Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Wreality Wrap-up: Fabio's Sloppy Seconds and a Triumphant Return to Paradise
Those Of You who know me personally are aware that I am a very great lover of reality television. Not the cuddly, watercooler-talk-at-Curves variety as exemplified by The Bachelorette. I am truly, madly, deeply, Michael-Douglas-on-Jeanne-Tripplehorn-while-clearly-thinking-of-Sharon-Stone, bent-over-a-chair in lust with the type of reality show that restores my faith in the subclass of American famewhore that is willing to suffer the worst, televised humiliation just at the shot of moving to Los Angeles to wait tables at The Standard and wait patiently as someone who looks sorta producer-y pauses just for a second in the middle of his drink order with a possible glimmer of recognition of their server's work on Paradise Hotel, then just goes with the green apple martini. The kind of lust that makes me disregard grammar and readability so I can pour out a sentence like the previous one.
And Monday night was a very good night for reality television. Super Monday saw Father Time's Average Joe 2: Hawaii give up the ghost to the New Year's Baby of Forever Eden.
The finale of AJ2:H unfolded as expected: Lots of voiceover from lovely Larissa Meek explaining how Hunk Nation representative Gil Hyatt makes her feel all wiggly in her womanly parts, but she harbors doubts about their long-term prospects given his reticence in sharing his feelings. Then more voiceover about how wonderful Brian ("I have a bawks around my hot") Worth, Last Nerd Standing, makes her feel alternately like a queen, a princess, and the spoiled bride of a viscount. She never really completed the synaptic connection that Joe L'Average heaps on the worship because she's a dead ringer for the models in his women-sitting-on-balloons porn, and that Studs Magudds seems iffy on commitment because the set caterer has already slipped him her number.
This was expected. As was Larissa's decision to opt-in to a short-term fling with the flavorless slab of blonde himbo because she's convinced herself that his lukewarm demonstration of feelings masks a very special inner life and maintain the order of the universe by dismissing another sweet dork who made the fatal mistake of falling in love on camera.
We saw it coming. But there were still ten minutes left when Larissa threw Brian back like an undersized lawbstah. And in those ten minutes, AJ2:H staked its place in the annals of reality television history.
Because Larissa had a secret. Promos flogged this development all week, and the dismissal ceremony had an even stronger stink of anticlimax than the one from its inevitability. Larissa picks Gil, they fly away from the monotonous paradise of Hawaii to the fresh splendor of Cabo San Lucas, dragging The Other Shoe from the tail of their private jet the whole way.
But Larissa has a secret. Is/was she married? Does she have a kid? Is she living with HIV/herpes/the clap? Is/was she actually a man? Did she dress Uma Thurman at the Oscars?
After a quick montage of the happy couple cavorting on a Mexican beach, it was time for Larissa to come clean. We expect Gil to nod in understanding, take her in his arms, and pledge that he'll take the kid to the zoo, have lunch with the ex-husband, wear two condoms, never neglect her balls, anything you need, baby. Gil's a dude, he's up for whatever.
I don't know how to say it but to just say it: Her ex-boyfriend is
was formerly in a relationship with Larissa. Bomb officially dropped. And much better than anything I could have possibly dreamt up on my own.
If only she'd had a stalker-ex, a kid with Down's Syndrome, a Frankenstein vagina. If only, if only, if only.
Gil's bags are packed so fast Sammy Hagar doesn't have time to sell him tequila.
"I think every straight guy in America will back me up on this," said Gil, his eyes bravely resisting tears, the retraction of his testicles writ large across that handsome face.
How is a hunky nobody supposed to take Fabio's sloppy seconds? He'll never be quite as smoothly waxed, his locks never as golden and flowing, his man-titties ne'er as swollen. Gil checked out, and who could blame him?
AJ2:H wins a special place in our hearts. It might have displaced the original Joe Millionaire finale, had the producers turned around the Greyhound carrying Brian Worth into the open mouth of a volcano so that he could wipe clean the mascara streaks criss-crossing Larissa's face, perhaps even offering to wear a Fabio mask while he combed her hair, waiting patiently, devotedly to be dumped for the first cabana boy who makes eyes at her.
But they let the bus plummet into the volcano, and we shrug at the missed opportunity. AJ2:H was pretty special anyway.
* * * * * *
All You Need to know about Forever Eden (the successor to Paradise Hotel) are the following three things:
1. Mary, a chesty contestant from Scottsdale, AZ, via a particularly melanin-free pocket of Salt Lake City, asks David, who is black, why his toes are black. She wonders if he'd gotten something all over his feet, stopping just short of asking him if he'd stepped in some Negro on his way from the pool to the bar. At least she has an airtight excuse: She'd never seen a black man's feet before.
2. Jordan, a contestant who freaks out on the females of Eden for constantly referring to him as "short," which he is, remarks about Mary, "She may be racist and ignorant, but I still might have sex with her." Amen, my itty-bitty brother.
3. I'm going to have at least two opportunities per week to say "postlapsarian."