Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Joe Schmo Show

Well there isn't a lot on in the summer. ABC has thwarted my desire for random weirdo reality shows that have strange concepts. All they're doing is remaking game shows. So I went back a bit for my random weirdo reality show. “The Joe Schmo Show”. (click for more)

The concept is this: cast one person for your reality show the way you would normally would. To fill in the rest of the cast, hire a bunch of actors. Hire an actor as the host. Write the most ridiculous storylines possible, because it's 2003 and no one knows any better. I mean “Survivor” is only 3 years old! It's back in the day before “Joe Millionaire” and whatever Fox fake reality shows made this niche common enough that people are skeptical. Well...only to a point, I guess *cough*IWannaMarryHarry*cough*. Each actor plays a very broad stereotypical role, which no one questioned because even though the genre was young, it was pretty standard to cast people in broad stereotypical roles. There's an innocent girl and an asshole and a gay guy and an old veteran and so forth. There have been three seasons of this show somehow, each with a different concept. This first season is a “Big Brother” style “live in a house and have challenges and vote people out until only one is left”. The first two seasons are on DVD and the third is online (not legally for free as far as I can find).

We begin by introducing everyone and naming their roles, but you'll easily be able to figure out who they are. Also surprise! Here's Kristin Wiig! Randomly. All the actors rehearse while they have a casting call for the one non-actor. Matt Kennedy Gould just dropped out of law school and moved in with his parents in Pittsburgh, delivering pizzas and playing basketball and doing nothing. So he's got plenty of time to be on “Lap of Luxury”, supposedly a reality show about being rich and winning money at the end or something. Matt is a schlub for sure. If “Beauty and the Geek” were still on, he'd be a geek, but he's cool. We could hang.

Everyone meets in one of the trailers and the director reminds them to take their time, it's a marathon. Don't get weird because they have plenty of time to be weird later. Matt rides up to the mansion in a limo, and he is first. Dr. Pat (“The Quack”) is first and she's actually really nervous. This is Kristin Wiig's character but she's the only person whose real name I remember so I'll just be using everyone's character names. Earl is next and he says Matt looks like a big goober, which is probably how “Earl the Veteran” would react anyway. Matt interviews about that meeting and remembers Earl being way sterner than he actually was. Kip (“The Gay Guy”) is next. He is very flamboyant. Man everyone is nervous. Brian (“The Buddy”) is also a writer for the show. Hutch (“The Asshole”) does look like an asshole. Matt tries to get him to talk about sports and he has to bullshit his way through the conversation. Hutch is really paranoid about how maybe Matt is trying to trick him. Next is Molly (“The Virgin”). Because of course there is a hot girl who is religious. Gina (“The Schemer”) is the token minority. Matt has an unfortunate interview about how he has no problem dating other races. Sigh. I mean, he means well, but it's pretty cringe-worthy. Ashleigh (“The Rich Bitch”) is the last. All the actors basically have confessionals about how nervous they are. Matt's confessionals are about how hot the girls are and how some of the boys seem cool. Matt then outs Kip. Like he just is like “Kip, you're gay right?” while they're all standing around and then immediately feels bad because he knows he shouldn't care. It's cringe-worthy too but first of all, you made your token gay guy really flamey, and secondly Matt seems to be cringing too.

Oh and then the host rolls up on a white horse. Wearing a red hunting jacket and an ascot. Ridiculous as possible. Ralph just stares at them for a while, while Matt decides he's a tool. Which is good because Ralph is supposed to be a tool. Ralph introduces the game and says they're part of an “elite community” and they have to “outperform” people and whatever. He splits them into rooms: Ashleigh, Gina, and Molly; Kip, Brian, and Hutch; and Earl, Matt, and Dr. Pat. Lo and behold when they get up to the room there's only one bed. Of course. Matt just laughs and accepts that the producers wouldn't provide enough beds. He's not super thrilled about sharing a bed with “an ex-Marine psycho and a marriage counselor that's been married three times.”

As people unpack they also wander around. Matt finds Kip to apologize for outing him. Nice. Kip says he was just worried because you never know how people are, and Matt reassures him that he's an ally and he's sorry for putting his foot in his mouth, essentially. Matt says the minute he spoke he worried everyone would think he was an asshole. Kip interviews that it was perfect and he hopes he doesn't get punched in the face later when the truth comes out.

OK game time! Everyone comes out to the pool in bathrobes. Ralph tells them they are competing for extra pampering: being able to sleep in the master suite by yourself. This game is called “These Drawers Aren't Yours”. Match the underwear to the correct owner. Most correct answers gets to move to the master suite. Loser has to wear the underwear all day. Oh, because they're wearing each other's underwear. Welcome to the show. Luckily the guys get skin-colored speedos to wear under the various thongs. Ralph also has dumb pun-filled statements about each pair of underwear. No one questions how anyone's underwear fit, say, Brian, who is a larger man. Brian (who is in a leopard thong because of course he is) just goes for it and gyrates as much as possible for hilarity. Matt also goes for it, interviewing that he worried about size “down there”, and posing and feeling himself up. Hee. Kip comes out in...nothing. Well I assume the skin-colored speedo the other men have on. But they blurred all of it.

