Saturday, March 14, 2009

Season 12, Episode 1: Reality Bites

It's another new season...this time, they've thrown a bunch of characters together for a reality TV show. Featuring the return of Miller from Season 8 (even though he was killed off in the Jumping-the-Shark Episode).

Episode 1: Reality Bites

In an alley, a homeless woman named Dorothy was scrounging for cigarette butts when Rory Manchester walked by. He threw some money at her in an attempt to get rid of her, but she returned it to him. Admiring her honesty, he introduced himself, explaining that he was going to be on the new reality TV series “Scandal House,” and that he would win because he’s a go-getter at the peak of his self-actualization. Unimpressed, Dorothy tossed a lot of psychobabble right back at Rory.

Former child star Bixie Biederback, director/host of “Scandal House,” was in her office when producer Dick Castleberry stormed in. He reminded her of his credentials (having worked on “Top Gun”) and demanded that she make this show live up to those high standards. She assured him that she was up to the job, having been clean and sober for weeks now. They drank a toast with Perrier.

Two of the show’s contestants, Olan Mills photographer Eric von Landingham and stoner Miller were relaxing in the hot tub (fully clothed). After a bit of inadvertent (or was it?) sexual contact, Miller boasted that he would be the one to win the grand prize…Iceland. Eric pointed out that the prize was actually Greenland. Miller was disappointed because he was looking forward to skiing; Eric tried to explain that Greenland was actually icier than Iceland, confusing Miller to no end.

In the “confession booth,” Italian cameraman Lance Belligui was interviewing pro golfer Hank ‘The Beaver’ Basker. Hank explained that his deep-seated anger was due to the fact that he had 7 ex-wives, 9 children, a fading career, and he was now reduced to talking to a foreigner holding a camera.

In the kitchen, Rory reminisced about watching Bixie’s TV show when she was a kid, and asked her to do her famous bit. Reluctantly, she delivered her catchphrase (“This gonna get me in a lot of trouble!”) and her trademark pout. Turning to business, Rory informed her that he always gets what he wants, and that he was going to win Greenland. He then offered to help her, suggesting a visual metaphor for her alcoholism:

RORY: “Think of the worst thing you can. Say, a dead puppy, to start. Now think of that puppy dying again, coming back as a zombie, and dying AGAIN because another dead puppy fell on it. And THAT puppy has herpes.”

Dick Castleberry met Dorothy behind the Scandal House. He found her bedraggled appearance and homeless wisdom so adorable, he was convinced she was a muppet or animatronic. She asked where he was from, and he explained that he grew up in a bubble in Hollywood, shielded from reality. Dorothy told him that he needed to listen to his heart and stop using devices to insulate himself from other people. Dick pretended to take a call on his cell phone.

Eric was trying to get ready for bed, but was uncomfortable due to Lance filming him. (“Kind of reminds me of my weird uncle.”) Eventually, he decided to sleep fully clothed. Eric confided to Lance that he was worried about being treated as eye candy, but Lance assured him he didn’t need to worry about that.

Hank and Miller were playing air-hockey in the rec room; when Hank bragged about scoring, Miller thought that Hank meant he had slept with the homeless chick. Hank tried to explain that he was talking about the game, although he did indeed want to have sex with Dorothy.

Bixie and Dick gathered all of the contestants in the great room to prepare them for the series. Bixie explained that they just needed to be real and natural, though Dick added that they also needed to fight and backstab each other. Dick boasted of his Hollywood successes, but Rory cut him down by reminding him that his last picture had been “Dunston Checks In”…and since Rory had lost a lot of money on that one, now Dick owed him big time.

Lance was filing his videotapes in the basement when Dorothy came to visit him. She gave him an umbrella from her shopping cart to shield him from the leaking ceiling. Touched, he told her about his home in Viennice. (“Imagine God took a palette and wiped it clean, then drizzled love and unicorns on it.”) That reminded Dorothy that she’d seen unicorns eating by the dumpster at Wendy’s. They decided to go out for a bite, and possibly see a unicorn.

Eric, Hank and Rory were working in the garden when Eric noticed a dead bird in a tree. Rory reminisced about how a bird was the first thing he’d ever seen die, launching into an inspirational narrative about how he took that bird’s egg and saved it, and kept that robin alive for 20 years with loving care, steroids, and animatronics. Hank and Eric realized that Rory was too good at everything, and that they’d need to get rid of him to stand any chance of winning.

In the bar, Lance showed Bixie some footage he’d shot (showing Dorothy telling Miller how she’d lost her leg and replaced it with cotton). Bixie attempted to maintain her professionalism, but was tempted by the Red Bull & vodka chargers surrounding her. When Dick entered and started badgering her about the show, she found the strength to resist, throwing a drink on the floor to make her point.

Hank was taking out the garbage, only to be startled by Dorothy sticking her head out of the can. She asked him about his anger, sensing that he obviously wants to use his golf club on people instead of little white balls. Hank retorted that he was having a good day…then confessed that he could only have good DAYS because he doesn’t have a good life.

Miller was working at Hello Pizza Kitty when Dick Castleberry came in for dinner. After Miller spent two hours going through the list of all the available toppings, Dick ordered a medium with love and an autographed photo of Bea Arthur.

In the showers, Eric told Rory how awestruck he was by Rory’s accomplishments. Eric talked about his own career at Olan Mills and his sideline as a drummer with a fledgling band…a good life, but nothing compared to Rory’s. Meanwhile, everybody else lined up and waited impatiently to take their own shower.


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