Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Sometimes he makes Joan Crawford look like Mother Teresa" - Part II

I had to showcase this line from Chris K because it is so perfect. Here's Part II of this week's Flipping Out.

1. At Commonwealth, we hear Jeff telling Chris to make sure that he puts zinc, sunscreen and lotion on Casey the dog's nose. What? Chris is scribbling down notes and doesn't acknowledge that Jeff has given him instructions, so Jeff says "hello, I am talking to myself here?"

Cut to Jeff telling the camera that Chris started out with an amazing attitude but lately he has become increasingly "angry, bitter and resentful." Jeff states that "it's a little to soon for that." Right, because while it may be too soon, it is sadly inevitable because Jeff is impossible to please. Jeff goes on about how he's had to pay his dues and that Chris will have to pay his dues, and that Chris can't expect to be a project manager in 6 months and blah fucking blah. He was being a total bitch about our darling Chris, but that's his style.

2. At Lorie's house, workers are slacking and it's becoming a problem. As Jenni explains, its always the same excuses: the truck broke down, court date, family emergency. Jeff gets all rage-y about it and Jenni has to track everyone down and get them back to work. Poor Jenni. I'd like to pause to give her a little love right now. Her make-up always looks great, she dresses fantastically and most importantly, she is an expert Jeff handler (although she does take some blows as we see later). And did you not love her "brown chicken-brown cow" joke?

Jenni, in Lacoste, searching desperately for the painter

We get to see yet another Jeff-goes-nutty scene when he has Jenni call the MIA painter, on speakerphone of course, so Jeff can tell Jenni exactly what to say without actually speaking to the painter. There is this scene in which the painter is blathering on with excuses and Jeff keeps yelling in this intense psycho voice: "cut him off cut him off cut him off!" I'm sure that was really helpful to Jenni. I was tempted to fast forward through this part because he was being so fucking annoying, but I didn't. I soldiered on.

2. Jeff, while sporting his hott sexy sunglasses, hears the news from Bony Boni that he's got an offer on Commonwealth. Swoon on the sunglasses! But it is dampened by my revulsion at the cruel behavior.

Guess what? Jeff's all pissed and insulted by offer! Yeah. Sounds like it was about $75k below asking price. He counters with full price and throws in patio furniture, potted plants and two plasma tvs.

3. You may want to skip this part, as it contains scenes of extreme mental abuse. I don't even want to cover it.

Chris has just brought lunch home. Ryan and Zoila are there. Jeff calls to Chris, "Ask me how my lunch is." Oh God. Here we go again. Chris asks, "how is your lunch?" and everyone in the room can smell the blood in the water. Jeff says, "not so good. I'm missing something. Why don't you tell me what's missing?"

Chris says amiably, "why don't you tell me?" But no. Like the bully that he is, Jeff insists on treating Chris like a dumbshit. Clearly frustrated by the craziness but trying to get this over with, Chris guesses, guesses, and finally gets it right with guacamole. It is so very painful to watch. Chris takes full responsibility for forgetting it and apologizes.

Can Jeff just let it go and say "no biggie, just remember it next time"? Of course not. He has to get his pound of flesh, yo. He has to mete out his punishment.

This is when Chris says the Joan Crawford comment and I was all "TOTALLY!"

Jeff says in a freaky-calm voice, "guess what you're going to do after lunch?" He proceeds to tell Chris that he's going to jump the wall and retrieve 4 avocados from the neighbors property without permission.


What on earth is the point of this if not to make a person feel like a complete shitburger? You know that no one will even eat the guacamole made from the stolen avocados (although I bet Zoila makes some fierce guac). Jeff tells the camera "I want to make sure this never happens again."

It's a total exercise in humiliation, and on SGM's Bravo Scale of Agony™, it ranks dangerously high. If Chris would have jumped up right then and killed Jeff by stabbing him 42 times in the heart, not a jury in the world would have convicted him. In fact, I would have testified on his behalf, claiming that he had battered person syndrome.

Instead of brutally attacking Jeff, Chris pleads his case saying that in the three months he's been doing lunch there, he's never screwed up. Do you think that makes a difference to Jeff? Nope. He's in asshole mode and he's not backing down.

Jeff tells the camera some insane bullshit like "it's very easy to succeed at Jeff Lewis' office. You do exactly what I tell you to do in the exact way I tell you to do it."

At this point, I had to turn the show off to take a breather.

When I turn it back on, Chris is outside, wandering over to the wall and the avocado tree. We hear his voice saying that it "comes down to an issue of self respect. Am I going to allow somebody to talk to me this way and treat me like this?" The writing is on the wall, kiddos. Not literally, of course. Figuratively.

Chris is trying to gain some perspective by talking to Ryan about whether he is actually expected to steal avocados. Ryan tells him that Jeff is just teasing but that the harder Chris resists, the more Jeff will dig his heels in too. So it's not teasing. Right?

Did you watch this and feel proud of yourself, Jeff? I am FURIOUS with you. I withdraw my offer of hugs and cuddling. How does it feel to be punished? Hmmm?

4. Next, sad music is playing and we see Chris meeting with Jeff in his office. Jenni is there too. Chris tells the camera that Jeff is a genius and brilliant but he likes to work in chaos, and Chris is at his wit's end with the chaos. Chris opens the discussion with Jeff by talking about how at other places he's worked, there has been structure and personal-professional boundaries.

"Oh, we don't have any boundaries. Check them at the gate," Jeff interrupts. Dude, you need a new team of therapists.

Chris gets teary and he's embarrassed that he's teary, and we've all been there before. I just wanted to comfort him.

Jeff says "I understand I've put you through a little bit (!!!!) of hell and I apologize but I felt like I was grooming you." Oh please! Jenni tells the camera that Chris is a good guy. Jeff goes on: "we've been insensitive." Then he motions to Jenni and says "she's been really insensitive and I apologize." Okay, this broke the tension a bit. But I'm still pissed, Jeff Lewis! He continues, "you have to be really dysfunctional to fit in here and I'm afraid you're just too healthy." That is the most sane thing I've ever heard out of his mouth.

