A Walk on the Wild Side: MMF Recap the Carlsons
Tonight we got the rare pleasure of getting to meet the Carlsons, and they are hands down the winner of the "most bizarre parents" of the first season of Meet My Folks. With a name like Carlson I was expecting some stoic Scandinavian types like the people in Minnesota, and boy was I shocked. My neighbors the Ole and Lars cause traffic jams at four way stops because no-one will go first. There is some truly odd behavior by the parents on the season finale that push the every moving boundaries of taste in reality tv programming. We're not in Minnesota anymore, Toto!
Meet the victims, I mean guys.
First there is JD, a 25 year old day trader who plays in a band and brought along his guitar. With the way the stock market has been lately it's a darn good thing JD has that "conservative" career with his rock-n-roll band. Interesting beard on this guy, but he seemed sweet enough to me. Parents' first impression: "Talkative salesman type, like Dad" says Mom. He seems pretty nervous, which gives me some hope that he is a decent guy.
Next guy is Bobby Silva, a bouncer who grew up in Hawaii. I can only assume that he pointed that out within seconds of meeting the parents to assure then that he'd be a good tour guide if he got the chance to take their daughter to Hawaii. First impression: PLAYER! Good thing we're calling him Bobby because we wouldn't want him to get confused with Dad, whose name is Bob. Oh, there is very little chance we'll mix them up, as Dad is rather conservative looking and Bobby has a peculiar spiky frosted hairdo. Also, maybe it's a California thing, but he didn't seem nearly big and strong enough to be a professional bouncer. Those Scandinavians can get pretty riled up after a night on the town, Oof Da!
Last guy is GianCarlo, and he is easy on the eyes and charming. Oh, did I mention he's a mortgage broker, so even though he's the youngest guy he's the only one with a grown up job. He looks like a dream date. Because he looks like he stepped right off the cover of GQ magazine I think I'll call him GC to avoid misspelling his name dozens of times during this recap. Parents' first impression, Mom thinks he's "pretty honest" plus she likes that he's Italian because she is too.
The Dirt on the Guys
JD stands up women nearly every weekend. He denies that, said it has happened twice because he had to work and was scheduled at the last minute. While that is plausible as a musician, it's no excuse for not calling to cancel a date. He also snowboarded naked in Vail, getting him banned for life from Colorado resorts. JD is pretty smooth and explained that it was because his girlfriend had dumped him and he wanted to try to get her to take him back. He is quite the spin doctor with this revelation and comes off very convincingly.
Bobby slept with 4 different women one weekend on a cruise to win a contest. He has also "bounced" men out of the bar that he works at just to hit on their girlfriends. He tries to talk his way out of it, but he's no GianCarlo or JD and it sounds totally fake. Just like the beer ads where they show the difference between the "smooth" delivery of bad news (such as: I want you to pick me up from the airport at 2 am, or I'm going to the hockey game with the guys so you should just sit home and wait for me) vs. "not smooth". Bobby is not smooth and comes off as a serious womanizer. Oh, that is so original for this show, who could have guessed that? [sarcasm]
GC is so cheap, he complains about food to get a free meal and always uses coupons when he takes a girl to the movies. He's so cheap, in fact, that one time he "made out" with a 65 year old woman to get her to pay for dinner. Oh my heck, that is pretty hilarious stuff, but GianCarlo laughs it off and we suddenly forgive him, as he is rather charming, and that old lady probably got her thrills for the whole week kissing that hunk for the price of his dinner. He adds, she tasted like a peanut. What? Oh well. From the look on GC's face, I'm guessing peanut is not his favorite flavor. Later we'll find out how GC's picky tastes get him in trouble on the show.
The guys are given embarrassing tasks to perform during dinner and they fail miserably. GC proves himself the smartest guy so far and he makes absolutely no attempt to wipe mom's shirt in the chest area twice. Bobby makes one lame attempt to dump food on Dad's plate and gets a major smackdown. Bob doesn't like broccoli! Now Krissy loves broccoli. But just like the elder President Bush, nobody is going to make Bob eat broccoli! JD, poor foolish JD, your "secret" is not worth dumping ice into Dad's wine, getting yelled at, and then, trying it again. D'oh, you can see the steam rising off Dad's forehead, yet JD keeps trying to accomplish his nearly impossible feat. In the first display of truly strange parental behavior, Dad completely over-reacts and throws his wine all over JD like a woman scorned. It looked like something out of a Cary Grant movie. Get a grip Dad, it's just your wine. I'm sure JD's shirt will have a permanent red wine stain, but given his occupation it will be hardly noticeable in the smoky bars where he plays guitar for a living, or while he's sitting on his computer in his bedroom watching his stocks bottom out once again.
