Hello, and welcome to another Pink Hat Hell Sox Appeal Recap. I'm Denise- your guest recapper for this super-sized episode. Welcome aboard, and here we go!
This week's episode centers around Noah, a contractor from Acushnet, Mass who happens to be the ninth of eleven children.
There are two "shocking twists" in this episode that end up being anything but- the entire family has come along as an audience, and one of Noah's sisters, Liz, is ALSO going to have three dates, although she doesn't know it.
Liz works as a hairdresser "in her brother's salon", and the viewing audience is confused for the first time this episode, as they never explain which brother- but I think I spotted the hairdresser in a sleeveless Sox tank and a Prince Valiant Haircut. He looks like a more ripped version of Timothy Treadwell.
Not Lenny Clarke is in rare form, as he explains that the Sox are playing Seattle and it's really fucking hot, and then gives us a brief overview of the dates. They have the casting videos from the women, but not the men, and Not Lenny Clarke lets us know that one of the women has recently lost 65 pounds and "gained some major hotness". You can't see me, but I just stabbed myself in the eye. The Ex-Fatty also carries around a picture of her old self- I'm not sure if she does this all the time or if the producers asked her to. The old version of her was cute, in an Amelie Benjamin kind of way, while the new her looks like every other twenty-something blond woman in the Fenway area.
It doesn't appear that the entire family got seats- there's the table for the date and just one four seater table for family members. Does the rest of the family have seats elsewhere, or are they stuck with SRO? Another mystery that is never explained. We get one of those pointless interstitials with some radio host who I never heard of before telling us that dates are just a way to pass the time between meeting someone and having sex with them. Sox Appeal is a show for the whole family to watch.
And now we see Noah heading down the stairs to the cheers and jeers of his attending family. He interviews that he walked down and saw everyone and was like "are you bleeping bleeping me?!" There's a lot of high fiving, ("bro! Way to show up!") and away we go. Our first date is between Noah and Tiffany. Her card says that likes "Guido" types, and wants a cute outgoing guy who wants to have a good time. This is good, because it leaves the homely D&D-playing depressives for the rest of us.
She tells him what she does for a living and asks how big his family is. Noah curses some more. Meanwhile, in the Daters Dugout, it looks like Garth the filmmaker and his douchebag sunglasses are hitting on the guys. No Garth! No! I can see why he's confused- Thomas the wrestler has bigger boobs than Liz does.
Tiffany hands Noah a small stuffed Wally doll as a gift and off she goes up the stairs. That was quick.
Down the stairs comes Andrew in a t-shirt looking for Liz, who is completely inexpressive and totally blase. That was the most boring "surprise" ever didn't they leave in the part where the producer explains to her what's going on? Now we're talking about laundry, and I'm starting to see why Tiki handed this recap over to me. Andrew is cute and works with kids, but Liz is looking around a lot, which is not a good sign.
It appears that one of Noah's brother's has gone over to talk to Shayna, one of Noah's other dates, in the Daters Dugout. (Although it's impossible to tell, because instead of the normal 4 dinks we get each episode, we now seem to have at least 25 young white people with extremely heavy Boston accents, all wearing Sox gear, milling around the show. God forbid we get a graphic telling us who the hell they are.) According to the visiting brother, Noah is "a little out of the realm" (sic). He should talk to his brother with the Prince Valiant hairdo. I'm sure he could help Noah back over the moat and into the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Andrew is showing Liz pictures of his niece and asking her questions about herself. She seems really unimpressed, and the date is over.
Prince Valiant and Liz are teasing Noah that they thought Andrew was here for him! Ha ha ha! Not Lenny Clarke tells us that would be a "very special edition" of Sox Appeal. Maybe they're saving it for next season. We wouldn't want the show to be watchable or different, or anything!
Here's our next couple: Noah and Lea. This is going to be fun. Lea recently lost 65 pounds, and it looks like she died her hair blonde and got contact lenses too. Am I watching Sox Appeal or a movie with Freddie Prinze Jr? She's ready to ditch the "quiet, serious guys" and have more fun. Oh, Lordy. Lea compliments Noah on his family, then promptly stumps him when she tells him she's a spinning instructor. He has no idea what "spinnin" is and assumes she means DJ Jazzy Jeff type spinning. Noah is not the brightest bulb in the box.
Meanwhile, in the Daters Dugout, Shayna is showing off the tattoo on her wrist (her "zodiac" sign), but she won't show her tramp stamp because she has a dress on. (She claims it's the Chinese symbol for beauty. Apparently the tattoo place she went to didn't have the Chinese symbols for "alcoholism" or "over-plucked eyebrows".) Of course, because this is NESN, we have no idea who she's telling this to. One of Liz's dates? Another brother? The producer? They don't care, so neither should we.
