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The Surreal Life 5 - Episode 2 Summary

'Yo, Ho, Bowl The DAWs Down' By Estee
Original Airdate: July 17, 2005

The bad news: the series was not canceled after the first episode. Apparently what some of y'all believe to be 'my power' isn't quite in tune right now. (For those of you new to the site: I have a reputation for getting things taken off the air forever, or at least a knack for picking shows that get wiped out shortly after I write a summary for one of the airdates. I actually managed to get one terminated before it got to me, but given that it was The Will, you can file that under 'mercy killing'.)

The really bad news: despite my efforts to start a sign-up thread for the series, I've been left out here to take a second shot, and possibly a third, and maybe all the way to a seventh, because no one else wants to get that close to darling Janice, and honestly, I don't either, because the immunization shots hurt. But I'm out here all alone, armed with only a computer and the 'out for cleaning' discards of MacArthur base, which might be enough to close these DAWs down as long as I don't shoot for the area that would do absolutely nothing to stop them: the head.

But the good news is -- at least for the next few episodes -- we're down to thirty minutes per airdate. Which actually means just twenty-two minutes of exposure after you take out the commercials. Twenty when you subtract opening and closing credits -- wait, transition shots: make that eighteen... Anyway, whatever it is, there's a chance it's now a short enough duration to prevent permanent damage, so I'm going to risk contamination one more time, get in as close as I can, and do my best to remove this putrid stain from the face of basic cable. I just want everyone to realize that it's not going to work. The fact that I'm watching means VH1 has one-eighth of the largest audience they've ever scored for anything committed and tuning in every week, and they're not about to forfeit on a number like that. I practically am their ratings point. In fact, the commercials were getting -- well -- kind of personal. 'Come join the Bare Minerals cult, Estee... you can't hold out forever... you can turn away as much as you like and the low-priced starter set will still be waiting for you... everyone else is doing it... it's this or your very own special Scientology escort...' And since my very own special Scientology escort would have to watch this with me and might effectively double the ratings, it can't be that. I've been left out here alone in the cold to suffer through this series all by myself, and one of you will find my frozen body after the finale and say 'Isn't it a shame. Isn't a pity. Isn't it great that it wasn't one of us', and someone else will take over posting the Apprentice East Coast Spoiler Threads, and everyone will forget I existed within a week, plus someone will pry my matches out of my cold dead hands without paying for them. And it'll probably be Janice.

So: previously on The Start Of A Very Long Deathwatch, seven DAWs on the downside of their careers entered the Surreal Estate, where they promptly entered freefall. The circus life is the theme of the season, and as such, we have the strongman (Jose), the snake woman (She Who Must Not Be Hired, a.k.a. Voldemort), the daredevil (Carey), the clown (Bronson), the burlesque act (Caprice), the ringmaster (Sandi), and the nightmare from beyond space and time (Janice). Most of our DAWs were checked in by Andy Dicque, who, in another invalidation of the power of mass prayer, did not die. The conflicts started up almost immediately with Bronson putting some very unwelcome moves on Janice, which means that we're not going to the zoo this year because if we do, Bronson's going to mate with the nearest octopus. Janice fake-quit, because everything about her is fake and she's perfectly proud of it, especially when it brings her some very real camera time. No one really trusts Jose, but all of the females think he has a really nice rear end, which once again shows that no matter how much some women say they want a nice, intelligent, sensitive male, all intelligence goes out the window at the sight of a well-shaped pair of buttocks. In what has to be a first for the entire series, no one got drunk, excepting the viewership, who filed that under 'mercy killing' again, this time referring to their brain cells. Sandi and Carey started to emerge as the Mom and Dad for the season, and Voldemort, in a twist no one could have seen coming, began to turn into something which no Polyjuice Potion should have been able to grant her: a normal human being, which made every sanity check within three thousand miles bounce.

