Welcome to the premiere episode of Blow Out 2, everyone! Settle in with your curling irons and your hair paste – here we go! For those of you who are new to Blow Out: this show is all about oh-so humble and self-proclaimed “celebrity stylist” Jonathan Antin. When he says “celebrity stylist,” you may think he means that he is a stylist who works with celebrities. The truth is that Jonathan is the star of this show and all the rest are just people who get to live in Jonathan’s World – he is the celebrity…..oh and he’s also a stylist. Don’t worry about getting to know all of the supporting characters on this show because they are just that: supporting characters. The only one who matters here is Jonathan.
We start off with a little recap of last season: lots of construction on the new Beverly Hills salon, Brandon flashing clients and basically being an idiot and Jonathan giving his version of the “I have a dream” speech at the opening of the new salon. Cut to Jonathan cruising around town talking about his life since the new salon opened. He says that business is now booming, although he has had to say goodbye to a few people. We knew about Brandon, but also absent this time around are pink-haired Jenn and Alicia, the stylist who we never saw do anything but wander around and whine a lot. Jonathan is now splitting his time between his two salons – the original salon in West Hollywood and the newer salon in Beverly Hills. Somewhere in the midst of his self-congratulatory speech, he manages to compare himself to DeNiro in Raging Bull, which seems like a bit of a reach to me, but in Jonathan’s World, it probably makes sense.
Coming up this season on Blow Out, we will see that Jonathan has become much more involved in doing fashion shows and fashion shoots. He will be helping his sister launch a production of “Pussycat Dolls” in Las Vegas and he is launching a multi-million dollar product line: Jonathan Product. Seriously, if he’s spending millions, maybe he could spend more than $1.50 on that name, doncha think?
Mouseketeer Roll Call
We get a quick intro to some of the members of the Jonathan team:
Annie and Rosie manage the Beverly Hills and West Hollywood salons, respectively. Jonathan calls them his “Angels” and says that he is like Charlie, only he has more tattoos and better hair.
Alyn is Jonathan’s workhorse and a big money maker. He is also flying back and forth between two cities, as we will see a bit later.
Jason is still one of the top stylists and is still bicoastal, flying back and forth from NY to LA.
Kiara has had a baby, which Jonathan thinks has made her a better hairdresser. Kiara is the “fun, edgy” stylist. She’s the type of person whose hair has to make a statement. All Kiara’s hair says to me is “I love Christmas!”
Kimberly, Jonathan’s assistant last season, is now a stylist in her own right, although she’s not bringing in clients the way she should.
We also meet a few new faces:
Kevin, who Jonathan says is one of the three busiest stylists he has. He says that Kevin is a “grinder.” I’m not sure, but I guess this is meant as a compliment. Isn’t a “grinder” what they call the burgers at White Castle? Never mind…. that’s a Slider. Whatever. For the record, "grinder" is not something I ever want anyone to call me.
Kelly, who looks just like Barbie…. if Barbie had really bad roots and silicone implants. In the little clip featuring Kelly, we see Pete Rose sitting at her station having his hair done. I, for one, am curious about why he actually pays someone money for that haircut. I suspect it has less to do with the “style” than with Kelly’s er… assets because, frankly, I could do Pete’s hair myself with an electric carving knife.
One of the focuses of the show this season will be the development of the Jonathan Product styling line. If it’s a success, Jonathan says it could make him bigger than Vidal Sassoon. Is this really a lofty goal? Seems to me, Paul Mitchell would be a better goal because, really, when is the last time anyone heard from Vidal? The last time I remember Vidal Sassoon, I was lying on my bed trying to zip up a pair of his jeans so I could go to an eighth grade dance. Jonathan says that they are on a serious deadline to get the product line launched and, if it doesn’t happen within the next 2 months, Jonathan may lose his shirt. After seeing shots of Jonathan shirtless, I have to ask: Why is that a bad thing?
“I am what I do. I’m hair.”
In the Beverly Hills salon, Jonathan is doing a consultation for the Golden Globes on someone called Alia Shawkat (my response is “Who?”). He tells us that she is on Arrested Development. FYI: She’s the girl who plays Portia DeRossi’s daughter. Like all sixteen year-old girls going to their first big event, Alia wants an “up do.” Jonathan tries to talk her out of it and tells us that he pictured more “babe hair” for her, not a bun. After some persuading and mention of her being the envy of every teen girl in Middle America, she agrees and he does her hair down with a little Veronica Lake vibe. Just as an aside – I watched the Golden Globes this year and didn’t see her at all. Anyone else? Nice try Jonathan, but I don’t think anyone in the Midwest saw her either.
