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Yes, this girl is very important, so pay attention.
Okay so I have to admit that I never watched Jo or Slade or any combination of the two on The Real Housewives of Orange County, so I am going into Date My Ex completely blind. I do not have any preconceived notions of either one’s personality or the relationship they’ve had with each other, their parents, their siblings, or anyone. All I know is this: These two people used to be engaged and now they’re going to set each other up with new people. That’s what I’ve gathered from the commercials. So, totally innocent, I sit down to watch this thing.
“Wait. You’re really going to watch?”
I start off seeing who is apparently Jo having lunch or something with two girlfriends (My DVR cut off the first couple of minutes.) I notice a couple of things right away. First of all, the girls are all giggly and sound totally fake, like high pitched baby voice fake. And also, they LOOK totally fake. I happened upon a description of these girls in the New York Times and there’s no way I could do better, so I’m just going to borrow the phrase used in that article to describe their makeup: “Cleopatra Eyes.” That’s right. You know the look. So freaking much makeup that there is literally no telling what is really going on under there. You can barely see their pupils under the bushels of fake lashes. Okay, so one of these painted ladies is the doll that is going to be dating new people. I know this because she and her girlfriends “decide” this over lunch. How lucky were they that the camera crew was around to capture this spontaneous eureka moment? The one who will be dating – Jo – has long dark hair and a raspy baby voice, how charming. The blonde friend “suggests” that they have Slade, Jo’s ex, help set her up on dates because who knows her better than her great, great friend, the ex? This idea takes Jo so totally by surprise that she spits out her bellini – what a shocking idea! So clearly, the contributors to this show are going out of their way so far to NOT pretend this is unscripted.
Let’s take a moment before we proceed and just examine this premise, as if it mattered in the grand scheme of things. Imagine you have called off a wedding with a person with whom you thought you would spend the rest of your life. After tearily collecting yourself and trying to piece together some semblance of a social life, what is the first thing you do? You call in the ex-fiancÃ© to help you find new dates! Right, that’s not awkward for anyone, and you know he’ll have nothing but the best of intentions. Plus, he’s still morbidly fixated on the way you’re going to live your life and spend your time. Setting the obvious nonsense aside, let’s say you actually DO come up with this plan because that is just how great the terms are on which you still function with your EX-FIANCE. Did I mention this is your ex-fiancÃ©? Are these people robots? Have they no emotions? How on earth does this work? I’ve heard the song and dance about staying friends with exes. I don’t get it, but I’ve heard it. Now they’re trying to tell me that not only should you stay friends, you should stay BEST friends, and even help each other date? Who are they kidding? On what planet would this work? On what planet is this even a remotely good idea? Okay, I got that out. On with the show.
Now we meet Slade, the dreaded ex-fiancÃ©. I can tell before he’s been on the screen for a nanosecond that this is the kind of royal douche I wouldn’t go near with a ten-foot pole. He’s old, but thinks he’s young, and he’s majorly trying to overcompensate for something. Why does Slade want to help Jo date, you ask? Well, he tells us, she’s been working really hard on her album (her album? Oh lucky us) and she spends a lot of time in the studio. He’d like to see her meet some nice guys. He’s kind of jealous, but ultimately has her best interests at heart. And yes, I used much bigger words than Slade did. The blonde girlfriend with obnoxious bangs tells us that Jo insisted that her friends be a part of this, so she, Blonde Bangs, is going to be in charge of hostessing the whole mess.
Blonde Bangs gathers the participants and announces to Jo that she’ll be going on four dates with four guys and the guys will be living with Slade. At the end of a week, she’ll eliminate three of the four guys, and the one who stays will go on to the next round of four guys. This will persist for several weeks and at the end there will be a few lucky finalists and Jo will have to choose one lucky fellow with whom to “give it a go” at romance. Okay, so all the winner gets is the chance for more dates with this bimbo? Lucky guy. I can’t wait to see what kind of prize gentlemen this scheme has attracted. I’m not exactly sure what role Slade is supposed to play so far – besides playing Den Mother and intimidating the other guys with his macho golf hat.
