Alright, just as a heads up, I was a bit skeptical coming into watching this show. Much like there are A-list and B-list celebrities, there are A-list and B-list reality TV shows. I went into this show with a C-list opinon of it. Will that change? Let’s find out.
We start off the show being introduced to Tony Noaks, who will be the host of our show. If I’m supposed to know who he is, I don’t. Sorry. We are then introduced to the man behind the money, Bill Long. He is a self-made millionaire, born in the Depression. He says “if you’re gonna be successful, you have to motivate yourself.” He is a land developer in Arizona and has a 560-acre estate in Kansas. He is 74 years old and with his fourth wife, Penny. He says that he wants to hand over the estate to somebody with the traits he thinks are important: tenacity, aggressiveness, and honesty. If you don’t work, you don’t get a reward.
Back to the mansion, the dueling family members are starting to arrive. First is Penny, his wife. She says that she is tough, vindictive, and that Bill’s money is rightfully hers and she’ll stop at nothing to get it. Next is Billy, Bill’s son from his third wife. Billy says his best memory is the time he spent at the ranch, he loves the ranch and wants to keep it in the family. Bette is Bill’s mother-in-law, mother of Penny. She says that she adores Bill and he’s helped Penny stay on the straight and narrow. Next is Ashley, Bill’s son-in-law, Penny’s son. He says that he has a great work ethic, and he’s a competitor. Then there is Kristin, who is Ashley’s ex-girlfriend and also an employee of Bill and Penny. She says that everyone calls her a mini Penny, they both have fake boobs, blonde hair, and brown eyes. Then there’s Scott, Bill’s brother-in-law, who says that his sister Penny thinks he’s a follower but he may have to cheat and lie in this game. Danielle is next, a “trusted employee” of Bill, and she says that she’s there because Bill likes pretty girls. (I must say I agree with Bill on his choice to bring Danielle into the game. WOW. Even if she doesn’t end up with Bill’s estate and money, she can give me a call any time.) Next up is Mickey, a good friend of Bill’s. Mickey says that while Bill is a pain in the ass, he’s one of his closest friends and he’s going to win because he has the most staying power. Then it’s Crystal, another employee or close friend of the family, and she says that Bill’s been a second father to her, and he must see something positive in her. The last cast member to approach is Josh, Bill’s adopted son, and Josh says that Bill taking him in and living on the ranch saved his life.
Now it’s time for Tony Noaks to explain the game. Each week, the family members will face off in a challenge. The winner becomes the Protected Heir and will wear a ring belonging to Bill. How the elimination works is there is an inheritance chain. The Protected Heir chooses someone they want to save. Then that person chooses someone, and the next person chooses someone, until there’s only one person left that hasn’t been chosen, and that person is eliminated. Pretty nifty way of doing things. Too bad Bill gets no say in who is eliminated.
And the game begins. Penny already has her alliance, it’s her family: her, Ashley her son, Bette her mother, Scott her brother, and Kristin her son’s girlfriend/ex-girlfriend/employee/something. The trash talk begins as Penny says that Billy is a piece of shit kid and has to go first. Billy in a confessional says that Penny is a bitch, in eighth grade she told him he was worthless and not welcome in the family. Penny says she can’t be around Billy, he makes her skin crawl. Move over Omarosa, take a seat Jonathan and Victoria. If there’s a reality contestant I’ve ever wanted to permanently erase from this earth, it’s this bitch. And we’re not even thirty minutes into the show yet.
Josh, Billy, and Mickey are having a pow-wow in one of the bedrooms, Josh says that everyone’s gunning for Billy and Mickey tells them that it’s like rodeoing, the smartest guy always wins. Meanwhile, Penny is having a discussion of her own with Kristin, telling her to “prostitute herself” to Mickey to make sure he votes with Penny’s family. Penny says that she’s an excellent manipulator and she doesn’t feel that anyone can stand in her way. Hey, look, it’s me puking all over my carpet.
