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The Surreal Life, Episode 7: All Corey, All the Time



Corey's wedding draws ever closer. It's morning - Corey complains. They play softball. Corey whines. Suzi, his fiancé, comes to discuss things. Corey rips into her. Yes, folks, it's all about Corey. All Corey, all the time. 

With the familiarity that is beginning to breed contempt, we again greet our roommates as they wake up. Vince is in Hammer's and Manny's room to tell them he will meet them in the living room. Do you think when he is in there he looks around longingly while regretting his hasty decision to bunk with Corey? I do too. Hammer tells Manny to use the bathroom first and then his captain will use the facilities. Or something. Sometimes they seem like friends and other times Hammer seems to treat him like a mascot and it irritates me. This is one of those times.

In the living room the girls await the men and they complain about how long it takes the men to get up. And they don't even have hair! So? Like any of you did your hair for this either? I didn't get that but I wasn't trying that hard. They schmoopy-talk to the pooch and that starts to put me in a better mood... cute, cute doggy.

We cut to Corey as he says his throat hurts and it will be hard to be 100% today. 100%? Is he ever? Except 100% pain in the ass? Good thing he is lingering while thinking about himself, unusual as that is, since this gives the others a chance to mock him behind his back later. He is so giving that way.

In the living room Vince reads the paper aloud and the headline says Hammer Vs. Brande Whose Got Game? Can I interject something here? WHOSE? Someone should point out to the fine journalists that run the Surreal Life tabloid that the word they were looking for is "who's." Contraction of "who" and "has." Anyway, Vince reads about the Surreal World Series and how it will be the guys vs. the girls and then, moving on to horoscopes, he begins to read for Cancer and when informed that's Corey's sign he says never mind, much to the laughter and delight of everyone else in the room. Honestly, Corey has become the biggest pariah on television since Oliver Douglas in Green Acres - and is there anyone more hated?

Back to baseball talk... Brande is on a city softball team and plays with a mix of girls. I would never have guessed that of her and I have to say that's pretty cool. They all see their uniforms and check them out and the girls have a Playboy bunny on the t-shirts while the guys have the Easton Sports logo on theirs. Definitely not bunnies, those guys. Hammer tells us he grew up playing ball and being a bat boy for the Oakland A's, and that's how he got his name Hammer. The guys said he looked like Hammering Hank (Aaron, I assume?) and called him little Hammer. Awwww... look how much we're learning. Vince made varsity in high school but refused to cut his hair so he didn't play and turned to rock and roll instead. Hey, baseball's loss is a headbanger's gain and he has made my world a better place. I thank you, Mr. Neil, for choosing the right fork in the road.

Corey and Suzi have much to talk about. He feels everything is coming at him from all sides and he wants other people to feel it and be on the same page as him. At this point I grab the sides of my head to check that blood is not pouring out of my ears.

Corey, listen to me. I'm trying to help and will let you in on a little secret. Other people don't care. That's it, the great mystery of why your pleas for attention go unanswered. Oh sure, if you are going through the loss of a loved one or serious illness acquaintances will cut you some slack and your close friends and family will try to bear with you during bouts of routine pissiness if they are short-lived and reciprocated with you being there for them in their less than pleasant moments, but relative strangers do not care about your wedding crankiness. Weddings generally try the patience of everyone close to the lucky couple who are oblivious to how self-absorbed tier cakes and bouquets have made them become.

Well if this isn't the cue to meet Suzi up close and personal.

Suzi is at the house and she is quite lovely, so one wonders what internal flaws she possesses to not know she can do better. A question for her future therapist, perhaps.

"Hi Suzi!" She is warmly greeted by everyone in the kitchen, well, everyone except Corey. Does he even like her? There was more warmth between Quint and the shark than I feel between these two. That Jaws reference wasn't too obscure was it? I realize the movie is decades old but I do think I am the only person on the planet who hasn't seen it, but I watched the "making of" so came by the analogy honestly. Way too much explaining of a simple comment... moving on...

Corey is now explaining to everyone how the wedding is at noon so the rehearsal is at 8 am so they need to start getting ready at 6 in the morning. Gabrielle asks, with the tone of voice that says the answer to this better damn well be no, "we don't have to be at rehearsal do we?" and Corey answers, with a tone of voice that screams how can you even think about missing a moment of this, "yeah." Jerri doesn't feel herself worried about Corey, she thinks the end result will be stressful and too negative for all of them. Well, not quite as negative for her as she won't wake up the next morning as Mrs. Corey Feldman. Gabrielle tells us the wedding takes away from the group dynamic of having a good time and makes it all about Corey. I agree but in his defense he doesn't need a wedding to do that. He took away from the good time group dynamic last week by having a bowel movement, he is a skilled and talented wet blanket and works on many levels. As a matter of fact I think he robs the group dynamic just by wearing that hat.

