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Mad Mad House - Episode 1 Summary

'It’s a Mad World After All. It's a Mad, Mad World.' By Swami
Original Airdate: March 4, 2004

First, a disclaimer.

If you, Gentle Reader, are expecting an erudite summary of this show then you are in the wrong place. Yeah, yeah—I am going to write a reasonably accurate summary. But I intend to make respectful, gentle fun of (or just meanly mock, depending on my mood) everyone and everything—Wicca, Voodoun, Catholic virgin girls, etc. I am an equal opportunity basher, praise be to Allah and may The Force be with you.

The show opens with the five Alts standing in a row and saying, well, “We are the five Alts.” Are you excited yet? There are a bunch of high speed preview clips of the Mad Houseguests screaming, naked, buried in entrails, drinking blood, getting lynched and a clock striking midnight. While we watch all this fun, the five Alts explain the show’s premise. They have invited 10 ordinary people to live in their house and experience their world. The houseguests will be “tested” for their openness to and tolerance of alternative life-styles. Each week one person will be voted off by the Alts. The last person who remains gets $100,000.

We meet the five Alts.

Don is a vampire from San Diego. He is shown rising from his coffin and showing off his pointy teeth. Actually, he looks like a perfect B-movie vampire. White skin, pointy teeth, pale pale blue eyes (if they are not colored contacts he can suck my, uh, blood) and long straggly black hair. His evil laugh is a work in progress; at this point it still sounds kind of Looney-Tuney. Don explains that vampires have an insatiable need to feed off the life energy of others. Well—doh! Everyone involved in Reality TV has that same need.

Fiona is an Australian witch who has her own coven in L.A. Excuse me—Fiona is a practitioner of Wicca. Wicca, she explains, is a religion that recognizes both a Goddess and a God and has nothing to do with Satan. They do spells & rituals to create a positive change in their lives, to help, heal and empower themselves. Just to be sure we know Satan is not involved, Fiona is a gorgeous blonde with a lovely, gentle smile. And to be sure we know she’s a good witch she wears blue a lot—kind of like the good witch Wendy.

Iya ta’Shia Asanti is a Yoruba/Ifa voodoo priestess. She explains that as a practitioner of Voodoun she lives her life in a way that affirms, celebrates and teaches the ways of the Ancient Africans. At this time, I believe ta'Shia is being roundly denounced by a bunch of real Africans (the kind from Africa) but who cares about that. This is America, where anyone with aspirations to it can be a Voodoo Priestess. ta'Shia wears post-missionary, African looking clothes—a head wrap and long full skirts.

Art is a Modern Primitive, also from San Diego. He explains that Modern Primitives take their bodies and modify them as many other cultures have before them. He considers body-modification to be the most beautiful way that he could possibly express himself as an individual. Your mom might call him a Tattooed Freak and your dad would block the door while holding a shotgun if Art showed up to take you out on a date. But hey—he has a nice laugh and I like the guy. He has way more tattoos than Lex van der whatsis or even Angelina Jolie. He also has multiple piercings. A bullring in his nose, a bar just above his nose, both nipples. His ears have multiple rings and plugs, including a set of plugs that distend his earlobes about 2 inches. If the darn producers would just quit pixilating his private parts when he is naked I’m sure we would find that he has lots of extra hardware down there too.

And speaking of naked—let’s meet my favorite Alt—Avocado! Avocado, whose real name is David Wolfe but Avocado suits him better, is a naturist. As he explains it, “a naturist is someone who lives in Nature and corresponds to Nature’s laws in the most obvious ways. Like, I only eat raw food because all the animals in nature eat only raw food.” When he’s not naked, Avocado wears interesting, hand-loomed tunics and stuff. I love his hairstyle. Shaved on the sides and back, with the top very long and plaited into about 10 braids. He’s a real sweetheart, but probably farts a lot because of that whole diet thing. Maybe that’s why he winks so much.

Okay. Those are the Alts. SciFi has done a good job of finding spooky, freaky and likeable representatives of a variety of Alternative lifestyles. (Not counting Don, because nobody should like a vampire. It’s in the Vampire Code, I think.)

Now for the real Weirdoes! The Ten Ordinary People, hereafter known as the TOPs. Ahhhh!!! Run! Hide the children!!! They’re weeeeiird!

The Ten Ordinary People are delivered to the Mad Mad House just before midnight, by the light of a full moon. They arrive 3 and 4 at a time in a gargantuan black SUV. One of those monsters that gets 3 miles per gallon and scares the beJesus out of all right-thinking, clean-living, fossil-fuel-conserving people.

I know, I know—I have to introduce these folks but I’m starting to bore even myself so I think I will pick up the pace a little here.

Nichole is a 27 year old Retail Sales Manager from Malibu who likes to be the center of attention. She is hoping that the “hosts” of the show are a nice family. Ya know, maybe a mom and dad with some kids. And thus we learn that the houseguests are clueless about what is about to happen to them.

Brent is a 22 year old, fifth year college student. I think being fifth year means he is not very smart or at the very least, indecisive. He attends a southern Christian College and likes to read the bible. Says he believes in God and wishes that everyone was a Christian. He is going to do so well here. *snicker*

Bonnie is a 50 year old Book Editor from Illinois who has played by the rules all her life and “just once” would like to do something outrageous. Congratulations, Bonnie! Strip off your clothes and have a nice glass of warm blood—your wish is about to come true!

Eric is a 20 year old Assistant Sports Agent from Massachusetts. Says he’s a big energy person who likes to be the life of the party. Already, he bores me.

Loana is a 23 year old media researcher from Chicago. She proclaims that her religious faith “is important to me” and says she reads the bible quite often. She’s a “good girl”.

I am beginning to see where SciFi is headed with the TOPs. I yell at my TV. Run, you hapless TOPs—run!! You are about to be debauched, despoiled, deflowered and devoured! Oh, the inhumanity of it all! (Heh-heh. I can’t wait.)

Noel is next. He is a 25 year old janitor from San Francisco who describes his job as “sweeping up a crap-load of hair” in a barbershop.

Jamie is an Exotic Dancer from Texas. Finally! Someone who will not fear getting naked! Why for a shot at the $100,000 she would probably give a lap dance to the devil Don himself!

Kelly is a 25 year old Republican Political Campaigner from New York City. She lives in a convent. And—“oh yeah. Something really unique—I’m a virgin.” She looks like a really fat Monica Lewinsky and tends to wear low-cut, revealing tops. As a DD, she has a lot to reveal. She also wears too red lipstick and crappy, runny eye make-up. I so want to see her get naked & debauched! Kelly is my favorite.

Hamin is a factory worker from Wisconsin who thinks he is God’s Gift to Womankind. “When it comes to women, I definitely got game. You can call me Tiger—it’s just what I am in certain situations <wink, wink> <rrowr>” Oh, puh-leeze. Would someone vote this idiot off?

Tim is a 42 year old Horse Rancher from Missouri who says he is an “edu-micated” goody-goody.

Is anyone still reading? Whew! It takes a long time to introduce the victim/contestants in these darn reality shows. The things I do for Webby!

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