We begin on such a beautiful note…
“I have a dog that smiles at me!” is literally the first sentence we hear all episode (courtesy of Renee). What a wonderful sign of the silliness that’s to come. Whether she knows it or not, now is Renee’s time to shine and she does so like a dog’s pearly whites.
Frank gathers his potential tickets out of the basement and informs them that today they’ll be playing Seven Minutes in Heaven. Susan takes issue in interview:
“What the hell is Seven Minutes in Heaven? To me it sounds dirty and disgusting, and it better not be,” she says. Really, Susan? What’s the dirty part, the heaven or the minutes? I mean, obviously it is dirty and disgusting (if you’re in fifth grade), but only if you know what it means, not just what it sounds like. I just don’t buy it when Susan plays dumb. She’s a smart Italian cookie. This pizelle has a head on its embossment!
Anyway, Frank tells the girls that he’ll be inviting each one of them down to the basement where they will have to entertain him via crafting or performance or whatever. We see some of the girls getting to work…
Renee surmises that there may not be too much talent in this house. Gee, I can’t imagine a reality show harboring the talentless. That can’t be right!
With chicken wire, some fence, bubble wrap and a plunger, Annie wants to do something creative to show Frank that she can make something out of anything.
Indeed, the fact that she’s here shows she’s at least interested in making love out of nothing at all.
After the girls have prepared, Frank begins receiving them in his basement. He times them using his microwave, which he runs at full power each and every time…
Also, instead of setting the time for seven minutes…
…he sets it for two. Two, seven, close enough. The important thing is numbers.
Anyway, Melody presents him with a temporary tattoo of his mother that she drew.
“Why would I want a tattoo of my mom’s face on my arm?” he wonders. Indeed, I’m sure he sees her face every time he shuts his eyes. And opens them. She’s around a lot, just saying. It doesn’t end up working, anyway…
…so that takes care of that!
Next up is Kerry, who presents Frank with a cupcake she made.
“They call me Kerry Cakes in Brooklyn,” she explains. I live in Brooklyn and no we don’t. Anyway, Frank clearly likes the taste of Kerry Cakes:
Christi hula-hoops, and has Frank do so along with her.
So I guess her talent is persuasion?
Tammy gives Frank a manicure, which…
…ugh, takes cuticle scissors to my liberalism. She doesn’t seem to have been forced into doing this, though, so that’s good, I guess. “You’re a big guy, you have big hands. Guy who have big hands who like to grab as many woman as they can, so…you think that’s true?” she asks him. He doesn’t think so, probably because what she said doesn’t make any sense. Some of the smallest hands I know have been the grabbiest!
Dana is out to show Frank that she isn’t just a pretty face.
She’s a pretty face who makes pretty collages, see?
Cathy’s late, so he starts the timer without her, giving her insufficient time to complete her balloon sculptures.
But at least she got to do the requisite hand motions to blow them up. That’s really the point, no?
Instead of preparing her art ahead of time, Annie does it in front of Frank…
She talks about it being “very meditative,” although she seems nothing if not focused. The end result…
…is lost on Frank. I’m surprised that after holding that up, he didn’t say, “Is that like video games?”
Renee has written a story for Frank, complete with, “Once upon a time,” and everything.
It chronicles his journey starting at I Love New York 2…
Oh snap! Tiffany just got dissed. I would love to see her and Renee go head-to-head in a round of mud Pictionary. As Renee reads her story, she interviews, “At four-years-old, I made a book called The Dog and the Book and it was about a dog and a book.” I hope the sequel was The Dog That Smiles at Me and the Book, except that would have been more on the memoir side of the literary spectrum.
Anyway, Renee’s book is awesome enough to make me want to read her entire body of work.
“Here/there for the right reasons,” is a phrase thrown around so much on these shows, I’ve been tempted to make a supercut of people saying it for a while. In the meantime, just seeing it committed to paper is satisfying enough.
Jenny reads Frank something about the compatibility of their zodiac signs:
Since she’s a bartender, Mandy fixes her “famous Franktini” for him…
He complains about its fat and caloric content, but eventually drinks it. Watch it Frank, you might be digesting food there. Where’s your urge to purge?
Mandy’s drink-mixing session is interrupted by Susan…
When Frank asks why his mother is downstairs, she says, “‘Cause I’m nosy!” I guess she felt like she could hide behind the laundry basket for only so many seconds.
Melissa displays why they call her “the Crusher”…
That can is not crushed. Melissa is the Denter, at best.
Jessica does a gloriously delirious dance for Frank that starts out looking all Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!…
…but quickly turns into a floor routine.
All of it is wonderful, but this is the obvious highlight:
She’s a one-woman Chorus Line. If you like to laugh, let her dance for you!
Finally, Felicia tells Frank about the lump she found in her breast that resulted in her undergoing a partial mastectomy…
When getting her reconstructive surgery, she figured, “You might as well as go in and go big,” which led to the plentiful rack she has today. That is an arc right after VH1’s heart if ever there were. Frank says that this is “one of the most touching stories that I’ve ever heard.”
When Frank gets to second, it’ll be even more touching.
After the challenge, Cathy tells Dana about Renee’s storybook, which took to task girls who were there just for exposure.
And then Melissa tells Renee about Cathy’s telling…
And then we all tell our TV screens, “Seriously? Exposure-bashing? Again?”
Frank gathers the girls and announces his winners: Felicia, Renee and Kerry. They will all accompany Frank and his backpack…
…on a pizza lunch at the Brooklyn Bridge.
