Telly Vision Review - Epsiode 3

By Amanda Jones

January 22, 2003

We’re down to five.

So, Evan finally gets to go out on dates with his chiquitas one on one. And while that’s cool, I kind of feel like the girls are being cheated, because they’re all going on different dates with him. If you get stuck on a bad date, your eliminatability increases manifold, and not in direct proportion to your hotness or your intrigue potential. The only way to make this whole endeavor truly fair would have been for Evan to do exactly the same thing with all five women; maybe something that he wanted to do, rather than something he felt they wanted to do. Isn’t he interested in seeing how they respond to his interests? And isn’t he dumb enough that he could do the same thing five days in a row without getting bored? Or really, even noticing. I get that impression, don’t you?

I’m angry at Fox for having chosen such a lummox to patsy their primadonnas. There are millions of men out there, aspiring actors and models who are as handsome as they’re poor; bartenders, waiters, pizza delivery guys. Could they not have found someone to do their dirty work who was bright enough to actually play along with his assigned lie? Someone who didn’t look so completely ill-at-ease with his situation? While we’re on the subject, could they have found maybe even one woman who was bright enough to notice this?

Our first date is with MoJo. She is told to wear something chic with high heels, and presents as assigned in a black dress and heels… and a hat. Melissa encourages her attempts at haute couture by telling her “you look great in the hat, trust me,” but then voices over that “this girl’s got no style at all.” Women are a competitive breed, ah yes. MoJo doesn’t look all bad, but the hat is just too much for the occasion; it’s just obviously trying too hard to be Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” Before dinner, in Evan’s room, a woman shows up with bags of dresses for MoJo to change into – why did they tell her to wear something chic with high heels if they were just going to give her new clothes to wear? While her new dress is nicer than the old one, to be sure, she maintains her hat couture. At dinner, she and Evan have obviously very different impressions of the conversation: Evan voices over that they just couldn’t get a conversation going, and MoJo voices over that she felt it went very smoothly and that they learned a lot about each other. At one point MoJo tells Evan that a tomato she tried to spear has squirted out some, but that didn’t get her, and those of us at home are thinking, “he certainly got to know a lot about your tomato, but beyond that, we could feel how bored he was.” (Please note that I'm sure there's an innuendo-filled joke about "spearing tomatos" here somewhere; I just can't find it. Please email me if you can.) Post-dinner, they trekked to the Moulin Rouge for a show, and MoJo’s not-so-pretty-woman hat kept hitting Evan in the face as he tried to talk to her. Evan voices over that he felt that dinner was a total disaster, and MoJo voices over that she feels a woman with a hat is self-confident and beautiful inside. We at home think that a woman in a hat such as that is unapproachable and has a weapon her head.

Our next victim is Melissa, who voices over that she feels like she needs to be won over. She digs Evan: “He won’t tell me anything. I love that, I love surprises!” she gushes tellingly to the camera. Evan takes her, on their date, to the Eiffel Tower, because she had expressed an interest in going there. They gaze at the sights of Paris for a few minutes in the cold rain, and then Evan invites Melissa back to his room for a cocktail and a surprise. The surprise is that he’s had a street artist paint a portrait of her. I didn’t think the portrait looked much like Melissa at all, and she was equally apprehensive of the buck-toothed and dull-colored painting. She takes it back to her room and says to the other girls, “I don’t think it looks anything like me.” Sarah agrees and brings up an excellent point – even if the portrait was the spitting image of Melissa, what would she do with it, hang it in her living room? Melissa gets an innocent peck from Evan at the end of the night, and despite the painting, feels that their date was at least a mild success.

Sarah’s date with Evan is a tango lesson. She spends a long time on her hair before the date, action that’s commented on by Phil-the-butler in voiceover. He doubts whether a woman like her is well-suited for Evan. The hair maneuvers are lost on Evan, as all he notices is Sarah’s “rocket body.” When they arrive at the school, Sarah is presented with a vamp red bustier and black skirt and strappy shoes, and goes to change into them. She returns to the dance floor dressed in the new digs but with her hair in a bun – thank goodness she spent all that time with the hot rollers, huh? The dance lesson is kind of a success, as Evan and Sarah take advantage of the opportunity to get physically close to one another. They seem to have a really good time, a fact which is evidenced by the fact that Sarah gets a kiss on the lips at the end of the evening. “Yay, I’m so glad you had a good time,” Melissa tells Sarah when the two dish over a cigarette later in the evening, but her facial expressions belie her happiness for her competition; she looks downright tortured in her feigned happiness, and clearly feels that Sarah’s described kiss (“a little bit more…” than her own) is an issue.

