Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Are you bite me Jeff?"

These are the words of Zoila, the housekeeper of Jeff Lewis. From what I can gather, Jeff and his staff treat her like a small child by alternately making jokes above her head and teaching her to say naughty things for their own amusement. Ryan tried to teach Zoila to say "bite me, Jeff" and at the right moment, he prompted her, only to have her say "are you bite me Jeff." I feel kind of badly for finding it funny, but who knows, maybe Zoila is the smart one with the "no speak Ingles" business.

Just so you know, I love Jeff more than ever. He smiles now. Such a beautiful, happy smile. Mmmmm. It's contagious.

Here's your recap for last night's episode of Flipping Out.

1. The episode opens with Jeff and Jenni meeting with Ryan to tell him how PSYCHO Courtney is. You remember Courtney, the woman who hired Ryan and Jeff to oversee the restoration of her historical mansion, only to turn all schitzo on them. Three major things happened in this scene. First, I decided that Ryan really needs a haircut. It doesn't look bad here, but trust me, it's too long. It's over the ears.

Second, Jeff had a significant "lightbulb moment," as Oprah would say. He realized Courtney's tirade was very similar to his own brand of tirade, and that it makes people feel like shit. Jeff, this is what is called growth. Good work, buddy! Third, Jeff and Ryan quit the Courtney job. Whew.

2. Next, Jeff and his staff are sitting down to lunch and Jeff remarks that Zoila's birthday is the next week. Ryan says "do you remember the last year, the special pinata that I brought you?" in this patronizing voice that a person would normally save for senile Pawpaw in the nursing home. It immediately conjured a vision in my mind of Jeff, Jenni and Ryan in some Mexican grocery store, doubled over with laughter and holding a pinata in the shape of a feather duster.

This scene is pretty funny, if not a little confusing. Jeff's combination of extra-dry humor plus fussy/nutso personality makes it hard to be certain that he is joking when he responds to Zoila's request for two days off. "Didn't you have Christmas off?" he asks. Then to the camera, "who's going to do my laundry? Who's going to make my breakfast?"

There are many awesome quotes from this scene, such as straight-faced Zoila telling Jeff in broken English "I'm not a slave mister" and saying "emancipation. Abraham Lincoln." Everyone is in stitches over this, and Jeff tells her he's going to put "the kibosh on school because you're learning too much." This is when the "are you bite me Jeff" part happens and the laughter continues. Jenni remarks to the camera that she thinks that Zoila is digging a tunnel to escape. Call me mean, but it was funny, and the whole thing left me longing to be part of Jeff's world.

3. Then Jeff is shown getting various houses ready to go on the market. He is also working on a renovation of a producer's house, and he loves the producer and his wife because "they want a Jeff Lewis house." Who doesn't?! After seeing how totally meticulous he is about every single detail in every single aspect of renovation and design, you know that his houses are not only gorgeous but solid. It's the steep price that's the stumbling block, but top quality costs dinero, people!

4. Okay. It's Zoila's birthday. Jeff gives Zoila a painting of herself and he's totally trying not to crack up.

Here's Chris Elwood with the painting. He's trying not to laugh too.

Jeff thinks its brilliant, but what does Zoila say? "Ugly! Thank you so much" and then a bunch of other stuff (subtitled, of course) including "I hate it. I feel sad." For real! And the artist is there watching all of this. Awkward. I feel like Jeff took it a smidge too far when he says to the camera "it's better than a day off. What could be better than to immortalize your housekeeper?" Indeed.

Although Jeff loves the portrait at first, he totally backpedals when Zoila expresses her deep displeasure and he sends it back to the artist to remove some of "the chins" and the "turkey neck." Oh Jesus. Zoila tells Jeff that he should hang it in his house if he likes it so much (this was the gist, as Zoila cannot string together this many words in English) and he says to her "maybe we can put it outside to scare the coyotes" and the room dissolves into laughter, once again at Zoila's expense. But it's funny.

