Welcome to Season 3 of the GRTFL! What does that mean? To be honest not much. However, we will be adding a couple new shows to the rotation and bringing back some old favorites. This week we will be adding MTV’s latest in the “Let’s Hope This Catches On Like Jersey Shore Did” genre, Buckwild. Buckwild is basically Jersey Shore if you swapped out all the guidos for rednecks, nightclubs for swimming holes, and alcohol-abusing fame-hungry idiots for, ya know, alcohol-abusing fame-hungry idiots. As we always do when we add new shows to the GRTFL, we drew up some stupid rules and had a stupid draft:
Is Frank from The Challenge a heartless woman abuser? Will a Beverly Hills Housewife save her marriage with squat thrusts and lamb fetus injections? Are they eating Andrew Bynum boogers on Survivor? Am I the only person still watching Jersey Shore? Just imagine, if the world ended this morning, you would've never read this column and never known the answers to these questions.
Phew! Now that we know Earth wasn’t eaten by the planet Nibiru, we should all just take a moment to appreciate the gift of life, our families, and, of course, Frank The Alcopsychoholic. Especially Frank The Alcopsychoholic.
It's all over now: the Jersey Shore juggernaut has come to an end. Who would have thought, three years ago, that phrases like "GTL" and "T-shirt time" and "cabs're here!" would be seared into our collective minds? And maybe more importantly, does anyone care that it's over? Jacoby and I say goodbye to the Jersey roommates by trying to answer these questions. Then, because (SPOILER ALERT) basically no one cares about Jersey Shore ending, we break down the Survivor and Challenge finales and offer some viewing suggestions for your holiday break. SECOND SPOILER ALERT: Watch Parenthood. With your parents.
Let me explain. In the late '90s, I made my living hustling tourists at the Empire State Building into going on the “New York Skyride.” The Skyride was a simulation ride, a movie with moving seats that would “take you on a trip to all the major attractions of New York City.” The money was great, hitting on a gazillion tourists was better, but operating the ride itself was the fucking worst.
I’m intimidated and a little nervous. When there is a The Challenge episode like the one on Wednesday night, I feel pressure to offer an appropriate GRTFL writeup. I mean, when you get the kind of violence, unbridled misogyny, and rampant lunacy this one episode provided, you owe it to the cast, crew, and audience to honor it. Look, nothing I can possibly write will be worthy of this episode of The Challenge. Nothing. But I will do my best.
OK, fine. I will do my kinda-best. Let’s get into it.
A few hours ago, lovable Jersey Shore ab-showcase mechanism Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino attempted to direct-message his phone number to a presumably DTF new acquaintance, no doubt hoping a rollicking smoosh session would soon follow. But there was an operational error somewhere between Sitch's fingers and his phone, and his digits were accidentally transmitted across the public Twitters to all 1.4 million of his followers, who, in short order, began the inevitable and delightful process of retweeting them to the flickering screens of every sentient life form in the universe:
With the Jersey Shore in general and Seaside Heights specifically in dire straits in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the stars of the woebegone MTV hit of the same name (now in its last season) will band together, one more time, for a philanthropic endeavor. And, yes, some would argue that no amount of good deeds could ever be enough to undo the six seasons of emotional trauma the cast of Jersey Shore has unleashed on the national psyche. But this hurricane-relief fund-raiser is a good start! EW reports:
Imagine you woke up one morning and the sun didn’t rise. Imagine looking in the mirror while brushing your teeth and seeing someone else’s face. Now imagine it is 10 p.m. on a Wednesday and there is no Challenge on MTV. All of those things happened this Wednesday.
OK, sure: The sun came up and you were you in the mirror, but there was no Challenge. No T.J. Lavin, no Under Armour shirts, no Frank the Alcopsychoholic — just the credits to Friday the 13th. I have never hated Halloween more. I would have traded all the happy children, candy, and girls in slutty costumes in the world for The Challenge at that moment. Alas, Challenge-less, the GRTFL must trudge on. Good thing we still have Deena’s morning drinking! Deena’s morning drinking never has a bye week.
