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The trailers for this week’s Surreal Life 6 episode promised excitement and conflict. Heck, after the first few shows, I was downright giddy for some crazy hijinks. Conversely, the trailers also showed a sleeping Sherman Hemsley. Sigh, when a show advertises that it puts one of it’s leading cast members to sleep, imagine what it’s doing to us viewers?
Yeah. “Imagine…” I suppose that’s what 95% of you must do because honestly, who’s actually watching this season? It’s really a shame, too, because I was such a believer in the show. I absolutely loved Seasons 1, and 2, and rather enjoyed 4. I never got into 3, but it spawned Flavor of Love, so I guess it was alright. (It also had that NKOTB kid on it, Jordan, who has apparently walked off the set of the “Surreal Life All-Stars” filming now.) And it’s no secret I hated 5, but I figured the show would return to its roots this go-round.
This episode was the first to attempt to do just that – the carnage after the jump.We were first reminded of the jaw-dropping cliffhanger from last week: The gang was about to do a live news broadcast at the San Luis Obispo NBC affiliate! OH MY GOD! That was right up there with the great cliffhangers of television history – Who shot JR, who shot Agent Cooper, who shot all the funny writers on SNL and will they ever be replaced?
All the on-air personalities were totally freaking out about the prospect of live television. CC was pacing around like a junkie alcoholic in need of a fix – er, wait. That’s exactly what he is… Except now he was about to do a live sportscast. Alexis Arquette was nervous as he was about to executively produce the whole shebang. Tawny was shaking with nerves, Andrea was trying to relax herself, Mrs. Brady was praying, and George Jefferson was… Sleeping?
This actually struck me as somewhat sad. This poor guy was The Man on a hit 70′s sitcom and has hopefully lived a decent life off of that show alone. I doubt he even has an agent anymore so I’m guessing someone from “The Surreal Life” bumped into him down at All You Can Eat night at the Hometown Buffet and asked him to join the cast. Thus far, all he has done is eat and sleep and mumble a few lines here and there.
And now he was being asked to actually do something for the first time – a live weather report in front of a green screen. He got his craft services meal and now a nap in the control room, so I was positive he’d do fine. Just as fine as Carol Brady; Mrs. Brady appeared as though she’d done this before, as she handled the co-anchor position with all the skill and grace you’d expect from a woman who merely smiled when her wedding day was ruined by the dog chasing the cat all over the place, knocking over the cake in the process. And then going on to have a happy marriage to a gay dude and not complaining once.
Tawny Kitaen is no Carol Brady. (More of a Cindy Brady, I’d say.) She was all nerves as Carol “threw” the show to her out in the field. By this point, it became apparent that San Luis Obispo is not exactly the most interesting town, as the “news” consists entirely of fluff pieces. Tawny introduced her recorded bit on the town’s stolen weathervane and she did fine. We saw a quick glimpse of a very handsome black man in a tailored suit encouraging the video vixen on. After the recorded bit ended, Mrs. Brady got crazy and asked Tawny a question off-the-cuff.
“The original weathervane was a few thousand dollars – how much is that one there that ‘The Surreal Life’ cast has donated?” What an odd, bitchy, passive aggressive question! The replacement vane was a Christmas Tree Shoppe piece of crap and Brady knew it – but it was still fun to see Tawny fall apart. “Errrr, ahhh, ummmm, the, um, weather… Um, vane here… Is… To put a number on it would, um, errr, ahhh, about … Ah, 300 dollars, yes.” Not quite a typical “Surreal Life” meltdown, but we’ll take what we can get this season.
Afterwards, the handsome black man I mentioned told Tawny she did “wonderful,” and smiled a winsome smile. I pushed pause at that point and tried to jog my memory… I knew I saw this guy before… So I reread my recaps and – aha! – it was Maven Huffman and he was actually part of the cast! I feel so ashamed. Wait – who the hell is Maven Huffman again?
So Tawny was pissed at Mrs. Brady for the “curveball” (otherwise known as a “softball”) but live news stops for no one and Andrea was up next with her winery report/advertisement. She was still tipsy from her afternoon of getting tipsy but appeared composed enough to pull it off. Right after she began her live blurb, two idiot kids jumped behind her in frame, shook their booties, high-fived, and jumped back out of frame. Crazy, man, crazy. To her credit, Andrea ignored the buffoonery and wrapped up her piece as well as any “real” field reporter ever did. Again, not quite your typical funny impromptu “naked midget pissing in the corner Surreal Life” moment, but I rolled with it.
