There’s really nothing more enjoyable than watching a bunch of Orange County rich kids try to brave it in the wilderness. Actually, there are a lot of things more enjoyable, but I thought I’d start off on a positive note. Yes, the kids of Laguna Beach decided to embrace Mother Nature tonight, and while I can’t say the results were anything too spectacular, at least there were no Michelle Branch sing-alongs this time around.
The episode kicked off like many Laguna Beach installments with the girls all eagerly gossiping about what the big plans are and who will be showing up with who. Lo, sounding like the blonde spawn of Beaker, announced she would not be attending a trip to Catalina Island because her dad decided to assert some parental responsibility. Psssh. This led to a typical frown volley between LC and Lo before settling into a casual anti-Kristin discussion.
As for Kristin, she was partaking in some predictably staged banter with Roz from Frasier. Oh wait, that’s just her friend Alex. The two commented about Christina and how she was going to miss the Catalina trip to sing at the Crystal Cathedral. Considering that our previous exposure to Christina’s singing was an atonal (and yes, cringe-worthy) audition for Rent in NYC, I feared the structural integrity of the Crystal Cathedral might be in serious danger. Nevertheless, it’s a decent opportunity for a young girl to screetch publicly, and as Kristin noted, the cathedral has been visited by “some President.” As Jeopardy music played in our heads, we watched as Kristin tried to remember which one of those silly Presidents visited the Catherdral before remembering that it was – oh yeah – Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ah, the youth of America. Sigh.
Over on some seaside cliff, Stephen and his sidekick (whose nicely plucked eyebrows should raise some, er, eyebrows) discussed whether or not a yacht would be transporting them to Catalina. Now I’m not one of these populists that begrudges every rich kid raised with yachts, but seriously, I really wanted to punch them in the face.
Luckily for them, a yacht did fetch all the kids, who were served a lovely continental breakfast consisting of croissants, fruit, and danish. You know, all the typical food they’ll be getting at college. When the kids finally made it to the camp site, they assembled their tents to the tune of Green Day’s “American Idiot” – one of the rare sly moves on the producers’ part. LC called up Lo who was excited to be heading out with Mike – whoever that is – for sushi. There was some general banter about sushi this, camping that, but I didn’t really pay attention, lest I had to listen to the windshield wiper sound that was Lo’s voice. Later at the campsite, some park rangers came by to say “Hope you have fun, yada yada yada rattle snakes might sneak up on you, yada yada yada, watch out for bears, yada yada yada, yes bears, yada yada yada.” Morgan, the pudgy girl whose face always looks like she just walked in on two people making out, stared bug-eyed at the ranger. I wasn’t surprised to see her all-encompassing fear. No offense to her, but if this little crew suddenly turned Lord of the Flies, I think we know who’d be first to have her head crushed by a boulder…
Anyway, the threat of ursine predators resulted in a chorus of “You guys…” from the girls, particularly community college bound Kristin whose response to almost anything is either “You guys…” or “Stephen! That’s not funny.” As night fell on the campers, we cut between a despondent LC and the chirpy Lo on her date. We knew things would be bad for Lo when the jerky Mike character took her to Pomodoro – which unless there was some interracial wedding along the way, was not a sushi place. Actually, considering that I ate at Pomodoro today for lunch, I can assure you that their California roll is pretty good – and by California roll, I mean meatballs and spaghetti.
For his part, Mike seemed completely bored with his date. Not even the prospect of TV cameras and instant fame could lift his spirits. At least it was better than the Catalina clan, which was probing the spiritual world with some Ouiji Board experimentation. First question: Is Morgan a virgin? Oh the jokesters. Meanwhile, I’m sure the spirits were psyched to finally have a the chance to gossip with the human world. I bet they’re sick of having to locate dead people and carry stupid messages all the time. Anyway, the Ouiji session came to an abrupt halt as the pinpoint radar that was Kristin’s ears detected an encroaching bear. Within moments, the fire was put out and the kids all retreated to the safety of their tents. They were safe there because, you know, bears can’t tear through anything thicker than tissue paper.
Meanwhile, as the girls freaked out, Stephen donned a silly bear costume to fuel the fears. Yes, I’m sure they would believe it too. Apparently the bears in Catalina are covered in felt and have seams up their back. Stephen burst into the girls’ tent, resulting in a spate of shrieks followed by laughter and then Kristin’s “Stephen, you are so stupid. I’m mad.” Honestly, wasn’t that a far way to go for a simple joke? I mean, renting a whole bear costume? You might as well prolong the joke more than a mere ten seconds. You know, pretend the bear is sniffing around their tent. If it were me, I would have brought a taxidermied bear head and thrust it into the girls’ tent – possibly with a chainsaw too, just for added effect. Now THAT’s good bear humor. The upside at least is that now whenever Morgan sees a Teddy bear, she gets nightmares.
Around this time, I’m sure all viewers were probably thinking, man this would have been a lot funnier if a real bear had come and terrorized these kids. Where were the producers? If there was ever a reason to meddle for ratings, this was it.
Eventually the sweet salvation of daylight arrived, and the kids cleaned up the site. With all the food they left out, I’m frankly surprised that a bear really didn’t come poking around. While the kids departed for the main land, Christina prepared for her musical debut. Her father, a deep voiced and truly annoying man, lulled his congregation to sleep in true Rev. Lovejoy style (oh yeah, he’s the reigning Reverend at the Crystal Cathedral – not Lovejoy, but Christina’s dad). Taking a page from Mr. Miyagi, Christina’s dad babbled about “Wax On, Wax Off” and how that relates to being a good Christian. Uh… I suppose next week’s sermon will detail the importance of why nobody puts Baby in the corner. Christina eventually took to the stage and managed to not shatter the glass cathedral with her determinedly flat voice. The burgeoning thrush was warmly received, especially by Randy and Paula, but Jesus was all “That was a total disaster. Horrible.” Man, he’s such a hardass. I think he does it for the ratings.