Vince is sick of hearing about the problems involved in the wedding and after all it's Corey's problem not theirs. What I was saying a few paragraphs ago - Vince brings it all home. What a team we are.

Corey and Suzi go to the door to meet the rabbi who will be performing the wedding. Corey he thinks he looks like more of a rabbi than this guy does and can I say, not really, but neither of them would be picked from central casting for Fiddler on the Roof 2003.

In other news, Hammer and Brande are on the phone drumming up pals to play on the team. They look like that are truly having a good time with this.

Corey explains to the rabbi how Hammer will also be officiating and they will have to work out the details of that. The rabbi asks Corey, and presumably Suzi although she appears not to be allowed to speak, about the wedding being so last minute and impromptu and Corey says yes it was very "sperm of the moment." Not a typo missed in editing, he actually said, "sperm of the moment." Just as he is about to question the man's credentials. Way to establish dominance. So the rabbi boils it down that due to this wedding being so unconventional (read: no self-respecting rabbi or minister would touch it without proper preparation and counseling) they need a rabbi who thinks outside the box (read: willing to side step pesky customs to be accommodating).

Corey asks what kind rabbi he was, if he is orthodox. Had I been drinking I would have done a Danny Thomas style spit-take. I know I am just a shicksa but I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood and I know how to work a search engine for research. Orthodox rabbis don't make house calls to marry people without forethought or serious discussion of the union, including the upbringing of possible future children. Rabbi says he was ordained reform but is now more Lutheran. He is doing a one man show, religion outside the box. Corey looks offended, okay, Mr. Sperm of the Moment, cloak yourself in religious dignity. If I roll my eyes any harder they are going to freeze this way.

The rabbi then asks them about their religious backgrounds and Corey says he is Jewish, which is why he is interviewing a rabbi for his wedding. People who aren't Jewish tend not to do that unless of course you're Sharon Osbourne for which you are soundly mocked by your husband and children, but that's another recap. Corey says he had studied for his Bar Mitzvah but never got it due to his hectic work schedule.

For a brief second I felt genuine sympathy for him. If that is even a little bit true, and I think it is, his normal childhood events should have always taken precedence over his career and I think if they had we would see someone a little more well adjusted on camera today.

How did that psychologist hat get on my head? Looks as bad on me as Corey's cheesy fedora looks on him. I'll stop.

The rabbi surprises Corey with the fact that he was indeed bar mitvahed - all he had to do was turn 13. Mazel tov! He presents him with a pen in honor of the occasion and takes it back. While it is true according to Jewish law that a boy is automatically a Bar Mitvah upon his 13th birthday (as cool as it would be if you all thought I knew this off the top of my head, I found the info on http://www.jewfaq.org/barmitz.htm), I think what Corey was speaking of was the ceremony. Much like the reason Buddy Sorrell took off work early all those nights, and Rob and Sally thought he was cheating on Pickles when he was really taking Bar Mitzvah lessons in secret as a gift to his mom because it broke her heart that he had to quit as a kid to go to work and help support the family and she felt she failed him so he wanted to make his Bar Mitzvah for her.

Don't tell me the Dick Van Dyke show wasn't reality TV and it was just a sitcom. I don't want to know that.

They usher the rabbi to the door and Corey is frightened by him being so unconventional. Pot, kettle, meet Corey. Also there is a reason conventional rabbis wouldn't touch this wedding. Think about it, like all good men of God of all faiths, part of their business is getting people to take the sacred and holy rites seriously and to enter into marriage thoughtfully and with reverence. Kind of flies in the face of this circus.

Can we get back to baseball please?

Lia, Vince's girlfriend, happens to be in town and so he calls her up and asks her to play on the girl's team and she agrees so readily you get the feeling she would have said okay if he asked her to jump into a volcano. No judgment, at this point I would do the same for him if asked just because he has single-handedly made this show watchable.

Everyone hops in the van and heads over to the softball field. Lia is there and she and Vince smooch. Awwwww. Hammer starts assigning positions and he is playing shortstop while Corey is pitching. Yep, you heard that right, pitching. Arguably requiring the most consistent athletic skill of the day. What was Hammer thinking?

Jerri informs us that the girls team's strategy is to bend over and say "ooooh" like they just got goosed and giggle. Okay, these are all men who have seen women naked before, they aren't just released from prison. In fact with the Playmates on the team these are men who have probably seen these women naked before, does she really think the allure is so strong they will be sent into a brainless tizzy over a giggle? Really? With the exception of Manny, I doubt it.

