Daddy's Not-So Little Boy — Episode 2

I’ve got lots of Dog ground to make up here, people. I have been remiss with this show. It’s been a hectic few weeks, so bear with me.

Ha, dog, bear…I kill me.

This episode, which aired last week, (so shoot me with a can of mace people), was all about Dog and Leland’s relationship. Beth starts out by saying that the two of them are quite an effective capture crew. Dog is on his way to Kona, where Leland manages a branch of the [b]Da Kine Bonds’[/b] business. Dog wants to help Leland catch some of his more difficult cases. He’s so protective of his pup when he says, “They shouldn’t jump bail on MY SON!”

They start out their morning with a workout. Dog reminds the audience that they are not trained to kill, just apprehend. Dog then waxes nostalgic about his and Leland’s past, which wasn’t always rosy.

After Dog got out of prison in the late 70s, he had lost his little boy. (Leland’s now 27). Dog searched for him and ‘met’ Leland officially when the boy was 8. Dog wells up with emotion when he tells us that Leland was scared of him and couldn’t call him ‘dad’ for a long time. When Leland was an adolescent, about 12 or 13, his mother sent him to live with Dog. He was getting into trouble and all sorts of stuff.

Dog is proud to say that Leland is the only one of his 12 children thus far to have graduated from high school. He’s also the only one, thus far, to go into the business too. Dog has three little ones with Beth, remember.

[b]Da Kine Bonds[/b] posted Paki’s bail for domestic abuse. Paki is a Samoan boxer. Dog watches as Leland tries to [i]sniff out[/i] Paki’s scent. He calls around some people who don’t like Paki to see if they’ll [i]squeal[/i]. Paki is pretty easily caught. He doesn’t put up a fight. In fact, he tells Dog he wants to work for him someday.

Of course, Leland played the ‘intimidation’ card. It seems that Dog’s rep precedes him as a tough guy. Paki shows up, they apprehend him pretty easily and move onto the next dude, McCaleb Wicker. Dog steps back a bit more and lets Leland take the lead on this one. They catch him fairly easily as well. Dog calls Beth at home with the kids. He tells them he got a ‘2-banger’. I bet that used to have a different meaning!

Anyway, the kiddies cheer on the apprehension. Dog and Leland and Leland’s son go to the beach to enjoy the rest of the day. We see three generations of Chapmans frolic in the sun and sand. It’s sooooooooooo cute.

Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos. Woof! woof! Email me at panndyra@yahoo.com if you want to talk ’bout Dog, or LCS or Growing up Gotti. Adios!

All Crazy People Up In There! – Big Brother, Saturday, Sept. 4

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off seeing Adria’s eviction in black and white. Diane comments that she walked away from the fight between Adria and Marvin before she opened her big mouth, although it was awesome listening to Marvin whip Adria. Karen wanted to crawl under a rock, while Marvin says he wouldn’t have backed down. Nakomis is glad that Marvin decided to speak out, because it makes him stick out like a sore thumb.

Then we see a black and white shot of the HOH competition. Karen says she threw it to avoid the spotlight. Drew is pumped about getting letters from home, he gets University of Miami (EW! I KNEW there was something demonic about Drew) stuff, as well as letters from his mom, bro, and dad. Diane comments that “Ben and Drew in the same room is too hot for me.”

Drew has three hours to nominate somebody. He talks with Cowboy, and says he wants to get out of the next two days without anyone mad at him. Drew then talks to Karen, says that Marvin and Diane are tight. Drew states that knowledge is power in this game, so he wanted to talk to everybody. Marvin said last week that Drew should have been put up to “get his feet wet” if somebody used the Veto on Cowboy. Drew asks Diane why she didn’t tell him about this, and Diane goes into a hissy fit because she didn’t know anything about it. Drew states that as soon as Marvin got HOH, he saw her change. Diane begins crying, and later tells Karen that she’s sick of Drew accusing her of things.

Drew has to nominate people. He calls them to the table for the ceremony. He pulls the keys, and Karen, Cowboy, and Nakomis are safe. Diane and Marvin are up. He tells Marvin that he sees him as a threat and a salesman. He then spouts off something about trust to Diane, which I didn’t catch or quite understand.

Marvin confesses that Drew putting up Diane is a joke, and Drew is spineless. Diane explains to Marvin that she’s not up as a pawn, she had no idea. Then we are treated to a conversation between Drew and Diane. Diane asks Drew “Do you trust me?” and Drew says “Hold on.” …?!?!?!?!?! Drew is on crack, as she repeats her question, he repeats his answer, and she goes into the bathroom. Later, in the HOH room, Diane says she feels like she’s talking to a whole ‘nother person. Drew is trying to make them not look as close. Diane again asks, do you trust me? Drew then gets in Diane’s face, saying she needs acting skills, and she needs to be natural. Diane says are you trying to put me through Hell? Then she leaves. Drew states that you can tell Diane to do something, but she won’t play it as well. He says he doesn’t trust her, and he never fully will.

Diane tells everyone before the competition that she if she wins the Veto, she won’t use it, and everyone has to play hard to keep it from Marvin. Veto looks like a huge Skeeball arena, and they have to bounce balls into the targets. Marvin states that Cowboy is the least coordinated individual on the planet Earth, and that he’s planted a voodoo forcefield around his little ball thing. Cowboy gets the stellar time of 3:47. Karen goes next, and she has a blast. She gets a time of 1:37, half of Cowboy’s. Nakomis rocks out, until she gets to Marvin’s, who still has his forcefield up, and she gets 2:08. Drew the basketball star gets 1:29. Diane says she will bleed for the Veto, and gets 1:20. Marvin tries to step it up, but forgot to turn his own forcefield off, and got 2:02.

Diane wins the Veto, and shortly thereafter at the Veto ceremony, she takes herself off the block. Nakomis is put up in her place. Karen says that Diane using the Veto cast a shadow of doubt over her. Marvin says it’ll take an act of God AND Congress to save him.

For the pseudo-live eviction ceremony, Marvin makes his plea in the form of appreciating hanging with the group, and that when he gets his own sitcom, he’ll put you in it if you vote to save him. Nakomis says she doesn’t have anything new to say. Cowboy, Karen, and Diane all vote to evict Marvin. Marvin walks out holding Karen’s hand, Nakomis tells him to have a six-pack waiting for her. After Marvin left, Cowboy says that he took it like a man.

Julie greets Marvin with “You bolted out of that house.” He just laughs. She asks him about Diane. He says he doesn’t hold anything against her. He was hoping to get Cowboy up against him because he felt he had a chance against Cowboy. When asked about Adria, he says “don’t throw Bible verses at me” and he wasn’t going to let her run her mouth at them as she left. At the Jury house, he says that as long as she stays out of his way, he’ll stay out of hers. On going back in the house…”All crazy people up in there!”

The HOH competition is that they are secretly removing items from the house. The houseguests slowly notice things disappearing and reappearing. For the HOH competition, they are asked questions about the things that disappeared and reappeared. Nakomis gets 3 answers first, and she is the first person to get HOH three times! What will happen? Tune in Tuesday! This is Atarus, signing off. Drop me a line at atarus33@yahoo.com if you think Nakomis is extremely gorgeous and you want her to win!

Six Degrees of Irritation – Surreal Life 3, Episode 1

by LauraBelle

The only things I have ever seen Charo on are Love Boat and Hollywood Squares. That was what B-List celebrities did back then for exposure, appeared on Aaron Spelling shows and game shows. I have realized the past thirty years has risen the ante. You can’t just hang out on a cruise ship for a week with a bald-headed ex-Mary Tyler Moore star or play tic-tac-toe with an ex-Betwitched star, now you have to live in a house for two weeks with a comedian from Full House that hasn’t changed his schtick in twenty years and a 6’1 blonde ex of Sylvester Stallone. B-List celebrities had it easy back then.

