Welcome to Season 2 of the Grantland Reality Television Fantasy League. Seems like just yesterday I called Grantland Editor Lane Brown before the site launched and explained to him what a terrible idea the GRTFL was and begged him not to run it. He ran it. He is no longer with Grantland. Those may or may not be mutually exclusive events.
Season 2 of the GRTFL has a few new wrinkles:
Wrinkle No. 1: We really want to include a message board of thoughts/e-mails/tweets/insults/threats from readers, but I fear no one gives enough of a shit to actually send them in. Please prove me wrong and send your best missives about the worst TV to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to publish what you have to say.
Wrinkle No. 2: Out with Lane Brown and in with new Grantland editor/genius Mark Lisanti. Welcome to the GRTFL, Mark. It's like putting contact lenses in: weird at first, but you get used to it quickly.
Wrinkle No. 3: We added “Inciting the Arrival of a Vehicle With a Siren: 20 points," "Assault of an Inanimate Object: 10 points," and "Cold Sore Possession: 15 points" to the rules for all shows. We discussed a bazillion other rule changes over the past seven months, but I didn’t write any of them down, so, yeah.
Thus far only the casts of Jersey Shore and The Bachelor have been researched (“Which is the one with the fake teeth?”), drafted (“I’ll take Pauly D, he's due for an STD scare”), and bestowed with an asinine scoring system ("Should felonies be bonus points?"):
The Bachelor Rules:
- —Calling Ben a pet name: 5 points
—Giving Ben a Gift: 10 points
—Mentioning Ashley: 5 points
—Inciting Erection: 25 points
—Hinting at Procreation With Ben: 10 points
—Cooking for Ben: 5 points
—Telling Ben You Love Him: 20 points (first instance only)
—Winning Final Rose: 50 points
—Fainting: 20 points
—Winning a Nobel Prize: -100 points
Jersey Shore Season 5 Rules:
- —Complaining About "Fame": 10 points
—Consciously Attempting to Create Catchphrase: 10 points
—Preparing a Full Meal Upon Returning From an Evening Out: 5 points
—Complaining About Being Full While Continuing to Eat: 5 points
—Eating Something in a Suggestive Way: 5 points
—Being Intoxicated at Work: 10 points
—Falling Over in Public Owing to Intoxication (Knee or Ass Must Hit Ground): 10 points
—Dumping the Contents of Someone's Suitcase or Closet Outdoors: 15 points
—Discussing One's Bowel Movements: 5 points
—Non-Toilet Urination: 10 points
—Spreading Gossip About Someone Else's Sexual Activity: 5 points
—Being Rejected When Attempting to Bring Someone Home From a Club: -10 points
—Bringing Someone Home From a Club and Failing to Hook Up With Them: -10 points
—Hooking Up With a "Grenade" or Someone Whose Attractiveness Has Been Impugned: 10 points
Here is how the respective rosters look after our first drafts of Season 2:
House: Anna, Elyse, Amber B, Jaclyn
Jacoby: Kacie B, Rachel, Monica, Holly
Kang: Emily, Lyndsie J, Erika, Shira
Lisanti: Courtney, Blakely, Brittney, Jennifer
Schell: Jenna, Casey, Jamie, Samantha, Dianna
Simmons: Nicki, Lindzi, Amber T, Shawn
Kang: JWOWW and Pauly D
Lisanti: The Situation
Enough with the housekeeping, already: Let’s get to the part where I write judgy, mean-spirited jokes about emotionally fragile individuals that Google themselves obsessively.
Snooki (Jersey Shore, Simmons), 40 points: “I just don’t care about these people anymore,” my wife blurted as the graphic open of Jersey Shore’s season premiere rolled. I can’t lie; I kind of feel the same way. I am sure there will be press releases about a record audience, I am sure that the cast is swimming in hand jobs and money and I am sure that there are millions of people all around the globe that can’t get enough of the Guido gang and will keep this show alive but brain-dead long after the plug should have been pulled. I tried to hand the MTV producers a defibrillator, but this show may have just flatlined. Whoa, sorry, I just caught myself being a negatron downerball. Why focus on the end of Jersey Shore’s day in the sun when you can enjoy the beauty of the sunset? There is still some fun juice to squeeze out of this fruit. So, about Snooki:
Last season, Snooki’s relationship with her boyfriend Jionni became a bit rocky when she, ya know, fellated The Situation, danced semi-nude onstage in front of Jionni, and coitused her roommate Vinny. Well, they must have patched things up, because there he was at the surprise party that
the producers their boss threw for them upon their arrival to the Shore. There is no possible reasoning for this reconciliation from Jionni’s perspective outside of the simple fact that if he is her boyfriend there will be machines pointed at him that capture his image and voice and broadcast them into people’s living rooms. Would you forgive Snooki if she twice cuckolded you on national television?
