Episode 7 (1/5): A Bloomin’ and a Wiltin’
After a three week hiatus, I Hate My Job returned for the penultimate episode. Sometimes life is humbling. This is a lesson that is hard for some to learn. It’s especially hard for those who have always been successful. For instance, it’s not an easy lesson for a Harvard educated attorney. Any guesses as to where this is going?
The episode opens with a glimpse at part of last week’s Judgment Ceremony that we didn’t see. Josh R. tells us that Jersey Josh was as tenacious as ever. Oh, big word from the Magic 8 Ball. Jerry was impressed that Art really liked being around motors and wasn’t afraid to ask questions. Tomiko continued to be impressed by Frank and gave him a thumbs up.
Art thought it was fair that everyone received a prize. He thought everyone performed well. Art enjoys spending his $750 credit at The Harley Store, stocking up on biker duds. Jersey also got a lot out of his prize. He got to see Josh R. in action at his Monday Metal show. Josh R. gives him some grief asking Jersey if he was getting all his pearls of wisdom or if he was looking at the girls. I’ll give you three guesses and the last two don’t count. Jersey is inspired and comes away with the idea of finding a club of his own that has a dead night (that’s not dead as in Grateful) and turning it into something like Josh R.’s metal night.
Jim goes to meet with Lee Horowitz from UTA, a Hollywood Talent Agency. Lee explains to him that the big money for stand up comics is in taking their point of view and turning it into a television show. Jim once again appears less than grateful for his prize. He tells Lee that he doesn’t think he’s there yet and generally displays a snotty attitude. Smart move, Jim.
Frank, on the other hand, seems to be really appreciative of his prize of a photo shoot at the Studios of Matthew Mitchell. Frank lets us know that Matthew gave him some pointers. We also see Tomiko busting some model moves. Frank voices over that every day he’s learning something new, but he knows he still has a lot to learn.
On With the Show
The Rev and Stephanie come to the house to hand out the second to last challenges. The Rev ominously tells them that they are nearing the end of their journeys and that he will now be very exacting in his judgments. He also lets them in on a “unique twist.” This week, if any of the guys fail their challenge, all four of them will have to participate in the penalty. If all four succeed, they will receive a group prize. This makes the stakes high for everyone including Frank and Jim who have yet to receive a penalty. We don’t get to see what the guys challenges are yet. Al’s ever decreasing screen time temporarily ends when he says he’ll see the guys in the judgment room.
Jim feels like all the guys are in it together, and they all have to succeed. I suspect our friend, Fore Shadow is back in the house. Frank says that we all live together or we all die together.
Frank’s challenge is to do a professional photo shoot with “top men’s designer” Ryan Roberts and be worthy to have the work displayed on Ryan’s website. Frank is smart enough to do research on the internet before his challenge to learn what he can about Ryan ahead of time. The day before his challenge Frank shows up to be fitted. He arrives with his own wardrobe and takes out his diamond stud earrings before going in. Frank meets with Ryan who seems duly impressed that Frank has researched his style. When Frank is being measured for the clothes while wearing a tank top and pants, it is obvious how much weight he has lost. In one word, Frank looks fine. Ryan tells us that what he looks for in a model is someone to complement the clothing; someone with a sense of confidence about himself. Ryan was pleased that he got a sense of where Frank was at and that he could wear the clothes pretty much right off the rack. Frank is also pleased to learn that he fits into the sample sizes pretty easily. He realizes this is huge in the modeling industry. Ryan lets us know that his next question is how Frank will be in front of the camera.
Art’s challenge is to redesign and upgrade a bike. This is to be his own design and vision. Jerry tells us that Art will have a budget of $3000 and five hours the first day and ten hours the second day. Art smokes a stogie while doing research the night before the first day of his challenge so that he’ll know what he wants to buy.
Josh’s challenge is to meet with a celebrity client, plan a party, and carry it out. He is determined to be prepared with exact and precise questions for the client. Unfortunately for Josh, “the client” turns out to be Diane and Elaine aka The Coors Light Twins. The sight of the two of them turns Jersey into a babbling idiot incapable of keeping a thought other than “hawt” in his brain. The Twins want Josh to throw a surprise birthday party for their friend “Kelly G.” They give Jersey a whole lot of instructions, most of them delivered in stereo, including a chocolate dessert and two fine men, like tall dark and handsome, one with balloons and one with roses greeting their friend at the door.
