Monday, July 09, 2007

Age of Love: Gentlemen don't prefer blondes

Last week on Age of Love, Maria was a big fat non-quitter! This week, the twenties and their hula hoops are moving in with the forties and their knitting, in what I hope will be a battle the likes of which non-sweeps television programming has never before seen.

We begin with a quote classily superimposed over the rooftop swimming pool: “It’s not the years in your life that count—It’s the life in your years.” –Abraham Lincoln. Let’s all take a moment to reflect on that while the twenties move their belongings upstairs (yes, including the hula hoops…Amanda’s carrying them). Jayanna, who is now by far my favorite contestant, threatens in an interview to bend any misbehaving twenties over her knee and spank them if they don’t “respect their elders.” Horny pervs everywhere pray for rampant 20something misbehavior.

Maria makes fun of the kittens for bringing their hula hoops (told you!), and Mary gets all upset and defensive about being laughed at in an interview. Mary is hilarious, you guys. She’s crying! Because they made fun of her hula hoops! This show is amazing! Jesus, she’d probably cry for a week if she read my recaps. Please, God, let her read my recaps!

Mark interviews that he’s matured a lot since the show started taping, and realizes he needs to show the women how he feels about them. Apparently, he feels that they’re all sexy. Wow, Mark. Your newfound maturity is really admirable. Incidentally, from the previews I saw for this episode, it seems Mark will be doing a whole lot of “showing how he feels,” in the form of making out with each and every contestant. You think they screen for mono and mouth herpes on these dating shows?

The women are instructed to meet Mark downstairs in their workout clothes, where they pair up at the waiting tandem bikes. Host Mark informs them that Mark is waiting miles away on a fancy yacht which will serve as the finish line of their triathlon. Wow, seriously? I’m assuming it’s going to be some sort of mini-race, because otherwise…well…Mark would probably just have to date the sole survivor. Amanda is especially worried, calling herself “the least athletic” of the twenties. Um, isn’t she a professional hockey team dancer? Does that not require some sort of physical exertion? Or does this finally confirm that being a dancer for a sports team doesn’t require anything more than a fake pair of DD’s and the ability to jump up and down?

Okay, yeah, not a real triathlon. At all. Riding a tandem bike, jogging down the beach, paddling to the yacht on a surfboard. Fair enough, though all the drownings would have been exciting. First three to the yacht get to spend the evening on it with Mark. After bike troubles (Megan/Mary), thigh cramps (Jen), and a dramatic ankle-twisting requiring an ambulance trip to the hospital (Tessa), Jayanna (WOO! And Kiss #1), Amanda (Kiss #2), and Kelli win. Go Team Cougar—two out of three! Mary just misses out, and is a total crybaby about it. Mark, hilariously, interviews that all that biking, running, and paddling is way too much trouble to hang out with him, and he wanted to yell to the paddling women, “I’m not worth it! Go back! Go back!” Well, at least he has a sense of self-awareness about him.

The winners get all dolled up (did they have a courier run some clothes over to the yacht?), and Mark puts on a tux. God, he’s hot. The losing women, including Tessa back from the hospital, moan about the missed opportunity. Back on the yacht, the women split up the dinner courses. Kelli is up first with the appetizer, and Mark appreciates how easy she made the conversation for him. They kiss (Kiss #3), which she makes sure to tell the other two women, and Mark moves on to dinner with Jayanna.

Jayanna confesses to Mark that she has butterflies in her stomach around him, and tells him that she’s been around enough to realize that she deserves a really great guy (she does), and thinks he’s that guy (he isn’t). Mark says they had a lot of chemistry, and Jayanna has a “great personality.” I’ll take that at its face value, since she does have a great personality, and won’t assume that he’s saying that for lack of anything better to say, which is how I feel the “great personality” compliment is usually used. Amanda and Mark share dessert, and he seems more physically engaged with her than he was with the other women. They speak Greek and Spanish with each other under the stars, and Mark is feeling the romance. He kisses her (Kiss #4). It’s more than just a peck.

