Things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving: Joe Millionaire is finally over! Never has a show dragged on so ponderously for so long. I mean—really! These are just some of the things that happen faster than the action of Joe Millionaire: 1 - A watched pot boils. 2 - Paint dries. 3 – Saguaro cactus grow 4 – The Antarctic Ice Sheet advances. 5 – Continental drift. 6 – The sun cools and collapses. And I am barely exaggerating here, folks! Do you know how hard it is to summarize eternity? Let’s see. Where did Deb leave off? Oh yeah…
Cat is sitting on the settee in the Grand Salon wearing her $1,000 chastity belt that doesn’t work and her usual self-involved expression. We watch her sit for the longest time while suspenseful music plays. Finally, David enters stage right, with a bunch of crappy white flowers. He chats for a minute and then swings right into ‘dump’ mode. The code words fly: ‘you’re special…’ ‘you’re beautiful…’ ‘you’re blessed…’ ‘any guy would be happy…’ yada, yada, yada. She sits there frozen while David blows her off, finally saying “I didn’t choose you, Cat.”
David leaves Cat sitting on the sofa, looking sad but not crying or anything. As she sits there, Cat’s pre-recorded voice sets the stage for Linda. “I don’t think Linda loves him”. “I don’t think she’ll say yes.” And finally, “I am sad and depressed” She walks off leaving the flowers behind.
Now only Linda remains, so of course we have the obligatory montage of Lithe & Lovely Linda scenes, while David talks about how deep his feelings for her are, and how heart broken he will be if she turns him down. Missing are the scenes where Linda talks about how much she loves David.
I check my watch. We are down to the chosen girl, and there is still an hour of showtime left. A whole hour! With the first Joe, this scene was about 5 minutes from the end. How can they possibly drag this dead dog of a show on for another hour? Answer : never underestimate Fox.
After a few commercials it’s Linda’s turn to sit on the ornate sofa. David doesn’t keep her waiting nearly as long. No flowers this time. He comes to Linda with his hat in his hand, a supplicant seeking love (or something close enough for tv).
Linda looks lovely, just lovely. She is dressed in a simple outfit of strappy black shoes, black skirt and a white halter top. When David walks in she actually jumps up and smooches him a little. David is thrilled because he can never get enough lip action ya know. Just ask Cat. And Anique. And Petra. And… where was I? Oh yeah. He looks Linda in the eyes and tells her with his best sincere cowboy expression, “You are a pure angel. I choose you.”
Linda goes “Ohhh!” and squirms with delight. Then David continues, “I wrote you a little letter, but I can’t find it.” He searches through his pockets, checks his boots, looks inside his hat and finally finds it. The letter says ‘you are a pure angel and I choose you’ or something like that. Who cares? We are all waiting for him to finally Tell The Truth. What will Linda do?
David gulps and shifts around. Maybe he feels bad. Maybe his pants are chaffing. I don’t know. He says, “Um… um… um… There’s something, um, else. Um… um… Ah’m not bein’ completely, um, honest. There is no $80 million. All I have is twenty bucks.”
Linda looks stunned and confused. Not because of the money, mind you. Oh no! Because of the dishonesty. David tells her not to say anything yet, then Paul comes in and says “Linda. It is time to leave and make your decision.”
What! She has to leave? Where’s the fun in that? Giada would have exploded! Olinda would have cut his head off! So instead of fireworks we the helpless viewing audience must endure long minutes of David looking glum while sad, glum music plays.
Linda, alone in her room, fingers her diamond bracelet then squats down to see if maybe one of the other girls left behind one of their necklaces, or at least a few coins or something worthwhile. She riffles through Cat’s luggage. No money! What does David think? That she is drawn to his charm and personality? Hah!
Later that night, Paul helps David get dressed for the big finale. David says that he never thought he’d find love on a show, and that he would be real upset if Linda rejects him. This, as we all know is called ‘foreshadowing’.
The grand entrance to the palazzo is all spiffed up for the big finale. Lots of flowers, four or five hundred little votive candles set in arches and circles. There’s even a baby grand piano and a few musicians waiting to serenade the happy couple. David is dressed up all purty like, and Paul holds a small silver tray on which is a solitaire cubic zirconium diamond ring. They wait.
They wait and wait and wait. The continent of North America drifts another half inch away from Europe. Suspenseful ‘waiting’ music plays in the background. Mind you, the fancy musicians don’t play a note. They wait like everybody else. And wait & wait and wait. The glaciers advance. Where is Linda? Where could she be? Then I remember, this is Linda we are talking about here. Little Miss I-Can’t-Stand-the-Pressure-‘sob’ Linda. She has probably run off again.
Finally, David turns to Paul. “It’s not looking too good,” he mutters.
Paul looks pained. (He’s been holding that dang little silver tray aloft for about an hour now—his elbow must be killing him.) “I suggest you stay here,” he tells David then hands off his little tray and goes inside.
We wait some more. Even the musicians are getting bored now. Finally Paul returns. “David. She’s not showing up.”
David: “Did she say why?”
David: “Well I don’t blame her. She’s a pure girl and I’m not.” “Not all stories have a happy ending.” I, however, am curiously happy. Finally, a reality show that is realistic! A guy lies, fools around, sleeps around when he can, and then gets stood up by his best girl, right in front of his friends. Yup—that’s life! David looks dismal. The show should end here. Please let the show end here! Of course it doesn’t.
Paul gets bored and walks inside, and we watch the musicians watch David watch his watch and squirm. Why am I watching this drivel? We all know that Linda is upstairs in her room holding out for more money having a crisis like she always does. And there is still, by the clock over my TV, 25 minutes to go in this endless show. Can FOX pay her off in time?