Brande needs a man, and the Surreal Life crew head out to find one for her. Will the one she picks be a prince or a frog? Let's just say she's still waiting for a good man. Hey, the way Corey is behaving towards his fiancé, he may soon be available again.
Can I make one plea before I start this week's recap? Nike, PLEASE stop with the epic commercials. It took me less time to read The Iliad than to watch that woman run through the streets in a quest for a pretzel readily available in the freezer section of any grocery store. If I promise to buy a pair of shoes will you stop it? Thank you.
On to the business of mocking the near-famous...
Previously on The Surreal Life, they were in Vegas. Vince angry, Corey crying, Hammer proud, Vince redeemed. There you have it, and it took a half hour to tell that story last week.
We see the girls waking up and scenes of Vince and Gabrielle making breakfast, or "mom and dad" as a friend said to me after we saw the show last night. People have really cloaked themselves in their self-imposed roles, haven't they?
Jerri and Brande take Mercedes the dog for a walk through the neighborhood, talking about how hard it is to meet a guy. Brande wants to meet the guy she will marry within the year. He will be honest, have integrity, and be secure with himself, which is hard to find in Los Angeles. I guess. Seems to me those are pretty reasonable standards to set and not in short supply among men I know; L.A. is a whole different animal. They stop to coo over a baby and talk about how they loooove babies - it's just the men that are the problem. Ahhhh… I remember being that naive. When was that? Oh yeah, it was before I had children and I thought motherhood was all nuzzling the tops of heads all freshly washed with baby shampoo and kisses that smell like cookies. It's that and a million other things a whole lot more worrisome and nerve wracking than finding a man, but I digress.
So walking along they see a guy they find hot as he is taking groceries out of the trunk of his car. Let's backtrack for a moment. Were you finding it a little hard to believe that she was having such a hard time meeting men and getting dates? Yeah, me too, but when I saw her approach I thought we may possibly have found out why. She yells to the man from across the street asking him if he's married - and not in a flirting tone either. She comes off like a really casually dressed and unprofessional census taker. He answers her warily, as most people would if strangers began shouting at the demanding their marital status on public streets. She then fires off a series of questions asking him if he has a girlfriend or is he gay and what his name is. Wouldn't that put anyone at ease as someone breaks the ice to form a new acquaintance? And I am sure the camera crew didn't make him nervous at all. I'll stop being sarcastic in just a second. Promise. Honestly this whole thing took me back to childhood where my mother would explain to me how "boy chasing" was not only an embarrassment but counterproductive as no matter how cute you are, if you intimidate a guy you can forget it. Let them chase you, good rule of thumb if ever I heard one. I hope that whole thing was tongue-in-cheek for the cameras and Jerri's amusement because if she was serious, someone needs to sign her up for finishing school pronto. I have seen prepubescent monkeys more savvy in the art of flirting and seduction. It is very possible she never had to learn advanced level interaction due to her looks. She is so beautiful that maybe it is more than enough and she could be a card carrying psychopath and men would overlook it to stare at her over dinner, while those of us whose genetic crap shoot landed on the average side of the table have to work harder to be socially aware, interesting, or funny. Maybe if you look like her you don't need to bring anything else to the party. Reminds me of a conversation a bunch of girlfriends and I once had where the topic was if you could wake up tomorrow absolutely physically flawless, effortlessly magazine-cover perfect, but you had to lose IQ points to do it - would you? For the record I said I would gladly hand over 35 IQ points and all traces of my personality and the keys to my car just to be able to gaze at myself in the mirror lovingly. So I may be too superficial and jealous to be objective, but mock I will as it amuses me, and I do think it was laughably rude to that poor guy.
Back at the house we see Corey on the phone with Suzi. Of course he is on the phone with Suzi. If he wasn't on the phone with her how would we recognize him? Oh, the bad dye job and eyes red from crying? Okay, you're right... he would be easy to spot either way. So he says to her, all casual, "so we're doing pre-nups, right?" Isn't a discussion of prenuptial agreements sensitive enough you'd want to have it privately? And she was his fiancée going into this show so if this is that important to him isn't it something they would have already discussed? Just asking. So he says to the camera how if she were to question a pre-nup that he should be worried. My skin crawled clean off my body and I had to go chase it down. If she questioned it? If she had a difference of opinion or even wanted to discuss it that would be cause for concern? Concern that what, she has a brain in her head and is capable of independent thought? There are plenty of reasons to for a pre-nup to give one pause besides being a gold digger. Some people would be uncomfortable with one for the same reason they would be uncomfortable with their spouse keeping their own apartment or with one having a bank account specifically so they have enough money to split at a moment's notice. Some people wouldn't get married if they felt they needed to hedge their bets. Some people just think they should discuss important issues that affect both partners without their concern being a red flag.