Chris and Jeff agree to part ways, and Chris suggests that in the future, Jeff not hire anyone who doesn't aspire to anything bigger than pooper-scooper. Chris leaves on good terms, which is an amazing testament to his diplomacy. As he walks out, his relief is palpable, and mine too. I am crushed that he will no longer be on the show, but it killed me to watch Jeff torture such a well-meaning soul.

After Chris leaves, Jeff says "sucks" and he truly looks bummed out. Jeff, can I introduce you to a concept called "consequences"? No sympathy from me, toots.

Farewell, One and Only Chris in My Heart. You made me believe that a person can conduct himself with complete dignity and grace on a reality show. I wish I had the mental and technological where-with-all to do a video montage tribute to you to the tune of "I Will Remember You." If anyone out there can put one together, I would be thrilled to tears.

5. Poor Zoila. She gets to pick up the slack after Chris' departure. Jeff is going through his grocery list with typical OCD-like precision. He drinks Grey Goose vodka, fyi. And some Special K diet crap too. He specifically asks for plain white toilet paper and I am greatly amused when Zoila teases him about it: "you don't want little houses? Boats?"

Jeff helps her into one of his pimped out cars and almost crushes her against the steering wheel when he adjusts the seat for her. We watch her drive down the street. Then he says, "There is a part of me that is afraid she will escape. She just might be tempted to keep driving and never come back. And I don't have lo-jack on that car yet." Okay, Jeff. You caught me smiling. Damn you.

6. Back to Encino! Jeff totally bitches out the painter and tells him "this paint job is the shittiest paint job I've ever seen in my whole life!" Nice. The painter tells Jeff he's going to need more money to do all of the touch-ups. Jeff says that he hired the painter because he was inexpensive. Note to Jeff--you get what you pay for. Inexpensive = shitty paint job. Did you not learn anything from Courtney's mistakes? Jeff agrees to pay for touch-ups. He says "remember who you're working for. I MISS NOTHING." Really? Good God.

7. Commonwealth offer--buyer comes back and says he will pay full price if Jeff lets him have all of the furnishings. HA! This means that the second offer is even lower than the first, as the furnishings are worth $250k. Jeff reads through the list of the furnishings that the buyer specifically wants, and Zoila's bed and bedding is one. Zoila remarks that she never washes the sheets (good one, Z) and Ryan says that maybe she should leave a little pair of panties there too. Hee hee! Also, Ryan looks particularly fab in white jeans in this scene.

8. You're not going to believe it, but at this point I think the show is over and I turn it off. I am emotionally spent and can't conceive that there's more. When I went back to review something tonight, I noticed that there were six more minutes left! Six minutes in which Jeff goes apeshit on Jenni for a potential mistake that could maybe cost him $30,000. Turns out that there's no harm done, but he's still harping on it (surprise) and almost gets into a wreck. Jenni was all "AHA! See what happens when you go apeshit?"

Season finale is next week, can you believe it? I'm going to have a very special treat for you to help ease the pain (no, it's not drugs or alcohol). SGM loves you! Never forget it.

"It's just not working out."

EXACTLY, Jeff. Nothing is working out and nothing will EVER work out until you change your ways. I was deeply disturbed by your behavior in tonight's episode.

Before I begin the recap, I'd like to tell you about a dream I had on Monday night. In the dream, Jeff and Ryan had arranged to surprise me with a meeting that was filmed by MTV cameras. I walked into a conference room, and they they were, wearing matching red Izods (much like the one above) with "SGM" emblazoned on the sleeve. Jeff asked for a hug, and I gave it to him joyfully. He was obviously uncomfortable and Ryan was laughing. They gave me my own red Izod. It was magical. When I woke up, I felt strangely . . . fulfilled. Peaceful.

This feeling of contentment lasted all day, and ended abruptly during tonight's episode. Watching it, I felt sickened. Tense. Exhausted. Jeff, do you know how many times I had to push pause and gather the strength to continue watching you? Don't worry. I'll tell you all about it.

Here's your Flipping Out recap for this week.

1. The show opens with Jeff playing--well, interacting--with Ryan's adorable 2 year old daughter Chloe. Ryan and Chloe had been playing with the photocopier and Chloe randomly formed her chubby toddler hand into the universal sign for "eff you." Ryan copied it as a gift for "Uncle Jeff." Jeff's reaction? "I think Chloe has a little bit of darkness and that's what' connecting us." This was pretty funny, only because it is so clear that Chloe is about as angelic as a child can be.

Looks like they're having good time doesn't it? Jeff even has a somewhat natural smile. Do you know what he's just done in this scene? He's slammed her baby doll Carmina onto the floor and shouted "bad baby!" Then he picked her up and cuddled her and then slammed her down again. This really touched a nerve with me as Frank's grandpa played this "game" with my son at about that same age. To put it mildly, I FREAKED OUT because slamming baby dolls down to the floor IS NOT how we treat baby dolls! In a healthy relationship, babies are not cuddled one moment and then smacked on the ground in the next. Ryan, what the hell? Do you want Chloe mimicking Jeff's dreadful interpersonal skills? Wake UP, man!

2. Valley Oak isn't selling and Jeff needs cash money, so he decides to "hot pocket" Commonwealth. Do you know what this means? It means that I can't get this song out of my head. It also means that it's a word-of-mouth listing and not on the MLS. The name of Jeff's realtor is Boni. I pronounce it "bo-nee" and she pronounces it "bah-nee". Who's right? Me.

3. Jeff and Ryan's relationship with Courtney (Hancock Park) is disintegrating again. Jenni calls the whole situation over there a "cluster-fugazi" ("fugazi" rhymes with "Swayze," as in Patrick, fyi), and it's true. Not really shocking to anyone who's been watching the show, but it's a ticking time bomb over there! Jeff basically tells Jenni that the whole situation is going to get ugly and that he will be blamed for all of Courtney's poor decisions. "I'm taking you down with me," he tells Jenni. I laughed. On the inside. I was still upset about the baby doll incident.

