This quote is from Jeff Lewis, voicing his extreme concern over the temperature of his coffee. I didn't even KNOW you could specify temperature at Starbucks. What kind of gd nitpicker does this? I would repeat his whole coffee order to you but it would take me 10 minutes of rewinding and writing just to get it all down. This man is anal to a degree that I can't even fathom. This temperature issue? He goes on and on and ON about it to his assistant Jenni, "Are you sure this is 140? I know it's not 140. I drink 140 every day and this is not 140. You know what? I'm not going to worry about it." Pause. "The funny thing is, 140 is not written on the cup." Jesus H. Christ. This man is crazier than a shithouse rat.
Why do I love him so?
I almost forgot that Season 2 of Flipping Out was premiering tonight (thanks to Paloma at La Dolce Vita for reminding me). If you didn't watch it or dvr it, don't worry. I've got the goods for you. Let's get down to business!
1. Brief background: Jeff Lewis flips multi-million dollar houses in (mainly) LA for a living. He has incredible taste and an OCD-like obsession with details, to which he and everyone around him credits his success. In fact, does anyone out there know if he has an official OCD diagnosis? He must. For real. Anyhow, he loves to scream and yell at his employees in a very abusive way if they don't follow his ridiculously detailed instructions/requirements to a tee (more on this below).
On most projects, he works with a partner, Ryan Brown, who is an amazing interior designer and the voice of calm and reason on the show. Ryan and Jeff dated for awhile several years ago and somehow managed to remain friends afterward. We love Ryan.
Jenni is Jeff's assistant who takes a mega-ton of shit.
Notice her tense expression and Jeff's "I'm going to fucking lose it" expression.
She looks and talks exactly like Julia Louis Dreyfus. She seems smart and together, and you wonder why she puts up with Jeff . . . until you meet her husband, Chris Elwood. I swear to God, all last season I thought Chris was her SON. I am still in shock from learning tonight that she actually sleeps with this dude. He looks and acts like a 22 year old brain-damaged stoner whose biggest dream is to be on an episode of Jackass. Apparently he is an aspiring actor whose claim to fame so far is a role as one of the supporting actors on Punk'd. Can you guess which one he is? Here's a hint: he's the one wearing a headband with a tie.
He also works for Jeff and his title last season was "Trash Guy," meaning he picks up trash on all of Jeff's properties. He could barely handle that and was almost fired several times. Jeff announced in tonight's episode that Chris was promoted (without any sort of pay raise) to "House Manager" because the last one quit. House Manager duties consist of caring for Jeff's dogs, doing grocery shopping and performing menial cleaning jobs. We know now why Jenni sticks with Jeff--she is grateful that he employs her semi-retarded husband.
Finally, there is The New Chris, who is the new Trash Guy.
Danger, The New Chris. Danger!
Poor thing. He dresses way better than Chris Elwood and seems to have about 40 more IQ points, but he is below Chris Elwood on the totem pole. Not for long, if you want my opinion. The New Chris says that he is doing the Trash Guy job because he has always loved real estate and design and considers working with Jeff to be an apprenticeship.
2. Tonight's episode opens with a montage of Jeff blowing his top over teeny tiny little things, like one of his employees not checking to make sure that his salad was exactly as he ordered it. I can't go into the other examples because it might drive me insane.
3. The real estate market has tanked, and Jeff and Ryan are forced to take a consulting job at $25,000 a month (each? we don't know) in the renovation of an $8 million historical mansion (Hancock Park for those of you in the know). Jeff feels that this is way beneath him; plus, he can't deal with not being in charge. Courtney, the owner of the mansion and Jeff's employer, dishes out a mild verbal abuse and Jeff can't take it. In fact, he is outraged at being treated so shabbily! Oh, the irony. He repeatedly bashes Courtney to the camera. At this point, I'm on Courtney's side because you know, she's the boss. As Jenni says with a shrug, "you take it." Quit being such a baby, Jeff!
4. Then there are several unbelievable scenes demonstrating Jeff's fussiness. First, you see him giving his housekeeper Zoila the third degree about his breakfast. "What happened to the thicker bacon? I liked it better. And actually, this bacon is a little too crispy." If this was Zoila's first week on the job, I would understand. However, Zoila has worked with Jeff for many years, and you get the feeling that breakfast is broken down and criticized ad nauseam every single fucking day. Good God, he must pay his employees well.
Then there's the conversation with Chris Elwood in which Jeff recites his coffee order and says he wants it to be 140. As Chris is walking out of the room, Jeff says "No--wait! 150." This is a different order than the one talked about in the beginning of this post, but again, who does this? Jeff Lewis the Anna Wintour of realty and reality (except much more good-looking).
Later, Chris Elwood is training The New Chris on the "visuals" of Jeff's refrigerator. Jeff is (surprise!) "very particular" about the brands, number and placement of items in the fridge. I can't even believe this shit is real. There is no doubt in my mind that Jeff makes Zoila decant the Tide.
There's also an in-depth, very serious employer-employee discussion between Jeff and Jenni about at which point you switch from "good afternoon" to good evening." According to Jeff, it's between 4:59 and 5:00pm. Once again, as I'm listening to this, I have to wonder whether this show is one big joke, because it's so ridiculous.
5. In the last scene, we hear Courtney dropping copious f-bombs over the phone, yelling at Jeff for not negotiating a subcontractor's bid low enough. As we saw earlier in the show, Jeff agreed to negotiate the bid down a couple thousand and Courtney agreed that that would be enough for her to sign the contract. Jeff holds up his end of the deal and Courtney does not. In fact, Courtney does a 180 on him (NOT a 140 or a 150) and Jeff acts as though he's going to have a cerebral hemorrhage.
6. Why I like Jeff despite his arrogant, abusive and anal retentive ways: he's funny. For example, Ryan walked up to him in last night's episode and Jeff, Mr. Prim and Proper, says "what's up, fool?" And Ryan says tiredly, "must you always address everyone as fool?" Jeff says simply, "yes." Maybe you had to be there, but it was a precious little moment. As was the scene where Jeff is talking about how Zoila the housekeeper is like family to him even though he can't understand anything she says because of her thick accent. Watching him listen to her and try to respond is great entertainment.
Unlike other reality stars who fail to acknowledge their unattractive qualities (Jackie Warner and arrogance, Ramoner and batshit craziness), Jeff recognizes that he is a crazy mofo. He embraces it, and he occasionally makes fun of it. Plus he apparently treats his employees very well or else why would they stick around (other than to be on tv)?
Did you watch? What do you think?