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With The Beautiful Life rudely yanked off the air after a total of two episodes, we know The CW isn’t fucking around. If they were smart, they’d hire Mike Kelley, the brilliant creator of TBL and the underrated 70′s drama Swingtown to inject some complexity and excitement into the new MP. Because for a hot-blooded sizzling soap, this show has yet to rise above the flaccid mark. Peppering it with original MP stars like Laura Leighton, Thomas Calabro, and now Josie Bissett and just-signed Heather Locklear might score some points with the over-30 fags & hags crowd (of which your recap artist is a proud member), but if this thing’s gonna have legs, the current crop of cuties needs to step it up. As do the writers, because right now, I’m not sure if anyone gives a shit. Except of course you. That’s why you’re here. But after this recap, will you be back?
Bad Pitt has Porsche-sex with some random slut hottie while parked in a dead-end alleyway. She says she’s never done this before, and aks for a ride home to Ogden & Willoughby. BP agrees, distracted by a Sinister Asian who’s been voyeuring them from a nearby car. BP drives off and SA makes a phone call.
Melrose Place courtyard. Dr Whoren serves Junoh a frozen cocktail as he bobs adorably on a pool toy. Then Whoren gets a text from Toby, her first-ever escort client, who’s going to be in town and wants to meet up. Bad Pitt enters and asks Whoren if the hospital just paged her. She points to her own drink and says she’s not on-call. BP quips that he’s happy she’s moved up from “wine spritzers” which she pretends to smile at while texting Toby back that she’s way-up for a little prostitution. Ashlee Simpson grabs a margarita and tells Smiley she’s now texting with a full keyboard. Since she’s hostessing at trendy restaurant/bar Coal, AS must be reachable anytime anywhere. Behind AS’s back, Junoh makes the universal sign for crazy to Smiley. AS wants Smiley’s “digits”, which Junoh furiously objects to in mime.
Phun with Photoshop! Insert back of your own head above.
Cru-Ella enters in a diaphanous “cover-up” exposing her bikini and asks Junoh what he’s working on. He tells her he just shot “Wilderness Scouts planting trees in Balboa Park“. Cru thinks this is a huge snooze, but has something exciting for him– passes to the premiere of “the new Abby Douglas rom-com”. Junoh’s already going– the writer, Zack, was Junoh’s roommate at NYU Film School. “And now you get to watch him walk the red carpet with Abby Douglas? Ouch!” Cru snips in an indirect dig at Junoh’s non-movie star fiancee Smiley. Smiley comes over to dig back that it’s a pity Cru will be working the event and won’t be able to hang out with her and Junoh. Cru says the red carpet isn’t the teacher’s lounge (Smiley educates inner-city tots) and maybe Cru will see Smiley at the after-party, if Smiley’s on the list! Zing.
As Junoh squirms between his two favorite ladies, Jane Andrews enters. She says she’s their murdered landlord Sydney‘s sister and has inherited the building! She doesn’t realize she’s also inherited a wacko niece: Ashlee Simpson. MAIN TITLE.
Sydney’s apartment. Cru-Ella offers condolences and tells Jane she wants to move into this apartment ASAP. Jane recognizes Cru from her lack of manners– Syd told Jane all about the falling out Syd & Cru had. Cru must’ve been “pretty angry” with the late redheaded boozy mess, judging by the emails Syd forwarded Jane… you know, “the ones where you made those crazy threats against her”? Is Jane insinuating Cru had something to do with Syd’s death? “Of course not,” Jane says. “I know you loved her, deep down.” Original cast member Josie Bissett is so outrageously stiff here, it’s impossible to tell if Jane’s being sarcastic or Josie’s just a lousy actress or both. Cru indignantly replies that she has nothing to hide and didn’t kill Syd. No, Jane says, Cru has too much going for her– Syd said Cru’s career has “really taken off”. Oh, and isn’t Abby Douglas one of Cru’s PR clients? Yeah, why? Jane says she heard Abby’s new movie Kensington Squared is about to premiere. Cru offers Jane tickets, but what Jane wants is for Abby to walk the red carpet “in one of my dresses”.
“Special” as in Education
“Didn’t your boutique burn down and your entire collection with it?” Cru inquires. Yes, but now Jane’s ready for a comeback. Cru says this is way-too-short notice. Jane says she understands– “an important publicist” like Cru has her reputation to consider, so Jane will “do my best” to make sure those incriminating emails don’t get leaked to the cops. Pissed at being on the other end of a blackmail threat for once, Cru stomps off.