4. Ryan and his assistants are having lunch at Jeff's. Ryan's assistant Christiane is talking about how she's taking time off to go to London. Chris K (aka New Chris/One and Only Chris) asks if Ryan is actually giving her time off for that. "Oh yes!" she says. "Ryan encourages us to take opportunities like that." Jeff says in a mocking voice, "oh, Ryan is such a great boss!" Discussion continues along the lines of how well Ryan treats his employees and how quickly they are promoted. Our darling Chris K is obviously frustrated. Jenni says "Chris, he was just talking today about having you do more [with design and real estate]," and Chris perks up a bit. Then Jeff can barely contain his laughter when he says "Chris, you're now in charge of manscaping!" Everyone starts laughing and for me, it was akin to that echo-y laughter in the final scene of Carrie, after she gets the pig blood dumped on her.

Jeff, I will be in charge of manscaping you. Chris, I think you should contact your attorney for a possible sexual harassment suit.

Jenni tells the camera that Jeff is trying to push his buttons, and that he tries to push everyone's buttons (that's what she said): "That's why you have to pretend like you're deaf." She calls Chris "really sensitive." I call it "being a normal person."

When speaking about the lunchtime teasing, Chris tells the camera "I felt at that moment that I didn't really fit in with these people." Oh, Chris. If you set them all on fire with your telekinetic powers, I wouldn't have blamed you.

Look how cute Ryan looks though! Could still use a haircut, but you know. Not too bad. Note to Jeff: this is what a real smile looks like.

5. Lorie's Encino house is looking goooooood. Seriously. Beautiful colors and finishes. We see Lorie telling Chris "how come you haven't been here?" and Chris says, "because he keeps me sequestered in the house picking up dog poop." This reminds me of yet another deeply disturbing story that traumatized me in the early 80s:

Am I right or am I right?

We are then treated to Jeff browbeating Lorie over her purchase of a playhouse for her kids. "You have no money!" he tells her. What is he, her accountant? He goes on and on, dead horse, beating, etc. as only Jeff Lewis can do. Just when we think that Lorie should call 11 year old Erin out to handle it, she employs a beautiful move that I like to call "deaf-stupid." I am very familiar with it as it is often used at my house. Here's how it goes: when Jeff asks Lorie how much she paid for the playhouse, she says "huh?" Jeff repeats the question in different ways and she answers each question with silence or "what?" We can see Jeff's blood pressure climbing and it is so spectacularly awesome. He finally says "when you wrote the check, what number did you write?" I was DYING for her to tell him the date, but she finally caves and tells him that it was $299.

He continues to threaten her by telling her that when her cook splashes on her kitchen walls, they're going to stain because he can't afford to buy her a backsplash. COLD, Jeff. Cold!

6. Jeff's staff is cleaning Commonwealth so that an agent for some rich Hollywood-type can come look at the hot-pocket house. Chris is clearly having a tough time and, while he's throwing out another endless bag of dog poop, he mutters to himself, "at least it's not Jeff Lewis' shit. Haven't had to do that yet." His morale is at an all time low.

Chris is wiping down what looks to be an already spotless patio table. Jeff calls down to tell Chris that if Jeff's toothbrush is out on the counter, Chris should put it in the drawer. Chris gives a cheery "okay!" and then sucks in his breath while whispering "oh. my. god." Sweet Jesus. Do you know what I say? PUT YOUR OWN FUCKING TOOTHBRUSH AWAY, JEFF LEWIS.

At the showing, the agent for Hollywood type is very interested. By the way, the agent is wearing Lacoste. Do they sponsor the show or something? As many of you pointed out last week, IT'S EVERYWHERE.

7. Hancock Park: yet another Chris is introduced; this time he's Jeff's contractor. He gives Jeff the heads-up that Courtney's husband is insinuating that he's going to fire Jeff and Ryan as part of a "trim the fat" program. Jeff goes to tell Ryan, who is just arriving. Ryan tells him in a state of disbelief, "I am so upset. I have never had a client like this before." Then they both spend a few minutes bitching about the job. They decide to beat Courtney and husband to the punch and quit.

Jeff tells Courtney in the cowboy hat, "it's just not working out."

She looks teary, and they HUG. I'm serious! Jeff doesn't fly off the handle or get into personal attacks. He's proud of himself. I kind of am too.

That's it for Part I! Come back later for Part II, which includes more enthralling stories of humiliation and shame.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dear John:

Look at you with a haircut! Did you have lice? Maybe you joined the army instead of "waiting on the world to change"? I know--Jennifer asked you to cut your hair short like Brad's. She did, didn't she? Honey, you look like a rodent! A depressed, diseased, pussy-whipped rodent. Can you have your people call Britney's people about extensions? I think that would be the best option at this point.

I'm going to have to remove you from the Free Pass Five until that shit grows out. I'm so sorry, but I'm sure you understand. Say hey to Jen for me!


p.s. Thanks for not calling while you were in town last week. Oh--almost forgot--tell Jen I love her new handbag! Who would guess that YOUR BALLS are in it? xo

John photo from Tressed Out (again). This site is so fabulous. Jen photo from People.

Hooker Chic

What kind of gd outfit is this? And why is it being worn to a McDonald's event? Who knew that McDonald's even had events (with stained, littered asphalt in lieu of red carpets)? You know some of the dudes having lunch at that McDonald's were all "I got your Big Mac right here, baby!"

Oh, how the mighty have fallen, Kim Kardashian.

photo courtesy of Tressed Out

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vertigo at home

I know you don't come here looking for anything though-provoking or intelligent. In fact, you probably leave this blog a little bit dumber. No offense to your brain cells, but that's the way I like it.

Please pardon me for a moment while I take a detour to post some ART. Yeah, you heard me. ART. These photos are the work of Li Wei.

His images are not photoshopped--they are all real. Well, real in an optical illusion-ish way. The Chinese artist uses "props such as mirror, metal wires, scaffolding and acrobatics." Not so hard to believe with the photo above. It's just a fake floor with a hole cut out for the head. Cool, but not really a big deal.

But what about this one?

I don't know about you, but this freaks my shit right out. Makes me stop breathing for a moment.

I get a little sweaty with this one. Sir, please, don't let go of the baby!

Can't you just imagine this guy inching out there and carefully standing up? EEK!

The artist's work isn't all turn-you-knees-to-jello; some are just plain creepy and/or amazing. For example,

To see more, go here.

