Jersey Shore is like Yakov Smirnoff.
Let me explain. In the late ’90s, I made my living hustling tourists at the Empire State Building into going on the “New York Skyride.” The Skyride was a simulation ride, a movie with moving seats that would “take you on a trip to all the major attractions of New York City.” The money was great, hitting on a gazillion tourists was better, but operating the ride itself was the fucking worst.
Why? Well, the captain of said voyage was Yakov Smirnoff. So when you operated the ride, you had to listen to Yakov Smirnoff tell the same hacky jokes over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And over. It made waterboarding feel like an oxygen facial. To this day, when I hear his voice, some Pavlovian thing kicks in and I want to smash railroad spikes into my ears. It’s no different with Jersey Shore. It’s the same show, the same characters, the same pranks, the same clubs, the same GTL, the same zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I hate it. I just can’t watch anymore. Nobody I know watches it anymore. Does anyone over 20 watch this show besides me? Anyone? In fact, saying “Jersey Shore is like Yakov Smirnoff” is an insult to Yakov Smirnoff. My apologies to Yakov and the entire Smirnoff family.
Regardless, no one on Jersey Shore scored any points this week, so I don’t have to waste my time writing about it, which is perfect because Blair from Facts of Life went a little incesty on Survivor, a Housewife is being injected with lamb fetus, and Marie morphed into a slammered insult tsunami that soaked the Challenge shores in draft beer and insecurity. With all that going on, who wants to hear about Snooki?
Marie (The Challenge, Jacoby), 32 points: The Wu Tang Clan did a lot for New York City’s forgotten borough. Once the Wu struck a match through the underground and rebranded Staten Island “Shaolin,” the isle went from being seen as New York City’s trash can to a cultural hotbed. Well, whatever Wu Tang did to build Staten Island’s reputation, Marie undid with one episode of The Challenge. Hussie.
It all started because Marie was über pissed about being sent into “the arena.” Every time someone on this show is sent into the arena, they act like somebody just ran over their dog in the driveway (10 crying points). Someone goes in the arena every damn week, and every damn week they act out. It’s like a running back getting into a fistfight every time he’s tackled. Anyway, there are two things about Marie you might not know: (1) she loves to get slammerfaced, and (2) she’s in a relationship with Rob With Two B’s. You might not know that she loves to get slammerfaced because you don’t watch this show. You might not know that she’s in a relationship with Rob With Two B’s because they never touch, kiss, or act nice to each other. In fact, I think their relationship is based solely on the fact that they both love to get slammerfaced. So when the two of them are picked to go into the arena and get all ragey against the Challenge machine, they decide to get inslopsicated (7 points) and join the rest of the crew on the trip to an empty Turkish nightclub. So here we have Marie, slammered and pissed, on her way to a nightclub to party with the people that tossed her into the arena. What could possibly go wrong?
After a few shots, Marie starts to morph. Her target is unclear, but she is focused. Her intentions are evil. Deep inside, everyone is evil. We’ve all thought about choking someone to death at one point or another, but the difference between us and those who murder people with their hands is that we have a little filter that urges us not to act on these impulses. The anger of being sent into the impending elimination challenge and the dozen or so Everclear shots she had guzzled completely removed that filter from Marie.
When you’re on this television show and in need of an argument, look no further than Frank the Alcopsychoholic. After a couple of sparring rounds with Frank the Alcopsychoholic (5 points) in the club, Marie was ready for the main event — the bus ride home. While in the club, there was a little rhyme to her evil reason, she found targets, isolated them, and then peppered them with insults with sniper-like accuracy. On the bus ride home, she was more terrorist than sniper. When she detonated her insult IED, no one was safe from the blast radius. Exhibit A:
At this moment, I think she’s announcing that everyone on the bus is “scum.” Odd word choice, but whatever. I admire her moxie and award her five points. When the bus finally pulled into the ol’ Challenge abode, the slammerfaced Staten Islander kept at it. Like a sprinkler evenly hydrating the lawn, Marie peppered the cast with personal attacks from her perch on the porch (5 points). Exhibit B:
It got to the point where she went after JD the Dolphin Trainer for being a dolphin trainer. (Is she nuts? “Dolphin trainer” is, like, the best gig on the planet. How can you possibly ridicule that?) It got to the point where even Frank the Alcopsychoholic had had enough and summarized it all in a way only he can: “Marie’s actions suck, straight-up.” Frank the Alcopsychoholic was right. Her actions sucked. And while Staten Island’s reputation did take a hit from her sucky actions, we can’t forget that without Staten Island there is no Wu Tang Clan, and not only that: Without Staten Island, there is no White Lion. Imagine a world with no White Lion. No, wait, don’t, I would never want to do that to you.
