Okay. We're past the halfway point. We have to be past the halfway point. No VH1 series in network history has ever gone beyond ten episodes. Given that, it's all downhill from here -- except for the series, which reached the bottom of the slope in the first episode, dropped into the sewers, and then started tunneling. Could VH1's standards get any lower? 'Let's give the housemates a chance to further hurt the lives of battered women and their children! Let's make Janice bowl against people both smarter and more socially adept than she is! Let's take three fairly normal people and force them to spend a week in the presence of a diva, a pervert, a druggie, a Dark Wizard, and a three-legged dog! In fact, let's make sure the three-legged dog is the most lovable one in the place!' Look, people: we're through the bedrock and approaching the lava flow. There just aren't many places left to tunnel to. The A.S. signs we've been following for the first half of the season have been replaced by F.O.X. which, while the only way we could possibly go lower, means the noxious fumes ahead could kill us all. (Excepting Janice, who no longer has working lungs.) In fact, the only way we could keep dropping from here would be to bring in -- well -- actual celebrities. People who've done worse things than our wanna-bes could ever dream of. Those who get on the cover of The National Enquirer by calling up and asking why it's been a whole two weeks since their next-to-last scandal was trotted out for everyone standing in the express line to see, although buying it is still out of the question. In order for things to get worse, we need the true, world-class, People-cover DAWs. The ones who think they're too good for this show. And they're wrong. They're perfectly suited for this show. They just have too much money for that forty cents an hour to sound appealing. And that means we're safe, for a given value of 'safe' that translates to 'I'm not sure it's possible to feel any more pain'.
So: last week on What do you mean, 'foreshadowing'?, we had a double-focus episode, with the camera directed towards Carey and Caprice. This meant there were five whole seconds when it wasn't all about Janice, which made her about as happy as you would expect, which led to still another fake-quit, which at least kept the streak going. Carey's segment featured his showing off a full set of motocross skills, which allowed his housemates to show off a few of their own attributes, including Caprice's ability to learn quickly, Voldemort's ability to learn nothing, and Jose's ongoing love affair with the ground, which he spent most of the segment kissing. Caprice suffered a small injury, which was mostly painless, just a little bit bloody, and fifteen hundred times the size it had to be to end her modeling career once and for all. This led to her to starting another line of work in the second half of the episode, introducing the Lifers to her lingerie line by using some of them as models, which meant that segment was just an excuse to get Jose into lingerie. Again. Some guests were invited to the lingerie/slumber party, but don't worry about it because with the exception of Jose's dog Zeus, we saw practically nothing of them, will never see them again, and frankly, they ought to be grateful. Oh, and in case you were curious, Lucky's gay. This came as a major surprise to everyone except Zeus. (Amazingly, the Family Research Council already had a form letter ready to go for just such an emergency. (What were the odds?) It requests that Lucky be put to sleep immediately and that all true Americans hurry up on passing their suggested legislation that will let them do the same thing to non-canines. Because God wants you to. And God is Dr. James Dobson. Or James Dobson thinks he's God. One of those.)
Are there any reality shows left for the Lifers to rip off? Does anybody know what happened to the hay bales from the first episode? What will Janice do when the price of powdered face reaches a record high of $2.98.9 a gallon? How can the fake-quit streak be continued this week? And is there any truth to the rumor that the Surreal Estate will be used as the Big Brother sequester house?
Kind of makes you hope they're all still there when Jennifer shows up, doesn't it? Roll opening credits.
It's really, really early on Day #6 in the Estate -- what Carey confessional-tell calls 'the All-Star Survivor-crack of dawn' -- and the Lifers have been up for a while. Unfortunately, 'a while' means 'from midnight to about three-thirty in the morning', which was around the time the slumber party finally broke up and all the guests snuck out, hoping against hope that none of their footage would ever make it to the air. Everyone's had about two hours of sleep. This includes Lucky, who's looking distinctly drained from a full night outside the closet. (He has every intention of calling Zeus, but he'll have to get the phone away from Janice first.) No one's feeling very well. The word 'hangover' is never actually said, but you can feel it hovering in the air. Turn the TV up to top volume and watch them writhe in their beds...