Maria Rosario Pilar Martina Molina Buprestid, aka Charo, arrives at the Surreal House in an old convertible, telling us that she brought the hoochie-koochie to the USA. She holds the record for number of appearances on the Love Boat with 21. Apparently I was not the only one that noticed. She feels the house is decorated out of the 1940s. Walking around from room to room to find the best bounce-able bed, she finds the perfect one, yelling, “Ayi-ayi-ayi-ayi”. Or perhaps it was the Out of Order toilet making her yell. She also finds a small puppy and names him Cuchi.

William Dayton, aka Flavor Flav from Public Enemy, arrives and announces he used to have a huge drug problem, but now feels he is the greatest hypeman in the business. Flavor Flav thinks he has the mansion to himself, then comes upon Charo. He tells us, “I think I know her, but then I don’t.” The first thing Flavor Flav asks Charo is if she has real boobs. She tells him yes, that her mama has boobs out to here, and looks like a cow. Flavor Flav’s second thing he asks is if she is a gymnast, saying he wants to flip her around. She proudly tells him she has a 6’3″ husband to protect her.

Jordan Knight, after joining New Kids On The Block at the tender age of fourteen, was later singing Elton John songs in a hotel bar. Flavor Flav, now wearing a viking helmet, says that when he met Jordan, he “got scared, because I knew the face, but I didn’t know who he was.” Jordan recognizes Charo from the Love Boat. Again, I am not the only one.

Brigette Nielsen, who was married to Sylvester Stallone for eighteen months, before divorcing him for forty million dollars, claims she is now a star in Europe, and that she will be the boss in the house. Flavor Flav knows her, but wonders who she was. Jordan says she scared him because she is such a big woman. Brigette slaps Flavor Flav in the face with her pocketbook, and tells him to show her around. Charo feels they are like two fighting chickens back in Mexico. Brigette names the puppy Boogie.

Dave Coulier, the comedian who played Joey on Full House, arrives in an ice cream truck. He says his career on Full House was like a Brink’s truck backing up to his house every week. He is a single dad with a thirteen-year-old son. About Dave, Flavor Flav says he didn’t get an impression. After Flavor Flav then makes a comment about the Olsen twins, Dave says he hates it when people tell him how hot the twins are. He has known them since they were babies, and he wants to tell everyone to shut their yap about the girls.

Arriving in a Jeep, Ryan Starr was voted one of the “15 sexiest TV reality vixens” after appearing on the first season of American Idol. She hopes she won’t be on the show with any rude people or touchy-feely men. She is very excited to be in the house with Jordan as New Kids On The Block was her favorite. Flavor Flav says of Ryan, “I know her from somewhere, but oh well.” Charo, being hostess with the mostest, offers Ryan a tiny box of raisins. Ryan says her grandma loves Charo. Ryan names the puppy Fatso.

Out by the pool, Brigette asks Flavor Flav what is the significance of his two watches. She follows this by asking what time it is in Italy. After uttering a few words in Italian she notes that she knows either four or five languages. I can’t tell whether she said four or five, as apparently she hasn’t mastered the English language quite yet. Going to the bar, Brigette asks Charo to get her a Jack Daniels.

Charo sets to work trying to place everyone in beds, after picking the best private one out for herself. No one seems to need or want her help, though. There is only beds for four others, and no one wants to share. There is a bedroom with three beds, there is a huge bed out in the open, and the bed Charo has already chosen for herself. Everyone figures the three men are intended to sleep in the three-bed room. Realizing the couch room can be turned into a bedroom, both Ryan and Jordan choose this. After seeing that Jordan has already placed his stuff in the room, Ryan wonders what she will do, as she does not want to sleep with guys. After confirming with Charo that it is okay to move a bed into her room with her, Dave and Ryan move a bed out of the three-bed room into Charo’s room. Jordan sets to work putting boxes in the doorway to the couch room to make it more private for him.

As Brigette is holding the puppy while topless, Flavor Flav asks if she is breastfeeding him. She quickly leaves to “make a pee-pee.” Seeing her walking around naked, Charo notes that this is not, “Surreal Porno.” Daves says about Brigette, “She walks to the beat of a different drummer, and the drummer has no clothes on.” This is a good thing for Dave. I am thinking he will finally get some new schtick after twenty years.

Dave has brought with him a harmonica, sleep machine, a flashlight and binoculars. Flavor Flav tells him the binoculars will be good for checking out Brigette’s knockers. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think they’ll need the additional help of the binoculars. Dave says he doesn’t know anything about Flavor Flav. They are from completely different worlds, Dave being just a white boy from Detroit.

Brigette has now passed from the nakedness, to walking around in a thong, apron and chef’s hat. After Brigette says she doesn’t like Flavor Flav’s sense of humor, and wishes he would take his gold teeth out, he feels he can kill her rudeness with kindness.

Brigette lays down to take a nap with her tiny boxes of raisins. Flavor Flav pronounces she has jet lag, but Dave thinks it is more like booze lag. While she sleeps, Charo is trying to get Ryan to sing along to her guitar playing. Ryan thinks she could learn a lot from Charo. Dave, trying to cook out, tells Flavor Flav he needs some charcoal briquettes. As Flavor Flav is having a hard time pronouncing briquettes, Dave says he has had to learn two new languages in this house – Flavor Flav’s and Charo’s.

The first Surreal Times arrives on the front doorstep with the headline, “Six Degrees of Irritation.” This makes me wonder if Charo can be connected to Kevin Bacon by six degrees, since she has only appeared in Love Boat and Hollywood Squares. The paper also tells the housemates that the number one rule in the house is no smoking of any kind. Brigette thinks Americans are odd in this aspect, as you can’t smoke or walk around topless, but you are free to be violent. After it is noted in the paper that Charo has been on Love Boat twenty-one times, it helps Flavor Flav finally place her. The paper announces they will be dining outside tonight, poolside. Brigette thinks she may be sleeping then. Charo tells her she “be laid down all night.”

As Brigette is sleeping in her bed, the rest of the house is having a jam session, and Brigette sleeps through the whole thing. After dinner has begun poolside, Flavor Flav decides he will go resuscitate Brigette, as she needs to eat. After waking up, she does to join everyone poolside, but apparently she believes this to be a come-as-you-are party, arriving in her thong underwear and wrapped up in her satin comforter.

The houseguest’s “dessert” is their three male waiters turning into strippers. Brigette jumps up, drops her comforter, and joins right in. Charo is enjoying the stripping as well, but Ryan thinks it is very gross. Flavor Flav thinks Ryan is out of place here as she is the youngest, at twenty-one.

As everyone is turning in for the night, Brigette is upset at the distance between her and Ryan, saying, “I can’t feel her.” Charo is cleaning up Cuchi’s/Boogie’s/Fatso’s pee-pee for the third time, and I think the person that cleans up the pee-pee should get to choose the name. Flavor Flav is snoring, prompting Dave to say he sounds like the roto-ruter truck is backing up out of his head. He eventually retreats to his own suite in the walk-in closet with his sound machine.

I am left wondering how this group of six very different individuals will ever be pulled close enough for a tight bond. I think they just might need Julie McCoy and Gopher’s help.

I welcome all question and comments at LB53064@yahoo.com

Can Simon Cowell Find The X-Factor In The UK?


by Luke

This week Simon Cowell launches the biggest ever talent show on television, casting his critical eye over yet another group of fame hungry wannabees hoping to become the next big thing. It features TV’s so called “Mr Nasty” in his usual role – verbally abusing the contestants with his trademark put-downs, two other judges at his side, and rounds of gruelling auditions with only those that make the final cut getting to square off in a series of exciting live finals. It may just sound like another season of “American Idol” (or “Pop Idol” as it’s called here in the UK) but if the hype is to be believed we are about to see something more X-treme, X-citing and X-ceptional as “The X-Factor” hits our screens.

While the format owes a lot to Cowell’s other co-creation there will be a few subtle changes – not least of which are among the judges. Swap the ever calming influence of a person like Paula Abdul for the fiery temper of new judge Sharon Osbourne and Simon may finally meet his match. The role of the third judge is taken by Louis Walsh – the middle aged manager of Irish boyband “Westlife” who is not quite as loud as most other reality TV judges but can be quite cantankerous and moody if he disagrees strongly enough. Another change is to the age limit of people who apply to enter. Put simply, there isn’t one. Simon has often commented how hard it is to find talent suitable for grooming amongst the nations youth so this time around he will have three categories of contestants to berate – the usual under 25 year olds, vocal groups, and for the first time the possibility of coming face to face with geriatric grandads in the 25+ age group. Early reports suggest the show will feature identical twins, a choir and none other than a Simon Cowell lookalike – scary!

