Outback Jack July 20, 2004: Crocodile Dundee in the City
This is the first week of Outback Jack that I really feel that the show is borrowing too much from the very hip 1980s Australia Chic trend. You remember, back in the 80s, when every radio station featured Olivia Newton-John getting Physical and Men at Work’s smash hit about Australia, Land Down Under (which is the theme song for this show). Ah, good times, the 80s, when a sudden interest in the island/nation/continent of Australia catapulted to stardom Paul Hogan in the Crocodile Dundee movies. So, what was the “twist” that made Crocodile Dundee not just your run of the mill “fish out of water” movie? Not only did New York reporter Linda What’sHerFace get to experience the rigors of the Outback, but Dundee learned the difference between a bidet and drinking fountain (just a titch too late) in the concrete jungle of New York City. Why, presto chango, our Divas Out Of Water in the Outback get to turn the tables on Outback Jack this week in the exact same manner.
I apologize for being so darn slow with this week’s recap that I didn’t have time to get my partner Ilikai’s input before posting, lest violating the rule of posting a recap after the next episode has in fact aired. My bad. On with the recap. It’s a short one.
Last we left the lovely ladies, 5 were waiting to board a plane to Perth, the promised land of shopping malls and limousines. Alas, there is only room in this particular flying tin can for 4 ladies and Jack, so Adrienne get the old heave ho. Jack explains that he likes Aid, but views her as more of a friend than a romance, and she agrees in her exit interview.
Touchdown in Perth, and the ladies are going loco in Acapulco, only in Perth, and nothing to wacky and zany rhymes with Perth. Giving birth? Been there, done that, not a fun time. Suffering from a dearth? Also not conveying the carefree emotion we wish to rhyme with Perth. Oh well. The ladies see the sights in a white stretch limo and then gush out into the plush innards of a 4 star hotel. Time to pick roommates. Maria tries to pick Jack, as is corrected by JD Roberto to select “another girl.” Kill joy. Anyway, Cortney and new girl Meri-De share a room, leaving Maria and Natalie together. The ladies shriek as they inspect their luxury suites with huge balconies, hot tubs, and best of all, all cotton sheets. You heard it. High thread count sheets from only the purest of Egyptian cotton plants. All four women commence to jumping on the beds.
Jack runs off for the first moment he’s had in weeks where he hasn’t had to be on constant alert to rescue Natalie from a large, scary bug. But his blessed solitude is short lived, as the women quickly don their robes and run to Jack’s room to drag him off to the spa for a makeover. Oh good lord, Jack proclaims that he is in Hell. Close, but no cigar Jack. You’re in a spa where they will manage to not change a single thing about your looks. Someone must have listened when his high school teachers instructed Jack “don’t ever change.” You know, Jack, there is a socially acceptable exception for changing ones underwear. Speaking of Jack’s Jockey’s, he’s a boxer guy. We all called it before, but Jack confirms it when he announces that he “cannot” wear the bikini briefs that the spa has selected for him “because he wishes to have children some day in the future.” Now we know that unlike Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer, Jack’s boys don’t need a house, and prefer to roam free, much like the Outback walkabout Jack we’ve come to know and love.
Jack earns the ladies respect when he doesn’t even flinch when they are waxing his back. Why are they waxing his back? Is there something wrong with a man having a little bit of hair on his lower back? Apparently so in Perth, and for that reason alone travel advisories are going up all over Italy to warn potential tourists of this hazard in Perth. Can you imagine someone trying to wax John Travolta’s chest? Blasphemy, exactly. Let Jack be!
No, he hasn’t endured enough yet. He’s splattered in seaweed that he proclaims reminds him of dogshit. Remind me not to send Jack into my yard on doggie do’ patrol or I’m likely to end up with my garden weeded, but a minefield of crap left in the yard.
Later that evening the girls are talking and squealing in their hotel rooms, but Maria sneaks off in her lace up high heels to try to entice Jack into a nightcap. We’re left in suspense until later in the episode, but find out that Jack sent her packing shortly thereafter. I guess even waxing and tweezing wasn’t enough to wear down’s Jack’s resolve. Let’s see what shopping does to the man.
We’re treated to a shopping spree segment that resembled the scene in Twins where Arnold and DeVito go try on matching outfits. Why did I mention that scene, rather than the much more famous shopping scene in Pretty Woman? Because I despise Julia Roberts. So there. Besides, Julia enjoyed all the shopping, while Jack (much like Arnold and Danny) was clearly suffering through the experience, and walks out with a brand new Outback outfit that looks exactly like what he was wearing when he walked in. Natalie remarks that Jack didn’t like fashion-wear, that he liked jungle-wear. At least he is consistent.