Yolanda (Housewives, Connor), 30 points: When you watch as much Housewives as I do, you’re never surprised by their insanity. You just regard them as alien beings or zoo animals; the things that they say, do, and wear are so far removed from everyday life for the rest of us that it doesn’t faze you in the least. There’s also a phenomenon on these shows where they introduce a new character who plays the holier-than-thou role and acts all “These women are insane, shallow, and materialistic. I’m just a good ol’ girl here in my blue jeans trying to make sense of it all just like you.” Well, this season’s version is named Yolanda, who remarked this episode, “Where are these women from? What planet are they from? One doesn’t seem to wish the other one well on a book deal, one tells the other one, ‘shut the bleep up.’ It is like the wild, wild west at that dinner table.”
So relatable, right? Well, moments after establishing herself as the “normal” one, Yolanda tells us about the medical procedure she’s undergoing. “What they do is they take fresh cells from the unborn fetus of the baby lamb and they inject it into the human body because it is closest to the human cells.” Let me write that again just so it soaks in, “WHAT THEY DO IS THEY TAKE FRESH CELLS FROM THE UNBORN FETUS OF THE BABY LAMB AND THEY INJECT IT INTO THE HUMAN BODY.” Don’t ever wonder why people watch these shows again. That’s why people watch these shows. My favorite part is that it isn’t just lamb cells they inject into themselves; it’s baby lamb fetus cells.
Ready to move on? Me, too.
Abi (Survivor, Jacoby), 25 points: Everybody hates Abi on Survivor. Everybody. The show hasn’t truly captured the extent of her evil, but 85% of the plot revolves around what a worthless human being she is, so I’m just going to take its word for it. This week, she not only got into an argument with the whole cast (5 points), but when her mother ran out from behind the jungle to join her in a reward challenge, she didn’t cry, she didn’t scream, and she didn’t, um, do anything. She was totally apathetic.
Apathy is pretty much the exact opposite of how Blair from Facts of Life reacted, but more on that later. I know there’s no scoring for being apathetic upon seeing a loved on after being isolated in the wild and starved for 31 days, but I’m giving her 30 points anyway. Screw it. If David Stern can keep Chris Paul from going to the Lakers, then I can give Abi 30 points. She needs it. Everyone hates this chick. And she would have been atop this week’s leader board had she not scribbled some flair on her vote card (-10 points). I have no idea what she wrote on that thing, she either wrote something in ancient Aramaic or was some kind of message to aliens signaling an attack. Most likely the latter.
Frank (The Challenge, Simmons), 25 points: I want to believe that Frank is who he’s presented himself to be on this show. I really do. I really want to believe that he’s an unapologetic emotional wrecking ball demolishing the feelings of all those around him with the stability of a split atom … but there’s a little part of me that’s smarter than that. There’s a nagging little part of my conscience that knows it’s mainly a ruse. Frank is a lot of things, but he’s no dummy. He’s seen the show before, he knows what’s going to get him airtime, he knows what’s going garner a return invitation. I feel like his passion and even his motivation for being the destructive rage monster that he is are genuine; it’s just that he dials them up to 100 when the camera is pointed in his direction.
So why do I bring this up? Because Frank cried when he was considering putting Rob With Two B’s and Marie in the elimination challenge. He cried. The guy that’s called out Nany for having a sister with a heroin problem, routinely brought up Dustin’s gay porn past, and called 90 percent of the cast some variation of “fat,” cried (20 points)? Because of sending Marie in an elimination? Hmmmm. You know what? Let’s just pretend I never brought it up. I’m already regretting writing it, but I’m too lazy to erase it and rewrite it, so let’s just put our delusion hats back on and enjoy my new recurring bit, Frank the Alcopsychoholic’s Super-Personal Insult of the Week. This week’s came as Robb With Two B’s attempted to break up the night club fight between Marie and Frank before Marie, ya know, malfunctioned and tried to fight everyone:
Frank (to Marie): “You are the one that threw the friendship away. You are.”
Robb With Two Bs: “Don’t get in her face.”
Frank: “I’m not getting in her face Rob (with two B’s).”
Robb With Two Bs: “You just did. You just did.”
Frank: “Get the bleep out of here. When did you grow a dick anyways, bro? Seriously?”
You have to hand it to the guy, it’s like he stays up at night and makes a mental file of the most insulting thing that he can say to each of his castmates and pulls them out during each exchange. I need to start doing that. Oh wait, no I don’t, I’m not a drunken lunatic on a reality show. (ED NOTE: Yet, Jacoby. Yet.)
Blair from Facts of Life (Survivor, Connor), 10 points: Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god. I have no idea how to approach this section of the column. OK, first let me just start with the fact she got into a spat with Abi (5 points). Second, matter of fact, wait, it’s time for this week’s GRTFL Top Five. This week’s GRTFL Top Five are the Top Five Things That Really Happened in Real Life During Blair from Facts of Life’s Reaction to Seeing Her Brother on Survivor listed from “They seem close” to “Are they blood brother and sister or more, ya know, ‘brother and sister?’”:
Fact 1: When Blair from Facts of Life saw her brother, she immediately started weeping (5 points), wrapped her arms around him, did that crying-so-hard-I-can’t-breathe-thing, and made this face:
Fact 2: Her brother’s name is Justice. Justice. Fact.
