An awfully ugly house decked out by an interior designer who apparently has an affinity for LSD. Peter Brady. A Go-Go. A female wrestler. Two models. A rapper who claims her career is still alive and well though her name and face are unrecognizable. And one really angry dwarf. This sounds like we have all the makings for a great fourth season of The Surreal Life! Welcome back!
The show begins with Kathy Griffin driving around in a yellow taxi dressed in chauffeur’s attire. When I see her in the cab, I quickly check the TV Guide to make sure I am watching the right channel, because nowhere have I read that the overwhelmingly annoying Kathy Griffin is part of this season’s cast. In fact, I immediately begin trying to come up with excuses as to why I will not be able to recap this season… because there is no way in hell I would watch this show if I had to tolerate Kathy Griffin – who I find intolerable. (And just in case any VH1 execs are reading this, I also will be refusing to recap any future seasons that may include the equally unbearable Gilbert Godfrey or Carrottop.) That being said…
Kathy is this week’s meet and greet crew for the new cast of The Surreal Life. She and her enormous schnoz drive up to the first houseguest – either a man in drag who has taken a whole lot of estrogen or a woman who needs to cut back on the steroids – Joanie Laurer. Oh come on now… you know Joanie, right? Ok, maybe you will more easily recognize her by her other name – Chyna. Now you’ve got it! Chyna is a former wrestler who is the first “woman” to ever hold a men’s world wrestling title. I am still unsure as to her status as a woman, but whatever. Kathy drives her up to the trippy house and drops her off. Chyna is wearing a bikini with a heavy rhinestone belt, fur hat, fur coat, at least 6 inch heels and Elvis sunglasses. She stumbles shakily into the house, fighting her high heels every step of the way. After wandering through every room, Chyna claims the only single room as her own… even though everything in the single room is kid sized. It’s as if she walked out of the Surreal house and into Barbie’s dream house – only in this Barbie dream house, Barbie is clearly a boozer, as the room has a teeny little bar fully stocked with teeny little bottles.
Next stop in Kathy’s cab is for Christopher Knight – better known as Peter Brady. After Kathy establishes that Chris is not one of the “bitter” Brady’s (I’m looking at you Jan and Marsha), she happily drops him off at the house and wishes him well. He wanders around the house until he finally finds roomie Chyna catching some rays at the pool. Together, Chyna and Chris head into the house where Chyna ponders about who the roomies will be. Chris points to the wall of Warhol-esque pictures and Chyna gets a dumbfounded look on her face as Chris points out her picture in the group. She says, “Oh yeah, that is me. Well, the only other person I recognize up there is Peter Brady.” Chris says, “Uh… that’s me.” Chyna doesn’t look convinced. Must be all the steroids.
Kathy’s next passenger could be the love child of Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah – you know, if that were possible. However, not only is it not physically possible, but it’s further impossible in that this lady claims to be the first in her genre. The passenger is Da Brat whose claim to fame is being the first female rapper to go platinum. She believes her career is still thriving. I believe her to be deluded since I have never even heard of her. In the car, Da Brat tells Kathy that she said yes to being on the show since it wouldn’t be a house full of has beens. Kathy smiles knowingly back at her in the rear view mirror. Poor dumb Da Brat. You had 3 previous seasons to see the kinds of people who were cast for this show. As she gets out of the cab at the house, she wanders to the pool, sees Peter Brady and immediately runs into the house to call her manager, pissed that there are has beens in the house. Uh Da Brat. You might wanna take a look in the mirror, sista.
Fourth stop picks up Jane Wiedlin, former member of the Go-Go’s. Jane is like a little pixie, but her current occupation includes moonlighting at fetish balls and partaking in the ever popular S&M parties. Bad little pixie. She hops out of the cab and wanders into the house, where she introduces herself by saying, “Hi. I’m Jane from the Go-Go’s” to everyone she meets. I like her despite her desire to spank all passersby.
Kathy heads back out to pick up guests 5 and 6 – two hottie models. Adrianne Curry, season one winner of America’s Next Top Model, gets in the cab first. She still looks lovely and still grinds her teeth when she talks. She has lost the “I’m so stoned” look that she always had on ANTM, but I like her anyway. Before heading back to the mansion, Kathy stops to pick up male model Marcus Schenkenberg. He’s pretty. I love him immediately. Okay, I admit it. I have always loved him – ever since I saw him in his Calvin Klein underwear all those years ago. Anyway, when Adrianne and Marc step into the mansion together, I’m-a-Go-Go-Jane greets them both, tells them they are beautiful and should get married right away. In her pervy little mind, I can almost see that she wants to be invited on the honeymoon.
