*Memories….Like the corners of my miiiiind* It seems like just yesterday that we got reacquainted with Jonathan Antin and his band of merry minions and now it’s over. That’s right: this is the season finale. For three seasons we’ve watched Jonathan have hissy fits, go through an alarming amount of tissues, scream and yell profanities and, of course, cut lots of hair…..oh, and talk about himself. A lot. It’s a Jonathan-centic universe, at least for another hour….until they roll out a fourth season of this show. That’s just speculation at this point, but I was right last time, wasn’t I?
The day’s just starting at the Beverly Hills salon. Jonathan’s got his morning coffee (decaf, thank God) and he’s hanging out in the break room with Rosie and some of the stylists (including Jason – yay!). It seems that Jonathan will be returning to his alma mater – the beauty school, not Hollywood High. He says that he’s going to have a pow wow with the students, so he can slam all of the teachers at the beauty school and really tell them what’s what (subtext).
Well now I’m shocked. A client comes into the salon and says that she has an appointment with Michael. Didn’t you all think he got fired? Remember the big hoo-ha last season with the hair color and Michael not being allowed on the plane? Oh, and New York Fashion Week and Michael still being in bed when they were supposed to leave for the show? Yeah, that Michael. Cut to Rosie on the phone calling Michael. He’s not even in the salon. Rosie gets the client settled in a more comfortable chair to wait for Michael to show. The client is visibly pissed off when Rosie tells her that Michael will be even later. She tells Rosie she’ll only wait a little while longer. All around the salon, everyone’s getting their hair cut….except for Michael’s client, who goes to grab a magazine.
Jonathan’s also cutting hair today and chatting up his client at the same time. It seems she has some sort of connection to show biz (big shocker, right?) and to Grey’s Anatomy. Jonathan tells her that his friend was on the show a while back. I’m thinking his friend was an orderly, but no: his friend played McSteamy. Jonathan just gained some points with me there.
While Jonathan’s cutting hair, Rosie comes and tells him that Michael’s client has been waiting for Michael, who has yet to make an appearance (at the salon that day and in this entire season of the show). Jonathan tells Rosie to call Michael and tell him to get to the salon now….the “or else” is implied, but I doubt Michael would understand that.
Hair Stylist: Style Thyself
It’s time for another one of those little moments that makes no sense. Here’s Alyn sitting in front of a mirror and cutting his own hair. I’m thinking they should enlist him to work on Michael’s client, but no one asked me. If Jonathan got so mad at Brandon for washing his hair in the sink, why isn’t he annoyed with Alyn for cutting his own hair in the salon? Whatever.
Finally, Michael makes an appearance. He tells us that he’s worked for Jonathan for 8 years and again, I’m shocked. If he’s acted even half as much like an ass over those 8 years as we’ve seen him act on this show, I can’t believe Jonathan hasn’t fired him. He wanders into the salon, cell phone in his ear. Rosie tells him his client is here and he seems surprised, like he didn’t expect her to still be there. He tells Rosie he’s only a little bit late. Jonathan fumes from his station.
So are you ready for Michael’s excuse for being late? Get this: he was getting a massage. Seriously. He tells Jonathan that he really needed one because he’s been feeling under the weather. Jonathan just shakes his head. He tells Michael not to leave: he wants to talk to him. *cue ominous sounding music*
Knucklehead Hair Stylist
Michael finishes up with his client’s hair – probably hours after she arrived. She tells him that she will be breaking up with someone later and wants to look sexy. I’m sure that guy was pleased that everyone now knows about his getting dumped. She tells us that even though Michael was super late, the hair cut makes it worth it.
It’s time for the talk with Jonathan and Michael and I really really want to see him get the axe. Jonathan asks Michael what his deal is with being late. Michael, of course, doesn’t know…because Michael doesn’t seem to know very much in general. Jonathan says that he is always late and we get lots of flashbacks of the various times over the first two seasons when Michael screwed up. It doesn’t matter how good a stylist he is: he needs to be on time.
Clueless Michael says he can try to be on time, but he can’t guarantee anything. Jonathan just shakes his head in disbelief and so do I. Does this guy realize how close he is to getting fired? Michael tells us that he’s been late to everything his whole life and he’ll be late again. He tells Jonathan that he’s late because….well, consult the title of the recap. Jonathan shakes his head some more and so do I? I’m shaking my head because, if I was Michael's boss, he would be fantastically fired.
Then we find out why Jonathan probably hasn’t fired Michael. Apparently, Michael is like Jonathan’s Mini Me. Michael is just like Jonathan when he first started out. Maybe his ego won’t allow him to fire himself.