'Wake up,' an early-rising Jose moans, eager to share his misery. 'Everybody up...' Bronson and Caprice immediately begin plotting ways to kill him, most of which involve panties three sizes too small. However, while killing Jose in his sleep, while he's awake, or just plain Death By Lingerie is appealing, it pales in the face of More Sleep. Caprice, who'd been about halfway to vertical, collapses back into her bunk for whatever seconds she can scrounge, and normally that's Janice's job. Caprice looks about five hundred percent better waking up in the morning with no makeup than Janice does after her daily four-hour maintenance session and live human sacrifice. Wonder why?
But there's no rest for the tortured, so I don't get to spend half an hour watching the Lifers swearing that no matter how good the party dates feel, they're breaking up with Jack Daniels as soon as they can move again. Instead, the latest copy of The Surreal Times bounces off the front door, and Carey staggers outside to get it. The house meeting is held in the everyone-but-Janice bedroom a few minutes later, with Janice let in just for the occasion. Since there's been no time to get the altar prepared, she shows up wearing a pair of sunglasses with lenses large enough to cover most of her face. Unfortunately, that's 'most'.
With half the Lifers still in bed and Caprice fallen on top of Bronson -- tried to reach the bathroom before Janice could get up and didn't quite make it -- Carey reads the news. Today, the housemates will be heading to Las Vegas, and they'll be there for a while: it's an overnight trip, so make sure Lucky's food and water dishes are full, then decide which piece of furniture you want to kiss goodbye. (Vegas is actually Carey's hometown, which sort of explains how he came to motocross in the first place because if you're not interested in gambling or sex or cleaning up dead bodies, there's just nothing to do.) And they're leaving in thirty minutes, which means Janice can have her daily session on the way, and gas masks will be provided for those who still need oxygen to live.
A grumbling, weary cast packs up whatever they think they'll need for the trip -- headshot photos, fake VIP backstage passes, Phil Gordon's phone number -- and heads out to their vehicle of the day: a full-sized tour bus that reminds Sandi of her Salt n' Pepa days. There's a bathroom, couches, mini-kitchen, and the fridge has been fully stocked with bananas, which means we're going to see very little of the trip itself. Once was enough.
Still, it's a long ride to Las Vegas -- 270 miles from Los Angeles -- and the trip has to be filled with something other than fruit consumption classes. And what's better for passing the time than a little bit of magic? That's right: it's Voldy's turn to entertain, and today's class in Defense Against The Light Arts will be an extended session in how to cast Crucio. Now as we all know, Voldemort's wand was confiscated before she came on the show, and Janice has most of the potion ingredients. Given that, you may be wondering how it's possible for Voldy to demonstrate the spell, given that she has nothing to channel the magic through. The answer is simple: Crucio is a verbal spell. And while Voldemort doesn't have the tools necessary to work it in a single word, she still has a very reliable back-up: her mouth. Sometimes, all you need to do for a verbal spell is talk enough. And talk. And talk. And talk. And -- does it hurt yet? -- talk...
She starts by complaining about how she'll never be able to go to the supermarket again without being recognized, which comes as something of a shock because you'd think the Ministry of Magic had blocked those posters from being displayed in the Muggle community. She talks about how she just finished shooting her True Hollywood Story, which is a major accomplishment because most people have to have four-decade careers in Hollywood before they get one. Or sleep with someone famous. Or kill someone. Or kill someone famous in their sleep. Or if all else fails, there's always having one song on the Billboard charts followed by doing a lot of drugs. But she got one just for being a diva, and doesn't that mean she's something special? Oh, and did she mention that she's been signed on by a company that does ringtones, animation voices, and other assorted bits of sound work that mean no one actually has to look at her face? That's going to be really handy when people start dropping dead from satellite-transmitted Avada Kedavra spells and the Aurors start searching for witnesses. Plus seven different network heads have come up to her with projects for her to work on, and even if most of those were killing the other six network heads who weren't talking to her just then, at least it gets her wand in the door. And did you know she's been training contestants in the Miss Universe pageants, which means that we're just a few months away from turning the Death Eaters into a worldwide operation? That'll really help when she takes this class and starts teaching it at five different universities...
...breathe! Come on, breathe! I should have known this would happen if I put it in word for word -- okay, it's five sternum compressions, then five exhalations into the lungs, tilt the head back and make sure the tongue isn't in the trachea... one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand...
Easy. No, don't try to sit up. Just lie there for a while. Geez, I'm sorry. I really didn't think I'd be able to transmit the effect just by repeating the extended casting... Better? Ready to keep going?
No? Well, as long as you're lying there and can't move, I'll keep working on the summary anyway. I'm immune and you're easy to resuscitate. Onwards.