Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Sexy (Not) vs.The Classy

Bad news. This Mr. Romance Episode 3 is jinxed. First, my normal Monday night TiVo-ing didn’t work. Of course, since the Oxygen Network reruns it at least six times per day, I was able to tape it last night. Except then a thunderstorm rumbled through and interfered with the sattelite reception, so I missed a big fat hunk of Seduction 101. Bummer. I’m going to retape it tonight but I really don’t think I need to bother.

Good news – Bruce is not a Navy SEAL! WooHoo!! He’s currently a bartender and a former Navy rescue swimmer. Cool. My fantasy is safe.

Have to tell you, overall, this episode was really boring. Mostly because the editors decided to show us more of what we’ve already figured out. Which is that Tony is a big tool. They did manage to lift TJ a few more notches out of that hole he’d jumped into during episode 1. So much so, in fact, that I’m starting to wonder if they’re not setting him up to be the big winner…

This entire episode centered around the Brain versus Brawn premise. Brain represented by TJ and brawn by Tony. I was kind of surprised they didn’t pick Adam to represent Brain, but he doesn’t have that nasty competitive streak TJ has expressed. Remember, TJ can’t pass up a challenge. And you will lose! Or…Tony will lose!

We open with shots of the guys pumping iron. Doing crunches. All that hard work necessary for a girl to keep her figure neat and trim. Funny that women get the rap for being overly obsessed with their bodies. I’ll bet (but am way too lazy to find out for sure) that if someone did a study, men are far more obsessed about looking just a certain way. And they don’t even have the excuse of a childhood’s worth of brainwashing by thousands and thousands of pages of Seventeen and Cosmo showing them exactly what they are supposed to look like. They just figure it out all on their own and run with it. Clever chaps!

Tony is instructing TJ on the proper way to do bicep curls. Isn’t he just the sweetest guy? And look at TJ acting very un-TJ like in allowing anyone to imply that he doesn’t already know the right way to do everything. Except all is not as it seems in our happy little everyone-helps-each-other world.

'Cause Tony, he’s no dumb bunny. He thought he and TJ were buds in the beginning. But then TJ turned on him. He started scheming with that nasty, no good cattle-stealing Fabi…Fa…uh, Frank Smith, intent on taking the ranch from sweet old lady Jenkins and her lovely virginal niece, Mary Sue…So Tony cut the bastard off at the knees. He *disconnected* with TJ. That’ll learn ‘im!

For his part, TJ the control-freak can’t abide another control-freak like Tony trying to control his ability to control the non-controllees he’s been sent to obviously control without any interfering controllingness. There’s only enough room for one super-sized ego in this mansion, thankyouverymuch, and TJ’s already staked his claim as the Control Master.

Thus we enter, Round 1 of the Tony vs. TJ smackdown – Making Friends.

It’s breakfast time, and Tony is demonstrating those mad skills he picked up during that stint he did as a short order cook, making all the guys eggs. While he’s mother-henning everyone to pony up to the table and dig in, he voice overs how much the guys depend on him and need his help. Apparently the eleven other men managed to make it to adulthood and attain the muscles and weights of your average male bodybuilder without having any idea whatsoever how to make breakfast. Hakan confirms that Tony is indeed trying to be the father none of them ever wanted, and he doesn’t sound nearly as grateful as Tony imagines him to be.

While Tony is working hard to banish malnourishment from the compound, TJ is helping Scott learn how to tie a tie. A regular tie, the kind you wear with a business suit. Which leads me to wonder why Scott doesn’t already know how to do this. Perhaps he’s managed quite nicely with clip-ons. I suppose with a career like Exotic Dancer, untying ties is on the job description while tying them is just a bonus ability.

Even bigger shocker than the idea that Scott doesn’t know how to tie a tie is the discovery that Scott actually has a voice! Yes, my dear friends, Scott the Wallpaper Man actually spoke this week. He opened his mouth to gush a bit about what a great guy TJ is, how he’s a big helper and doesn’t focus on himself. Aw. Sweet. Methinks Scott has a widdle crush…

After Tony passes along his egg-flipping wisdom to his pseudo progeny, the boys gather for their very first field trip. Wonder if Tony took it upon himself as House Mother to sign all of their permission slips?

Dressed in identical Romance Academy uniforms (khaki pants, white button-up oxford shirts, and burgundy sweater vests with a lovely crest on the breast), the men are unleashed on the unsuspecting public in order to do some market research. Guess some braniac figured the best way to seduce a woman would be to ask a bunch of random strangers really personal questions and go from there. Works for selling shampoo and potato chips, so why not for selling sex?

The guys divvy up into three teams and are assigned a specific age demographic to target.

Group 1 is made up of Andrew, Marklander, Tony, and Harkan. Andrew informs us they have the job of seeking out women ages 25 through 30, which he defines as “basically, your middle aged woman.”

My first WTF!!!! moment of the night. Ages 25 through 30 are middle aged? Geez, Andrew, that either means the women in Alaska don’t live past the ancient age of 60 or you’ve been cruising junior high schools for dates.