Who will fake-quit next? Will this season's sub-theme, The Redemption Of Voldemort, continue to play out to shocked audiences, or are we just waiting for the moment when she talks a rattlesnake into sleeping with Janice? Would Janice even notice the difference between said snake and her usual bed partners, or is this actually a step up? Will anyone ever figure out who Caprice is? Can Sandi become the first person to ever revive her career from this show by going directly from the Estate to filling in for Jo Frost on Super Nanny, because after this, she's more than qualified? And who's going to nauseate all of us by hooking up this year?

If the word 'nauseate' is involved, the answer must start with 'Janice and...' (Eeeeuuuww!) Roll opening credits.

(Side note: the opening credits are exceptionally well-done this year. They took the circus theme and brought to a place that's just a little bit disturbing and more than a little Pythonesque, with passage to each DAW's introduction requiring a trip through the previous DAW's mouth. It's slightly Freudian and really, really not the last thing you want to watch before trying to get some sleep.)

And it's Day Two at the Surreal Estate, which means it must be time for everyone to go through their morning routines. Bronson heads into the bathroom while wearing the T-shirt of another network, which does not have the logo fuzzed out because poor, lonely VH1 needs all the friends it can get. Caprice brushes her teeth. Janice goes into a yoga position and communicates with her masters in the dark dimension, who instruct her to wait a little longer before striking us all down, which she replies to with a reluctantly affirmative burp. And Jose stretches on the couch and wonders how he ever came to be stuck in the middle of this circus. Jose, listen closely. Desperate -- Attention -- Seeking -- Whore. Let me know if any of that sounds familiar to you in relation to yourself. Of course, it's not as if I expect you to read it, mostly due to inability. You remind me of Pete Rose. Remember what Pete said about his literacy level? He said the first book he ever read was his autobiography. He also said he liked it, but that was because he got twenty-to-one odds against anyone enjoying it. Sucker bet!

Speaking of sucker bets, did you think a DAW on Janice's level would travel without an entourage? You did? Pay up: the doorbell just rang, and Janice greets Duke and Gabriel, her traveling hair and makeup team. Janice doesn't work without them, for the very low value of 'work' you could assign to 'showing up for five minutes at the end of ANTM and making people feel bad about themselves as a means of self-medication', because it takes at least three people to make Janice look human in the morning, and that's two to cover the thorns poking through her skin and one to change the oil. So Duke and Gabriel will be dropping by every morning to make Janice presentable (but not tolerable), and it may take just a little time to do, but that's okay because a stray tentacle often offends, although not nearly as often as Janice. Voldemort is chased out of the bathroom before getting a chance to shower and told to use the other one. Voldy points out the line in front of the other door. Janice instructs her to use a hose.

Now, how long could a single supermodel and her two demi-slaves take in the bathroom, anyway?

Several layers of foundation, two levels of scaffolding, one emergency replacement part, and four hours later...

Voldemort confessional-tell complains about Janice's bathroom hogging, with Janice c-t replying that she doesn't go anywhere without full makeup because the investigators are thisclose to figuring out her true identity -- but Voldy doesn't have a chance here. Janice is going to be in the bathroom for up to four hours every morning for the rest of the series, and that's all there is to it. The other six can just share a single bathroom. Besides, it's not safe to be in there with Janice. Some of those foundations need three hours just for the ingredients to stop moving.

Jose, desperate for some fresh air and relief from the strange purple fumes leaking out of Janice's bathroom, opens the front door and finds a huge pile of toxic waste on the welcome mat, which is initially believed to be the removed layers from Janice's last makeover. Upon closer inspection, it turns out to be several copies of his own book. You might remember that the book prompted Congressional hearings on steroids, which is always a good thing because anything that diverts those people from actually making laws for five minutes can't be all bad. You might also recall that it accused Mark McGwire of taking all sorts of non-dietary supplements and talked about what Madonna was like as a personal companion, and there's only what, eight thousand people qualified to write about that? But you mostly might remember setting it on fire to the thanks of a grateful nation, or maybe that's just me. Anyway, Jose has a personal pile of environmental catastrophes outside because the Surreal Estate is going to host a book signing, and the suckers are on the way. Lots of them. There's one born every minute, y'know.

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