Oh, how the simple, unassuming women of Byron's world have changed!
Seemingly overnight, the whole slew of Barbie Doll debutantes turned into a pack of scheming, slightly manic she-wolves, and much to our dismay, we were sickeningly glued to our televisions, committed and obligated to witness the moment psychosis set in for these women.
It started just like every other, slightly depressing episode that came before it. One girl was nervous, another felt a connection, and all of them were picture perfect specimens of the softer sex.
Meet Cynthia, the sweetly innocent charity director who is most famous for the crazed look she imparts on you, gentle viewer, whenever our hero deigns to reward her with a rose. She's not one to let the other women seal her fate, and our show opens with her whisking Byron off to a secluded chaise to discuss matters of their newly budding relationship under the watchful eyes of several television cameras.
“I'm not manipulative,” she declares, and we are reminded of the rule that states that the one thing we claim most loudly that we are not is most certainly the one thing we most likely are. She makes her claim, then proceeds to point out that all the other women sharing the California villa are most certainly manipulative and competitive, and the irony of this declaration strikes me like a lightning bolt.
She also insists that she is goofy, while curled up like a sleek cat in the chair, her legs wrapped under her, a somber expression on her serious face. Clearly the opposite of my earlier stated rule is also true, that which we most loudly proclaim about ourselves is cerainly the least likely to be true. Nonetheless, Byron soaks up her proclamations like a sponge, which, in this case, is a porous material that is especially absorbant, but it could almost certainly mean the other type of sponge: a spineless, simple organism lacking a brain. The third type of sponge that comes to mind is a device that is used to hinder impregnation, and weirdly, this also applies to our protagonist. Or at least one can only hope.
How to Make a Splash on Your First Date, or If You Can Get Her Wet in the First Fifteen Minutes, You'll Be On Easy Street
But there are other adventures in store for our resident fishmonger, and he is shuttled away to Newport Beach with the felicitously charming and not-at-all standoffish Tanya, a teacher with incredibly long legs. Tanya is somewhat an anomaly in the rank of women hoping to wed and bed the dashing fisherman, her class and sophistication belying her appearance on this notorious television show.
Byron, ever the psuedo-sophisticate, vies to impress this woman who has so completely outclassed him by taking her for a drive around Newport Beach in a sporty little car. The type of car isn't important (it's a WaterCar by March), nor its aesthetics (a camaro-esque convertible in a candy-colored shade of red), nor its pricetag (which rings in at about $150,000). No, the point here is that this little red convertible is actually an amphibious car, and speeding down a launch ramp into the water is how Byron shows his date this characteristic of the vehicle. She, of course, is promptly drenched by water flowing over the windshield, but with the grace of a million Jackie O's, she smiles prettily and it's smooth sailing from there.
There comes a point when even a man of the sea (or, at least, a man incapable of holding down a job with a steady income and set hours who stumbles into the world of sports fishing and discovers the riches that can be won there) must make for land to feed his ever increasing appetite, and so he does, taking Tanya to a fancy, though desolate, waterside restaurant so that they may gorge themselves on gourmet.
We cannot forget the other hopefuls back at the villa, however, and shortly, we are shown what proves to be a rather disturbing conversation between the adversaries.
The bully women badger Andrea, the hopelessly feeble-minded dental hygenist. “Do you love him?” “Yes,” she reveals, confirming her feelings for a man she has only been on one date with, a man whom she will soon her smacking lips with another pretty blonde in the foyer of her home, in the wee hours of the morning, and amidst lustily asked “When can I see you again?” type pleas from the blundering Byron. The only other sound she can here is the solemn, mournful violin playing for her bygone mental stability.
At this moment, the very moment that Andrea evolves from a passably normal woman into an initiate in the ranks of the psychotic, Krysta takes a moment to commentate for us, the faithful viewers, on the absurdity of Andrea's declaration of new-found love. “She's not like the rest of us.” (That, dear Krysta, is largely a good thing.) “She's a little over the top.” The irony of this statement coming on the hills of one that declares Andrea's “difference” from the other girls is so present that it's almost tangible.
Rubbing Me the Wrong Way, or What the Hell is Wrong With His Chest Hair?
Mary. Mary with the ticking biological clock. Mary with the cold stare and the emotionless discussion of her emotions. Mary who looks killer in an animal print bikini, but who has the meanest, coldest way of telling you that she's attracted to you.
Cynthia is upset that Byron asks Mary to join him for a massage. She is convinced that Byron likes brunette women with small boobs. Ah. So there it is. Most men who aren't particularly drawn to blonde women with ample bosoms (no matter how psychotic they look when he offers them a rose) clearly must only like small-breasted brunette women. Though Mary isn't really that small-breasted, Cynthia is certainly one of the more busty women in the house, and is likely not used to men being attracted to other aspects that women have to offer, like intellect, sex appeal, overall appearance and proportion, wit, and kindness. The men who've come before Byron have all been of a single mind, or young Cynthia attributes any success she's had with men to her particularly large breasts. Let's hear it for self-esteem.
During the massage, Mary notes that when our bachelor removed his shirt, not only did she notice, but she was also impressed. The viewers, of course, saw the same chest, and while he has a handsome enough shape, I suppose, he certainly has a very odd and suspect swatch of hair in a perfect triangle, dead center on his otherwise naked chest. Theories may abound about this unique formation, but I tend to favor those which claim he's wearing a chest-hair toupee or those which try to prove that excess hair has been removed in an effort to streamline his otherwise normally hairy torso. In either case, or if it turns out to be one of a myriad of other possibilities, I am a little bewildered by this arrangement of hair, and while I will admit to being intrigued, I would never automatically associate intrigue with attraction.
Regardless, Mary is won over by this odd display, and proceeds to share some very intimate, and, for most people I would assume, private thoughts about the chemistry between herself and the oddly-haired Byron in front of two massage therapists. Throwing convention out the window, our Mary refuses to be fit to a mold that says when on your first date with a man, which happens to be a couples massage, just make happy noises and sexy little sounds while you get your massage, but don't share the stark, private details of your feelings with the masseuse.
The cold, robotic tone Mary employs to further the message she is trying to send Byron - her hopes for her partner, her attraction to him – makes it sound almost that she is insincere, or that she is, in fact, really a robot. Needless to say, Byron's found his gumption, and his gumption dictates that he make out with her and every other woman who dares to find herself alone with him. Make out he does, on the very same spot where he sat with goofy Cynthia and her ample breasts just a day or so before.