Shake Your Head, Darling
This morning, Jonathan’s on his way to the West Hollywood salon. He’s got some clients in the morning and then he’s going to be casting a commercial for Jonathan Product. He tells us that he’s sure the commercial people will have their own ideas about how the commercial should be, but he’s going to tell them what’s what. He runs photo shoots and he’s not a photographer, so why not commercial shoots?
At the West Hollywood salon, Jonathan meets with the people for the casting. They’re looking for four girls to be in the commercial. Adam, who is from a company called Thread, tells Jonathan that he’ll choose his favorite four, the group from Thread will pick their four and then they’ll see if any of the choices overlap. He then says that their decision will trump Jonathan’s. Oh honey, how could you not know….. Jonathan tells him that he will be doing their hair so he should have the last word.
Then starts the hair casting call. Jonathan touches hair and mulls over his choices. One girl commits the cardinal sin of having roots. Adam tells us that he knows Jonathan is going to be difficult and will try to run the shoot. They’ll have to let him think he has more control than he really does. Okay, I have to side with Jonathan here. It’s his product and his butt on the line and he’s the one who will be working on the hair: he should get to have the last word. After they’ve seen all of the girls, the discussion starts about who they want for the commercial. Everyone is pressing Jonathan for a decision, but he wants to mull it over.
Always Late But….
It’s time to shoot the Jonathan Product commercial already. So, I guess the decisions about the models weren’t so tough after all. Rob Lee (Jonathan’s manager) tells us that the commercial will be seen on Jonathan’s website, in salons, probably in Sephora….basically where no one will ever see it.
First up, we meet Scott, who will be the director of the commercial shoot. Scott looks sort of like Peter Jackson Lite. We find out that, not only will they be doing a 30 second commercial, they will be creating a 9 minute video from the footage as well. All in one day. With Jonathan. Oh boy. Adam tells us that the key element for the shoot is light and they only get about 10 hours of it. Of course Jonathan is late and Adam actually seems surprised.
Cut to Jonathan, still at home. We finally get actually footage (longer than 10 seconds) of Sescie and the baby. Damn, that baby looks just like Jonathan. Jonathan’s in the care en route to the commercial shoot, which is already 45 minutes behind. He squeals like a little girl in the car as we see everyone waiting for him on the set. When Jonathan finally arrives at the set, the tension is palpable. Jonathan is, of course, oblivious because he’s late all the time and never notices how it affects other people. He tells us that he likes Director Scott. Yeah, you might not be saying that in about 7 hours, bud.
The Photo Shoot Runs Jonathan
It’s finally time to get started shooting the commercial! I know I said that before, but this time I mean it. Jonathan admits that he’s really nervous. First up, they film Jonathan shampooing one of the models and I snicker – like he ever really does that. Please. They should have had him standing there talking while an assistant did the shampoo.
Part way through the shoot, we get the second sighting of Sescie and the baby. Jonathan tells us that seeing them was just what he needed. Clearly, he needs a stress reliever because after every take, he’s got ten people giving him direction on what he needs to do. I’d be annoyed too. Soon enough, all the input is starting clog up the gears and Jonathan starts flubbing his lines. A lot. It’s sort of like when he was filming those promos for QVC last season.
With five hours of sunlight left, everyone presses on with the commercial shoot. Because the shoot is already 90 minutes behind schedule, everyone wants to speed things up. Appropriately, we get the super-fast montage of all the various set-ups and models and moments of Jonathan yakking at the camera.
With two hours of daylight left, Jonathan starts acting like Jonathan (i.e. a megalomaniacal control freak) and asks if he can see one of the takes. Director Scott tells him that would take too long and no matter how much Jonathan tries to talk him into it, the director keeps telling him “no.” Jonathan continues to tell them that he needs to see footage. No dice. By the end of the day, Jon’s fried and flubbing his lines left and right. To the relief of everyone, including me, the shoot is finally over. Of course, Jonathan isn’t happy. He paid a huge amount of money for this commercial and he still hasn’t seen even a second of footage. He cautions, “It better be good.”
Next up, Jonathan’s slumming in his old hood: i.e. returning to his beauty school to rub his success in the faces of all the instructors. The first person he meets at the door is a former classmate, who is now an instructor at the school. She walks Jonathan in and then introduces him to the students.
Jonathan proceeds to regale the students with stories about his crazy days as a student beautician (sorry, couldn’t resist). The students laugh in the appropriate spots and ask him some questions too. The secrets to Jonathan’s success? Doing perfect hair, knowing his comb and scissors and passing out boatloads of business cards. He humbly says that he’s the best hair dresser in the universe. When asked what he looks for in an assistant, Jonathan replies, “Willingness.” Willingness to do every little disgusting, humiliating thing he asks you to do. He finishes up by taking pictures with some of the students and signing some autographs.
