Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bromans 9/14/17--Season 1 Episode 1 summary

I don't know how much I've talked about it, but I LOVE terrible movies. I made my friends see “Snakes on a Plane” with me in the theater and had a blast, while they told me I “owed” them. Pff. I knew that thing would be terrible, and it was, so I was not disappointed. Same thing with “2012” or “Armageddon” or “Sharknado” or “Clash of the Titans”, the original with the shitty claymation, not the new one. So it makes sense I also enjoy terrible reality shows, like “Kept” and “America's Most Smartest Model” and that model show that followed Janice Dickinson around. So Kmanpat sent me a link to an article about “Bromans”, which was a bunch of British meatheads forced to be gladiators. I immediately knew I had to get my hands on it. Later we found out that the meatheads had to bring their girlfriends along, so my interest dropped by like 50%. Still! This show looks like “Towie” crossed with “The Quest”, but since “Towie” is a British show and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who watched “The Quest”, that analogy probably doesn't make any sense. (click for more)

Oh, anyway, “Towie” is basically the British version of “Jersey Shore”. So imagine the attitudes and intelligence levels of that show but with British accents. I was going to tag this with “shows you should be watching” but really no one should watch this. I shouldn't watch this.

We start with some bombastic music announcing ANCIENT ROME, BIRTHPLACE OF CIVILIZATION. Not quite. Not even close, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, these men are labeled “lads” and they think they're gods already, and blah blah. You know the type. Also their girlfriends are here, which immediately makes this less interesting. Do you want to watch Snooki pretend to be a gladiator's wife? No. We get brief introductions to each couple, which seem to highlight how dumb everyone is. At least one guy makes sure to tell us his girlfriend is hot. A lot of the guys have unfortunate tattoos. Not that they're poorly done, but just not great. One guy thinks the earth is flat. There is also a heavy metal cover of “Tainted Love” which irritates me for some reason.

The boys arrive to the set, where a bunch of extras wrapped in sheets sit around and stare at them. Seriously I could have made better costumes and I don't know what I'm doing. The boys are in shorts and open Hawaiian shirts and the like, and clearly have no idea what is going on. I did see an interview where they implied the producers lied to everyone that they were going on a nice vacation. Sure, but in that case you signed up for “Bachelor in Paradise” or at worst, “Love Island”, which isn't really a great look either. They all wave at the extras and high five people. How obnoxious. Brandon tells us he's never lived two thousand years ago. Jesus. Well at least he's sort of pretty. I do notice in the confessional they leave in the F bomb he drops but bleep it when he says it walking around. The announcer sighs and says “It's like they were born to be Romans.” I think I will like you, Announcer Guy. Some vaguely nerdy guy in a much better costume with a “gold” laurel wreath on his head introduces himself as Dominus, “assistant to the great emperor himself.” Dominus means “master”. Just going to throw that out there. He confirms that they're claiming to be warriors, and then says something in Latin to them, which is hilarious because none of them have any idea. I mean, I have a Latin minor and I had to look it up. The background music winds down as they all stand there looking dumb. “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”, which means “It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland”. The lads all agree, because of course they do.

Time to enter the Colosseum, which is very small. Dominus calls it “the Emperor's ring” which makes them all giggle for some reason. He tells them they're slaves, with nothing. Therefore, strip. Here's where British TV is superior because everyone has one hand over the goods and nothing else is blurred. I'll say this: these lads might be idiots, but at least they're nice to look at. Some random old lady extra rubs her hands together and cackles. Same, girl. Same. Oh also you'll be shackled. Hee hee hee.

Time for the girls! They're all in bikinis and wedges so they clearly were not prepared either. Announcer Guy says they've gone straight for the clothes, in a stereotypical fashion. This means gold lamé bikinis. The boys stand in a row, naked, covering themselves with their hands, shackled to the ground. You see now why I was disappointed their girlfriends were involved in this show too. There are obviously gym rats in the group but there are a couple of skinny ones in there. The girls get short dresses and look better than the extras.