Fact 3: When Bill texted me and asked if I had seen it and I said no because I was watching The Challenge, he responded, “No — go to Survivor right now and watch Blair’s reaction to seeing her brother. Do it right now. Now. Immediately.” Fact.
Fact 4: When Jeff asked about Justice, Blair said, “Isn’t he beautiful?” Fact.
Fact 5: When I brought up this reunion to my Partner in Reality TV Podcast Crime Juliet Litman, she immediately asked, “So, they’ve hooked up in the past, right?” Fact.
All facts. I’m going to leave it at that. Quick, who’s next? This is getting weird.
Rob With Two Bs (The Challenge, House), 10 points: Rob With Two B’s got sonned by Frank (5 points) and also went toe-to-toe with Derek (5 points). When he and Derek went toe-to-toe and were “about to fight,” Chet stepped between them and held them back. Chet isn’t exactly Deebo from Friday. He’s a 120-pound dude that has his own bow-tie company.
Trishelle and Dustin (The Challenge, House), 10 points: Trishelle and Dustin eliminated Robb and Marie from the show. In his exit interview, Robb declared, “I think the rest of the house is probably relieved they don’t have two drunken assholes around anymore.” (Nodding in agreement: Everyone)
Kim (Housewives, Jacoby), 5 points: While Kim was in the bathroom crying her eyes out because she and Brandi were having an emotional reconciliation about the legendary episode last season when Brandi bazooka’d Kim with the comeback, “At least I don’t do crystal meth all night long in the bathroom, bitch.” Kim explained why it was so hurtful. “What you said was so wrong, I didn’t even know what it was! I have never done anything like that. That was so mean.” Didn’t even know what it was? Have never done anything like that? This is like Emril because accused of eating farfalle and saying, “Eat pasta? I don’t even know what that is! I have never even eaten anything like that.”
Fine, maybe I could have come up with a funnier comparison right there. Sorry, I’m starving.
Oh yeah, before I forget, one more thing about Kim: When she was packed up and leaving Ojai, she announced, “My jewelry bag weighs a ton.” What’s the over/under on that exact line being a Kanye lyric in four months?
Team Brooklyn (The Challenge, Various GRTFL Teams), 5 points: Team Brooklyn got into a fight after they were DQ’d from the challenge. They also had to look on a map to find out which continent Namibia is in. They’re such idiots, right? I could have told you Namibia was in Africa. Now, real quick, where in Africa is Namibia? Don’t lie; you have no idea.
Lisa and Kyle (Housewives, House and Jacoby), 5 points: Lisa and Kyle got into it at the dinner party in Ojai (5 points). The folks in the Grantland office seemed to think that it was all crazy that I had no idea where Ojai was and it turned into an office argument. Get over yourselves, Grantlanders. Ojai is the Namibia of California, people know it exists but have no idea where it is. Ojai sounds like the name of a dude weaving hats out of palm tree leaves in Maui that you buy pot from, not a vacation destination.
Derek (The Challenge, Undrafted), 5 points: GRTFL Super Scorer Caitlin Mangum brings up a good point: Why to dudes always rip their shirts off when they are about to fight (5 points)? Is this for range of motion? Intimidation? Or is this strictly a Hulk Hogan thing? Who am I kidding? This is strictly a Hulk Hogan thing.
Taylor and Brandi (Housewives, House and Simmons), 5 points: Taylor and Brandi don’t like each other (5 points). Which is perfect because when Brandi announced to the dinner table that she got a book deal, it started a chain reaction where catty comment beget catty comment, and we all got to sit back and bask in it:
Brandi announcing her book deal beget: “Brandi’s husband cheated on her with LeAnn Rimes, left her for LeAnn Rimes. Is that a whole book?” — Taylor
Which beget: “Can I say I got a book deal, too? I didn’t say anything, but I got a book deal, too.” — Adrienne
Which beget: “Adrienne isn’t that smart. I don’t know. Is it, like, a children’s book? She can’t possibly put that much together.” — Lisa
I love the Housewives.
Skupin (Survivor, Connor). -10 points: Skupin put some flair on his vote card (10 points) and absolutely lost his shit when he saw his son. One of the best parts of Survivor is how emotional everyone (except Abi) gets when they see their loved ones. It makes you think about how much you miss your family that you don’t get to see, how much you love them, and how nice it would be to get a clean change of clothes after 31 days of wearing the same shit. It’s a really emotional scene, but I’m going to go ahead and say that 90 percent of the emotional outpouring is due to the fact that they haven’t eaten, slept, or showered in 31 days. If I only get four hours of sleep and don’t eat right, I’ll break down in tears during a cereal commercial. Speaking of which, I’m still hungry.
The GRTFL will be back next Friday. Jersey Shore may or may not be included.