Coal. Angrie busies himself with a skillet as his Rocco DiSpirito-esque boss Marcello aka Roccello appears and asks what’s up with the Kensington Squared premiere party. Angrie has just finished the last sample, tempura cod with julienned bell peppers with tartar sauce. Roccello says that’s not on their menu. Angrie came up with it special, since the movie is set in England– I promoted you to run the kitchen, not create new dishes, Roccello snaps. “Yes, Chef,” Angrie says, chastened. Roccello pricks off as Bad Pitt approaches. BP has dish about the new MP landlord, but it looks like Angrie has his own drama. Angrie says 4 servers just quit and they have the premiere coming up. BP says he can help. Angrie points out that BP has never had a job in his life. BP really wants to help. BP knows he wasn’t a great friend when BP started “hanging out” with Syd– BP wishes he would’ve done things differently.
BP asks Roccello about working, and Roccello says it’s for one event, not full-time, and it “won’t be in the tip pool”. BP says that’s fine and lies that he has experience “all over town”, including at Patina with Angrie. Angrie is put on the spot but vouches for BP. Roccello tells BP to come back Thursday at 4. Angrie looks vaguely disturbed.
Ashlee Simpson’s apartment. Smoldering carne asada detective Nick Gonzalez and his black super-model cop pal have questions for AS, fresh out of the pool. She confirms that she moved in 2 weeks ago with an Oregon driver’s license as ID. That’s where I’m from, AS says, then asks to put some clothes on. She flashes us the kook eyes and exits to change. Nick and Black Super Model speculate that AS is an aspiring actress/singer and future stripper, then they hear a clunk from the bedroom. They open the door and see an open window. Ashlee Simpson has fled!
Exterior street. Ashlee Simpson flees.
Whoren & Cru’s apt. Whoren stares at a graduation photo of herself with her joyful Asian mom while confirming a hotel “date” with Toby on the phone. Cru barges in and Whoren discreetly hangs up. Cru notes that Whoren has yet another date, but W tells her it’s just “drinks with a fellow intern”. W changes the subject to the new landlord. Cru can see “the family resemblance– she’s got Syd’s fangs.” W says she hopes there won’t be a rent increase since she barely afford it now. Even with Cru generously providing assistance.
Junoh & Smiley’s apt. Junoh is proud of the artistry he’s brought to his tree-planting footage. Smiley is sympathetic when Junoh vents that he’s making “merit-badge” videos while Zack, who came to Junoh for screenwriting advice in college, is “blowing up”. Smiley asks how Zack got a break and Junoh tells her Zack was a golf caddy for a hot agent, who read his script, loved it, signed him and packaged it with Abby Douglas. Junoh thinks he should start playing golf. Or maybe not turn down offers of $100K script assignments just because he’s so morally superior to the sleazy producer making them. Perhaps?
“OMG! Your home page is as gay as you are!”
PR company. Cru-Ella and her hunky boss Gayleb admire the Kensington Squared movie poster. Cru says she’s responsible for star Abby’s cute wardrobe, but that Abby refuses to consider Cru’s idea of taking a “stretch-hybrid” to the premiere instead of a “gas-guzzling limo”. Gayleb wants to know who Abby will be wearing, and Cru tries to bulldoze Jane Andrews’ name past him. When he calls time out, Cru insists that Jane is the next hot thing and Abby loves the dress. Gayleb says if Cru’s having trouble connecting with A-list designers, she should let Gayleb call Marc Jacobs for her. Cru says she’s right-on about Jane, and didn’t her choosing Junoh for the Boomkat video work out great? Gayleb relents, but warns Cru that Abby is a super-important client and nothing better go wrong.
Boutique. Vapid Starlet Abby has a fitting with Jane and Cru. Abby is “lukewarm” about the dress, but Cru calms her by saying the editor of W saw the dress and is reserving a page for Abby in an upcoming issue. Jane confides to Cru that Jane’s “worried” about Abby, then pointedly tells Cru things better not turn out badly for “both our sakes”. Cru takes Crabby off for waxing and a facial. Jane is startled to find Ashlee Simpson lurking in the boutique. AS says she needs Jane’s help. She’s Sydney’s daughter! Jane says AS looks exactly like Syd. Jane knew “something was going on with” her sister Sydney “right before she left college”. AS says she came to L.A. to find her mom, “but when the cops came, I got scared.” Jane wants to know why AS is scared of cops. AS says “I’m in trouble”– she came to Jane because Jane seems “so nice”… and she’s the only family AS has. Jane hugs AS and invites her to sit down for tea and a chat. Then Jane picks up the phone and covertly calls a detective to “report a fugitive”.
