Welcome back everyone for another season of Meet My Folks, the series where young people compete for vacations and the parents choose the date for their child. Cali and I will be sharing recapping duties again this season as NBC has blessed us with 3 episodes within a 6 day period. It's a whirlwind of dating hijinx, so buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Meet and Greet
Lets meet the Maloneys. We have Jim and Julie, known hereafter as Dad and Mom, normal seeming parents in ever aspect, including Mom's over-inflated opinion of her son's good looks. Of course he's gorgeous Mom, he looks like a combination of you and the man you love. I'm a mother myself, I can identify, but please, Dan is not that great of a prize. And then we have Dan, a 23 year old college student *cough, five year plan, cough* whose criteria in selecting dates are women who like to party, have a slim waist, and curvy booty and boobs. Let's remember that: Dan's Holy Grail of Datedom = Party, Skinny, and Booty. I can picture Dora and Boots dancing around to that little trio of words right now.
The Gang of Eight. Good grief, NBC is not giving us internet recappers any sort of break this season, introducing 8 single women over a course of less than 5 minutes with absolutely no information about any of the ladies on the official NBC site. Armed with my VCR I stop and start to the following first impressions:
Melissa is a 22 year old political science major (read: pre-law or jonesing for a young Kennedy cousin) who likes tall guys with dark hair and dark eyes (ie, people who look like Dan, how fortunate). Melissa is already showing her political correctness by having every hair color known to man on her head simultaneously, as if to show her support for a follicle rainbow coalition. She's also trained her boobs to stand up and salute upon entering the house, how respectful. I wonder how she knew there would be a flag in the yard. In a bit of ironic foreshadowing, the editors have inserted comments from Mom about how some of the women seem shallow, not much to talk to. Yes, we can tell that Mom was a regular viewer last season.
Jackie opted for a dress that didn't involve serving her tits on a tray for Mom and Dad to survey upon first meeting them. With long dark hair, Jackie is quite pretty. I don't have much here, sorry Jackie, I was too busy writing notes about Melissa during your brief introduction. Mom commented that she looked classy. Could it be more ironic foreshadowing? Since when did Mark Burnett take over editing this show? Misdirection or not, we must muddle on.
Lisa is stick person thin. She is a customer service representative and model who is nervous about meeting Mom and Dad. Maybe her nervousness is due to some of the items she's selected to pack for her week with the Maloneys. Dad notes her apprehension and then notices the roller skates attached to her luggage and wonders why anyone would bring that on a date. Maybe Dan can loosen her up later in the hot tub.
Stefanie, not to be confused with Stephanie or anyone who uses the traditional spelling of the name is not to be confused with anyone else on the show. She is very "assertive" and is a student of psychology who brags that she is very manipulative. She's a pageant girl who ate Lisa's self-confidence for breakfast and then went on to eggs benedict with a side of bacon. Stefanie claims to be 3 steps ahead of everyone else, but I snickered that description best fits Stefanie's relative position in line at the buffet. Stefanie is by no means overweight, but compared to the rest of the extremely thin people on that show she does stand out both by her excess of confidence and her "safety layer" as we like to describe them in Minnesota, which will serve Stefanie well should she ever be stranded in an Alaskan blizzard during the filming of some other reality dating show. Dan would likely say that she is "phat" but I'm not sure if he realizes the correct spelling of her name.
Tawny is a waitress who wore tight jeans and a tighter shirt to meet Mom and Dad, and not a whole lot of undergarments. Tawny likes "open-minded men" which appears to be more foreshadowing for next week, as I'm speculating that breakfast with the exes will involve an ex-girlfriend. Tawny has as many piercings as a pin cushion, but her nipple studs must be at the cleaners because they were not visible despite the "cold air" during the introductions. Good call Mom, rush Tawny inside to warm her up before somebody accidentally gouges an eye on one of those things. Dad was wondering if maybe Tawny could stand in the drafty entryway as they were in need of a new coat-rack.
Shannon is too immature to be on this show. I have no clue why there are 20 year olds on a show which features drinking and divulging secrets, but I think it is ill advised. What Shannon lacks in age and common sense she makes up for in ego as she proclaims herself "cute, spunky, and I have a better personality than most other people." Um, Shannon, I think you forgot to add "modest" to you list of endearing traits.