Frank, who apparently witnessed Josh’s meeting with the Twins gives his own evaluation. Frank notes that Josh just sat there and said yes to everything. Frank opines that if it had been him he would have told the Twins that he would get back to them in the morning with information about what is possible.
Josh doesn’t bother to count the $2000 the Twins hand over for the party. He does, however, remember to negotiate his fee up front. I guess he did learn from the last time he planned a party. After some wrangling, Jersey and the Twins agree on a 15 percent fee. The love struck Josh opens a beer and gets to work trying to book a restaurant once the Twins leave. We see Josh making calls and articulating in his usual fashion. For instance, he asks one restaurant hostess if the restaurant serves “such entrees as like salmon.” Josh has no luck locating a seafood restaurant in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica that can accommodate a last minute party of 15. We fade out as a disgusted and frustrated Josh flops down on his bed.
Jim’s challenge is to do two 15 minute sets of different material. Jim goes to Barry’s office to seek advice. Barry tells him that his challenge is unbelievably difficult for someone his level. Barry tries to get through to Jim the need to adapt his material to his particular audience. Sometimes, switching a few words to appeal to the lowest or highest common denominator is the best way to go. Jim says to Barry that he’s not nervous and knows he can do it. When Jim gets home, he tries out some new material including a routine about the fact that men think about sex every seventeen seconds on Frank and Josh. Afterwards, he confesses to us that he knows the material is funny and that he’s going to perform it well. What’s that in the corner? Why I believe it’s the giant elephant of foreshadowing.
I See My Time Is Up
On the first actual day of the challenge, Art goes shopping for parts to customize the stock Harley-Davidson Sportster 2004. Art sees his challenge as customizing the bike in a way that will increase its value and allow it to eventually be sold for a profit. The theme Art has chosen is blacked out, silver and/or chrome. Because of the time limitations of the challenge, Art can’t do some of the things he would like to. After his shopping expedition, he returns to The Chop Shop with some chrome covers. Because he wants them black, he sands and then spray paints them.
Frank heads back to Ryan Roberts studio for the photo shoot. He doesn’t like the fact that this is a group challenge. He decides that his main focus has to be making sure he shines. When Frank arrives at the studio, Ryan and Tomiko are waiting for him along with photographer, Charles Bush. Tomiko tells us that Frank needs to step up his modeling skills for this challenge. Ryan’s clothes are more refined and classic than what he has modeled so far. The shoot seems to start out well with Charles offering praise.
We cut to Jim on his way to his first performance. Jim is sure he can figure out how to succeed as he goes. When he arrives at the club, he seems a little thrown that it is in South Central LA which as Jim informs us is not the most upscale of neighborhoods. Given that Jim has been in LA for a few years, and he was obviously given the address to drive to the club, I’m having a hard time believing he is as shocked as he pretends. He gives a defeatist shrug and says, “It is what it is.” When Jim gets inside the club, he discovers that he is the only non-African-American in the place. He quickly tries to develop a few new lines before he is introduces by the comic who preceded him. I’d tell you about the other comic’s jokes but all we hear is a lot of bleeps. Jim starts out with a few funny bits including one about how he feels like Phil Jackson delivering a speech at half time. We then cut to a confessional where Jim admits he hates to censor himself. He also tells us that about three or four minutes into his routine, he realized he was out of his BET Comic View material. He reverts to his old stuff and quickly starts to lose the audience.
We cut back to Frank. He says something about trying to make a statement and sell a product and a whole big bowl of soup. I have a sudden craving for soup. Charles calls Ryan over to look at some of the shots. Apparently, they like them because they use words like thrilled and pleased. Ryan seems very happy with how the shoot went and how Frank displayed the clothes. Charles adds his own affirmation, saying “I certainly think he could make a great model, he just needs a little more time and training.” Everyone claps as the shoot wraps up.