Then he says to her of course, should they break up, he would give her something out of generosity. Excuse me, I can't type for laughing still… hang on I need to catch my breath and grab a tissue as I am crying this is so funny. Corey, since you are in your thirties I think you are old enough to know the true facts of life. No, not where babies come from - you have dated enough porn stars to know that... I mean the true facts of life. The generosity you feel toward a woman you love enough, in whatever sense you love people, to marry is a very different kind of generosity than what you feel toward a woman you dislike enough to divorce. The offer was worth the paper it wasn't written on. If she is like every other woman he has dated she would snowball him and walk away with half of everything, which isn't much. Oh, I don't know... I would think half of a collection of teen mags featuring the Coreys would be enough to make any woman marry you and be legally bound to your whining self-absorbed arrogance. Also if you think there is a possibility she is using you perhaps you shouldn't, oh I don't know, get married until you're sure? Just a thought. Editing team? Please make him go away.
Cut to the kitchen where Jerri and Brande tell Hammer of Brande's failed attempt at dog walking romance. He asks if she always does this with a look on his face that says he can't believe anyone ever does this. She says yes, if she knows she won't see the guy again or if she isn't intimidated. Hammer thinks she may have intimidated the guy. Ya think?? My hyperbolic reaction is sarcasm; hers is real as it seems to dawn on her for the first time, at 28, that you can't shout your way into a man's heart from across the street. With a camera crew. Wow, dating rules are sure specifically complicated in the new millennium, huh? Brande muses she may, perhaps, be too forward. Yep, start with leaning in and listening to what a man says with interest and then laying your hand on his forearm. You know, before you chase him down like you are about to rope him and tie him to the hood of your car. Hammer says had the guy responded his goal would have only been short term. Wow, he sounds just like my mother.
Jerri goes to grab the paper and they find out the assignment du jour is to find Brande a man. They will go to a target-rich location and each bring home a date for her; the lucky guy she chooses gets to have dinner with her at the house. They will have to sell her on the guy they chose and whomever finds the one she selects for her date gets the master bedroom for the night. The way they sell this bedroom thing you'd think they were sleeping on beds of nails as it is, wearing hair-shirts, while on fire, and need the escape. Maybe they are and they just don't show us the Marquis De Sade crafted portion of their contract.
Brande doesn't look thrilled at first but is a good sport though she finds this to be nerve wracking. She must have tiny and easily wracked little nerves. I mean what has she got to be nervous about? The men know who she is going in and they are the ones to be judged and discarded. She has been on a few blind dates but not many. For most people I know, a few was more than enough. I have never been on any for the same reason I don't get the appeal of internet dating. I mean I get it and I know it works and many people find happiness that way, but for me I would need to get the visceral attraction locked in first then worry about the rest, because that's the great intangible isn't it? The unknown. Almost as unknown as why I am not so much recapping as dispensing relationship advice and opining on sociological mores like I am some weird hybrid of Ann Landers and Dr. Joyce Brothers, which would be frightening if for no other reason than a hairdo standpoint.
Brande is on the phone with her mom telling her what the others are out doing and her mom says she'd be nervous too. Awwww. Then she says they could be finding her the father to her grandchildren. Please be kidding. Then she mentions she's waiting for grandchildren. Gee, what a nice thing to say to your unmarried, unattached daughter. Sometimes with parents the most well intentioned comments make you pretend to be adopted. When I was little and mad at my parents I used to pretend I was secretly adopted and my real parents were Sean Connery and Julie Newmar. See my mom was a dancer also and resembled Julie Newmar and I figured Sean Connery was tough enough and had enough money to win a legal fight once he found out about me, besides I just loved him in Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Perhaps I'm sharing too much, sorry.
Scenes of Brande working out. Brande in the pool. Excuse me while I find something on which to impale myself, so inadequate do I feel just now.
I'm back. Life is too precious to squander over a WB show that isn't even a full season long.
So the rest of the roommates sans Brande head down town to pimp her out... errr... find her some men. Gabrielle and Jerri go to Gold's Gym to find their man. They are all split up in teams, Gabrielle and Jerri, Hammer and Manny, Vince and Corey and since some were on cell phones in the van en route maybe some business was taken care of that way. Wasn't one of the rules of this show no cell phones? Last week Corey had one and this week they are all over the van. Children, even grown up ex-famous grown-ups who act like children, need consistency, people.
