I love it. I mention it every week and it seems the Surreal Life editors play it up more and more each successive episode. What is “It?” “It” is the opening “Yawntage” seen every week to open the show. Now that we can say with confidence that this season is by far the most uneventful and lackluster, we can also say the editors definitely agree. I mean, if they felt otherwise, would they have shown us a full minute the housemates yawning, stretching, and rubbing their eyes? And keep in mind that “A full minute” constitutes 18% of each episode.
[Note to the show's editors: Please don't take that last sentence as a complaint - believe me, we like it that way. It's like, we all enjoy Hershey Kisses, right? Small, sweet, and easily digested. But those huge 1 pound novelty kisses our annoying white trash relatives give us when they make the trek to Amish Country and Hershey Park? Everyone hates them and no one can actually eat them. In other words, keep the episodes short and sweet, please.]
And so it was, with all the yawning and sleeping, I was drifting before the show even got going and then…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! What was THAT?! “The Surreal Life” got bloody horrorshow on us with a quick trip to the Tranny Lagoon. I’ve ruffled some reader’s feathers by continuing to call Alexis Arquette a “he” simply because he’s a guy with a penis – call me crazy. But now I defy you, dear Alexis apologists, to look at the picture below and find one feminine quality about it. Guys, sear this image into your brain so the next time you’re with your girl, you can hold out longer – if not indefinitely. TVgasm – the blog that cares.
Alexis was discussing the previous day’s talk show debacle with Tawny; “Carol Brady is a national treasure,” he said. I did hear a rumor that she was slated to be chiseled next to George Washington up on Mount Rushmore, but June Cleaver was causing a stink. Tawny was feeling quite upset about the audience reaction to her downright evil gonzo Mrs. Brady interview. So down, in fact, that she shoveled a handful of unidentified pills into her mouth as she went to sleep the night before, perhaps to forget about her misdeeds. Awwww, poor Tawny.
The Surreal Times was delivered and CC retrieved it. What wacky activity would the gang be challenged with today? “Talk Dirty to Me” the headline screamed – yeah right, this crew? They are as sexy as a pile of socks. Oh wait, apparently that’s the title of an old Poison song from back in the day. CC, as you’ll recall, was the guitarist in that truly awful band – and he was (of course) nervous and needed a drink because this was his sooooooong, maaaan – so the onus was on him. When a recovering alcoholic mentions having a drink at the drop of a hat, how long can he last?
The Surreal Six would have to form a band and perform that song in front of a crowd. Not only that, there would be competition from an as-of-yet unnamed band; the winner gets $5000. Should they win, the Surrealers would donate their money to charity, of course. (Which is funny, because I don’t think any of them are particularly well off these days, except for maybe Tawny from her two divorce settlements.) I immediately began hoping that their challengers would be mentally challenged kids and that Tawny would call them insensitive names. (A must read, if you don’t know why I said that.)
The instructions said that Tawny would be in charge as band manager – because she did so well on the Smashmouth video shoot? Because her professionalism was unmatched on her talk show just the day before? Nope, because she’s a coked out bitch and the producers are desperate for fireworks this season. Not that I’m complaining.
As part of the act, each Surrealer would play the part of a hair band rocker – and some would even play instruments. The fact that CC is the only one in the house with an ounce of musical ability didn’t seem to dissuade them from being excited. (Oh yeah, they probably were thinking they’d be up against a bunch of retarded kids. Or maybe that was just me.)
To affect the pose of a hair band backup singer, Tawny decided she needed a blond wig. There was a room full of such wigs, but she apparently preferred Alexis’s personal wigs and asked to borrow one from him. Something obviously transpired which was left on the cutting room floor because Alexis acted as though Tawny asked if she could bogart some more coke or something. Hey, it’s not like that stuff is free, y’know.
