(First, a disclaimer. Unlike ToddJ, the previous summary writer, I feel no need to pull my punches on Andra, or James for that matter, or anyone else on the show. The thing about being on a reality TV show in any form is that complete strangers get to make fun of you for completely inappropriate reasons. If I got on a show, and believe me, I’ve tried; I’d fully expect the same. Here, I’ll even start. I have a unibrow, don’t know how to do laundry properly and burst into tears when I hear Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”)
I’m cursed, I tell you. Cursed like a TV show with Ted McGinley, Alison LaPlaca or McLean Stevenson. My first official episode summary was way back in the fall of 2001, when the world was going through some turbulent times, but a young woman named Mariah Carey taught us how to “Glitter.” I was assigned to Episode 10 of “The Amazing Race,” a show that everyone loves but, apparently, nobody watches.
In Episode 10, nothing happened. I don’t mean that as “nothing interesting really shook up the universe of the Amazing Racers,” I mean that NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENED. Nobody was eliminated, nobody jockeyed for position, and nobody was still awake by the closing credits.
It took two years for me to work up the nerve to ask to write another summary. I was intimidated by the excellent summaries of others, and felt that if I took the reigns again, the show itself might not only be uneventful, it wouldn’t even air and would instead be replaced by burn-off episodes of “The Pitts.”
But then they posted the call for episode writers for “Boy Meets Boy” came up, I thought I’d take a chance. “Boy Meets Boy,” you see, is a show that I can’t stand for multiple reasons, AND YET I CANNOT STOP WATCHING. I’d call it a car wreck, but it’s not fast-paced enough. So I put in my bid and was assigned episode five.
Which is, if you haven’t seen it, the one episode of the series in which nobody gets voted off. (This is, I suppose a spoiler, as it’s coming before the summary itself, but I figure you’re going to find out in a few paragraphs anyway, and I, unlike the studio folk, have no intention of playing “Joe Millionaire” with your mind.)
Previously on Boy Meets Boy: Attractive-but-dull James inexplicably can’t find a date, so he agreed to go on TV to meet some “mates.” There were 15 at first, but 12 are now gone. Last episode, we said goodbye to Darren Hauser M.D. (gay), Sean (straight, as was obvious from his comment about “the gay revolution.” I wasn’t aware there was one, but then again, I stopped reading “The Advocate” when they stopped allowing porn ads) and Robb (Event Planner. ‘nuff said.). While six of the straight “mates” (nnngh) have been eliminated, one of the three remaining contestants, Wes, Brian and Franklin, does not own a copy of “Abba Gold” and our cloying host Dani Behr informs James of this really, really final twist.
James says “wow” and grins. It is the same look of dull surprise he’s had during the entire show. You get the feeling this is the same expression he’d have while getting hit in the stomach with a bowling ball, watching “Schindler’s List” or shagging Christian Bale.
She also tells him that if he picks one of the gay “mates” (No. This ends now. This is not “Love Cruise,” as is evidenced by the lack of any sexual energy on display.), he will get a trip to New Zealand and $25,000. If he picks the straight guy, the hetero gets the money. (What happens if he picks a gay contestant who’s just not interested in him isn’t explained—in fact, it doesn’t even seem to be an option.) This grand prize is almost as large as the amount you’d win for staying in the Big Brother house for seventeen minutes.
Meanwhile, back at the contestants’ house, the notes left by Sean and Robb sadden Wes, Brian and Franklin. They will miss them. Darren the social pariah, on the other hand, is loathed by all, and everyone decides to track him down and feed him through a tree shredder. They go to visit James’ bestest friend ever Audra and the four of them have a conversation about people projecting themselves to be somebody they’re not. She then says she would give anyone who’s been acting an Oscar. Oh dear…
James spills the beans to Audra Longstocking after she confides in him that she senses something weird about Brian. Audra freaks out, regretting all the time she’s wasted in not trying to hook up with the guys herself. Apparently unclear on the concept of a “reality TV dating show,” she fears making an asshole of herself on national television.
“I’m the fool” says James.
“You’re not the fool,” replies Audra, “I’m the one that’s been shoving them down your throat.” Damn! We’re sure getting a toned-down version of this show, because I have yet to see anything outside of a breakfast platter shoved down anyone’s throat.
James tries to turn the twist into an opportunity to make a statement. “If I can get one person to understand there’s no difference between us except for who we love, that we should be able to marry, we should be able to get together, we should be able to do what you and your husband do…” Who exactly he’s trying to prove these things (well, actually, it’s the same thing repeated three times) to is a mystery—the straight guy’s obviously comfortable enough with gay people to be surrounded by them, and the audience is composed pretty much entirely by gay men and straight women who are already comfortable with it as well. Maybe he’s talking about Dian, who thankfully doesn’t appear much this episode.
James talks about why he didn’t just leave the show, mentioning that it wouldn’t be fair to the two gay contestants. He and Audra talk about the possible closet cases, and James is suspicious that Wes doesn’t have any girlfriends. Audra rightfully chastises him for being a stereotyping dumbass. They both seem to think Franklin is the most masculine of the three, but he overthinks the “femininity” of all three and doesn’t come to any conclusion.