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Celebrity Zoo:
A Review of The Surreal Life

Starring: MC Hammer, Emmanuel Lewis, Brande Roderick,
Corey Feldman, Gabrielle Carteris, Vince Neil, & Jerri Manthey

Because the show The Surreal Life (airing Thursdays on the WB) sparked such a animated dialogue between the editors, Ape Culture has decided to do a weekly commentary.

Week Seven: Corey's Wedding (2/20/03)
Week Six: Celebrity Balls (2/13/03)
Week Five: Whose Date Is It Anyway? (2/7/03)
Week Four: Debauchery/Repentance (1/30/03)
Week Three: The Celebrity Gong Show (1/23/03)
Week Two: Celebrities in the Wild (1/16/03)
Week One: Celebrity Zoo Debut (1/9/03)

Week Six: Celebrity Balls (2/13/03)

Coolia: Yo Nerdia
Nerdia: Yo Coolia
Nerdia: It's all the sleepyheads again. Vince is up first again.
Coolia: They open this way every week. Getting up early is not very heavy metal. Vince is an enigma, a puzzle. Do the girls sleep together?
Nerdia: Remember the winner of last week's dating game got the master bedroom. Gab shared it with the other girls.
Coolia: I was just thinking time should have elapsed. Like The Real World never covers every day in order like that.
Nerdia: Look, they're dissin' on Corey while he's not in there. They're talking about the softball game they're assigned to play today. Did you know Hammer was the bat boy from Oakland A's? 
Coolia: He does look a little like hank aaron.
Nerdia: And Vince made it to a high school varsity team. Corey is in a bad 80s hat, complaining about problems he caused himself by rushing his wedding. He's mining for sympathy. I feel for Suzi.
Coolia: I don't. she's gotten herself into it.
Nerdia: Love is blind....and cruel. Corey is desperately trying to make his problems everybody's problems. 
Coolia: The group feels threatened by spotlight-theft.
[A Rabbi visits to discuss the wedding with Corey and Suzi]
Nerdia: Corey: "So...we're here living with 7 celebrities..."  Corey is telling the Rabbi what his boundaries are. How annoying for the Rabbi. But the Rabbi claims he can think "outside the box"!!  If I hear that phrase one more time I will have to jump out of a balcony with Michael Jackson.
Coolia: That guy looks young to be a rabbi
Nerdia: Did he just say he was a Lutheran kind of Rabbi? The out-of-the-box Rabbi just gave Corey that "I understand" head bob, eyes closed to indicate deep empathy.
Coolia: Ugh..not the hectic child acting schedule story again. No bar mitzvah cuz he had to work! poor corey.
[Celebrity Softball]
Nerdia: They're gonna break a window throwing balls so close to Glen Campbell's house like that.
Coolia: Manny is gonna be the tee they hit off. Oh, bring out vince's tranny girlfriend. Which team should she be on? 
Nerdia: How can Vince's girlfriend throw balls with those boobs? That's gotta be a handicap.
Coolia: Corey tried to hit gab with the pitch.
Nerdia: Corey can't pitch. And he can't catch. Can Corey do anything? He says it's because he's preoccupied with his wedding. I always say it's because I'm athletically challenged. I should hire Corey as my professional excuse developer.
Coolia: His hectic child acting schedule did not allow for team sports. Manny has a very small strike zone. He's a tough out. Gab is lookin' pretty butch in that cap.
Nerdia: Maybe that's why the strippers bothered her in episode three. Look at that chick pitcher...she rocks.
Coolia: Damn that girl can pitch. Corey strikes out. Don't cry, Corey.
Nerdia: Does vince have man boobs?
Coolia: Manny has a strange body. No, vince is perfect.
Nerdia: The girls better win. You are a cult of vince of one. Hammer tied it up.
Coolia: A home run by hammer! 
[The game ends in a tie]
Nerdia: Manny loves the playmate hugging.
Coolia: A pensive corey shot.
[On the drive home Corey exclaims he's never pitched a game before. Jerri makes a joke to the effect of "Gee, we couldn't tell". Corey is offended.]
Coolia: Oh she's just kidding corey! Get over yourself. Corey is SO at the bottom of rankings this week.
Nerdia: He wont eat dinner with them now??? Oh, he's a big baby. Corey: "I don't want negativity in my life."
Coolia: He has ZERO sense of humor. I'm sitting here feeling very irritated by corey. Jerri's van comment was so innocuous. He totally blew it up!
Nerdia: It's something I would say to a friend....to needle them.  But to defend corey (although, it's a dirty job) - he probably senses legit hostility underneath the comment.
Coolia: Brande calling the Playmate Mansion: "Is hef around?"
Nerdia: Hugh is so involved in all the playmate lives.
Coolia: "Mr. Hefner's office. Coolia speaking". I wonder if hugh can tell them apart.
Nerdia: Corey wants playmates there...I'm sure his wife is all up with that. Corey is being a jerk to Suzi. Corey: "my problem is I have to have only the ring I will wear for the rest of my life, no stinkin stand-in ring...I don't care if you have to smelt the damn ring tonight in your basement after you've called every member of my family 10 times. I have to have the ring!" He's reminding me of gollum. His arms are folded. He's very serious about this TV wedding.
Coolia: Why does suzi have to call corey's family? Corey has defensive fuck-off body language in that scene.
Nerdia: Call it off suzi...save yourself!
Coolia: Vince has been married 3 times? i didn't know that. The wedding distances Corey further from the group.
[Celebrities frolic that night in the swimming pool; Corey stays in his room.]
Nerdia: Corey would have fun if he would let himself. All the other celebs have bonded well. Corey is virtually ostracized.
Coolia: Gratuitous brande bikini shots.
[Hammer tries to do laundry.]
Nerdia: Hammer needs mom help from Gab.
Coolia: Celebrities do laundry too. Amazing how gab's mom skillz come in handy. Next week is season finale. That kind of implies another season is possible. Who would you like to see in surreal life 2?
Nerdia: al pacino, whoopi goldberg, bob barker, dame edna, david lee roth (he'll be the new Corey)...
Coolia: rowdy roddy piper, paul sand
Nerdia: limahl
Coolia: gerardo, deborah gibson
Coolia: Surreal life 2: linda lavin, gerardo, dame edna, courtney love, corey haim, rowdy roddy piper, donna pescow.
Nerdia: I see linda and courtney gettin into it.
Coolia: I see courtney annoying linda with constant singing of the Alice theme grunge style: "there's a new girl in town".