“I control your destiny.”
We head over to “Slade’s” house where we meet Bachelor #1, Michael, 33, Sports Nutrition Sales Rep. He’s excited to meet Jo. I wonder if he’s ever seen her. Bachelor #2 is Nelson, 26, Personal Trainer – and I must add, Eyebrow Mogul. He has got THE most manscaped pair of brows I’ve ever seen. He looks like he has at least a twist of Mediterranean in him, so the eyebrows are prominent, but ever so carefully sculpted into beefy little half-moons. Guys like this frighten me. Not only would they pester me to go to the gym all the time, but they’d probably also chase me around with hot wax. No thanks. Martin, 31, is a Real Estate Agent and describes himself as charismatic. Then he describes Jo as a celebrity. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! This one’s funny, but not on purpose, I’m afraid. Finally we have David, 29, Talent Manager. Ugh, talent manager? I’ve lived in LA long enough to know that “talent manager” is just a fancy title for hanger-on. These are the people who follow famous people around and wake them up in the morning, spoon-feed them their prescription meds, and wipe their butts, all for the 15% cut, of course. They also think they are highly crucial. David thinks Jo’s a hot chick, so why not fall in love again?
Blonde Bangs tells the guys they’ll be going on dates with Jo, but just as they start to relax, she presents SLADE. The guys are all thrown off balance and have no idea what to say or do. Slade laps it up. He warns that no one knows Jo better than he does and no one has greater influence over her. Oh geez, take it easy there. Your existence is validated, we get it. The guys speculate over what Slade’s intentions could possibly be. Slade announces that Jo is family and no one messes with his family. Actually, Slade, Jo is NOT your family. That was decided when you called off the wedding, but who’s going to argue with this frightening powerhouse? Slade shows the guys to their emasculating quarters, which is one small room with four twin mattresses on the floor.
Date #1 – Martin
Over at Jo’s place, Blonde Bangs is back to explain that each guy has already planned out his date and Jo will be receiving a polka-dot hat box from each of them containing a message and prep material for the outing. What do you know, the first one has arrived! The note says, “Jo, I hope you have an appetite for adventure. This date will definitely add some spice to your life. See you soon. – Martin.” Then she pulls out an orange article of clothing from the hat box. Cut to Jo in her black underwear with her brunette friend helping her pull a dress over her head. Yes, I often call my friends over to help me put clothes on – it’s just so difficult. Um, gratuitous much? Yes it is because it takes them a full five minutes to pull the skin tight scrap of material over Jo’s fake boobs, following which, her friend encourages her to ditch her thong, so we get to watch her pull that off and toss it aside.
Meanwhile Martin is getting ready to head out, but not before getting grilled by Slade, the Master of the Universe. Slade tells us that Martin may have a shot because he’s edu-ma-cated, and Jo is totally not used to that. Martin basically tells us he hopes he wins.
Jo has retouched the King Tut eyes (see? I’m not a TOTAL plagiarist), and loaded on the bright orange lipstick to match the bright orange thong-less dress. She’s driving over to meet her first date when who should blow up her cell phone? Slade Smiley. Wait a second. Slade’s last name is SMILEY??? OMG, this is a bigger emergency than I thought. Whether he chose that name or not, the fact that he’s using it is highly, highly alarming. Jo obviously thinks it’s adorable as she flirts and teases, telling Slade she oughta have his head right now. Does he pinky-promise-swear that he’s okay with all of this? Oh barf.
Jo pulls up in a back alley someplace where Martin is waiting to mug her at knifepoint. I mean, start the date. They air kiss and enter a building which turns out to be the restaurant Mama Juana’s. Martin has called ahead and arranged for them to be able to cook their own dinner. Cook your own dinner at a restaurant? Doesn’t that really defeat the whole purpose? Anyway, I’m totally surprised to find out that Jo thinks it’s sexy when a man cooks for her, takes control, and tells her what to do – in the kitchen or elsewhere. And in case you missed it, that was sarcasm. I’ll be surprised when Jo finds a guy of a certain appearance and income level that she DOESN’T find sexy. That’s what gold diggers do.