While the judges have made shows like these worth watching for the past few years they’ve never actually competed …. until now. Once the initial audition stages are over the 120 top acts will make it to the next stage – a boot camp. In fact there will be three separate boot camps as for the first time ever the judges will compete against each other putting their industry reputations on the line to see who can groom the act which goes on to win the show. Each judge will be taking charge of a category, putting their musical wards through various tasks and challenges to weed out the best five. Where to go from that? It’s off to the judges own homes where it looks like a few lucky contestants will get to take tea at the Osbourne house with Ozzy. There’ll be yet more work to do though as each judge and their industry “people” develop and style their young (and not so young) potential pop superstars picking the best three to compete against each other in a series of live shows. From then on, it’s up to the viewers to narrow down the field by voting each week until just one act is left, the one that has “The X-Factor”.

The show, developed by Simon Cowell himself (although there have been legal moves to dispute this) is the first reality series to be produced by his own company, “SYCO TV” which has production deals with both ITV in the UK and Fox in the USA. It will replace a third series of “Pop Idol” which has been rested for a year as its future hangs in the balance. If Simon can prove to TV bosses he has “The X-Factor” himself when it comes to making reality shows it’s possible he may no longer have to share the spoils of his success with producers of the “Idol” format – “19TV”. Going it alone when his current contract is up in 2006 could mean an end to both “Pop Idol” in the UK, and if this show makes it across the pond, “American Idol” in the USA. After all, what would these shows be without their biggest star?

X-Factor is to be hosted by Kate Thornton – herself a past conquest for Simon Cowell, albeit a romantic one. Thornton, past presenter of behind the scenes show “Pop Idol Extra” has an immediate spark when interacting with Cowell and an obvious but non-vindictive grudge to bear with the judge, although that reason is never openly revealed to viewers. Past exchanges between the pair have included Kate offering to sing for Simon but being rebuffed with the words “No thanks, I’ve heard you singing in the morning” with his quick witted former lover replying “Yeah, he used to be my postman”. Cowell has also hired another ex – 80’s singer Sunita onto his team of “people”, sounds like Simon has taken the name of the show literally!

Don’t miss “The X-Factor” show updates and episode recaps each week here at Reality Shack and check out the shows official website at www.xfactor.tv for video clips, competitions and the latest news.

You can contact Luke with comments or questions at luke@realityshack.com.


The Hyper-Speed Eviction – Big Brother 5 Live Feeds, September 3rd


by aurora

Nominations, a veto competition, a veto ceremony, and an eviction! It’s a busy couple of days for the hamsters in the Big Brother 5 house, so let’s find out how everything unfolded. Warning: the following article contains spoilers – don’t read it if you want to be surprised on Saturday’s show!

After Adria’s live eviction on Thursday night, Drew became the next Head of Household. Only hours after winning the title, he is forced to make his nominations in this super-speed elimination round. He takes a long time, looking at all the keys and talking with Karen and Diane. He then has a conversation with Cowboy, which results in the idea of putting up Marvin and Diane. Marvin is the one they want gone, but Cowboy reasons that if Marv gets himself off the block with the veto, they can always evict Diane.

Marvin knows he’s the one being targeted, and tries to work on Cowboy for his vote. He goes so far as to promise to try and sway the jury votes CB’s way if he leaves. Meanwhile Diane and Drew argue about trust. Drew hints that Diane is the pawn, but she’s too upset to pick up on it. The houseguests head to bed – tomorrow’s going to be a long day!

The veto competition is scheduled for 9am. Drew is informed that he has to be out of the HoH room by noon.

Diane wins the veto and quickly heads to the HoH room to discuss her next move with Drew. Apparently these two have kissed and made up, but they want the rest of the house to think they’re still upset with each other. Diane plans to use the veto to remove herself from the block, but she doesn’t want the other girls to be angry with her. Drew decides he will put Karen up in Di’s place, with the intention still to have Marvin evicted. Drew and Diane both agree that the two of them plus Nakomis and Karen would be the perfect final four.

Before the veto ceremony, Karen deals with the stress by baking. Nakomis asks Diane what she will do, and Diane says she doesn’t know. Nak tells her that either way, she’s safe. Meanwhile, Cowboy heads off to have his own session with Drew. Drew says he’s afraid of the girls coming after him if he puts one of them up. Cowboy pleads with Drew not to put him on the block. “I’ll have a heart attack!” he says. Cowboy thinks that ‘one of them girls’ is going to win the whole game, but he wants to ‘go down with flames blazing’.

Diane keeps changing her mind – she’s going to use the veto, she’s not going to use the veto. Marvin gets very angry with her, and Diane finally yells at him to stop talking sh*t about her. Tensions are high in the house, and the drama just keeps on coming! This is a producers’ dream come true.

The veto ceremony took place at about 1pm. Diane finally decides to use the veto and remove herself from the block. Drew puts up Nakomis in her place. Nakomis and Drew had spoken earlier about this, so it was no big surprise.

The houseguests proceed to make lunch, and are told that the “live” show will be on in an hour. Guess Julie Chen is taking the long weekend off, so the live show is actually taped.

Marvin ponders the fact that he’s gone from HoH to sitting on the block, as Karen does his hair for the show. The houseguests gather in the living room for the live vote and eviction.

It’s a sad day for Marvin fans, as he is evicted and walks to the door. Immediately following Marvin’s departure, there is a new HoH competition that we don’t get to see – but Nakomis re-enters the house wearing the HoH key.

You can watch all of this unfold Saturday night on Big Brother 5.

Comments are welcome! If you have something to say, or want to write for us, drop me a line at carrie@realityshack.com.


Meet the Chapmans – Episode 1

Duane “Dog” Chapman and his family are not your average, run of the mill clan. They look like bikers and thugs, but they’re on the right side of the law. Yup! Dog was once a sargeant-at-arms for a bike gang. He ended up in a Texas penitentiary in the 1970s. He turned over a new leaf, but, at least he kept his biker chic fashion sense. Not every man can carry off a Hulk-Hogan impression and get away with it like Dog can.

Dog has been on the other side of the law since he ‘found religion’ . He’s been a Bounty Hunter ever since. What’s a Bounty Hunter you may ask? And I would scoff at you, because apparently you never watched [b]Star Wars[/b]. Bobba Fett was a bounty hunter. Bounty hunters catch criminals for money.

Dog’s business is called [b]Da Kine Bonds[/b]. They ‘guarantee’ capture of bond skippers (people who don’t show up for court-appointed dates, etc.) When they make the apprehension, they get the money. It’s how Dog and Beth support their family.

Together, they have three kids, ages 11, 5 and almost 3. Dog has twelve kids overall, but doesn’t see many of them. Leland, his 27-year-old son, does work with him. They’re quite close (and you’ll see more of that special relationship in Episode 2 — yes, that’s what we call a teaser, folks!! Some say ‘spoiler’ but that’s so negative.)

This time, they’ve gotta catch another Chapman. I was all confused. Too many Chapmans, so little time. Floyd Chapman is NOT related to Dog. He spent ten years in an Oklahoma prison and just missed a court date. He’s nowhere to be found.

Well, Dog’s good at ‘sniffing out’ the leads. He’s also good at catching ‘thieves’ and criminals. He says, “it takes a liar to catch a liar.”

He calls up Floyd’s mama and gets the digits for where Floyd’s staying. Then, Dog’s crew matches that info up with the 411 they got and BINGO! They’ve got an address. Floyd’s with his pregnant wife and his in-laws not too far away.

Dog & crew pray before the capture mission begins. As I said, Dog found religion and he doesn’t intend to lose it before he jumps into danger. He’s a very vigilant, watch DOG. (Sorry, the puns just write themselves!)