Now we take you back to your regularly scheduled programming:

Photos found via Very Short List (except for the Pam Anderson one, which was found on tmz)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jeff = Douchebag, Part II

Chris has apologized for calling Jeff that, but he deserved it! Check out juicy details of The Bus Incident (and more) on Chris' Bravo blog. Here's the second half of your recap from this week's Flipping Out.

1. Jeff enters his friend's own personal apartment at Citrus without permission, while she's out of town. He claims that he had some new appliances installed and wanted to see how they looked. He ends up cleaning/organizing her kitchen and re-arranging all of her furniture.

He sees absolutely nothing wrong with this. Jenni, who is with Jeff, is mortified. As he's filling the dishwasher with detergent, he says "she's out of detergent--better leave her a note." When they leave, he calmly remarks "it was really nice of us to do this." Ho-ly shit.

2. Valley Oak has been on the market for 21 days and Jeff is starting to panic because he really needs it to sell. He hires psychic Pamela to give the house a blessing. Ryan's all, "whatever. Won't hurt." The three of them are at the house and Pamela talks about how she's getting major bad vibes and asks if Ryan and Jeff fought there. In every room, they say. Ha! She tells them that they need to walk through the house with sage and smile at each other while speaking kindly. Here's Jeff practicing his smile:

I laughed out loud AGAIN. Look at the clenched teeth! It looked like it was hurting him.

The psychic also finds a really nasty spirit there--the man who built the house. Apparently he's insulted that Jeff altered the layout of the house. "But I thought he would like the extra closet space,"Jeff says. Is he being serious?! Don't mess with ghosts, Jeff! Especially evil ones! The psychic performs an exorcism which involved a lot of coughing. Ryan is a little freaked out. I, for one, was afraid she was going to barf on that beautiful Valley Oak floor.

3. Jeff and Ryan are back on the Hancock Park-cuckoo Courtney job. Jeff glosses over it with a "she apologized, and now that I understand her, I can handle it." I saw Jeff saying to Ryan in the previews "I'm nobody's bitch," in regard to working with Courtney again, but I don't think I saw it on the actual show? Somebody? Anyhow. I will be your bitch, Jeff. But don't make me ride the bus.

Then Jeff says the best thing I have heard him say to date: "She's not a dream client. Dream clients don't call people fucking idiots or assholes." Even difficult-to-impress Frank, my captive audience, laughed at this part.

Courtney wears a dreadful hat while antique shopping with Ryan.

It looked more visor-like on the show. Maybe with a sundress at a Great Gatsby party, but not here. Sorry Court, but you can do better.

4. Another mind-numbing conversation between Jeff and Chris. Chris says to Jeff, "I assume that we have Memorial Day off?" Jeff responds as follows: "Do you know what happens when you assume? You make an ass out of u and me." Incidentally, my best friend in 6th grade got in big trouble for passing me a note that said this.

Jeff once again starts to torture poor beat-down Chris. Chris asks for Memorial Day off and Jeff says that he and Zoila can't both be off and that Zoila has already asked for that day off. In fact, "Zoila has asked for [every holiday into eternity] off," so sorry Chris. You're too late with your requests.

Jeff, the problem is that you kid, you're serious, you kid, you're serious. No one can tell if you're joking. When Chris tries to clarify, you call it an attitude problem. That's crazy-making, sweetheart. STOP IT.

5. Chris attends his 3 month review. Jeff, Ryan, Jenni and Zoila (huh?) are in the room. They all talk about Chris' strong work ethic and dedication and nice personality. If I would have been in this meeting, I would have added that I like his sparkly eyes and the way he dresses. Then Jeff has to go all negative and say that 30% of the time, Chris is a complainer. Oh for fuck's sake! He's pretty much a perfect employee. Can't you just accept it, Jeff? Of course not! He goes on and on and on about the 30%. I can't go through it again. Let's just say that Chris handles it with a lot more grace than I would have (fyi, I would have kicked Jeff in the balls).

6. Jeff meets with Encino Lorie. Jeff tells her that she has no money for crown molding and she freaks.

Then he breaks the news to her that she's not getting her cushions or the garage door either. She is stunned and seriously pissed about the crown.

SCENES FROM NEXT WEEK: Someone quits Jeff's office. Shocker! Who could possibly be sick of Jeff's sadistic managerial style? Also, Courtney's husband arrives on the scene and he appears to have anger issues too.

Jeff, email me to let me know what your schedule is. Your need for a hug is quite urgent.



"So, my boss is being a real douchebag"

Again with the douchebag talk! I like it. This time it is from the One and Only Chris, and he has reason to be upset.

Jeff is gorgeous and witty and smart, but he is a bitch to work for. I tell you, I would rather shovel brimstone in the pits of hell alongside Satan himself than work for Jeff Lewis. I'm actually starting to feel a little bit of sympathy for Chris Elwood. Oh wait--no, I'm not.

This was a particularly humorous episode of Flipping Out. I should just transcribe it and let you read it/relive it, but too bad so sad--I'm not a court reporter. Here's your recap instead:

1. Remember Lorie? Jeff's overseeing the renovation of her Encino home. As part of this, he meets with 11 year old Erin, Lorie's step-daughter, to discuss what her new room will look like. She's basically a hard-ass Fortune 500 CEO trapped in a kid's body. As Jeff said, Erin had ideas of her own, but mostly she would "wait for me to present ideas and then criticize them." ZING! How does it feel, boss-man? There was a big discussion about Erin's lifelong dream of having pink and orange walls, and watching Jeff try to persuade her otherwise was pretty awesome. Can you imagine, a Jeff Lewis room in pink and orange?! I'd love to see that in his portfolio.

I must say that it was very charming to see Jeff talking to a child with such respect; she really responded to it (that is, until he screwed up her colors--more on that later). I almost melted when he suggested "cubbies" to her.

