This episode of I Love New York focused on ... er ... hands-on experiences, but I think a lot of deep philosophical meaning can be taken from observing the interactions of New York and the dudes -- and doing the exact opposite.
(If not for that little VH1 logo in the corner, I'd swear this episode was composed solely of "fast-forward" scenes from a spectacularly cheesy porno.)
The day begins with the dudes receiving their challenge: build a doghouse for Your Majesty, New York's little pocket rat. The dudes are divided into teams of three based on the colors of their wife-beaters.
Lord, Real looks like a thug Donna Summer. (And you'll notice that Heat can't keep his eyes off of 12-Pack.)
The winning team will get one-on-one time with New York, and the foreman of the winning team will get "a little extra," New York tells us with a less-than-subtle booty pop. In the quest to designate a foreman, the black team defers to Rico's knowledge, the gray team does rock-paper-scissors and the white team flips a --
pack of Newports. (What the hell constitutes "heads" or "tails" on a pack of smokes?)
The dudes set about building their doghouses, and it is soon made clear that some dudes are more technically adept than others.
I'm no Mike Holmes, but I don't think that's up to code. Mr. Boston tells anyone within earshot that he has no idea how to build things. His teammates, Rico and Chance, are irritated with his lack of know-how. Of course, his propensity for making pointless suggestions isn't helping, either.
I have got to find a way to work "bleezies" into my vocabulary. Rico and Chance yell at Mr. Boston a lot, but as Mr. B points out, "[Chance] can yell at me all he wants, but that doesn't change the fact that I don't know anything about construction." And you know what? He's right.
Life lesson: Berating the ignorant does nothing to mitigate their ignorance and just puts you in a foul mood.
Things aren't much better on the gray team, where Whiteboy has been paired with Tango. As they're sawing something, Tango suddenly freaks out in apparent pain, and I worry that the saw has hit flesh.
Tango immediately seeks first-aid treatment for...
... a splinter. Yeah, I'm pretty much on Whiteboy's side on this one. I've had some nasty splinters, but since the age of 8, I've been able to push them out of my fingers my own damn self. Tango is still firmly ensconced in my "camera-whore" column.
After much yelling, hammering and painting, the doghouses are finally ready and New York makes her inspection.
For all the ER-style trauma, this isn't terribly bad. It's a little dark, and I have no idea what the pillars are all about, but I could see a ridiculous little teacup chihuahua like Your Majesty shaking and peeing in this quite comfortably.
The black team unveils their... um, achievement:
What the hell is that? It's like an open-air bunker or something. It doesn't even look like a doghouse; it looks like some hideous artifact of Eastern Bloc architecture at its worst.
And it looks like they put Pootie's old blanket inside it, to soak up the rain and become a giant petrie dish made of Elmo fur.
Right there with you, New York. Finally, the white team steps up:
This is actually pretty nice. The white team are declared the clear winners, and Chance makes himself look even worse by protesting that his team really only had two members. It's a doghouse competition, Bobby Beige. Take your lumps and move on.
After everyone gets showered and dolled up, New York greets Real, Heat and 12-Pack downstairs.
I am convinced that you can actually build an entire 12-Pack from parts ordered out of the International Male catalog.
Real will be New York's companion for cocktails, she'll have dinner with Heat and then, as foreman, 12-Pack will be New York's designated "dessert." New York and Real head out to the balcony for some bubbly and snuggly. (Did I really just type that?)
New York loves Real's hair, and while I think there's something Rick James-ian about his appearance, Real is a perfect gentleman and seems like a sweet guy who would never, say, burn anyone with a crack pipe. Now that Bonez is gone, Real is my favorite of the lot, so I hope New York treats him right.
Next up is dinner with Heat. Thus far, I've thought of Heat as sketchy and slimy. I'm going to add "batshit crazy" to that list of qualities. Here are some highlights of their meal together (plus a little pre-elimination bonus from the editors and me):
During dinner, New York asks Heat if he would have Mama and/or YaYa living near them in a hypothetical future. Heat responds in the affirmative, stating that he'd build a house for Mama and YaYa in the backyard. This is New York's response to that:
And while I don't approve of spitting in public, once again, I'm with New York on this one.