So the plan for this game was for Matt to lose. All games are rigged somehow, but Matt actually got so many answers right they they had to change whose underwear was whose so he would not have the most correct answers. So now Ralph has to read out the correct answers, and hope no one tries to correct him. And hope that the actors hide their surprise. No one questions how Gina is wearing Brian's boxers when just looking at them side by side, it's obvious the boxers she has on wouldn't fit him. But whatever. Molly interviews that there was no way those panties would fit her and this is dumb. The winner is Kip. Matt says he has to get his head in the game. Loser is Matt. Hee.

Everyone troops up to the bedrooms, where Kip gives him a lime green thong. He's going to be a good sport about it but it's uncomfortable. Matt, Dr. Pat, and Earl sit around in their room and Matt asks what they thought about the first game. Earl says he thought the fish boxers were Matt's. He babbles on about streams and rivers or something, and how they had to tape up the waist. They all chuckle about how Earl was wrong, and then Matt looks confused and says “Wait which ones?” Because the fish boxers were supposed to be Earl's. Oops. Earl looks horrified instead of confused. He tries to feign confusion, but he seems really nervous. Earl tries to blame it on his glasses, except he mixed up green boxers with little Christmas elves everywhere, and blue boxers with a big fish across the front. Matt and Dr. Pat correct him, with Dr. Pat telling him his were the fish ones and then staring and nodding. It's that look you give when your mom is asking your friend if you were at their house all night and you're behind her nodding and praying your friend will cover your ass because you forgot to ask them to ahead of time. Earl declares that it's all because he didn't wear his glasses and somehow Matt buys it.

At lunch, Ashleigh reveals her upcoming betrayal of Matt, saying it's good that he likes her now because then when she stabs him in the back it'll be better. Matt says to Molly that she'd probably like to say grace before they all eat. Molly looks like a deer in headlights because that' s not something she thought about. Hutch says he's thankful for not having masturbated in a while. Nice. Molly is able to cringe as needed for his jerkiness. Ashleigh talks about Hawaii and how she'd like to go to Fiji (nice Truman Show reference). Someone says they like their water. Hutch brings up that Kip can't swim and is also afraid of the deep end and Hutch wants to teach him how to swim but Kip doesn't want to. Matt immediately is like, no problem dude, I have phobias too. Kip jokes in confessional that now he'll be thrown in the pool and maybe Matt will save him.

Matt goes out to the pool to meet up with Hutch, to ask him to tone it down because he's pissing everyone off by being an asshole. Hutch seems to not understand why anyone would be offended by a discussion of his masturbation habits.

Matt and Dr. Pat talk about Matt's last girlfriend, briefly. But Matt also is like, I have to ask you how you're a marriage counselor but have been married three times. Dr. Pat is a pro and has a detailed backstory and has thought out all her ex-husbands and who they were and why the marriages didn't work and how when you go through things you can help others through them. Also they aren't that ridiculous so I could see that I would believe it. Not “I didn't have my glasses on so I confused fish with elves.” Matt has been really open and seeking advice now. Heh.

Ralph gathers everyone in the living room and has everyone share their creature comforts. Ashleigh made everyone bracelets (Matt loves that she's hot and also creative). Brian used to live in a defunct frat house and has brought a dummy. Like just a blue stuffed humanoid figure you can beat up or whatever. Matt has his nephew's plush football. Which was left at his house after his nephew peed on it. Nice. Dr. Pat has therapy dolls but you can't touch them. Hutch brought night vision goggles. We the audience assume it's because he's an asshole and he's going to spy on the girls at night (because clearly), but Matt actually feels bad that Hutch doesn't have anything to remind him of his family. Boy they really found a good guy. Gina has a small whiteboard, the kind you would put on your dorm room door that's she's supposedly using to jot down notes. If you wanted to take notes why wouldn't you have a notebook? Whatever, she then goes on to say she really admires “Mr. Hatch” from Survivor, because she's supposed to love his scheming but in reality has never seen Survivor and can't remember his first name. Earl of course has a speech about how his generation didn't have comfort so he brought nothing. Kip scrapbooks, so he has a photo album and a Polaroid camera, so they can all take pictures of their time there. Only pictures of positivity though. Molly has a picture of her boyfriend William, who of course looks like a giant dork. They met at church camp six years ago and are “saving themselves”. Because of course they are. They all wander off and Matt sees the Molly's picture laying around. So being a nice guy he tells her not to forget it, or whatever, and she's like “Oh is that where it is?” So it seems like he's suspicious that she would just leave her supposedly precious picture just lying around anywhere, but then that's the end of it and nothing else happens.

Matt says at dinner he still is wearing the thong. They have a small discussion about thongs and how can anyone wear them and how Europeans wear thongs. Molly is naive and horrified about most of this conversation. Molly interviews that her character gets on her nerves and she feels bad for everyone else having to deal with her. She wants to know what everyone would do with the money, just for fun of course. Matt says he's not here for the money, even though it would change his life. So Gina asks him why he's here then, and he says “Cause I got nothing else to do.” Heh. Then Ralph comes in to ruin everything by announcing the first eviction ceremony tomorrow. Enjoy this night because it's someone's last night. Then “The Mole” music plays which confuses me for a minute. Matt says Hutch is probably gone, and he's going all the way with everyone else. He believes everyone is on his side, or can be made to be on his side. His plan is a final of himself, Gina, Brian, and Kip, because there is no way Gina is going home tomorrow.

This premiere is two hours so part two coming in another post!

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