Boy Meets Boy, 7/29/03: Everyone Wants To Get Lei'd
Fifteen good-looking men all living together in a house. A cheesy ceremony where the main character has to choose who will continue on the show and who won't. An obnoxious host. What's this? Is it time already for The Bachelorette 2? No, it's time for Boy Meets Boy, the new reality dating show on the Bravo network. But, you see, this isn't just any reality dating show. This time around, the main character and the potential suitors are men. Yes, this is a gay reality dating show, and if that wasn't enough of a "twist", there's an even bigger one. What our leading man doesn't know is that the group of potential suitors is made up of gay men and straight men! Personally, I think that "twist" is unnecessary, but I have no doubt that it will make for good TV. As the intro to the show says, "Appearances aren't always what they seem." And what, you may ask, is the prize that is up for grabs? Well, on the show, they say that the prize is a trip to New Zealand. New Zealand? I've always wanted to go to New Zealand! Hey, wait…I wonder if it's too late for me to get on the show…
The show begins, and we find out that all this is taking place in beautiful, sunny Palm Springs, California. The locale is great and all, but I wonder why these dating shows have to have such extravagant settings. The Bachelor/Bachelorette had a mansion. Joe Millionaire had a castle. And now Boy Meets Boy is in Palm Springs. You know, just once, I'd like to see a dating reality show where the contestants have to commute to the set/location for everything and where they weren't staying in the lap of luxury. Oh well, sorry for that mini-rant. Anyway, moving on, we next meet our host for the show, Dani Behr. Now, I don't know who she is, but she looks to me like a cross between Tina Yothers from Family Ties and Amanda, the host of Paradise Hotel. Already, she's on my nerves. She says the expected hellos and how-do-you-dos, and then she introduces a video of the show's leading man, James. We learn that James is 32 and is a Benefits Administrator for a law firm. We also are introduced to Andra, James' best friend (read fag hag) who will have a key role in the show. She will be there to give her opinions and advice to James about the suitors as the show progresses. We see both James and Andra with their friends, and we hear from one of James' friends that since he moved to California, James has really dated only two people (and this friend is one of those two). James tells us that he's shy, terrified of being rejected, and chivalrous. I'm not sure why James is so afraid he'll be rejected. He's an attractive man with a smile for days. Anyway, after the video clip, James walks out and joins Dani. He tells her he's "pretty nervous", and he says, "I do want to fall in love." Well, I don't know that you'll find true love on this show, James, but good luck to you in your quest. Andra comes out next, and she tells Dani, "We will definitely not agree 100%" Well, of course you won't, hon'. You're a straight woman, and James is a gay man. Plus, if y'all did agree all of the time, how interesting of a show would that be? Dani leads James and Andra to the room with the "Wall of Photos", and they get to see the 15 "mates", as they're apparently going to be called on this show (What is this…a commercial for Outback Steakhouse or something?), for the first time. Dani leaves the two of them alone for a few minutes, and James and Andra do a quick once-over of the pictures and give some initial impressions. After about five minutes, Dani comes back into the room and tells James that the moment has arrived…it's time to meet the guys!