Life lesson: There's such a thing as a healthy degree of separation from your parents. At least three blocks.
Meanwhile, Chance is still bitching about how Mr. Boston's lack of competence caused their team to lose. Unless Mr. Boston came up with that Kaliningrad design, he's not the reason they lost. But Chance has found his target, and he's going to stick with it.
I do think it's funny that Chance is impugning the masculine traits passed on by Mr. Boston's father while doing Whiteboy's hair, but that's just me.
Unfortunately, whenever grudges, stupidity, testosterone and clippers are in the same place at the same time, some variation on the head-shaving hazing is going to go down. The dudes tackle Mr. Boston and try to shave his head.
As Mr. Boston tries to fend off the clippers, he calls for Tango. This is Tango's response to that:
Life lesson: Know who your friends are, especially when you're on reality TV.
Life lesson: Let's all just quit trying to shave people's heads without their consent. It never goes well.
I think Mr. Boston loses a teeny bit of hair off the back, but his golden locks remain intact. Tango's rep with me as the most useless dude on this whole show also remains intact.
Meanwhile, New York and 12-Pack are having their "dessert," which consists of having a Tantric advisor teach them how to... I don't know, something sleazy. It involves a bikini for New York and a pair of leopard-ish boxer briefs for 12-Pack, which leads to a series of porn-esque shots:
[This is not a scene from a porno.] Tantric Chick is really getting into it, which makes me worry for her sanity and general rightheadedness.
[This is not a scene from a porno.] 12-Pack thinks the whole setup is weird, but isn't complaining about the skin contact. He does, however, make a liquor run in the most exhibitionistic way possible.
[This is not a scene from a porno.] Heat and Real see 12-Pack in his skivvies and wonder what he and New York are getting up to in the master suite. (I think they have different targets of concern, myself.) So they decide to climb up onto the balcony and spy on the two sleaze-birds.
It's the most goddamn Laverne-and-Shirley thing in the world, especially when Real almost slips.
[This is not a scene from a porno.] New York is enjoying herself immensely when she notices a shadow (and a camera with a big ol' light) in the doorway and goes to see who it is.
[This is not a scene from a porno.] New York is nonplussed at first, but seems to find it sweet that Real was checking up on her. She and 12-Pack conclude their date, and then the real fun begins.
I've seen this clip about a dozen times now, and I still can't stop laughing at Heat's little "Yeaaaaa-aaaaah" or the just-plain-ridiculous sight of a grown-ass man in leopard panties doing the robot. That is comedy gold, people!
[This is not a scene from a porno.] I also love the look of concern on Onix's face when he comes downstairs, the reaction of a sane man to an insane situation. But the insanity is just getting started.
I think the editors are trying to work a little "Brokeback"-esque music in the background, but I don't think Heat's blathering is completely sexual. I think Heat wants to be 12-Pack, and 12-Pack is more than happy to soak up the heroworship. Which makes Heat so, so pathetic.
Life lesson: If you've been drinking, now is not the time to tell someone how you really feel about them, good or bad. Wait until you sober up.
The next day, Mama New York comes by bright and early and tells the dudes to get ready because they're going to church. Some dudes welcome this news more than others.
Just in case, let me add that that is not a scene from a porno. Heat is also in a world of hurt.
After a lot of showering, dressing, juice-slamming and a bunch of weird noises from Heat, the dudes are ready to go to church.
Well, mostly. Mama NY says that all Chance needs to do is lose the hat, but he refuses. He piles into the Man Van with the dudes, though, while Mr. Boston joins New York and her moms in the limo.
What follows is yet another painful conversation between the blond, half-Jewish Mr. Boston and the African-American, Christian Mama New York over the possibility of biracial babies. I guess she wouldn't be asking him these questions if she didn't think he was good breeding material, but Mr. Boston keeps on giving such painful answers.
