Funnyman Michael Showalter, who knows a thing or two about the interwebs, will be guest-blogging throughout the day on PopWatch, sharing with us his take on what’s new in entertainment. (First post, below, finds him getting his heart broken by reality dating shows.) It’s a busy day for Showalter, who’s promoting today’s release of his concert CD, Sandwiches & Cats, and while he’ll be popping up at various places across the blogosphere to tout his record, he’ll be here at PopWatch all day dropping pop culture punditry. (Tip your waitstaff generously, folks.) Check back throughout the day for more from Mr. Showalter.
My name is Michael Showalter. You may know me from Wet Hot American Summer or Stella or The Baxter or even the guy from Sex and the City who’s at Bed Bar. I have a comedy record that’s "dropping" today and I’m blogging all over the place. For more on that, check out Stereogum. It’s called Sandwiches & Cats, and it’s mostly about sandwiches and kind of about cats. It has music and curse words and some help from my friends Janeane Garofalo, Eugene Mirman, and Zak Orth. It’s sort of like Free to Be You And Me but totally different. I’m told you can get it on iTunes and Amazon and just about anywhere that sells stuff. "Even a shoe store?" you ask. Maybe.
Now that there’s a writer’s strike I’ve had even more to time catch up on all those important things I’ve been needing to do like watching reality shows on basic cable. For instance… I’ve been watching this new show called Shot at Love With Tila Tequila. It’s on MTV. Tila Tequila is a pop music star with a website on MySpace that features downloads of her songs and many pictures of her in skimpy outfits. Until I saw the show that was all I knew about her. But I now know all sorts of new things: I know that she’s bisexual; I know she’s a pretty down-to-earth lady, when push comes to shove; and I know that’s she’s looking for a soulmate. That’s what the show is about: a horde of men and a horde of women competing to be Tila’s next main squeeze.
So far there have been lots of fireworks on the show. There was the scene where Vanessa, the "dancer" from upstate New York threw her drink at Brandy, and then there was the time when Rebecca was fooling around with Steven in the giant bed that they all sleep in. Yes, they all sleep in a giant bed. Fooling around with anyone other than Tila is against the rules, and Tila was very hurt that Rebecca would do something like that.
And then there was Ashley, who first came across as a real Southerngentleman but turned out to be a total psycho. He was really sweet toTila and seemed to have a genuine rapport with her. Not like thoseother guys on the show who are just in it for the sex. In a privatemoment he said that he was falling in love with Tila and was havingdifficulty watching the way that other men on the show were treatingher. One of the competitions on the show was that each one of Tila’ssuitors were given five minutes to give Tila their "best" massage. Theman or woman who impressed her most would get extra "private time" withher. ("Private time" with Tila is currency for the contestants. Themore "private time" you get with her the more you can get to know herand show her who you really are.) Ashley got pissed because some of theguys on the show were, like, rubbing Tila’s ass and stuff during theirmassage audition which Ashley found incredibly disrespectful.
When Tila let Ashley go at the end of the episode with her usualsign off, "Ashley — your ‘shot at love’ has ended." Ashley wentberserk. First, he went on a tirade about how fake and conniving allthe other contestants were, and then he put Bobby in a headlock andthey had to take Bobby to the hospital. Everyone was like, "Who’s fakeand conniving? Us or you? The whole ‘Southern gentleman’ thing wasclearly just an act."
Bobby’s really nice. He’s a sweetheart from New York who’s had hisheart broken in the past. As it turns out, Tila went with Bobby in theambulance to the hospital and Bobby was actually pretty happy becausehe got to have some extra "private time" with her. Bobby is falling inlove with Tila too.
So is Brandy. Brandy’s had a tough life and is a very seriousperson. She was abandoned by her mother. It gets on Brandy’s nervesthat all the other contestants act so immature all the time aroundTila, so when Brandy and Tila have "private time" together, theyusually talk about deeply personal stuff. At first glance, Brandy isjust some woman with gigantic breast implants and a dress code thatrequires her to expose 90 percent of her rear end at all times, butduring "private time," Brandy shows Tila a side of her that Tila didn’tknow existed.
Ashli also fell in love with Tila. Ashli is a virgin, and when her"shot at love" ended she was crying and said that Tila was the firstlove of her life. Amanda, who is blond and busty, has said that she,too, is falling in love with Tila; so has Dani, the tomboy firefightergirl from Florida; Ryan, who has six-pack abs and is from New Jersey isalso inlove with her; and so is Vanessa. As best as I can tell, theyare all in love with her and have said as much on the show.
I also watch The Bachelor, and I find that the samephenomenon occurs. At some point in the show, usually sooner than onewould expect, the contestants begin to proclaim that they are in lovewith the person that everyone is competing for. Not "in like" or"crushing on" but "in love." It also happened on that show, Age of Love,where a horde of fortysomething women was pitted against a horde oftwentysomething women over the affections of tennis star MarcPhillipoussis. This one girl, Amanda, acted like he was her boyfriendafter one episode, said she had "fallen in love" with him, and wouldcome close to vomiting every time he was with another competitor.
The sad thing is that Tila can only fall-in love with one of them.There is only room in her heart for one man or woman. And that luckyguy or gal will be Tila’s new main squeeze, and he or she will know howhard-earned their relationship with Tila was. And years from now, whenTila and whomever she chooses are old and gray and living togethersomewhere secluded, they will look back at this experience and have anamazing tale to tell their grandchildren of how they met. What theywon’t say is that their road to happiness was littered with brokenhearts. But then I ask myself, what if the show is a ratings success?How can they do it again if Tila has already found her soulmate? Orwhat about the fact that several weeks after each season of The Bachelorends we read that the bachelor and his bride-to-be are "taking timeoff"? I thought that they were in-love. That’s what they said.
Love is such a confusing word. You think I’m joking but I’m not.