It’s time for the first challenge! All the family members have to bring a piggy bank to the challenge. Josh states the obvious: Him, Billy, and Mickey are outnumbered so they have to win. The first challenge is the typical reality-show endurance challenge. The family has to put their palm on the safe and not move it off or lean against the safe in any way, while holding the piggy bank in the other arm. It’s not 2 minutes before Crystal is out because of a few flying bugs. One by one, they all start falling. Billy is next, followed by Mickey, Bette, Kristin, Danielle, and finally Scott, leaving Josh, Ashley, and Bitchy…..er Penny. Penny is trash-talking Billy, telling Josh that he’s a “little sissy” and “he didn’t try to keep you in.” But Josh holds his ground. Ashley and Josh make a deal that if Ashley gets off, Josh will save him, as long as they keep Billy in the game. Ashley makes it a deal and hops off. Penny then makes the same deal, except Josh has to save her this time and Ashley next round. Josh agrees and Penny hops off, and Josh has become the first Protected Heir. Penny says that if “Josh breaks his word, it will be war.”
Penny says that there is “a lot of tension in the house” because people are afraid of being cut out of the will. (Just for reference, she and other people mention the tension in the house about twenty more times during the episode, so this is the last you’ll hear about it from me because I hate repetition.) Penny and Ashley and Scott and Bette are having a discussion, and while if Josh breaks his word it “will be war” the first thing Penny does is go to Danielle and tell her to eliminate Billy, even though part of the deal was to keep Billy. Penny is confident that Danielle will vote however she tells her to vote. Danielle in a confessional says that she doesn’t know the history between Penny and Billy, but she has a soft spot for Billy. Awwwww. She also says that Penny threatened to fire her if she kept Billy around. (BITCH!) Mickey and Billy are trying to talk Josh into not keeping his word, Mickey telling Josh that he won fair and square and that Penny is trying to make him believe that they gave up for him. Billy says that Josh needs to realize they are just as willing to break a promise as he is.
It’s time for the first inheritance chain of the evening. Josh is up and he picks………Penny. No surprise there. From there it goes down Penny’s family: she picks her son, Ashley picks his grandmother, Bette picks her son, and Scott picks his nephew’s girlfriend/ex-girlfriend/the Jessica Simpson look-alike. Kristin then chooses Crystal, and Crystal chooses her friend Danielle. It’s down to Billy and Mickey. Danielle pauses, and she decides to keep Billy. As Billy walks up, Mickey mutters “what a f—in’ dumbass.” Mickey says in a confessional that the chain just went down Penny’s cartel and that Penny is a greedy manipulative bitch. (AMEN MICKEY! I wish he’d stayed longer.) With that, Mickey is out of the mansion and out of the will. Danielle says that Penny is a strong woman, she wanted Billy to stay and she’s standing up to Penny. (I knew there was something good about this girl! Call me!)
Billy is thankful that Danielle saved him because he has a lot to prove to his dad. Penny meanwhile is rampaging to her cohorts, saying that Josh has a big head and Danielle pouts too much. Kristin is like, totally surprised that Mickey left, and it’s just wow, like, oh my god. Well, she’s not THAT bad. But. Yeah. Anyway, Danielle talks in the sauna with Billy and Josh, and has a discussion with them and she is confident that the two boys will look after her. Penny, meanwhile, is still in full bitch mode, saying she’s going to fire Danielle and she’s annoying because if you don’t give her what she wants, she pouts and whines. (Penny, look at yourself. You’re pouting and whining because Danielle didn’t get rid of Billy like you wanted.)