Up next was former Poison guitarist, CC DeVille. CC was shitting bricks he was so nervous. I don’t know why, as it sounded like he had quite the afternoon, as the phrases, “rock hard” and “my ass hurts so I’m sitting on an ice pack” were uttered before he went live on the air. Oh that silly Alexis and “her” penis!
Alas, Alexis had nothing to do with CC’s sore butt – he had done a piece on some full contact fighter guy at his gym and was sore from getting beaten up. In the end, CC did perfectly fine and Mrs. Brady gave him props. She was especially complimentary of him because this was apparently the first time CC was sober since, like, 3rd grade. Yay CC! Hmmm, “CC…” What does that make me think of? Captain and Coke? CoCaine? Crack Cocaine? Canadian Club? But that’s just me.
Next up was George Jefferson with the weather. He of the supremely confident nap before airtime. Hey, the man was a pro – how hard could it be? Especially since the weather report was so simple – mid 80′s and sunny every day, low 60′s and clear every night. (Note to self: Move out of Connecticut one of these days.)
Sherman is a bit of an odd duck. He was totally out of it as he ran from the desk to the green screen. He was very confused about the technology and pointed towards Dick Cheney’s hidey-hole in Wyoming instead of the California coast. He babbled in his unique babble language and made mess of the surf report. He then misinterpreted everyone’s embarrassed laughter for genuine support and only made it worse.
The real executive producer guy finally wrapped up the weather segment with a stern look and Mr. Jefferson began dancing like Mr. Peepers (and was about as funny). Oh – and Mrs. Brady’s jacket looked like an old couch I saw out in someone’s trash the other day. And with that, the news was over and it was time to celebrate! And as we all know, “Surreal Life” celebrations are notoriously crazy, controversial, and fun!
But first, commercials. Yes folks, the show was so boring up to this point I watched commercials – and I’m glad I did. The following three commercials were aired in a row, I kid you not:
Alexis, continuing to display the demure politeness of the girl he wants to be, stood up, threw his napkin and yelled, “You want some of this?! I’ll take you out and f*ck you up, bitch!” I couldn’t tell if that was a threat or a pick-up line, however. Cooler heads prevailed; the frat boy bought Alexis some champagne and apologized for his insensitivity. Geeze, the first bit of action all season and it fizzles out like the end of a sparkler.
Alexis was truly hurt about the nasty comments and Mrs. Brady lived up to her “house psychiatrist” role and consoled the tearful transgendered Alexis. “We all feel for all the pain and the ridicule she’s (Alexis) been through.” I’ll grant you that, because those idiot meatheads weren’t part of the show. Then again, would they have yelled out the insults if the cameras weren’t there? Would they even have noticed Alexis? Not an excuse for the boorishness, I’m just sayin.
After that incident, the party got a bit too exciting (Andrea was doing shots!) for rehabbed alcoholics CC and Steve Harwell. That’s S-t-e-v-e-H-a-r-w-e-l-l. He’s on the show too, along with Maven Huffman. Well, he’s sort of on the show, because the only time we saw him he was leaving the scene to get away from all that booze and temptation. I can only assume the Surreal Life casting director has been fired.
The party continued, however, with Alexis dancing with a rather normal looking straight-laced white male. Both dudes danced as you’d expect two white dudes to dance until the end when one of them – Alexis – asked for a kiss. Instead of politely demurring, the normal looking dude said ok and went in for a quaint kiss on the left cheek (denied!), then a quaint little kiss on the right cheek (denied!) then gave in to a kiss on the lips (eagerly accepted!) And Alexis was positively giddy. Yippee! Alls well that ends well —
“Take him home, he has a penis too!” Uh-oh. Here we go again. The insults flew through the beery air from all over. “Go home tranny!” “Freak!” Hoo boy, time to untuck that penis and let the testosterone flow… Here we go! Oh, wait, there was Andrea showing her tits to other random frat boys. Thanks for that useless interlude.
Alexis went nuts, grabbing a patio umbrella and attacking the cameraman. It went unsaid, but you could easily imagine Alexis saying, “I’d get you if this cameraman wasn’t holding me back!” He went after a couple groups of laughing guys and now had Maven in tow. Maven, ever the good guy, had Alexis’s back and they were both ready to throw down. The only reaction that got from San Luis Obispo’s finest young men was gut-busting laughter.
In the end, Alexis mooned the crowd with his oddly large thong (I didn’t think that possible) and the Surreal Lifers all left the restaurant. Another explosive situation turned out to be a dud (not necessarily a bad thing, considering). Sigh. I’ll let Alexis have the last word: “Those guys were like whitebread with mayonnaise.”
With marshmallows on top.