Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Basement Affair Episode 2: The Fighting Snitch


The episode opens with a potentially quite touching moment with the women vying for Frank's affections sitting around the table while Frank's mother, the obnoxious Susan, tells them about her daughter's cat. It's hairless, and Susan once thought it was ugly. Oh, but it's beautiful now.

Thanks to the editing, this revelation appears to elicit the following from contestant Renee: "Now that I've gotten to know Frank and his family, it definitely makes me want to fight all the more."

Let's consider this for a moment. Even though I am certain that Renee's desire to "fight" (presumably to win Frank's heart) has little to do with Susan's opinion of her daughter's ugly hairless cat (even the obnoxious old bat can see the beauty in something so seemingly unattractive!), it is still an astonishing sentiment, given what she saw in the previous episode. Frank lives in his parents' basement. His mother is a castrating jerk, and his father is a passive aggressive doormat. What on earth has Renee seen that would strengthen her resolve to "fight," instead of heading for the nearest exit?

Oh, wait-- she means "fight" to stay on the show long enough to become an interesting character and angle for her own VH1 show. Okay now it all makes sense.

This is the man they're fighting for.

We get a brief shot of a tattoo on Mandy's lower stomach, just above her naughty bits: INGODWETRUST.

What? She has INGODWETRUST tattooed above her naughties? I can't think of anything that would kill the mood faster than to pull off a woman's pants and see that staring back at me. Maybe she expects men to pray to her?

Mandy then interviews that Frank's mom "completely humiliated me." Mandy, that ship sailed when you signed the release to appear on this show. For that matter, it sailed when you got INGODWETRUST tattooed over your naughties.

But she does have a point. Susan was obnoxious in the last episode. She will be obnoxious this episode. In fact, I'll probably stop mentioning her in this blog. Just assume that at various points the show is cut in such a way to show Susan being Susan, so I won't have to bring her up anymore.

Frank tells the women they will all get to spend some "one-on-one time" with him, down in the basement. Entertaining him. "You have a couple minutes to show me whether it's a gift, a special talent you have, there's supplies if you want to make something... Basically, anything that makes me learn a little more about you."

So it's just exactly the same as when they did it on Megan's show, Real and Chance's show, Bret's show, Flavor Flav's show... every single one of these shows do this bit.

And there's always a few who do really well, a few who don't try at all, a few who try too hard, a few who fall flat on their faces. It is always the same. I'm starting to realize that now.

Annie, the video artist, goes straight for the trash. You know, because she's the quirky one. She likes trash because "it's just like materials that people don't normally use." So she's making something from trash.

What is the opposite of "irony?"

Annie the quirky video artist looks an awful lot like...

mel flight of the conchords Pictures, Images and Photos
...Mel, the quirky stalker from "Flight of the Conchords," doesn't she?

Renee writes a story that is, according to Cathy, "pretty much hatin' on all of us girls." Renee's story suggests that some of the women are there to "jump start their modeling careers" or "to party."

Cathy, you will remember, was last seen on another reality show, "I Survived a Japanese Game Show." She also has her own modeling webpage.

Anyway, in the basement, the women have two minutes exactly to impress Frank. You can tell he's serious because he uses the timer on the microwave oven that he apparently keeps by his bed (?) to keep the time. When the microwave timer dings, the women are finished.

Kerry makes him cupcakes. I would enjoy that myself.

Then there was the one who made him a tattoo of his mother. Another shows him how to hula hoop. Tammy, the one who likes "Asian Chinese food," gives him a manicure. Really, an Asian woman giving a manicure. And she asks him if he likes to use his "big hands" to "grab as many women as [he] can." He assures her that he does not.

Dana, the law student, rambles on about something. Cathy, from "Japanese Game Show," is late gargling mouthwash. But she was going to make him balloon animals, so she had little chance anyway. Why didn't she just take her top off?


Cathy Nardone is not appearing on Frank the Entertainer's show to advance her modeling career. That's why she wanted to make balloon animals for him. This woman wanted to make balloon animals for her serious potential romantic partner.

Annie arrives in the basement wearing a beret, so you can automatically tell she is an artist. And probably a Francophile. But then, who isn't a Francophile? If she starts reciting Rimbaud, I will probably hurt myself trying to climb into the television set.

But, no poetry. Instead, she is feeling nervous because "I don't know if he's going to appreciate trash in the same way I appreciate trash."

Annie. Frank the Entertainer is a regular on VH1 reality shows. Trust me; he appreciates trash.

Her art is meditative and fun, she says. But the time runs out before Annie is able to finish. Or maybe she was finished. Who knows? As Jackson Pollock is supposed to have said when someone asked him how he knew he was finished with a painting, "How do you know when you're finished having sex? When the timer on the microwave dings."

Renee reads her story, which includes some cartoon drawings. Her parents always told her she was very good at drawing, she interviews. Her parents were just being polite, but I give her points for doing cartoons, and if it were me they were trying to impress, she would have to now be in the lead. A woman who draws cartoons, no matter how poorly, is automatically hot.

Jenny, who had seemed like such a catch last week and really put Frank on the spot with her question about dating black women, does some bulls hit about his star chart or zodiac sign, or something.

I would kick her off the show automatically. I actually did stop dating a woman once because she tried to explain to me that astrology was a "science." Astrology, not astronomy. She was pretty hot, too. I wonder if she ever gave up on that astrology stuff?