Cinerama Dome. It’s the premiere of the awful-looking Crabby Douglas flick. Junoh & Smiley walk the red carpet. Smiley says soon it will be Junoh’s movie premiere they’ll be attending. It’s just a matter of time, honey-bunch! Junoh wonders how long he’ll have to wait. He’s already been in Hollywood a year and a half. Smiley says no matter how long it takes, she’ll stand by her man. As they share a warm moment, a Security Goon orders them off the red carpet– “VIP’s only!”
“What’s the matter?! You don’t like being called Bad? ‘Cuz we can change it to Stu.”
Coal. Cru-Ella rearranges place cards at tables and runs into Bad Pitt on cater-waiter duty. When Cru scoffs at him performing manual labor, BP says he “owes Angrie a solid”. BP says he heard Crabby is wearing Jane’s dress– what’s Cru getting out of that deal? Cru covers and tells him she’s just being neighborly. BP says Cru’s recent generous attitude is puzzling. First, she provides him with an alibi for the night of Syd’s murder, now she’s “rolling over” for Jane? What’s up? Cru confesses that Jane threatened to use Syd’s private files to embarrass Cru. Cru has no desire to have to defend herself against false accusations that she’s a killer. Cru exits for the theatre. BP looks vaguely disturbed.
Hotel bar. Whoren arrives, all dolled up, and orders a sparkling water. Then she gets an incoming call from Ashlee Simpson, which she ignores. A Sleazy Young Hunk offers to buy her a real drink. Someone’s going to be spending money on Whoren tonight, so it might as well be him, right? She coolly informs him she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He walks off and she looks vaguely disturbed.
Cinerama Dome. Junoh & Smiley wait behind the barricade, where they spot Zack the Hack Screenwriter coming down the red carpet. Zack, a short dolled-up nerd, comes over to see them and they exchange hugs. When Zack asks what Junoh’s been up to, and J has nothing to report except a recut of his short, Smiley blurts out that Junoh just “turned down a six-figure offer” from Malibastard because “it wasn’t the right situation”. Hack is impressed– he says he’ll be doing chick-flicks the rest of his life while Junoh is out snagging Oscars.
Coal. Frenetic kitchen acitivity as they prepare for the crowd to arrive. Angrie gets a call from Ashlee Simpson and ignores it. Bad Pitt is helping Angrie when BP spots the Sinister Asian entering.
“Don’t you dare judge me, Mother! Not after The Deep, Class, Mephisto Waltz, The Greek Tycoon and Wild Orchid!”
Cinerama Dome. Jane calls Cru-Ella. Crabby’s being a huge bitch about the dress not fitting properly, so Jane’s on her way. Cru says she can handle Crabby and Jane should stay put. Oh, no… this is too important. Jane says she hopes Crabby won’t always be this difficult, since Jane plans on Crabby wearing a lot more of her designs. We’re partners, Cru, Jane says, hanging up. Cru is more than vaguely disturbed.
Cinerama lobby. Smiley introduces Junoh to Charlie, Hack’s super-agent. While Junoh was looking for the men’s room, Smiley shmoozed Charlie by pretending to be a golf nut. Smiley gets a call from Ashlee Simpson and goes off to take it. Charlie tells Junoh how great Smiley is– she even told Charlie about Junoh’s short film, which Charlie says sounds great. Smiley reappears and says she has to leave. As Junoh starts to freak, Charlie says he can get them into the after-party. Sorry, Smiley says, this is really important. Ashlee Simpson is in jail!
Ext, Sunset Blvd. Junoh chases after Smiley. He tells her that maybe jail is where Ashlee Simpson belongs. Smiley says AS is not a bad person, she just “got a little spooked” by the cops. Now go inside and keep shmoozing the agent, Smiley tells him. Junoh is upset– Smiley isn’t AS’s mother and AS is not even their friend. But he melts a little at Smiley’s strong nurturing character and they exchange “love you”s before Smiley drives off.
“I would NEVER ask you to blow an agent to get me repped! If you really loved me, I wouldn’t HAVE to ask.”