A twist in the game is revealed. Each family member gets a one-minute talk with Bill, and whoever gives the best talk, Bill will give an advantage to in the next challenge. One by one the members get to talk to Bill. Danielle says she’ll help Billy and Josh if she gets the advantage. Ashley is very cocky and says he doesn’t need the advantage, he has an advantage on everyone else as it is. Penny pulls a class act and says she strained her shoulders and back in the challenge yesterday and an advantage would help her soooooooooo much. Yech. Billy says that he’s here for Bill and wants to impress him, and he guarantees that his ass will be busting harder than he’s ever tried in his life. Penny says that if her husband gives Billy the advantage she will “put her husband through Hell.”
Short prayer by me: “Dear Lord, if you have any kindness in your heart, please strike Penny down with a bolt of lightning. Thank you, amen.”
It’s time for the challenge. Because Josh, Penny, and Ashley did the best in the last challenge, they will be team captains for this challenge. Josh chooses Billy and Danielle, Penny chooses her mom and her brother, and Ashley gets Kristin and Crystal. The challenge is this: Each team must complete a cattle pen for the first leg, then the second leg they have to carry water and fill up a cow trough, and in the third leg they have to muck out a horse stall and refill it with hay. Oh, and the teams will be chained together. After completing all three tasks, the teams will unchain and the first person to ring the bell gets to be the PH. Once the teams are shackled together, it is revealed that Bill is a dirty old man and Penny has gotten the advantage. Billy confesses that it’s always been like that, that his father has always taken Penny’s side. The advantage this round is a one-minute head start on everyone. However, Penny is just disastrous. Scott is in between his mother and his sister, and the three are struggling to put the pen together, and he says that on one side Penny is complaining and whining that they’ll never win, while his mother is saying that they can do it and let’s try. The one-minute advantage is useless to them as both Josh and Ashley’s team blow through the pen and leaving Penny complaining in the dust. Of course she says that her mother and brother were the ones that couldn’t do the challenge. *snort*
Josh and Ashley and their teams are neck and neck as they both finish the water at the same time, and the two get to the stables and are working on the hay at the same time. Ashley and his team look to finish first, but they’ve forgotten to lock the gate behind them so they have to go back. It looks to be a costly mistake, as it becomes a race between the teams to get somebody undone first. As it turns out, Billy is the first person unshackled and rings the bell and becomes the Protected Heir. (insert giddy laughter and cheering by me here)
Josh says that it meant a lot to him to be able to hand the ring over to Billy. Penny, meanwhile, is bitching and moaning, saying that there is no winner here, that they didn’t win, it’s unfair and we need to play fair games, not unfair games. (Hello, Penny, you had an ADVANTAGE and you blew it. Stop whining.) And on cue, Danielle says that Penny had an advantage and she chose her team so she shouldn’t be whining. (I love her! Absolutely love her!)
Ashley, in a confessional, says that some people are really bitter about Billy winning, but he feels that Josh will keep his word about saving Ashley in the inheritance chain. (I’d just like to point out that I nearly giggle every time Ashley talks, because his voice sounds almost exactly like the son from Family Guy.) Billy is frustrated with Josh because he finds out about the promise Josh made, but they find a way around it, and Billy says he’ll save Crystal and then Crystal will save Danielle and Danielle will save Josh, that way all of them will be save and Josh can keep his word. Danielle says that Crystal wants to be neutral since she hasn’t seen the bad side of Penny yet, but she should save Danielle. Kristin says that she knows “blood is thicker than water” and she’ll do what she has to to win the family fortune. We are then treated to Kristin sexing up Ashley and the two of them have a nice, by-the-pool make-out session. Kristin says that Ashley “was a great boyfriend” and there’s “no doubt in her mind that they’ll get back together.” The “romantic” interlude ends with Ashley saying the words every female wants to here: “Come to my room, OK?” Screen fade out.
Penny confronts Josh and she tells him that they made a deal and she feels like she can’t trust him. Penny then swears in a confessional that “if Josh breaks his word, I’d make his life completely miserable.” (If you’re keeping track, she has promised to make Josh’s life miserable twice, Danielle’s once, her husband’s once, and she thinks Billy is a piece-of-shit kid. Just so you know.) It happens to be Kristin’s birthday the day of the inheritance chain, and Ashley hopes that the birthday party will lighten the mood of the house. The birthday party goes well, until Penny realizes that maybe Josh is telling the truth that he’ll pick Ashley, but what if Billy chooses Danielle and Crystal FIRST? OH NO! Damn Billy and Josh for playing the game! Damn them!
