Wednesday, July 30, 2008
"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.