2. Jeff's Range Rover needs to be taken into the shop, and he asks Chris to do it and then take the bus back. Chris looks at him in disbelief and says "are you joking?" Not only is Jeff serious, but he thinks Chris is giving him attitude. He tries to make Chris look like a brat for not wanting to take the bus and has Zoila (a regular bus rider) come in to humiliate him a bit. Once he gets wind that Chris is seriously trying to avoid the bus, Jeff tells the camera that he is going to make sure that Chris takes the bus at least once while in his employ. As Chris is walking out the door, Jeff has to get one last dig in by telling Chris that he's going to get beat up in this sweatshirt:

So many people would have gone all Brian Peeler on Jeff at this point, but not Chris. He just gives a short smile and says, "I can handle it." Phenomenal self-restraint.

To the camera, Chris compares Jeff's behavior to hazing. So true. Jeff, why do you act like such a jerk-off to an obviously nice, honest, hard-working person? Are you secretly in love with him? I am. Oops! Did I just say that? Back to my point, why do you feel this need to teach him a lesson? He's a 31 year old man and he's done nothing wrong. In fact, he's done every right. Why are sabotaging yourself by driving away people who are good for you and good for your business?

Do you know what would be of great benefit to you, Jeff? I am going to fly out to LA and clutch you to my soft yet firm bosom and give you all of the hugs that your parents never did. I would stroke your hair, too. I know you would find it extremely uncomfortable, but it would recede after the first 5 minutes. Consider it, okay? It would be very therapeutic.

As he drives the car to the shop, Chris calls his friend to report that Jeff is being a douchebag. After Chris hangs up, he mutters to himself "why am I still here?" Chris, I understand if you have to quit, but it will devastate me. Please keep that in mind.

3. The day before the Valley Oak open house, Jeff and Ryan get into a fight over how they're going to manage the parking. The way they fight is so cute. They're bickering and Jeff says "let's fight in the car because I have to go." So they fight in the car, Jeff calls Ryan a baby, Ryan demands to be dropped off, Jeff says no, bicker, bicker, bicker. Ryan, I was on your side on this one. By the way, what did you mean when you said "if the cat takes a dump on the rug, pick it up when you get home." ??? That seemed like a total non-sequitur to me.

4. Jeff and Jenni are in the car together. Jenni has moved into a new place and won't tell Jeff where. "Boundaries," she says, and Jeff totally admits that if her knew where she lived, he would pop by unexpectedly--exactly what Jenni is trying to avoid. Not knowing is driving Jeff CRAZY.

Jeff starts asking her questions about the apartment. At the outset, the questions are just friendly and seem harmless, but quickly move into a rapid-fire 3rd degree: Does it have a pool? A jacuzzi? Is the pool heated? Are there lounge chairs? How many people in the complex? What style is it?" Jenni stops answering halfway through the interrogation.

Jeff tells the camera that he will track her down. He says that her zipped lip on this subject suggests that she's either "trying to break up with me" or "establish boundaries."

Back in the car, Jeff tries a new approach, "I'd like to list you as my emergency contact, so I'm going to need your address." Jenni doesn't fall for it.

I know I've said it before, but I love Jeff Lewis. Despite all of his arrogance and poor treatment of his staff, I love him.

5. Valley Oak's open house: asking price is $3,195,000. Jeff and Ryan bought it for $1,700,000 and spent $500,000 on the renovation. You do the math. That's a nice little profit if they sell at that price.

Did anyone else spot the realtor that looked exactly like a conservative Bono?

6. One of Jeff's friends owns 50% of a beautiful old apartment building (Citrus). Jeff either buys her interest or the other 50%, I wasn't really paying attention--I was checking the place out. Of course, Jeff is all nosy, examining the framed photos of the residents and saying "everyone who lives here is attractive."

7. Erin the 11 year old leaves Jeff one of the most cutting voicemail messages I have ever heard. She uses words like "disappointed" and "confused" in regard to Jeff's color choices and general conduct. If I received a voicemail like this from my boss, I'd start packing up my desk. Jeff is shamed, and admits that his color choices were not great. He says that he had planned to choose better colors but that before he could do that, Erin called him on the carpet. Jeff says (with a bit of awe), "this [message] is an eleven year old's way of telling me to fuck off."

I had an audible giggle at this point, which is an extremely rare thing when I watch reality tv. The last time I can remember having a chuckle during a reality show was when New York's mom emphatically called Flavor Flav a buffoon.

8. Then follows one of the most exhausting conversations ever had in the history of the world. There is no way I can bear repeating all of it, so here's a summary: Jeff tells Chris that the cat isn't eating, which tells Jeff that her food is different. Jeff describes all of the tiny, microscopic gd ways in which the food is different. Chris explains that he talked to the woman at the store who said that the food is the same and that it's just the packaging is different. Jeff refuses to believe this and tells Chris that he needs to go back to the store and "have a conversation with her." So. Fucking. Crazy. A bewildered Chris says "I'm living in an alternate universe--what is going on here?" It's not you, Chris. It's Jeff.

Look at the expression of interest on his face. God bless you, Chris. (are you secretly giving him the finger?)

In the meantime, Jeff tells Chris that he needs to look for the cat food on the internet. Chris asks for authorization to get on the computer. Jeff says yes and then says something about how Chris had better not abuse the privilege. Dude. Fucking relax, all right? Stop emotionally abusing Chris. I can't take it!

. . . and that's the end of Part I. Tune in tomorrow for the rest of this week's episode.

Thanks for reading, you beautiful Jeff-loving freaks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Slade is a total douchebag"

Hell, YES! Someone had to say it. The words came from David, one of Jo's suitors, who is a caricature of Ari Gold from Entourage. Anyway, who knew you could say "douchebag" on network tv? Not me.

Date my Ex with Jo and Slade is every single bit as awful and fake as we thought it would be. Here are some highlights (or alternately, a manifesto on why you should poke your eyes out rather than watch this show):

1. Jo goes out to lunch with her friends, and incredibly, there is a camera crew there to record Jo complaining about her love life. She's just working so much (who knew that churning out generic pop music could be so time-consuming?) and she's too busy to find a man. When the friends suggest that her ex-fiancee and current manager Slade should help her in her search, she is so shocked that she almost spits out her drink!

Hold the phone, here. Are we to believe that Bravo called up Jo and say, "hey, person-whose-musical-career-is-a-joke, we'd like to follow you around and film you to see if any brilliant ideas for a reality show pop up"? Bullshit. Jo and Slade have been hatching this plan for years. Bravo, shame on you for thinking that we would fall for this.