The following is a direct trannyscript; decipher for yourselves: “When Tawny wanted to borrow my wigs that are part of me, and when she invalidates that, she says that I’m fake. That was really unsensitive. On one hand, she wouldn’t let me be the lead singer, on the other hand, she wanted to borrow my wig.” Unfair editing? I’ll grant you that the last sentence was very most likely out of context – but I defy you to put it in any context. Any context, that is, other that, “I ate a bunch of magic mushrooms and after I swore my legs melted into pools of hot lime Jell-O, I began arguing with my stuffed unicorn – who was on fire but unaffected – about her ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ doll friends. On the one hand, she wouldn’t let me be lead singer, on the other hand, she wanted to borrow my wig. Leaf-cutter ants marched from my pee-hole with pieces of my spleen in their clutches.” Gotcha Alexis, it all makes sense now.
While Tawny and Alexis continued their psilocybin-fueled arguments, Andrea tried on the sluttiest outfit she could find. My patented irony-meter spiked when Tawny walked by and rolled her eyes in disgust at the young Playboy model. That Tawny? The Tawny who is only known for slutting it up herself in a rival hair band’s video? Yes, that Tawny. But to be fair, she certainly seemed affected by her mouthful of pills the night before, so she was a bit out of it.
I’ll say. After being told in no uncertain terms, “No,” about the wigs by Alexis, Tawny nonchalantly asked to borrow one again as if it she hadn’t just asked 2 times prior. Now, I don’t know the first thing about sex-change operations which is to be expected… but it appears that Alexis’s doctor doesn’t either. I think he prescribed testosterone instead of estrogen because Alexis exploded into a full-on ‘roid rage.
Alright! It took several episodes to get here, but I’m happy to report that “The Surreal Life” finally has some crazy shit worthy of “The Surreal Life” legacy. Alexis rose in anger, screamed at Tawny, “I’m sick of this shit,” and then looked for stuff to knock over. Lighting pole, drum set, doorway knick-knacks… It was as if Keith Moon was back from the dead. Reminiscent of past “Surreal Life” explosions, instead of venting elsewhere in the house, once he reached the far end of the room with the cameramen, he turned around to make sure the rest of his antics were caught on video. (Raise pointer finger on raised right arm and yell) ACTING!
Tawny’s confession room reaction was a case study for parents wondering what to look for in their kids if they suspect drug use: She slowly slurred, “Alexish had a tenter tanter tanum tanrum… Tenter tanrum!” Steve commented on her thusly: “I don’t want to disrespect her, but she is wacked out of her f’n mind.” Beautiful. It appears Tawny downed some serious Valium or Oxycontin to counteract the cocaine she took earlier. Tawny then proceeded to call CC, “Steve” and with eyes half-mast, walked into a wall. Yay, drugs.
After Alexis cryptically declared, “The fake tits are real and they’re mine (Seriously, it’s like Fellini writes Alexis’s lines), Tawny asked Steve who would play keyboards. He clearly answered her that there are no keyboards on the song, so no one would play the keyboards. I can confirm – he spoke in English.
“Can we get one of you guys to play keyboard,” Tawny answered back from her mental vacuum, just before addressing Alexis as CC. Awesome; it was as if everyone was speaking like Charlie Brown’s parents to Tawny and she just didn’t care. Maven (hi Maven!) agreed to feign playing the bass but Tawny still had one concern on her mind.
“Can we get one of you guys to play keyboard,” Tawny once again inquired. CC, master of the obvious, said, “Tawny was not of sound mind.” We saw this tap dancing in “Surreal Life 4″ regarding Chyna and her drug use. No one would explicitly say, “She’s on drugs right now,” and would use every “soft” phrase they could think of to describe the situation. As much as I hate Omarosa, which is an unbelievable amount of hate, at least she had the balls to say that someone was on drugs.
Tawny’s slurring and inability to focus on anything finally drove Steve Smashmouth over the edge. Now it was his turn to go nuts in a full on Manhattan Rush Hour – as in, *Beep, Beep, Beep*: “Go f*ck yourself, you’re f*ing Looney f*ing Toons. Stick this whole f*ing thing up your ass because you’re f*ing out of your f*ing tree.” Hey now, you’re an all-star after all.