Mom is Clearly Mental
Now for more bizarre parenting, the giant leap over the line of decency. As a brief recap of the parents we've meet this season, Dad Blankenship tested the guys with football drills, prison guard Dad Atnip took the guys fishing, Repo-Dad Reeves had the guys heaving hay bales and riding mechanical bulls, and Major Payne Dad Alexander used his drill sergeant skills on the guys. The lucky Figgs have a son, so they just giggled at the prospect of their son being the center of attention of so many women all weekend. In a bold move, the DeCastros tested the guys' parenting materials by ditching their two toddlers with the guys at 5 in the morning. The Carlsons took the parenting test one step farther and more intrusive by shipping the guys off to a fertility clinic for a semen analysis.
The guys were duly horrified, as was the audience at Mom Carlson's audacity. The guys would be well advised at this point to run for the hills to get the hell away from the Creepy Carlsons, no matter how cute perky Krissy looks. A little LG insight, on the very first evening that I met my (now) mother-in-law she pointed out a number of babies that we saw in the restaurant and mentioned how she wanted to have grandchildren and soon. She went on to tell me that my hips looked good for childrearing. Heed my warning guys, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! You do not want a mother-in-law like that. JD bounced off the walls uncontrollably, running in and out of his "room" requesting different porn tapes and critiquing the clinic's porn selection. Bobby commented on JD's tantrum as it was distracting Bobby from the enjoyment of his porn in his room. I rewound the tape several time to watch the end of this segment, as it looked to me like JD's cup was empty but GianCarlo's was definitely full, so I'm wondering if JD outright refused to participate. The guys in this episode were too in shock to react, but if anyone reading this ever goes on a show, talk to the other contestants and follow Nancy Reagan's advice: "Just say no!" Producing a biological sample should be off limits for reality tv contestants. Yuck. Mom, I wish I'd never known you.
Lunch with the Exes
Lunch with the Ex-girlfriends is a pleasant break for these guys after their stressful morning. GC throws tantrums like a kindergartener and wants women to be "barefoot and pregnant and get me a beer" but as we see later on their date, this doesn't sound too bad for Krissy. JD is "super-vain" and was grounded in his room by a pimple for days. JD also decorates his room with self-affirming post-it notes that say "You're the Best." I had to smile as that sounds like something someone rather insecure would do, as no cocky person would have to write notes. JD could be the next Stewart Smalley: "You're good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you." Bobby has no such foibles, and instead just cheated on his girlfriend with someone who was in high school (7 years younger than Bobby). Oh, just more womanizing, it's ok as long as you're not embarrassed about acne or anything like that.
The Dates with Krissy
As if I needed any more reasons to dislike Bobby the Playa, they showed snippets of his date and he used the adjective "awesome" at least 6 times during the 1 hour date. Is anyone else reading this old enough to remember when Lionel Ritchie hosted the Grammy awards ceremony and used the word "outrageous!" to describe every single event? Obviously Bobby is a big Lionel Ritchie fan from way back and was doing an homage to the "outrageous" awards ceremony, either that or he's rather dull and has a very limited vocabulary. Krissy was duly bored by Bobby's show of mock enthusiasm.
Krissy went rollerblading with GC and had a good time. She thought that (unlike Bobby) GianCarlo was easy to talk to. Krissy thought he could have been bullshitting her, but admitted that even if he was she was buying it. They talked about families and whether she'd want to work or stay home with kids, and GC's "dirty secret" from the ex-girlfriend about liking women to stay home with children didn't sounds like a negative for Krissy.
