Welcome to The Beautiful Life. I still don’t know what the TBL is for, besides annoying me which Ashton Kutcher is exceptionally good at. I also still don’t think this trick’s making it past four episodes, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts!
The story of Cruella DeVille’s youth has been in the works for decades, people.
Well, the first part of this show is a winner because it’s a fake Zac Posen fashion show with real Zac Posen clothes! And they are gorgeous, stunning, fabulous, amazing, very modern day Elizabethan clothes. I want to wear all of them. This is already starting to remind me of the only Top Chef recap I ever wrote, when I spent the first five paragraphs carrying on about Padma’s mini dress and white go-go boots.
Clowns attend formal events too.
So we’re loving the fashion show, and like three seconds into it, here comes the bitchy model. “Don’t trip on your Jimmy Choos,” she sing-songs to the new girl as some other fashion show person runs around yelling, “I need a sewer!” Oh, the drama! Someone else mentions that it’s New Girl’s first show, and Bitchy follows up her original advice with the added sentiment “Break a heel!” New Girl ignores her, and struts her happy ass down the runway.
But onto bigger issues – there’s a problem with Sasha. I don’t understand why we can’t just call her Mischa. But anyway, she’s late. Something about some imaginary weather. We hear the people at the show telling us that there was some sort of dramatic disappearance six months ago, and then we see Mischa in the cab popping some pills. That’s what I’m talking about!
For my teeth.
Back at the show, Zac’s having a very poorly acted hissy fit, which is actually kind of a good thing when you think about it, saying that he needs Mischa here now! She’s meant to wear his signature dress. Bitchy makes some crack about rehab, and the New Girl sticks up for Mischa. Do you see how we establish characters? It’s good vs. evil. Very simple.
Over in a generic looking restaurant, there’s a guy in a flannel shirt with a very…white family. In case the flannel shirt in New York City didn’t clue you in, we are then assaulted with Mr. Midwest’s solid family values when he loudly and angrily complains about an overpriced, overcooked porkchop. Flannel, righteous indignation about overpriced porkchops – this is where the heart is, folks. But let’s stick one more bit of hay into the stack – he reminds his son that they’ll be paying off this family vacation with the “next four harvests”.
These prices are ridiculous! And how am I supposed to color on this menu without crayons! I’ll bet they’ll try to charge me a hundred dollars for those, too.
Back to the fashion action, where Mischa has finally fought through the imaginary weather and arrived at the show! She grabs her dress, pretend model walks into some back room…and pretend model walks right back out. “This dress isn’t tailored for me!” she snaps. Oh, I so get that. Size Twos aren’t tailored for me either. Anyway, Zac looks like he’s going to let the dress out cause he’s a sweetie, but some mean backstage lady whispers to him that “it’s about the dress, not the girl”. Bitchy runs up to him and volunteers to wear his signature creation, but of course she’s ignored once he gets a look at New Girl. And the decision is made. “We need the entire team here now!” yells someone. Now, I appreciate a fashion show as much as the next superficial ho, but really? We need a team to get someone dressed and walking?
And we’ve also got to make a quick detour to Mr. Midwest and his son, Iowa. As Iowa’s leaving the scene of the offensive overcooked porkchop, he happens to hear a sleazy looking guy with slicked back hair (See? See? Slicked back hair! That means he’s the bad guy!) being an asshole to a waitress. Iowa being Iowa, he sticks up for the girl. Oh, and he also gives her some cash cause his cheapskate farmer Dad stiffed her. I get it. Making Dad an asshole makes Iowa look even more saintly. Anyway, Sleazy turns out to be a modeling agent, natch, and invites Iowa to his agency the next day.
Can you fit your fist in your mouth? Cuz the internet’s where it’s at right now.
And returning to the fashion show, New Girl finally makes it down the runway. She stops at the end, holds her arms up, smiles HUGE and spins around while flower petals fall from the sky. Listen bitch, did you not get the memo? It’s about the dress! Stop smiling.
Congrats! You won American Idol!
And thus concludes the best part of the show. If they do a fake fashion show with a real designer every week, this show could really work. The next morning, we’re at the agency. Oh, I take it back, there’s still one good part left and that’s Elle MacPhereson. Loves her! Her hair looks super fake, though. I had a long debate with someone the day after I watched this about whether or not it was fake, and it looks like it was, but why would Elle do that? And why would she appear onscreen in natural light with no makeup? Gosh, modeling’s confusing.
Outside the agency, Iowa’s showing up just as New Girl’s…well, strolling around, cause they just needed to get her into his vicinity, and of course they bump into each other. And of course they bump and then gaze into each others’ eyes and have a whole moment about it. “It’s my fault,” simpers Bore Snore 1. “No, it’s mine,” gushes Bore Snore 2. Long story short, they’re in love. Thank heavens along comes Mischa to strut out of a nearby elevator and shoot everyone a withering look before heading on her way.
Oh God they’re totally staring at my knees right now.