They chase down Floyd, who tried to run, of course. I’ve seen enough episodes of [b]Cops[/b] to know that. Dog’s team brings Floyd in, but not before giving him a pep talk and some special treatment. They want him to feel special. Dog is not just about catching criminals. He wants to rehabilitate them ‘cuz he’s been there and he believes, as his grandpappy used to say, ‘never leave anything you catch in worse shape than you got it in.’

He also shows that when, after the apprehension, he and his family go to the beach. They live in Hawaii and well, who wouldn’t go to the beach there? My God! The scenery is gorgeous.

Bonnie, Dog & Beth’s five year old pup (Okay! I’ll try to stop now), catches a Hawaiian state fish. Dog makes her put it back in the ocean. He’s like Ward Cleaver in couture by Ozzy Osborne.

I can’t wait to write up next week’s review. (I’ve already seen it…I’ve already seen it!!!)

Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos
If you want the scoop on the next episode, contact me and I’ll taunt you some more. Email me at panndyra@yahoo.com

Interview with Sean Kent of Last Comic Standing 3


[b]Sean, thanks for doing this interview (especially since I panned your performance in my review). I’d like to start off by asking you what you’d like to say to your critics?[/b]

Remember Marlon Brando? The greatest (in my opinion) actor of the 20th century. And all anybody could say about him for a while was, “He’s fat.” So who the hell am I to get upset over being criticized?

[b]How long have you been a comic? How did you come by this career?[/b]

I’ve been a comic for about 7 years (with almost 2 years off because of illness). I started when I was 23 almost 24 and I’m 30.

I came by this career because I can’t do anything else. Basically I was working at a coffee shop in Los Angeles, they had an open mike, I tried it and was hooked.

I then did an open mike every night for about 7 months ‘til I became a paid regular at the Improv. After that I still did open mikes for at least another year and a half, just to get stage time, which in Los Angeles is a tough thing to come by. It’s like – hmm, who should we put up tonight? Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler, or that new pimply kid from Texas, Sean?

[b]What was your upbringing like?[/b]

My upbringing was a dichotomy of race, class, and religion. I grew up Episcopalian in a racially mixed working class neighborhood in Northeast Austin and went to a very expensive private Baptist school that was like 99% white and 100% fundamentalist. The school in my district wasn’t the greatest, so my mom taught at the private school in order that I could attend it for a steeply discounted rate and maybe get a better education.

So at home people were tolerant of other races, non-judgmental, and middle to lower class in income. However, at my school everyone was driving new luxury cars, were racist in their belief systems and actions, and were very, very, disapproving of other people’s lifestyles and ideas if they differed from theirs. Basically the most intolerant, self-absorbed group of people you’d ever care not to spend time with.

It was an environment where individuality was crushed and Baptist ideology was taught as gospel truth, literally and figuratively. They used to tell us things like gay people were going to hell along with the Jews. Rock music was satanic. Noah’s Ark really happened. Masturbation is a mortal sin. Protecting the environment is pointless because the apocalypse is imminent. Just ludicrous shit based on their interpretation of scripture.

Growing up in this environment made very clear to me the dangers of organized religion and how 9 times out of 10 it seems to lead to more hate than love which if you read the Bible is kind of the main fucking theme – love, that is.

Having been forced to read the Bible about 100 times by the time I was 18 I can quote all kinds of crazy shit from it to go along with anything the fundamentalists want to throw at me. Like for instance, I don’t think the Bible has a very progressive policy towards slavery since it sets out rules and regulations for slave trading. In the New Testament, by the way. I also don’t think we should put to death people who work on the Sabbath. But you know what? The Bible does.

This was the Reagan years in the south. It was the beginning of the new conservative movement and the rise of the religious right. Trickle down economics and AIDS and Jesse Helms going after the NEA. The rise of global corporations and the consolidation of media. The demonization of the word “liberal.” Rush Limbaugh railing endlessly against “welfare moms” and “feminazis.” And people thought it was hilarious. But look at the coarsening effect it’s had on our society and on our politics. All this happened during my formative years. I have to tell you that what’s happening to our country right now I saw coming back then. I just never thought it would be like it is today. So extreme. I feel like I’m back in high school in some regards. Still having the same arguments.

One of the main things this kind of upbringing did or me was inspire a love of debate and a contrarian streak a mile wide. Another thing it did was crush my spirit and sense of self-worth because I thought everything I liked was bad. It took me several years to get over that after I graduated. Basically it made me who I am today, which is someone I like, so I can’t complain.

[b]The show mentions your bout with cancer. Would you mind talking a little bit about that? How did you discover you were ill? Are you in remission now? What was the process like? How did it change you?[/b]

Sure. I had Hodgkins Lymphoma and had gone into what we had hoped would be a permanent remission just before LCS 1. Unfortunately it came back shortly after the show wrapped and I had to undergo a bone marrow transplant. So I spent most of ’03 – from March ‘til October – undergoing massive doses of chemo, surgery, blood clots, infections and frequent hospitalizations. The process was horrifying, soul-draining, and filled with moments of abject terror, misery, and degradation. It reminded me of the boat trip in “Heart of Darkness.”

That being said, here’s the good news. I’ll have almost a year of good health next month, I’m headlining clubs everywhere, and my life has never been better. Read my essay “The Last Year” on my website for more info on what I’ve been up to. It’s at this link: http://www.seankent.com/essays.html

So basically I did what I had to do to have a shot at getting better and going on to live a good, happy, and worthwhile existence.

It changed me in ways I’m only beginning to understand. It certainly opened me up to the possibilities of love more than I had been before. It also has helped me to understand others better and be more patient with them. Also just to let stuff go. But really, what happened to me over those months hasn’t fully sunk in yet and is changing me everyday in ways I can’t begin to predict.

[b]How much of your material is based on your real life? Your marriage? Basically, I’d like to know where you draw your inspiration from.[/b]

All of my material is based on my real life or on people I’ve known. Some characters may be exaggerated or an amalgam of folks I know, but all of it has a kernel of truth. Some stories I tell (no specifics) are absolutely true.

I do a lot of external stuff as well about politics, but I try to make even that personal in some way. Like I’ll tell people I can’t vote Republican because I like pornography, drugs, and the gays. Or I’ll talk about stem cell research in the context of me having had stem-cell therapy to treat my cancer.

If that doesn’t work I just do dick jokes.

My inspiration is whatever comes into my head as I read the paper, watch CNN, or talk to friends, family or the crowd. A lot of stuff comes out for the first time onstage without me even being consciously aware of creating it. That’s nice when that happens because it takes the grunt work out of writing. But sometimes you just sit down and go – how am I gonna take this topic and make it funny? And sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t succeed at doing that. Again, sometimes I just do dick jokes. Why? Because they’re funny.

[b]What sorts of qualities do you think a good comic should have for those of us who are still aspiring to it? Why?[/b]

Integrity. Don’t steal anyone’s characters or material. Be nice to everyone, including the MC, the open miker, the feature act and the crowd. Always say thank you to everyone at the club. Sign everything a fan asks you to sign. Know what’s funny about you, know you are funny, and fuck anyone who thinks you’re not. Blow off a bad set, let it go and move on to the next one. Have a life outside of comedy that fulfills you. Have perspective about how well you did. If you go up at 3 am with 5 people in the room don’t get upset when you don’t blow the roof off the place. Understand that the second show Friday crowd is always tired and there’s nothing you can do to change that.

Don’t use comedy to get laid all the time because you’ll become “that guy.” Don’t talk shit about other comics, it’s a waste of energy. Don’t have sex with comedy club waitresses unless you love them or are really, really horny. Don’t become an alcoholic or drug addict. It’s easy to do on the road, trust me.

Read a lot. It kills time and you get ideas. It also helps you develop knowledge on a broad range of subjects which can help keep your act fresh. Not all about one topic all the time.

[b]In Season One, you had an early departure. What was it like being on the show and losing so early? Did it change the focus of your career? Why or why not?[/b]

Quite honestly I was in such a fucked up headspace due to issues outside of comedy that getting out of the house couldn’t have come sooner. I was newly married, wanted to be home with the wife, and was having some health problems I thought might be a sign of recurrent cancer. So I was in no mood to be filmed 24 hours a day.

