which of course doesn’t please Jonathan, who ignored all previous requests for additional information. Unhappy, Jonathan, ever the professional says “I know I’ve been calling it ‘root lift’ but the names are already on the bottles — are these the names?!?! The names on the bottle, shouldn’t I know about the names?” Umm, didn’t you just say you call it that? Anyhow, another lesson in professionalism ensues as Jonathan kicks open the door and storms out of the room. These poor women working for Jonathan Product are saints. Admittedly Jonathan comes back to apologize: “I’m busy — look, I’m sorry if I’m bitching, complaining and kicking, but I don’t give a f*** about all that you know?” Apology DENIED.
After the board meeting, Jonathan heads over to indulge himself in what many consider to be one of the more private acts an individual can participate in — a session with his therapist. Of course, this is Jonathan, who insists his session are televised. This has always bothered me about Jonathan: he has his therapy sessions taped and his behaviors and revelations in therapy are no different than what is normally seen on the show — so is his therapy helping him or is he really just playing to the cameras all the time — and if so, what’s the point of therapy? Regardless, this entire scene with Doric George, M.A., M.F.T. is cut so oddly it resembles a Daily Show interview. Of course, the fact that Doric is the love child of Will Forte and Seth Meyers doesn’t help much either. The good thing about therapy though is we know Jonathan will cry again. Not even a few minutes in, and he grabs a tissue and says “I’m so busy, I kinda feel like I’m a juggling act in the circus, you know, all these plates I’m just spinning, you know?” AND MIXING MY METAPHORS. Jonathan is feeling pulled in many directions (like taffy at the circus — laffy taffy no less), the floodgates open, and tears flow. YAY!
Back at le salon, we meet Johnathan’s Beverly Hills Salon assistant, SCOTT. It’s in caps because whenever SCOTT opens his mouth I have to mute and read his subtitles. I can only put up with one horrific voice an episode, folks. We see Jonathan cutting a woman’s hair, and after the cut, we are treated to a before-and-after photo. Umm, the “before” photo looks just like the “after” but with wet instead of dry hair. And she just paid $375 for that? Not satisfied with his client’s hair, Jonathan cuts her baby’s hair. Dear god. So it’s a head of baby hair, and it looks the same after the cut, and Jonathan says “Ok, that will be $175.” Not really, but you know he charged for that baby cut.
Jonathan discusses with Kiara — one of his stylists — the plan for the fashion shoot previously discussed. Kiara needs to buy loads of extensions because Jonathan plans to peel the clothes off at the fashion shoot, and they will cover the models’ “private parts” with hair. Umm, if they wanted their “private parts” covered with hair, wouldn’t they have forgone the waxing in the first place? Over at the shoot, Steve the designer/photog thwarts Jonathan’s thwarting plans by insisting the models are dressed AFTER hair. Jon was instructed to do uplifted hair so as to highlight the clothes. Nothing says uplift like extensions. FOUR FOOT HAIR EXTENSIONS. The models are dressed, and Jonathan explains he will be peeling back the hair and covering their “private parts” (hee hee) with hair. One model is like “oh HELL to the no” and bolts. Incidentally she is still in her clothes which Steve previously said were one-of-a-kind originals. Say what you will, but the girl was kinda smart just then.
Since most models are the sharpest, they oblige and dress down so Jonathan can do the hair HE wants, not what STEVE wants. Steve wanted clothes to be highlighted with the centerpiece being the clothes. Jonathan turns out models that looked like cover models for the 2006 Calendar of Hirsute Amazons. On the set, Steve walks in and is shocked by the results “WTF? Are you kidding me?” and storms off. Calming him Jonathan says to shoot a few frames and if he hates it, he will change it. Sadly, Steve loves the eventual look and much to my chagrin, Jonathan wins YET ANOTHER ROUND.
