If the glitz and glamour and general staginess of Laguna Beach no longer rings true to the high school experience, fear not. MTV has supplied us with a yin to Laguna’s yang: Two-A-Days. The show, which centers around a high school football squad in Hoover, Alabama, is a return to the handheld camcorder style that has graced so many episodes of Made (all of them, to be exact). Anyway, on last week’s season premiere, we met all the major players — the coaches, the safeties, their girlfriends, the cheerleaders, the struggling quarterback, and even a teensy bit of drama courtesy of one acne-plagued femme fatale named Keagan. You see, she wore Alex’s number to the big game against Florida, and like, only Kristin was allowed to do THAT! OMG! DRAMA!This week’s episode started off with Alex still reeling from his fallout with Kristin. After his triumphant victory on ESPN last week, he was expecting nothing but celebration and adoration, but instead, all he received were bitter rants and a cold shoulder from nearly everyone. For some reason, no one believed that everything was strictly platonic between him and Keagan. They had never hooked up. In fact, what had transpired was nothing more than some innocent schoolwork. Alex explained, “One day at school, she came up to me in the hallway, and I was like ‘I got a project to do,’ and she was like ‘Well, you need some help doing it?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ She came over. Nothing happened.” Of course, it just so happened that this project was called “When a boy and a girl have sex.” Okay, I made that up, but who else totally heard porno music playing as they replayed this alleged scene in their heads?
“What does it mean when they call you a ‘young Thomas Hayden Church?’”
Well, Kristin was quite angry about all the rumors, and for now, the two were broken up. Keagan, meanwhile, defended herself, saying she’d never hooked up with Alex. In fact, she insisted that she’d never even been alone with him! But wait! What about the project? Did she or didn’t she? I mean, who cares about if they hooked up. I just need to know what their joint shoebox diorama looked like (because that’s CLEARLY what the project was. I just can tell).
I’ll just assume it looked like this. It’s supposed to be the Crusades.
All this drama was fun, but there was football to be had. The guys were none too pleased when they found out the official name for that day’s Rush Propst regimen was “Get Tough!” Apparently, none of these guys were tough enough, and dammit, they needed to get tough (hence the name) because this week’s game was against the cross-town rival: SPAIN PARK! Oh, those Spain Park jerks! They probably think they’re all special with their fancy name that evokes images of a verdant, European recreational area. WELL! Hoover’s named after an American President! Take that, commies!
USA! USA! USA!
Sorry. This show makes me oddly jingoistic. Anyway, while the guys got tough (whenever I say that phrase, just imagine Rush Propst spitting, turning to the camera, and then giving the thumbs up), Kristin was gettin’ emotional at home with her bestie, Blair. In case you didn’t know, Kristin was still upset with Alex; so much so that her life was slowly turning into a Michelle Branch song. “You look around, and everything reminds you of him,” she said. “EVERYTHING!” Yes, it’s almost as if she lives in a room decorated with cheerleading and football memorabilia. Funny how that happens.
Nevertheless, Kristin hoped that this whole mess could be resolved by the homecoming dance. Otherwise, who would she go with? One downside about living in a Southern football town: no gay best friend to take to a dance in a clutch. Even that other MTV Kristin had her token gay buddy in Laguna.
Anyway, the next day in class, Alex received wonderful news: he had scored an 82 on an exam! I’m surprised coach Rush Propst didn’t barge in, spit on the paper, and then shove it in Alex’s mouth, yelling “GET TOUGH!!!” Well, after everyone had received their grades, the meek teacher then got to today’s lesson: what do women want in a relationship? Huh? What sort of class was this? I had a feeling this teacher may have been projecting some sort of indirect spinster rage at the boys. Wasn’t this supposed to be a history class? All the posters on the wall had to do with Anglo-Saxons and The Middle Ages and Shakespeare. Maybe the students were about to take a gender-relationship approach as to why Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn never quite hit it off. What women want: to not be BEHEADED.
“Okay, class, let’s talk about why men are evil and don’t know a good thing when it’s standing right in front of them.”
Well, after one girl recited all the things the girls wanted from the boys, Alex then read all the things the boys wanted from the girls: “Good cook. She needs to be able to catch your eye, if you know what I mean. [no, we didn't know what you meant. Does that mean that she's supposed to literally catch an eyeball???] No nagging. Comes from money.” Yes, that’s wonderful. And once the guys were done living in fantasy land, they headed right back out to practice, which featured more of the same: grunting, sweating, and lots of Rush Propst yelling and spitting. And yes, in case you’re wondering, it’s driving me nuts that his name is “Propst,” not “Probst.”
“That’s not a spit.”
“THAT’S a spit!”
That night, a bunch of the teens indulged their stomaches by eatin’ good in the neighborhood. Yes, Kristin and a gaggle of friends hit up the culinary mecca that is Applebees (a fixture in my high school experience too, sad to say), and while everyone noshed on onion peels and whatnot, Kristin busted out a camcorder and announced that she would be asking everyone whether or not she and Alex should get back together. Why, this wasn’t completely self-absorbed at all!
Well, the first person she questioned was a chunky football player named Goose, who Alex told us had a thing for Kristin. He refused to say whether or not Kristin should get back with her boy (he loved her, but could he backstab a teammate? The eternal quandary of Two-A-Days!). Best Friend Blair, however, told Kristin that Alex shouldn’t have lied, but if he worked hard and earned back her trust, then yes, they should get back together. Shut up, Blair. You’re boring. Never speak again.