Jim is still on stage getting heckled left and right. Jim decides to break out the race card; never a good idea for a white guy. He tells us that he thought that was one of the times he was the funniest. I wince. He finally gets desperate enough to ask how long he’s been on stage. He gets the not too surprising reply of “Too long.” He tries to put a positive spin on the experience by saying “It’s much better to be hated than to just be mediocre.” Jim is sure no one in the audience will ever forget him. I guess he subscribes to the motto of there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Time is a Relative Thing
Josh is on his way to pick up the cake, flowers, and balloons he ordered the night before for the party. Jersey is pleased with the cake. He comes out of the flower shop clutching both the flowers and the balloons which he is somewhat ineffectually trying to put in the trunk of his car. Sure enough, as soon as Jersey announces that the balloons are not flying away, we see a mylar balloon drifting off in the sky. Josh then tells us he has the whole sequence of events lined up. A limo will pick up the girls and bring them to the restaurant where they will be greeted by the requested male escorts who will take the birthday girl to the table. At this point, I’m wondering if Josh literally means “escorts.” Josh then says every thing is great, “We just don’t have a restaurant-tay.” I think Josh needs to reexamine his definition of great.
Art is down to his last twelve hours. He has added new mirrors to the bike. He decides to add the gas tank next to test the turning radius of the handle bars. This turned out to be a good idea because the bars are hitting the tank. This is a snag Art hadn’t anticipated.
Josh is finally successful in finding a restaurant. We hear a female voice on the other end of the phone saying 8:45 for 15 is perfect. Well, maybe not that perfect. When Josh shows up at the restaurant which appears to be at the Santa Monica pier, the manager tells him that the best I can do is 9:45. An understandably upset Josh says I had a reservation set in stone for 8:45. The manager then tells him it looks like I have you down for 9:15 right now and gives a shrug and says we are busy. Make up your mind lady. It’s too bad so few people watch this show and see what a loser the restaurant manager is. We see her show Josh a table and tell him that “When you ask for the best, I try to give you the best; that’s the best.” Apparently, she has no qualms, however, about ignoring reservation times. A frustrated Josh states in a confessional, “Give me an inch. I’m not trying to take a yard.”
Art has ten hours left. He thinks this is going to be just enough time to finish tricking out the bike. Art is feeling a little pressed and knows that if anything goes wrong, he’s screwed.
Next, we return to an increasingly sour, bitter, and pouting Jim. He tells us that, “I get the point. Standup comedy is hard, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go to a hostile environment every time. You can do some fun shows too.” Jim’s second 15 minute show is at Mixed Nuts Comedy Club. The audience appears to be mostly Latino. Gary Valentine from The King of Queens is there, and the Rev and Stephanie show up before Jim’s time on stage begins. Jim makes the mistake of trying to tell Catholic jokes and a joke about Joseph’s manhood. Ouch. He admits in a confessional that he tried to make the jokes Latin-oriented and that was a mistake. He ended up trying to make up jokes on his feet. Most of those jokes were greeted by silence. A dejected Jim talks to Gary Valentine outside the club. Gary shows he has a compassionate side, telling Jim that people started to lose interest and were talking to each other. Gary’s advice is to find a way to get the audience’s attention and “find the funny.” After Gary leaves, Jim tells us that he doesn’t feel good. The night was tough, and he just wasn’t ready for it. He walks away from the camera and around the corner with slumped shoulders.
It’s time for the party for Kelly G. Josh explains that the Twins were a little agitated with the time change, but there was nothing else he could do. He tried everything. Josh has arranged for Frank and some other friend of his named Kwazee(?) to greet the limo with flowers and balloons and escort Kelly G. inside. Josh is stoked because the guys are friends and therefore working for free. Frank tells us that “she wanted some chocolate sexy fashion guy so I figured I was the guy.” How very humble, Frank. Kelly is clearly delighted when she gets out of the limo and so are the Twins.
Art has two hours left. He admits that he learned from his earlier challenge when the engine wouldn’t work. He’s making sure the bike starts now so that he has time to trouble shoot if necessary. He solved his earlier problem with the handlebars hitting the engine by going back to the dealership and getting straight risers to replace the ones he had earlier picked out. We then see Art finishing a ride on the bike and telling Jerry he just needs to clean it up which should take about half an hour, so he’ll be “right on the nuts.”