No, it didn’t change the focus of my career because I couldn’t pursue my career for almost a year after the show because I was in treatment.

Honestly, I think everything worked out for the best. At the time of the first show I was also very rusty – performance wise. That’s because for the previous year I had been writing for a show, going through treatment, and not going on stage. So when I performed in Vegas I was only on my 5th or 6th set back in a year.

So I’m glad I didn’t make it any farther because I don’t like the jokes or the performances I was capable of delivering back then. I think I got as far as I deserved to go and no further. It worked out perfectly.

[b]How did you feel when you got the call to do the current season of LCS? What’s the experience been like so far?[/b]

When I got the call to do Last Comic Standing 3, I had just gotten out of the shower so my main thing was – I don’t really want to take this phone call naked. So I called them back and told them I’d think about it. Then the next day I said yes, after they explained more of what it was going to be.

[b]Why do you think the show has become so popular?[/b]

I have no idea. It’s not something I’d watch, but I’m around comics all the time so it wouldn’t have a very big voyeuristic appeal for me. I suppose it appeals to people because we all like things that make us laugh and we like to see funny people interact with each other. I think people who watch it should be aware that doing stand-up in the time or way NBC allotted to us is very difficult and that if they want to really pass judgment on us as comics they need to buy a ticket. But if it gets people into the clubs, whether for me or for other comics, then it’s good for comedy.

[b]Is the Season One crew really funnier than Season Two’s? Why?[/b]

No, on any given night any of us could blow a crowd away. I mean, we’re all pros. The thing is to remember that comedy is subjective. Think about Jeff Foxworthy versus Bobcat Goldthwait. Totally different styles that appeal to totally different segments of the population.

[b] You’ve written for several television shows including The Best Damn Sport Show Period and Yes, Dear. Do you prefer writing to stand-up? How come?[/b]

I used to prefer writing to stand-up. Now I prefer stand-up. I like being around the crowds and I hate the bullshit that comes with TV writing. Execs sticking their noses in where they don’t belong, that kind of thing. TV writing is never going to be a lot of fun because it’s too collaborative. That’s why most of it is mediocre. Truly funny things are usually the product of one person’s vision – Mel Brooks, Larry Gelbart, Buck Henry and Neil Simon spring to mind as examples.

[b]Who, besides yourself, do you think will take the title of the Last Comic Standing this season?[/b]

I have no idea but I wish whoever it is lots of success.

[b] You are a co-host of a radio show called the Free Speech Show. How did you come to be a part of that? What sorts of topics do y’all discuss? Tell me a bit more about it.[/b]

I’ve been political my whole life. So I was a fan of the Free Speech Show before I was on it. I actually just called the host, told him who I was and that I wanted to sit in. He agreed and we hit it off and have been working together ever since.

I’ve had the chance to do so many great topics and talk to so many great people it’s hard to pick just a few. But some of my favorite interviews have been with authors Arianna Huffington, Craig Unger, and David Cay Johnston. We also just did a show with former Democratic candidate for mayor of New York Mark Green. He was actually running against NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg on the morning of 9-11 and had some amazing stories from that day.

[b](Author Note:[/b] If you want to check the Free Speech Show out, you can go to the web site at http://freespeechshow.com. If you’re local to the Los Angeles area, you can listen to the Free Speech Show from 11pm – 1 am PDT on 1540 AM!)

[b]What is the one thing you’d like the public to know about you that we may not get to see in the competition?[/b]

That I’m funny as a motherfucker in a club. You may not get to see that to the extent that I’d like because of the time limits and the restrictions on material.

[b]Is there anything else you’d like to mention?[/b]

I think we covered it!

Wow! Thanks so much for your honest and awesome answers, Sean. You’ve just made a new fan. Remember, everyone, Sean can be seen along with the comics from Season One and Season Two of Last Comic Standing every Tuesday night @ 8pm est/7pm cst on NBC. You can also visit Sean on the web @ http://www.seankent.com

If you’ve got comments or questions about this interview, or you’re a comic on Last Comic Standing 3 and you’d like to do an interview too, contact me. I’m at panndyra@yahoo.com.


She Blinded Me With Science Big Brother 5, September 2nd

by Wumple

Previously on Big Brother, Marvin nominated Adria and Cowboy for eviction. After an intense veto ceremony, the nominations remained the same. Chenbot then reveals that this week will be a double elimination week, with another houseguest being evicted this Saturday.

After the veto ceremony, Adria immediately cornered Karen in the backyard. She says she has no respect for most of the other people in the house. The others are inside laughing about how Adria just won’t leave Karen alone.
[i]Diane: “We nicknamed Adria the plague because you just can’t get away from her.[/i]
Adria is complaining that no one will even acknowledge her name, and she says she prays for these people everyday because they need it. That night, she corners Karen again. She says that she’s been herself with Karen. Except for those few little details there in the middle.
[i]Karen: “Those were kinda big details.”[/i]
Adria doesn’t think its fair that she’s on the block again this week. She’d rather see someone like Karen be sitting there in the end than these people who are running the game for her. Karen begins her Adria repellent technique. . . crying. And with that, their conversation is over.

Next she’s in the cloud room brainwashing Drew. She’s upset that she “can’t do nothin”. She wants to make it a tie so that Marvin can decide. Of course the dumbass folds, and agrees with everything she says. He thinks she’s stuborn, and he doesn’t like how she’s been acting around Marvin this week. Drew thinks its ridiculous the way the others are treating Adria.

Outside, Drew and Karen are discussing Adria. They liked her without her twin, and then say that the Adria in power is so different from the Adria without power.

Back in the house, Chenbot asks the house guests questions. Karen says she’s glad she’s no longer shooting blanks in here with her veto win. Cowboy wants to thank the fans for him winning America’s Choice. Drew says the Big Brother game will help him “make it” outside of the house easily. Nokomis says it was easy to stop smoking, and then Chenbot tries to use the term “cool beans.” To no avail.

Marvin devises a plan to break up Diane and Drew. He hugs Diane and kisses her on the head. He does it in front of Cowboy, who, being a complete dumbass, takes it out of context. Being the snitch he is, he ran and told Drew about this, making it seem like they had a real kiss. Drew confronts Diane about it, and Diane doesn’t even remember it. He tells her that’s not the type of person he wants to be with, and she begins to cry. He then reveals that he was joking.

Next up, Chenbot interviews Marvin. He says that getting her out is a strategic decision. He says that he’s aligned himself some with Diane, and she is the only person he considers himself to be aligned with.

In the jury house, Will awakens to find that mother nature is having a bitch-fest, and he takes it as a message that something is about to go down. Natalie meets him at the bottom of the stairs and they hug. Natalie says that the hug was genuine and she thinks he’s a beautiful person and she has no hard feelings against him. Will doesn’t think the same way, as he winks and crosses his fingers during the hug. He gives her a tour of their humble abode.
[i]Natalie: “The only thing missing is my husband.”
Will: “Me too”[/i]
Natalie pulls out the tape of last week, and they watch it together. Will openly cheers for Nokomis.
[i]Will: “She told me she would avenge my departure, and she sho did!”[/i]
He’s happy that the boomerang came back around and “wapped the bitch right between the eyes”.
Natalie can’t resist at taking a shot at Nokomis’ actions by saying that he’s like Charles Manson having people on the outside do his dirty work.

Back in the house, the two nominees are given a chance to plead their case. Cowboy says it was tough going against the twins in back-to-back weeks. He loves them like sisters, and if he leaves this week, he knows he’s friends with everyone.
Adria says she feels honored that she has had this experience and the opportunity to meet all these people. She asks that people honor their commitments to her, just as she did. She feels blessed.