Police station. Dreamy Det. Nick grills Ashlee Simpson. If she has nothing to hide, why jump out the bathroom window? “I’m scared of the police,” AS says. The cops tell AS her fingerprints are on “this lanyard” which they found at the crime scene. AS says it was a gift– AS made it when she was little and that Sydney was her mother. Nick asks if Syd freaked out at the news, and AS lies and says Syd “was so happy”. AS says they spent Syd’s last week getting to know each other and it was just fabulous. Till Syd got whacked, Nick points out. Has AS ever been arrested. No, Det Chorizo. Then why are you so afraid of the police, young lady?!
Hotel lobby. Whoren waits and waits and waits. Then gets a text that Toby missed a connecting flight and is stuck in Chicago. As she’s cursing the luck, Young Sleazy Hunk appears and asks if she’s been stood up, like he was. He apologizes for earlier, introduces himself as Victor, then asks if she’s “working tonight”. Yup, sure am, honey!
“If you were a Cal-Fusion dish, you’d be Bland Roasted Annoying Tard-Fish!”
Coal. Sinister Asian reports to Bad Pitt’s Dad via cell phone. Yes, BP is really working the event. Nothing suspicious. SA hangs up as BP confronts him. “Ask my father if he’d like a tie or a lawsuit for his birthday!” BP snips. When SA plays dumb, BP freaks out and tosses him into a tray of glasses, wreaking havoc on the A-list movie party. BP is about as threatening as a sleepy puppy, mumbling something that three rewinds later, still sounds like “You tell my father if he ever has me followed again, not only am I gonna come after you, I’m gonna come after you, got it?” Angrie rushes over, horrified, followed by Roccello, even more pissed. Roccello gives BP the boot.
Side street. A white stretch limo pulls up and Jane & Cru-Ella hurry to meet Crabby. Crabby hates the dress, there’s a torn seam, it covers her shoes, it makes her arms look fat. Get her out of it and into something else before she walks the red carpet or Crabs is outta there. Cru stands there, transfixed, while Crabby pouts and Jane hisses that there’s a lot ridin/g on tonight for both of them. Yeah, we get it, bitch. You’re blackmailing her. Learn how to design. Or act. Cru tells Crabby she has another dress in Cru’s trunk–shuck down and she’ll be right back. Jane follows Cru, asking if Cru knows what Cru just did. My clients always come first, Cru snaps. I hope it was worth it, Jane sneers.
“And cumming on my tits is an extra $7.00!”
Hotel suite. Post-nasty, Whoren asks for her money. Sleaze says what money? This was a consensual encounter between adults. When Whoren protests, saying they agreed on a price, he slams her against a wall. Girlfriend need herself a stone-cold pimp!
Ext. Coal, alley. Bad Pitt waits by Angrie’s motorcycle. Angrie comes out and BP apologizes. He says Roccello “can’t hold you responsible for that.” Wrong and wrong, dipshit. So what did Sinister Asian do to BP that was worth Angrie’s career?! BP comes up with an unconvincing lie about BP hitting on SA’s “girlfriend last week”. The guy’s bad news! Now just tell Roccello that and he’ll understand. Angrie says BP has never had to live with consequences. When BP says he was only trying to help, Angrie says “like you tried to help Sydney the night she died!?” BP looks mildly retarded.
Junoh & Smiley’s apt. Junoh returns and tells waiting Smiley that she “totally managed to win over” jaded agent Charlie, and now he wants J to show him J’s short. This is amazing and so is Smiley! The warm moment is broken by a noise, prompting J to ask if Ashlee Simpson is in their apartment. Yes, Smiley says, in the shower. J is worried there’s scissors in the bathroom. Did Smiley bail AS out of jail? Yes, “it’s a bond”, Smiley explains, telling J that they’ll get the cash back when AS shows up in court. J is not feeling good about this– AS is anything but reliable! Smiley tells J that AS is Syd’s daughter. The two redheads had a joyous reunion and spent a week bonding in private until Syd’s shocking murder. J says if this was a horror movie (which it kind of is– see Single White Female), the audience would be standing up screaming that AS is the killer. AS has emerged from the bathroom and tells him she ran from the cops “because if what happened back home”.