And she heads right into Elle’s office. Actually, Elle is playing Claudia today so I’m going to call her that so you don’t get confused. Elle is Claudia but Sonya is Mischa. Get it? Anyway, she’s all pissed at Mischa for disappearing for six months and making her do “damage control”. But enough about that, the reason they’ve all gathered at the agency is because there’s a Versace ad to shoot and everyone wants the job. Mischa prances into the casting room and announces that the dress they need modeled is nice enough, but “it’s missing something – me.” Not very original but totally conceited so I love it.
Back outside, Bore Snores are intermittently making googly eyes at each other and saying a bunch of boring stuff. “The people look so small down there,” he observes from their skyscraper. “Iowa must be nice,” she mews. Oh, I’m being too hard on them. They’re actors playing models. We should just be impressed that they were able to repeat full sentences that someone else wrote for them. In real life, the conversation would have gone something like this:
Bore Snore Guy Model: Want to have sex with me and my boyfriend?
Bore Snore Girl Model: Okay. Can I do some blow off his ass?
But in Bore Snore world, they finish their dumb conversation, and then New Girl decides that Iowa looks too Iowa-y. So she does the Can’t Buy Me Love Makeover – messes up his hair, untucks his shirt and presto! Iowa farmboy to cool and model-y. She shuttles him over to Claudia/Elle, who gives him a two second once over, asks to see his book which he doesn’t have, and then asks him to get naked. Well, that seems like a fun job! You don’t have to wear makeup to work and you get to make guys strip for you?
Yes, but can you type?
And if you don’t like what you see, you can just shoo them off on their way! That’s exactly what Elle/Claudia does. Of course as Iowa shuffles back to the elevator, he runs into New Girl and tells her he blew the meeting. And of course as she’s telling him it’s not that bad, Sleazy, who was there too, comes running out of Elle/Claudia’s office with the address of some photographer he wants Iowa to go visit. But his flight back to the farm leaves in two hours! “I’m going out on a limb for you,” Sleazy threatens, and well, that’s good enough for Iowa. Turns out, New Girl just happens to know exactly where this photography studio is, and they’re on their way.
This guy? Totally has your best interests at heart.
They get to the studio, where the photographer is very busy pretending it’s 1995 as he shoots a bunch of shirtless male and female models in jeans. But he brushes them off for Iowa. He tells him he can wear his own clothes, and puts Sweet Home Alabama on the sound system. Iowa starts smiling big at the camera. “Um, can you tone down the wattage on the smile?” asks the photographer diplomatically? No? Well, how about on the chair, can you be less smiley on that? No? Well, then let’s try the bed. And still we have a milk commercial.
But fear not, because New Girl’s there to save the day with her iPod! She sets it up and plays a slow song. Then she sashays over to him, drapes herself on him and starts talking about relaxing, listening to the music and being in the shower. Oh my, this isn’t even cable! But she stops before it gets good, and the photographer gets his shot. It’s not cute. The milk commercial looked better.
So I’m ready to meet some new models, how about you? We head over to a shoot with Bitchy and a guy named Isaac, who’s the curly haired guy from High School Musical. He’s a little on the miniature side, but he’s a model too and we’re told he had a three year contract with Ralph Lauren when he was a kid. But now he’s just another former child model who never got tall enough. Of course on TBL, that doesn’t matter and some uppity boss type bitch sends him into her room where she just happens to have a Dolce & Gabanna suit there waiting for him. Well, I like where this is going.
He tries on the suit, and she likes it enough to invite him to be her escort at a party that night. But apparently, she wasn’t aware of the vaulted ground former child models walk, and he’s immediately offended. She asks him if he’s a dancer or an actor. “Musician,” he tells her without a hint of irony. But not an escort. “Then I’ll let your rep know I have nothing for you,” she tells him. Is this really the modeling world? Power bitches bossing around hot young men? If so, I am definitely in the wrong field.
Do me hard, take your cash and go. My Real World Reunion recap is waaay late.
Of course it goes without saying that Iowa’s photo shoot was a roaring success, and two seconds later, he’s moving into a model house with New Girl. “I hope my parents can find this place,” he gurgles as they stand outside the building. They do, he introduces them to New Girl, Sister Iowa tells him how lucky he was to have spent the day with a supermodel, and Daddy Midwest tells him he’s had his fun, now it’s time to get back to the corn. Or is it potatoes? No, that’s Idaho. Wait, where was he from again?
Of course Iowa or Idaho or wherever he’s from makes his stand and tells Dad he’s staying – Dad storms off with the promise that he’ll hold his harvesting job for two weeks but that’s it. Midwest Mom slips him some cash, and the farmers are off, back home, where the pork chops are cheap.
Come back and visit soon! Might not wanna bring sis though. They’ll burn her alive at that place.