Now Jack gets four one-on-one dates with his ladies. Maria’s date involves yoga and suggestive stretches. This is where we see Jack ask how she slept, which means he doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of her sleep patterns. Whew, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Jack asks if Maria believes in Fate? Maria nods, but says that she’s a proponent of Momentum, which pretty much means she’ll go whatever way the mood sways her, whether it be towards an Aussie hunk or some Cro-Magnum Wrestler named Jericho, but who is to know. Maria leans in a crams her tongue down Jack’s throat. He’s one for one in the date-kiss-count.
Meri-De’s date involves driving Vespas around Perth and then a picnic and Frisbee match. Jack leans in for a kiss which she gladly obliges. Two for two on the date-kiss-count.
Cortney picks a revolving restaurant for her date with Jack so they could have a good view of Perth. She confides that she’s worried she isn’t aggressive enough to compete with the other ladies. Jack acknowledges that being aggressive isn’t her nature, but that he is glad she is opening up to let him know that she really has feeling for him. Jack says that he’s more relaxed at this moment than he has been for the whole show. He gives her a very deep look and they kiss. Yes, scorers at home, Jack is three for three.
Natalie picks an art gallery / club for his next date. He doesn’t see the freaky Penny Marshall resemblance that Natalie conjures in my mind and declares her “damn hot”. Jack questions her about her feelings and calls Nat a “wild card” before handing over his tooth necklace when she mentioned she likes it. Nat kisses Jack, but then lets us know that it isn’t all “tongue and granola in the mouth like Maria kisses him.” She is funny, and Jack has just “pulled a Bob Guiney” and kissed all of his bachelorettes in rapid succession. If this is what happens when Jack leaves the safety of the Outback, let’s airlift him out of Perth, stet.
Elsewhere is Oz, Marissa is swimming around in a pool, talking to herself about how she’s going to boomerang back into the game and steal the guy. Now that would be all too predictable, wouldn’t it. Or maybe that’s just what they want us to think . . .
JD meets the ladies in the lobby before they are set to return to the Outback. One of them won’t be making the trip back. Jack is ready to eliminate someone. However, if one of the ladies wants to take herself out of the competition, she can spend the remaining 2 weeks of filming in the luxury of the hotel. Spa treatments, shopping, room service, and no bugs. All four contemplate the offer, but everyone is sure that Jack will want them to stay on, as they surely have a special connection. They did a funny sequence where the ladies get to tell Jack whether or not they’re going to stay on, as this is “turnabout” episode. Then we get sequence reminiscent of Elimidate where the ladies guess who Jack is cutting next. OK, we get it, there are a lot of choices here, and they take up entirely too much time. Let’s cut to the chase already.
All the ladies thought that it was worth 2 weeks at the nice hotel as they were sure that Jack would be keeping them. Well, somebody was mistaken, and to my dismay, it was Cortney. Jack lets her down gently, but I’m still smarting, as was Cortney, who had finally opened up to him on their solo date. Ouch. Oh well. Cortney leaves with class and tells Jack that she hopes that he’s learned from her that romance is still alive. I’m not sure what she thinks she did that would have taught him that, but it’s better than yelling at him “You’re making a big mistake, mister!” Or, as Men at Work would have sung in this situation “It’s A Mistake”. Yes, I liked Men At Work. Love listening to the theme song for this show. I digress, back to the Outback.
On the flight back, Jack overhears the girls remarking that they are flying “home” to the Outback, and he likes that they consider it home. Home is waiting for them too, with big bugs and Natalie remarks that she has little bugs in her boogers. Pleasant. What are those little bugs called again? Oh right, G-Natalies.
Jack makes a joke. He sniffs the air and states: “I smell a rat” and sure enough, JD Roberto slithers out of the Outback. But this time, the Rat King is not alone. He has company. Marissa, with her hair all did and face all on. One would think she could have trimmed those bangs out of her face while she was in seclusion, but apparently they’re good camouflage for the bugs. Jack welcomes her with open arms and the other ladies are left, mouths agape.
Join us next week (or rather, sometime after tonight’s episode) when Ilikai will do a better job than I did about making sure we post a timely recap. Any comments, I’m firstname.lastname@example.org m