Steve sulked off to the laundry room and refused to participate in the show anymore. Tawny brushed the incident off saying that now Steve was also having a “Tenter trantum.” But even in her daze she could see the band was about to break up due to irreconcilable differences, so she capitulated and let Alexis be the lead singer (Tawny got the use of an Alexis wig as a reward). Unfortunately, Alexis is not the most talented drag queen in the world, and Poison ain’t Liza Minelli, so she sounded like crap. Real crap, not fake crap.
Mrs. Brady arrived, calmed everyone’s nerves, and everyone got costumed. Steve agreed to play drums (surely envisioning Tawny’s raggedy face on the skins) and the gang piled into a van to be whisked away to The Key Club on Sunset. I think I caught a glimmer in Tawny’s eye at the thought of bumping into her dealer in that part of town.
Once there, they practiced their routine one final time and met their competition. Why, it’s none other than Posin,’ a Poison “tribute” band! Hmmm… knowing this, the jury is still out on whether or not they are retarded. I wonder if they tour with “Whitefake,” and “Bon Joki.”
While Posin’ played their song to a tepid crowd reaction, the Lifers teased their hair that extra inch and cinched up their leather corsets that much tighter. Their outfits and hair reminded me of that “Saved by the Bell” episode when they dressed up like supposed “rockers” – yes, it was that cheesy. Andrea, the self-described, “gratuitous sexpot,” of the group, primped and preened about, loosening up her crotch. Apparently doing splits is what groupies do before participating in groupie activities. Mrs. Brady cast disapproving glares her way, calling her behavior “lewd.” So you must be asking, “Where was Tawny and why was she allowing this young harlot to upstage her at her own game?”
Fair question… Tawny was sleeping on an amplifier backstage. What is it with this cast? George Jefferson conked out just before his live weather report a few shows ago and now Tawny is dead asleep before her big rock show. But George is old and out-of-shape whereas Tawny is apparently a druggie. Posin finished their set and it was Go Time!
Tawny was shaken from her hibernation in time for the show. A “rocked out” Carol Brady introduced the band (she looked like she did in that Pepsi Twist commercial she did with Ozzy Osbourne a few years ago) and the gang ran on the stage to a smattering of applause. Despite there being 7 people on stage, only CC, Alexis, and Steve were making any discernable noise. Andrea was making love to various legs and microphone stands, George Jefferson was playing an un-miked tambourine, Maven (hi Maven!) strummed a silent bass, and Tawny was spinning around in her own world, asking passersby for miracles while she did that stupid Dead-Head druggie trance dance.
In the end, CC was proud that he, once again, did something sober! I’m happy for him and all, but it’s got to be annoying when your entire life revolves around, “I need a drink,” “I won’t drink,” and, “I did that sober!” Of course the Surreal team won the day and they all retreated back to the mansion to celebrate.
Ugh. Right next to the food.
Sherman Hemsley “celebrated” by sleeping. Florence went home, CC and Steve are recovering addicts and stay away from all vice. Alexis had to spend too much time in the powder room and Tawny was too exhausted from “powdering” her nose. That left Andrea and Maven to have a drink down by the pool. ZZZZzzzzz. Actually, Andrea had a stick up her butt about Florence now – hey, maybe there was something to Tawny’s accusations. Flo left Andrea with the following advice: “Don’t drink too much!” This set up the young partier who let it all out to Maven, who just sat there like a big, handsome lump on a log. “She hates that I posed in Playboy and that I take my clothes off – so WHAT?! F*ck that bitch. F*ck her!”
Yes, Andrea, the way to gain our elders’ respect is by drunkenly shouting insults and epithets. That works almost as well as writing 2300 word essays on ridiculous little reality shows.
Happy F*ing Mother’s Day, Mom!