Anyway, Mandy the bartender tries to make Frank some mixed chocolate drinks when you-know-who starts acting all obnoxious again. Another bartender Melissa crushed a beer can with her breasts. I admit I liked that one-- it's an impractical talent, but an impressive one. Or two. Then Jessica did an interpretive dance routine or something.

Felicia relates the story of her breast cancer scare, and how she had half of her left breast removed. She then relates that to her new adventure, appearing on a cheesy competitive dating show with Frank the Entertainer at the center. Frank refrained from making fun of her.

Then there's some !drama! when Cathy starts talking smack about Renee's smacktalk book. That drama lasts about twenty seconds before Frank chooses his three favorites to take with him on his special date.

Of course Felicia is chosen first. Renee is second. Cupcake Kerry is third. Can't argue with any of these choices, really. Their reward is to eat pizza at the Brooklyn Bridge. That landmark is of course a famous symbol of grifting and charlatanism-- how many times has that bridge been "sold" to unsuspecting rube tourists? And now, conman Frank is presenting himself as sincerely looking for love to three conwomen who are presenting themselves as sincerely looking for love.

Renee annoys the other women, who feel she is trying too hard. She does lay it on thick with her "I've been dead so long" talk, but she is just so much cuter than any of the other women, you just know she has got to be sincere. Will she end up being this season's "good girl"?

Frank asks her to name one woman on the show who might not be there "for him." Renee makes the obvious choice-- Cathy. She doesn't mention the "Japanese Game Show" angle (maybe no one else knew about that?), but does mention the smacktalk Cathy had been doing earlier.

And, as Frank knows, she tried to make him balloon animals.

Frank tells her to keep her ears open, to "find a little scoop out" about her. That isn't a good sign. No man wants to date a snitch. You keep a snitch around to snitch for you, to "find a little scoop" until you're down to maybe four possibles, and then you cut your snitch loose with a "thank you and good luck."

So Renee's the snitch.


Back at the house, the women are apparently cleaning, doing dishes and running the vacuum. Earning their keep. This is not typical reality show behavior, a situation that is rectified when they all jump in the jacuzzi later that night. The women are drinking copious amounts of alcohol, Cathy is getting intoxicated, and all is right with the reality show world.

(By the way, twice it's been mentioned that "Frank does not drink." Nor do we see him drinking. Is there some backstory I don't know about? Why oh why wouldn't Frank drink? Did he drink on the I Love Moneys? Or is he just naturally obnoxious?)

Frank attempts to help Cathy sober up, which causes her to become angry and then sad. She leans over the toilet crying. This turns out to be a blessing because you-know-who the obnoxious mother comes down and berates the women she invited into her house-- you know, the VH1 competitive dating show contestants-- for getting drunk and loud and generally behaving like VH1 competitive dating show contestants. She's also offended that someone put vodka in a half-full water bottle. She was "just about to drink it," she says, which is stupid-- why on earth would you drink from a random half-full water bottle that you find in a kitchen when there are a bunch of VH1 competitive dating show contestants around? "Vodka" is probably the most innocuous substance in that bottle; in fact, the vodka might actually kill all the bad stuff she would otherwise catch.

But this is a reality show, and so there is a certain level of fiction to be maintained. When the skanks act like skanks, the obnoxious mother has to act surprised.

This goes on for what seems like an hour. "Who put vodker in my water bottle?" she keeps screaming. She confronts Mandy. Did you put vodker in my water bottle? Do you know who did?

Next day, Frank's parents call him up to their bedroom to talk smack about Mandy. Mandy is a bad influence and Susan wants him to eliminate her. Susan can't stay in the house with her anymore, which I think is a point in Mandy's favor. Susan also can't see Mandy as her daughter-in-law (don't worry, Frank ain't marrying any of these women unless he can get a show out of it) or the mother of her grandchildren (well, accidents do happen).

Susan is going to kick everyone out if Frank doesn't eliminate Mandy. So Frank invites Mandy to his basement to spare her the humiliation of going through an elimination. What?

But there's still an elimination. Frank calls Jessica down to the basement for a heart-to-heart that makes no sense. She rambles on about things I don't understand.

Kerry gives Cathy some tough love, telling her to not be so obnoxious-- apparently forgetting that Frank's favorite person is his obnoxious mother. Kerry also tells Cathy to let Frank talk, not talk over him, and not be confrontational.

Again, Frank likes that kind of stuff. He still lives with his mother.

Thankfully for her sake, Cathy ignores Kerry's advice and finds Frank outside near the pool, smoking a cigarette (does his mother, so scandalized over finding vodka in a half-full water bottle, allow him to smoke?), and proceeds to confront Frank. This conversation makes about as much sense as the conversation with Jessica.


First key to Renee, of course. Last two are Jessica and Cathy. Spacy vs. obnoxious. Frank of course chooses obnoxious. Cathy lives to drink another day. Jessica is too happy and not serious enough.

Annie pic source.
Mel pic source.
Renee pic source.
Cathy Nardone pic source.
Frank pic source.

1 comment:

shampoo said...

on ilm frank got drunk and hooked up with pumkin. he's been rehabbed or he' convinced his mom that was "acting" and he never drank. on and he drank and got weird on ilny. he's an alkie, probably.

it would take some damn good balloon animals to entertain even some dimwit like frank. did she at least wear a bikini?

it gives me the creeps to think about picking up a random liquid and drinking it in a vh1 house. (shudder)