Not five minutes into its premiere episode, Scott Baio Is 45…And Single reveals itself as the antithesis of Rock of Love with a single image:
It’s gonna be a not-so-bumpy ride. In fact, it’s not gonna be a ride at all. But hang on, if you must. Just not to Scott.
Welcome to Scott Baio Is 45…and Single, the show in which Scott Baio attempts to figure out why he’s single…at 45. It’s all in the title. How’s that for straightforward?
Basically, this show is about Scott Baio getting to the bottom of his commitment issues. He’s been a notorious ladies man for virtually the last 30 years and now he finds himself in a relationship with a woman named Renee…
…whom he may ultimately leave since…well, that’s kind of what he does. But that’s not what he wants to to do. And so, essentially, this show wonders if you can teach a 45-year-old dog new tricks.
After running through a few options, including a cougar-like babe who offers to "intimately engage" with Scott, the actor settles on a life coach to help him on his self-journey.
She’s Doc Ali, she has a Ph.D. and she isn’t interested in Feng Shuing his organs or jumping his bones. In fact, just the opposite: in her first meeting with Scott, she tells him that he must reconnect with old girlfriends and (gasp!) remain celibate for two months, if he’s to get to the bottom of his problem. In fact, he’s not allowed to see Renee at all for two months.
But before he can tell his girlfriend that, let’s meet the three men who will provide his biggest source of temptation through all of this:
That’s Jason Hervey. You may remember him as Wayne Arnold from The Wonder Years. Seriously.
That’s Steve Cuccio, whose nickname is "Cooch." Seriously!
And that’s Johnny V, whom Scott describes as a "5’4, 180 lb. walking hormone." Is there any other kind of walking hormone?
Collectively, these men to Scott are, to get technical, his brahs.
They golf and stuff.
After explaining the demands of Doc Ali (whom Scott refers to as "Dark Alley," probably because Scott’s not to go down…well, anything), it’s time to break the news to Renee. Before he even says anything, it’s clear he’s in pain:
You know what else is clear? Our primary way of following Scott during these brief recaps will be to monitor his wincing. Since the past can be messy, there will be a lot of it. The one above registers just below the nuts-in-a-vice level.
He lets Renee know the deal. Renee is shocked and dismayed.
Still: she’s supportive. He can do his life-coach thing and hopefully it will be good for the relationship. If he can’t guarantee commitment by the end of the eight weeks, Renee’s bouncing, not unlike nuts out of a vice, actually.
The next day, Scott’s visited by Doc Ali. He isn’t wincing, but his appearance is.
So is his butt. He informs her that he’s such a mess after having to temporarily break it off with Renee that he can’t sleep or "do Number 2." This is yet another way in which Scott Baio Is 45…and Single distinguishes itself from the rests of the Celebreality fare.
In his session with Doc Ali, Scott reveals that a woman by the name of Susie Carlson was the first girl he ever cared for. She advises him to call Susie and ask her what went wrong. He does and they set up a meeting. On the way, Scott spots a KFC and decides to stop to buy some chicken for Susie. When you care enough to send the very best, right? It’s like Hallmark as interpreted by Flavor Flav. Gold crown and all!
Scott meets with Susie.
She reveals Scott’s deeply seated commitment issues. She remembers multiple instances when he’d leave her to hang out with Playmates. The way Susie reckons, Scott’s always looking for the next-best-thing. Having learned a bit more about himself, Scott says that he’s going to leave her. Susie sharply retorts, "It’s not an unfamiliar thing." Her crushing wit forces another wince out of Scott:
This wince is about at the brain-stubbing level.
And then, another session with Doc Ali. Scott reveals that being famous "crippled" him when it comes to women because of how readily available the girls were for so long. He also reveals that he lost his virginity to Erin Moran, Joanie of Happy Days. Apparently, Joanie didn’t just love Chachi; she chachied him. After a time, actually — Scott tells the story of their first encounter. It was on a corduroy couch and before he made love to Erin, he made love to the couch. You’ve heard that teenagers will have sex with anything, and now you have the proof by way of Scott Baio. Scott doesn’t really wince when he tells that story — he leaves it up to you.
Anyway, as you could guess, Scott meets with Erin.
They talk about the last time they saw each other, a few years ago at a Happy Days reunion. Scott wasn’t into it.
That that wince is of the please-not-another-spin-off variety.
Erin recounts their young love. Scott wanted to marry her. Also he assured her that he would "grow."
Uh, yeah. Apparently, Scott wasn’t so endowed as a teenager and was convinced that his penis had some stretching to do. O…K? That he’s allowed this sensitive information to be included in an episode of his own show is very big of him, ironically.
Scott saves his big wince for Erin’s invitation to join her at an autograph signing.
That’s just below a I-don’t-want-fans-touching-me-or-my-(formerly?)-small-pee-pee level wince.
And yet, he goes.
The event is full of colorful characters…
…those characters are mostly Scott’s previous incarnations. Though he hates this stuff and didn’t want to come in the first place (he arranges for Johnny V to come in the middle and cut things short), he actually has fun. A fan asks him to kiss her and he refuses, but he does offer a hug.
You have to wonder if he’s wincing behind her head. If not: true progress.
Anyway, Johnny V comes in and scoops him up, to Erin’s irritation. That night, armed with the knowledge that, hey, he might not be so misanthropic after all, Scott calls Renee.
He leaves her a message basically telling her how much he misses her. He throws down the phone on the pool table and we see this final shot:
Is the show trying to tell us that communication is a big game? Oooh! Symbolism. Fade to thoughtful wince.