Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tool Academy 2: Everyone's a "Tool"

Last week, the host of the show- the biggest tool of all- shouted at the Spray Tan Tool, who didn't want to leave by the front door when he was expelled. On reality shows, the contestants are expected to behave a certain way- and when they start thinking for themselves, the people in charge start to lose it.

No one is sympathetic on “Tool Academy.” The men are, well, tools. Obnoxious, irresponsible, loud, vulgar, immature. They want to party, and little else. Last season, they were tricked into thinking they were going to be part of some kind of reality show, I believe it was called “Mr. Incredible,” or “Mr. Awesome." This season, they were tricked into thinking they were in contention to be the male spokesperson ("party king") for an energy drink (?) called “her.” To that end, they were all sent to Las Vegas, where they thought they’d be judged based on how obnoxious and silly they could act.

Instead, they had been enrolled in “Tool Academy” by their "frustrated" girlfriends. These girlfriends are not sympathetic, either. Why stay with a “tool” for a few months (in one case) to several years (in another)? All of the women are attractive. All of them seem reasonably smart. All of them could do better. Clearly, they do not want to do better. Or, they didn’t in the past. So they indulged their “tools.”

The girlfriends are tools.

And the tools behaved as tools. Why should they change, why should they want to change, when the girlfriend has already demonstrated that she’s willing to stay with a man who claims that he’s solid gold that shot out of his mother’s vagina? Or the boyfriend who makes her feel like just another whore when they go to parties? Or how about the one who was caught having sex with another woman, and who then returned to “finish her off” after his girlfriend had run off in tears?

These men are supposed to “change”? Why should they? You stayed with him after that?

I understand it can be hard to leave someone when you’ve committed time and emotion to them. That’s why the premise of “Tool Academy” has it backasswards. It’s the women who should be enrolled in a program. A program to wean them off tools.

The therapist, Trina, tells the women they don’t deserve to be treated in this way. She says that, but she doesn’t mean it. If she did, she would tell them to cut and run, it’s not worth it and dammit life is too short to put with this bulls hit. Therapist Trina, too, is a tool.

Therapist Trina Dolenz doles out advice that should be heeded by no one.

For the first episode, therapy consisted of humiliation, as before all the couples, the interviews conducted with the tools- when they thought they were trying to become a “her” man- are screened, juxtaposed against the tearful and sincerely pained interviews conducted with the tools’ girlfriends. The effect is intended to elicit sympathy for the women, but I could not help myself, I kept thinking the same thing, every time. Why did the women allow themselves to be treated like this? What kind of therapist would recommend staying with such men?

As the “Old Tool” (he’s 31!) says, “Therapy is probably my least favorite thing here, hands down, it’s- it’s not fun, it’s scary, the girls are always pissed off.”

That’s the point, Old Tool.

“Today’s session could very well be the worst,” therapist Trina informs them, hopefully. “Fidelity.”

Again- what’s the point of this? We’ve already established (the men have admitted in the previous episode) that they are “unfaithful.” They sleep around. The women were made to cry by these revelations last week. In most cases, they already knew these guys could not be trusted, yet they remained with them anyway.

A stony silence falls over the crowd.

Trina explains that when they thought they were auditioning to be the “party king,” they were left alone in a dressing room with “extremely attractive models.” A hidden camera caught their actions. “And I think this footage should shine a light on what your behaviour [she’s British] is really like when your girlfriends are not around.”

We know what their behavior is like when their girlfriends aren’t around. That has been established already. Moreover, and far be it from me to attempt to justify boorish behavior, but these “alpha males” have been informed they are auditioning to become “party kings.” Wouldn’t someone who was auditioning for such a title be a little inclined to behave boorishly? Where is the party? The Hamptons? Is he part of “the horsey set”?

How much alcohol had been provided? We’ve already seen plenty of “exposes” on how producers attempt to spike the contestants of reality show with drink and little food. These slobs who clearly lack in self control (hey Trina, why not concentrate on that with the men? separate the women from the men, teach the men self-control and the women self-reliance, and then at the end of your amazing and intensely helpful “therapy” reunite them and see if they still want to try to work things out? none of this keeping them together as couples and eliminating the one who supposedly shows the least progress bulls hit) are being subjected to manipulation.