The six roomies wander around the house, each choosing their rooms. Meanwhile, Chyna is Amazonian in her teeny little dream house room, downing one little bottle of booze after another, and ignoring the fact that her big old feet hang off the end of the bed by a couple of feet. She is unfazed by the fact that she has to get on her knees in order to hang her clothes in the short little closet. Chris comes into her room and points out the obvious, “Chyna, I think you’ve taken someone else’s room.” This room is obviously meant for the last arriving houseguest, Verne Troyer, a.k.a. “Mini-me.” Verne stands a very tall 2’8” and all of the belongings in this room have been made Verne size. Chyna poo-poos the notion that she might be in the wrong room and goes about downing the booze and hanging up her stuff.
Shortly after (no pun intended), Mini-me crawls out of the cab and hops on his scaled down to size scooter and heads inside the house. He greets everyone and then rolls into what is supposed to be his room. Finding an extra large Chyna Doll lounging on his bed, he gets pissed and rolls into the phone room to call his agent. I am actually surprised to find that Da Brat has vacated the phone, where she has spent much of her day complaining about the has beens surrounding her. Verne yells on the phone how some big bitch is in his room and he is leaving. His agent yells, “Tell her to get the hell out!” So Verne does just that. And Chyna says no… just like that. Chris steps in, as we all knew he would. He is this season’s Erik Estrada. This season’s Dave Coulier. This season’s peacemaker and father figure – a role he didn’t want to assume, but stepped into nonetheless.
Chris tells Chyna and Verne that they need to come to some sort of compromise. Verne’s compromise is that if Chyna gets out of his room, he won’t leave. Uh… I think this guy needs a lesson in the art of compromise. Chyna, after a long lecture from Chris, says that she will get out of the room and sleep on the couch IF Verne lets her keep all her stuff in his room. He looks at her thoughtfully, then unbudgingly says, “No.” Alarmed by his refusal, Chyna says, “Uh… okay…um. If everyone will grab a piece of my stuff and carry it into the girl’s room, then I will move out of the solo room. Plus, Verne has to kiss my ass.” Done. So now it’s settled. Chyna lifts her mini skirt and Mini-me plants one on her butt cheek. Each of the housemates heads into Verne’s room and grabs all of Chyna’s crap – most of which consists of big bottles of booze which she has added to the mini-bar’s mini-bottles. Now Chyna will be sharing a room with Da Brat and Jane. The other room will be Marc, Adrianne and Chris. And angry dwarf Verne will be sleeping alone in his pint sized room, as was written in his contract.
After much ado, The Surreal Times arrives on the front door step. Chris brings it in and reads to the group that dinner will be on Adrianne and everyone is to report to the dining room at 7:00pm (or 7:30?) sharp. Everyone believes that Adrianne is paying the tab for the group’s first meal and gladly accepts the invite. At 7, Chris peeks through the curtain to see a naked Adrianne laying across the dining table with a sushi dinner literally on her. When Chris warns the others of nakedness, Verne pushes through the curtains and sits at the head of the table, directly next to Adrianne’s naked right breast. Well, nearly naked. She does have little leaves glued to cover her nipples and is wearing a g-string with a leaf covering her uh… lower uh…part.
Now here’s the part that bugs the bujeebus out of me. When nasty little Verne reaches out and takes the sushi roll from Adrianne’s breast, he then touches her nipple – TOUCHES HER NIPPLE, PEOPLE!!! Not once but twice – with his itsy bitsy little nubby fingers. I am grossed out. Seriously. And don’t send me emails getting all self righteous telling me that SHE was the one laying there NAKED inviting such a response! Self pronounced perv, Jane, didn’t reach out and grab her boob. Chris, Chyna and Da Brat kept their hands to themselves. Hell, even Marc didn’t touch her – a man that could reach out and grope pretty much any woman without pissing them off. Kept his hands to himself, he did. But not nasty Verne who had to reach out and cop a feel. I wanted to punch him in his puny head. Then to make matters worse, Verne has to excuse himself to go to his bedroom because he cannot contain himself when seeing Adrianne naked. Throughout the meal he had been downing sake and making lewd comments about her body, then when finished eating, a half drunk Verne announces he is going to head inside to choke his chicken – information I could have lived my whole life without ever wanting to hear.
