Episode One Recap 03/01/04: Forever Blaaaahhh
Welcome to flavor country, my little peeplets. Or flavorless country, as this show seems to utterly blow chunks. I cannot promise a witty and charming recap, I can only promise this recap, which was done with speed, and I might not only be talking velocity here. Oh, and lack of sleep. But lucky for me and perhaps you, I’m in a pool, my little babies. (Side note: I love it when Conan O’Brien says “be cool, my babies”. Why am I telling you this? Because I’m willing to put any random thought that enters my head into this recap. Somewhere in here there might actually be a recipe for coleslaw. Mmmm…coleslaw.) I will be the first FORTer in the writing pool for this show, as each week, different and much more talented and well-rested FORT writers will be taking on this crapfest. I'll be wading with you through episodes one and two. Let’s get crackin’.
The show opens with a sweeping view of some swampy looking islands that are supposed to be tropical and romantic looking, but I still think….yep…swamp. The land is very green and squishy looking, and as I look back at this portion, I would have preferred a Dr. Moreau inspired man-beast to emerge from the wood, perhaps a half-man/half-chipmunk with the head of Don King. It doesn't happen, but it would make it more entertaining to me. Anyhow, I don't know where the hell we are. If they mentioned it....I didn't listen. Sorry dudes. But you're supposed to believe it's Eden, and that Eden means "wetlands". And now I’m rambling. Okay.
We start to see the guests arrive in little canoes as the host, Ruth England, gives us the scoop. (Side note: Ruth has a wicked-cool British accent. It’s been my long-held belief that you should utter everything distasteful with that accent just to make it seem nicer. “You have B.O. Cheerio!”) Anyhow, the scoop: This is the first ever “experimental reality series” and as the phrase rings in my ears, I sense the implanting of a new buzz word into our collective little minds. Apparently, this will be a reality show without an end, where the goal is to stay as long as possible, ten weeks, three months, three years. The longer you stay, the more money you earn.
The completely forgettable cast of characters:
Mary, 25, a former sports club manager from Salt Lake City, UT (Resides in Scottsdale, AZ)
David, 24, a student from Lexington, KY (Resides in Houston, TX)
Shawna, 25, a pro cheerleader from Nashville, TN
Michael, 23, a YMCA program director from Mission, KS
Kassie, 21, a country singer from Nashville, TN
Jordan, 26, a waiter and screenwriter from New York, NY
Khalilah, 23, from Boston, MA
Craig, 28, a fitness model from Scottsdale, AZ
Neveen, 21, a radio DJ from Salem, OR
Matt, 23, a former software salesperson from Brookline, MA (Resides in Hoboken, NJ)
Brooke, 22, an office manager from Mankato, MN
As everyone arrives, they cut to disinteresting clips of the various guests’ take on the experience: Brooke feels anxious, Matt’s a momma’s boy, women love to hate Neveen, Craig believes himself to be utterly fantastic, Shawna feels overwhelmed and hasn’t been away from the family much. You won’t remember any of this.
They all gather on squishy spot numero uno: a kind of mayan temple looking place where Ruth lays out the rules of the “game”. Everyone starts out with a sack of four gold coins, each coin worth 1,000 dollars. The longer you stay, the more cashola you get with noooo limits to the earning potential. If you’re banished? You lose half. If you're a candy-ass and go home voluntarily? *poof* The coins be gone. The show knows everything about them, which it promises to humiliate them with later.
Next up is a dinner scene in which Mary reveals she clearly smokes crack, and a lot of it, by uttering some of the most ignorant things known to bipeds. Apparently when she got there, she said she was utterly shocked with the visual of more black people than she’d ever seen in her blind little days on the planet. She asks Khalilah if it’s offensive to refer to her as a black person. I don’t know how Khalilah does it, but she chooses to state that everyone should be open and honest and then manages not to punch Mary’s teeth down her throat.
The Apple ‘O Doom
Up next is a pool party, and I’m starting to get frightened. I mean…all the people seem to do is freakin’ talk about nothing, but not in the interesting way that Jerry, Elaine, and George do. I wish I could promise you something better. I can’t. This is almost a useless scene, as nothing happens other than some general chit chat by Kassie and Neveen about the men. What did they say? Do you care? Boring crap: Craig’s beefy, Jordan has a lot of body hair, David’s funny and cute. Yeeep.
Soon Ruth shows up to explain the meaning of the apple of eden when the five men are alone together. One by one, people will find the apple in their bed as a sign that they’ll be tested, not knowing if it spells good or evil. Ooooo. *insert dramatic music here* Actually, you don’t need to insert that music, as Fox sticks it in everywhere for you, regardless of it’s relevance. Somebody eating a sandwich? *Dun..dun....dunnnn....*. Pointless.
By breakfast the next morning, the men must vote on which woman they believe is the least desirable, and said woman will receive the apple o’ doom. So who should get the apple? Over a few more pointless and forced scenes where I actually start to wonder if these people are actually actors, the men pinpoint Mary. (But seriously…are they actors? They’re just all so typical and cheesy, I hope they’re actors. God help them if this is who they really are.)
Up next we’re at another outdoorsy scene with no purpose other than to watch them all talk.....some...more. Ugh. Nothing happens on this show!! I want challenges!! Fist fights!! Something! But we get none of that. In the yard, Mary takes another hit off her crack pipe and asks Michael why his toes are sooo black, and if they’re supposed to be that way. She asks for forgiveness for being so ignorant, and I can’t do it. Out of ear shot, Jordan asks Michael if that was a racist comment, and Michael says, “duh…yeah”. Well he just says yes, but I’m thinking “duh…yeah.”