Vince tells us the girls may look better than them but can they play better? Never know. Look! A man contemplating the thought that it is very possible a group of women could beat the guys in a physical competition and he doesn't look the least bit threatened. Masculinity intact. The guys on Survivor last night could have taken a lesson from him.

The teams converge for some pre-game smack talk. If smack talk is mild banter. The bet is the losers serve the winners breakfast in bed and clean their rooms... Corey and Manny want to tack on massages for the guys if they win. Brande says that should go for the ladies too, then appears to cut herself short when she realizes what she is asking.

Play ball!! A few minutes of play in and Gabrielle wonders aloud if Corey told Hammer he could pitch or if Hammer just didn't care about winning, but either way it gives her something to heckle. I want to feel sorry for him, I really do, but he just sets himself up. He is what now, 31? Shouldn't he be familiar with his known strengths and weaknesses by now? Let me tell you a little story... once upon a time there was a teenage girl and she was lured into being on her high school softball team by the prospect of missing many last period classes due to away games and pressure from a favorite teacher who happened to be coaching since it was a small private school and if they didn't get more girls on the roster they couldn't compete. She was promised she needed no athletic inclination or ability, which is good because she had none. Okay, this was me. Anyway in my grand career on the field I totaled zero hits, zero runs, and zero successful plays completed of any kind. I don't think I ever actually touched the ball. If anyone suggested I pitch in any type of game I would then, as now, after laughing run fast and deep into far right field where I could contemplate my thoughts in peace. If only Corey had my self-awareness, as apparently we stood in the same line when God was handing out baseball talent.

Corey tells us the last thing he wants to be doing is playing softball and he should be home resting and preparing for his big day. Couple of things here. Didn't he tell Suzi a few episodes ago when she was pleading for his help in wedding preparation that this show was his "work," and if I am not mistaken part of the gig are these on-camera adventures - so isn't this in fact his job? In Corey's world can you really absent yourself from your job to rest and prepare yourself for your personal life? That is a very different realm than most of us inhabit.

Vince says that Corey shouldn't have been playing since he is afraid of the ball and he makes very dainty mincing motions. It is hard to mince while seated, I was impressed.

Manny is up at the plate and something happens with the pitch I can't quite figure out. Forgive me, if you want accurate sports play by play turn on ESPN. Vince laughs and swears, Manny goes to sit the bench until the joke is over and Hammer calls a time out. Hammer says it was a legal pitch and they continue. My best guess here is the girls pitcher was wicked good and they weren't prepared and maybe she had trouble hitting his strike zone... maybe. If someone is clearer on that write me so I can sleep nights without this uncertainty hanging over me. [Editor's Note: Basically, Manny faced a real softball pitcher, who can throw underhanded but still make it zip almost like a major league fastball. The guys, on the other hand, had Corey throwing the ball in a huge wimply arc to the women batters.]

Corey is up to bat. He stares at the pitch and seems uncertain what to do with the large stick in his hand. Hammer tells him this isn't Hollywood and there will be no one yelling cut, he is supposed to hit the ball. Do you think Corey has been on a baseball diamond since his stint as Reggie in the TV version of The Bad News Bears that so shamefully bastardized the brilliant movie of the same name? I don't. Anyway, he says he looked like a girl at bat to which I reply, you wish. The girls are actually making contact with the ball.

By the fourth inning Corey's arm is getting tired and his body rundown. This combined with what he said earlier about wanting to be home resting makes me think maybe he should have a blood work-up done, check for anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or residual traces of heroin. Shouldn't any healthy adult in their early 30s be able to play a softball game without needing a nap? I want to stop being so mean to him as I know it is getting old, but he won't let me, he keeps talking.

Hammer's at bat and he knocks it out of the park! Shades of the excitement of MTV's Rock and Jock games of yore. He ties it up and the ump calls a time limit so they end on a draw. Looks like everyone will be cleaning their own rooms and no massages. How sad.

In the van on the way home Corey tells everyone this is the first time he has ever pitched a game. And he said it with a straight face. Jerri says what everyone watching is thinking, "Never would have guessed," in high sarcasm with a laugh. It was funny. It was also too easy to pass up. I mean she was just hitting what was pitched. Look at me with my baseball metaphors. The look on his face when she says this is absolutely priceless. Stunned at her disrespect. Okay, even if you don't like how they treat you how can it be a surprise at this point? He says he doesn't understand where she got her reputation. Clearly he thinks he is being clever and showing he can use sarcasm, too! Also reminding people she is supposed to be a bitch, which he would have to do because she isn't giving anyone direct evidence of that. Corey tells us Jerri is making negative comments and he won't engage in any of that. But he just did, we just saw him. Kind of like the vegetarian debate of old where the editors love to catch Captain Contradiction tripping over his own words.