Snooki was so overwhelmed by Jionni’s presence at the party that she cried (5 points) and then became overwhelmed by the presence of a new planet in the Guido gang’s orbit, The Unit. The Unit is one of The Situation’s closest comrades. I really hope he has four or five similarly titled friends and they collectively call themselves “The Nouns,” are starting a “Nouns” clothing line and all have matching tattoos of people, places and things all over their bodies in a special nounish font. Snooki is bothered by The Nouns at the party because The Unit was an eyewitness to her alleged servicing of The Situation. I would attempt to detail what The Unit and Snooki were arguing about (5 points) but I won’t because, well, because it was stupid. So stupid that it inspired the first top five list of Season 2. Following are the top five “insults” Snooki launched at The Unit and my best interpretation of what the intent of the insult was. They are listed from “That would hurt my feelings a bit” to “Is she a robot with a rodent making all the decisions in her poof/cockpit?”:
- 5. Insult: “Gel your hair!”
Insult’s Intent: Lessen his value as a human being based on the principle that amount of hair gel on one’s head and one's value as a human are not, as you may think, inversely related.
4. Insult: “Unit. Your name is bleeping Unit.”
Insult’s Intent: Hmmmm. I believe she is attempting to hurt his feelings by pointing out that he has a silly nickname. Her name is Snooki.
3. Insult: “You are such an idiot.”
Insult’s Intent: [excited] I know this one, I know this one, I know this one! She is calling him an idiot.
2. Insult: “Your bleeping hair is curly, you look like an asshole right now.”
Insult’s Intent: Um. Let’s see here. How do I explain? Let me just say, I don’t think that she is using a colloquialism.
1. Insult: “If you didn’t have Mike you would be a loser.”
Insult’s Intent: I guess she created a hypothetical world in which she would have grounds to insult him? I got nothin’.
The whole ordeal made Snooki cry (5 points), and Jionni comforted her the only way he knows how, with a coitus (25 points). Awwwwww.
Jenna (The Bachelor, Schell), 30 points: The cast of ABC’s The Bachelor is a herd of zebras. A cluster that appears and behaves in a manner that makes them nearly impossible to distinguish as individuals. They are each the tenth-best looking girl in your high school class, over-groomed, undernourished, stuffed in bridesmaid's dresses and paraded out for Bachelor Ben’s perusal and/or approval. Much like a lioness on the African plain, you watch the first episode of The Bachelor and are bewildered by the movement of the herd. Also like the lioness, you observe and single out the weak among the herd. In this particular herd of zebra/reality show hussies, the weakest is clearly Jenna. Jenna is a woman who watched too much Sex and the City and then up and moved to New York to become Carrie Bradshaw. Apparently, this is an actual thing that actual people do. I hope it works out better for them than the time I moved to Baltimore to become Marlo Stanfield. Anyway, Jenna’s misguided career aspirations are only the tip of the iceberg of delusion and insanity.
To call Jenna crazy is too easy. It is hard not to call someone crazy who justifies their odd behavior by explaining, “everything goes black and it is like, where am I? What am I doing right now?” and shortly thereafter locks herself in the bathroom and sobs, “I don’t want to be like this!” over and over (5 x 3 = 15 total crying points).
No, I will not just call her crazy, that was Season 1 me. Season 2 me will give her the benefit of the doubt and attempt to explain why she is acting so erratically. My theory is that when the women arrive on set, like boxers at a weigh-in, they have worked hard to reach their fighting weight in order to look their best. Empty stomachs are great for slinky dresses, but terrible for alcohol abuse. I weigh 200 pounds (fine, 210), and if I have three beers on an empty stomach I start to think I can dance, speak Spanish, and solve your personal problems. I can do none of those things. So there is Jenna, anxiety draws her toward her first ten-ounce glass of Pinot Grigio, the other girls to her second, and self-doubt to her third. Before you know she is Andy Dick-ing from room to room, leaving behind her a trail of shame and insecurity. My theory: She is not crazy, she is just inslopsicated (15 points).
Who am I kidding? Sorry, Jenna, I tried my best to rationalize for you there, but you’re a grade-A crazypants. So crazypantsed you locked yourself in the bathroom and delivered a speech in the mirror that was either the stream-of-consciousness rant of a shattered woman ... or Metallica lyrics. Seriously, read Jenna’s bathroom soliloquy with the voice and cadence of Metallica’s James Hetfield. But not the post-therapy James Hetfield, the screamy "Ride the Lightning" James Hetfield:
- I don't want to be like this
I don't want to be like this
The people here are awful
They are mean people
Everyone here sucks
And I am like this bitch
Can't even calm my nerves
I gave everything
This is not how you are supposed to feel
This is not how you are supposed to feel
I will be very disappointed if Metallica’s next album does not feature a song with these lyrics titled, “This Is Not How You Are Supposed to Feel.”