Hillary is a PR manager whose winning strategy is to focus more on the parents than on Dan or the other ladies. Does she work for the same public relations group that brought us New Coke, yeast infection medication ads and green catsup? Maybe she's in charge of the Verizon "can you hear me now" ads, which does not involve a bad idea in concept, it's just the execution which makes you want to kill their spokesperson on sight. You heard me, cell phone pitch man, there is a contract out on you, so don't even think about filming one of those annoying ads in the Midwest.
Chelsea is my favorite. I'm going to be hypocritical and say that I like Chelsea the best even though I think at age 20 she really shouldn't be put in this position (where she could potentially incriminate herself for underage consumption laws or risk alienation by the group if they all partake of the fruits of the vine). Chelsea is from Hawaii, is very poised, and she has a double major in psychology and global studies, so she can tell Stefanie to go manipulate someone else anywhere in the world. Chelsea had broken down the strategy into three camps: 1.) focus on Dan, 2.) focus on Mom and Dad, or 3.) make the other girls look bad. Chelsea choose number 1 and starts right away to size up our man of the next 3 hours. Hillary is attempting number 2 and immediately commenced sucking up to the parents. No-one needs to try number 3, as these ladies will look plenty bad just from the dirt their friends and families have shared with the producers.
I am not a Potted Plant!
The ladies are escorted into the house where they meet and mingle, see some old pictures of Dan as a scrawny kid, and then get to check out their new Brady Bunch digs where they have placed 4 bunk beds in a room attached to one bathroom for 8 women who will all be on tv. I'm having Big Brother d้jเ vu, and hope against hope that there is no hidden mirror in the medicine cabinet as I do not care to see these ladies popping their pimples. As would anyone in this situation, the ladies dish about Dan and his family and the prospect of winning a trip to Europe with Dan. But little do they know that Melissa is actually *gasp* a "MOLE", as she's described on the show. Being a non-ABC show, I was wondering why they would give another reality tv show, Celebrity Mole: Hawaii an unpaid pitch, though it is not nearly as direct as Kim Coles' "I'm Mole-licious" ads.
I thought perhaps it would be better to refer to her as a "Plant" by the producers, and then my mind wandered towards, if Melissa were a plant, what type of a plant would she be? A tiger lily, perhaps, given the stripes in that girl's hair? Robert Plant had quite the hairdo' back in his days with Led Zepplin, but Melissa is not climbing any stairways in those shoes. And my favorite plant of all was Oliver North's attorney, Brennan O'Sullivan who proclaimed "I am not a potted plant!" when ordered by Senator Inoye to stop advising North during his televised testimony of the Iran-Contra Hearings. O'Sullivan's point was that he was a lawyer and there to advise his client and didn't need to be quiet. Inoye's point was that he seemed to have many 10 minutes conferences following key questions which all resulted in Ollie finally stating for the record "I cannot recall." Funny how a 10 minute chat with your lawyer confirms that you don't remember. Anyway, long aside about a plant story that only the FORT Fogies will remember.
Back to Melissa the Plant. She's been keeping notes on the ladies' comments and busts Jackie for saying Dan was a geek, Hillary for saying Dan was scrawny and that she could probably "take him" (which isn't necessarily an insult), and Lisa for not wanting to go, but in all fairness to Lisa, I think she was misquoted as she did have a point about not knowing Dan at all at that time. The funniest Plant Revelation was Melissa's comment that Shannon said that Dan would turn into a "big, fat, ugly old guy" which clearly offended Mom, and Shannon's brilliant rebuttal in which she stated, "ok, I said fat balding guy" to make sure that Dad would be equally offended as he had escaped Shannon's sharp tongue in Melissa's rendition of that moment. D'oh, Shannon, now you're batting 1000 with insulting Mom and Dad. Time to shut up and hear some dirty little secrets. Note for those keeping score, because Melissa was a plant and not a contestant, we are down to 7 ladies. For those wondering if the ladies should sue the show because they didn't know Melissa was a plant, I'm sure the NBC contract has plenty of disclosures to cover it, but I haven't ruled out Melissa's ability to sustain an action against her hairstylist for letting her go on national tv with that many highlights.