“I’m pretty sure our new neighbor is that chick who had the lip-synch meltdown on SNL 5 years ago…”
Ashlee Simpson says her adoptive parents “weren’t exactly Brangelina“. Meaning what? They didn’t keep huge quantities of hash around the house? Or made mostly long, dull, pretentious movies with a few smart indies thrown in every three years or so? Or broke up the marriage of a Friends cast member? Surely, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer & Matt LeBlanc must have some murky divorces between them. Smiley asks if AS’s parents hurt her. “I didn’t sleep, like, ever,” AS confesses. Big deal. I barely slept a total of 18 hours my entire teenage years– it’s called being a model. But AS isn’t talking about Mexican diet pills and shoots on Ibiza for Jesus Jeans, Gasmii. AS was afraid to fall asleep with her door open. In a monologue that sounds painfully like a runner-up entry at a state drama meet, Ashlee Simpson alludes to sexual harassment and says she longed to escape as soon as she could save up the cash. Then she tracked down Sydney, stole money from her pervy parents, and hit the road for L.A. That’s why she was so frightened around Macho Taco Det. Chorizo. “This is my home now, and even though my mom isn’t here, this is the only place I can sleep without being afraid.” She’s definitely not going to take home the gold with this dreary performance. Smiley comforts her as Junoh looks vaguely disturbed.
Hotel. Whoren comes down the stairs, where she’s met by a massive Security Hunk. W’s in big trouble for soliciting customers at this snazzy place and the police will be here shortly. W starts to freak out, when a Smokin Hot Blonde (played by Kelly Carlson, Christian Troy‘s trashy porn star ex on Nip/Tuck) steps in and tells the hunk that W’s with her. He apologizes and walks off as W tries to keep it together long enough to thank Kelly. “Let me guess– Craigslist? Chat rooms?” Kelly guesses. W says it’s not what Kelly thinks, and tries to excuse herself. Kelly says she helped W out because “I was once in your shoes.” W tries to protest, but Kelly sees through her. She warns W not to come hooking around here again “or hotel security will be the least of your worries… understand?”
MP CY. Cru-Ella stares pensively into the night as Bad Pitt arrives. She tells him Jane’s dress didn’t make it to the carpet. BP knows that means trouble, but Cru couldn’t care less. She’s going to spread the word that Crabby hated the dress, thereby nuking Jane’s comeback. BP doesn’t think that’ll be enough “to stop whatever she has planned for you.” BP says he can “take care of it”– Jane used to be married to his Dad, so “skeletons” won’t be too hard to dredge up. Cru is turned on by this promise and puts her arms around BP. They melt into a kiss, then Cru leads him off to “work on that alibi”, i.e. hot gratitude sex.
“Hands off my People’s Choice Award! Just kidding. I haven’t won shit.”
Syd’s apt. Jane is packing up Syd’s knickknacks when BP pops in with some advice: blackmail’s no way to make friends with the Place-Holders. Jane scoffs, saying Cru offered “to do something nice” for Jane, but “nice” apparently isn’t in Cru’s playbook. BP says he knows all about Jane and her “desperate attempts to get ahead”, namely torching her own warehouse to collect insurance money. BP saw the file Dad keeps on Jane in Dad’s computer. Jane says the fire was “electrical” and that she has nothing to hide. BP says the insurance company and the FBI might not see it that way. Jane says BP’s making a big mistake– Jane owns the building and has many ways to make the PH’ers lives “miserable”. BP smirks that they’ll take their chances, then exits, as Jane looks vaguely disturbed.
Coal, the next day. Roccello tells Angrie that “Mason” agrees with R– Angrie’s “not ready for a promotion”. Angrie tries to apologize again but R doesn’t want to hear it. Maybe A will get another shot at running the kitchen someday, but R doubts it.
Whoren & Cru’s apt. W, now stripped down to bra and panties, stares pensively at her bruises in the mirror, then picks up her phone and calls Kelly. W says she’d like to discuss “future employment opportunities”.
“Where do you stand on Grumpy Munchkins?”
MP CY. Cru-Ella & Bad Pitt are shocked when Junoh reveals that Ashlee Simpson is Syd’s daughter. Cru says Syd always used to say Syd was glad NOT to have kids, because they’d have “the same issues that she had.” AS appears with a tray of peanut butter Rice Krispy treats for Smiley & Junoh. Cru suggests AS eats one first, to show Junoh they’re not “laced with cyanide”. AS is taken aback, but Smiley quickly assures AS that Cru’s just kidding. BP & Smiley both bite into treats while Junoh & Cru look on, alarmed. Cru passes, then excuses herself for the Farmers Market. BP is coming with her. As they walk out, Cru tells BP Jane sent her an email and “all is forgiven”. BP is cagey. Cru thanks him but says last night was a “total one-off”. BP smirks about what a satisfying stud he is.
Police station. Det. Chorizo gets an anoynmous call from Jane, who tells him Ashlee Simpson “had every reason to want Sydney dead… and I’ll send you proof.” THE END
C U Next Tuesday, Gasmii!