The Fab5 trek across the river to West Patterson, New Jersey to makeover Tom Minogue, a divorced father of two kids. Right from the start, itís pretty clear that Tom may not have a lot going for him at this junction in time. We learn that 45 year old Tom has actually been divorced twice and only has weekend visitation rights to his two young (under 7 years) children. His goal is to meet a nice woman (which leads us to believe that the last two werenít so nice Ė weíll learn more about this in just a minute) by reinventing himself. The goal is for Tom to throw a party for his family and friends so his sister can introduce him to a friend of hers.
Pulling up to Tomís apartment building, the Fab5 comments on how it looks like a prison. In case we didnít fully understand the tragedy that is this manís life, we are privy to an inside look at Tomís life. Quite honestly, I have seen college frat houses that have better-looking furniture and that were cleaner. The best way to synopsize the place is 1980ís rummage sale complete with a naugahide bar (Iím guessing thatís for the kids), a dolphin soap dispenser and Tomís pride and joy the plastic ďparty tree.Ē What? You donít know what a party tree is? Good thing Tom explains that ďI plug in the lights and then everyone knows thereís a party going on.Ē Sweetie, if you need a tree to tell people that theyíre at a party, then itís not a party. Being a true party guy, Tom does not want to part with the party tree or the bar, we cringe. So, it become terribly obvious that Tom did not have a prenuptial agreement with wife #1 and/or #2 and that most likely wife #1 and/or #2 are living it up at Tomís expense. Did he really say that he wanted to meet another woman? Some guys never learn.
Tom also seems to have some sort of strange gumball fetish. There is a gumball machine on the stove (yes, ON the stove) and yet another on the bar. I donít know how to explain the need for gumballs in every room, but perhaps itís some sort of Freudian oral fixation or has something to do with the handcuffs the Fab5 found. Maybe we donít really want to know.
Out on the town, Carson takes Tom shopping for clothes that will make a 6í6Ē, 230 pound, middle-aged guy look hip. He eventually winds up with a collection of T-shirts from Old Navy, basic plaid button downs and polo shirts. Kayan has been insulting Tomís completion all day which we learned is due to smoking, drinking and eating sweets. Hello, this is a single, straight man that has been divorced twice and has two little kids Ė Iíd smoke and drink too, cut the guy some slack. To cure all these vices, Tom is treated to a facial and a bevy of skin care products that will reverse the signs of aging, um huh. Thom and Tom look at furniture which all seems nice enough, but Iím puzzled why nobody notices that it is all to short/small for such a tall guy. I guess some sacrifices must be made for style. Ted continues his tribute to ďfood that can killĒ (see Episode 9) deciding to serve homemade sushi and green tea (sounds like a party to me).
Lastly, we have Jai, our culture guru. Now, those who have read the other summaries know that Iím not too clear on Jaiís role in this whole show. How do we define culture and more importantly how do we imbue culture upon others? This week we learn that culture is going to a toy store. Yep, thatís right Ė toys are culture. So take heart all you gamers out there Ė you is cultured! So, Jai takes Tom to a seemly very overpriced toy store to buy some goodies for his kids. The man has a party tree and a naugahide bar Ė he needs some real advice on fun and culture, not dinosaur puzzles. OK, to be fair, Jai also hooks him up with two tickets to De Laguardia, which Tom has no idea what that is Ė I believe he thought he was getting two tickets to go to the airport. Broadway can be a long way from West Patterson. Jai also plugs one of his friends by providing two tickets to one of her performances. The idea behind the tickets is that Tom can fancy up to some chica by asking her to one of these events.
Back at the new and improved apartment itís amazing what a dumpster and a lot of cash can do for a place. Sadly, the bar still has a place of prominence in the living room (which is also the dining room and the entryway and the playroom Ė itís a small apartment). In the kitchen, Ted tries to teach Tom how to roll sushi. It become very clear, very fast that Ted has no idea what he is doing and most likely has never made a piece of sushi in his life. To Tomís credit, his rolls actually turn out better than Ted's although Tom does decide to fill his with Wasabi which almost kills his sister at the party.
The Fab5 watch as Tomís son returns home to check out dadís new digs. The little one explores the entire apartment commenting all the way. Hmmm, looks like daddyís little man has a flair for interior design. Tom whips out the culture (a.k.a. toys) for the lad to check out while Tom has a minor nervous breakdown.
After way too many seconds of watching the boy play (awww, ainít that cute) the partygoers arrive. After seeing Tomís mom, dad and sister, Iím guessing Tom was adopted since he is about a foot taller than any of them, either that or some strange genetic anomaly. The sister arrives with her friend who very well might be related to Dana from Big Brother 4. She is on him from minute one laying one hint after another. She asks Tom for a minute alone out on the balcony and basically tells him that she would like to see him again. Tom appears to be totally oblivious to this come-on and misses his big opportunity to use Jaiís big line about the theater/concert tickets. The future Ms. Minogue has to leave early, but not before she tells him two more times to come visit her. He nods stupidly and it appears as though someone prompted him because all of a sudden he decides to walk her out. Itís really hard to believe that this guy was married twice before Ė smooth.
The Fab5 seem satisfied with their work and should take pride in the fact that they probably saved child protective service a trip to the garbage apartment. Now, someone should recommend a good lawyer to draw up Tomís next pre-nup.