Another twist we learn about is that Blonde Bangs is arriving at Slade’s with a laptop so that they can watch the date in progress. Oh good, this should be extremely helpful. They (and we) watch Martin show off and not take one breath as he rattles on about himself while Jo rolls her eyes wondering when she’ll get the chance to tell Martin all about her album and her reality show. They eventually shut up long enough to eat and then Martin gives Jo a dance lesson. Guess what. Jo thinks it’s sexy when a guy can show you what to do on the dance floor. No way!
When Martin gets home the guys want to hear all about the date. He says he’d rather keep it to himself if that’s cool, to which Slade says, “No it’s not cool. Jo and I have already done whatever you did, so before it was OUR thing.” Wow, he gets worse and worse. What a freaking loser. Get a life, dude.
Date #2 – Michael
Bright and early the next morning Slade wakes Michael up to go on his date. Over at Jo’s, she is waking up in full Egyptian makeup, complete with inch-deep shiny lip gloss as the brunette friend busses in the next polka dot hat box. Will she help Jo out of her jammies this morning? Jo pulls out a white sea captain’s hat and puts it on, giggle, giggle. Oh these girls are so funny. The note says, “Jo, I’m really looking forward to hooking up with you. Dress warm, I hope you’re on board for what I’ve got planned. – Michael.” Michael is taking Jo fishing! Oh I’m sure Princess will just love that. As the date gets underway, Slade watches on the laptop, appalled. He announces that Jo only fishes off of menus! Sure enough, Jo thinks it’s sad and cruel when she hooks a fish. Then she has a diva fit while Michael guts the fish because it smells. Oh Michael, rookie mistake. This is not about Jo getting to know you and what interests you, this is about you shoving your head so far up Jo’s butt that she can taste your hair gel. Get it straight! Apparently Michael semi redeems himself by serving Jo a pleasant breakfast on the bow of the boat. When Michael gets home, Slade advises him that if he would like to take Jo fishing, it should probably be for a Louis Vuitton bag. Wow, this girl’s a treat.
Date #3 – David
Later that same afternoon, another polka dot box arrives! “Jo, I’m really looking forward to our first date. Glad you finally got out of Orange County. Welcome to LA, where the sky’s the limit. Look beautiful – that won’t be hard for you. – David.” Well, of course the “beautiful” comment strikes a chord with Jo. David’s in so far. She pulls a Louis Vuitton scarf out of the box, so now David is in like Flynn. Keep it up David, and you’ve got this in the bag. When Jo arrives to meet David he ties the scarf around her eyes as a blindfold and takes her into a building. They go up on the roof and find… a helicopter! David tells Jo he’s about to show her LA HIS way. Oh, he must be really important and special. Slade watches on the laptop and for once has no snide comment. Hmm, so helicopters weren’t YOUR thing, Slade? David falls all over Jo, saying he’s heard a little bit of her music and that he loves it. He would also love to take on the role of picking up her dirty laundry and washing her dishes – in other words, be her manager.
Later, back at Slade’s house, the guys rehash David’s date and trash talk each other. But the next morning Jo gets another call from Slade, who is just calling to throw his weight around. He tells her to have fun on her next date and then “accidentally” says, “I love you.” Oh brother. Jo hangs up and whines to the brunette friend that she misses Slade. Oh honey, if you want that piece of crap you can have him. Please – get him off the street and spare the rest of us.