Across the salon, we see Alyn working on a client and talking about how he really wants to get more into freelance work and that he is still flying back to Chicago every month to service clients there. He made the move to L.A. to get into celebrity styling and it’s just not happening. Seriously, this couldn’t happen any better is they were editing this thing….
Meanwhile, Jonathan gets a call from Kristen Bell’s (Veronica Mars) people. It seems Kristen also wants Jonathan to do her hair on Sunday for the Golden Globes. What’s a boy to do? While Jonathan is trying to figure out what to do, Alia announces that she wants her hair done up. Jonathan quickly formulates a plan. Since Alyn, who wants to develop more freelance work, does great up do’s, Jonathan can foist Alia off on Alyn and save Kristen for himself. Problem solved right? Not so fast…. Once Alia’s people find out about the plan, Alia decides that she does, in fact, want her hair done the way Jonathan did it and wants only Jonathan to do it. In the meantime, Alyn, who was supposed to be in Chicago on Sunday, has changed his flight and canceled all of his appointments. Hollywood is a cruel cruel place, Alyn.
“I’m not vain. I’m just …vain”
If you watched last season, you know that one of the main complaints many of the stylists had was a lack of assistants to shampoo and blow dry the clients. Now we meet the two assistants. First is Edward, who we don’t learn too much about – he’s cute and blond and he tells us that his mother never left the house without her hair being perfect and well… that rubbed off on him. Then there’s Scott, who Edward says is so flamboyant he’s making gay people look bad. Edward then asks us: “Would you want to have your hair shampooed by, Liberace?” Um, no. Mainly ‘cause I wouldn’t want all those rings getting caught in my hair and then also because, like, I think Liberace’s dead.
We also see that Jonathan has a new assistant. I’m wondering what happened to Elizabeth. Remember the big fat hairy deal they made out of Kimberly finding her replacement last season? Apparently, it wasn’t such a big fat hairy deal to replace Elizabeth. She doesn’t even merit a mention, so we’re left wondering what the hell happened to her. Anyway, Jonathan’s new assistant, Clarissa, looks a bit like Kimberly. Edward observes that she is just like all of Jonathan’s assistants – cute and sweet and completely devoid of a backbone or any self esteem (okay, I added that last bit).
Back in the car, we’re treated to more of Jonathan’s rambling on about himself…. You know the drill: money, property, prestige, finance, romance blah blah blah. Beautiful women surround him all the time. I’m sure we’re all sympathizing with him and his difficult life. He makes a point of telling us that he keeps it professional with his clients and he never wants to make a female client (have we ever seen him cut a man’s hair?) uncomfortable by flirting with her. In the next scene, we then see him sort of flirting with a client – because a little flirting isn’t bad - and then setting up a golf date with her. So, I guess the whole no flirting thing isn't so much a rule as a guideline.
Jonathan is throwing a party for all of the stylists and support staff for both salons. This is something he says he does a few times each year just to show that he’s down with the little people who make his life possible. He makes a huge point of reminding everyone in the salon about his party that night ad nauseum. He then gets a call from Beth Ann and Tina, two of the executives in charge of developing Jonathan Product. They tell him he needs to get on the red eye and fly to Baltimore that night. It doesn’t really sound that urgent to me. I was hoping they'd scream “It’s a hair emergency!” I guess it’s sounds important enough and, in a switch from what Jonathan normally does when someone tells him what to do, he says “okay” and adjusts his plans. We see him make a quick appearance at his party with his girlfriend, Sescie, and then he leaves for the airport. I’m sitting there thinking two things 1) He has a girlfriend? Didn’t he just make a date with that client? Apparently, this is an open relationship and, 2) What is UP with these names? Sescie?