2. Another unbelievable coincidence: Jo's bff Myia (pronounced Mya--I hate when people spell their own names wrong) just happens to be an amazingly poised Brit who is free to be the show's host.

Notice Jo's baby pout. Get used to it. It accompanies baby talk and is quite possibly one of the most barf-inducing things I've ever watched.

3. Commercials are buffered with Jo's shitty music.

4. This week, four guys moved into "Slade's house," which is almost certainly NOT his house, because his house is in foreclosure (how positively lucky for him that Jo's friends happened to suggest this show!). Jo goes on solo dates with each guy and then picks one to remain in the house with Slade. Apparently more dudes show up later. The specifics of the dates and the men aren't really important, JO IS. For each date, she cakes on the make-up (her eyes are just one big glob of mascara) and pulls out the baby voice. Prior to one date, her suitor sends her a skin-tight dress, and she insists that she can't wear a bra or underwear with it. To most of us, that would be a red flag that the dress is too snug to be worn in public and/or the guy likes his woman to look like a slut.

All of this is lost on Jo. There is a big scene with Jo in her underwear, and her roommate is helping her pull the dress on. Then we see her removing her underwear all sexy-like. Gratuitous. Gross.

5. Ari Gold's pre-date gift is a Louis Vuitton scarf, and he takes her on a helicopter ride over LA. He also calls her a "crossover artist" and is all schmoozy. Hmmm, do you think he is the one who stays? I'll just tell you: YES. Big fucking surprise. Here he is charming Jo's roommate, aka Plan B.

6. Slade is devastated that Ari Gold had such a successful date. He's concerned: "does he want to date Jo, or manage her?" Yeah, 'cause there's so much money in THAT, Mr. Foreclosure! Jesus Christ.

7. Instead of "would you accept this rose," Jo's line at the elimination ceremony is "...but I think that we should just be friends," said with a exaggerated baby pouty face. Hey, nothing like rejecting someone with a cliche. Also, check out her dress that barely covers her cooter:

That's about enough. There's more fakery but I can't even go into it without blood pressure medicine. I am not watching this vile, phoney, self-promoting piece of shit again. Sorry to be such a hater, but it's impossible to be a liker or even a tolerater when it comes to Date my Ex.

I will leave you to ponder this: how on earth did Jo get her own show? She's not particularly likeable or talented. Bravo is pimping this show like crazy, commercials constantly running on Bravo and internet ads everywhere (did you see that it was the background on Perez yesterday?). Her album drops like a big fat turd in August, 2008--it's all just one big infomercial for Jo. WHY? Did she blackmail them somehow? Is her mom a top exec at Bravo? I do not get it.

Bravo, cut your losses and give this show the ax.

Thank God Flipping Out is on tonight.

Monday, July 21, 2008

No, no--it's all for the best

Apparently Bravo has selected its newest cast member for next season's Real Housewives of NYC. It's not me. I had to find this out through the popular media, which I thought was unfortunate (not to mention RUDE), but I have to say I'm totally relieved--I was going to withdraw my name anyway. As you know, I am a self-taught life coach and my practice is just starting to take off. Helping celebrities, especially reality stars, navigate the rough waters of life in "the biz" is not only my passion but my duty, and I need to devote all of my energy to that right now. I also have the Kanye class that I (hopefully) will be teaching at Harvard next month. Seriously, I won't even have time to brush my teeth this fall. There's no way I could manage a reality show as well.

(Does anyone else think that Jill might have felt threatened by me? I think she might have blackballed me. But it's FINE. Totally fine.)

Please join me in welcoming socialite Kelly Bensimon to the cast.

Congratulations, Kelly! You look really . . . intelligent, and even if this show can't satisfy your obvious deep-seated need for attention and fame, I'm sure you'll have fun hanging out with Ramoner.

Can't wait!

p.s. Jo and Slade's show debuts tonight on Bravo. Let's see how many of you have the balls to watch it!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Elwoods: Do we even know them at all?

A few resourceful readers of this blog rushed out to add Chris Elwood as their friend on Facebook after last week's episode of Flipping Out. Like expertly trained ninjas, they sneaked in, checked out his profile, nabbed some photos and sent them to me. I could not be more pleased (especially since I tried to add him myself but couldn't find him). I'm not going to reveal the name of the secret agent who sent me this photo because we need her to remain undercover, but check out this out:

An ass-crack picture! Nice. Looks like Quinn's cleavage, except pastier. And perhaps hairier; it's hard to tell. Pretty much what we would expect from him.

Also, he's listed as "single." Chris, after everything you put Jenni through, don't you think you could have a little respect and leave it blank? Everyone knows that your penis is open for business again. No need to advertise it.

Enough about Chris. He's about as complicated as Paris Hilton, and I think we really did get an accurate picture of him from the show.

What about Jenni? We love Jenni, but we know her as Jeff Lewis' smart, sassy and ultra-professional assistant. Did you know that she is also an aspiring um, how do you say . . . comedic rapper? Pop culture maven Paige at I Heart You recently found this little gem in her inbox and generously forwarded it on to me (skip to 1:28 for the goods):

So, yeah. I feel like I don't even know her. Do you think Jeff inspired the line about a spiritual healer? Incidentally, Bob Saget creeps me out in any setting (particularly here), so I while I could appreciate the humor in the lyrics, this video made my tummy hurt. In a bad way. To read more about Jenni's rap career, go here.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

"You'd be surprised about how emotionally involved I am"

That's Jeff, explaining to Ryan that he really is concerned about Jenni. Me too. Here's Part II of your Flipping Out recap:

1. Jenni is shown limping around due to her ROOF TACK injury. I swear to God, a mellowed out version of Foxy Lady was playing in the background; can someone back me up on this? The Bravo employee who did this should either get a raise (for the humor) or get fired (for Kenny G-ing that song), I'm not sure which.

