Monday, April 6, 2009

I Love Money 2: Bed Hopping, and Goodbye to a Dear Friend

Becky Buckwild was the primary reason I fell in love with "I Love Money 2," the greatest television show of all time. Her charms are obvious to anyone with eyes and ears, combining as she does the sexiest qualities of Larry Fine, the slapstickiest qualities of Bettie Page, and the intellectual prowess of Screwy Squirrel. In short, she is as near to perfection as has ever appeared on any reality show.

Becky Buckwild is like an unholy mixture of Larry Fine, Bettie Page, and Screwy Squirrel.

I promised myself I wouldn't cry.

This week, the Underdogs have truly taken over. Their alliance has five members to the Bullies' four. Becky Buckwild and Saaphyri are talking- well, Buckwild is talking, Saaphyri is eating and listening politely- about how all the two of them have is each other. They made it all the way to the end of "Charm School" together, they can make it through this. Her alliance with Saaphyri, her best friend in the house, is solid. Frenchy is fairly solid. And she knows that 20 Pack "has got [her] back."

Anyone who watches VH1 reality shows knows that this is the clever foreshadowing the editors use to let you know something ain't right, and already my heart is sinking, just a little bit.

Saaphyri and Buckwild explain to Prancer what they learned in "Charm School" together.

Tailor Made and the Underdogs hold a group meeting, laying out their strategy. As long as none of them is last, none of them will go home, because they have the numbers. And if one of their alliance is last, then they must ensure that one of their five is the Paymaster. From there, they just vote all the Bullies in the box.

20 Pack has a strategy of his own, and it's so simple even he could follow it: "Win! Win! Win!"

The challenge is bed-hopping- several beds are lined up in a lake, and the contestants must leap from bed to bed, retrieving bags of money from the last two beds, and bringing them back to shore. There's a five-minute time limit, and if any contestant falls into the lake, they must return to the starting line and begin again.

There is no doubt that 20 Pack, who looks like "the Bionic Man" (Tailor Made) will win this, and he crushes everyone else, finishing in under 30 seconds.

Prancer expresses her concern with challenge: She worries that It might be in for some trouble, and she's right to be concerned. The wonderful and strange It, who mumbles the most amazing nonsensical statements, has problems with eyesight and balance which have been documented on past episodes.

And things look dire for him as he stumble-jumps his way from one bed to the next, barely able to stay out of the water, vision blurred, but indomitable of spirit. He presses on, and finishes in just under five minutes. How can it be possible that he is not the Dead-Last Loser?

Well, Frenchy has yet to take her turn. She seems to be off to a good, solid start, certainly she'll be It's time, and It will be going home, 20 Pack, Buckwild, and Saaphyri will be intolerable for one more week, and the Underdogs' game plan will have to be altered slightly.

Then Frenchy falls in the lake. She has to return to the starting line and bed-hop again. Still, she's got time. It took about three years to finish. Surely Frenchy, with everything at stake, will make careful, determined leaps that will ensure she doesn't land in the water yet again?

But, alas, she does fall in the lake again. There is still time, but Frenchy is either too tired to think straight or she is adjusting her thong, because she seems to just be standing there, waiting for the time to expire, which it does.

Frenchy is dead last, and she's automatically going in the box.

Following the challenge, Tailor Made shows a rare moment of weakness- he's stubbed his toe, which has resulted in a particularly grisly injury. Something, perhaps the nail itself, is removed (the point is unclear, but it looks bad). 20 Pack, surly from being on the stupider alliance, calls Tailor Made a "pussy" 20 Pack is not one to talk- at least Tailor Made's injury was not self-inflicted. 20 Pack, as you'll recall, broke his own hand while celebrating a victory in the boxing challenge.

Anyway, the Underdogs clearly have the numbers, and there's no doubt in anyone's mind that they will vote Saaphyri and Becky Buckwild into the box with Frenchy. Another Bully is going home. Unless they can come up with a cunning plan to get the Underdogs to turn on one of their own. They decide to concentrate on It.

It doesn't "see too good," so maybe they could tell him that 20 Pack is Tailor Made, and get him to vote for one of the other Underdogs?

That plan above is stupid. That plan is ten-times smarter than what the Bullies come up with.

Their first plan is for Saaphyri to use her charms to get It to either vote with them, or abstain from voting in order to force a stalemate, meaning 20 Pack would get to choose who went into the box. This plan overestimates Saaphyri's charm, and underestimates It's intelligence. It somehow resists.

Saaphyri, in a fit of pique over the rejection, throws It's clothes out of her bedroom. A nonplussed It seems more concerned over the fact that some of his stuff could have been broken than the fact that he will no longer get to share Saaphyri's bed.

How could Saaphyri throw this man out of her bed?

Second plan is to get 20 Pack to talk to Tailor Made, man-to-man, to get him to offer up It as a sacrifice, so that 20 Pack won't have to "send one of [his] friends home." In other words, 20 Pack is sad because he doesn't want to play the game and send someone he likes home. 20 Pack is being a pussy, which is ironic because if you'll recall just a few scenes before, 20 Pack accused Tailor Made of being a pussy. Clearly, in a "man-to-man" talk between Tailor Made and 20 Pack they are a man short. Tailor Made knows this and looks him in the eye and tells him, "No."

20 Pack, an exotic dancer, is just too sensitive to send one of his friends home.

Next plan is for Becky Buckwild and Saaphyri to cause enough chaos to send the vault vote past the fifteen minute time limit, therefore allowing 20 Pack to choose who will join Frenchy in the box.