“She’s my throwback,” J Daddy tells one of the models, in reference to his girlfriend. That’s why he keeps her around- when he can’t find any other tail, he can have her.

His girlfriend slaps him. “I just don’t want to be alone,” J Daddy says, crying.

“Well done,” Trina says. Yes, a real breakthrough has been made here.

I’m not sure I could be a psychiatrist, or even a psychologist. If I had that couple in my session, I would probably stand up and yell at the woman, “STOP LETTING HIM TREAT YOU LIKE THAT, YOU STUPID THROWBACK!” Then I would turn to the man and say, “STOP BEING SUCH A F*CKING TOOL!” Then I would send them away from me, with instructions never show their faces anywhere near me ever again.

Dre P actually behaved “well.”

Old Tool: “I’m a flirt… I’m a grown-ass man, I can do whatever the hell I want.” Yes, you can. You can leave now, if you want. You’re the Old (31!) Tool.

The Hillbilly Tool saunters into the dressing room in a jock strap, a bandanna, and nothing else. Later, he lounges with the models on the sofa, with a boa draped over his shoulders. I have to admit, that is kind of awesome.

In a stupid kind of way, I mean.

Also notable for the Hillbilly Tool is the fact that he’s shown holding alcoholic beverages throughout his footage (it’s only when he’s on the floor on all fours and being ridden by one of the models that he’s not holding a glass of something). So the question is, How much alcohol were the tools provided?

How much drink was the Hillbilly Tool Stew given before he sauntered into the models' room in nothing but a jock strap?

I do not mean to excuse their behavior by saying “oh they were just drunk.” But the producers are transparently manipulating everyone involved.

The producers are tools.

When he’s shown kissing one of the models, his girlfriend Amanda loses it, and starts hitting him, closed fist. It’s so disturbing, Trina almost stands up.

“How could you do that?” Amanda demands.

“You know how I get when I’m drunk,” Hillbilly Tool mumbles.

Amanda then utters the theme of the show. This is the most important line anyone will ever utter on “Tool Academy.” It exposes the deeply cynical attitude that led to its creation. Amanda’s response is:

“I don’t give a f*ck! That’s the problem, you get too f*cking drunk, and you have no f*cking idea what you do!”

She doesn’t give a f*ck. That’s the problem. She doesn’t give a f*ck. He’s a tool. He gets drunk. She knows how he gets, and she doesn’t give a f*ck.

Amanda: There are plenty of men out there who do not get like that when they’re drunk. Plenty who will not behave that way when they’re drunk. Plenty who just don’t get drunk, period.

But you, Amanda—you just don’t give a f*ck.

Absurdly, she says, “I trust him to go out… I don’t trust him now.”

Now you don’t trust him, Amanda? Are you serious? At this point, therapist Trina needs to stop the show and send Amanda to a real psychiatrist. She needs help.

T Shaw describes his girlfriend as a “Speed Bump,” and says that his girlfriend isn’t his “type.” She’s Asian, and he says something about not having an “Asian festish,” which is a good thing. It shows he really cares about her, that he’s gone outside his type. Tearfully, he explains that she should be flattered that he went outside his box to date her.

The last guy, the “Special” Tool (I’m not sure what that means), admits that he “f*cked” a woman his girlfriend Shannon had seen him kissing a year before. At that point, the girlfriend says, “Can I leave?”

Trina tells her, “Alright just talk to me.”

“Can I please leave,” Shannon pleads. “I wanna leave.”

“Alright,” Trina relents. Some therapist! Letting one of her “patients” leave the room to get out of an uncomfortable, emotionally devastating situation! Trina needs to hold that woman down and get her to FACE HER PROBLEMS!

What if she leaves the show? Will the whole fiction of the concept be exposed?