Jerri says she just couldn't help it. I hear ya, sister, and thank you for mocking him to his face when the rest of us can only toss comebacks to our TVs (or write them up here).

Back at the house for dinner, chicken parmesan, yum! Lia joins them for dinner. Corey just cannot let Jerri's joke go and calls her on the fact she made three negative comments in the last ten minutes. The fact that that was probably seven less than he deserved is lost on him. Jerri looks like the statute of limitations has just about run out on Corey's attitude and tells him not to push her buttons or she will get negative. She's been cool up till now but I believe her. I think the girl could verbally disembowel him without even trying. Brande mocks Jerri's button pushing comment in an attempt to diffuse the tension of the situation and it works; excellent play by Miss Roderick.

Corey doesn't want any negativity in his life. Gee. Good luck with that.

Jerri says Corey should watch his step because he wants a nice peaceful wedding and if he keeps this up she just may make some waves, making her my new favorite person with whom to join forces to wage a vendetta.

There is no smooth segue but later on we find ourselves watching Brande make a phone call and Corey stand irritatingly close to her. I honestly thought for a second he was so possessive over the phone as his conduit to Suzi that he resented her using it and was being passive-aggressive. Oh, like that would be above him, but no, she is making a call on his behalf to Hef. You know, Hugh Hefner. All his close friends, Playmates, and recappers he's never heard of get to call him Hef. Corey wants her to invite Hef and his girls to the wedding. I know when I was a little girl dreaming of the wedding I would have one day, I envisioned my handsome husband to be and I, desperately in love, standing with our family and friends. Surrounded by people who love us and wish us well, with whom we want to share one of the happiest days of our lives as we begin our marriage. I also thought the day wouldn't be complete without a soft-core porn mogul neither of us have ever met and a bevy of nameless silicone-enhanced women in his entourage. I'm all misty just thinking back of lost childhood dreams. Give me a moment to compose myself.

Suzi is back and they are discussing the wedding plans. Or possibly footage from the same visit we saw before - the editing is kind of choppy here. Corey laments the ups and downs of being a celebrity and planning a wedding. Must I teach you all of life's lessons? Show of hands from everyone who has ever even talked about getting married. Has anyone in the history of humankind been able to manage this without ups and downs and compromise and some level of stress? Sure it's exciting and if you are truly in love you are all schmoopy but I have never heard of even the simplest of wedding plans being stress free. There is a reason there are no relaxation retreats where you go off and plan a wedding to unwind. He is freaked out as her ring is at the house and she forgot to bring it to him. Bad Suzi! He asks her if she is going to get a ring for him and she says that just for the ceremony she thought she would ask his grandfather if they could use his band. "But I want the ring you give me to be the ring I will wear forever." And I never thought I would say this but this would have been better if he whined it rather than the chastising admonishing tone he used. She asks him what he wants her to do and he says, "My ring - I have to have it to get married." Okay, he has nitpicked and criticized everything she has done on her own in regards to the wedding even though he has been shown to give her precious little help, and don't you think being the prima donna that he is he would be very selective about a ring he will wear "forever" and she was just trying to do something sweet and sentimental using his grandpa's ring until they can choose something together he will like? The body language between these two is remarkably stilted and cold. If I didn't know they actually went through with it, I would still be yelling, "run, Suzi, RUN!" at my screen.

Anyone want to take bets on "forever"?

He asks her if she has talked to anyone in his family and she says she has, his grandpa and his sister. He is upset that's all she has done and she says she is doing her best and no one has called her. He tells her that he told them she was going to get in touch with them and is clearly annoyed she isn't on top of all his tasks like a good assistant should be. I am more courteous when addressing my cat after he has thrown up in the hallway than he is when speaking to the woman he is to marry. And why hasn't he called his own family? Clearly he knows how to use the phone and no one in the house wants to speak to him, so he must have lots of free time. What must her parents be thinking as they watch this? Were it my daughter I would be making plans to have her kidnapped and deprogrammed. He wonders if they should be doing this and he points out he can still get out of it, and she tells him she could change her mind too and he looks like that never occurred to him, like he is more worried about his agreement with the producers to do this than his plans with her.