You know, after the first episode I really liked Andrew. He’s cute. He’s pretty real. And I want so bad to root for him. But dang, the guy is not proving to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Group 2 included Chris, Scott, Charles and Randy, and although it wasn’t specified, I think they were to find women ages 31 through 34.

Group 3, made up of Adam, TJ, Justin and Bruce, had the dubious job of approaching women ages 36 to 50 (I’m supposing that women over 50 aren’t considered seducible). These guys got the combat-pay mission because approaching a woman and asking her age, then walking away when she’s younger than the expected 36 or older that drove you to seek her out in the first place is just, well, no good can come of it, let me tell you. Good thing this group contained the highest level of charm. I can only imagine Tony’s approach…*shudder*

The guys carried clipboards and asked things like:
Do you like hairy legs or bare legs? (Surprisingly, most women said hairy)
Boxers or bikini briefs? (a toss up on this one)
Long hair or short hair? (didn’t hear any answers)
Whips and chains or rose petals and a bubble bath? (a couple of eye-brow raising “depends”)
Man to be easy or hard to get? (General opinion formed by the guys is that women want a man who’s hard to get but then greets them with rose petals and bubble baths. I’m actually starting to see why our gender confuses them so much…)

A good portion of the questions centered around finding out if women rate physical traits above other non-physical traits such as sense of humor and intellect. Adam pointed out with undisguised glee that a good 90% of the women they polled said they did not like muscular men, which called for the obligatory shot of bare-chested, muscle-bound Tony lifting weights.

After the little yellow school bus deposited the men back at the mansion, some post-field trip dissing ensued. In case we had forgotten or had any doubt at all left in our minds, Adam likes all the guys in the house except two, and their initials are Marklander and Tony. His exact sentiments: “As long as those two don’t win, I’ll be happy.”

Even though I shouldn’t like Adam because he’s so openly bitchy, I can’t help but admire the guy. He actually gives women the credit we are due – “Women are far more complicated than boys are…” – and openly laughs at those of his own gender who simply don’t get it. You just gotta respect the guy, plus he’d be a great girlfriend cause the boy really knows how to snark.

Before each commercial break, Fabio has been doling out bits of his hard-earned wisdom. This one is truly the only one worth mentioning, so men, write it down. Memorize it. Perhaps get it tattooed someplace easily accessible.

Back hair will get you nowhere.

Okay, this is where my TiVo went all wonky because of those pesky thunderstorms. Don’t worry, I don’t think we missed much. Apparently the guys attended a class called Seduction 101. When my recording picked up again, Chris was trying to pick up the professor in a mock-grocery store scenario. Something about melons and I started praying for another thunder cloud cell to camp out over my house. Hakan had to fake the carwash pick up, in which he actually uttered the words “Do you want to give me a ride?”


And poor Charles gave a stunning display of nervousness and complete discomfort, as is his MO. Like TJ pointed out in VO, Charles might look good on a romance novel cover but he’d never be confident enough to actually seduce a woman.

On the Proof That Tony Is A Tool front, he shared his thoughts about the class. Since nothing I could say in summary would offer it up any more clearly, here’s Tony himself: “I really don’t like to be taught how to romance or charm a woman because I’ve romanced god knows how many women already and I’ve never had one complaint.”

Now, before you close the book thinking that nothing Tony could say would top this in terms of sheer arrogance and ass-hattedness, don’t go away. There’s more good stuff to come.

TJ, well, he liked the class. He found it interesting and he liked being able to ask questions. TJ? Is that really you? What did you do with that evil TJ who openly dissed the teacher in the first episode? Is he locked in a closet somewhere? Don't forget to feed him once in a while.

On to the competition. The class was gathered. Chris opened an envelope to find instructions. “Pick two team leaders.” Chris nominates TJ. The class votes by show of raised hands. TJ is chosen as Team 1 leader. Tony declares to the class that he’ll be glad to help out TJ. The class votes by…Tony standing up and walking to the front of the class, official electing himself as Team 2 leader. Ahh, nothing more satisfying than watching democracy in action.

The challenge – win dance dollars from the hundred or so women gathered in a ballroom waiting to be wooed and impressed. The dance dollars are to be earned by selling dances and photos, and whichever team earns the most wins. Remember these rules because they come into play later.

Tony and TJ take turns picking in the classic playground style with these results:

Red Team: Tony, Scott, Bruce, Andrew, Marklander and Charles
White Team: TJ, Adam, Randy, Chris, Justin and Hakan

Before the guys set out to tux-up, they have a few moments to strategize.

Team TJ’s strategy – keep it classy. Be enthusiastic and charming. Keep your clothes on. In fact, TJ’s exact words to talk Randy out of disrobing – This is Mr. Romance not Mr. Whore-man. According to Adam, TJ acted like a real leader, organizing and delegating. In his opinion, White Team had a real chance to conquer the swagger.

Team Tony’s strategy – well, I don’t know if you can call being good-looking a real strategy. But according to Tony, they didn’t really need a strategy. The guys just had to follow his directive to think sexy. Oh, and charming. Bruce’s opinion on his Team Leader: overbearing, overconfident, bossy. Heck, even Marklander thought that Tony might be a tad bit overconfident even though Marklander said it was guaranteed that they would win.