Pauly D (Jersey Shore, Kang), 30 points: The moment that Snooki’s friend Ryder was shown kissing (5 points) and coitusing (25 points) Pauly D, couples around the world that were planning to name their child Ryder went back to the drawing board.
Monica (The Bachelor, Jacoby), 25 points: Monica is the young lass that was the catalyst for Jenna’s bathroom Metallica ghostwriting session (25 points trying to make someone cry and succeeding). She was also involved in another highlight of the show. About three hours and four glasses of wine into the taping, a threshold is broken. The combination of nerves, competition, and isolation from Bachelor Ben makes them act a little out of pocket. Or in this case, way out of pocket. Monica went all “Free love fellow goddess!” on VIP cocktail waitress Blakely. This is what she said to Blakely while lying next to her with her chin on Blakely’s shoulder and tracing up and down Blakely’s arm with her index finger:
“As much as I care about love, I care about the people I meet and the experiences I have. You are my experience. And if you are the only thing that I get out of this, I have lived and I have lived great. I think there is a lot of things to come from this and it is not just love.”
The next time I get a speeding ticket, this is exactly how it will go down:
- Officer: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
Me: “Yes, because I was speeding.”
Officer: “Yep. You were going 85 in a 45 mile-per-hour zone.”
Me: “As much I care about speeding, I care about the people I meet and the experiences I have. You are my experience. And if you are the only thing that I get out of this, I have lived and I have lived great. I think there is a lot of things to come from this, and it is not just a speeding ticket.”
Officer: [slowly backs away from my car and pulls off without giving me a ticket]
Vinny (Jersey Shore, Jacoby), 20 points: MTV, what have you done to our Vinny? What have you done? Jersey Shore’s Placebo started to lose it this episode. At the surprise party, Vinny saw his family and became homesick and emotional. There was something so familiar, so comforting, and so normalizing about watching his Uncle Nino sexually harass every female within reach that it brought him to tears (20 points). But the unraveling of the Placebo didn’t end there. Later in the episode, a troubled Vinny is caught by the surveillance camera tossing and turning in his bed, unable to sleep (I have an idea, don’t sleep with glasses on). He is tired, homesick, and discouraged by the thought of shooting another complete season of binge drinking and promiscuity. There is a purity — a maturity — inside Vinny that understands that making it through another summer at the shore without contracting syphilis is no longer what makes him happy. Family makes him happy. He yearns for a break from the spotlight, The Situation, the Jager bombs, the dance-offs, the paparazzi, the crowd surrounding him, reaching to grab him every waking moment of his life. It is clear that this environment is not healthy for him and he needs an escape. However, trying to get Pauly D and Ronnie to empathize with this feeling is like trying to explain to a dog that there are more dynamic ball sports than fetch. Witness this exchange:
- Vinny: “I am just tired and depleted and exhausted and I am not starting to think rationally.”
Ronnie: “Just try to get through the weekend. Going out, listening to music and being around girls …”
Ronnie is not exactly Dr. Drew.
Courtney (The Bachelor, Lisanti), 10 points: Courtney is a model. How do I know that? Because she won’t shut up about being a model (10 points). Being a real model is like being a real gangster. Real gangsters don’t go around telling everyone that they are gangsters. How do I know that? I don’t. Matter of fact I have no idea what real gangsters are like, it just sounded good when I wrote it, so I’m rocking with it.
Jamie (The Bachelor, Schell), 10 points: It is totally normal to mention having children with someone you have only seen on a reality show (10 points). When I met Draya from Basketball Wives LA, the first thing I said to her was, “With my height and your looks, our children would grow up to be world-class strippers.”
Rachel (The Bachelor, Jacoby), 5 points: Rachel notched five points for mentioning Ashley, the Bachelorette that broke Bachelor Ben’s heart. Rachel also revealed to Ben that she quit her fashion job in New York City for the 4 percent chance of winning his heart. She plays hard to get as well as Tim Tebow plays the quarterback position.
Deena (Jersey Shore, Schell), 5 points: Deena cried at the surprise party (5 points). They edited it as though she cried because her family was there and she missed them, but really it was because she saw Snooki’s hotter, funner friend Ryder there and thought she was being replaced.
Amber T (The Bachelor, Simmons), 5 points: Amber T cried when she was voted off (5 points) and previously decided that the best way for the national television audience to fully understand what she was all about was to watch her eating cow testicles. I have no joke for that.
The 2012 Grantland Reality Fantasy League Awards
Reality Scorecard: The 2012 Draft Prospectus
Reality Scorecard: Here Come the Baseball Wives
Reality Scorecard: Keith and Whitney's Disappointing Coitus