Where was I before I got all distracted by blatant cell phone rule breaking? Oh yeah...
Vince thinks Brande needs someone not in show business, like a banker or a stock broker. Corey says she needs someone fun-loving but also career determined. Given my penchant for making up words and using goofy phrasing I just can't comment. Gabrielle thinks she needs a businessman, someone grounded. Apparently they all think Brande can hold her own intellectually and conversationally with the high powered so there must be more to her than we've been allowed to see. Either that or they think men won't care about her mind because the eye candy is so appealing, but that is too cynical for me to believe, these are Hollywood types and nothing if not sincere. Jerri tells us all the good looking successful men are either married or gay. Come on, I expect more than tired cliches from the smart pretty girl.
Back to Gold's Gym and, if you are looking for a guy, where better? If they got a guy from there Brande could steal his sweatshirts and Gold's has those really high quality sweatshirts that last forever but are still soft and snuggly and oversized as they are made to fit over massive shoulders. I am not a mercenary but I think one has to consider the quality of sweatshirts a man owns before one decides to date him. Or is that just me? Okay... so Gabrielle and Jerri meet an investment banker who is all about dating a Playmate. But when they ask him what he does he says, "investment banker, is that good?" So either he's lying or he isn't secure with who he is and is blatantly looking for approval; didn't Brande specifically say she wants a man secure and comfortable with himself? Red flags, guys... red flags.
Hammer and Manny are trying to score some men in an office building. First guy is married but then they luck out and find someone after what seems like a lot of convincing. Well, this is a pretty bizarre premise so I would imagine it would be hard to convince some people this isn't a colossal joke.
Vince and Corey are outside an office building and Vince muses about how he never thought he'd be standing in front of a business picking up guys. Get it? Cause he likes women? I just love the easy joke, thank you Vince. Corey is then inside an office asking a guy at his desk if he likes Playboy and when the guy is offended and asks him to leave Corey tells him he was just going to set him up with a Playmate. Now, I know these people are unfamiliar with day jobs but most offices frown on camera crews barging in to whore out, however platonically, Playboy Playmates. Vince and Corey finally find someone outside as Gabrielle says to Jerri, as they leave the gym, "he's perfect! Not a wannabe actor!" Arrogance or self-loathing, tough call to make.
They are all ready to leave, mission accomplished, and Corey really has to go to the bathroom so he hits the men's room. Jerri says he "decided" he had to go to the bathroom. Is that really something one decides? Anyway, he apparently decides to set up camp in there for a while. Everyone is getting agitated as apparently 20 minutes or so passes by. Gabrielle comments how they are always waiting for Corey and at first I was thinking maybe they are exaggerating, I mean when you are waiting on someone it always seems like longer than it is, but I guess it was 20 minutes because everyone is highly annoyed. Corey comes out and is blindsided by the anger at having to wait for him. Funny as I find this, because he is so unsympathetic that drama at his expense is amusing, as a person I couldn't really figure out why they would be mad unless they thought he was hanging out in there for privacy or deliberately to make them wait. Maybe they thought he had a cell phone and they were waiting while he made a toilet call to Suzi. Like he would be above that? And then I was thinking no one could possibly pee for 20 minutes. They can't possibly be talking about anything else. Oh no, that would just be gross. I am so innocent sometimes. Yes, Corey apparently had a tummy ache and it took him 20 minutes to poop. I am embarrassed just typing that - I can't imagine how ashamed he was to have to justify the timing and duration of his bowel movement on television, although he didn't appear ashamed. He came off quite proud and righteous when he said that "when someone has f***ing nature to deal with there are no guidelines. That's a line of respect you don't cross." I had no idea there were such stringent social rules about this stuff. Notice how the production staff not only touches on it but leaves it in as a subplot. They hate him. Can't say I blame them. So a loud, voices-raised fight ensues on the van-ride home between Corey and Hammer, with Corey defending his right to have bowel movements that last longer than the latest batch of Nike commercials. Hammer tells him "Dude, you need to start eating some meat. It's that vegetarian crap, man. You need to start eating some meat, Dude, chicken or something." Hammer, you are a truth screamer. Everyone else is cracking up and I have to say this is the funniest segment of the series to date. Hammer tells Corey he won't be cussed out by a grown man and Corey says he wasn't cussing him out. Despite his overuse of the F-bomb. No, Corey doesn't want serious confrontation with Hammer. Heck, just last week he was terrified of the hamburger-buying public. Corey is going to back away and deal with his pooping issues alone. Corey again makes the point he was sick and you can't argue with nature. Hammer says no matter how sick he was he would have been done in five minutes as he is a professional. A professional WHAT? Is there a professional way to have a bowel movement? I must have cut class the day my college business admin. classes covered this. Hammer is annoyed at the lack of appreciation for trying to save Corey from himself. I wonder if Hallmark makes a Thank You For Banging On The Door While I'm Trying To Go And Then Humiliating Me About My Bowel Movements card. If so, Corey should run right out and send one to Hammer.