One of the boys says “Well at least it ain't cold.” Hee. All the girls come in and laugh at their boyfriends. One of them says “Come on, give us a flash!” and they start chanting. And then they do! The lads do like a wave thing but the stupid cameraman only does a wide shot from the roof so you don't see anything. SIGH. It's up to the girls to provide clothes. A couple of them are like, “I don't see what the problem is with this outfit currently.” Attagirl.

We get some clips of Jordan, 25, and Jade, 24. Jordan looks like Derek Hough. Jade calls him a nutter, while Jordan says she's a lad in a fit body, “which is what you want, really.” I mean at least they get along, you know? They do seem mostly normal.

Game time! There are six sections, and they'll dig up one section at a time. Each section has one bag of clothes. If you dig it up, then you race to the finish line, because any of the other girls can tackle you, I guess. You'll also notice there are only six bags of clothes, but eight lads. The girls strip down to their shiny gold bikinis and start digging. It's just sand. Plenty of slow motion digging. Hey at least it's equal opportunity exploitation. Modina finds a bag and quickly hits the finish line. Kai says he knew she would find a bag. She ties a leather “skirt” around him, but it's just flaps and he's still got his hand over his crotch. She also seems to have tied something around her waist but who knows. The lads give directions, which seems annoying. Dominus looks at the camera and says “Feel free to play along at home. Just scratch wildly at the floor.” Oh, I like this show. It clearly knows how stupid it is. One of the lads says someone has a bag, but it's a prank and they all laugh at each other. Jade gets the next bag and the other girls can't catch her before she hits the line. Jordan yells and celebrates, taking his hand off his crotch to throw his hands in the air and do hip thrusts and letting us all see everything with no blurring and no super wide angle. Damn, ITV. “Jade grabs a firm hold of sack #2 for her lad, Jordan.” OK they're fucking with me, right? This show is amazing.

Some girls are kicking with their feet to get a head start, I guess. Nicola is next and she barely makes the finish line before the other girls. They all fall in a heap but she wins. Her boyfriend is Brandon, the one who made sure to let us know he's never lived 2000 years ago. His huge tattoo of waves annoys me but I think it's only half done. It covers his whole right side and arm but there's a straight line across his chest that makes me think he's going to get the other side done at some point. Not sure how he'll look with his whole torso covered in Japanese-style whitecaps. Probably still very white. Nicola whines about her nails.

In the next round, one girl finds the bag and is immediately tackled and pinned. Eventually she manages to stand up (she's pretty tall) and brute forces her way to the finish line. This is Cherelle, and her boyfriend Dino, and now we have their little interview. They're both personal trainers, which explains why she could do that. Dino is not sure Latin came from the Roman empire. Cherelle also claims she's told Dino if he loses his six pack she's no longer interested. Lovely. At least they're fit so they can run around and wrestle and whatever else this show thinks they should be doing.

Only four girls left to look for things. Rhiannon find a bag and starts her run while the other three are not looking, so she makes it easily. Tom says things like “That's my fucking girl!” and so forth. He looks like he's in a boy band. Rhiannon is in musical theater, and Tom is a rugby player but says he's not a “lad” because he's in touch with his feminine side. Sometimes they go nuts and drink gin. Interesting. Interesting.

Last round. One girl gets it but is tackled well before she can get to the end. The other two girls just start dragging her, which is dumb because they never take the bag from her. They just grab on and start dragging her around, which leads to a bunch of shrieking about how they've got her hair. I mean, shrieking from the girls who are already done, not from the girl herself. She's scraped up, and also in tears but trying to hide it. Apparently it's whoever has their hands on the bag? And there's some confusion. Sophii (...Jesus, you are going to kill me with spelling) starts yelling about how she SAID Summer could have it and how some other lad was...saying something...I don't know. She's not coming off well in this argument, but seems shrill and insistent that she totally is not upset about losing. Sophii calls Summer's boyfriend “the toddler version of Joey Acid” which makes no sense to me. This boy is skinny. Summer wins. Dominus gives the two losers black jockstraps so they can stop holding their junk. Also Sophii's lad Richard says he'll take revenge against the other boy which makes zero sense. Neither of you had anything to do with the fact that Sophii failed at digging. Sophii and Richard get introduction time, where Sophii says she is a tiny bit psycho. Richard is the lad who thinks the earth is flat. They're both annoying.

