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Looking Ahead to the Second Surreal Lifeby Jamie Goralski -- 12/17/2003
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The Surreal Life will be returning Sunday, January 11, on the WB. It seems like only yesterday we bid a fond farewell to Vince Neil and his supporting cast from the first installment of this fine, fine series. The mocking is affectionate, I do have a sick love for this show and want to thank the powers that be at Mindless Entertainment/Brass Ring Entertainment for once again bringing together a cadre of marginal celebrities for us to make fun of in the comfort of our own homes.
In the last season we shared the love, hate, trials, and triumphs of life with Vince Neil, Hammer, Emmanuel Lewis, Jerri Manthey, Gabrielle Carteris, Brande Roderick, and Corey Feldman. I have to confess that during a spate of particularly intense pre-holiday house cleaning I watched the “True Hollywood Story: Corey Feldman.” Surprisingly, this series wasn’t mentioned as one of the highlights of his career. Enough wallowing in nostalgia… it’s time to look to the future and see who and what this season has in store for those of us with enquiring minds…
There are a couple of changes on board this time around. For starters it’s now an hour show. Twice the fun and twice the time typing recaps for the likes of me, but that’s okay – I’m a giver. Also this time out we have six regulars and the seventh bed will be filled by a different guest star each week. Rumor has it that we may be seeing Vince Neil again as well as Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Sally Jesse Raphael, and Andy Dick. Funny that Mr. Coleman feels the need to lower himself to this with that run for Governor of California under his belt and his recent appearance on Celebrities Uncensored working as a security guard. Did you see it? It was pretty funny, he was laying across the hood of a car to prevent the paparazzi inside from escaping and they turned on their windshield wipers to get him off the glass. Like I could make that up. There are to be six episodes and five possible guests so I wonder who the other will be. I’m really hoping for a Brady, or at the very least a Partridge. Preferably the first Chris – Jeremy Gelbwaks. But those are the bit players, time to turn our attention to the regulars…
Traci Bingham: Like Brande Roderick before her, she is also an alum of both Baywatch and Playboy. Interestingly enough she attended Harvard before moving to L.A. to pursue a career in the fine arts. If you can call Baywatch and Playboy the fine arts. Who needs an education when you’re a pretty girl?
Erik Estrada: I hope I don’t come to regret being the only pre-adolescent girl in the ‘70s who never saw an episode of CHiPs. I spent my evenings in that era trying to decide whether to marry Peter Criss or Ace Frehley when I grew up. I won’t keep you in suspense, they both escaped the bonds of matrimony with me. Since leaving his mark as Ponch he has continued to capture “the hearts of millions of fans world-wide with his compelling aura of masculinity and tenderness.” That quote was straight from the bio on his official website, ErikEstrada.com, so you know it is both accurate and unbiased. He’s been busy with various projects over the years, none of which I have seen so I can’t comment. From what I gather he has quite a following from his work on a series for Televisia: “Dos Mujeres, Un Camino.”
Trishelle Cannatella: Regular readers of RNO already know Trishelle’s work through the fine recapping of Jennifer Shrader for The Real World: Las Vegas and Jason Borelli for The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet. She too has a friend in Hef, having graced the pages of Playboy, so she and Traci will have lots to talk about. She is also going to be the next MTV challenge show, “The Inferno,” set to air soon. Apparently Jason and I are occupying adjoining suites on the Trishelle circle of Dante’s hell.
Ron Jeremy: For those of you not up to speed on legends of the adult industry, Ron has made over 1600 porno movies. I’m guessing he should be okay with the cameras recording his every move as he probably isn’t all that shy. That’s all the info I could gather from Google without actually hitting one of the links. Most of the sites that come from searching for his name… let’s just say there is only so much I will do in the name of journalistic integrity.
Tammy Faye Messner: You remember her, formerly Tammy Faye Bakker of the PTL scandal and poster-child for mascara addiction. She has written a book, I Will Survive… and You Can Too! She is friends with RuPaul and, according to an interview he did with her, she feels God chose her to be a celebrity because he trusts her. She just makes this way too easy… I love when I don’t have to be quippy and D-list celebs unknowingly write their own jokes.
Rob Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice: He’s a punk rocker now. Ahem. His official site, VanillaIce.com, mentions that he recently did the Billboard Award show to promote The Surreal Life on KISS FM and affiliated stations and did a little rap. Old habits die hard, I guess. In this rap he compares himself to Dr. Dre and claims to have “paved the way for Eminem.” Oh my goodness. Do you think Mr. Mathers is a trifle annoyed? It will be interesting to see if this was tongue in cheek or if the former bubble gum (w)rapper takes himself way too seriously.
Apologies for the bad pun. I just couldn’t help myself.
The official site at the WB has links but they are coming up blank, so I guess we will have to wait and see regarding official details (although those listed as regulars are confirmed.) Rumor has it that episode one has everyone heading out to a nudist colony. Since Traci, Trishelle, and Ron have been professionally naked, this should be a walk in the park… for the others maybe not. I hope the production crew in charge of pixelating is on top of their game. There are aspects of some of these people that are better left a mystery, I’m thinking.
Should be quite a season… see ya next month.
Before Jamie discovered the joys of writing about reality TV, she interviewed musicians for the website she co-owns, AceFrehleyOnline.com. She can be reached with comments or job offers at email@example.com.
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