First Batch of Secrets and a Swift Kick out the Door
Ding-dong, the doorbell rings. Is it Avon calling, they're running short on foundation and are wondering if Stefanie has any to spare? Brittany Spears calling, wondering if Tawny would please return her shirt, and no, we don't care if you're back together with Justin or not. No, it's a package of notes that Dad opens to reveal the first bunch of "bad facts" about the ladies vying for a week-long trip to Europe with his son. Jackie has so many notches in her lipstick case that color leaks all over her purse, and was once "down and dirty" with 7 guys during a 3 day cruise. Stefanie sabotaged another beauty contestant by taking one of her shoes. Being "three steps ahead" of the other contestant, Stefanie didn't win either as the beauty contest judges just didn't buy that stiletto pump as a fashion accessory to Stefanie's outfit. Tawny tries to explain that she got her tongue pierced because she likes how it looks. Dan tries to picture how it would look while glancing down on top of Tawny's head. Shannon's secret psycho is revealed: she and a friend got hacking software and read her former boyfriend's private emails. Lisa claimed no knowledge of getting a bunch of Japanese tourists drunk sounds like someone inadvertently submitted the plot of a Seinfeld episode as Lisa not only doesn't drink, she doesn't associate with Japanese people. Chelsea was dating two guys at one time. Hillary made out with her guidance counselor. These are not things that parents would want to hear about potential dates for their kids. I think attitude was the key factor, as Hillary did not seem to have an outrageous offense but was given the early exit by Mom and Dad when she claimed there was nothing wrong with slipping your school counselor a little tongue. For 10 minutes. On your second day at school. There must have been something that we missed in the exchanges between Hillary and the Maloneys as she didn't appear to be as obvious of a choice for first woman out. Our merry group has dwindled to six.
Talent Show and Dinner Disparity
The remaining contestants now compete in a talent show for the opportunity to impress Mom and Dad so that they can be in the group invited inside for a nice pasta dinner instead of stuck out on the patio eating hot dogs. Lisa reveals that she has no real talent and decided to reenact Heather Graham's role of Roller Girl from the movie Boogie Nights. She dons teal spandex hot pants and old-fashioned roller skates (think Tootie from The Facts of Life rather than in-line Rollerblades) and seductively blows bubbles at the audience. I don't think that Mom and Dad have seen Boogie Nights, and if they did Mom was much more interested in what was in Dirk Diggler's pants than whatever Roller Girl had to offer, as they had no comprehension of why Lisa was acting like such a slutty ditz. Somewhere, somehow, Mark Wahlberg is crying, but more likely due to the fact his boy band brother Donny is now on the hit series Boomtown while he's hoping for a sequel to The Perfect Storm, not realizing his character was dead at that end of that movie. Just kidding, I like Marky Mark even without his Funky Bunch, but Lisa's performance was more Burt Reynolds than Heather Graham and it did not impress Mom and Dad. Or at least Dad wouldn't admit to being impressed by it, as she has no curves. Think long car trip across Iowa, no turns, no inclines, nothing interesting on the radio, and nothing to see for miles and miles but cornfields. So sorry, you've just re-experienced Lisa's roller skate dance of seduction.
Chelsea did a traditional Hawaiian hula dance, and I know this is authentic because I have the DVD of Lilo and Stitch and we've watched the "how to hula" extra feature. Luckily little Lilo did not eye up the audience in the manner that Chelsea was making her presence known to Dan. All Chelsea needed was a little Elvis crooning in the background, but she already had the parents in her back pocket, or rather, hem of her pocketless grass skirt. Not to be outdone by Hawaiian dancer Chelsea, Tawny turned into Las Vegas' Ziegfried and Roy (or was she Penn and Teller) and did a series of lame magic tricks which included hiding a card up her shirt included having mom pick a card from a bag and showing everyone that she (Tawny) had already painted that cards likeness on her belly. Gee, Tawny, could we get a look at the other cards in the bag please? Tawny's grand finale was demonstrating how she can fit her whole fist in her mouth. No-one I know even has close to that girth, so it really doesnt matter honey. I guess the albino tigers didn't fit into her luggage.
Shannon proved to be one tough cookie with martial arts training and she split boards with her hands and feet. Tune in later to see the cookie crumble. Stefanie is a fast pitch softball player and shattered a number of watermelons and knocked over towers of cans while showing off her arm. I couldn't help but wonder if that is the same talent she showcases while on the pageant circuit, as I've never heard of anyone tossing a softball while sporting a tiara. Jackie had a more traditional talent and played a Beethoven piece on the piano. While more impressive than most of the other talents, it was clearly not a hard piece of music for a trained pianist. Perhaps as an encore she played Chopsticks, Heart and Soul, or Hot Crossed Buns.