So what does the mighty Penny do? She walks into the bedroom of Josh and Billy and tells Billy that “he has no class.” And then she throws her glass of wine on him and walks out. (…..) Billy starts laughing and Josh holds his head. Crystal walks in and Billy shows her the wet spot on his shirt and says that Penny just came in and threw wine on him. Crystal is shocked and says that she’s never seen Penny like this at all, she’s never seen her malicious side before.
So far through the episode, I have been assuming that Ashley is this dumb son who thinks he’s all that and is his mother’s toadie. However, my opinion of him changes rather quickly. First off, Penny goes around telling her family about how she just threw wine on Billy and told him he had no class. The foursome of Danielle, Crystal, Billy, and Josh set the dinner table for nine, but they are the only ones there because of Penny’s insistance that she “can’t deal with Billy.” Penny is having a temper tantrum on the porch, and Ashley says that she is getting hard to deal with, and he tells her that he’s going to go fix things. He goes and talks to Crystal, and tells her that he doesn’t want to see Kristin cry on her birthday, and Crystal agrees that she doesn’t want to do that to Kristin. Ashley privately confesses that he thinks that Crystal is using her survival skills and he doesn’t see her saving Kristin.
Ashley then returns to his mother and sits down, and Penny is still whining and saying that “Kristin is just going to have to go.” After Ashley tries to say something and she interrupts him three times saying the same thing, Ashley gets angry and says “Shut up and let me deal with it. All you’re doing is stomping your own foot into the ground.” When Penny opens her mouth to say the same thing again, Ashley says “You’re making this so much harder.” Penny looks bewildered. Ashley then goes up and talks with Kristin. Kristin says she’s nervous, but Ashley says “Don’t be.” (This entire ordeal makes me realize that Ashley is the brains and probably the only likeable person on that side of the family.) Penny then makes a confessional and says that “if Ashley saves Kristin instead of me, it will be the last wrong decision he ever makes in his life.” (Add Ashley to the list of death threats made by Penny.)
It’s time for the second inheritance chain. Billy is the first pick, and he chooses Crystal. Crystal, as planned, chooses her buddy Danielle, and Danielle chooses Josh. Josh chooses Ashley and I relax, as all the good people are safe now. However, after deliberation, Ashley chooses his mother Penny over Kristin. Penny then walks up to her own son and whispers in his ear: “She’s crying because of you, you know, she loves you so much.” (What. A. Bitch.) Penny chooses her mother, and her mother chooses Scott, leaving Kristin to be eliminated from the will. Kristin is shocked that Ashley chose his mother over her and that people are turning their backs on people and their promises. (From an outsiders point of view though, I think it’s kind of acceptable to choose your blood relative over a girlfriend/not-girlfriend/sex buddy. I don’t really think Kristin should have been that surprised, even if Penny is a bitch.) Ashley says in the final confessional that Kristin probably feels betrayed and she has the right to be, it’s because his mom intimidates him. (At least he admits it.)
On the next episode, Penny is “out for revenge” and she’s saying stuff about Billy and insulting him. And then the challenge is a “cutthroat family road trip.” From the previews, I can kind of tell who’s going to be eliminated (it’s just my Survivor vid-cap analysis habits kicking in) but I won’t say.
So here’s how it stands: Billy, Josh, Crystal, Danielle, and Ashley are decent people and should win. Danielle is also very attractive and should call me because she’s probably in my acceptable age range to date. Just so you know. I just hope a good person wins Bill’s estate and not Penny. Please please please…….just not Penny. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments…and if you aren’t Penny.