With that, this official meeting of the Applebees Council came to a close (take THAT, Algonquin Roundtable!). Next up for the kids was a rousing time at the bowling alley where Kristin was assaulted by text messages from Alex. “Well that last 1 got me calmd down.. U gna be alone when I call?Dnt wna have” he wrote cryptically, but alas, his estranged girlfriend had not time to read the rest. It was her turn to bowl, and wouldn’t you know it? She got a strike! This somehow led to a discussion about Goose, who Kristin said was one of her best friends. “When Alex would hurt me, Goose would be over there. I’d be crying on his shoulder,” Kristin told us, clearly unaware of what we like to call, “The Cockblock.”
We then saw one unfortunate girl named Brittany try to bowl a ball down the lane, but alas, her fingers were too stumpy, and the ball awkwardly refused to launch from her hand, causing laughter all around (including from me. I’m a sucker for good slapstick. The only thing better than a stubborn bowling ball is a ball that falls prematurely. Oh, that gets me every time. If you’ve never seen that happen, you’re missing out).
Anyway, after Brittany dislodged the ball from her kung-fu grip, we returned to Kristin who was now mildly flirting with Goose. “You smell good,” she said.
“Do I? Well, good!” he replied happily. Somebody’s gonna be jerkin’ off tonight! (Okay, I apologize for inserting that image in all y’alls heads).
Presciently, Alex then texted Kristin, “No now goose is gna suk pu to u sum more n try n get u against me.” Why would Goose ever do that? Just because he’s been secretly pining for Kristin every single day for the past three years to the point where he has a makeshift shrine fueled by the blood of dead hobos he kills for her love? Sheesh.
After the commercial break, we found ourselves listening to the gentle tunes of a clarinet. Did Woody Allen suddenly join the squad? And if not, could he? Because that would be awesome. Anyway, it turned out that the clarinetist was none other than Bryan, the large, imposing offensive tackle for the team. Turns out he’s quite the music buff and relies on it to help him through the pain of practice. To demonstrate his love for music, he then began singing in the car, and… was he singing show tunes? Do his teammates know about this? We then found out that not only is Bryan on the football squad, he’s also in the marching band too. Yes, during the off-season, he trades in his jock card for his dork card as he parades around, annoying pretty much anyone within earshot (sorry, some early morning experiences with the college marching band running through my dorm have left me bitter). Anyway, Bryan was a committed bandcamp dude, and even though football should have been his top priority, he couldn’t resist standing by a window, watching his marching band brethren practice for the big game. Another torturous conflict!
We then watched some offensive blocking drills (which would have been much more entertaining had they been augmented with some crazy clarinet, you know, in honor of Bryan), and then we moved onto Ross, the struggling quarterback who’s been attempting to fill his brother’s giant, accomplished shoes. For those of you who don’t remember, Ross’s brother had been the star quarterback and had brought home two state championships for the school and then gone on to glory and success and happiness and general amazingness (I heard he once saved a baby seal from a vicious clubbing!). Ross, on the other hand, kind of sucked. His biggest accomplishment thus far has been looking like a skinny version of Johnny Moseley.
Anyway, in the last game, Ross had some trouble making decisions in the pocket and throwing to the proper lanes, and if the practice was any indication, those problems hadn’t disappeared. “Ross! Who the fuck did you just throw to?” asked an irate Propst at one point. He HATES Ross! He could spit on him all day long and still not be satisfied.
We then popped in on Kristin, and get this: she was still complaining about Alex. I know, it’s very shocking. “Alex has never, ever done anything wrong to me at like this level,” she said. Yes, the pain one feels from a dishonest diorama experience is the pain that hurts the most.
Meanwhile, back at his home, Ross tossed a football around with his big brother (who was fresh from saving twelve people from a burning building), and I couldn’t help noticing that every teenage male on this show seemed to have the same hairstyle as William Zabka (a.k.a. Johnny Lawrence) from The Karate Kid. You know, the brushed forward bangs that I sported circa 1988 (after my mom let me graduate from the bowl cut).
Who of the following did NOT go to Hoover High:
Anyway, Ross’s big brother asked if it was hard being compared to him, and just when it seemed like he was providing an empathetic shoulder to lean on, Big Brother sternly added that Ross better not lose to Spain Park. It was so Varsity Blues 2005.
After the commercial break, it was time for the big game. Rush Propst gave his usual, thoughtful pre-game pep talk by saying, “Now let’s go out and physically BEAT THE PISS OUT OF THEM!” and then it was game time! Things started out great for Hoover as Ross made a big pass down field. Yay pressures of being a failure melting away! But then moments later on the drive, Ross managed to throw an interception right in the endzone. Boo crushing reality of one’s limited capacity!
The good news for Hoover was that their defense was on point. The Buccaneers (that’s Hoover) intercepted Spain Park for a touchdown, thus making the score 7-0, home team (again, Hoover). We then saw star running back Chris Graham run for a touchdown (thanks to some clarinet-inspired blocking by Bryan), and the score increased to 14-0. The good times kept on coming when Hoover forced a fumble, and I believe Max recovered it for a strong gain, but then the momentum came to an end when Ross nearly threw for an interception in the endzone again. Spain Park made a late-game surge, putting ten points on the board, and when Ross tried to spearhead a drive, he once again fell flat on his face. “Ross Wilson not looking very good,” said one critical sportscaster. Luckily, the Hoover defense saved the day again, stopping a critical Spain Park drive and leading the team to a 24-10 victory.
I would say what happened next, but sadly, my Tivo cut off (clearly the machine’s a Spain Park fan). What did you think about the episode? Should Kristin take Alex back? Or should she find solace in the meaty arms of Goose?