I Love The Smell Of Jonathan Product In The Morning
Jonathan is in Baltimore meeting with the people in charge of developing his new product line. He says, once again, “It’s all about great hair” and “I’m just a hair stylist.” Uh huh. We are told that normally, it takes about 24 months to get a product to market. This line is going to have to be finished in three to four months in order for all of us to see his dream on TV, because as we all know, if it doesn't happen on TV, it doesn't really matter. Jonathan tells us that his product line will be 100% vegan, sulfate free, no animal testing, carb free, no saturated fats…..and he will approve every product. He wants the best products in the world but the short deadline is a problem. As the development people sit around watching Jonathan slather various products on his hands, we see a confessional with Tina, who tells us that Jonathan doesn’t understand how short this deadline is and that she really needs him to focus. Cut to Jonathan playing with his hair net and talking about Snoop Dogg. Oh yeah, this is going to be a piece of cake. Jonathan tells them all that he won’t put his name on the product if he hasn’t approved it. He leaves Baltimore and we aren’t sure if anything productive got done or not.
What I Really Want to do is Direct Traffic
Back in L.A., shampoo boy Scott is chatting up a client while her head is comfortably hanging back in the shampoo sink. Scott apparently has aspirations…. I’m not sure what they are because every other word out of his mouth is “like” and the other word is “awesome,” but I’m sure he has, like, a really awesome future and stuff.
Meanwhile, Alyn is still ticked off about losing the opportunity to do Golden Globes hair for the kid on Arrested Development. He's had to rearrange his Chicago appointments again, as well as his California ones - it's all a big mess. How sad is it that his big break into the world of “showbiz hair styling” would’ve been putting a 16-year old’s hair in a bun?
Jonathan is back in his car. He tells us that he hasn’t seen his shrink in 2 weeks and that he needs to straighten his s--- out. To emphasize this, he honks his horn at someone (as if honking his horn is a first step on the road to blowing up the entire salon in a fit of rage). He arrives at his doctor’s office and after he greets her, the door closes and I for a second think, “Thank God we don’t have to sit through that crap.” Wrong. There we are watching Jonathan bare his soul. Only not really. Either she is a really bad psychiatrist or Jonathan didn’t want to spill in front of the cameras. We get a lot of “I’m afraid…. My product line… I want a family but I’m scared I don’t know how to have a family…. It’s hard (I’m assuming those last two comments aren’t somehow related)… I’m in the line of fire.” Seriously. Every cliché in the book. The shrink just sits there and nods. No wonder he hasn’t worked any of this out yet.
Since Jonathan will have to do two heads for the Golden Globes and he hasn't had to do finger waves in a long time, he decides he needs to brush up on his technique. At home, Jonathan pulls out the old practice model, who he calls “Gloria,” and gets to work making sure he can actually do a finger wave. His girlfriend comes in to watch him. They apparently have no TV in the house. Even the dog looks bored.
Making The World A Better Place, One Pin Curl At A Time
It’s Golden Globe day and Jonathan is doing Alia’s hair first. He’s about halfway through straightening her hair when in walk two people who are, apparently, jewelers. They want her to pick the jewelry she’s going to wear to the awards. There she is lolling her head all over the place, looking at jewelry, trying on rings, all while he’s trying to pin curl her hair. Finally Jonathan puts his foot down and tells them to get out. Remember – celebrity stylist people. Someone needs to remind Jonathan that no one ever got a Golden Globe for Best Finger Wave. Right around that time, Kristen Bell’s people call. They are sitting in front of the Beverly Hills salon waiting for Jonathan. He finally finishes Alia’s hair and she proclaims it to be exactly what she wanted…. I thought she wanted an up do before?
Jonathan pulls up to the Beverly Hills salon an hour late. Here comes Kristen Bell looking adorable and not at all annoyed at having to wait. Once they get inside though, we find that she hadn’t tried on her dress until that day and it’s too big. She then closes herself into the changing room to deal with dress issues, leaving Jonathan standing in the salon waiting. Jonathan is annoyed at having to wait just like he made her wait (A little passive-aggressive action from KB? Makes you wonder). He tells us that he now has 45 minutes to do a 2-hour hairdo. It all turns out fine though and Kristen changes into her dress (which now fits perfectly). Jonathan proclaims her a “bunny rabbit,” which in J-speak means “hottie.” You know, he may have a rule about flirting with clients while they’re in the chair, but he sure does let it fly with the comments, doesn’t he?
As the episode ends, Jonathan reflects on his crazy life. He turns off the lights of the salon and walks off into the sunset musing about how this was just another day in the life of a hairstylist.
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