Next up is the live vote. Nokomis, Drew, Karen, and Diane all vote to evict Adria, making it unanimous.
Chenbot: “By a unanimous vote, Adria, you ARE evicted from the Big Brother house.
Adria walks to the door, and it looks as though she’s handling it well. WRONG! She gets to the door and can’t resist spewing some final nuggets of crap. She decides to turn the house into damn Jeopardy, and asks the others if they know what her favorite moment in the house was. The others don’t respond, and she tells them that it was when Natalie and herself both fooled all of them. She’s proud of the person she’s upheld and everyone’s been in her prayers. She says that she’s glad she’s been in this position so she knows who some of the others really are, and who to vote for. She says that “she’s talking for Natalie too because that’s two votes.”

It’s at this point that Marvin chokes on the bullcrap sandwich, and regurgitates it back in her face.
[i]Marvin: “I thought you were separate though? Don’t be mad at us because you decieved us from day one.” [/i]
They argue back and forth some, but she can do nothing but run out the door with a laugh as Marvin says
[i]”Damn she’s got a mouth!”[/i]
Of course with CBS’s prized twin twist gone, Chenbot tries to kiss her ass.
Chenbot: You went out with guns blazing. (Sure, if by “guns blazing” she means “she got her head blown off on live TV.”, then yeah, guns blazing!)
Back inside, Marvin and Diane are pissed
[i]Marvin: “She’s so sanctimonious and pompous”. “Oh I’m sorry, you’re separate, you’re separate entities” “She makes me want to vomit”.[/i]

Adria says she’s rooting for Karen, Drew, and Cowboy to win. She then continues to spew more of her crap. She says the others weren’t able to be team players, and they couldn’t keep commitments unlike her. Alzheimers is apparently hereditary, and its a wonder her and her sister aren’t bed-ridden.
In the goodbye videos,
Nokomis says she kept true to her promise, and that’s why Adria’s there.
Marvin says she’s a hardcore gamer and he admires her tenacity.
Cowboy says he’s sorry for the week she’s had
Diane says that trust has been broken all throughout the game.
Drew says he’s never looked up to someone as much as her and she was put out for juvenile reasons. (Of course a person who was aligned with Jase for 5 weeks knows all about juvenile!)

The HoH power is up for grabs! “Chemical Reaction” They are asked a series of true of false questions. They will answer their questions by pouring a liquid from either their true or false beaker. If the liquid turns blue, they are correct and they move on. If the liquid doesn’t change color, they are incorrect and have been eliminated from the game. Diane and Nokomis blatantly throw the competition, and Drew is left with HOH.

After the break the house guests are informed that in less than 48 hours, another houseguest will be evicted. Later that night, there will be another nomination ceremony, followed by the veto, veto ceremony, and another eviction – just in time for Saturday’s show.

We Will Facilitate That FOR Him – The Amazing Race, Episode 9

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off this leg of the Amazing Race in the sands of the desert. Colin and Christie are up first, and they rip open their clue. They have to travel back to Dubai and go to Wild Wadi. They take off, and Christie states that Colin has a habit of exploding. I’d like to see Colin explode. For real, I mean. Just like, spontaneously combust. Brandon and Nicole are off next, and Nicole mentions that these mosques are like everywhere! They’re like Starbucks! ……*facepalm* Chip and Kim are next, and state that they are the on the honeymoon they never had. Colin and Christie get to Wild Wadi, and surprise, surprise, the hours of operation start at 8 AM. So Colin and Christie go and get some sleep. Linda and Karen leave, and then Kami and Karli leave minus money. They flirt with two guys in a car and get a bit of money. Chip and Kim beat Brandon and Nicole to Wild Wadi, and Chip uses this opportunity to stroke Colin’s ego (like it could get any bigger.) Colin and Christie feel like they can trust Chip and Kim, but Chip and Kim want to help them self-destruct.

Kami and Karli see a nice-looking guy and turn on the charm. The guy falls for it (women, they flirt with you and then take your money, that’s how it goes) and unloads his wallet into their hands. They give him a grateful hug, and he mouths “Twins!” to the camera. You know, if I was unloading that much money AND showing them somewhere, I would have wanted more than just a hug. The teams wake up in the morning and have to go down the Jameirah Sceirah, a huge slide that looks really cool. Brandon and Nicole get to go first ’cause Chip walks right by the numbers.

Brandon and Nicole find that they have to fly to Calcutta and go to a 170 ft. tall monument to find the next clue. One by one the teams go down the slide. Chip and Kim, though, misread the clue and take a taxi instead of drive themselves, and the bowling moms leave the bag with their passports sitting at the bottom of the slide. Eventually Kim rereads the clue and realizes they have to go back, and the moms realize their bag is lost. The other three teams make it to the airport in good time, and the moms get there in time as well, except they have a small hitch. See, they asked a cab driver to show them to the airport. He expected them to pay him, but they didn’t ride in the cab so they didn’t want to pay. Long story short, airport security gets involved, and the moms are extorted out of their cash, much like Colin was. Personally, I think the locals are getting tipped off about this race, because this season a lot of the teams are getting majorly ripped off because they’re in a hurry. It’s weird, eh?

Chip and Kim end up on a flight that arrives ten minutes later than the one the other four teams are on, and they just hope that a miracle will happen. All the teams arrive before Chip and Kim, and they all get in cabs and head towards their destination. Except there’s traffic. Everyone talks about how rundown the city is, except Colin, who makes a snarky sarcastic remark about the culture, and then says “I didn’t want to talk about how ugly it was.” Brandon and Nicole get a flat tire and have to switch cabs. Colin and Christie reach the marker first, choose not to Yield anybody, and can’t use the Fast Forward since they already did it. The teams now have to go to the Globe Brick Factory to find their next clue.

Chip and Kim get a good driver, and while the others are stuck in traffic, they end up second. They also do not Yield anyone, and think they are behind everybody and say “Somebody’s probably already gotten the Fast Forward.” Phil lets us know about how the people that choose the Fast Forward get to be in a surprise head-shaving. One by one the teams come to the marker, and all three of the teams decide that someone else has probably done the Fast Forward so they don’t choose it.

At the Globe Brick Factory, the teams have to make 20 perfectly bricks in the Roadblock. Chip is a skilled brickmaker, while Colin becomes a skilled whiner. All the teams eventually end up together trying to make the bricks. Brandon and Nicole realize this, and then realize that nobody’s used the Fast Forward then, and so they head out to try the FF. Colin starts churning out the bricks, and they finish first as usual. They have to travel by train to the Sealdah Station, where the next clue is. Linda and Karen barely beat Chip and Kim, and the two teams are hot on the heels of Colin and Christie. Kami and Karli start arguing with each other about the bricks.

All three teams arrive at the train station at the same time, but unfortunately Linda and Karen only have American dollars because of their cab driver experience. So they don’t get on the train with Colin and Chip and co. Someone grabs Christie in the tight train space, and Colin gets irritated with whoever it was. The moms try to go to the bank, but realize the bank is muchos faros awayos, and so they exchange money with their cab driver instead. Kami and Karli finish their bricks and head to the train station.

Brandon and Nicole find out about the head-shaving, and they get a deer-in-the-headlight look. Since both are models, they decide not to cut their hair, Brandon says he’d cut his, but he couldn’t let anyone cut Nicole’s beautiful locks. *sniff* How sweet.

The moms start in-fighting because Linda is being too whiny, but they beat the twins on the train. Chip and Colin work together to find the route marker, and it’s a Detour. Heavy But Short vs. Light But Long. Heavy but Short, they travel 10 miles and have to push a taxi a half-mile to a garage. Light but Long, they carry flowers a long way to drop in a river. Heavy but Short is chosen by both teams. Chip again comments that Colin needs to have his ego stroked, and that he will beat himself, but they will facilitate that for him. At this point Brandon and Nicole are way far behind.

The two teams get people to help push their taxis (side note: I loved the little music thing in this part). Colin and Christie finish ahead of Chip and Kim, and they find the Victoria Memorial is the next pit stop. Linda and Karen and Kami and Karli get to the detour, and both teams both get other people to push the taxi and they both sit in the car.