Lea's telling Noah about her ex, who she drove to homosexuality. This episode is LITTERED with gay subtext. Noah is now talking directly to the camera, and then asks if Lea is a transsexual, but Lea just laughs and asks Noah if he's had any long term relationships. Oh, honey, don't go there. Save it for the third date- getting to know you chit-chat should never include info about the exes. In another shocking twist, Noah has never had a long term relationship. His sister Liz butts in to ask if Lea wants to know what type of animal "No-err" is; apparently he's a squirrel. The only thing I know about squirrels is that they have proportionately the largest testicles of any other animal. This is the kind of fact that I haven't verified- my friend told it to me in a bar this weekend. Just like Fox News!
Lea asks Noah what kind of animal she would be; he takes forever to answer and then spits out "a dog". Apparently it has something to do with spinning, but who knows. Noah's finished at least one beer- I'm not sure if that's made him into more of an idiot, or if he really is that stupid. Noah doesn't really seem to be that into Lea, but she's trying really hard and eventually gets Noah to show off his "robot" dance moves. He does so, and while a couple of people clap, the rest look like they might be watching the game. You know, the one on the field, where Justin Masterson gave up only one run in a close 2-1 victory for the Red Sox. But that's irrelevant- this year, the real game isn't on the field!
Despite Noah's apathy, Lea gives it her all, and tries to play Shayna before she shows up for her inning with Noah. Lea explains that Shayna's been talking to one of the "other guys", who apparently knows Shayna from a party in Shayna's "hometown"- and then Lea nods the way an older woman nods when talking about someone else's cheating spouse. She's like the grandma on "Brooklyn Bridge". I love it- and it's the most interesting thing that's going to happen all night.
The next date is Liz and Garth of the douchey sunglasses. Garth is a 31 year old house painter/filmmaker who lives at home with his parents. Just like in Rent! Garth describes himself as quirky AND eccentric- and then Not Lenny Clarke tells us that Garth's not "afraid of the crazy". This is good- you always want to date a guy who won't care about the bags of vomit you hide in your closet. (What? You've never seen Intervention? It's way better than this show.)
Garth admits right away that he met Liz's family and hit on one of her sisters. The sunglasses, they do not lie; Garth may beat out Noah for biggest douchebag of the night! Liz asks Garth about his films, and he has a hard time explaining them. He doesn't seem particularly passionate about his films, instead he says that he would "sell them" as crosses between the Farrelly Brothers and American Beauty. Suddenly they cut to an interview with Liz that was clearly done MUCH later, as she has a completely different hair color- or should I say colors. It's that style where it's really really dark underneath, with incredibly streaky blond highlights? Yeah, I'm not a fan.
Garth is wearing bright red Converse high tops. This may be the only good thing about him, and it's something that one of Liz's brothers really likes. And then ANOTHER of Liz's brothers comes along and there's a lot of "dude!"'s and manly hand clasping and "I'm gonna cast him in my movie!". Garth seems way more interested in Liz's brothers than he is in Liz- see what I mean about the gay subtext? Liz finds out that Garth lives at home with his parents and BAM; we cutaway to the Daters Dugout and Ex-Fatty Lea talking to either Noah's father or some random old guy attending the game. What they're saying to each other might be interesting if we knew who the hell they were- wait- that's a lie. There's no way to make what they're saying interesting. I don't enjoy pointless bullshit small talk when I have to do it- and this is like watching a half hour of the most boring party you've ever been forced to attend, with endless repetitions of "What do you do for a living?" Having more people ask this question doesn't make it more watchable.
Now Liz is playing with Garth's hair, which looks like it hasn't been washed in a week. Because she's a hairdresser, see! Liz (or the production team!) conveniently has a little bottle of hairspray, and after she generously applies it and spikes it up- it's looks even worse. Clearly Garth has his hair long so he can sweep it over his receding hairline- the spiking does not help him at all and is a very different look than the one he's been trying really, really hard to achieve.
Garth finishes the inning with a two point conversion of douchebaggery- he tells her everyone around them hates what she did to his hair, and then he calls her "Jen", which is apparently the name of the younger sister that he was hitting on before. Oh, SNAP! He's out of here. Liz gives the ole "neck chop" gesture to her family, and we're headed to commercial. Every single one of the commercials is more interesting than Sox Appeal.
Noah and Shayna. Finally! I suspect that this is a match made in heaven. Shayna has a weird lisp/valley girl thing going on- and we're covering territory we already forged with Lea, as Noah explains yet again that he's had no long term relationships. Shayna explains that she's an admissions counselor who wants to be a senator, to which Noah responds with expletives, but then assures Shayna he would vote for her.
Shayna described herself as eclectic, and I can see why- she's got over-plucked eyebrows and weirdly dyed fake black hair, but she's wearing a sundress, leggings, and no bra. Noah asks her why he should vote for her, and she's stumped- she has absolutely no clue and claims "not to have thought about it". I had a better political platform when I wanted to be president and I was 9. She blurts out something unintelligible, and is loudly applauded by Noah's family.