Later, the women are instructed to put on tennis outfits and meet Mark at the court. Mark mentions something about finding tennis sexy, and I wonder what his former opponents would have to say about that. The women enjoy watching him practice his hitting for a bit, and then he sits Tessa down with a bag of ice before showing the other women how to hit balls. Hee. (For the record, Mary also finds the word “balls” hilarious. So…um…apparently Mary and I have something in common. It’s scary, but I refuse to take back that “hee.” “Balls” is funny, dammit!)

Mark arranges a doubles tournament for the women—Kittens vs. Cougars. First up are Maria and Jayanna, who destroy Mary and Megan. Tessa decides that she wants to try playing, because dating Mark is worth more to her than her physical wellbeing. Mark loves it, because willingness to sacrifice one’s body to in order impress him is a quality he finds desirable in women. Tessa and Amanda face off against Kelli and Jen, and lose royally. But probably only because tennis is kind of an old person sport. And I say that as a twenty-something who is a huge tennis fan. Even though the cougars won the tournament, Mark picks Tessa to do something special with him that night. She smiles through the pain of what’s probably a shattered ankle, and accepts his invitation.

The women arrive back at the apartment, and things are a little bit tense. As Amanda points out, they were hungry, exhausted, and sore. And also they hate each other. Not exactly a recipe for harmony. I’m going to preserve this exchange for posterity:
Jayanna: I mean, guys, seriously, you act like total prima donnas!
Mary: Don’t call me a prima donna and tell me to shut up, please, I won’t say that to you [to your face, since I’m the meanest one in interviews], and I wouldn’t expect you to say that to me. Jayanna: Well…I said it, and I’m not taking it back…
Mary: [Leaves room crying.]
Hilarious! Amanda thinks the cougars are picking on the kittens because they’re insecure, rather than because it's like shooting enormous fish in a teeny tiny barrel. All the 20somethings comfort Mary, who sobbingly says that she was trying to “stick up for all of us.” What a freaking baby! She’s totally miserable about the situation. Megan thinks the cougars are being immature. Oh, please. You guys are such easy targets—you think they aren’t going to poke a stick at you once in a while?

Mark prepares for his dinner date with Tessa in the bachelor suite, and says she’s come across as a beautiful, intelligent woman. No. No, she absolutely has not. She’s come across as a plastic-looking, disturbingly big-breasted woman…is that what you meant to say, Mark? He’s really looking forward to staring at her breasts all night the date, anyway. She’s a bit bummed to be all dolled up and on crutches. NBC has bought out about five flower shops and a couple candle shops to decorate the bachelor suite for this date. It looks completely ridiculous, and also kind of like a fire hazard, but Tessa’s into it. Of course. There’s even a violinist playing, which seems much more weird and awkward than romantic to me, but whatever. The date seems to go well.

Amanda, in the meantime, has gone from being uncomfortably into Mark to being kind of a stalker. She brags to Mary that she “smelled his cologne,” and that it smelled like Mark. Um, okay. Freak. Mary cries in an interview about how she hasn’t spent any time with Mark, and the tragic situation she's gotten herself into. She feels horrible. She’d better quit, then, because she’s way too much drama for the NBC producers to let Mark eliminate her.

Back on the date, Tessa tells Mark that Amanda really cares for him, and something about how if Mark doesn’t have those initial attraction feelings towards Tessa, he should tell her now. It’s incredibly disjointed, weird, and kind of a turn-off, as Mark points out to us. So…Tessa is a crazy person. Who woulda thunk it?