We come back from the break, and Dani brings James out to the house's pool area, which is done up Hawaiian-style. Dani places James next to a table with a bunch of leis on it, and, after some brief chitchat, she leaves him on his own to meet the guys one by one. It's a few seconds before the first "mate" comes out (so to speak), and you can tell James is nervous. The first mate out of the door is Franklin. At 23, he's one of the younger suitors, but he tells us, "I know what I want." Next up is Brian H, a 29-year-old "shirtless bartender". I roll my eyes at "shirtless" being included in his occupation title, but, that being said, I'll be anxious to see if he should keep the shirt on or take it off in the future. Anyway, Brian H. tells us that he's got a "competitive attitude". The third man in the group to meet James is Jason. Jason says he's in the military, and I immediately wonder how being on this show is going to affect his career. Hopefully it won't. Jason describes himself as a "catch", but, to be perfectly honest, he doesn't do a thing for me. After Jason goes over to join the others, the background music suddenly changes to something that sounds like it was taken from a porn movie soundtrack. I wonder why, but then Michael walks out, and I understand why. He's got his shirt open, and he's got an air about him (at least to me) that says he thinks he's all that. James picks up on this as well, as he refers to him as "Rico Suavé". Michael is a computer trainer by day, but he moonlights as a "model and weight trainer". Ugh…whatever. After Michael, we meet Jim. Jim is another of the youngest ones there (23), and for some reason, he looks out of place here to me. After Jim, we are introduced to Darren. Darren is rather quiet, so I'm not sure what to make of him at this point. After Darren, we meet Chris, a 23-year-old biologist (yes, a biologist at 23). Chris seems very down-to-earth. He's also the only African-American in the group. After Chris comes Sean, and he looks like he just got out of bed or something. We find out that Chris is an artist, so I guess he can pull that look off. When he goes to meet James, he kisses James' hand and also gives him a CD, explaining that music is a very big part of his life and that the CD might give James a little more insight into who Sean is. Hmm…I don't know if this is cheesy of him to do or not, but it must have made an impression on James, because he seemed to hold on to Sean's hand just a little longer than he did with the others. Now, who can follow that? Well, if you ask Wes, if anyone can follow that, he'd probably tell you that he's the one who can. Wes is another of the younger suitors (24). He's got nice eyes and a nice smile, but he came off as a bit too sure of himself in this episode IMO. Following Wes is Robb, and, when I saw that his name had two b's in it, I immediately thought that it was going to be that idiot from Survivor: Thailand. Thankfully, it wasn't. This Robb walked out wearing a t-shirt that said "For Rent" on it, and I thought to myself, "Hmm…I wonder what he's renting and what his rates are?" In spite of his t-shirt (or maybe it's because of it…heh), Robb seems like a nice enough guy, and I like him at this point in the show. After Robb comes Matt. At 6'5", Matt definitely stands out in the crowd. He says he's ready to be in a relationship and that he knows what he's looking for. Well, what is it Matt…a man or a woman? Next up is Brian A, a 30-year-old chiropractor. He has a bit of a goofy look about him, but he seems nice enough at this point. After Brian A is Marc. At 33 years old (though he looks older than that to me), he's one of the older "mates" there. He says he's "very flirtatious", and to stand out in this crowd, I think he's going to have to be. Next up is Paul, who says he's 23 but looks more like 12. Like Jim before him, Paul looked uncomfortable and out of place to me. Could he be one of the straight guys? The final "mate" for us to meet is Dan, who I've decided to nickname "Captain Ego". As he walks out to meet James, he tells us in his voiceover, "I express and exude a sensuality and sexuality." OK, whatever. You ain't all that, hon'. Then, when he goes over to join the other "mates", he looks back at James and rolls his tongue over his lips. OK, eeuwww. Just eeuwww. Maybe I should change his nickname to "Captain Cheddar" since he's so damn cheesy. Dani comes back out and points out that there's one lei left on the table. She then summons Andra out, and she explains Andra's role in all this to the guys. Then, Dani, James, and Andra go over to mix and mingle with the guys, and we head to a commercial.
When we come back from the commercial break, we see James talking to the guys in smaller groups of five. He asks the first group what kind of music they would listen to if they could only listen to one type for the rest of their lives. Franklin says classical. Jason chooses pop. Brian H goes for vocal house. Jim picks punk music. Michael says he doesn't know what type of music it'd be, but the group Massive Attack is the type of music he'd pick. James isn't familiar with that group, and Michael says, "Oh, I'll have to play them for you sometime." Oh, puhleeze, Rico Suavé. After talking to this group, James says that he particularly liked Franklin and Matthew. Franklin's a good choice, but Matthew?
Before we see James with the next group of five, we get a snippet of Andra with some of the guys asking them what they did last weekend. We then hear both Robb and Wes say in voiceovers that there could be sparks in the house among some of the mates and that some of the guys might end up saying, "James who?" Hmmm…that could be interesting. There's nothing like a cat fight between gay men. Should it come to that point, that is. Also, before we get back to James, we hear Captain Ego tell us that "the only real competition" for him in all of this is Franklin. "The only real competition"? Oh, just get over yourself already.