Hmmm…do I smell an upset?

The guys got ready in their tuxes and bow ties, and sure enough there was a ballroom of women a-waiting for them. Much dancing. Much charming. Much giggling.

I’m not even going to recap the whole thing. Suffice it to say that Tony acted like a traffic cop, directing women to “hurry up” with the money and “keep it moving”. The guy was obnoxiousness personified. Honestly, the laugh out loud moment of the entire show was when one woman offered Tony $100 to leave her alone. Priceless!

In fact, Tony did so much damage that at the halfway point his team was down some $4,000, inspiring his crew to mutiny.

Remember those rules about earning the money via selling dances and photos? Do you recall anything specific about a clothing optional clause? Yeah, well apparently Team Red saw it somewhere in the fine print because they decided the best way to earn the bucks was to take it off. And since the majority of the team are dancers by profession, they really knew how to take it off. Dances without shirts. Pictures without shirts. Any and all touching encouraged and allowed (for an extra fee, of course).

All of this going on while Team White danced and charmed…*sigh* Romance versus Smut.

Thankfully there was one final test that no amount of shirtlessness could cheat. A dance off between the two team leaders. Can I tell you how funny it looks when Tony nearly drops a woman he’s trying to dip all while keeping the white rose clenched firmly between his perfectly capped teeth?

Fabio entered the room to announce the winner. The women swooned and squealed. Tony big-noted himself in his own special way: “Fabio will walk into a room and women just adore him. It’s almost like you’re born with it. It’s almost like a gift. And I’ve noticed ever since I was a child that I have this gift with women.”

It should come as no surprise to you that TJ won. Because in the end, we women are a classy bunch. We know that as much fun as it is to ogle and grope a six-pack, we’d rather take home the guy with a brain and the ability to carry on a conversation that goes beyond “How you doin’?”

Of course, not that Team Red’s defeat had anything at all to do with Tony.

Tony: … we would have won if it wasn’t for TJ’s dance and the fact that my partner could not dance (Marklander: No, she was big. She couldn’t dance. TJ’s girl was a better dancer…)

Woman at the ball: The Team Leader of the Red Team was definitely the worst…he was a little intense…a little over the top…

Tony: I’m just a ball of dynamite, ready to explode. And women see it.

Andrew: I thought our team strategy was off from the beginning…it wasn’t the Red Team but Tony’s Team…

Tony: As their team leader, I sacrificed myself. I put myself out on the line. I was charming and charming my way to get the money because everybody was screwing up on my team.

OMG!! Could he be any more of a complete door knob?

Final results of the competition based on the total dollar amount earned:
Third Place – Randy
Second Place – Justin
First Place – TJ

Last Place – Charles. Poor, poor Charles. Pack it up, buddy. Cut your losses now…

Also learned by the Boys: Taking off shirts at a formal ball = bad!

Scott: (whining and making me wish he'd go back to blending in) …but that’s where I started making my money
Hakan: That’s okay for a strip club
Scott: Women whose men don’t have six-packs liked touching them
Tony: And we were being classy…

I just can’t even top that.

Next week the guys get to play dress up and Tony hurts his foot and Marklander cries about it. Oh, I just cannot wait.


Anonymous said...

I look forward to these recaps every week. They are hysterical. Agreed, this episode was boring because it focused too much on Tony and too less on Marklander. When that lady offered Tony $100 to leave her alone I laughed so hard I spit my soda out of my mouth. I cringed at several points because I was so embarrased for Tony. Hopefully the producers step it up next week-the first episode was the best and they've gone downhill since, but its still a FUNNY show.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to these recaps every week. They are hysterical. Agreed, this episode was boring because it focused too much on Tony and too less on Marklander. When that lady offered Tony $100 to leave her alone I laughed so hard I spit my soda out of my mouth. I cringed at several points because I was so embarrased for Tony. Hopefully the producers step it up next week-the first episode was the best and they've gone downhill since, but its still a FUNNY show.

McVane said...

Yay! Thank you, Lynn, for the recap. I'll name my not-yet-conceived firstborn after you. :D

[It's still fine if it's a boy because Lynn is a Welsh male name. Hur hur! :D]

Thank you!

Sela Carsen said...

Lynn, I read this every week, too, just to see your take on it. SOOO Spot On!! Anyway, heads up to let you know that I've posted the link to your blog on Romance Divas. The Divas are hosting a chat with Adam on Sunday at 5pm EST.

Sheri Haynes said...

Lynn, I just found your blog and this is soo spot on! I'll be coming back often!

Anonymous said...

Tony is nothing like he was shown as. He is a genuine man who has a wonderful heart. In reality, he is married to a wonderful woman whom he loves dearly. He is well known all over the world and has many fans. He helps people with their lives by talking and motivating them. He is a wonderful motivator and he helps people from all over improving their mind, body, and soul. If you dont believe it, find out for yourself. Visit his website,
email him with a question...see if he answers.