So we all know the Mark Cuban story. And if you don’t, ABC helpfully recaps it all in a glowing montage, starting from his pre-pubescent days as a nerdy little kid with thick glasses to his college days as a nerdy young man with a semi-mullet and shark teeth. Time hasn’t really changed him much since, except he’s dumped the semi-mullet for a Moe Howard haircut. After living in a house with a bunch of other guys, in what sounds like a Queer Eye meets Real World meets Animal House situation, he decided that he wasn’t gonna get any chicks without any money. So at a party, he meets a guy who gives him one word of advice. Plastics.
Oh, I’m sorry, that was The Graduate, not The Benefactor. My bad.
He got into computers, actually, and started a company called MicroSolutions, which he sold to CompuServe (whatever happened to THEM!) and retired to travel the world with a lot of cash in his pocket. He soon realized, however, that with his striking resemblance to Frankenstein’s monster, he still wasn’t gonna get the chicks. He needed more. He finally started AudioNet, which later became Broadcast.com. God, his resume reads like a “Where are they now” edition of TechTV. He eventually sold THAT to Yahoo.com for $6 BILLION DOLLARS. So yeah, he’s rich. And he did eventually get a girl.
Currently, you might know him as the man who is running the Mavericks like his own personal fantasy hoops team. And to give him credit, he’s a very enthusiastic owner, sitting down with the fans and taunting the refs like any other fan. Except this fan can buy and sell the refs 20 times over. On the down side, he signed Shawn Bradley, the world’s largest Mormon and the only person in Dallas whiter than Cuban himself.
So with the recrap out of the way, let’s get to the point of the show. Cuban wants to give ONE MILLION DOLLARS to the person who he thinks has what it takes to be successful. To do this, he scoured the country far and wide at what appears to be the American Idol auditions, as well as looking at billions of videotapes, to narrow the field down to 16 “lucky” Desperate Attention Whores. 3 of which will not be here by the end of tonight. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Cue Cheesy Intro, where in a tone of supreme overconfidence, he announces “I AM THE BENEFACTOR!”
We kick the real show off with the MONTAGE OF PAIN! Quick MTV-style editing gives me a headache but gives the impression that we’re seeing a LOT of information. We do however, stop down for a scene of Cuban watching Asian porn. Oh, wait, sorry, my bad, it’s just Laurel, who is running around nekkid for her shot at ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Well, she’s obviously willing to do anything to win. Then we see Cuban PERSONALLY calling all the finalists to tell them they’re going to be on the show. Personally, if someone claiming to be Mark Cuban called me, I’d probably laugh and hang up. Anyways, quick shots of several of the contestants, including Mario (no sign of his brother Luigi), Kevin (who claims that he is going to scream and yell like a white woman), Spencer, Chris, and TiffanEy. The E is for ENTHUSIASM. Or something. Cuban reminds them that the game starts the minute they walk in the door. Cue the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT!
We get our establishing shots of Dallas. Hey! I’ve been there! Then we swiftly head to The Mansion, where Cuban is holed up like Ed Harris in The Truman Show, in a room FILLED with TV monitors. I’d kill for that room, only with porn on every screen. He’s going to be watching all the time. Except of course, when he’s sleeping. Or pooping. Or anything that involves him NOT being in the room.
Cuban breaks out the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT to remind us what he’s looking for tonight. 1. You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression. (Hm. I just noticed that Word superscripted those automatically. OH MY GOD THE DOCUMENTS ARE FORGED!) 2.When you set expectations of yourself, you’d better deliver. In other words, the Asian chick better get nekkid again. 3. How you deal with pressure.
FINALLY. All the exposition is out of the way. Now we can get to the actual substance of the show. Or not.