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The Surreal Life 2, Episode 3: Warming Up to Vanilla Iceby Jamie Goralski -- 01/29/2004
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Every Surreal Life episode this season begins with a “previously on…” segment. Did they do this last year? I don’t recall. I think it would be easier for them to omit the flashback and just do a screen shot with the url for my last recap. Doubt it will happen, though.
It’s morning in Campbell Manor and Erik starts the day off right by opening his robe and giving a little flash to the camera man, amid laughter from Rob. Tammy Faye begins her day, as always, by reading her bible. In another room of the house the activities are a little less pious. Traci and Trishelle notice that Ron sleeps naked so they try to pull off his covers to get a look at his famous package. They giggle as Ron falls to the floor clutching his blanket. I guess he’s shy; who would have thought? This whole scene is so reminiscent of the Tami/David fiasco from Real World: LA. Except there is no Beth S. around to tell Ron he has just been raped. That’s one thing this show has going for it, no Beth S. Don’t mention her to the producers, or they may book her and my resentment will be endless.
Back to the happenings in the rest of the house: Erik does push-ups while Rob makes coffee. For some strange reason the scene then cuts to Ron giving Erik a shoulder massage, which is so good that Erik loses his conversational train of thought. Ron did this for Tammy Faye last week and I have to say, the man looks like he gives a wicked good massage.
As in all reality TV, lighthearted moments never last, so we cut to Trishelle and the drama of the moment. She is checking her voicemail on the communal phone and hears one from an ex-boyfriend. According to the message he isn’t doing so well and can’t talk. I always call people when I can’t talk. Whatever. Trishelle talks about this with Traci, saying she can’t get a hold of him now. Traci proves herself the queen of unnecessary exposition when she says that John called Trishelle because he needed her and now she will be freaking out all day because she’s unable to reach him. Which is what Trishelle just said.
The Surreal Times arrives and the headline is, “What’s in the stars for the stars?” They learn they will be visited by a medium. Tammy Faye says that she loves that. To use Jessica Simpson’s favorite word, she’s being facetious. Trishelle is also less than thrilled as she, “doesn’t want to contact dead people.” She just finished two MTV challenges, The Gauntlet and The Inferno (which is airing now), but I don’t think that counts. Those people are technically alive even if the same can’t be said for their careers.
The medium arrives and we learn that she is Cheri Manusco: Doctor of Metaphysics and Psychic to the Stars.
Doctor? I checked out her web site because I had to know if she actually had a doctorate in this stuff. According to her official bio she is: a certified Metaphysical Practitioner, certified in something called advanced symbology, and applied psychometry, is an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, a doctor of metaphysics from the Universal Life Church. She’s also a reiki master, and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
I think it’s safe to say she isn’t a real doctor. Oh, and Daughters of the American Revolution applies how exactly?
Regardless of her lack of credentials and total misappropriation of the title of doctor, here she is, and Erik invites her in. She tells everyone she’s been a medium for twenty years, and was born and raised on a Native American Indian reservation. She is also part Indian way, way back. I’m not sure how that adds to her credibility but the way she said it, it’s supposed to.
Traci has no issues with psychics and is open to it. The medium says she is here to “tune in” to everyone and I wish she would finish the Timothy Leary plan and “drop out” as well. Too bad no one is asking me. Erik says he’s open to it and believes in the afterlife. As he says, “this can’t be it. How sad would it be if being on The Surreal Life (or recapping it) was indeed it?
The medium tells us she isn’t here to intimidate anyone but merely to tune into them. It’s my experience that when someone says they don’t want to intimidate you that’s exactly what they plan to do. But she says, “we’re here to let ourselves feel we can be ourselves.” This 'be yourself' thing is a running theme of this episode. Since when do we get morality plays on this show?
Trishelle interviews that she was raised with the same beliefs as Tammy Faye, and that this is a sin. Seems to me she picks and chooses which sins to stay away from. Ron is a skeptic and says he doesn’t believe, but wants to.
The medium takes them one-on-one for individual readings and Trishelle is up first. As she leaves the room Rob makes a face. Erik says he knows Johnny Rocket doesn’t believe. In the bedroom, the medium tells Trishelle she needed to get them one-on-one in order to get into detail. She tells Trishelle that she should “let her go” and not tell her anything. She is such the poor man’s John Edward. She beings to read Trishelle and I have to wonder, if she’s a genuine seer, why she isn’t getting any aural visions about how to pronounce Trishelle’s name. She calls her Tricelle, throughout. She sees for Tricelle a man in black who’s depressed. Trishelle’s hands are cold. Is this her boyfriend? Trishelle is freaked out by this, as she says yes. [Editor’s Note: Didn’t she just tell Trishelle not to tell her anything? Then why is she asking a question?] The medium is now seeing red which indicates anger, and again black as she makes an ominous face. She feels she is sensing death. Couple of things - at least John Edward is soothing, and this woman will never get her own TV empire if she insists on frightening people. Another thing - she’s seeing red? Is that really such a shock seeing as she’s in a room with bright red checkerboard flooring and walls and sitting on a bed with a red checkered comforter? What other color could you possibly see in that environment? That horrible decorating scheme is burned into my corneas, and I’m not dooming Trishelle to a life of depression and death. I leave that job to Bunim and Murray.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next-->
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