File footage of the Gal Pals clad in black hustle out to the SUV. Yes, it took me this long to realize it was file footage—as soon as they get in the SUV they are no longer in black, but very nicely dressed. The guys are in button-downs, although Damon should borrow his half-brother Roger Lodge’s turtlenecks if he’s going to wear a button down striped shirt that looks like Zebra Stripe gum. Honey in the driver’s seat has on a dress black shirt, no button down. They open up their dossier and give a united “OH! GOODNESS!”
Tamara Wiggins is a 24-year-old mom who is an artist in hiding. And she has big hair, which is the understatement of the year. Danny says she’s very “Chaka Khan.” She also has big breasts—38DD. Honey wonders if she can drive with one hand now. She and her husband have a little house with one lamp, which they move from room to room. The lamp has a monkey on it. I love monkeys! The GP agree they need to fix her up and fix up the house as well. Honey wants her to “get her art on.” Their mission is to host Tamara’s first art gallery show. Danny plans on making her a “funky new soul sista” or something like that. I guess I’m not down with Danny’s lingo.
Credits. You dance with that animated chick, Danny!
The Gal Pals pound on the door and Tamara answers wearing an oversized long-sleeved red shirt and baggy pants. Oh, and she has an afro. I think her afro has an afro. It could be two afros. She’s got one of those afros that’s picked out and all floofy-like. She claims that her hair protects her skin from UV rays. Seriously, I have no idea what her face looks like because it’s covered by either hair or shadows of hair.
Her husband, Damien, has an afro as well, but it’s smaller and stiffer. Aww, afros in love. He’s a nice lookin’ dude! The living room is gray and white and stark with a red couch and a massive wall shelving unit with crap thrown all over it and hanging off of it. They’re disheveled shelves! And what’s on top of the shelves? The monkey lamp. It’s so cute! But I’m biased because I love monkeys. Also on the shelves is a basket in which they keep their bills. To show how that system is so disorganized, Danny takes the basket and dumps it over, allowing the paperwork to cascade across the living room carpet, which has, by the way, seen much better days. He finds a cassette and says, “Everyone should keep some Pearl Jam with their bills.” Ha!
Chloe, Tamara and Damien’s older daughter, wears tinsel as a boa and has the smile of an angel. In the background, Damon, Robbie, and Danny are shout-singing and she jumps, startled. Honey says, “Don’t be scared. They like to sing and shriek. They’re actually more like girls.” Heehee. That answer satisfies Chloe.
Cut to some horrified Gal Pals in the bedroom. It, too, is gray-walled and in the center? An orange bed. Did you know that orange could clash with a neutral color? Well, it can. Tamara and Damien have made it happen. And that’s pretty much all that’s in there. The bed and a dresser. Nothing else, but the room is huge. Lots of empty space.
Meanwhile, on the living room floor, Chloe is drawing. Damon lies down next to her to doodle. They talk about Hello, Kitty. Chloe says she likes girly things like that. Damon tells her that his mother always wondered why he was gay. Then says, “My mom gave me Hello, Kitty stuff to play with when I was younger. I think that had something to do with it.” Heehee. Did your mom buy you that shirt too, Damon?
Coming in from the bathroom, Honey is armed with a curling iron and a flat iron. She waves them around at Tamara. “I’m guessing you don’t use these very often.” Tamara smirks and shakes her head. Nope, she likes the frizzy head she has.
In the kitchen, which is also stark white, Robbie is performing. He’s found Tamara’s tap shoes—apparently Tamara is very artistic, and dances as well as paints and draws. Robbie taps on the tile floor and everyone claps when he’s done.
Back in the living room, Honey finds an album of Tamara. In the old pictures, Tamara’s hair looks shorter and less wide. Honey comments that Tamara looks really happy in the pictures. Tamara admits that she used to be a lot more fun and have a lot more fun, and Tamara misses her old self. And that’s why she’s getting a make-over obviously.
Cut to Honey and Robbie whispering about Tamara’s breasts. You can tell that as soon as Honey and Robbie met, they became best friends with their own secret handshake. The way they whisper is totally middle-school-girly-locker-room-talk-about-the-other-girls-and-then-go-home-and-gossip-some-more-over-the-phone-until-it’s-dinnertime-and-then-bedtime whispering. Robbie holds out his hands in front of his chest, indicating how large Tamara’s are. Honey does the same, leans in towards Robbie, and comments, laughing, how she can’t imagine hers being that big. Neither can I. I think I would be hunched over all the time.
