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The Surreal Life, Episode 3: Surreal Campingby Jamie Goralski -- 01/17/2003
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So we open this week with our band of misfits to see them rolling out of bed. I was struck by how much the editors just love Jerri. Either that or she wakes up looking really good without a trace of bed-head, which would be patently unfair, so I prefer to think the complimentary shots are due to flattering editing.
An aside about Jerri. I didn’t get into Survivor until Marquesas so I missed her season and being a woman and uninterested I didn’t run out to buy her Playboy spread, so this is my first exposure to her. I think she is coming off one of the most likeable people in the house thus far. [Editor’s Note: I can’t argue with that for this episode. But to see some thoughts about her last week, make sure to check out this Hall of Shame Update.]
They read in their house tabloid that camping is on today’s agenda. It is 8:05 and the van will be there at 8:30 to pick them up, so 25 minutes of frantic packing ensues. Sadly, this was no more amusing than when I hit the snooze one too many times and my family rushes to get out the door. Which is to say not amusing at all.
Much groaning about camping from almost every quarter. Corey complains that he has no jeans or tennis shoes. Huh. I seem to recall him sitting around last week during the fortune cookie scene clad in a bad tank top so I’m not buying the angst of this fashion plate. Vince, however, is clearly sarcastic when he bemoans not being able to wear his Versace suit. Okay, Corey, I hope as you watch this you take notes. THAT is how you whine. Make it self-deprecating and tongue in cheek and people smile at your comments rather than wanting to see how well you would take a blow to the head. Get it?
Vince tells Corey he has never been camping before. Corey replies, “this is just something us type of people don’t do.” Remember when he said he is here for image repair? This isn’t helping.
Jerri has bad camping flashbacks from Survivor and Emmanuel loves camping. Where is the foreshadowing music when you need it?
Assorted scenes of them packing and getting ready to leave and a shot of Brande walking by with a roll of toilet paper. I thought I would hate her, I try, but you know, for a girl who claimed she didn’t know that there was sales tax on food as she is so unfamiliar with the ways of America, that is some good thinking.
Vince breaks a zipper on his bag as he attempts to pack. “such a rock star, destroying property.” Look at that, Corey being genuinely funny! Nice moment where Gabrielle helps Vince repack properly and he gently mocks her with gratitude. Very sweet. They seem to be becoming friends. I love these genuine moments no matter how fake they may be.
I noticed last week that I didn’t think the editing staff liked Corey very much. I was wrong. They hate him! No judgment here, they are only human. We are in the van as Corey talks about the rules he has broken by not getting into a serious relationship with a fan nor anyone in a club. Disingenuous much? Does anyone who has watched more than five minutes of this think this man could not date anyone who wasn’t a fan? I think some blind adoration on the part of his woman would not only be welcome but required. Then he moves on to the topic of his lousy childhood and how hard his life has been. This is all intercut with various confessionals of the others just sick to death of hearing this. And can I just comment that I think it is generally accepted practice to just let it go when a relative stranger is confessing childhood abuse to you so he must’ve really, really been beating this horse to death to annoy the others that much. Although makes my work here easier as everything I wanted to say to him was said, which was basically to shut up. Thanks Vince, thanks Emmanuel, thank you Brande.
They have to stop for lunch and Corey is thirrrrrrrssssssty.
I am really trying not to go for the gratuitous mocking of him, but he’s making it so easy. And before you think I came into this with some kind of bizarre Corey-grudge, let me say that I wanted to like him here. I came of age in the ‘80s, the era of “the Coreys,” and beyond that I love his 1999 CD, Still Searching for Soul, with his band, Corey Feldman’s Truth Movement (which I file alphabetically under T in a silent protest to eponymous arrogance; I’m sure he cares). Say what you will, the boy can sing. So since I like his music I really wanted this to be redeeming for him, a little public exposure so more people would hear him. Now don’t we all want to hear less from him?
Back to the show: They stop at a truck stop for lunch and are just so taken with themselves and all the attention from the locals. Wouldn’t there be a fair amount of gaping if any seven people showed up at any truck stop surrounded by a camera crew? Just asking.
Manny loves truckers and is making the rounds. If anyone understood the conversation he was having about seeing apparitions in trucks please email me and explain. On second thought I might be happier not knowing.
I must defend Corey here. In the montage of how high maintenance they are and how out of place they feel there they include Corey pointing out he thinks he got a diet coke rather than regular. Who hasn’t had that happen and said something? That was a real stretch to show him misbehaving so it seems he was pretty low key in there.
Vince talks to someone on a cell phone, I want to mock but I just can’t. If one of my friends were in the truck stop I can see them trying to get him to throw a call into me. I respect the groupie thing.
We now flash to Hammer working the crowd, starting a roundtable discussion with the patrons about sex. “Since we’re having ongoing topics about sexual addictions, what better place to elaborate on it than with the common everyday man at a truck stop?” How about... anywhere? I’m sure that was fun for the local guys since they weren’t subjected to the insulting “common everyday man” designation. I know when I stop in a restaurant I always wish some former celebrity would join me to ask about my sexual thoughts. Some people have all the luck. “If you could have sex with two beautiful women like Jerri and Brande would you do it?” I don’t know who should be more offended, Jerri and Brande – who clearly weren’t consulted before he was theoretically pimping them out – or Gabrielle who didn’t even get an honorable mention. She is very pretty in an average chick kinda way and on behalf of average chicks everywhere I think we should be insulted Hammer doesn’t feel us worthy. I guess I shouldn't split hairs, there was plenty of offense to go around.
Jerri is embarrassed and says she walked out but, I have to say, she looked like she was being a pretty good sport about it.1 2 Next-->
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