Posted Apr 14, 2012 @ 9:32 PM
So... I'm only partially ashamed to admit that somehow I end up watching every episode of this awful show. I don't seek it out, but I think HDNet has it airing often enough that I stumble across it.
It's such a weird show, and could make for a very interesting forum. On the one hand, the "leads" all are likely famewhores acting/reciting scripted encounters; yet on the other, I honestly think this Jeff character is both a horrible misogynist and a tragic failed psyche. He's so obviously desperate and needy, in a way you can't really fake, that there might even be a half-decent person buried under the bullshit and Jersey Shore posturing. I think he genuinely thinks he's a) got a great idea in this bikini barbershop thing, and b) that this TV show is going to make him rich. He's a perfect example of arrested development, of douchebag behavior... yet oddly in the most recent episode the client who found him ridiculous still considered going out for a drink with him. And there are moments where you can almost see this little boy inside who's only doing what he thinks you're supposed to do. I see hints in his eyes of a guy who's about 5 years from committing suicide. The recurring "joke" about his latent homosexuality among the hairdressers might not even be a joke.
The way Jeff is edited, I don't know how much of this was shot before the first episode aired, but I wonder if he realized he'd be painted as a complete toolbag; the editors clearly hate him, and most of the cast, and it adds to this element of watching a slow-motion human trainwreck. I feel worst for that one woman a couple of episodes ago who hooked up with Jeff for a one-night stand; poor lady will be mercilessly teased by her friends for that one!!!
The most recent episode was especially fascinating. I've never seen shows like Jersey Shore, but two of the hairdressers decided to get implants, and the language they used and reasons espoused were the kind of real-life examples with which you could fill a whole quarter of a Woman's Studies course. These women wanted that fake pornstar tits look, idealized it as making them "complete"... it was so sad. And the way the naturally buxom Natalie noted that it's just easier to take some random guy pawing you than to put up a fight- and lashed out at the other hairdresser who stepped in- is such a picture of internal fighting among hypersexualized women. The way she let herself be dressed up in chocolate, and the thin pretense Jeff used to justify getting pictures of a woman to likely masturbate to (and how she basically knew that's why- but did it anyway) with the pathetic carrot of "one day paid vacation"... it's tragic.
Also, in a meta-context, this was the first show to feature any direct nudity I think, and it was all over the place: the two hairdressers getting breast implant surgery, and Natalie showing off her (admittedly very lovely body), covered in chocolate. These were efforts to basically promote his idiotic company, but he never breaks the fourth wall about using the show to promote his business (assuming there even *is* a business, and it wasn't started purely for the HDNet show).
The show is so weird, because they are all acting in part, almost surely- I mean, the threatening mook who was pawing Natalie, I almost think I've seen him before (or maybe these kinds of guys always look alike) and he seemed straight out of central casting. They are all doing this to promote themselves (at least two of the hairdressers have mentioned Playboy), yet behind that veneer of "pretend" is an even lower layer of pathos in every character that they didn't mean to come out.
These are the dumb people, living their lives of quiet desperation.