Now it’s time for a little edumacation. As all of the students work on their doll heads/models/victims, Jonathan makes the rounds, giving tips and instructing the students on proper technique. Soon enough, it’s time for a tour of the school, which is, apparently, much larger than it was when he was a student. He reminisces over his old locker and his many temper tantrums. Good times. Jonathan then visits the freshman classroom. He tells us how hard he worked to get where he is. It was a warm and fuzzy, ego boosting moment for him.
Hey, remember that client Jonathan had last week? The one with the short hair who started talking about getting her eggs frozen? Yeah, she’s got a show on Bravo (get this) called Work Out. Her name is Jackie Warner and she’s a celebrity trainer. I assume the “celebrity” part is referring to her, as it does with Jonathan. Gotta love Bravo and those cross-promotional appearances. So subtle. I mention this because they just now showed a commercial for her show. At least they didn't run it last week, right after the segment of her sitting in Jonathan's chair.
It’s morning at the West Hollywood salon and Jonathan’s first client is a senator. She’s from Minnesota, so Jonathan rolls out his Fargo-esque Minnesota accent for us. Please let him not try this out on her. Actually, this will be interesting, since most senators I know of, have a hairstyle resembling a shellacked football helmet. Jonathan's clearly stoked to get a senator as a client.
The full story is that she’s a state senator from Minnesota and her husband sent her out to LA for her 40th birthday to get her hair done by Jonathan. I’d prefer diamonds, but whatever. Jonathan starts in with a round of jokes about the government and how exclusive his chair is: now only presidents and senators can sit in it. They mostly fall flat, with her and with me. In the end, she’s happy with the hair and doesn’t even blink at the price for her cut and color.
Jonathan adjourns to the office upstairs to call Adam from Thread, or as the call it thread with the little registered trademark symbol after it. *rolls eyes* Could this company be any more tragically hip? Adam tells him that the commercial will be great and Jonathan wants him to come to LA and show it to him.
It’s Just Never Enough
It’s time for a meeting with Team Jonathan and Jonathan tells us that he has a surprise for everyone. While Jonathan is in LA, the rest of the Jonathan Product team is headquartered on the east coast. He tells us he’s always glad to have everyone in town so they can all get on the same page….that would be whatever page Jonathan is on.
Everyone’s sitting around the table at the restaurant and “Jonathan talks about opening new salons: New York, Miami, London. Rosie looks like she’s going to have a heart attack. At home, I look like I’m going to have a heart attack at the thought of recapping this show for another season. Come on, you know that’s where this is headed. He then says that, while he likes the name “Jonathan Salon,” he really likes “Jonathan Product Salon and Spa” even better. Beth Ann’s mouth drops open. She quickly covers and says that she loves the idea. All of the JP team validates his craziness. Everyone reminisces about the battles with Zorbit Scott (“It’s a bowl of rocks!”) and Jonathan’s journey this season: Sundance. Fashion Week. Tanking on QVC. Everyone kisses his ass and tells him what a genius visionary he is. They must get paid a lot of money.
Now for the big surprise: they’re going to screen the commercial for everyone. Again, the surprise is all about Jonathan. The little get together turns into a party for more of the Jonathan Salon family, including his parents, whose hair could use some work. Jonathan gets up and thanks everyone for coming and then introduces Adam from thread®.
The commercial tape rolls and everyone claps and cheers. They all sit around watching this video of Jonathan talking about hair….sort of like the entire season of this show. Sescie tells us the commercial was great. Sescie finally got to speak again! Asher looks wholly unimpressed. Jonathan tells us that this helps ensure that his son will have a good life.
One More Sob-fest for the Road
We came so close to making it out of this season without another visit to Doric George, Wonder Shrink. *sigh* Be strong, my friends. We can get through this. Together. Jonathan pays tribute to all the little people who put up with his crap (<----paraphrasing) and then, in another improbable leap, compares himself to Hurricane Katrina. Now he’s not even an Oscar winning actor or a genius painter: he’s a force of nature. Throughout this whole scene, we get lots of flashback footage from the season. It's like a greatest hits of his peons kind of a thing.
Jonathan tells Dr. Dork that he’s not feeling as much anxiety now because he has people he trusts and he has the long-suffering Sescie. Jonathan says that he feels like it’s starting to feel like “enough” now, but he still doesn’t want to stop. But I do.
Keep watching for the new Jonathan Product tranquilizers! Critical@fansofrealitytv.com