Mark chats with Host Mark, telling him that Amanda is really standing out to him, as well as Jen. Jen? She’s barely been in this episode! Bad job, editors. Anyway, Mark, in a not-at-all-preplanned move, says he wants one-on-one chats with each of the women before he has to make his decision. Tessa is up first, and Mark calls her out for mentioning Amanda on their date. She gives a complete non-explanation. Jayanna’s next, and is aggressive about telling Mark that she feels a connection with him but thinks he’s holding back, because he hasn’t kissed her yet. Go, Jayanna! They kiss (Kiss #5). There’s tongue. Definitely the longest kiss of the episode that we see. Next up is Maria, who has to wipe lipstick off Mark’s mouth. Oh, snap! He tells her he doesn’t want to come across as a player, and Maria’s super-cool about it. They kiss (Kiss #6).

Kelli thinks this is her last opportunity to let him know that she’s interested. (It’s a popular strategy.) She gets a wee bit desperate-sounding when she tells him that it would “break [her] heart a little bit” if he’s not interested in her. Oof. They kiss (Kiss #7). Amanda gets all upset about Kelli saying she and Mark had a connection. STALKER! She’s having a hard time with his dating eight women, and almost starts crying telling Mark how hard it is for her to open up in this situation. They kiss (Kiss #8). She tells him that she was thinking about Kelli kissing him during their kiss. Ew! She is basically the opposite of Maria. The editors hilariously show him kissing Kelli like five times (three new kisses, so that’s #'s 9, 10, and 11). Amanda says that Kelli told the other contestants all about it, and Mark lies that she’s “the only girl [he’s] kissed, kissed.” HA! Amazing! This, no more than half an hour after he made out with Jayanna for, like, thirty seconds? Best. Ever. Amanda believes him and is mollified, and they kiss again (Kiss #12).

Mark tells Megan that he’s not sure how she feels, and Megan nervously (and apparently accidentally) says that she didn’t feel an instant connection with him. That may not end well for her. Mary tells Mark that she’s felt really distant from him, but definitely wants to stay when she does spend time with him. Jen asks Mark to kiss her, and it’s a pretty serious kiss (Kiss #13). Mark really enjoyed it. A quick peck on the lips (Kiss #14), and she’s outta there. Mark feels more confused than ever after talking to all the women, apparently, and really doesn’t want to hurt anyone.

He comes downstairs and sits everyone down on the couch for a more intimate, less formal elimination ceremony, or something. Where’s the Rooftop of Drama? This is all wrong! He eliminates Tessa right off the bat because of the Amanda thing. He eliminates Kelli because he doesn’t “think it’ll work out.” Bad night to be a blonde, eh? Kelli was pretty shocked by the elimination, and is very hurt. I’m just glad it wasn’t Jayanna. And that's all for now, I guess. Wow. That wasn't really even worth going up on the Rooftop of Drama for. Next week: More kissing!


Dilly Bar said...

Hilarious! Amanda definetely seems to be in the lead -- i guess flaunting those huge silicone jugs is doing her some good.

Liz said...

Thanks! Yeah, Amanda's on top for now, but as we saw with Adelaide, things can change quickly. My bet is that next week Mark will realize Amanda's a completely insane stalker. And hopefully not be flattered by it.

Bob said...

Mary's constant crying combined with your commentary of her crying is a definite ROTFL situation. Keep it up!

Liz said...

Thanks! Yeah, Mary is better every week. I think the best part is how angry she gets when people laugh at her/the kittens. Like, she's there minding her own business and trying to be all dignified (while she hula hoops in a bikini!), and here come these mean old ladies laughing at her! How rude! And then she tries to "stick up" for the 20's? Um, does she not realize how ridiculous they all are (herself included)? HILARIOUS.

Anonymous said...

The more I watch this show, the more I hate the editing. But really, Amanda is a really nice person outside of the show. Knowing someone who goes into one of these type of shows makes you realize how much the editors twist things.

Liz said...

Really, anonymous? Because it kind of seems like editing can only do so much. I mean, if we're looking right at her mouth saying something crazy obsessive, how edited could that be?

I do, however, believe that she could be a perfectly nice person outside the show. These types of stressful situations hardly bring out the best in people (much to reality TV's benefit).