Jenni's bad luck continues at Lorie's Encino house when she gives a blank check to a contractor. Jeff reacts with an emphatic "FUCK." Twice, y'all! Yes. They bleeped it out, but still--I like it when he talks dirty. Very much. Mmmmm. Where was I? Oh yes. No harm is done, but he harangues her about the details of it for what appears to be for-fucking-ever. Jeff tells the camera that Jenni keeps screwing up at work, and that it's so unlike her. He sympathizes with her situation but says he can't give her paid vacation--"we don't do that at Jeff Lewis' office"--but that she could use some time off.

2. Ryan and Jeff have lunch.

Ryan tries to counsel Jeff on being sensitive to Jenni's needs, and Jeff responds with 'tude and eye rolling worthy of a 16 year old. Ryan, although Jeff is not the guru of compassion and warm fuzzies, I can vouch that he is really stepping up his game for Jenni. He expresses his affection and concern for her many times in this episode.

Having said that, did anyone else feel awkward when Jeff reveals to the camera that "not many people know this BUT" Chris Elwood, out of the blue, asked for a divorce four years ago (foreshadowing). Yikes! Jeff, why did it feel like you were betraying a confidence here? Were you? Feel free to tell me more secrets about Jenni's personal life via email.

Jenni, my darling, I will join the chorus in telling you that you are better off without him. He was bringing you DOWN, sister. Sucking your energy! Has Ryan saged you yet? Get on it.

Jeff then demonstrates his total devotion to Jenni by saying "I will stick by her, even if it takes six months [for her to get back to not fucking up on the j-o-b]." His therapy is really working, isn't it? But Jenni, I hope you have your shit together by month seven.

3. Time for Vally Oak to be staged! May I present to you, His Royal Hottness:

For full effect, please listen to this song while looking at this image.

I know so many of you have issues with Jeff's hair and lips, but did you see this scene? The sunglasses? HOTT. Like, 140 degrees. 150, even!

So as the furniture is being moved in and placed, Jeff's OCD kicks into high gear with his "3 inches that way, no, .0568 inches the other way, no, half a spider's leg that way . . . ." I had to smile when Jeff says "I don't think people are as concerned or committed to lining things up." Oh Jesus! Do you know what I'm committed to? Sneaking into his house and moving everything one quarter of an inch and watching his head explode.

The One and Only Chris talks about how amazing it is to watch Jeff work: Jeff puts the furniture one way, considers it, moves it and then moves it again until it's perfectly balanced. By the way, Chris sparkles and I'm not just saying that because I'm hoping to be his life coach. It's the truth.

4. Jeff departs Valley Oak after endless tiny adjustments. Then Ryan comes in with his whole team and MOVES IT ALL AROUND! My heart almost stopped when I thought of Jeff's wrath. Ryan explained that Jeff basically does the same set-up in every house and that it's a bit too modern and predictable. Ryan, who owns a design firm, was there to mix and warm things up. I love it when people defy Jeff. It scares the bejeezus out of me, but I do love it. God bless you, Ryan.

5. Jeff shows up at Valley Oak as Ryan is finishing up. He's certainly annoyed, but he does not lose it. He just wishes that Ryan would have given him a phone call or a text--yeah, so that Jeff could have responded "NO WAY! DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH A THING OR I WILL STRANGLE YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS!" Jeff ends up admitting that he liked most of Ryan's changes. I'm so proud of you, Jeff.

6. Chris is at Lorie's Encino house assisting Jeff. Jeff loves that Chris is not a fuck-up and is actually interested in project management and design. I'd like to point out that Chris uses Dulux brand paint when he's painting the swatches on the walls. I KNEW IT! My painter gave me a funny look when I insisted upon running halfway across town for Dulux, but's the best, bitches.

7. Jaw-dropper (but not really if you had been paying attention): Jenni reports that she didn't dump Chris Elwood, CHRIS ELWOOD DUMPED HER! What. The. Fuck. Jenni reports that he decided he didn't want to be married anymore. How original! "Rejection isn't easy," she sighs. I'll say. Especially when you're rejected by a ding-dong who wears an ironic headband to work.

Did he wear that headband during sex, Jenni? Don't answer--I'll just ask Jeff.

I'd like to come out in support of Chris Elwood on one thing, though. The dogs were not fighting. They were playing, just as he said.

8. Jeff again pledges his friendship and support to Jenni. He admires her for showing up to work each day and putting on a brave face. THEN, he says something that is soooo classic Jeff: "I think she just wants a hug, but God knows I'm uncomfortable with that." !!! Jeff, you'd better hope you never run into me because I will ambush you with an extra-long, tight HUG complete with closed eyes and nuzzling and maybe even moaning. You too, Jenni, but I won't make it so weird and uncomfortable for you.

Jeff says that his friendship with Chris Elwood is OVER, but that if Chris and Jenni reconcile, he will support her--"that's how much I love Jenni." Aw! Who is this kind man? (FYI, Jenni, I will not support reconciliation).

That's the end of the show!


Okay, I am pretty oblivious when it comes to fake hair and plastic surgery (with the exception of boobs). It has to be really obvious, like this:

or this:

for me to be convinced that a hair specialist or doctor has intervened. If Jeff has a rug or artificially plump lips, I think it's all well done. He looks GOOD. HOTT, remember? I know some of you disagree. Personally, I think we should be concentrating our efforts on Ryan and persuading him to wear his hair shorter.

All sides please weigh in, and if you think any looks have been tampered with, please support your claim.

Have a fab weekend, you sexy mofos!

p.s. If you want a super-sharp recap of Project Runway, head on over here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Did it kill me to see it? You bet."

So much emotion in this episode! Pain, compassion, sorrow, guilt...ah, the guilt. I'll explain later. Your Flipping Out recap follows.

1. The episode begins with Jeff talking about how tirelessly Jenni defends her husband and his goof-ups. "It's a full-time job to cover for Chris Elwood," he tells the camera. Chris E's crimes at work are recounted (among them, 150 visits to facebook in 3 days. Nice work! Even I am kind of in awe of that). At this point, we're still not sure who's the nutcase--is Jeff exaggerating and freaking out over nothing, or does Chris have a snooping and lying problem?

We see Zoila eating breakfast with Jeff, who is looking all sexy and rumpled in a white t-shirt (his jammies!).