Evan states before his date with Zora that he’s intrigued by her and that there’s a mystery behind her. Zora is anxious during their date, a ball of nerves, and Evan picks up on this and calls her on it. The date is more like an “interview in a relaxed date setting,” which is to be expected in this situation, and I don’t know why Zora feels she should be allowed to remain as emotionally stiff and closed as she apparently normally is – isn’t she supposed to be getting to know him better and vice versa? She’s absolutely unwilling to talk about her impoverished childhood, and feels threatened by Evan’s Norman Rockwell two-parent upbringing. She’s not an ideal date, except for a hard-core therapist, and I’m in pain watching her feel unworthy of Evan’s affections and his gift to her (a music box). It’s tough not to notice that her fingernails are square and worn as she wipes a tear from her eyes listening to the riverside orchestra Evan has arranged for her, and as we notice this, we cannot help but think that she would be the most willing to accept Evan as he actually is, but maybe the least likely to be given the chance to do so. When she goes home, she does not call the other girls to dish, but rather goes to bed alone, voicing over that this is a competition, and she needs to stay on her game.

Alison and Evan cruise on a yacht for their date, and Alison is repulsed at Evan’s unwillingness to eat what’s on his plate. Their conversation is stiff to a point that Evan actually asks her if it’s worth it for them to continue on the farce, and Alison says no, but backpedals quickly after this statement, making allusions to “when you meet my friends” and becoming more open and chatty with the poor guy after she’s essentially told him to pound sand. They head off to Notre Dame Cathedral after the boat docks, because Alison had indicated that she wanted to go there, and it’s striking what a normal couple they make despite the fact that Alison says that she’s looking for someone more cultured. Alison voices over that she wishes that she could take back what she said about not going forward, but it’s really too late; she gets no gift, and it’s clearly a toss-up between herself and Zora as to who’ll be eliminated once Alex McLeod (who speaks just two lines, might I say) tells us that there’ll be just one bootee this week.

It’s Alison who’s tossed overboard, with her relationship issues and insecurities. Zora’s intrigue allows her one more week at least, and Alison is clearly heartbroken: “Don’t do this to me,” she says to nobody in particular after the last emerald necklace is handed to Intriguing Zora. Those of us following along at home wonder how the bug-eyed MoJo and the obviously gold-digging Sarah have been chosen over these women of substance, but why should we? The point of the show is that everyone’s a damn liar. Evan doesn’t care if the women like him for him or for his money, he just wants to ensure that they like him enough to sleep with him, and Alison’s insecurities were a tough mark for his dumb-ismo. It’s still all so shameful. It’s still all so disgraceful. It’s still all so delicious. Please come back next week.

Jim's Take

Once again, Amanda does a perfect job of recapping the show; however, there are 2 observations I made that I just have to comment on. The first is that I counted 3 times during this one show where Evan and his "date du jour" were strolling somewhere in Paris in a light drizzle. And all 3 times, Evan was carrying the umbrella. The funny part of this is, he was carrying it over himself, while his lady was standing in the rain.

What a jackass! Hey, Einstein, the purpose of having the over-sized umbrella is to keep you AND your woman dry. What a tool! The second observation furthers my conspiracy theory that he truly is a wealthy man. This is a man who is a construction worker. Makes little to no money. Doesn't travel, doesn't know the finer things in life. Yadda, yadda, yadda. If this is all true...why is he not impressed with Paris? Why is he able to brush off the Eiffel Tower as if it's nothing? This guy is in a city, he's never been to, only heard about or seen on tv. He's at the Moulin Rouge. He's at the Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe and he doesn't give them a second glance.

Why? Cause he's been there before. And I'd wager he's been there often. I've been to Paris and when I saw all of those things, I just stood with my jaw dropped to the floor. I'd guess that if I ever get back there, I'd do exactly the same thing. This guy treated these world renowned landmarks the way a New Yorker would view the Empire State Building, or the way a San Franciscan would view the Golden Gate. The more I watch, the more I'm convinced we, the audience, are the ones being lied to. As for the girls, I'm glad to see Zora hang around for another week, though I must say, my prediction of her winning isn't looking so hot right now. At this moment, I have to think Melissa M is leading the pack. I s'pose we'll have to check in next week to see.

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