After dinner, Adrianne and Jane decide to go skinny dipping. Verne is inside laying down, since apparently he had been drinking pretty heavily most of the evening. Jane and Adrianne strip down and jump in the hot tub as Chris and Marc watch from afar… with big stupid grins on their faces. Chris makes the observation that Adrianne likes to be naked, “she lives most of her life naked, punctuated by periods of wearing clothes.” Admittedly, if I had Adrianne’s body, I might also be inclined to show it to pretty much anyone that would look. Damn great body she’s got there. After awhile, Chris heads inside to grab a bottle of wine and some glasses for Marc and himself so they can continue watching the bathing beauties. When he goes inside, he tells Verne that Adrianne is again naked and swimming around the hottub. Verne hops on his scooter and heads outside. But when he gets there, the women are out of the water and already in bathrobes. Verne begins to complain about the lack of nakedness as he downs a glass of wine.
A now obviously drunk Verne begins pounding on Chris’ arm over and over again. Ignoring the wee little man, Marc makes a comment that Chris has large arms and inquires if he works out. Joining in, now Jane and Adrianne are also commenting on the very fit Brady Buncher while Verne continues to wail away. Next thing you know, Verne as fallen backwards on the stone bench where he is sitting and is unable to get back up. Chris pulls him forward and Verne passes out against Chris’ arm, where he quickly begins to snore. Chris picks him up and carries him to his little bedroom. At this moment, I realize just how tiny 2’8” actually is. The man is SO small and I feel certain he has drunk his weight in booze tonight.
Chris lays him in his bed and Adrianne comes in with a bottle of water for Verne. As she lays the bottle beside him, she tells him to drink some water before he goes to sleep so he will not be as hungover in the morning. Instead of saying thank you, Verne begins to moan – loudly and repeatedly, waking everyone in the house. Adrianne says she is uncomfortable and believes his moans to be “orgasmic.” To me, he sounds like he’s saying, “Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright. Alright.” which is weird all the same. Chris leans over a moaning Verne and says, “Are you okay?” Verne reaches out and begins grabbing Chris’ shirt at the collar and pulling him towards his face. When Chris is leaning in very closely, Verne starts to stroke Chris’ nose over and over until it just gets too weird for the Brady.
After Verne seems to be able to sleep without moaning, everyone turns in for the night. Going back to bed, Da Brat finds the enormous Chyna Doll sleeping half on the bed, half off, snoring louder than anyone I have ever heard. Including louder than last season’s Flavor Flav. The biatch can SNORE. Unable to deal with the horrendous noise, Da Brat grabs her bedding and heads for the couch. But on her way to the sofa, Da Brat encounters a most disturbing sight – Mini-me has climbed aboard his scooter – BUCK ASS NAKED - and is driving down the hall to what appears to be the work out room. Verne heads to the corner of the room, saddles up to the side of the scooter seat, and begins to PEE in the corner!!! Da Brat, uncomfortable and not knowing what to do, says, “Baby, that’s not the bathroom.” Verne says, “This is the bathroom” in response. She stares dumbfoundedly, then goes to wake up Chris by saying, “Chris? He’s right outside your door…. Pissing.”
Chris and Marc peek out from behind the curtain that separates their room from Verne’s self appointed peeing corner. Chris says, “What’s up babe?” Verne says, “I’m drunk.” Chris says, “Yeah… and naked. It’s all just a little strange.” Verne says, “Strange? What’s strange? This whole thing is strange…. And I’m naked.” Marc then pipes in, “And that’s strange.” Chris starts laughing and saying, “I’m at a loss.” As he grabs the curtain separating the rooms, the curtain rod falls on his head, sending everyone but the drunken, confused and peeing Verne into a fit of laughter. Verne seems to sit quietly contemplating the fallen curtain and his nakedness.
Tune in next week when the Surreal Lifers play romper room to a group of children for the day!
Here’s hoping this season continues to be as hysterical and fun to watch as the premiere episode. And that Marc walks around with his shirt off all the time. And same for Chris. That Brady looks great and is sporting a six pack of his own. Oh, and let’s also hope that Verne not only keeps his clothes on from this point forward, but that he also doesn’t mark every corner in the house.
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