Meanwhile, Danny makes Tamara dance in the living room. He likes to show off his moves, doesn’t he? That’s why he continues to make the make-over straight girls dance. At first, Tamara won’t budge, but then does a step or two.
Damon has found a picture of Tamara from when she was in school. In the picture, her hair is in pigtails or ponytails, not sure what you would call it. It looks like one is down at the side of her head and the other is way up on the other side. He waves the picture in front of the camera saying, “Hi. I’m Tamara. I’m in seventh grade.” If that were my seventh grade picture, Damon would no longer be able to speak. Only my closest friends get to see my seventh grade picture, and even then it’s for only a split second. Yes, it’s that bad. I define the term “pasty white.” Tamara’s isn’t that bad. Just the hair is funky.
Honey, after searching under Tamara’s hair, finds that she has ears! And each ear has three piercings. That’s such a waste if you can’t see the earrings. Honey says that if she had piercings, her mother would be like, “And what does that third hole mean, hmmm?” And she’d be like, “Nothing mom!” Heehee.
Back in the bedroom, Robbie has found a spandex-like, long, gray, umm, thing. I don’t know what it is. Neither does Robbie. As he stretches it in and out, he asks, “Is this some type of scuba pant?” Tamara laughs. Then he asks what Tamara would like to see done with her hair. “Straightened,” she says without thinking. Well, she has a hair iron! She could do it!
Back on the living room floor, Chloe is drawing a picture of the Gal Pals. Danny sits down to look at the picture and find out who everyone is. He points to one—“Who’s that? Robbie?” Chloe nods yes. They she shows him which one is supposed to be him. Danny gets all upset and says, “But then that can’t be Robbie! He’s not taller than me!” He’s so twelve. I love him.
Meanwhile, the closet is being ripped apart in the bedroom. Robbie asks Tamara how many dashikis she has. (Dashikis are colorful shirts that are baggy—Tamara’s are really really baggy). She says about 8 or 9. Honey dons the dashiki and Tamara runs away. Robbie suggests that running away from a shirt is a bad reaction, and that she probably shouldn’t wear shirts like that.
In the bathroom, Danny finds Tamara’s make-up. I don’t know why Tamara would wear make-up because no one can see her face. Danny examines the eye shadow and says it’s a “freedom flag color palette” and I have no idea what he’s referring to but it’s still hysterically funny.
And now all the Gal Pals are wearing rubber medical gloves. Oh, wait, Damon isn’t. Which gives Honey and Robbie the perfect opportunity to throw unsanitary bathroom findings at him. Which they do. Which causes him to run away and leap over fallen shelves and yell, “ew, ew,ew.” Danny appears in the kitchen with the same gloves on. He knows Tamara likes to cook and she says something about frozen veggies. He says, “Well you know that you lose vitamins with frozen vegetables,” only he doesn’t say vitamins with an EYE sound, but vitamins with an “it” sound, which makes him only more endearing. She’s like, “oh really?” Shocking.
Cut to Robbie sort of helping change the baby’s diaper. He says it’s a nightmare. I wouldn’t be too happy if I were that baby and Robbie was making those disgusted faces at me. Robbie’s just upset this episode because there’s nothing for him to steal and he can’t feed his klepto-compulsion.
Back in the living room, the Gal Pals find Tamara’s art. The drawings are gorgeous. All figure drawings—that’s pictures of people for those who aren’t in the art world. Some colors. Some black and white. All very, very good. She says she does them late at night. They ask if she ever thought of framing them, and she says that she does think about it but then always decides it’s not worth it. Danny says, “well, of course, they’re much better in a folder under the couch.”
After putting away the pictures, Honey holds the newly-diapered baby. Damon walks by and Honey says, “That’s Damon, not Damien.” Damon leans over and says, “Yes, I’m not your daddy.” Ha.
Back in the bedroom, to represent freeing herself from the old clothes, the Gal Pals chant as Tamara tears a dashiki in half. Robbie joins in the tearing. Then Damon throws it on the floor and stomps on it. Wow, why aren’t they doing that to Damon’s shirt?
Now Danny’s holding the baby and says that the baby could be in years of therapy from this. Heehee. Honey takes Chloe into the bathroom and puts make-up on her. Chloe says that she and mommy never play with make-up. That’s because you can see Chloe’s face and you can’t see Tamara’s.
Cut to the kitchen, where Robbie is attempting to tear down the blinds. They come down halfway but are stuck on the wall. He literally hangs off of them with his whole body weight. Nothing. Heehee. Then Damien and the kids leave.