Ape Culture Weekly Ranking (from least to most annoying)


Nerdia Coolia
  1. MC Hammer
  2. Jerri Manthey
  3. Vince Neil
  4. Brande Roderick
  5. Gabrielle Carteris
  6. Emmanuel Lewis
  7. Corey Feldman
  1. Vince Neil
  2. Jerri Manthey
  3. Brande Roderick
  4. Gabrielle Carteris
  5. Emmanuel Lewis
  6. MC Hammer
  7. Corey Feldman

Nerdia’s Notes

Aside from the ever exasperating Corey skirmishes, this episode was kind of dull, most likely because sports are dull. I'm sure this is where Coolia and I will differ in summary. I see people running around a diamond of dirt and the only thing I get excited about is the possibility of a snow cone in my future. I wish we could have seen more chat with that Rabbi who talks like a business executive. I would have liked to hear him say other weirdly spiritually void business catch phrases like "You are about to enter into a beautiful win-win strategic fit synergy. At the end of the day, I am here to guide you with matrimonial best practices. I can do any sort of gap analysis your budding relationship requires. Rest assured, your ceremony will be in good hands with me. I am a client-focused, value-added Rabbi."

Coolia’s Notes

I like to play softball, but it's not much fun to watch. I did enjoy the various shots of Corey's ineptitude on the field. Corey seems to be adopting the strategy of his mentor Michael Jackson--if I'm as freaky weird as I can be, people will talk about me. However, the buzz is not on the same scale, and Corey's albums aren't going to climb back into the top 100 the way Michael's albums have, because Corey's albums never made the top 100 in the first place. Anyway, Corey has succeeded in wresting the spotlight from the other stars with his wedding scheme. Vince was able to attract attention in a couple of episodes with the story of his daughter dying of cancer, and Hammer inspired us with his sermonizing. The rest of the celebs have failed to make very strong impressions or plug their projects. However, I get the idea they would be okay to live with, if I'm ever forced to move into the has-been boardinghouse.

Which cast member is aggravating your soul? Who would you like to see kicked off and who would you replace them with? Please share.


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