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Celebrity Zoo: Commentary on
The Surreal Life
, Season 4

Starring: Da Brat, Christopher Knight, Joanie Lauer, Verne Troyer, Jane Wiedlin, Marcus Schenkenberg, Adrianne Curry

Episode 1: Nobody Puts Mini-Me in A Corner, Except Himself
Episode 2: Misadventures in Babysitting
Episode 3: Rancho Kook-a-munga
Episode 4: Pole-dancin' and Brady-romancin'
Episode 5: Pitchers with Self-control Problems
Episode 6: Love Comes Walking In, or Maybe It's Just Ron Jeremy in a Diaper
Episode 7: Joanie Loves Tragedy
Episode 8: An Alan Smithee Production
Episode 9: What is Sally Jesse Doing the Other 364 Days a Year?
Episode 10: Has-Been Seems to be the Hardest Word

Episode 9- 4/03/05


It's the second-to-last day of captivity for The Surreal Life cast and they have their collective guard up. When The Surreal Times arrives and instructs them that they are in for a day at the racetrack, they suspect the truth - this fun outing is just an excuse to get them out of the house so the producers can truck in Sally Jesse Raphael and a studio audience. Imagine this - one moment, you're a tourist checking out the footprints at the Chinese Theater and the next you find yourself in Glen Campbell's house watching a bunch of semi-famous people scream at each other. Only in Hollywood! Back at the house, Jane is dressed like Michael Jackson for some reason and has a panic attack. This must have been a premonition as she would have the worst time on the show. Sally showed a clip of Da Brat referring to Jane as a "has been" and Da Brat refused to take back that accusation. Jane was devastated. I was floored. Just how delusional is Da Brat? And why does she single out Jane for that moniker when it fits most of the cast? Nobody is on this show because their career is flourishing. Jane may technically be a "has been" but many non-hip-hop fans would consider Da Brat to be a "never was." The Go-Gos basically symbolized the 80s, broke new ground for female rockers, and had enough hits to stuff a Greatest Hits album. I can't name a Da Brat song. There were some positive moments during the chat show. Joanie revealed that she feels like she had more family on the show than ever before, which was nice but sorta sad. Verne and Marcus talked about their special bond. Unfortuntely, nobody confronted the biggest has been of them all - Sally Jesse!


I hate this part of the Surreal Life season - it's pointlessly mean-spirtied. I yearn for the simple days of the original season, which was more Real World-like (which is bad enough!) and less of a manipulative, transparent, trumped-up trash-TV talk show. Do we need yet another clip to prove Adrianne knowns no shame? That Joanie is leading a pathetic front of toughness for a lonely and abused life? That Da Brat is an unapologetic anti-soc with a chip on her shoulder? They claim they're like a dysfunctional family, except that they're not a family - they are each particularly dysfunctional on his or her own merits. Don't blame the family, crazy celebrity!


Coolia’s weekly rankings:

  1. Marcus - Kind to both giants (Joanie) and dwarves (Verne)
  2. Verne - Opened up and admitted true feelings for Marcus and regret for his diva-like behavior
  3. Chris - Even though it kind of creeps me out, I'm glad he's taking Adrianne seriously and giving their strange love a chance
  4. Jane - I felt bad for her but she shouldn't have taken Da Brat's comments to heart
  5. Joanie - She brings the room down
  6. Adrianne - I've run out of things to say about how irritating she is
  7. Da Brat - Her mean-spirited condemnation of Jane only reveals her own insecurity

Nerdia’s weekly rankings:

  1. Marcus - so boring in this episode he escapes the sword of his mis-edited comments. Even Sally Jesse couldn't find clips of him handy for starting shit.
  2. Jane - I would have a panic attack too if I had to stare down Sally Jesse.
  3. Adrianne - for all your wacked-out love fixations, I think you have genuine feelings for Joanie and Jane's pain. Or at least you're in the trenches patting them on the back. Joanie didn't back up Jane like Jane backed up Joanie two episodes ago.
  4. Joanie - you are looking more and more like a lost puppy every day.
  5. Verne - so now you repent for your misdeeds...it's a little too little - a little too late, as Pat Benetar would say.
  6. Christopher - abs or no abs, take your weak aquiencence to Adrienne and get a room! For all your protestations of level-headedness, you've handed Sally Jesse fodder for gossip with your necking on camera. Is this how you want to be remembered?
  7. Da Brat - You have been living in a cultural cave. Get over yourself.

Your thoughts?

Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 1
Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 2
Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 3


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