Date #4 – Nelson
And now for the final polka dot hat box of the evening. “Hey Jo, I can’t wait to meet you. They’ve saved the best for last! Get ready for some fun in the sun, this date is gonna rock your world. Dress sporty but comfortable. See you soon! – Nelson.” Sporty, of course. He’s the personal trainer. Jo pours on some leggings and puts her hair in pigtails. And let’s not forget the four pounds of makeup. She arrives at the beach looking like an underage tramp to go rock climbing with Nelson, which he says tells a lot about a person (the rock climbing, not the underage tramp thing). Nelson scales the rock first and as he goes Jo tells him his butt looks cute from where she is. Oh the class. She continues to compliment his body and I wonder if she’s noticed those eyebrows, which are the most deserving of praise. When it’s Jo’s turn to climb Nelson tells her that her butt looks good, too, to which Slade responds at the laptop, “I’m so glad they’re butt buddies.” Aw, jealous that your sophisticated lady finds an outdoorsy type attractive?
“Did you get a good look at my butt from THIS angle?”
Jo gets to the top of the rock and the personal trainer approves. Then they move on to a squirt gun fight on the sand that quickly becomes a wet t-shirt contest. At least these people aren’t predictable.
Later on, back at Slade’s, the boys fret some more over whom Jo might choose. Yawn. At Jo’s the three girls gather to go back over all the details of each date and see how each guy measures up to the Untouchable Slade. Double Yawn. I’m still trying to guess what any of these girls actually look like under all their makeup and I still have no idea. The makeup may have cerebral powers, though, because now the girls come up with another totally spontaneous idea. This one is to go to Slade’s and crash whatever the guys are doing! Oh these silly girls. Will they ever stop? They successfully arrive at Slade’s and then all sit around drinking and flirting until Jo decides to pull Slade into the bedroom and see how he’s handling all this. He tells her it’s kind of uncomfortable, but he’s there to help her and he wants what’s best. Yes, that speech again. Jo is totally confused about whom she will choose to stay in the house.
“We are bestest, bestest friends now.”
The next morning the guys are all packing and once again fretting about who will stay and who will go. Slade struts around being intimidating and he decides to confront David, who clearly has ulterior motives to become Jo’s manager. Slade sits David down, says he doesn’t trust him, he thinks it’s all about business, and he (Slade) is here to protect Jo, so David WILL announce at the elimination ceremony that he’s dropping out. Okay, do we need a more blatant spoiler here? Clearly Jo is going to pick David to stay and clearly he’s going to agree. Thanks, Bravo, for blowing your wad ten minutes early. I guess we can watch something good now.
But no, the charade continues and Blonde Bangs lines everyone up to reiterate what is going to happen – namely that Jo will choose one guy and send the others home. Each guy gets a turn to tell Jo something, and they all basically tell her she’s great and they want to stay. When it’s David’s turn, we flash back to Slade ordering David to drop out of the competition. Then David announces that he has nothing but the purest intentions and he means that from the bottom of his heart. Denied, Slade! Who saw that coming?
Jo gives each guy a mini speech, telling them how much fun she had on their date and ending with, “…but I think we should just be friends.” First to go is Michael, the errant fisherman. Smell ya later, dork. That’ll teach you to have your own hobbies. Next off is Martin for talking too much about himself and not letting Jo tell him and the whole world more about her glorious self. Buh-bye. When it’s down to Nelson and David we go to commercial break to draw out the terrible suspense. Who will she choose? How will we ever last the three minutes? Surprise of the millennium, she chooses… David! Yay, David gets to hang around another week to go on another date with Jo and annoy the crap out of Slade. Or so we are meant to believe. Right about now I notice that Jo is wearing what looks like a tiny nightie. I’m telling you, this girl is a true debutante. Brunette friend brings out some cocktails and everyone toasts to getting totally wasted.
You know she’s going commando again…
This season on Date My Ex, we have a whole bunch more where this came from! There’s even a shot of Jo attempting the ultimate feat – trying to squeeze out a fake tear without disturbing the pancake makeup around her eyes. Tune in for that exciting moment!
So what do you guys think? I mean, it’s obviously horrible, but is it drawing you in? How much do you really care about who dates Slade’s ex? Do tell!
Thanks for reading!