Next, Jonathan is off to New York to discuss such hairy topics as hat head, or static hair, or the fate of the Afghani convert. First though, Jonathan has to do hair for Diana DeGarmo of American Idol “fame” and currently set to star in Hairspray on Broadway. Now, I never watched her season of Idol, but how did someone with a lisp do so well? The irony of this situation is surprisingly not lost on Joanathan, “I haven’t been involved in too many Broadway productions and this is… Hairspray!” Thanks for clearing that up. After a few pronouncements by Diana about Jonathan being a hair “thupersthar,” we are reminded why Jonathan and his family are a scourge on society because “you know, my sister owns the Pussycat Dolls” Jonathan reminds us before showing us a few moves which looked less like dance moves and more like robotic spasms. Once the hair for Diana is completed it is suddenly 4am (damn, her hair took a while and the lisp is gone oddly) and Jonathan gets a call at 4:30am from Good Morning America saying he now has four heads of hair to do and resultantly, needs another set of hands. Luckily, Jonathan’s numero uno bi-coastal stylist Jason is in NYC and is woken up by Jonathan pounding on his door. He’s dragged out of his apartment to do GMA. Jason is my personal favorite of this series. They should give Jason his own show. I love Jason. Jason Jason Jason.
ANYHOW, over at the GMA studios, Jonathan is as giddy as a schoolgirl “I’m at Good Morning America with DIANE SAWYER, dude!” Umm, what about Charlie Gibson? Respek. In the elevator, Jonathan the cryer gives somewhat of a mild understatement when Jason asks “what are you feeling right now?” “I don’t have feelings,” says Jonathan. A sphincter says what? In hair and make-up, Jonathan meets and offends some models, mixes a few metaphors — all before sunrise. “Oh, so you’re dry-frizzy. You came equipped!” he says to one model. Remember when Jonathan really cared about the bottles presented to him at the Board meeting earlier? Well a rep from Jonathan Product is in the room with Jonathan going over a few things while he preps hair for the segment he’s doing on GMA. Of course, this irks Jonathan who will have none of it as “she’s showing [me] packaging and designs and bottles and I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANY OF THAT RIGHT NOW!” Hair terrorists strike as the power in the hair and make-up room goes out. Don’t they have one of those little black or red buttons on the outlets to push? Sheesh, you’d think a stylist would know that. Ever one to put the experience into perspective, Jonathan tells us “it’s the bottom of the 9th, I’m up at the plate, it’s two outs, bases are loaded, full count, here’s the pitch — what are you going to do?” Now I’d say hit one out of the park. Jonathan plugs his hair dryer into the outlet in the hallway. Hmm. Boy, was I far off.
After the segment on GMA, Jonathan reflects on how long he’s worked to get to the point of being on “Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer.” Now, look, I love Diane Sawyer many times more than that frigid bitch over on the Today Show, but show some love for Charlie, or even Robin Roberts. Back in the green room, Jonathan, ever the therapist’s dream patient, says (IN TEARS NO LESS) “that’s sort of the universal being saying to me ‘you did good kid, keep going.’ … I guess I did do good, you know?” Sigh. After this moment of self-congratulatory break-down, Jonathan decides to do something more uplifting that wont make him cry. What’s that? Strippers? Scores? Oh, baby clothes shopping. Yeah, this should be GREAT.
Luckily Jason (I love him BTW) knows of a great baby store near his place of the Upper East Side. In the store, Jonathan finds a few overpriced sweaters of premium design and little booties that Claire from Lost could knit in a few hours (bitch can knit) but combined, it is all much too much for Jonathan who — wait for it — breaks out in tears again! Ahh, Jonathan reflects on the shopping experience, saying “This girl starts pulling everything out and what could a father say to any of those things except ‘I’ll take it, I’ll take it all.’” Ahh yes, setting the boundaries early. And with those tears, we segue into a preview of all things to come this season. Sundance, hat head, horrible Pussycat Doll auditions, lemons, vaginas, mixed metaphors (“there’s a new sheriff in town of the world of hair”) photo shoots, and more fights and arguments with Jonathan Product execs, hooray!
A solid first showing for the third season. What more could you ask for?