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Celebrity Zoo: Commentary on
The Surreal Life
, Season 3

Starring: Brigitte Nielsen; Flavor Flav; Ryan Starr; Dave Coulier; Jordan Knight; and Charo

Episode 1: Who in This House Has a Real Name?
Episode 2: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name; And If It Could, You Wouldn't Be Able to Understand It
Episode 3: And the Band Played Ball of Confusion
Episode 4: Quiet, Please...There's a Shih Tzu on Stage
Episode 5: Surf's Up, But Flav is Down
Episode 6: Discordant Recording Session
Episode 7: Discordant Recording Session - The Denouement
Episodes 8-10: The Final Episodes

Episode 6: 10/10/04

Nerdia's Notes

Disparate people come together to make magic in the recording studio. No, it’s not Behind the Music with The Traveling Wilbury’s, it’s The Surreal Life. Charo is excited about the recording studio venue, but she soon falls into a pit of despair when she discovers that hapless New-Kid-on-the-Block Jordan has taken over all decision making. Experience has told him that music by democracy is demo-crazy. Dave regrets that Flav wasn’t chosen as producer of the record. This must be nice for Flav to hear after feeling so dissed last week by the unanimous no-confidence vote when he wanted to drive the RV. But why couldn’t Old-Lady-Practically-Gone-Around-the-Bend have been named producer? I feel her pain this episode. Not just her carpel tunnel pain, but her these-no-talent-eediots-have-taken-over-and-this-is-gonna-a-suck pain.

Flav has higher hopes for this opus than is comfortable to watch. Dave is bored. Brigitte doesn’t give a hoot and flits around trying to have a good time, trying to help Ryan be more assertive instead of wallowing in her anguish over Jordan’s music, and trying to understand what Flavor Flav endures to get such a wacky pig-tail doo. Hilariously, she is later seen with wacky, Flavor Flav pig-tails in her hair. At least she’s trying to understand somebody, somewhere at sometime.

Nothing much happens but 20 minutes of griping with the rest of the crew; and so it’s jaw-dropping that such a non-event surreal task is to be stretched over two episodes. Coolia and I are literally arguing over who is more bored and annoyed each passing week.

Ryan ceaselessly complains about her career and how this surreal task will set it into an early tailspin (“It’s like American Idol all over again” and “It’s my LIFE” she wails). The lesson here is that sometimes when you try too hard to prevent yourself from looking like a jerk in a group activity, you can complain and create a big enough hissy-fit that you end up looking like a gigantic jerk instead of simply a little one. It’s a fine line: artistic integrity vs. lighten up. This is why I’m a writer, I suppose…to avoid the turmoil of such compromise. On a recording with a flamenco guitarist, a pop singer, a rap musician, an actor, a tabloid princess, and a self-purported rock-chick, someone will have to compromise. And karma demands this lesson will go to the one who struggles with it the most.


Coolia's Notes

I actually enjoyed Brigitte in this episode. She didn't seem at all crazy, and her efforts to endear herself to Flav after playin' him in the casino episode were cute. Ryan should have listened to Brigitte. I haven't seen Ryan once make an effort to get to know her housemates. Surely, Charo could teach her about being a musician as well as a sideshow, a lesson Ryan needs since she emerged from the American Idol circus and now wants to rock out with integrity. Flav could teach her about music that means something. And Jordan could teach her about stage presence, how to handle obsessive fandom, etc. She's really put herself into a box with the rock thing and refuses to realize she could stretch herself in other genres - yes, even in godforsaken pop.

By the way, whatever happened to the house puppy? Did he die of boredom?

Ape Culture Weekly Ranking (from least to most annoying)


Nerdia's Rankings

  1. Brigitte – her positive attitude and the pig-tails. I was charmed by the Flavor Flav pig-tails.
  2. Flavor Flav – bounced back like Tigger from last week’s drama and shows his multi-talents in the recording studio.
  3. Charo – a professional who is forced to endure Jordan Knight = lots of instant free points for Charo.
  4. Dave – his rare, grown-up leadership must be on strike this episode. He did nothing to restore order to the egomaniacal menagerie; and that is primarily the skill that has kept him at number 1 for so many weeks. It’s possible he’s over-worked in this regard.
  5. Jordan – spared from the bottom of the rankings this week only by Ryan’s temper-tantrums and “woman drama”. But I anticipate Jordan will pay for that preview comment in next week’s rankings.
  6. Ryan – there’s always the next life.

Coolia's Rankings

  1. Brigitte - fun and still willing to go along with the shenanigans the producers plan, even after two music-centric tasks have basically taken her and Dave out of the spotlight
  2. Flav - he's at his best in the studio, showed the ability to collaborate, even with a white-bread New Kid
  3. Dave - "just there" in this episode but that is better than annoying
  4. Jordan - a control freak to be sure but at least he put some effort into this task instead of sitting on the sidelines
  5. Charo - showed professionalism but I still feel she is in her own world and not socializing well
  6. Ryan - a whiny long-waisted, short-talented, wannabe rocker

Would you buy this single? Discuss.

Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 1
Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 2


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