Damon takes Tamara into her bedroom. He says that the entire place is so white. So stark. He wants to make the bedroom a “sanctuary.” Tamara agrees that it would be nice.
Danny is now in the shower. You would think that I would be elated by this but, alas, he has his clothes on and his pants are rolled up to wade in shallow water. He sloshes around and then Robbie joins in.
Honey takes Tamara aside and asks her what she wants to do about her own style. Danny and Robbie wonder if the “lesbo” is “talking about vaginas again.” Well, she is the Lady and that’s what Ladies do. Talk about vaginas all the time. I mean, what else could we possibly talk about? Honey wants Tamara to create her own scent, her own creative style. Makes sense, since she’s an artist.
They gather on the couch. Danny says that they have a surprise in store for Tamara. They don’t tell her yet. Robbie and Honey leave with Tamara in tow.
Damien says Tamara has big hair.
Mom says Tamara’s hair is beautiful but all over the place.
Tamara’s sister doubts that Tamara even combs it out anymore.
Over in the SUV, Honey asks Tamara what it’s like having a model for a sister. Tamara says she loves it. Robbie pipes up that people ask his sister that same question all the time. It takes a few seconds, but then Honey and Tamara crack up. I do, too. Tamara says that her sister is unpredictable, and she’s not sure what her sister will think about the new look. Robbie thinks her sister will be jealous.
Back at home, the Hunky Helpers show up but they aren’t labeled as such and there aren’t any slo-mo chest revealing or butt clenching shots. Sigh. Instead, they move furniture and clean the kitchen in fast forward mode. Whatever.
Honey and Robbie run with Tamara into Fred Segal. When Honey mentioned creating a signature scent, she literally meant scent. Apparently, she goes to Fred Segal for them to create a mixture of perfumes specifically to her liking. She wants Tamara to create an artist scent. The Fragrance Gurus make “couture aromas.” Okay. Tamara says she likes warm scents. The bald guru lets her sniff vanilla and amber. Then there’s a lot of plunger, cork, eyedropper action. Then, voila! A scent is made. They give Tamara a perfume bottle with a puffer and she says it’s elegant. Rule about scents: When things heat up in the bedroom, the aroma heats up too! That’s because it works with your body chemistry. Thanks, Fragrance Gurus. They finish up and run out for more make-over madness!
Next there’s a very unnecessary shot of a very scary clown. For no reason other than to freak me out.
Enter Damon in a handcrafted, imports, furniture store. He shows Tamara some dark wood storage pieces that have decorative cabinets. The fronts of the drawers or doors or whatever they are have a reddish design repeated in a pattern. I’d love to have it in my apartment. He shows her that the bottom level pops up to reveal a secret passageway to the Fountain of Youth. No, it’s just a secret compartment. Honey and Damon tell her she can keep stuff hidden in there so the kids won’t find it. Umm, no. The kids would be the first to find anything in a secret compartment because that’s what kids do.
Then he takes her over to the chair section. She literally jumps for joy. Tamara has been making a lot of figurative phrases literal this episode. Anyway, she’s jumping. Damon says that the cavernous rooms can have chairs to fill them up, and chairs add function! Obligatory chair sitting. She’s in heaven.
Next they find a huge wooden arch thing for the bed I guess. I have no idea what it is. They don’t make it very clear. Then they leave so I’m left wondering. Maybe I’ll see it in the room later.
Damon drags Tamara down the street to the Fresh Paint Gallery. I assume they’re going to choose wall colors. But no, happily, I’m wrong. Here’s Danny! With Tamara’s artwork set out across a huge table. They’re going to frame her artwork with the help of Russ, the owner. Russ has a bushy mustache and a Hawaiian luau shirt. Russ could probably make it big in the porn industry, but don’t quote me on that. He suggests using simple frames to let her artwork shine. Danny says that once the art is framed, Tamara has a new career. I wish all jobs were that simple. Stick a frame on me and call me a multi-millionaire.
Danny then brings her into an empty white room. He asks, “What do you think of this art? I like the clean lines.” Hee. Tamara jokingly says that her art would look good on those walls. Well, you got it. Damon and Danny reveal their surprise gallery opening. She gets all screechy and repeatedly asks, “Seriously??” She’s thrilled! Yippee!
