One That Got Away – 05-31 - They’re Called Exes For A Reason
Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, NBC introduces a special, one-night only reality show, based on a guy revisiting his past relationships in hopes of reuniting with the one that got away. Yes, that’s right. Skipper Kress will be reunited on Memorial Day with 7 of his ex-girlfriends. War veterans everywhere must swell with pride knowing their sacrifices made it possible for this putz to get some.
As the show started, several questions run through my mind. Who is this Skipper Kress? Who appointed him North Carolina’s most eligible bachelor? Will he get another chance at love with an ex-girlfriend? Why is there no host? Who really believes that a guy named Skipper has 7 ex-girlfriends? Why in the world did I volunteer to recap this crap?
Your Starting Lineup
As there is no host, Skipper introduces himself. He’s a bartender from Charlotte and believes the show is his last chance at love, and doggone it, he deserves to be in love. In addition to wanting to find love, he aspires to be the guy everyone flirts with and vice versa, whatever that means. Lofty dreams, Skip. Skip has been shipped from Charlotte, NC all the way down to McClellanville, SC to a beautiful plantation where he will host 7 of his ex-girlfriends for a week. Apparently no one else is involved, or else they wisely chose to be incognito.
Soon, the women arrive.
Erin is Skipper’s long distance ex-girlfriend. The relationship didn’t work out because Erin wanted more and Skipper didn’t.
Kristi is Skipper’s 5 year crush. Technically, not an ex-girlfriend.
Katie dated Skipper 3 years ago for a summer. He describes her as a temporary relationship and when the summer was over, so was Katie. Apparently she was invited in case Skip is feeling in the temporary kind of a mood.
Mindy is Skipper’s best friend. Also, technically not an ex-girlfriend. Mindy has long wanted their friendship to grow into something more. Skipper says her opinion means a lot to him.
Grace is the most recent ex-girlfriend and Skipper describes their relationship as a love/hate. Grace wouldn’t speak to Skip when they broke up, but by arriving at the plantation, she’s either had a change of heart or she’s decided to release her inner media whore and grab those 15 minutes.
Amy is Skipper’s co-worker and the two have often flirted. Again, technically not an ex-girlfriend. I knew a guy named Skipper couldn’t have 7 ex-girlfriends.
And finally we meet
Mallory, Skipper’s childhood sweetheart. Mallory has already re-entered Skipper’s life once before, back when he was dating Katie. How charming.
The girls assemble for an incredibly uncomfortable lunch before Skipper stops by. The girls share stories about what a player he is and how he cannot be trusted. While most of the girls pretend they are indifferent about Skipper, Mindy’s unrequited love is outed. In a confessional, Mindy explains she doesn’t know how you can know Skipper and not love him. Strange. I was wondering the exact opposite.
After the object of no one’s affections arrives for dinner, they play a quick game of ‘Where did you meet Skip?’. He loses in grand fashion, apparently not remembering where he met any of the girls. Wisely, he explains it’s time for some one on one time, fearing nothing good can come of his ex-girlfriends assembled together in one room. I wonder what took him so long.
Can You Guess Who He Chooses?
Despite all the posturing, most of the girls seem absolutely smitten with Skip. During some one on one time, Amy tells him that she completely supports his reasons for being there and anything else that she thinks he wants to hear. She succeeds, as he’s so pleased he high fives her. Not looking good for Amy. Grace is at the other end of the spectrum and tells him she doesn’t think he has it in him to change. Erin is also annoyed as it seems the Skip she thinks she knows is different from the Skip that everyone else knows. This alarms Skipper as he chooses to spend some additional time with Erin later on. With the soundtrack of almost every other movie playing underneath, Skipper tells Erin that fate brought her there and that they have a chance to be together. I’m not sure that ‘fate’ brought her there, but Erin not only buys it, but runs with it. Any fears and doubts she had have now been effectively eliminated. Good work, Skipper.
The next day, they group assembles to go crabbing. Yes, crabbing. Insert your own STD joke here. While it’s not likely to be seen on the next installment of the Bachelor, it is complete with all the whining and moaning you’d expect on a group date. Amy is trying too hard. Grace is getting all the attention. Erin feels left out. A secret box has somehow presented itself and it turns out to be filled with questions like, “Who’s the most jealous?” and “Who could break his heart?”. In other words, it’s the world’s worst party game, not recommended for the next time you find yourself sitting around with seven of your exes. If you’re stupid enough to find yourself in that position, of course.
Later that evening, Skipper takes the opportunity to take some alone time with Mindy, his best friend. Out of practically nowhere, he suggests that they should kiss, just in case they have chemistry. Surprisingly, this weak line works and Mindy and Skip share one of the more awkward kisses in television history, falling just short of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie.
You’ve Really Changed My Life – Here’s Your Letter
Soon it’s time for Skipper to narrow down the field to just three. In an interesting, if not disturbing spin on the standard elimination ceremony, Skipper will present each of the eliminated girls with a Dear Jane letter, which is available to read at NBC.com.
First up is Katie. He explains that she’s changed his life and he’s thrilled she’s there, but hands her a letter. Let’s hope he expresses himself better on paper.
Next to go is Amy. Skipper insists that he was really stuck on the fence about her, but she gets a letter as well. Again, no explanation is offered.
Skipper thanks Erin for being there and asks her to stay despite having doubts. I’d ask for a letter just to clarify why he was keeping her.
