Monday, July 23, 2007

Age of Love: Don't be cruel

Last week on Age of Love, Mary swam home in a river of her tears. This week, camping! Outside! With nature! This week's inspirational quote to get you started, courtesy of NBC, is less pro-old than usual: "The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything; the young know everything." -Oscar Wilde. Let's all take a minute to contemplate that in the context of this show. Right.

We open with a now-familiar discussion of how Maria said she would quit but didn't. Jayanna, in particular, is bothered by it, and decides to call Maria out. Look, I can understand being annoyed, but it's kind of Maria's right to not quit if she doesn't want to. Jayanna is in danger of losing the "Liz's Favorite" spot. Partly because of the Maria thing, and partly because of her way? Of talking? Like everything's a question? It's starting to grate on me. Yeah, I'm fickle. So sue me.

Amanda points out that for the first time, the cougars outnumber the kittens. Jayanna starts to passive-aggressively dig at the two remaining kittens, telling them that when you're mature like she is, you don't just fall in love with a dude in a week, and that Mark isn't giving them anything that he's not giving everyone else. Well, that last part is definitely true. Mark's totally a makeout slut.

Host Mark shows up at the apartment to break the hilarious bad news: For the next two days, they'll be going camping. The contestants act all excited, but I'm not buying it. Host Mark says that this trip will separate the women from the girls, because "one of you...will not be coming back." Jesus Christ, are they camping in grizzly bear country or something?

Maria loves camping, and says the trip could "create a lot of yumminess." Yeah, for grizzly bears. Megan, on the other hand, isn't much of a camper. Jayanna, who is also a camper, makes sure to NOT tell her to bring toilet paper. And you know what? Judge me if you will, but I kind of love her for that. I really hope this trip is like The Parent Trap, with Jayanna filling Megan's bug spray bottle with sugar water, and making her hit sticks together to scare away the cougars (it's grizzlies you need to worry about, Megan!). They all pile into an RV with Mark and head off to the campsite.

Mark runs through all the girls in an interview. He thinks Megan is a sweetheart who says funny (read: dumb) things all the time. Jayanna impressed him from the start, he loves the way Amanda strokes his...ego, and he likes Maria's honesty and passion. He says that everything seems right with Jen, and he knows he's attracted to and likes her. It seems like there's a "but" in there that was cut out of the interview.

At the campsite, Mark uncorks a bottle of wine and they toast to the camping trip. What the heck kind of camping trip has wine glasses? I don't think it counts as camping if you have glassware. The gals set up their tents, and Mark tries to start a fire. Let's just say he lacks the mad outdoorsy skillz which I thought were compulsory for Australians. Mark takes Maria on a walk, and she takes the opportunity to further explain her feelings and the whole almost-quitting thing. Mark's all, "so...we're not going to make out right now?" Maria interviews that she's really glad he "convinced [her] to stay." Um, that's a bit of revisionist history, honey. He barely got your name out before you started your whole "I feel like you ignore me but you just gave me a little hope so I'm not going to quit after all aren't you relieved?" speech. Whatever, Maria. Your strategy of playing hard to get has become a bit too drama queen for me. Mark is all over it, though, and they kiss.

Later that evening, as they're all hanging around the campfire drinking wine, Jen asks Mark to come talk to her in her tent. She tells him how wonderful she thinks he is, and he just tells her that he's definitely attracted to her. Um, I'm sure that's nice and reassuring since she's so horribly, horribly old, Mark, but you could probably say something about her personality, too. Now that they're on the same page, they make out.

Back at the campfire, they move on to hard alcohol and party games. Jayanna gets dared to run around with her pants down, and revels in the opportunity to show off her ass. Fair enough, Jayanna. Fair enough. Especially when she dares Mark to do the same thing. Maria says that Mark's ass is at least a nine, but she'd have to touch it to rule it a ten. Ha! Maria picks "truth," and Mark asks her if she's turned on by him. So...does Mark have the tiniest ego in all of professional sports, or does he just get off on forcing women to fawn over him? Okay, same thing, but seriously!

Maria takes the opportunity to, like, make some kind of hippie love pretzel of turned-on-ness involving touching hearts and straddling each other. It's weird. The other women all feel awkward. Mark silently vows not to ask "truth" anymore. Then, Maria freaks out at everyone giggling at her, and says something about how everyone claims to want to empower women (not on this show, sweetheart), but then they laugh at women, which doesn't empower her. "Truth is truth! Stop laughing at women, JEN." Oh my god! She's a crazy drunk! Jen tries to explain that she wasn't laughing at women (subtext: she was laughing at Maria specifically), and that it's just a game, but Maria's all "This is not a game! This is truth!" Um, "truth or dare." Which IS a game, you crazy. Mark doesn't think all the arguing is exactly a turn-on, but Maria continues to freak out about the sanctity of truth, and how she takes life seriously.

Jen realizes that you can't reason with crazy, and chooses instead to walk off crying, thus attracting Mark's attention. Well-played, Jen! He follows her into the woods and tries to calm her down, and then possibly tries to bring about a threesome by convincing her to go back and give Maria a hug. Jen gives Maria the greatest non-apology of all time, all, "I'm sorry you thought I was laughing at you." Maria over-seriously accepts Jen's apology, and Mark starts to realize that Maria might be a bit much for him.