Over to the Christophe Salon in Beverly Hills with three, count em three, hair experts. They suggest angle, cut, layer, cut, moisturize, cut. They want to cut her hair. They need to cut her hair. First, one stylist sprays her into a cloud of detangler. Snooty stylists says she needs a lot of it. Then suggests she have a hot oil treatment frequently to moisturize. All helpful suggestions, but the detangler comment could have been less snooty. And then? CUT CUT CUT. Tamara says, “I need to close my eyes” and pushes her hands over her face. Danny says, “It’s only a little bit” but it’s not! Clumps of hair are falling to the ground. She may need it, but it’s not only a little bit.
Let the tears commence! Tamara just lets loose and wipes away tears as they pour out and down her cheeks. The stylist stops for a second, grabs some tissues, hands them to Tamara, and then starts snipping again. Robbie starts crying too. Then tries to make light of it—“At least you have something. I’m crying and have nothing in my life: no art show, no fiancé, no kids…” Heehee. I think he’s genuinely upset that she’s upset, which is so cute. The stylist says, “No more crying!” They dry her hair. Bam! Instantly, no more tears. Tamara loves it. She has a face. She sees, for the first time, that she has dimples! Danny calls it “genius.” Tamara, to make the stylist feel better and no longer fear that she would come after him in the night, hugs him.
Tamara’s friend says that she has no home décor. It’s just paint and a lamp.
Mom says that she bought them the monkey lamp. Ha!
Back in the SUV, Tamara says that her hair and all that comes with it is a big change. Her hair is pin straight and shoulder length. Her face is gorgeous. Honey says that Tamara is becoming the artist. Tamara says that she’s going to stop neglecting herself now, and Robbie responds, “That’s music to our ears.”
Back to the house which is now all tones of orangey-red. The focal point in the living room is a huge painting of flowers in a vase, which hangs over the red couch. The couch now has a bunch of different colored throw pillows on it. The wooden storage unit with decorative red patterns is in the living room as well. They have set down an oriental rug with red and golden shades. Also, there’s a big easel and a bunch of art supplies for her to work with. Next to that is a little easel for Chloe which Tamara “awwws” at. The kitchen keeps the red and orange and umber tones. On a counter is the monkey lamp, upon which the entire color scheme was based!! The lamp now fits in!!
The bedroom is a soft beige and maroon. The crib has matching bedding. The bed is a canopy now, but I’m not sure if the canopy is the same arch thing they saw in the furniture store. It could be though. Tamara is tearing up again. She also has a chair in the bedroom now, instead of empty space.
And then she sees her closet, which is now filled to the brim with couture. Yeah, there was a lack of clothes shopping in this episode but here are the clothes. She pulls out a pair of ecru boots and screams, “God, that’s so hot!” Robbie says they’re courtesy of Steve Madden. Honey gives Tamara control top fishnets and high-waisted power panties. Nothing says sexy like hosiery that cuts off the circulation to your lower extremities.
Fashion show time. Outfit #1 is a black off-the-shoulder shirt with white cotton trousers. They hug her in all the right places.
Outfit #2 is a peach flowy dress that shows off her cleavage. Massive cleavage.
Outfit #3 is a brown shirt with an attached scarf and an off-white skirt. Robbie says that the top is much like her regular cotton shirts, but more modern.
Outfit #4 is a black jacket over a yellow shirt with beige pants. To be less formal, she needs to only take off the jacket.
And then, Danny and Tamara shoulder shimmy at each other to celebrate her new look. Because they’re dancers, and dancers always shoulder shimmy at least once a day.
In the kitchen, Danny shows Tamara how to make a low-carb pork chop dish. By the way, Tamara is wearing her new clothes and no apron and pork juice is squirting everywhere. He stuffs cheese and olives into the meat and seals it with a toothpick. Sounds delicious the way I write it, doesn’t it? Danny says to sear them. Tamara’s like, “Sear them??” Danny says, “Yes. As in, put them in a hot pan.” Ha! He then says to throw some salad on the plate and you’ve got yourself an entrée. Tamara says that it looks as if it came from a restaurant.
Honey drags her into the bathroom for a lesson on Five Essential Things In A Make-Up Bag. They are blush, lip liner, lip moisturizer, mascara, and powder. Wow, I have all that! Honey then breaks out the lip stain and Tamara is mesmerized by it. Lip stain is cool unless you use too much and your lips get all dry and then all you see is blotches of the color coming at you. Gross. I guess that’s what the moisturizer is for.