New Girl leads Iowa into the apartment where she tells him there’s a boys floor and a girls floor. It’s quite similar to the shared flight attendant apartments where I’ve stayed, only no one’s doing shots of miniature liquor bottles and complaining about the union. As soon as they get inside, Bitchy appears to tell New Girl there’s some guy in her room and Iowa’s off to find someone to bunk with. It doesn’t go well. His first stop is Isaac’s room, and in case you forget what a serious musician he was, he’s playing the keyboards. His roommate Guido tells him they’re all booked, but to check Cole’s room down the hall. But Cole’s a prissy bitch, and when he finds out Iowa’s one of Sleazy’s boys, he gets him on the phone and next thing you know, Iowa’s off to room with Sleazy. It all moves so fast in the big city!
If this show fails, it won’t be casting’s fault.
Up in her room, it turns out New Girl’s visitor is her…brother! They argue about how their Dad’s in jail, but he’s getting out soon and he’s not going to be too happy about this modeling thing and Mom still sets a place for her at dinner every night. Adorable. But she’s not going anywhere. Nobody does a smiley spin on the runway and then goes home. This is her now.
And that night is Claudia/Elle’s party. Everyone gathers and then Mischa shows up…in the coveted Versace! She explains the wardrobe to the Versace photographer by saying that she has a “relationship with management at your hotel.” Shudder. Then he invites her up to some VIP room while Isaac begs the DJ to play his “latest disc”. Meanwhile, Bitchy is chatting up a Isaac’s roommate Guido, who’s telling her how unfair it is that guy models make so much less than girls. Well, they make up for that with every other job on earth, so get over it.
And then, drama! Finally! Mischa comes flying out of the VIP room and finds some other room to hide out in and sob. And talk on the phone. Which is what she’s doing when New Girl walks in on her to, get this, apologize for stealing her moment on the runway at the Zac show. But she also overhears Mischa’s phone call, which appears to be to a…child! Cue dramatic soap opera music. And cue Mischa seething at New Girl, “‘Don’t you dare feel sorry for me – this will be you in a few years.”
You messed up Mommy’s Cold Case recording? NO! It’s not ok! I HATE YOU! I JUST ASK YOU TO DO ONE THING FOR MOMMY! ONE THING!
Back at the party, Sleazy is making the moves all over Iowa. Iowa and his morals want him to stop touching him, but when a polite request doesn’t work – and also because this is the CW – Iowa punches him out. “You can take the boy out of the pig farm…” Sleazy begins and wait, it’s a pig farm? How do you harvest a pig? You know what would have been cool? A pot farm.
But all’s well that ends well because even though Iowa’s a loose canon who’s like 5″6′, some photographer wants to work with him anyway. Meanwhile, New Girl drags the Versace photographer, who is very originally named Franco, to a private room where she turns on her iPhone and propositions him. The dumbass is totally into doing it on video, until she informs him that she’s sixteen and she’ll show it to her father. Franco asks who her father is, and she tells him he’d better hope he never finds out. I hope this show makes it long enough that we do.
And there’s boring Isaac, still trying to get the coked out DJ to play his little Casio ditty. It’s not working, and the crappy looking linen suit he’s wearing isn’t helping matters. But it doesn’t stop him from tracking down Uppity Bitch, who’s saddled with the uppity name of Vivien, and asking her if her “escort” offer was still valid. She’s kind of not down with it, until he grabs her and kisses her. I’d laugh and pat him on the head, but on TV, it totally works.
Alright, I’ll play along, but we have to make it fast cuz there was another episode on last night and I have to get the recap done before I get nasty comments and/or threatened by Flipit.
Back to Bitchy, she’s still hanging out with Guido who doesn’t think he makes enough money for standing around and being a prop. She’s telling him that she’s sooooo slumming it right now – oh, and I forgot to tell you about one part. The whole poor model story goes hand in hand with the fact that the Guido’s the local drug dealer. He sells something to some random girl at the party who he doesn’t know, which seems pretty stupid to me, and as he leaves the party with Bitchy, the random girl grabs him, throws him against the wall and cuffs him. Turns out she was an undercover. Oops.
We do a final check in with Mischa, who arrives home to an apartment that looks like a sixth floor walkup and not very supermodel worthy at all. She’s got some flowers with a note attached that reads, “Welcome home. I’m here for you.” She scrunches up her face, and because Mischa’s such a shitty actress, we know exactly what’s coming…that’s right, it’s the dramatic throwing of the flowers against the wall scene! Soon to be followed by an, “I don’t need anyone!” monologue, I’m sure. Tune in next week.
Perfect aim! She broke the vase but left her picture in tact.
And finally, for the lovebirds. New Girl arrives home from the party to find Iowa camped out on a bench in her house. He’s ready to call it a day on the whole whirlwind modeling thing, even though Sleazy keeps calling him. But New Girl talks him off the ledge (ummm…literally) and they both bond over the fact that neither one of them is “like these people”. Well, not now, but hello, ten years? Were you not listening during Mischa’s big scene?
Anyway, there’s lots of long gazes, and then she tells him he’s not sleeping on the bench. “Where am I sleeping?” he asks her. And the virgin tells him on her floor. “Sounds perfect,” he simpers as I gag from the couch. I am sorry, but I did not tune in for some fucking fairy tale.
Stay beautiful my dears – laxatives help. Fake air kisses ’til next time!