For some reason, Josh is sitting at the dinner table with the birthday party. He confesses that at no time during the day did he say he’d rather be back teaching preschool children. I’m pretty sure the preschool children would rather he be planning parties too. The Twins once again tell us in a somewhat creepy fashion that Josh went above and beyond by having a present for Kelly. The Twins had forgotten to mention a present at their meeting with him. They give him an A+. Frank is happy that Josh seems to have pulled the party off. He’s hoping for the group reward. Josh attempts to “sum my night up for you in two words, twins.” Umm, Josh, we need to work on your sums. Twins is two people but one word.
Back at the house the next day, Tomiko tells us that Frank has come a long way in his modeling. He’s been very focused and hasn’t seen his family in a long time. As a surprise, Tomiko has arranged to sneak Frank’s family into the house to see him. Frank opens the front door to Kim and the kids. He’s clearly delighted to see them. He hasn’t seen or talked to them in weeks. The two older kids go for a swim in the pool and Frank shows Kim his portfolio. She is clearly impressed with the changes in him. Kim says that Frank has lost a lot of weight and cut his mustache off. She thinks he looks much more like a model than before. Maybe because he’s not wearing coveralls and rubber boots, anymore? By the end of the day, Frank’s emotions overcome him. He tells us that “Family is like gold. I can’t tell you how important family is. I just broke down.” A teary Frank eventually reaffirms his goal and his determination to be the world’s next supermodel.
A Harsh Penalty
The Rev reminds the guys that if any of them failed, all will receive a penalty. Josh is the first in the hot seat. Josh R. tells the Rev that Jersey did great. Kelly G. was ecstatic about her party as were the Twins. Stephanie heaps on the praise saying that she’s started to see a new Josh. He’s changed a lot and deserves a gold star and a thumbs up. Jersey says that he’s learned a lot including that it is very important to get every detail right.
Art and Jerry step up next. Jerry is impressed with Art’s performance. Art had a budget of $3000 but spent less than $1000. Because he spent so little, there is no need to worry about recouping the money in resale. Stephanie, on the other hand, says that although she’s always been impressed with Art’s passion, persistence, and performance, the end result was a little boring. Uh, Stephanie, did you not remember the time constraints? Give the guy a break. Art agrees that there was not as much of him as he would have liked in the end result, but he didn’t think this was the bike to go all out on.
Tomiko tells the Rev that “Mr. Pace is a blossoming flower.” Al asks about his new status as Mr. Pace. Tomiko then reveals to all for the first time that Ryan Roberts is going to use some of Frank’s pictures on his website for his next collection. Whatever Frank said hit the editing room floor.
Jim goes last. Barry delivers the funny but harsh line that “Mr. Greeley is a wilting flower.” Jim gets one of his only laughs of the episode when he says “I’m still a flower. I’m just a dead one.” The Rev and Stephanie lay into Jim. Stephanie tells us that his jokes continue to be off color, off putting and offensive. She also says that the night they saw him perform she saw him scared and worried for the first time. She thought it was a good thing and that he was finally ready to lose his ego. However, she doesn’t feel like he’s there yet. The Rev then asks Jim if he thinks he has a problem with being sensitive to his audience. Jim’s ego doesn’t allow him to say yes. The Rev and Jim then have an exchange where the Rev’s disgust with Jim’s inability to admit the truth is evident. The Rev finishes with him by saying, “You don’t get it. You need to listen!”
Not surprisingly, Art, Josh, and Frank all receive prizes. Jim gets his first penalty. As a result, all of the guys have to clean the house from top to bottom. The Rev will once again catch us on the rebound for the final show where we learn who gets their dream job and who is unemployed. We see the guys cleaning the house. We also learn that the rest of the guys are getting a little tired of living with Jim’s ego. Jim and his ego do step up and clean the bathroom.
The guys go on the road to Vegas to perform their final challenges. Tensions rise and Josh and Frank clash. The Rev has lined up prospective employers for all of the guys. Those employers will decide whether to offer the guys jobs.
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