Jackie, Stefanie and Chelsea were selected by Mom and Dad to eat dinner inside while the other ladies sat on the porch eating lousy hot dogs and soggy fries. That's what you get when your only talent is skating around boobs first I guess.
Hot-tubbing and Dessert Desecration
Now it's time for the speed dates and we get to see just what a cad our "prize" Dan really is. Two at a time they enter the hot tub with Dan, and he's really only interested in who will go the farthest with him in front of another contestant. Somebody has been watching too many episodes of Elimidate and has forgotten that his own parents will be keeping tabs on him tonight. Stefanie is the "winner" in that she started making out with Dan while Shannon was in the hot tub with them, so lucky Stef gets a private date with Dan. Remember Dan's three criteria for selecting women? We think that Stef is a definite party girl and that she certainly has the kicking curves, but I'm not thinking she is the best candidate for "slim waist" in this crew. Meatloaf sang "Two outta three ain't bad" and Dan knows he's got a decent chance of "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" with Stef, so she's his first choice for a private date.
Stef and Dan wander up to the fire pit where they roast s'mores (which is a graham cracker, melted marshmallow and chocolate sandwich for any non-campers in the group). This fire pit is likely where the exiled three had to cook their hotdogs for dinner too, but that was edited out. They start making out and gentleman Dan tells Stef to undo his pants and she takes off his belt. They're rolling around on the ground when Mom and Dad come sprinting out of the house and pull him over tell him to knock it off or they're turning the lawn sprinkler on. Dad was kind enough to point out to Dan that in his fireside mauling he had sat on a s-more and it is now stuck to his butt. I was hoping that Dad would address the s'more and inform it that it was stuck to an ass. Dan promises to "be better" and we're spared any more details of this date.
A Day at the Movies
The next morning Mom and Dad roust the sleeping six and the whole troop heads to the local theatre for a silent movie festival. The film quality of the old Jeckyl and Hyde reel was quite poor and only Chelsea could muster any enthusiasm for this outing. Little did they know that the other movie-goers were actually paid extras and that the feature film involved dirty little secrets that their friends were eager to share with the show. Mr. Hyde emerged and had juicy secrets to share. Tawny keeps a journal of all the men she has dated, and it's quite thick. Her "friend" alludes to some mysterious numerical rating system that isn't explained. I actually think the numbers had to do with size, and find nothing but pity for Enrique who got a 3. Chelsea can make herself cry and has done so to get out of trouble with the cops. Lisa was a shoplifter who was too oblivious that being so thin that she's nearly two dimensional that she doesn't have the girth to pull off sticking something up her shirt and not being noticed. Her "friend" Nicole tells Dad to watch his wallet, and Lisa protest that she doesn't shoplift anymore, that was "back in the days" and yes, she did say "days". Shannon is a scam artist, a claim she vehemently denies. Stefanie ran a topless cleaning service, but claims that she would never do that work, only hire others to do it to make herself a profit. Jackie will dump a guy if he doesn't want to sleep with her in a relatively short period of time.
Mom and Dad need to pick two ladies to subject to the lie detector and then send one of them packing. Jackie and Shannon are the first to share in that experience this season. Jackie is promiscuous and isn't a virgin. We're shocked. Ok, we're not shocked at all. She lies about not minding Mom as a mother in law. There is no good way to answer that question. Shannon freaks out during the lie detector test and looks like she is about to faint so the lie detector operator guy calls for a break and tells Shannon to assume the position. Because Shannon is too young to remember Airplane! and the great visual from that movie when all the passengers got into crazy contorted positions in preparation for a crash she puts her head between her knees and prays for Mom and Dad to forget their line of questioning as she's either the worst liar ever and gets physically ill at the thought of it or she's one of the best and has just buffaloed Mom and Dad into keeping her around for another week by avoiding the tough questions they had planned. We shall see tonight which is the case as Shannon will be back but Jackie will not. Five ladies remain, but is Dan really worth the fight? All shall be revealed tonight, or else if not tonight then on Saturday, as we're getting a full dose of Meet My Folks this week on NBC.
Please tune in to www.fansofrealitytv.com tomorrow for Cali's recap of tonight's episode, and thanks to Cali for her suggestions with this recap. If you wish to contact the writer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org m. Also, I wanted to mention that our email server crashed last week, so if anyone (hint, you know who you are, hint) has already contacted me about the show, please send me a new email as I've lost my records of my prior correspondence. My apologies, as we're much nicer in email than we can be in the recaps.