Krissy and JD stole a page from the Charlie Brown playbook and went to fly kites. They seemed to have a good time, , and actually had enough wind to keep them aloft (probably because the huge volume of JD's nervous chatter provided ample hot air). Krissy was laughing and had a good time. They fed each other strawberries dipped in chocolate, and Krissy was a brat and smeared chocolate on JD's nose. Personally, I hate it when people intentionally smear food on other people. I think it is incredibly rude and immature. I hate it with brides and grooms with wedding cake and wanted to give Krissy the appropriate smack-down last night while watching the episode, but given her parents as behavior role models, I guess we should cut the girl some slack and hope that JD doesn't develop a pimple on his nose that would prevent him from being able to hit the beach if he goes to Hawaii with Krissy. At least he wasn't doused with wine during this date.
Videotapes of Dirty Little Secrets
JD house-sits for a rich old lady and pretends that her huge house is his when trying to impress dates. We get a video tour of Bobby's extensive porn collection of videos and magazines all over his room. Bobby's response, "well, that's not where they really are in my room." Bobby's clearly upset now, but he not concerned about being exposed as a porn-hound, he's worried that the film crew is messing up his well-organized collection, or, God forbid, they might swipe something and his complete set of the Naughty Nurses series might get broken up. GC's friend states that blonde, blue-eyed California girls are not really GianCarlo's type, and that he treats them more like a casual fling. In response, GC admits that he prefers brunettes and proceeds to dig himself into a hole that even this smooth talking Italian Stallion can't dig himself out of. But due to more silly parenting, he is never asked the REAL question: "Are you attracted to Krissy?" Duh parents, that's a little more important than what he prefers if he were ordering a woman out of a catalogue. Another ad, this time for the car when the people on the phone with the factory can't decide which color to order their new car in "I like red, no black, no red" start the assembly line up again, as we're ordering a woman for GC. Mature adults will often make exceptions to their normal preferences based on individual people, just as Cali and I would both break our general "no blondes" rule if we could land Kiefer Sutherland.
More silly parenting by the Carlsons as they proceed to make another bonehead move and ditch attractive, successful and polite GianCarlo in favor of porn addict Bobby and the career-impaired JD. Krissy cries and then pulls her parents over for a "serious" conversation lobbying for JD over Bobby. I have NO ATTRACTION for Bobby. Krissy, Krissy, your foolish parents have obviously not taught you the art of lobbying. It's not about what YOU want, it's about what THEY don't want. All you need to say is "I'm afraid to go to Hawaii with Bobby because he's a porn addict who has sex all the time and I'm afraid he'll drag me to some seedy sex shop on Maui." No parents, not even the batty Carlsons, would send their daughter on a trip with someone that their daughter is afraid of, come on Krissy, use some common sense. Maybe she did and it got edited out, but I doubt it because we got to see lots of tape of her whining and pouting about what she wants and how she likes to get what she wants (how profound, who doesn't?). Ciao GianCarlo, we're glad to see you are safely clear of the loony Carlson parents.
Lie Detector Tests
JD – Would you give up alcohol for the week in Hawaii? Yes – lie
Do you think Dad over-reacted in tossing his wine on you? No – OK
* really, JD must be the only person who doesn't think Dad was completely over the top.
Has Mom bored you? Yes – OK
Did you think the fertility test was inappropriate – NO – LIE (stand up for yourself, JD!)
Would you consider a long-term relationship with our daughter – yes – LIE
Will you try to sleep with her in Hawaii – no – LIE
Bobby – are you afraid of Dad? Yes – OK
Can you be in a monogamous relationship – YES – OK (maybe he really thinks he can even though it doesn't sound like he's ever been in one)
Have you slept with over 50 women – no – LIE
Can you go more than a week without using porn – no – OK
If Krissy asked, would you give up porn – no – OK (an unabashed porn addict)
Would you break up with Krissy if she didn't sleep with you within 1 month – no – LIE
Ok Mom and Dad Carlson, you have the cocky porn obsessed womanizer Bobby who has bagged more women than Wilt Chamberlain and the self-conscious JD who is embarrassed to tell you his real first name, doesn't think Dad over-reacted by drenching him in Blue Nun and can't admit that he thought the fertility test was inappropriate. Krissy, get you bags, you're going to Hawaii with JD in the most rational move yet by the Carlsons, who are nuttier than a fruitcake. It is a most fitting season finale for a show that cheesier than a cheesecake.