Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sox Appeal Season 2 Ep. 4: It Is What It Is and What It Is Is Dull

If someone had asked me what they'd be least likely to hear me say, the sentence "I miss last season's Sox Appeal" would have definitely been on the list but after this week's episode, I'm yearning for the days of Bollywood at the Ballpark and Robby Roadsteamer.

Sox Appeal has always been an awful reality show for a number of reasons but there are dozens of awful reality shows that are enjoyable and even addictive. There's The Real Housewives of Wherever, The Hills and even The Two Coreys. In fact, NESN might want to go the Coreys route and develop a show around WEEI's Mike Adams. It could be an Intervention/Hell's Radio Station hybrid.

Sadly, Sox Appeal no long has that little something that makes an awful show watchable. It's become almost paralyzingly dull and if the rest of this season continues like this, the kindest thing would be to put the show out of its misery.

And ours, too.

I'd like to thank Keurig, the Official Coffee Provider of Pink Hat Hell, for the strength to get through two viewings of this episode.

Tonight's masochist is 27 year-old Devon Dopfel, a personal trainer from Jamaica Plain.

Devon's father, Alan Dopfel, pitched for three seasons in the California Angels' farm system and was a teammate of Jerry Remy, which explains why he left baseball after three seasons. She's looking for someone who's physically active and a good communicator. I know I've mentioned this before but I always feel compelled to say "no shit" when these people describe who they're looking for. I mean, what the hell are they going to say? "I'm looking for someone who loves cats and their hair, enjoys video games, likes cheap Mexican food, thinks an ideal Sunday is watching 14 hours of Law & Order: SVU, thinks 'Work Out' is the name of a TV show and not a desired activity and can handle ferocious mood swings at the drop of a hat." That's pretty unlikely.

Although strangely familiar...

Devon's first date is with Joe Gagnepain, a 28 year-old film location manager and martial arts instructor. Gagnepain? Seriously? Oh man, can you imagine the hell this guy went through when the Eric Gagne trade turned out to be a huge bust?

After explaining the basics of Jujitsu to Devon, Eri..Joe tells her about the time he used his martial arts skills to take down a thief who had just robbed someone on a movie set. Devon is absolutely smitten.

"You're a superhero!"

"I'm just a regular guy, trying to do his part."

They're kind of cute. Devon asks him who he would be if he could be any superhero and Joe picks Captain America. I wonder if Joe realizes that Captain America died after being shot multiple times by a sniper? I don't think Devon realizes it as she's totally into the superhero thing and makes Joe get up in front of the crowd and show her his best superhero pose. He puts his fists on his hips and flexes. Uh, Joe? She said superhero, not Hulk Hogan.

Across the roof, tonight's other two dates are making very awkward small talk.

Bern Prince is a personal trainer AND a self-described poet.

And Chad Sinclair is a phys ed teacher from Natick.

I looked everywhere for an example of Bern's poetry but sadly, I came up empty. He does show off his sensitive side by asking Chad what they should do if it turns out Devon looks like Quasimodo.


Back at the table, Devon has moved on from the Captain America poses and is now making Joe do dips on the stairs. The crowd counts off 26 before Devon lets him sit back down. Now she's even more impressed and asks him what he does for fun.

"I just started taking guitar lessons."

Oh Sweet Jesus, no. I'm having flashbacks. If he says his favorite song is "Wonderwall", I'm going to Fenway and lighting the roof deck on fire. Sorry, Dad.

Thankfully, they move onto their mutual love of poker and the date comes to an end with Dreamboat Ellsbury grounding out to first. Captain America heads back to the Dater Dugout with a big smile on his face. Can't blame him. It was one of the smoothest dates the show has ever had.

Bern is up next. He says that being a Cancer makes him high-strung and moody. What he left out is that is also makes him a complete f'ing lush. He's a little chatty and a little slurry. They talk about their mutual occupation in the fitness industry but when he tells her that he's into poetry, she asks for a little oration.

And then begins one of the oddest moments in Sox Appeal history.

Bern describes a freestyle poem he wrote about...bathrooms.

"A bathroom has no windows, no clocks usually, it's a place where all your secrets are kept. When you want to clean yourself off, you go to the bathroom. You can be naked in the bathroom. You can be very, very secure in your bathroom. Whatever you gotta do. That's where you're you."

Please allow me to make a really bad pun.

I think Bern's chances just went down the drain.

We never get to see Devon's reaction to Bern's poem. After all, this is Sox Appeal. Why would we want to include something interesting? Instead, she sends Bern to the stairs to do his dips. He beats Joe by about fifteen and as payback, he makes Devon sing.

Now here's the weird thing: throughout this entire scene, there's this random blonde woman behind Bern who's listening intently to their conversation and laughing along like she's the one on the date. Then again, at least someone's laughing.

The conversation moves from singing to Roger Clemens and Bern can't figure out why Roger would use Viagra while, um, on the mound. If that wasn't awkward enough, he tells Devon that he's completely down with Viagra and has no problem using it.

Where's Captain America when we really need him?

And in case you didn't notice from his picture, Bern is black. That's nice, NESN. You finally decide to let a black man in the pearly gates and you pick this goofball.

Bern's rambling on about what he's hoping to find in a woman and asks Devon if she's going to break his heart tonight. I feel so bad for this girl. She seems like a cool broad and she's had to deal with a whole lotta drunken babble for the past two innings. Two innings that mercifully come to an end when the Dreamboat grounds out again. Hey Jacoby! A word of advice, young Jedi. The price of your autograph should never be higher than your batting average.

Chad heads down for our last date of the evening. And he brought his own cheering section. A few people in the crowd hold up "Pick Chad" signs. Cute.





We were just subjected to a picture of a shirtless Jerry Remy.

You're trying to break me, aren't you NESN? You miserable, heartless bastards are trying to break me. Well, that's not going to happen. The love from our friends at Universal Hub will sustain me.

While Chad and Devon are getting to know each other, Joe is back in the Dater Dugout, telling Bern how he teaches women how to defend themselves by gouging out a man's eyes or his groin. Bern looks horrified. And then makes several references to Chad getting "the shaft". Groan.

While Chad may or may not get the shaft, he definitely got the short end of the stick as we barely saw any of his date. Too bad, he seemed like a nice guy. Dreamboat ground out YET AGAIN! He's 0-3 on tonight's episode. He might be the only guy in the ballpark who performed worse than Bern.

Speaking of our drunk, this week's Bertucci's On a Roll Moment (Why must every place I like sponsor this nightmare? I'd boycott them if they didn't have those rolls. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.) is of Bern saying his favorite phrase, "it is what it is" about a hundred times. I have a feeling he'll be saying that a lot when he finds out he's going home to his bathroom by himself tonight.

Devon does a quick survey of the Satellite of Love but I think we know who she's flying home with. It's Captain America, aka Joe. They head off to The Bleacher Bar for their date and hopefully someone will give Bern a ride home.

I have a theory as to why the Patriots have sucked this pre-season.

I'm telling you, this show just drags everything associated with it down a vortex of doom.

Devon and Joe's date went well. So much so that they've already been on a second one. Larry wants to know if they've gotten hot and heavy yet. See what I mean?

So, it looks like Devon and Joe hit it off. Good for them. They're a likable couple. Maybe that's what this season is missing. We haven't had anyone to completely loathe yet.

But there's always next week.

1 comment:

Spike1380 said...

I hate to bother you with this question, but you do realize that Work Out is the name of a TV show, right? You seem well informed...