He's telling her that he bought "the whole new and improved Chris Elwood" but that it was just a big lie. Zoila's feeling badly about Chris E situation and Jeff reassures her by telling her that it's because she's a nice person and that Chris E "did this to himself." Then do you know what that crazy fucker does? He tells Zoila that "if it looks like it's going to get ugly, I'm gonna pin the blame on you." The stunned look on Zoila's face is priceless, as she believes him for what looks to be almost 3 seconds. This, my friends, is why I cherish Jeff Lewis. He's all serious and scowl-y and then he breaks the tension with the most funny line evah.

2. Next, Chris E arrives at work and the cameras follow him walking in the house, going up the stairs, and waiting for Jeff in his office. After a excruciatingly long time, Jeff walks in and gives Chris E a bottle of water, which was a nice gesture.

Chris E gets fired in a very straightforward, professional way. I will not go into details except to tell you that I had to watch it through my fingers which were covering my eyes. On SGM's Bravo Scale of Agony™, it was more awful than Quinn's Roxy moment, but not quite as unbearable as that nasty Lisa making fun of the cancer survivor's boobs. There is a lot of focusing in on Chris E's face, which caused me to squint and then completely look away. Chris E was clearly nervous but otherwise pretty composed throughout the whole scene. At the end, Jeff says, "do you have anything you want to say to me?" Chris says, "I'm sorry. I messed up and I apologize."

When I finally get the guts to look at the tv again, Chris is outside by his little white truck. He repeats that he "messed up" and that "Jenni's in the worst position because she's been defending me." He doesn't seemed shocked or terribly upset. There is no mention of "what the eff kind of crazy-ass mofo installs a nanny cam to spy on his employees" which is what I was expecting. Do you know what I think? I think Chris E is relieved. Relieved to be free of a hard-ass boss and a job that he didn't love, relieved to have an excuse to get out of an unsatisfying marriage, relieved to finally put his earbuds away.

Then comes the most heartbreaking part--Jeff telling Jenni about Chris E and the hidden camera. Bravo played it to full dramatic effect by showing this scene as it was captured by the nanny cam; there is no sound, just the grainy images. Jenni is clearly distraught and flails around a bit before sobbing in Zoila's arms. It's sad, my pets. During this time, we hear Jeff's voice giving a little more justification for the nanny cam. He says that since Jenni truly believed that her husband was hard worker of the year, she would need some rock-solid evidence to prove otherwise. The nanny cam provided that.

Jenni's a good egg. I hate to see her so upset. Even Jeff said that her reaction was "much bigger" than he had expected.

To me, the fact that Jeff had to inform Jenni of Chris E's firing was very telling. If you get the ax, wouldn't you immediately call your spouse? Important clue here.

3. The day after the firing, there's a tender scene in Jeff's car when he says to Jenni, "I appreciate you coming to work today; I know it's rough for you." (Did you see this, Ryan? Tenderness. From Jeff Lewis.) She says that she doesn't blame him for the camera--"it's your business and I get it"--but that it killed her to see the footage. Killed her! Jenni has some tears and says to the camera, "whether he's with me or not, I want him to be happy, he's a wonderful man." This is when we realize that something much, much bigger is going on. Yowza.

Let's talk about the guilt now. Believe it or not, I spotted Chris E as a squirrel last season. I mean, the headbands, the earbuds, the lying, the getting fired 7 other times . . . and oh yeah, and the fact that he appeared so immature that I thought Chris E was Jenni's CHILD. What if I could have prevented the whole hidden camera scandal by reaching out to her with an email at the end of last season? Was I so busy and consumed by my own life that I couldn't drive to LA, track her down, jump out of my car and shake her by the shoulders and say "Jenni, he's a fucktard"? I will have to live with my inaction for the rest of my life. I'm so sorry, Jenni.

4. Jeff breaks the news to New Chris, who is now the only Chris. During this conversation, Chris is wearing a snug tuxedo t-shirt, which is totally distracting. Sadly, there are no pictures of the shirt on Bravo's site, so I'll show you what I am talking about:

Although I haven't been watching him for long, I can tell you that Chris could be featured on The Sartorialist every damn day. Even in a tuxedo t-shirt! That's just how stylish he is. The man could rock a ratty mullet and a mustard-stained wife-beater if he wanted to.

So what is Chris' response to being told about the hidden camera? An incredulous "this bitch means bizness!" (to the camera, of course, not to Jeff's face). Um, if you don't love him, please come see me and I will give you a sharp smack across the face with my gloves. He talks about Jeff's impossibly high standards, and goes on to say that he feels shocked and violated and questions the legality of what Jeff did. Now you know, man. Watch yo'self!

Then Jeff tells Chris that he wants to hire him full-time and expose him to the "bizness" of real estate investment and design. Yes! The silver-lining to Jenni's sorrow.

One more thing--Jeff seems to be eating Yoplait during this scene.

Jeff, don't. That shit is full of chemicals and sugar.

5. Jeff and Jenni visit Lorie's Encino house, which is in the midst of having the roof replaced. Jeff walks up to a big pile of construction debris and says, "Jesus. That's a couple loads." At which point my husband remarked, "that's what she said."

Didn't this house have a Spanish tile roof before? And it's being replaced with a yucky generic asphalt roof? What's going on here, Jeff? Did Lorie run out of money?

Moving on. Jenni's awful day continues when she steps on a ROOFING TACK. It was so painful that Bravo didn't even bleep out the "fuck!" she exclaimed after it pierced her thin little flats. Ooooh, I totally got the willies here. Frank the contractor, owner of a super-deluxe first aid kit, is there to help remove it. Then, for some reason, he starts smacking her on the wound with a piece of wood. WTF? Jeff tries to find some humor in the situation by saying, "Frank was a doctor before he was a contractor." Then, while Frank is cleaning Jenni's foot, Jeff says "they were dirty like that before." A super-unattractive snort came from my person at that point. I love you, Jeff Loo-ey.

The End of Part I.

I know, I know, but there's so much good stuff in this episode. I must break it up to do it justice. Tomorrow I will cover the second half of the show as well as attempt to answer some reader questions about Jeff's hair. Until then, my dears.