Time for everyone to see their quarters, which is actually very nice, with a pool and hammocks. But a communal sleeping room where all the beds are all together with not even a curtain. Richard and Sophii discuss the sting of sucking so much, while Glenn and Summer discuss watching Sophii because she clearly has some balls. Glenn says he's proud of Summer, pretty sincerely. Aww. Summer is only 19. Glenn spends two hours getting ready on most days, which is hilarious, and he also says he can totally name famous Romans, like Cesar. Pronounced like Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. Sigh.

Everyone gathers for dinner, which looks like your typical BBQ fare of brats and coleslaw and whatever. Bangers and mash. Announcer Guy: “For the second time today, burnt sausages all 'round.” I love you, Announcer Guy. Sophii asks after Summer, to see if her scrapes are OK, and then stands up and declares that everyone thinks she beat up Summer today “and I never”. Summer looks supremely irritated. Sophii says she feels really bad and wants to wrap Summer up in cotton wool. She claims as soon as she knew Summer's hair was caught she was trying to get her hair unstuck and blah blah. She just said she had it out for Glenn, who wasn't even involved, but Summer, who WAS involved, Sophii feels bad for her. Sure, whatever. Anyway, Summer reassures her that she didn't notice her hair because she was so focused on the bag and accepts Sophii's apology. They all clap for Sophii which bugs me. There was no reason for that, except that she thought she needed to save face. She's not really sorry, I mean really.

Everyone gets ready for “a night out”, which means hairspray and blow dryers. But still bikinis and leather skirts. Some neon letters proclaim “Club Colosseum”, which is just some room where there is alcohol and dance music. No one else is there but these idiots. Also drinks are free, because of course they are. You have to get people drunk for maximum drama. Back at the house, people flirt with their significant others and also figure out how to use the drapes to get some vague privacy. Jordan appears to ask for anal sex. I don't know.

In the morning everyone is hungover. Some of the girls put on makeup. Jordan dances and is a general dork. In walks Doctore, who is massive and also badass. “Doctore” is the name for the lead trainer of gladiators, so at least they got that right. He only wants the men to line up. Also the girls discuss how hot he is. He is hot though. Doctore tells the boys that the weakest of them will get eliminated tonight. Various confessional posturing. That guy looks like he's probably a gym rat but he could take all of you.

Challenge time. Dominus is there also for whatever reason. The girls will load rocks onto a chariot, and then the lads will move drag them down the alleyway. When all the rocks are moved, the lad will pull his girlfriend in the chariot to the finish line. Slowest ones are up for elimination. Richard and Sophii are up first. Sophii claims she'll pretend she's in Top Shop, chucking clearance items in her basket. Sigh. She gets like, three baskets in the chariot, and Richard takes off running. He doesn't make it very far before the chariot gets hung up on some obstacle, and he eats it. Oops. At least while he's unloading she's moving more baskets. On the second trip he fucks it up at the same exact spot. He starts apologizing, but she says not to say he's sorry. He's bleeding. She cries too because he did so well and he's sorry and he shouldn't apologize because she's proud and blah blah.