Back at the house and out of Corey's toilet, thank goodness, Brande is primping and getting ready... Brande wants a man who is a good person, strong, comfortable with himself, treats her with respect, is proud to be with her, loves her. Awwww. Isn't that what everyone wants? The men arrive at 7:00 so she takes the seat of honor and they present the male harem to her for her to select her date.
First up is Gabrielle's offering, Rick. He's a private chef. his heart was broken two-and-a-half years ago and he's just ready to get back... when she is cut off by Corey screaming "BAGGAGE!" which is just what I was thinking.
Next is a guy Vince has known for 15 years. he is funny and a movie producer, so he has a job and everything.
Hammer introduces Kirk. Comes from a good family and is soft spoken and humble. What nice ways to describe someone.
Corey says his pick is the man of her dreams. Single, successful guy only 24 years old and already an investment banker. Out of all the choices he has the most well-rounded profile. Possible careers for Corey: Agent, used car salesman, game show host.
Jerri brings up Curt, the guy from the gym. She talks about his great smile and dimples. Wonder if Jerri took advantage of him not being picked to get a little investment banker lovin' for herself. She seems almost smitten.
Manny introduces Rich P., who is an aspiring screenwriter and currently a paralegal. "When you pick him, and you will, it will be like ecstasy except he will be your drug." Embarrassment all around. Ewww.
She smiles at all of them this very strange smile, like she is looking down on a box of handicapped puppies.
She has it narrowed down to two, Rick and Kirk. Wonder if that was as quick as it seemed. I hope that was just editing and she at least pretended to consider all of them after they schlepped themselves down there.
Brande says food comes first with her so she chooses the chef. Jerri chimes in later that once she knew there was a chef in the running she knew she was in trouble since food is the most important thing to Brande. Really? She looks like that and she even eats? I think we know the source of her fame. Clearly she has sold her soul to the devil. Did you think Oh God, You Devil starring George Burns was fiction? Pure documentary, my friends.
She talks about how she wouldn't go on a show like Blind Date. Ha! Think she knew at this point that The Surreal Life is from the same people who brought us Blind Date? Kinda walked into this one. They do a spoof on Blind Date and I wish I had all the captions, thought balloons, and extraneous comments for you, but my reception was really bad last night, probably due to the storm I woke up to this morning, so I didn't get them all. I'm sorry, but if you have ever seen Blind Dateyou'll get the idea. If you haven't, at least you could give me credit for sitting there through this entire half hour holding the antenna with one hand and my foot at a goofy angle so I wouldn't lose the signal. No sacrifice is too great and I'm sure my chiropractor will think so too.
The conversation over dinner is hysterically bad. He asks her if she eats beef, as a lot of girls he knows don't. I would credit him with a double entendre there but I'm just not seeing him as clever enough. I think that is as lame as it sounded. So since she does eat beef, he says he says he doesn't want to toot his own horn but her dog would love his beef wellington. Huh? Way to sell your talent - dogs eat anything and drink out of toilets. She doesn't like beef wellington because she hates Hollandaise sauce. She couldn't possibly be confusing beef wellington with eggs benedict could she? Who would do that? Guess when she said on the camp out she eats gourmet food all the time she was kidding, or beef wellington is more obscure than I think, and it isn't. In any event, he corrects her about the way beef wellington is made.
Then he ever so sweetly leans over to whisper in her ear a secret about... the asparagus. That's right. THE secret about asparagus. As they are eating he tells her that asparagus makes your urine smell bad and she is really excited because she just heard this last week and was, what, awaiting random confirmation? Caption says avoid sweet talk involving your stinky urine. Is this something people even have to be told? Okay I am putting my foot down. First Corey's poop and now this. Listen up, I don't want to hear one more word about anything that comes out of any of you ever again! You just aren't that fascinating. Although I do have to admit it was hilarious, but stop it anyway. Yuck.