James now joins the next group of five and asks them, "If you were stranded on a desert island for the rest of your life, what is one thing that you hope would wash up on shore?" Chris says he hopes a helicopter would wash up on shore. Um, yeah…OK. Wes says he would hope for a knife. Darren would like to get a pendant that his uncle gave him on the day he died. Sean says, "The Boss", and I figure out he means some Bruce Springsteen music. Finally, Robb says he would hope a mirror would wash up on shore because, as he says, "If I'm gonna die, I wanna look good!" Now, some may think he was being conceited, but I think he was just trying to be funny. Apparently, the other guys did, too, as the remark got laughs all around.
It is time for James to talk to the final group of five, and James asks them the same desert island question. Brian A hopes his mom would wash up on shore, and Marc says he'd hope for his older sister. Um, is this Boy Meets Boy or some episode of The Jerry Springer Show? Moving on, Paul says he'd hope for a soccer ball, and James points out, "They've already made a movie about that." A bit flustered, Paul tries to point out that he was "only kidding". Matt hopes for a CD player and some CD's. That's actually more than one thing, but I'm not going to quibble over it. Finally, it's time to hear from Captain Ego. What would he like to see wash up on shore? He says, "A person. It could be a man or a woman; it's all about the relationship. I mean, love it the only thing that transcends life." Oh, for the love of God, just go away.
James decides that he wants to have one-on-one conversations with a few of the guys, and he starts with Chris. We learn that Chris only recently came out of the closet to his mom…two weeks ago, to be exact. You've been out to your mom only two weeks, and you're already on a show like this? Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger! Paul sees this whole thing as a "new and interesting experience" and believes that "everyone should find love". Before James can say anything to Dan, Captain Ego himself tells James, "I'm thrilled I'm attracted to you." God, this guy just oozes cheesiness. He also says that "nothing is more important than relationships." Apparently not, since he next reveals that he is in a long-distance relationship with a guy in New York City but that they're both "open to, you know, seeing other people." I would hope that James, who said he wants to find someone to settle down with monogamously, would see this as a huge red flag.
Dani comes and retrieves James and Andra and takes them to the "Decision Room" where she tells James that he must now decide who the three "mates" he will eliminate are going to be. She leaves James and Andra alone for a few minutes, but she comes back before James has apparently made up his mind. Dani leads James away and tells him that it's "time to go break some hearts". As James is walking out, Andra whispers something in his ear. Since she had said earlier in the show that she liked Brian A, maybe she was asking James to get his phone number…
We come back from the commercial, and it's time for THE MOST EXCITING ROSE CEREMONY EVER! Oh, no wait…wrong show. On Boy Meets Boy, James will offer each "mate" he wants to stay a glass of champagne. Now I think he should have offered them little mirrored disco balls or perhaps Barbra Streisand CD's, but I guess glasses of champagne will work. Before James announces his choices, we have to hear from Dan one more time, and Captain Ego says assuredly, "He's not going to cut me." Don't be so sure, my pretty. He did say earlier that he thought your answers were "too perfect", so you never know. Anyway, James gives the typical "You're all great and this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do" speech, and then he announces his choices to stay on the show. Brian H makes the cut. So do Franklin, Marc, and Michael (who pulls James into a hug after getting his glass of champagne…eeeuuww). Quick cut to Dan, who is still looking confident as he sits on the couch. Paul is moving on, and so are Wes, Matt, and Sean. Another shot of Dan, who is starting to look a bit worried. Jim, Darren, and Robb are offered glasses of champagne, and they all accept as well. There's one glass of champagne left, and it's going to go to one of four guys. Who is James' final choice to move on? It's…Dan. Damnit. Captain Ego advances. I would have liked nothing more than to see him get shot down in flames, but it isn't meant to be on this episode.
Once James is done, Dani tells Chris, Brian A, and Jason that they need to get up and leave paradise…forever. Oh, sorry. Wrong show again. Anyway, Dani does tell the three of them that it's time to go, so they get up and say their goodbyes. We then get confessionals from each of them and we find out that Chris and Jason are indeed gay but that Brian A is straight. We then cut back to James and the remaining "mates". James lifts his glass of champagne and offers a toast to "the rest of our adventure". With that, the episode comes to a close.
Hey, Andra…Brian A is straight. Maybe James did get his number for you…
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