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Episode 3 of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover brings our angel of discipline to Bang Salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – because Bang is run by a douchebag. I take that back. Not “a” douchebag, THE douchebag. Darren opened Bang Salon almost six years ago — so if the salon were a child, that child would now be more mature than Darren.
Let me say from the start, that no one really thinks Darren’s a bad guy. It’s unfortunate that he’s obviously not very bright and he looks like Mario Cantone was given a makeover by Julio Iglesias…
He’s just ob-FUCKING-noxious. Oh my god — He’s obnoxious. Like, well, like Mario Cantone-obnoxious.
Darren’s staff is unhappy with the way he runs the salon. Mainly because he doesn’t run the salon. He treats it like Darren’s Playhouse, complete with off-key singing numbers, uncoordinated dancing sessions and questionable toys. Which wouldn’t be such a problem if he wasn’t in $450K in debt and he wasn’t supporting a family of four. The situation is so dire that if he loses a stylist he’ll lose the business and consequently, his house.
Tabatha meets Darren outside of Bang Salon and Darren is already welling up with tears. Tabatha asks him why the hell he’s already crying when all she’s said is “hello.” Darren replies that it’s just emotion that’s making him cry.
Well, it’s great that it’s a joyful emotion and not Ms. Coffey’s iron grip on his balls that has him tearing… From the previews, we know she’ll have his balls soon. Literally, a pair of balls he has purchased will be confiscated by Tabatha. Stay tuned.
Tabatha takes Darren to watch the surveillance footage, and Darren and Tabatha review his management style. D-Bag Darren believes in creating a fun environment for his staff, so he doesn’t set any rules. Seriously, they don’t even have an “employees must wash hands” level of professional responsibility in this salon.
He says that “he doesn’t have a professional standard. Just because you have a hair dressing license, it doesn’t mean you’re a rocket scientist. You don’t have to be professional.” Tabatha is insulted by his comments, and she berates him for insulting her and insulting her profession.
It’s quite apparent that Darren does not equate professionalism with success, or repeat business. In the surveillance footage Darren is caught making jokes about the size of his employee’s boobs. Leona is the stylist working next to Darren and is “his partner in crime.” After they view Darren talking about Leona’s tits to the client, Tabatha asks Darren is he sees how this would offend some clients. Darren agrees that it would offend some, but they just don’t come back. Like that’s a good thing.
Maybe he thinks he is running a non-profit? To help “highlight and condition” the middle class? Is that part of the stimulus? No idea. But it’s a good idea for him to stick to the creative side and leave finance and management to a person who understands the basic principles of capitalism.
Next Darren is caught feeding his clients some opaque blue cocktail slime and “joking” with a client about her vagina. And the best part is that in the viewing room, he’s still cracking up watching the footage.
For the sake of the show, Tabatha actually has to engage Darren in a conversation about why that’s inappropriate. Darren says its cool because he didn’t say pussy. Yeah, she also must be cool with it because she didn’t punch you in the throat.
Darren thinks that it’ll be fun for the stylists to not have rules, so they’ll always stay at Bang. He also provides:
-Plenty of booze and time for boozing
-Insults written in mousse
I bet “Dick in a Box” changed this man’s life.
He thinks all of this aids in “the creativity that he provides.” I think it’s all “evidence for the prosecution,” the first time a lawyer happens to stop in for a trim.
In the final batch of surveillance footage we see Darren’s wife and children arriving at the salon, so he rushes to clean up the empty beer bottles on his station. TCoif has seen enough and takes the keys away from Darren. If after seeing this, if the state of Florida doesn’t also take his children away, I’ll say he got off light.
Tabatha marches into the salon and announces her takeover. One stylist immediately tells Tabatha that someone really needs to take control of the management. Tabatha says she’s be riding all their asses, because everyone in the salon feeds into the chaotic atmosphere and she’s having none of it.
Time for the tour. First up is Darren’s station. Tabatha finds sign on the wall which enforces a peculiar policy. Clients and staff must wear underwear.
Notorious Pig. Yep.
She also finds a urine sample left out on the shelf. Darren defends both items as conversation pieces. Really, who are you talking to? Joe Francis? I imagine the Ft. Lauderdale mommies who are pretty good business as the 6-week cut and color crowd, are not interested in conversation about your underwearless, urine rich staff.
Tabatha is naturally disgusted by their collection of “conversation pieces,” but her white head-head looks like it’s about to pop when she starts going through Darren’s station and discovered his ace in the hole. It’s the “bitch tamer” and it’s a big floppy, veiny dildo that Darren keeps around for his more difficult clients. Darren’s staff is mortified. Obviously he’s just a fan of prop humor and thinks it’s a perfectly acceptable way to tell clients that they should go fuck themselves.
Tabatha lets the BT flop around in her hand while Darren explains its value to his business. He thinks it’s funny.
Tabatha heads to the break room next and it’s a mess. It’s a stock room/break room as well as a satellite bar for local spring breakers. Tabatha opens the fridge to reveal more booze than a Rock of Love reunion. Darren takes all her criticism with the grace of a castrated bulldog. He sulks behind her and nods in agreement, although he really doesn’t see why his salon should have rules that would prohibit such festivities.
The next day, the staff filters into the salon for the staff meeting and Tabatha cannot even begin to play shocked when they all let loose with the stories about Darren. They’ve all lost clients over Darren. He has no idea that his behavior is affecting his business and they’re all considering leaving the salon. Tabatha is ready to see how the stylist are at work. She’s arranged for models for all the stylists and Darren will join his staff for the assessment.