Ooh- and now Noah is finding out about the info that Lea dropped earlier- does Shayna know any of Liz's dates? Yes, she does! She was at a "wedding after-party" with one of them, and he picked her up and made her do a keg stand. She doesn't say who, and in fact we never find out which guy she knows, although hints are later dropped that it's Andrew. Way to tie up the only interesting subplot of the evening. I'm also confused- what's a wedding after party? Is Shayna not good enough to be invited to the actual wedding? Both Shayna and Noah "like to party" and that's the end of the date. That was a fucking Algonquin Round Table right there.
We move abruptly on to Liz and Thomas, the former WWE wrestler. He is RIPPED, but looks a little like Shrek, and also still lives with his parents and he's even older than douchebag Garth. On the other hand, I can't give him too much grief about living at home- McMahon pays those guys in Wonder Bread and steroids. Thomas gives Liz a Wally stuffed toy- is that the same one from earlier? Is this a theme, or just terrible product placement?
And we head back to Douchebag Dugout, where Garth tells Shayna that "people must tell her" she looks like Lindsay Lohan, and in the most embarrassing development of the night so far (I KNOW!) Tiffany interjects that she ALSO gets told that she looks like LiLo a lot. Just like, completely tries to pretend that she's involved in the conversation that Shayna and Garth are having, and not being ignored by either them or the production team. I'm embarrassed for her. For the record, neither Shayna nor Tiffany look ANYTHING like Lindsay Lohan, and at this point in the show I fully believe that Garth would hit on Jerry Remy if he were in the vicinity.
Liz is trying to get Thomas to show her a "wrestling character", but he is understandably reluctant as there is no Spanish Announcers table to throw anyone through. He eventually (and really, really eventually- this bit went on way too long) gets one of her brothers to come over to the table and then Thomas puts said brother in a pathetic headlock. Noah (who seems intoxicated) appears out of nowhere to taunt the headlocked brother, and there's the gay subtext again.
Liz peppers Thomas with questions- but seems weirdly uninvolved and unemotional. I can't tell if it's a studied insouciance, or if she's as bored as I am. Thomas asks her if he's her type, and she says "yeah, you're cool", which I guess it's better than "no, you suck", but still. She actually wanted to be on this show, right? She tried out for it? Because it really doesn't seem that way.
Commercial, and now we're going to figure out who picks who. Has it only been 25 minutes? Because it seems like a fucking eternity. Not Lenny Clarke assures us that it's been a great show and he's done a great job. I think the quality of drugs he's on must be better now that he has that Olympia Sports gig. The editors have put together a little package of all of Noah's high fives with his three dates- there are ten of them, and for each one he actually says the words "high five" in this weird voice, which is pretty annoying. Last minute douchebag point to Noah.
Brother and sister solicit the crowd for their opinions, terrorist fist bump, and here we go. Noah picks Tiffany- the first and shortest date of his we saw, and Liz picks Andrew the kiddie counselor. I'm shocked about both picks- I thought Liz might end up going home alone, while I was sure that Noah and Shayna were soul mates.
Not Lenny Clarke tells us that Noah and Liz's parents have invited everyone (all six of the dates) over to their house. Sounds like fun! And we're back at the table with both couples and their Wally dolls and (oh, God) Tiffany's new Pink Hat.
Here's your bonus recap: the Morning After show with Larry Izzo which I am specifically recapping so I can tell you that Noah believes he made an alcohol induced mistake and he should have picked Shayna. Told you. Noah also admits that the production team fed him "beers like crazy", which, if true, is a good call by the production team as the show absolutely needs the contestants to be LESS intelligible. He enjoyed his date with Tiffany, but she never called him back- which wasn't a huge loss, because he ended his day at the game with four phone numbers. Liz enjoyed her date with Andrew, but not enough to ever see or talk to him ever again. And we're done!
This show is weirdly self-hating. It's terribly cast- I'm in no way convinced that these people were the most interesting ones to show up at the auditions and if they were than they need to figure out a better way to get people on the show. Nobody on this episode was particularly attractive or interesting- and the dates lasting only one inning tonight didn't help matters. We can't get past the "introductions" part of the date when that's all there is, and watching it three or four times in 20 minutes does not make for good tv. Plus, they're being infiltrated by the publicity whores- you know the only reason Garth was on the show was to advertise his "film career". The idea that they're at a Sox game doesn't even seem to enter into it anymore, beyond the Wally Dolls and the pink hats. It's just another group of twenty-somethings getting shit-faced and having drunken small talk, and as Tiki has said, it's not even terrible enough to be interesting. At least it was over before "Hole in the Wall" came on.