He calls up Kristi next and tells her that he’s sure she’ll make someone happy, and he hopes it’s him. Clever, Skip, we really thought she was a goner there.
Childhood sweetheart Mallory is also given a letter, not surprisingly, since we’ve barely seen her since the beginning of the show.
It’s down to Grace and Mindy. He tells Grace that he got a negative vibe from him, but wants her to stay. Then he tells Mindy the kiss changed his life and he has a ton of respect for her. And yet he sends her home. I can’t figure this guy out. Later, he admits that it was a good kiss, but there was no chemistry. Wow, what a life changing kiss that must have been.
Be My Phantom Boyfriend
Before the private dates, Skipper tells the girls that they will get a vote in who should be the next eliminated. Of course, it won’t determine who really goes, but they get a chance to have their say.
Erin gets the first private date and the two go for a ride in a row boat. They reminisce about their past and discuss moving to be with the other. Erin then begins to charm him by complaining about his lifestyle and disdain for his career as a bartender. Skipper is visibly annoyed.
Kristi’s date starts out with a walk where she follows a path of word clues that lead to Skip and spell out ‘Will You Dance With Me’ On cue, the lawn is illuminated and they share a romantic dance and stimulating conversation like, ‘I’m starting to have feelings for you’. Skipper asks if she kisses on the first date and it turns out she does, as their kiss rivals the awkward kiss he shared with Mindy earlier.
Finally, Grace meets up with Skipper for her private date in a 65 Cadillac. The two drive around for awhile and drive by a marquis that says, “Now Playing – Skip & Grace”. That’s it. They don’t go inside and see a movie, just the lame marquis. Grace finds this moving, for some bizarre reason, and is brought to tears. Later, they enjoy a chocolate fondue and both admit it was a great date and they had a wonderful time together.
But I’m Perfect, Why Don’t You Like Me?
In addition to trying to mold Skip into her desired image, it turns out Erin likes to tell other people what to do. Kristi confesses to Grace that she doesn’t like Erin and when it came time to vote, Grace would vote for Kristi. Grace has no idea why Erin would say that, considering she plays the role of mime whenever Erin is in the immediate area. Kristi and Grace both agree that Erin is a horrible and manipulative and not good enough for Skipper and his sleazeball ways.
In the spirit of For Love or Money, the girls get a final chat with Skipper before the elimination where they will reveal their vote. Grace tells Skipper that she thinks Erin is horrible and therefore, votes for her. She then admits she’s serious and ready and hopes he is too. Erin starts in on her one on one time with a monologue about herself and tries to justify her comments about his bartending from the other night. Once she’s done with her damage control, she moves into attack mode by confessing to Skip that all Grace ever talks about is how buddy buddy the two of them are and that she doesn’t think Grace is really serious about him. Skip is obviously saddened. Erin feigns empathy. Kristi tells Skip that she’s very nervous and votes for Erin, because she’s mean. Skip tries to look pensive and explains that he’ll seriously weigh the votes from the girls.
At the elimination, Skip tells Grace that he feels her heart is really in this and asks her to stay. He then tells Erin he’d like her to stay, because he realizes that her comments were only made in an attempt to better him. Apparently he missed the ‘manipulative’ portion of Grace and Kristi’s complaints. Perhaps they should have brought him a dictionary. Skip says goodbye to Kristi and tells her he’ll always remember their dance. Grace is even more saddened to say goodbye to Kristi and starts crying when Kristi leaves. Erin reaches out to comfort Grace, but Grace won’t allow her to.
Yet Another Vote That Won’t Matter
While most dating shows would opt for final one on one time with the two finalists, this show decides another group date is in order. They go for lunch on the plantation grounds and are told that they are about to meet who could be the true love of Skipper’s life. It’s his 7 year old nephew Michael. Michael asks the women why they think they’ll be a good aunt. The first mention of marriage all show comes from a 7 year old. That’s gotta be some kind of record. Erin takes the opportunity to lay it on real thick and sweet talk little Mike. She’s a natural, as any master manipulator would be with a kid. Grace is visibly uncomfortable around kids and tries to be sincere and talks to Mike like he’s a person and not a baby toy. Then, in front of the girls, Skipper asks him which one he likes. Michael likes ‘the blonde’. Erin looks like the cat that swallowed the canary.
They say goodbye to Michael and Skipper takes each of the girls for a final walk. Erin is amazed at how different she and Grace are, obviously offended by the idea that Skipper could like anyone that wasn’t exactly like her. She again explains her comments and then adds that all guys need a bit of training. Later, Grace tells him that no matter what decision Skipper makes, she’ll respect it.
The Dramatic Conclusion
The girls meet Skipper in the Garden of Elimination one last time individually. The editors flip between each girl, prolonging the agony of the past 2 hours just that much longer. He tells Grace he feels she falls back on their friendship too much. Then we see him tell Erin that she sees only what she wants, and only in black or white. Grace starts to cry, afraid he’s about to reject her, before Skipper explains that she’s the one he’s chosen. Eyeing the letter on the tray, Skipper has to explain it’s a love letter before she believes him. Meanwhile, we see Skip break the news to Erin that he hasn’t chosen her. Likewise, it takes a while until she realizes that she’s not the one he’s chosen. Like Erin said, they couldn’t be more different.
Skipper announces to Grace that they’re going on a trip, while Erin breaks down in shock that her Good Skip couldn’t defeat Bad Skip. It’s messy. Will Skip and Grace stay together after the trip? Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a follow up show on the horizon.
Knock on wood.