This leads to what might have been the greatest five minutes in the history of television. If nothing else, Saaphyri and Becky Buckwild are to be commended for their determination to their cause, and dedication to saving themselves.

They start with yelling and screaming. Pressing against the members of the Underdogs, trying to intimidate them with their tequila and burrito breath, with their vituperative shouting, with the anger in their eyes. Becky Buckwild retrieves a water bottle from off camera and throws it on the lovely Myammee. This prompts some stage hands or PAs to actually walk on camera and physically separate the players.

At this point, the host Craig- who really doesn't get enough credit and at some point I will write an entry about why he is the greatest reality show host in history- has had more than enough and stops the clock at about 2:30. Saaphryi and Becky Buckwild can't believe it. He can stop the clock?

Craig's shirt is selling him short- does anyone think that Jeff Probst would be able to maintain his cool with the "I Love Money 2" bunch?

He can because he's the host. In case they hadn't noticed, the show is often manipulated by the producers.

Saaphyri then pretends to lose consciousness. Collapsing in a heap on the floor, Becky Buckwild, tears in her eyes, straddles her seemingly lifeless body while imploring someone, anyone, to let her provide Saaphyri with the medicine she so desperately needs!

It's a magnificent performance, and just one more reason to love Becky Buckwild.

She manages to drag Saaphyri back to their room, where they celebrate their short-lived victory. Their plan is to get Saaphyri sent to the hospital, where she will undergo a painful bypass and polyp operation, therefore putting the show in limbo until she's able to return. The other contestants will have to stay in the house and wait for her. In the meantime, Becky Buckwild will use her considerable powers of persuasion to sway the Underdogs, driving a wedge between them. When Saaphyri returns from the hospital in three to five weeks, the tenor of the game will have changed, and the Bullies will be back in control.

That plan I outlined above is stupid, but it is smarter than the plan Becky Buckwild and Saaphyri have. Actually, they have no plan, and when the medic comes in with two hypodermic needles, Saaphyri has a miraculous turnaround. Ironic, given the state of healthcare in this country and in Mexico, that someone would willingly turn down the chance to be given a free shot of medicine.

Saaphyri and Becky Buckwild return to the Vault. Unsurprisingly, their checks join Frenchy's in the box.

20 Pack, the pussy, is whining in a most unappealing way about having to send one of his "friends" home. Pity him, he's the Paymaster and in a delicate position.

Even the editors of "I Love Money 2" acknowledge Tailor Made is in charge.

During the Power Outing, Becky Buckwild and Saaphyri make the case that they are too stupid to be separated. They are like a gestalt human, as first discussed in Theodore Sturgeon's SF classic "More Than Human." 20 Pack says they're like "Voltron," but it's the same thing.

All Frenchy has going for her is the fact that she was loyal to the "lion" she had with 20 Pack, and didn't send him home, even though he made it clear that he found her physically repulsive. What a gentleman 20 Pack is.

After the Power Outing it seems clear that 20 Pack will send Frenchy home. Saaphyri and Buckwild must be appeased, and to be honest, I don't blame him, because either one of them could probably kick his sorry punk ass, being as he is an ungentlemanly pussy. But Tailor Made offers him a deal: If he will send Buckwild home, the Underdogs will agree to not send him home next week. He'll be guaranteed one more week in Mexico, and Saaphyri will be sent home.

Tailor Made makes this case to 20 Pack with the other members of the Underdogs in the room. He wants to make sure that 20 Pack understands the entire alliance is behind this plan.

Of course, when 20 Pack leaves, It mumbles something in his charmingly slurred style about sending 20 Pack home, first chance they get.

How many times has 20 Pack said Tailor Made is a "snake"? How many times has he railed against the seemingly unholy power that Tailor Made has to manipulate events? How jealous has 20 Pack been of Tailor Made's powers of reason and strategy?

How stupid is 20 Pack?

During the elimination ceremony, 20 Pack calls Buckwild up to receive the first check. Relieved, she embraces 20 Pack, and gives him some profoundly stupid advice. Possibly the worst advice I have ever heard in my life:

"When your ship is sinking you don't jump the f*ck off. You stay on that f*cker and ride it."

How does that make sense? If the ship is sinking, you get the f*ck OFF THE SHIP. You will die if you stay on the sinking ship! Jump the f*ck off the ship.

Anyway, it turns out that 20 Pack was trying to be the man Tailor Made was last week, when he made the genuinely dramatic gesture of having Prancer void Cali's check. He tells Buckwild that he has to void her check, and Buckwild goes from relieved and happy to irritated to the point of speechlessness. As Tailor Made points out, this is a rare occasion when Buckwild is silent, and the silence is wonderful.

Becky Buckwild is gone from the show. What more is there to say? She was an angel, a guiding light, the irresistible siren who led me to the shore that is "I Love Money 2." She is gone, and now there are only Prancer, Ice, and Myammee to make me forget her.

Wait- who was I talking about again?

Hard to believe she's gone, but apparently you can listen to her radio show here.

1 comment:

A.Jaye said...

Told ya Saaphyri was faking it.

Seen Prancer's photo shoot? Ugh.

Even with Becky Buckwild gone the show will live on. This aint Rock of Love Bus.

I thought it was funny how Becky backed off from Myammee - something else I predicted.

You're doing a great blog R.