It’s a foot race to the finish, but Colin and Christie win and get first and yet anoter vacation. Chip and Kim are second, Linda and Karen are third, and Kami and Karli are fourth. The sad, solemn music is playing for Brandon and Nicole, and we watch them arrive after dark at the Pit Stop. The sad music and the sad faces are so sad….and then we find out that it’s another non-elimination. (CBS actually fooled me, I was ready for them to be eliminated.) Brandon and Nicole are truly shocked that they’re still in it, and I smiled and was happy for them.

Next week on TAR, the twins get screwed over, Christie starts talking back to Colin (FINALLY!) and the teams “go on the ride of their life.” This is atarus, drop me a line at atarus33@yahoo.com if you’re rooting for Chip and Kim as much as I am, and I’ll catch ya next week!

A Tale of Two Daddies – Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Daddy, August 31st


by aurora

Trading Spouses is back with a special two-hour Dad swap. FOX could not have found two more stereo-typically different families to make the switch than the Cookes and the Levines, as we’re about to find out.

Jay Cooke is a lathe operator who lives on a farm in Greensville, Georgia. His wife, Brandi, is a homemaker and mom to two sons, Hudson (9) and Cole (5). Jay says that Brandi is the one who doles out the discipline, as we see her sitting outside watching the boys beat on each other. Jay is happy to let Brandi be the decision-maker in the family, and Brandi says that she likes getting her own way. She was happy when they bought their home, because she was previously living in a trailer. She’s not thrilled with the house now though, and considers it a dump.

Justin Levine is a larger-than-life New York lawyer. Everything about Justin is big, from his physical self to his law office to his beach house. His Manhattan apartment is the biggest one in the building, with three bedrooms, a den, and other assorted perks that he gleefully points out. He’s married to Beverly, and they have two children – Pierce (13) and Molly (7). Pierce says that Beverly freaks out if things aren’t completely organized. The Levines have a hectic schedule, which results in the kids eating dinner alone most nights. Molly says that if she could change anything about her dad, it would be the late hours he spends at the office.

First We Take Manhattan

Jay is packed and ready to head off to the big city. He goes into the living room to say goodbye to his family, and is met with…well, nothing. Brandi doesn’t even get up off the couch to say goodbye, and the kids aren’t exactly motivated either. Jay tells them he’ll miss them, and Brandi comes back with “You can stay gone, I don’t care.”

He leaves the house and heads off to the airport for his first ever airplane experience. Seems Jay has never been outside of Georgia – boy is he in for a culture shock! In New York, Mrs. Levine and her kids are waiting at the airport with a sign saying simply “Mr. Cooke”, which Molly has decorated. Jay arrives, introductions are made, and they’re off to the house.

Jay marvels over the tall buildings and the crazy drivers. He says that no one in Georgia ever leans on their car horns the way they do here. They arrive at the apartment, and Jay is a little taken aback at the valet parking. He’s also impressed with the elevator ride, having never been more than one storey above ground level.

Once inside, Jay gets a tour of the apartment and is shown his room and bathroom. He’s very happy with the arrangement. Beverly, who constantly looks at her watch, tells Jay that it’s now 4:51, and they will be going out at 6:30 for dinner. She asks him what he’d like to do in the meantime – take a walk, rest, take a sauna, swim, what? Jay is uncomfortable making a decision, and asks Pierce for guidance. They decide to take a walk around and see what the apartment has to offer as Beverly rushes off to do her errands.

Pierce, who is a very responsible and sympathetic boy, guides Jay around the building, showing him the different views from the top and explaining what the buildings are. They go to see the gym, the pool, and all the other features that must make Justin very proud to be a resident. Jay is suitably impressed.

Jay and Pierce get dressed up for dinner. They’re going to Tavern on the Green, which makes Pierce happy since he likes the food there. He has trouble tying his tie, and asks Jay for help. Jay admits that he doesn’t wear ties, and if he ever does they’re of the clip-on variety. They decide to go down and ask the doorman for help.

They off to dinner, and Jay is very impressed with the restaurant. He says it’s the fanciest place he’s ever been to, but Beverly insists it’s not that nice. She doesn’t like the banquet-hall feeling. Privately Beverly says that Jay is impressed because he’s probably used to ‘all-you-can-eat buffets’.

Beverly asks Jay to choose the wine, and the poor man looks like someone asked him to choose which one of his kids he should sacrifice. This is an impossible decision for Jay, who is used to letting his wife make all the decisions. He bravely looks at the wine list as Beverly pelts him with questions. Do you want a Pinot Noir? A Cabernet? A Zinfandel? From California or France? Jay hesitantly declares he’d like a red wine.

Back at home, Molly shows Jay her loose tooth. Justin and Beverly have tried everything from brute force to bribery to get Molly to let them pull this tooth out, but Molly is afraid it will hurt. Beverly has offered Molly a new pair of shoes in exchange for the tooth, and offers to let Molly hold a pair of her designer shoes as an incentive. She says, “think shoes, think shoes” over and over again, and finally Molly tells her that it’s just silly.

Jay thinks he can get the tooth out, and Molly decides to trust him. She lays down and opens her mouth, and Jay nervously pulls the tooth out. He says, “This here tooth?” and Molly is astounded that it’s out – she didn’t feel a thing.

Meanwhile, Back on the Farm…

As Jay is adjusting to life in New York, Justin is arriving in Georgia.

He marvels at the wide open space and the dirt roads, and says that he expected to come across a quaint little house nestled away somewhere. What he finds is the Cooke residence, complete with chickens, cows, and other assorted farmyard treats.

Brandi shows Justin around, and leads him to his room. It’s one of the kids’ rooms, which hasn’t even been cleared of the clothes and toys strewn everywhere. Justin says that he’ll be sleeping on an inflatable mattress, which some people swear by. He’s just not one of those people.

Justin gets a tour of the ‘grounds’. He comes across a bird in a cage and asks what it is. “That would be a turkey”, answers Brandi. Justin is shocked – he feels he should have known that, but has only ever seen a real turkey in the supermarket before.

Dinnertime rolls around, and Justin gets to dine out as well. Brandi says that they’re taking him to her favourite restaurant. It’s a family-type place, that serves Southern fare. Justin and the Cookes are served a big basket of deep-fried catfish. Justin comments privately that he’s used to dining in places that have cloth napkins and real utensils. Hudson dares Cole to eat a catfish fin, and some bickering ensues.

The following morning, Justin is rudely awoken by the sounds of a rooster crowing. This apparently wakes up the boys as well, as Cole climbs up to see his brother in the top bunk and is greeted with a smack in the head. Cole begins to wail, and Justin gives in, saying “Okay, I’m up, I’m up!”

The City That Never Sleeps

Back in Manhattan, Jay also wakes up to unfamiliar sounds – sirens and car horns. He can’t get used to the hustle and bustle of the place, which affects him even when he’s resting in bed.

Pierce needs to practice his speech for his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Beverly has been dogging him to keep practicing, so he decides to run the speech by Jay. Jay of course doesn’t know what a Bar Mitzvah is, so Pierce explains. Jay comments, “Ah, so it’s part of your religion then.” Pierce begins his speech, and he’s doing just fine until he realizes that his mom is standing in the doorway. She cuts him off and barks comments at him. “Look up, speak loudly, stand up straight.” The poor kid gets flustered and takes off for his room, with mom hot on his heels. She wants him to take a drink of water and start again, but he’s done. Jay thinks Pierce did a fine job.

Beverly decides to take everyone to the beach house for the day, and on the way there she brags that it could be worth as much as $3 million. She says that it should be freshly painted and in great shape.

Of course, when they arrive, there are problems. The painters aren’t finished, the shutters aren’t on the windows, and the place is a mess. Beverly begins straightening, cleaning, fixing, and complaining. The kids and Jay attempt to help out, but end up getting in the way. Jay decides to take them to the beach to give Beverly a chance to cool off.

When they come back, Beverly is frantically cleaning the floors. Molly dares to walk into the kitchen to tell her mom about the beach, and Beverly freaks out. Jay tells Pierce, “Whatever you do, don’t go in the kitchen!”