Just as I am debating whether I should find a blunt instrument to beat myself about the head or jimmy-rig a makeshift vodka I.V. to numb the pain of watching this conversation, thankfully someone in the editing room remembers there are six other people in the house. In stunning contrast to the misery fest between Corey and Suzi, the rest of the house is heading to the hot tub. Brande calls out for Vince and Gabrielle and, "Manny get your shorts on," which has to be in the running for most unintentionally funny line of the season; they all play in the hot tub. Frolic, frolic, splash, splash and the obligatory shots of Brande bending forward and Jerri leaning back in their bikinis. As I sit back to relax and watch some playful and wacky hijinks, the scene is over far too soon...

Back to Corey... please make this stop. It's like being at the dentist and it hurts but the Novocain kicks in and you start to relax just a little bit and are lulled into a false sense of security when BAM the drill hits an errant nerve ending and you want to jump out of your chair, kill the dentist, then yourself. That's what it is like watching Corey Feldman.

"It could be a terrible tragedy" he tells us, because he doesn't have a tux yet nor does he know what it will look like. Let's address these thoughts separately, shall we? It cannot be a terrible tragedy. Tragedy is a word reserved for things like dying of cancer, the Holocaust, slavery, children living in abject poverty, famine, things of that ilk involving suffering. Those are tragedies. I think the word you are looking for is t-r-a-v-e-s-t-y and yes, it most certainly will be that. Now about his tux. I didn't know why he is worried, he could go to the local formal wear store and ask to see something in the junior men's department, how hard can he be to fit? Unlike a woman choosing a gown, men's formal wear tends to be limited in style so just pick one appropriate for early afternoon and rent it. But then I see the previews and realize we have different working definitions of the word "tux." If this were an S.A.T. question it would be, "Tuxedos are to pirate costumes like monkeys are to lawnmowers."

Vince opines that he is a three-time loser at marriage and so he knows there is no way to do this in three days and make it sincere. I know Hammer is the preacher but can I get an amen anyway?

After that all too brief respite of hearing from Vince, it's back to the Corey and Suzi show and he is haranguing her about the guest list. The people she invited aren't his friends. She says he can't get mad at her for this (oh, I agree with her, but I think he will anyway) and she needed him and he didn't help. If the guy possessed even a modicum of self-awareness anywhere in his soul he might have regretted blowing her off when she was on the phone begging for his input and he was tired and wanted to get off the phone and play videogames. Corey says they don't usually fight (show of hands, who thinks that's because she usually just lets him have his way on everything? Me too.) and this gives him pause. Sometimes one has pause for good reason.

Gabrielle says the wedding is a cover for Corey to deflect from the pain of what's happening in the group. He lives in trauma and that is from where he functions most of the time. If there were a truth screamer award for this episode, she would have just won it.

Hammer doesn't know if there will be a wedding. Unfortunately, we do.

More blessed frolicking in the pool. Unfortunately, it's just a background shot to create contrast for more Corey. Editors? I am begging you to make this stop.

Tense moments make Corey ponder and he wants the positives of this experience to outweigh the negatives. It does for him but he wants to know if it does for everyone else. Why? Just let them frolic and play... please don't make them talk to you again.

Hammer says it is time for Corey to stand up and be real. I think that will take more time than we have. There is only one episode left.

And that wraps up the Corey plot for the week. I need to lie down with a cool cloth over my head and regroup.

Hammer can't figure out the washing machine and asks Gabrielle to help him. At first I thought, five kids and the man can't work a washing machine? Has he never helped his poor wife? But then she finds out the machine is kind of broken and needs to rest. Perhaps like Corey it was worn out playing softball or needs to prepare for a wedding. My apologies to Hammer for assuming he wouldn't toss in a load of clothes once in a while.

Next week - the final episode and the wedding of the century? No. Wedding of the year? No. Well, it will be the wedding of the evening assuming no one else I have ever heard of gets married that day.

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Anyone want to take bets on "forever"?

Having read Coreography - and then wandering over to do a bit of google -

Yup - Corey and Susie and D.I.V.O.R.C.E. d (my apologies to Donna Fargo but that song sort of coincides with the break up of my parents marriage and therefore is part of the mental jukebox and I cannot help myself).

and to brand myself unamerican - I hate baseball/softball. 


Vince opines that he is a three-time loser at marriage and so he knows there is no way to do this in three days and make it sincere. I know Hammer is the preacher but can I get an amen anyway?

AMEN!!!! (but dang you now a song by Halestorm is in my head but that might be a blessing since it wiped out Donna Fargo)

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Yeah forever wasn't really...but since I've been divorced myself no room to judge.

i watched the Two Coreys on A&E some years back and she seems as insufferable as he was.  

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