In the living room, Damon and Honey reveal a gift in the secret compartment in the new furniture. It’s a meditation CD. They include a card about blessings and believing and it says, “P. S. You’re wonderful.” Those Gal Pals are so dang sweet. Tamara calls them wonderful gal pals. The wonderful pals leave and Tamara keeps covering her face in disbelief at how fantastic her house has become.
Hip Tip: Weight train to maintain and even replace muscle mass. Okay, another recycled tip. I expect more from you, Danny. You’re breaking my heart.
Mom says people know that Tamara can draw.
Sis says that the gallery showing is major.
The Gal Pals, all in black (just like the file footage), gather round on the Critic Couch with martinis in hand. Honey says that Tamara will be a diva.
Diva Tamara makes a salad and then washes some meat. Then she grabs a super huge knife. And then she grabs the phone “just in case” she needs to call 911. Danny and Robbie cackle and say they love a woman who’s prepared.
Tamara leaves the kitchen to get herself ready. She pulls out gold sandals. Then she returns to the kitchen in her robe and does some praying thing over a pot. Ha. She goes back to the bathroom and does her make-up, which the Gal Pals say is unnecessary because she’s gorgeous. However, she does blot her face with a dirty towel and they ask Honey if she taught her that. Heehee. She puts on her peach dress and Honey says she instructed Tamara, “Flaunt em” because she’s got em. Tamara hot irons her hair. Then returns to the kitchen and throws some garnish on a plate. The Gal Pals yell, “Garnish!” I didn’t know parsley could be so exciting.
Damien comes home and all he can say is “Shut up!” Danny says the baby is thinking, “Who the hell are you?” when she sees Tamara. Chloe is all smiles. She had wanted Beyonce for a mom, and the Gal Pals say she’s now got the closest thing to her. Damien? He’s still yelling “Shut up!” Tamara takes him down the hall to show him the bedroom and Robbie exclaims, “Look at her diva-ing down the hallway.” Damien’s response to the bedroom? Everyone say it with me: “Shut up!” Danny figures out that Shut Up is an affectionate term.
Cut to eating dinner. Tamara cuts Damien’s meat for him. Not sure why. The Gal Pals think it’s sweet. Danny points out that although sweet, she cuts the meat as if she’s chopping wood. Tamara then asks Damien, “Are you ready for goat cheese?” Do you ever need to be READY for cheese? What does that mean?
Then she tells him about her art show. Damien grins from ear to ear. They toast to her show. The baby makes a grab for the champagne glass. Damon (I think) says it’s the “first time the baby perked up all night.” Ha.
They head off to the show. A bunch of people are milling around the art gallery. They all shriek when she comes in. Honey says her friends are obviously so proud of her. Danny says, “This morning she would have been wearing a tent.” Now she’s in that sexy, sassy dress. Mom loves the look, which is a relief for Tamara. Honey says it’s now all about Tamara.
Tamara thanks her mom for always supporting her and motivating her. Damon says mom’s tough and that she has a “That’s my girl” attitude. Tamara then thanks the gallery owner. Danny and Damon high five as if they own the gallery. People pile into the show. Mom explains one drawing of her son who holds a book entitled, “Momma” and she explains it’s because he’s a mama’s boy. Nice.
The gallery owner has Tamara guess which piece is her favorite. The owner points to a black and white drawing that she calls “soulful” and “deep.” The Gal Pals are happy that someone else gets her art.
All the friends gather around again and it’s Mom’s turn to speak. She says she’s so proud, “today and always.” Danny says that Tamara doesn’t hear that a lot and it’s the best gift she could have gotten. Mom likes the new look too. Damon says, “Kudos, Robbie!” In unison, the Gal Pals “awww” at the end of the mom’s toast.
Damon comments that Tamara made a “seamless transition.” Honey is amazed at the gallery. They all toast to new beginnings and to Tamara. And then they shout something that sounds like, “Go Homos!” and I don’t think that’s what they say and I listened to it five times and each time it sounded more like “Go homos!” even though I’m pretty sure it’s not.
Tips for the week:
Robbie says blow dry frizzy hair with a comb attachment. Nope, that tip hasn’t changed since the last time they used it.
Honey says put perfume on the backs of your knees. There’s too many ways to go with that comment that I can’t say anything!
Damon shows us once again that we can make a lamp out of a vase. At least show us how to make that monkey lamp!
Danny says don’t pop a cork when opening champagne. Instead, turn the bottle and slip it out quietly. And I get chills.
And an artist emerges from the depths of her hair.
— Christina M. Rau/Gatsby Girl
What’s with the reused Hip Tips? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com