They share a meal on the back porch, and Pierce has a surprise for Jay. It’s Hudson’s birthday, and Jay is upset that he’s missing it. Pierce has bought a small cake, complete with a candle, and brings it out to the table. Jay is touched by the gesture, and enjoys his first taste of authentic New York cheesecake.

Jay thinks that Beverly just needs to relax a bit and take things easy, so he decides to take her out fishing. The head down to the lake (or a pond, it was called both and I’m not familiar enough with New York to know exactly where they were) and Beverly comments that she’s never been there. They bait their hooks with corn and begin fishing. Beverly doesn’t like the pace of this activity, and wants to walk all over the place to different spots to try their luck there. She’s determined to catch a fish, but only if this can occur before her watch tells her it’s time to do something else. Jay just agrees with every suggestion Beverly makes, and concedes that his plan to get her to relax didn’t quite work.

Georgia On My Mind

Meanwhile, in Georgia, the Cookes plus Justin are off to Calloway Gardens to celebrate Hudson’s tenth birthday. There’s a swimming pool, rock climbing, and all kinds of activities for the kids. Justin comments to Brandi that the day is going well so far – neither one of the kids have drowned the other yet. He spoke too soon apparently, because Hudson and Cole begin their daily ritual of bugging the crap out of each other.

As they sit and have their lunch, Hudson whines. He whines about having to eat his sandwich before his cake, he whines about wanting to go rock climbing, and he whines about being bored. Justin takes everything in stride, although he’s clearly annoyed. Brandi says that Hudson always complains and acts put out, but she thinks he had a nice birthday anyway.

The following day, Brandi tells Justin that Jay has been meaning to fix up the chicken pen, but has never got around to it. Justin decides that he can do this, and they all head off to the hardware store. While Justin tries to figure out what size nails he needs, the kids start threatening each other with various tools, like hammers and axes. Brandi passively tells them to stop, but Justin has finally had it. He grabs boards from Hudson’s hands, and tells them to cool it.

Once in the car, Justin is still fed up. Hudson (who is sitting in the front passenger seat, delegating Justin to sit in the back with Cole) is worked up about something or other, and Justin leans forward and takes away his little electronic game. Hudson freaks out, but Justin stands firm – if the kid’s going to whack people and have a tantrum, he ain’t getting his game back. Hudson calms down just long enough for Justin to return the game, then hits his mom with it. Justin takes the game away again, as Brandi feverishly tries to get home before someone is killed.

Justin builds a new door for the chicken coop, and gets everything set up the way Brandi wants it. The family is impressed, but not as impressed as Justin himself.

Thinking of how he’s going to spend the $50,000 for the Cookes, Justin decides to go to the town hall and research property values in the area. He says that Brandi seems to want more in life, and that she’s clearly unhappy with the state of her home.

Time now for the customary “invite your family and friends over to make the new spouse look completely out of their element” feature. Brandi invites ‘the locals’ over for a barbeque, and Justin cooks up the grub. He’s very outgoing and personable, introducing himself to everyone and bragging about the new chicken pen. I think the fact that these people all build their own chicken pens too and may not find this accomplishment too impressive is lost on Justin, but he carries on trying to make things fun and lively.

Meet My Folks

While Justin is burning burgers and hot dogs on the grill, Jay is getting ready to meet the extended Levine family. They’re all coming over to hear Pierce’s Bar Mitzvah speech, so he can practice it in front of some real live people. Pierce is unsure how they will take to Jay, noting that none of them have ever met someone like him before.

Things seem to go well though, with Pierce nailing his speech and everyone congratulating him – including his mom. Pierce says that he could feel Jay rooting for him silently.

It’s now Jay’s last night with the Levines, and they order dinner in. Jay feels that this family needs to spend more time together, and that the parents need to learn how to cook. Beverly asks him if he washes his dishes at home, and he says yes, that’s the only way they’ll get clean. She’s stunned, and blurts out, “But you can get a dishwasher for like two-hundred bucks!” Jay says privately that Beverly has no understanding whatsoever of people who don’t live like she and her family do.

After dinner, Jay calls the family in to say his goodbyes. He thanks them for showing him the big city and sharing their home with him. Pierce has written a good-bye ‘rap’, which he performs for Jay. The Levine children are wonderful, caring kids – their parents should be proud of them. Hugs are shared, and Pierce tells Jay that he’s the first person who ever really listened to him.

The next morning, Beverly and Pierce are up early with Jay to walk him out to his waiting taxi. They promise to see each other again, and share more hugs. Then it’s time for Jay to head off to meet up with Justin.

Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry?

Justin decides to take Brandi out for a nice dinner on his final night in Georgia. He’s hired a limo to drive them into Atlanta for the evening. Brandi gets dressed up, but complains privately that she’s not into all this stuff.

At the restaurant, Brandi feels out of her element. Justin assures her that no one in the room would be able to tell that she has chickens at home, and she snorts, “Yeah, right!” The appetizer arrives, and Brandi asks what the white stuff is. “It’s just cheese?” she asks. Justin says yes, it’s just mozzarella, but Brandi doesn’t like it and has to eat something else to get the taste out of her mouth. She also doesn’t care for the lamb chops, which she’s never tried before. The waiter arrives with a huge chunk of meat that he carves slices from for Brandi and Justin. Brandi requests the fattiest slices, and says she likes hers burnt. She then complains that the meat is getting caught in her teeth.

Justin explains that, while this not be the way that Brandi and Jay regularly eat, it’s nice to try new things once in a while. Brandi doesn’t agree, and says she’d rather have a burger or pizza any time. Even if she had money, she wouldn’t eat in places like this. Justin keeps trying to encourage her, but she’s downright rude to him. You can see that the evening is wearing on Justin, and as they leave he throws down his napkin in frustration.

Back at the house, Justin says good-bye to the boys. They go running off to their mom, yelling “He’s leaving tomorrow! Yeah!”

The following morning Justin awakens to a silent house, and sees himself out.

Almost Home…

Jay and Justin meet for the first time, and ask each other about their families. Both men hope that their wives and kids made the other man feel welcome. Jay gushes about Molly and Pierce, while Justin is silent. The situation is a bit awkward, as Jay asks questions and Justin desperately tries to find nice things to say about Brandi and the kids, and life on the farm.

The men exchange the envelopes that contain their instructions for spending the $50,000, and say good-bye.

Back to Reality, After the Small Matter of the Cash

Jay arrives home to find his family exactly as he left them – sitting down watching television. No one gets up to greet him. He talks about how he’s glad to be home and how much he missed everyone, but no one says a word.

Meanwhile, Molly makes a “Welcome Home Daddy!” sign that she sticks on the front door. When Justin arrives, everyone rushes to hug him and tell him how much they have missed him.

Justin knows that Beverly will freak out when she discovers that Jay has decided how the money is to be spent. She had planned to put the $50,000 towards Pierce’s Bar Mitzvah. Justin explains the situation, and Beverly looks a bit uncomfortable.

Back at the farm, Jay tells Brandi that Justin has decided what they must do with their cash. He opens Justin’s letter, which thanks them for having taken him into their home. Jay offers to let Brandi read the rest, but she brushes him off. The money is divided as follows:

$7,200 for one year of schooling for the boys
$2,800 to pay off debt
$25,000 to buy their home
$15,000 to remodel the house, including an extra bedroom and bathroom

Brandi is happy with Justin’s decision, saying the only thing she would do differently is to knock the house down and start all over again.

In Manhattan, things are getting tense. Justin decides to just open the envelope and see what the damage is. Jay has spent their money like this:

$10,000 for a personal trainer for the family
$10,000 for cooking lessons for Beverly and Justin
$30,000 to be spent on the beach house

Beverly is NOT a happy camper. She says that Jay has no clue about spending that much money, and says she wants to speak to a lawyer RIGHT NOW, to discuss the situation. (Um, isn’t Justin a lawyer?) She then tells the cameras to leave.

Next week, FOX is promising the most explosive Trading Spouses yet. We get to see a clip of some guy who calls himself a chauvinist throwing a dead fly into his new spouse’s soup. Hmm, this I gotta see!

Comments are welcome! Contact me at carrie@realityshack.com.


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