When Mama New York asks him how he'd feel about having dark-skinned children, Mr. Boston seems to get bogged down in the details about how dark their skin would be. He's answering the wrong question here; all he has to say is that he'll love his children whether they look more like him or more like their mother (and here, a shy smile to New York would put the cherry on top).
Life lesson: Answer the question you're asked. Don't answer the question you're not asked.
Life lesson: If you're the only white person in the group and the talk turns to racial issues, to the extent possible, shut up and listen. You increase your chances of learning something by 100% and decrease your chances of looking like a fool by almost the same amount.
We finally arrive at the church (is this the same church they visited in Flavor of Love Season 1? I can't tell) and Chance is asked to take his hat off or remain outside. He chooses Option B.
Mr. Boston gets into it, to the extent his lack of coordination allows. Then Mama New York takes the mike and... goes off on some weird tangent. I can't believe she didn't at least bring an outline of some kind; that's high-school forensics shit, there. She's rambling on and losing some of her audience...
I giggle every single time I see this clip. It's the combination of Mama NY testifying, Heat snoring and his sad little singing voice in the flashback that does it.
Similarly unimpressed is Onix. It seems to him that Mama NY is just way too over-the-top and showboaty, and comes across as fake. Which I can't really disagree with. (But I have more of a problem with the rambling at the beginning; if you're going to be a showoff, at least be succinct.)
Regardless of the impact on her audience, Mama NY turns up the juice and cuts the damn thing loose, leading to this classic moment:
(Speaking of impact.) Even Chance is captivated, and rushes into church, taking off his hat. This results in a kind of rapprochement between him and Mama NY:
Awwwwww. That actually made me smile. (I am the biggest sap on two feet.) The dudes head back to the mansion and lounge around before elimination. While lounging with Tango and Rico by the pool, Onix shares his thoughts on Mama NY with the two biggest tattletales in the house.
This is clearly a suicide maneuver, but it's probably the best way to get out of the running. Well played, Onix.
What follows -- some time later based on the lighting -- is some of the worst acting ever seen on reality TV. Watch and giggle.
"I ain't no snitch." YES, YOU ARE. "I ain't no snitch either." YES, YOU ARE. That's why Onix told you both. And also, how jacked up is their reasoning? "Could you live with this girl, knowing that this dude had said something about her mama?" News flash, guys: Everyone's mother has had something absolutely awful said about her at some point or another. This is not some horrible knowledge that will eat away at you in guilt; it's just how people work.
I received this genius piece of insight recently, and it's still blowing my mind several months later: "What someone else thinks of me is really none of my business. It's their opinion, not mine, and besides, it's probably more about them than it is me." Clearly, nobody on reality shows has ever heard this. Think of the pointless drama and petty squabbles that could be avoided if only they had. Then what would we be left watching?
Life lesson: What someone else thinks of you is really none of your business. It's their opinion, not yours, and besides, it's probably more about them than it is about you.
So, it's pretty clear how elimination will go. New York calls Chance's name first, then Real and --
Oh, nice work, Whiteboy. I think Mama NY is starting to like you. Finally, Onix, Heat and Mr. Boston are left. New York starts by telling us who isn't getting the last chain:
"Actually, I think I'm better." Oh, SNAP! (Yes, I yelled that out loud when I first saw this, and yes, you probably heard me, no matter where you were.)
Heh. I can see his smile from here. Good for you, Onix.
New York tosses out Heat, making a crack about saying hi to YaYa for her, which he thinks was utterly unnecessary. He should be used to that by now, though. So that means Mr. Boston is staying, and he's totally stoked to realize this. So stoked that he gives New York what appears to be the most flaccid kiss in recent history:
Ick. But I kinda like him, so I'm kinda glad he's still there. You know who isn't so glad?
Chance, who refuses to shake Mr. Boston's hand. Tacky, dude.
We won't have another new episode for two weeks, but we're offered this glimpse of what's awaiting us:
[This is not a scene from a porno.]