We have an emergency. Something terrible has happened to the most legendary figure in The Challenge history. Alton has gone soft. Once, he was the most feared cast member ever. A man whose competitive fire was matched only by his freakish athleticism. Now, he's ... well ... I have no idea what he is now, but I'm going try my damndest to figure it out.
Alton (The Challenge, Connor), 20 points: Do you remember the old Lil' Kim? Like, Junior M.A.F.I.A Lil' Kim? Like, “Pull out your nine while I cock on mine” Lil' Kim? Well, she doesn’t exist anymore. That Lil' Kim has been replaced by a designer zombie sex doll that looks, talks, and acts nothing like the Lil' Kim we all fell in love with as the Bonnie to Biggie’s Clyde. The same thing has happened to Alton on The Challenge.
I'll just say it: This week's episode of The Challenge was my favorite one in recent history. There was a crazy tirade from Camila, an Emmy-worthy performance from T.J. Lavin, and a trivia challenge that prompted Sarah to deliver what may or may not be my new catch phrase. Thus Jacoby and I could not resist the magnetic pull of the podcast studio. We also talked about Survivor, Bad Girls Club, Jersey Shore, and what it's like when your counselor leaves summer camp early.
The same way it's nice to come home at Thanksgiving and see that your old bedroom is the way you left it, it's nice to see the same old reliable insanity on reality television. So much has changed on Jersey Shore and The Challenge over the years, yet so much remains the same. Deena is still morning drinking, Camila is still possessed by evil demons every so often, and T.J. Lavin, well, he still hates quitters. A lot. Like, for real, don’t quit anything around T.J. Lavin unless you want to hear about it (see Easy, Big).
We might need to rename the podcast formerly known as "Reality TV Friday" to "The Knight Show." Not only is there wordplay going on, but we were so taken with Knight's performance on this week's Challenge that we couldn't help but spend a good 20 minutes analyzing his machinations. We also touched upon the bizarre romance of Big Easy and Devyn, as well as Jonny Moseley's appalling haircut. Scared of stepping on Derrick Kosinski's toes, we also talk about Survivor, Jersey Shore, and our respective Weird Watches of the Week. Stop being polite, get real with us. (Sorry, couldn't help myself.)
Do you know what a sociopath is? Like, for real know? Sociopath is one of those words that we hear all the time, use ourselves, even, but can’t truly define. If someone walked up to you in the street and said, “What is a sociopath?” you would have trouble answering, wouldn’t you? Don’t lie, you would. Well, thanks to MTV’s The Challenge, you will no longer have that problem:
so·ci·o·path [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-]
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
Now, if someone walks up to you in the street and says, “What is a sociopath?” you can calmly reply, “Someone who behaves maliciously toward others without remorse, like Ryan from Real World: New Orleans. No, not the creepy Ryan that used to blow-dry his entire body; Ryan Knight, the one from Battle of the Seasons who makes women cry for sport, that one. Ryan Knight is what a sociopath is.”
Before you navigated to this website and encountered the shocking image presented above, if you had made a list of the celebrities who PETA might collaborate with on a spay-and-neutering campaign, how far down that list would The Situation have appeared? Ten-thousandth? A billionth? Somewhere between Ted Nugent and the stars of Animal Planet Extreme's White Tiger Stabbers?
Taylor Swift's Teen-Boy Love Triangle: "Taylor's insinuating herself into the Kennedy clan has taken a twisted turn." After taking on Jackie O's "prim-'n'-proper New England-chic, pearls-with-pleated-skirts" style and settling in at the Hyannis Port Kennedy Compound, "she's adding another Kennedy notch to her belt. Taylor was caught making out with Patrick Schwarzenegger — Conor's cousin — at a family event!" Swift would NEVER. "Taylor was making out with Patrick all night. The previous day she was all over Conor — so she hooked up with two cousins on consecutive nights!" Les Cousins Dangereux! "That sounds like risky business for the singer, who's been known to write songs about the two-timing men who've hurt her in the past." Turnabout is fair play? "Conor and Patrick have always been competitive" and Taylor loves feeling desired. But the older members of the clan do not want theatrics. "As far as the Kennedys are concerned, Taylor is trash. Conor says he's in love with her, but all she's done is cause drama." I guess another notch on her belt is all they'll ever be.