4. The Drape Incident, as Jenni describes it, happens when Jeff doesn't like the color of the drapes his interior designer is installing. He won't SHUT UP about white and off-white and the various shades of white and blah blah blah. I wanted to scream at the tv "drapes are expensive you crazy fucker! If off-white doesn't work, then repaint the room! Don't make your designer eat the drapes because she didn't consult you on the exact shade of off-white!" Incredibly, he is satisfied with the drapes once they are hung and his hissy fit was all for nothing. Growth, I tell you. Progress.

5. Jeff is at one of his houses that is going to be shown to a potential buyer later that day and is close to having an aneurysm about the house looking like crap and contractors being lazy, clueless, retarded etc. Ryan suggests that they "sage" the house to get rid of the negative energy that Jeff just produced. Ha! Score one for Ryan. But he's serious. A lot of this scene eluded me because I thought they were talking about "staging" the house. But then I snapped out of my Zoila-like state and realized that it was all about sage-ing, which I vaguely remember from last season. Whatever, you California freaks.

6. Chris Elwood screws up a simple task yet again and while Jeff doesn't go completely bonkers, he goes a little bit bonkers. You can tell Jeff's really trying to mellow out.

That's it! Preview for next week: COURTNEY IS BACK! Apparently Jeff agrees to work for her again after he's raked her over the coals on national tv. She must have gotten down on her knees and begged. Did anyone else notice that her face looked a bit tear-stained and puffy? Should be a good one.

P.S. If anyone wants to see footage of some classic Jeff Lewis insanity, you must watch this.


muranogirl said...

As usual GREAT recap!
I swear, Zoila and Rosanna need to get together and exchange stories over copious amounts of alcohol.

Barb said...

Again, great recap. I was able to watch this week and couldn't help but laugh when he stated "Who will do my laundry? Who will make my breakfast?" And Jenni makes me laugh. Her husband is a tard though! Poor Zoila. That picture was horrendous! Keep up the great recaps I will be back for more!

Jen said...

This was a great recap! I loved this episode and was cracking up so hard throughout the whole "Zoila wants a day off" scene. I thought the best was after he was like "Who will do my laundry? Who will cook my breakfast?" he added "She's so selfish." It was so obvious that he was joking (and trying not to laugh), but it cracked me up even more that people will probably take that seriously.

I love Jeff and I want to be his BFF. I love super dry humor.

I think he's definitely redeeming himself this season over last. Last he was just kind of an OCD asshole who you laughed AT, this season he's mellowed out and you're actually laughing with him because he's willing to make fun of himself and acknowledges his ridiculousness (mostly through his very dry humor).

Paloma said...

Yes, awesome recap! I, too, loved the Zoila birthday / portrait incident. My husband and I were cracking up! As odd as it may sound, I think Jeff is able to laugh at himself and knows how absurd his behavior can be. It seems like he is almost self-depricating sometimes.

And who wouldn't love a Jeff Lewis house? Jeff and Ryan's work is amazing...impeccable. If they ever decide to work in Houston, it's on!

140degreelatte said...

i randomly came across ur site and am obsessed with ur recaps. ur high-freaking-sterical. (the housewives of nyc ones had me in tears. seriously. the ramoner shit is genius.) and ur right on zoila - she is 100% the smart one with the "no speak Ingles" business. she's just as funny as the rest of them and is totally in on the joke. trust me. i know them.


i can't wait for more!

Jessie said...

Ugh! Great episode and great recap... my favorite part was when Zoila was trying to tell Jeff how much she disliked the painting (duh, it was awful) and she told him to hang it up next to the cat box. Ha!

She's digging a tunnel to escape... I just about died. I love Zoila.

amber said...

love it! I've only seen one episode, but I'm all about it - he's a certified nut case for sure. It has all the makings of great reality TV.

SGM said...

140 degree, thank you. What do you mean by you "know them"? Do you KNOW them? If so please email me.

The Lil Bee said...

You kill me, you really do! I just KNEW you'd have a spot-on recap of Flipping Out. The best part of the sage-ing was when Jeff asked Ryan to sage the guy on the ladder, who he caught "taking a personal call"...such a freak!

Cricket said...

I love the show and am so hoping there's a season 3 and more! If I ever win the lottery, the first call I'll make will be to Jeff to build my dream house. It's a rare show that makes me laugh outloud. This one does and I can't get enough!!
LOVE your recaps!