After eating, they stand by the water. Frank says that if he ever proposes to a woman, he’s going to do it in the craziest way.
“I always wanted a romantic proposal!” responds Renee, which isn’t even what Frank is talking about (when he says “crazy,” he means “crazy,” not “crazy romantic” — trust me, we’re talking about Frank). Still, Renee’s comment is highly unusual all the same. Next she’ll tell us she wants something as out-there as a ring to go along with the proposal. A ring, what’s that? I barely know the shape and purpose. This girl needs to stick with tradition! “I don’t need a man, I just want one,” she says. It sounds like she’s pleading.
Nonetheless, it seems to work as Frank takes her aside for one-on-one time. In the process, Felicia and Kerry decide that Renee is talking too much, talking herself into a hole and that she needs to do something with her nails. So they’re, you know, supportive.
Renee tells Frank that she’s only been single for months, but it feels like years because she’s been dead for so long and she’s really looking for someone to make her feel alive again.
See? She doesn’t need a man: it’s only a matter of life or death. Frank lends her a little breath.
He asks about the other girls, and she immediately takes the opportunity to rag on Cathy, saying, “All she does is talk, even if it’s about nothing.” We’ve established that, and I don’t see a zipper on Renee’s lip or anything. We’ve been hearing a lot from her. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I’m just saying.
Then, Felicia and Kerry have and even more deliciously catty exchange:
Felicia: Her bra’s stickin’ out.
Kerry: I know, a lot.
Felicia: I kinda wanna tell her, but I don’t.
Kerry: I’m not gonna tell her.
So, they’re Heathers, basically. Lick it up, baby. Lick it up.
Once home, Frank hits the jacuzzi with his women.
As Mandy shouts completely plausible words at someone (“You are beyond a go-go dancer! You are!”), Kerry interrupts with her ass.
And then Cathy interrupts everything with her drunkenness.
Frank takes her aside in an attempt to sober her up, but this makes her behave only more drunkenly.
As the ruckus continues…
…Susan shouts down from her bedroom, “Frank, what’s all the noise about?” Nothing, Mrs. Entertainer’s Mom! Just the herd of reality-TV ready women you have living in your house. These types are usually so quiet and polite, I don’t know what’s gotten into them!
Cathy retires to worship the porcelain god…
…but Susan’s just getting started. As she surveys the scene, she finds a water bottle with vodka in it.
She turns livid.
She says that because Frank’s dad is sick and takes medicine, he easily could have mistaken this vodka for water and drank it. Except, he’d know it was vodka the second it touched his tongue and he’d have adequate time to spit it out. But whatever. Who am I to deny anyone her rage?
Susan channels it toward Mandy, whom she decides the bottle must belong to, since she was making drinks for all the girls.
“I don’t care if you drink! I don’t care if you kill yourself! I don’t care if you drop dread of alcohol poisoning! Don’t put liquor in my water bottle!” howls Susan, nurturing as ever. “I have a flask! Why would I need a water bottle?” says Mandy, as if the fact that she carries around a freaking flask in a reality house that’s overflowing with alcohol is any assurance of responsibility. She then unleashes a torrent of what I guess are curses in…Italian? Portuguese? Something. The most important part of this, of course, is the accompanying series of hand gestures.
She concludes with, “And that’s nothing!”
Well, don’t threaten us with a good time! In an inspired coda, Mandy says, “That’s what I have to say to anybody! Anyone else have chips and salsa?” Where’s the Saran Wrap? I ask not just because Mandy’s non sequitur is reminiscent of a way Whitney on America’s Next Top Model once wrapped up an argument, but because inevitably, Mandy’s going to want to start cleaning up and putting stuff in the fridge.
The following day, Susan calls Frank up to her room…
She tells him she wants Mandy out: she’s a bad influence, and Frank isn’t even that into her, anyway. She goes as far to say that if Frank doesn’t comply, she’ll ask everyone to leave. And so, Frank has no choice, really (not that he even attempts to stand up to his mother in this situation):
He tells Mandy that she’s a “cool-ass chick” and then bids heron her way. She doesn’t get an exit interview or anything. The last we see of her is her standing on the side of the road:
Yikes, from the basement to the curb. Here’s hoping Mandy’s trajectory turns a little less tragic. I guess she’s going back to the attic, so, uh, things are looking up for her. Literally, at least.
Frank meets with Jessica, whom he still can’t really get a reading on.
He asks her what the weirdest thing she’s ever done is, and it was going to some abandoned warehouse with a guy in an afro, in which there were 15 other people and a DJ. You have to hand it to her: it’s pretty weird. Frank asks her what she enjoys doing and she says, “I just like moving!”
OK, that must be the weirdest thing she’s ever done.
Anyway, she likes moving, but does she like moving out? No matter — she’s going to. After a weird altercation with Cathy, in which Frank complains that she likes alcohol more than him, it’s time for elimination.
Renee gets called first, and it eventually comes down to Cathy and Jessica. “Cathy, Seven Minutes in Heaven really weren’t kinda seven minutes in heaven,” says Frank. No duh, since they were actually two minutes. He adds, “Your balloon animals really weren’t impressive to me.” That is so cold that it gave my smiling dog a toothache. Balloon animals be damned, he does have a connection with Cathy, so it is Jessica, who has much growing to do, that is going home.
She says she’s either too happy or go-lucky for Frank.
I think the real problem is that she’s both. That’s just a hunch, though.