Tom and Rhiannon. Lots of shouting about how he's a stallion and he fancies his girlfriend and he wants to be like Doctore. Dominus says it's just like how he and Doctore cut at each other. Hee. He's adorable. Brandon and Nicola. As they run around Dominus drinks and stares at the camera and says he's going to be absolutely smashed at the end of this. I loved that “The Quest” took everything so seriously, but I for some reason also love how Dominus talks to the camera and practically rolls his eyes at these people. Doctore also talks to the camera, saying “Make way for the fair lady Nicola! Am I looking sharp?” Brandon does a fireman's carry to get Nicola across the finish line, and Doctore winks and blows a kiss to the camera. What even is happening. I don't care. Please let this show last forever.

Dino and Cherelle. The other contestants cheer for them for some reason. Doctore mentions to Dino that he seems to have some fans. Dino replies that it's because he's number one, and Doctore immediately says “Shut up! Lift the chariot and get it back!” Hee hee. Once he's done, there's a shot of Dino catching his breath, and his whole shoulder is smeared with blood. The chariot hitch is a solid looped metal pole, basically, where you put your shoulder in the loop to pull it. But it's a pole, not a leather strap or wood or anything. Jeez. Tian and Natalie, who we haven't met yet. There is a 12 year age difference, and Natalie is the older one. He is not in your half +7, girl. They finish with some minimal whining about how Tian is knackered and minimal mockery from Doctore.

Kai and Modina. When they're done, Modina says she feels like she's gone into labor. What? Ridiculous. Jordan and Jade. As they load up for the second trip, Dominus throws a grape into the air and catches it in his mouth. Then he faces the camera and spreads his hands out in the universal gesture of “'sup bro? I'm the best”. I don't know why but I laughed for a solid 30 seconds at that. Glenn and Summer. Glenn fails at the same pole Richard got stuck on. While he's unloading rocks, Doctore shouts at him that he should do Summer a favor and let her get “a real man”. Do we really need to go there, though? I mean it's probably effective but still. He tried.

Dominus and Doctore announce the results. First place is Tom and Rhiannon. Tom's not one of the overly muscular lads so that's cool, I think. They're surprised but happy, clearly. Second place, Tian and Natalie. Then Dino and Cherelle (Dino is disappointed), Kai and Modina, Jordan and Jade, and Brandon and Nicola. Last place is Glenn and Summer. So Richard and Sophii only managed seventh out of eight. Everyone hugs and talks about how they're sad or happy or whatever. Cherelle is also pissed, but calm down. Whatever.

Back at the house everyone discusses how they might go home and who let who down and blah blah. After dark, the “emperor” summons Dominus and Doctore. Announcer Guy gets excited that they'll get to see the man himself, but of course it's all shot with a bust strategically positioned so you can't see the emperor. Announcer Guy is now annoyed and bitches about “ancient Roman cameramen”. Ha! Dominus says Glenn came in last but did well “for a small lad”. Richard also sucked, plus Sophii didn't get any clothes in the first challenge. Brandon seemed to do well, but he was slower. Doctore repeats the bottom two.

Doctore and Dominus are in some plaza, with torches and standing in front of a row of banners with the lads' faces on them. Only one man can win. “For one couple, the battle is over. And all roads...lead to home.” OK that was pretty good. The “emperor's council” has made a decision, Glenn and Richard are up for elimination. Oh, sorry, “will become ancient history”. But the final decision is a vote. There is much cursing. Time for begging. Glenn says this was a strength-based task and he wasn't “tactical” on how he did it. He has a lot more to give. Richard faced the challenge with courage (sure) and so he should stay. Couples will now discuss who should stay. It looks like people are thinking strategy, much as you do on Survivor after the merge. Glenn is easier to beat.

Everyone will line up behind the person who should stay. Just like “The Quest”! Anyway, Richard and Sophii are out. It looks like only two couples voted for them, meaning four couples voted for Glenn even though he came in last. Strategy for sure. Unless no one liked Sophii, the way I don't. Richard takes off his toga and is banished. Doctore takes a torch and lights his banner on fire. Well obviously. He's proud because he gave all he could and whatever.

Coming soon: some slapping, oiling up, trash talking, the usual. I love this show. You bet your ass I'm watching the whole thing.

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