More inane conversation. He wants to know what kind of car she has. Sadly this is the most interesting of his 'get to know you' questions and it all goes downhill from here. In fact, one of the captions lists five ways to lose a playmate. He does all of 'em. He loves his parents. Wow. That's unusual, isn't it? Isn't that kinda the human default? He wants to know what her favorite color is, and it's electric blue. Is this a date or an interview for Tiger Beat? He loves the sun, as does she. We are learning volumes about these two! His wisdom teeth are coming in and they feel terrific! I wasn't that excited when I got my first car. He marvels that she is a Gemini like his sister.
Gabrielle and Jerri come out and ask them if they want to go in the hot tub. Brande asks what the other options are. His crushed and broken spirit, as well as hopes for Playmate nookie, lay crumpled on the ground. Brande's thought balloons, courtesy of the graphic experts, say, "Hot tub?!" "I would rather give Corey a sponge bath." Clever, clever Blind Date people! Of course she can't give Corey a sponge bath. Not without Suzi there. Have we learned nothing from naked sushi-girl?
She says she will see him later, which in this instance is clearly girl-speak for "over my dead body and not in this lifetime." She gives him one of those pat-pat-go-away hugs and then he leans down to kiss Mercedes goodbye. Some guys think that is endearing and that to get to a woman's heart you should love her pet, but let me clue you in on how women work. If we don't think you are good enough to kiss us, we don't think you are good enough to kiss our dogs. Just wait though, not the last of his bad moves. She opens the door and is saying goodbye and he leans in and kisses her when all of her body language is screaming for him to keep his lips way over there and move his unwanted self right out the door.
With that finally over, we move back to somewhat familiar territory with Corey and Suzi on the phone. Suzi is whining for Corey's attention. All this time I've felt sorry for her and wondered why she put up with him, but clearly she can give as good as she gets when it comes to being ear bleedingly whiny. They deserve each other. Unless she is just under stress overload from planning an impromptu TV wedding to someone who can't be bothered to stop condescending and speak to her.
Since they do everything together, Gabrielle is sharing her night in the master bedroom with Brande and Jerri. Remember the first episode where Jerri joked about future slumber parties? Awwww. They hang out and talk and Brande is wondering if she will ever find anyone who meets her expectations or if she will be alone forever. Who hasn't thought that very same thing while single? She says Rick was too aggressive when he tried to kiss her and they laugh and say she wanted someone to control her. Careful what you wish for! Gabrielle tells her if he's a nice guy to not judge so much and just let things happen. I couldn't disagree more, because I am sure everyone was wondering what I thought of this advice. When it isn't right it doesn't matter how good it looks on paper, it just won't work. And when it is right and your heart tells you that this is the one, you happily compromise and make middle ground because it is no longer about me and my happiness but us and our happiness, and that makes all the difference. That's why people should never settle. Why spend the rest of your life holding your ground and pulling teeth when if you just wait, the right person makes it easier and the happiness payoff exponentially better. And the control thing makes perfect sense, I think what she means (because now I can make psychological assessments - after all, I have watched this show all season) was she wants someone she loves and trusts enough that she wants to give up a little control and surrender herself. Doesn't everyone want that? That doesn't mean you will turn into a puddle for every dork who comes along unable to read your social cueing and tries to kiss you.
Didn't I say I was going to stop the pseudo relationship guru stuff? Sorry. I'll let Hammer do it for me...
Hammer thinks she should take her time and when she is at the right place at the right time the right man will find her. Call it divine intervention, call it fate, but I believe this too. Thank you, Hammer. Reminds me of an old bit in the stand-up act of Fred Stoller, where he was lamenting about not meeting women and his grandma says he will meet one when he isn't looking and he asks "aren't looking? When is that? I'm going to get up to go to the bathroom at 2 am and some girl will pop up and wave and say, 'Hi, I'm Debbie you weren't looking for me! Here I am!'"
I just love Fred Stoller.
Back to Corey and Suzi. She is whining that he gets to talk to the others all day and she waits for houuuuuuuuuurs for his calls and he just wants to hang up and play video games. He is getting married in two days and he would rather play video games than discuss this with his fiancé. Oh, Suzi, if only you had run fast and far when you had the chance. You have to wonder if she has any idea how the others would trade places with her in a second. I don't think talking to Corey all day is the treat for them that it is for her. Corey and Suzi hang up. Big Corey sigh. Upcoming wedding or train wreck? You decide.
Previews for next week: Softball! Everyone loves softball! Playmates! Everyone loves Playmates! Corey Feldman. They hate him so much.