Darren’s consultation with his client is presented first. He’s about as at ease and eloquent as I am discussing brake pads, the Ottoman Empire and the Bears’ defensive line. Meaning not. He sums up that she wants a “middle blonde color, caramel whatever” and then drops the color chart in her lap and tells her to pick/
Tabatha is appalled at Darren’s conduct and pushes him out of way and begins the consultation herself. She tells Darren that she knows why it’s called Bang, “because want to take a gun you want to shoot yourself.” Or bang Darren’s head into the wall.
Darren proceeds to ignore Tabatha’s consultation and his focus is lost.
A short while later, Tabatha finds Leona and Darren talking like frat boys and regaling their clients with infantile jokes I believe are derived from episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants. Darren looks like he may wet his square pants when Tabatha threatens to separate the two stylists and names Leona to the number two spot on her shit list.
Back to the staff, Tabatha wanders over to Guy’s station and finds him awkwardly trimming his client. Guy is cutting his client’s hair in a curious manner. He explains to Tabatha that he’s left handed, but has adapted a way to cut with his right hand. So, he sections the hair then he then switches it back and forth and forces himself to cut right handed. Tabatha acts out why this is a shitty solution but Guy, who looks like the Jonathan Rhys Meyers stand-in for gay porn, is uninspired.
No one would talk to me this way on the set of Bang It Like Beckham.
So Rhys continues his haircut with his technique and Tabatha returns to her rounds. Tabatha is stopping by the stations and asking for more information about Darren. Stylist Paula says everyone on staff likes Darren, but no one has any respect for him. However, he’s different with his kids. He wouldn’t act this way with them.
Tabatha is ready to assess Rhys’s cut and it’s uneven. He makes pouty faces and tells her this is his best work. She tells him his attitude is a problem.
Leona’s cut is passable, but her client’s color is subpar. There are bleed marks and Tabatha thinks she gets distracted by Darren as she’s working. Darren’s client looks good, and even seems happy with the cut, but T says it’s only because she didn’t let Darren fuck up her hair.
Tabatha tells the staff that they’ve gotten lazy and sends them home so she can talk to Darren. She tells him he doesn’t take anything seriously and for some reason forges ahead with logic, and tries to explain to Darren that his staff does want rules. Darren thinks that people work better without any rules. They can do what they want.
It also means their ADD boss can also do whatever he wants, and what he seems to want is to sacrifice clients so he can decorate the salon with their urine samples and force them to drink radioactive substances during work hours. Belch.
He doesn’t know if and how he can change. Tabatha is ready to show him the way to be professional. Starting with ridding the salon of all the booze and rejects from Spencer’s gifts.
The next day Tabatha takes Darren to his daughter’s school for career day in order to force Darren to conduct himself like a professional stylist. Darren conducts a demonstration in front of the class of 7 year-olds and asks daughter Ariela to be his assistant. The class asks Darren to cut Tabatha’s hair cut on his dummy and he manages to conduct the haircut without the crutch of alcohol or the fallback of porn prop comedy.
Time for Tabatha’s marketing event. Tabatha has rented the “Bang” trolley to cruise the beaches of Fort Lauderdale. That would have meant something so different in the early 80′s/90′s Spring Break Ft. Lauderdale.
While riding the trolley Tabatha tells Darren to stop and think for three seconds before saying anything to clients and Darren agrees and responds with “three seconds of thinking will make it good, because if I say it without thinking, it probably wouldn’t be good.” That is a perfect example of only one second of thought. This man need a longer broadcast delay than Wendy Williams.
At the first stop Darren approaches a bald, elderly man and Tabatha is not confident that Darren knows his audience. He should probably stop and think for 3 seconds before he moves too.
Tabatha encourages the staff to mingle, get people’s contact info and hand out flyers. Darren finally identifies a potential client and gives her a consultant on the beach. On the way back to the salon, Darren is pleased with himself. He put in the effort and he thinks he’s motivated his staff.
Time to start renovations. They clean out the break rooms and move the old shelves out into the alley where Tabatha can break out her sledgehammer. Arming a man who has an obvious case of ADD is a bit dangerous, but Tabatha is a risk taker and she lets Darren go to town on the shelves.
He’s happy to get out some of the anger he has for himself for letting the salon get to this point.
All of the staff is pleased with the clean new salon and are ready for the final assessment.
Darren is calm during his consult. Tabatha encourages Rhys to allow himself to cut hair left handed. Leona doesn’t want to be distracted, and since Darren is behaving himself, she’s able to focus in her own client.
In Tabatha’s closing comments, she tells the staff that they’ve stepped up. The asks if they’re still considering leaving the salon and they all agree that they’ll stick around and ride out the wave of publicity.
Darren says “Tabatha really kicked my ass in her own way without literally putting her foot in my ass.” Ugh. This guy is like Yogi Berra’s stupid, hyperactive child.
Six weeks later Tabatha is back in Lauderdale to check in on Bang’s progress. And there are some changes, for one the Pee Wee’s Playhouse colors are back, although everyone swears that been the only regression.
Darren has remained on his meds and has been calm. Darren sums up the progress and says that “everyone is working as a team, on their own.” Ugh. Not even a whole two seconds…
How did you like the changes to the salon? What did you think of Darren? Will Tabatha be brave enough to search an owner’s station again?