“Okay,” Trina tells the rest of the couples, after both Special Tool and his girlfriend have left. “It’s very intense for both of them. We can be respectful and hold it for them.”

She actually says they need to be respectful. And wait for them to return.

Before the end of the session, Dre P, who did so “well” on his hidden camera test, decides that, as long as we’re getting things out in the open, he’s going to humiliate his girlfriend just as Special Tool has just humiliated his, and admit that one year before, on his birthday, “the old Andre did mess up. Her name was Monique. It was a one-time thing, it happened one time.”

His girlfriend, of course, is devastated.

Dre P was in the clear, but succumbed to the sweet temptation of "honesty."

And then the other tools start confessing. Apologies followed by tears. As the Manscaped Tool interviews, “It was the most painful, disgusting display of emotions I’ve ever seen.”

The sad thing is, he’s right. It is painful. It is disgusting.

It’s so bad that Trina, sensing things are getting out of hand. The women could possibly decide to leave en masse, and they can’t have that. There would be no show if everyone just walked out, which is exactly what they should do. “I’m just gonna hold you right there. It feels almost like all you girls have been dumped on, and you’re in this incredibly bad position. But it was necessary to move forward.”

See? They needed to be dumped on, and humiliated. So they could “move forward.” With their tools.

“Gentlemen, I hope you see the profound effect that your actions can have,” therapist Trina says, disingenuously.

The women go back to their house to cry and wallow in their suffering. The men return to their room to drink and party. They are, after all, party kings.

The men then start wrestling. Surprisingly, the combination of drink and wrestling leads to real arguments.

Old Tool: “It is like Thunder Dome.”

Fidelity Challenge. The host Jordan Murphy, a smug tool who last week shouted at the tool who was expelled, announces that the couples will prove their fidelity by writing and performing cheers. To help, former NBA and NFL cheerleaders Liz and Candace, who are both extremely physically attractive, are brought in.

Christina, the Guy Liner Tools’ girlfriend, interviews: “Great. One more thing I have to deal with.”

Turn and leave, Christina. Walk away.

Winners of the challenge get a “hot date” that night. Why oh why would these people want to win a “hot date” after the day they’ve had? The winners should get a private therapy session with a responsible therapist.

The winners should get to go home.

The day doesn’t go well for most of them, as the women are still crying. The Special Tool takes the opportunity to tell Shannon that he’s had sex with two other women. It’s disgusting, she says, that his d*ck has been in three other p*ssies in the time they’ve been together. In fairness to him, it probably wasn’t only p*ssies he had his d*ck in.

Not really much cheering going on, although therapist Trina, watching in the therapy room, does commend Special Tool’s “courageous” honesty.

Shannon should be more impressed than she is with Special Tools' "courageous honesty."

The cheers were pathetic and painful to watch. Happily we don’t have to watch much.

Charm and his girlfriend spell the word INFEDITLY in their cheer.

Old Tool does nothing in his cheer.

Special Tool can’t remember his cheer.

Hillbilly Tool and his girlfriend win the challenge- a hot photoshoot and a night of- well, sex is implied.

That’s all it takes. A cheer. Then you get to have sex with the woman you cheated on.

Last week, as I’ve stated, the tool of a host showed what a tool he was when he started shouting at the expelled student when he didn’t want to leave by the front door. It was awkward. This week, another awkward elimination. Old Tool, at 31, is just too old to learn (you know the story about old dogs and new tricks), and he’s expelled. Outside, he tells his girlfriend Tracy, “We’re done. Babe, I love you, we had an awesome time, but I’m not gonna go through this anymore. We’re done.”

The women are apoplectic. How could he dump her? After everything that's happened- after the infidelity, after the partying, after the obnoxious behavior that inspired his girlfriend not to break up with him, but to "enroll" him in a reality show-- after all that, how could he break up with her?

Finally, some honesty. Oh, wait, that’s next week’s theme. Honesty. Old Tool jumped the gun.

Tracy, you can do better. But you should thank the Old Tool for his "courageous" honesty, as therapist Trina would say.

Trina pic source.
Every other pic source.

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