Yada yada bing bang
Here it is. Another pointless scene. Forcing drama that just isn’t there. I can’t believe you’ve stuck with me this long. Just for that, here’s that coleslaw recipe:
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 In a large bowl, combine shredded cabbage and carrot.
2 In a large empty mayonnaise jar, add the 2 cups
mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and dry onion flakes. Shake well until blended.
3 Pour dressing mixture over cabbage and carrots and toss
well. Chill and serve.
Anyhow, back to the riveting adventure. Basically Jordan overhears two of the women calling him shorty, and confronts Ereka about it. She asks him what his big freakin’ deal is, as it just means she likes him. Yeah…that’s how you let him know you’re interested. Why don’t you follow it up with something about his excessive body hair so that he can really feel the love?
The men talk a little more about how Mary’s an idiot and a racist, until Craig decides to visit her out of the goodness of his heart just to “see if she’s okay.” He pops up in her room and asks her how she’s doing, and clues her in to how she’s perceived by the group, i.e. she doesn’t fit in, but he thinks she’s hot.
Okay, this show is chatty, super chatty, and this isn’t a transcript service, and honest to God if you want a transcript of the most boring conversations ever, Lord help you. So here’s the scoop:
The girls: everyone is really cool, Mary’s a wacko.
Other various people: Mary’s a racist chunk muffin.
Most guy’s response (except Matt): she sure is a chunk muffin but I’d do her.
Matt’s response: I don’t give a ratt’s ass what people think. I want her gone. Oh...and I'd do her (well he didn't say the last part, but let's just assume, shall we?)
The next morning the men have a miniscule debate over who to pick, and we all know Mary’s ass is up for grabs…I mean….to get the eden apple. Matt seals the deal by saying he isn’t keeping her ass around just because she has fake yabbos. I think I like Matt. Well actually I don’t really care about any of these people, but so far he says the most interesting things.
Tree mail…er..I mean…apple delivery
It’s morning, and we get 500 different zoom angles on the green apple sitting on Mary’s bed. Oh, they don’t actually let us know it’s Mary’s bed at this point, but…..we do. They try to make it surprising by giving us a security-cam type view of the room of the “victim”, focusing on the door as if we’re just on the edge of our little sofas waiting to see someone other than Mary walk through the door. We don’t. She and her red hat emerge seconds later.
The phone rings almost as soon as Mary enters her room, and it’s host Ruth on a video phone. Ruth says that Mary has just received the eden apple, and that, “Mary….*undramatic pause*….this time….*more pausing*….the apple brings you…*pause*…..*echoing*…...evil….evil…evil.” A burst of lightning fills the sky, thunder roars, and when the smoke clears there’s a dead body on the grounds. Okay, not really, but that would just really jazz up this scene. Instead Mary is told that everyone must meet at the banishment temple at 9 p.m. that evening. Mary lays down on her bed and frowns as Ruth’s voice echo’s overhead, “evil…evil…evil.” It’s so insanely cheesy that I think maybe I'm smoking crack. But I’m not. At least not right then.
Shawna joins Mary in her room and consoles her, while the men talk about Mary getting the apple. Matt says he can’t stand her, and David says it’s like looking at a blank piece of paper with big fake boobs. Wow. I’ve never seen paper like that before, but whatever. Matt tells the guys that if anyone is looking for him later, he’ll be in the wood shop making a huge ass boat to ship Mary’s ass home.
The Chunk Muffin Holds the Power
After a quick group dinner where Matt actually sings to console Mary, the group meets again in the Mayan-ruin-looking banishment temple. Ruth explains that the only constant in Eden is the cycle of arrivals and banishments, and very soon they will learn who will be the first to be banished. She asks Mary to step forward and then tells her that the reason she has received the apple of “evil..evil…evil” (echo) is because…*pause*…..the men have voted her the least desirable woman in Eden. She starts to weep a little.
Ruth then tells the men that they must reveal which woman they voted for and why, and one by one the men all say Mary, with a varying list of reasons: Jordan says it’s because Mary wasn’t into partying, Michael says it’s because of her thoughtless comments, Matt says he’s disliked her from the get go, and Craig said he based his decision on interaction with the group.
Oh…but we’re not done. Dang. Apparently this is the twist portion of the show. Why do we know this? Well...the music swells ominously of course...not because the "twist" is actually surprising. Apparently for her suffering, Mary gets to decide who will be banished. She will have to pick a man to send home, and meet back up at the temple in 24 hours to reveal her choice. She is not to open the envelope that accompanied the apple until that time.
The rest of the night consists of a sudden massive suck-up towards Mary. Mary ain’t havin’ none of it at first, and as Craig says he wants to be the first to apologize, she pushes his arms out of the way and rushes off to her room. Once there, she tells Shawna that sending someone home is like splitting up a family. Puhhleaase.
As she tells Shawna how awful it feels to stand in front of a large group of people who seem to dislike her, we flash back to footage of the ceremony where every man’s “Mary” is echoed. “I choose…Mary..mary…mary…” It’s really unbelievably lame.
While Shawna mentions that David is aching and broken up about it all, the rest of the men sit in the bar and chat about how they don’t really feel all that bad about their decision. Matt goes so far as to say he’s not going to be doin’ any beggin’ or pleadin’. But he must care somewhat, as we somehow end this episode with shots of him beggin’ and pleadin’.
Next episode: the banishment ceremony, new man meat, a big secret, and more cheese.
Sooooo…anyone still here? Well if this can’t be funny, at least the idea that this show could last for three years is laughable. That's got to be worth somethin'.
They can't all be winners. Send coffee and uppers to Shazzer@fansofrealitytv.com