Mark invites Megan on a semi-drunken walk, and she hilariously asks him if he's supposed to pick a girl to sleep in his tent at the end of the night. He hilariously responds, "No...not that I know of," and I think I detect a hint of hope in his voice. Megan, more than tipsy, tells Mark that she's not sure how she feels about him, which is pretty much the opposite of the ego-stroking we know Mark loves so much. True to form, he's not so sure about her anymore, although he frames it in a "it wouldn't be fair to the girls who love me so very dearly" way. Jayanna sees Megan's drunken antics, and thinks they make her seem too young for Mark. Um, I think we've established through examination of Mark's dating history that there's no such thing as "too young" for Mark.

He invites Jayanna on a walk, and Amanda starts to cry and second-guess his feelings toward her. Oh, Amanda. You were never special. He was making out with everyone! Are you crying because you're jealous, or because you probably have about five different strains of mouth herpes by now? She interviews that she feels silly, and says she doesn't want to do this anymore. Yeah, right. I'll believe that when I see it, stalker.

Mark brings Jayanna to a cool little area all romantically set up with lights and a hammock, and Jayanna is as impressed as if he planned or put it together himself. They dance and kiss and lie in the hammock while Amanda stews at her lack of one-on-one time with Mark. Pissed that the "walk" was taking forever, she actually wanders into the woods and hunts them down, like the psycho stalker that she is. Jesus Christ, dude, have a little patience! Last week he saved the best for last with Jen and her solo date! Jayanna, for her part, starts to trash the other girls to Mark a bit, cleverly never naming names, but saying that some of them have been infatuated with him since day one, which can't be real. Which, fair enough, but I don't think Mark of the Needy Ego is going to see your point.

Amanda returns to camp after failing to find them, and decides to wait in his tent for Mark. Because, again, psycho! I mean seriously, is she really drunk or something? This is crazy! Jayanna and Mark return, and discover that everyone is asleep. Jayanna tries to get Mark to stay up with her (or take her back to his tent...), but he feigns exhaustion and says goodnight. Jayanna sees that Amanda was waiting for Mark in his tent, and calls it "cheeky" and "presumptuous." I'd go with "crazy" and "stalker-esque," but okay.

Amanda's all, "Where were you? I tried to find you guys!" Mark actually lies down with her and listens to her crazy "I feel naive trusting you like this" blather. She must be a lot hotter in person than she seems on TV. Or, Mark must be a boob man. Because daaaang, I'd be kicking her out of my tent SO FAST her head would be spinning Exorcist-style. Amanda tattles on Jayanna for basically telling her that she's not special to Mark, and they kiss and talk. Wow, I kind of feel for Mark. It would be way awkward to kick her out of his tent, but she's such a psycho at this point that she could kill him in a fit of jealousy while he sleeps! Rough. So yeah, she stays in there all night.

The next morning, Mark makes pancakes as the women discuss the night prior. Jealousy, passive-aggression, etc., the usual. Mark and Amanda get busted for sharing a tent, and Jayanna's all, "I don't care! He chose me for a walk in the woods!" I get that he didn't choose Amanda to sleep in his tent, but yeah, Jayanna, you totally care. Maria won't let Mark change the subject, but he suggests they start breaking down camp rather than discuss the sleepover.

Jen thinks she's in pretty good shape, Maria regrets her truth or dare breakdown, Megan thinks she may have had a bit too wild a night, Amanda thinks Jayanna may be going home after Amanda's chat with Mark, and Jayanna thinks Amanda was a too aggressive for Mark last night. I, having taken's compatibility quiz, can now say that I "seem like a great gal, but [I] and Mark are not meant to be." Aww. Was it the veggie delight pizza choice?

Back at the campground, it's elimination time. Mark asks Jen to go on a walk with him, and asks her to stay. He tells Amanda that it felt really natural and comfortable staying in a tent with her last night, even though she was basically breaking, entering, and lying in wait. She's still in. Sigh. Mark admires Maria for being who she is (a little crazy, it seems), and thinks he "gets" her. He asks her to stay (and with her, it's actually a question). He asks for Megan next, and Jayanna gets nervous. I have to wonder, at this point, whether Jayanna is a goner simply due to NBC's desire to keep the old-young numbers even. Mark calls Megan out for drinking too much the night before, but says he'd still like to see more of her.

No! Jayanna! I mean, I know she was totally mean and passive-aggressive this week, but come on! It was funny because she was being mean to Amanda! Boo, Mark, boo! Stupid Amanda and her tattling ways. This is all her fault! Mark basically tells Jayanna that he's booting her because of what Amanda told him. Jayanna tries to defend herself (and rewrite history a bit), but he's not having it, and he kicks her out for playing games. Which, yeah, she was totally doing. But it was so funny! Nuts to you, Mark, and your anti-Mean Girls attitude. Jayanna, for her part, is a bit in denial about her passive-aggressive actions. Own up to it, babe. Love yourself. Next week: Amanda is probably crazier.


Bob said...

How are Megan and Maria still in this? I was actually a fan of theirs, as they both appeared to be a lot more “natural” than the rest. But Megan is as dumb as a door knob while Maria continues to play the whole self-serious, playing hard to get card. It gets old after a pun intended. ;)

Liz said...

Yeah, seriously! Megan I kind of get, because she's young and cute (his type), but Maria? After that explosion of crazy? Come on!