To those who’ve been wanting to see Jenny naked…
…how’s it feel to want?
At the top of the show, we get the first sign that something is amiss with Jenny…
…after speaking with her, Felicia reports that her competitor’s nice-girl act is just that: an act. We’re never given confirmation of this, though — not to get ahead of myself, but some of the nicest people I’ve ever met have been naked.
Frank writes the girls a note on loose leaf, tacks it up and then goes away.
If he was going to do all that, why couldn’t he have just told them instead of expanding his carbon footprint ever so slightly by wasting paper? Green alert! Green alert! Anyway, the note reads in part, “Now it’s time to step up your game into my heart.” I believe by reading those words aloud, Felicia released some methane into the air. Green alert! Green alert!
Frank has uniforms to accompany this collective stepping up…
…they are bobos and bikinis. That’s, like, standard issue in these parts. In fact, if VH1 ever sits down to write its memoir (as channels are wont to do), Bobos & Bikinis better be the title. Or else!
As if to reinforce how superficially out of place she is in this universe, Annie studies her bikini like she’s never seen one before and has no idea what to do with it.
I really wish that her final determination was that this isn’t a bikini top, but a bottom with one triangle in front and one in the back.
In the kitchen, Dana wonders if Renee is capable of bringing out the “roawr,” the sex kitten to Frank, “’cause I, like, can’t picture you being sexy, you’re so like…”
…unsexy? Like, what? Where is Dana going with this and why is she discussing it with Renee so openly? I guess this way it avoids the inevitable, “Why can’t you comment on my sex appeal to mah face?!?” argument that would erupt were Dana to discuss Renee’s sexiness with others. “Like, I can’t picture you giving a boy a lap dance and stepping to him,” Dana continues. She adds that Renee looks like a fifth grader. Does she want to shatter one of Renee’s knees while she’s at it? It’s so weird, because Dana says all this in a completely congenial matter, and Renee doesn’t seem offended at all. If this kind of discussion happened on, say, Flavor of Love, it would have ended in mouth foam. These girls are a different breed.
The girls are shuttled to a baseball field, where Frank tells them, “I love two things the most: I love softball, and I love women in bikinis.” As you know, I love when the central figures of these shows set up challenges by saying, “As you know, I love…” and so I say to Frank: GET THE LINGO STRAIGHT. Come on! Also, he loves softball? Really?
Anyway! Today, the girls will play the:
As the camera pans over the girls reactions to whatever nonsense Frank isn’t saying quite right, it’s interesting in light of what happens later in the episode that Jenny is entirely covered up.
Her hoodie doth protest too much.
Anyway, helping out will be Frank’s doable brother Sal:
If it doesn’t work out with Frank, girls, may I suggest Sal? I would not be shocked at all to find out that a show based around Sal is already in the works (Brother of Another Lover, perhaps?). I mean, it’s just like Andy Warhol prophesied: in the future, everyone will have 43 new minutes to do whatever with every week on VH1.
The girls will be split into two teams and play two innings. The winning team will get a date with Frank, and the MVP will get one-on-one time. Complicating matters are what amount to Slip ‘n Slides between every base: the girls must use them for maximum titillation.
Although, after seeing something similar on Rock of Love Bus, I have to wonder: what fun is sliding like this if you aren’t doing it while holding a hot dog?
The girls’ teams will be called:
Oooh! The Italian Whatever National Whatever Their Whatever Their Organization Is is gonna be so mad if they hear about this! Kerry is selected as the captain for Team Meatballs, while Cathy is the Team Spaghetti majordomo. Melissa, Christi, Melody and Jenny end up on Team Spaghetti, while Felicia, Renee, Dana and Annie are on Team Meatballs.
Annie ends up being called last, giving her the perfect opportunity for a redemption arc (if you consider excelling at sports “redemption”). Oh, and Dana is wearing garters and stockings:
AKA Female stirrups.
And then the game happens. I’m so not giving you a play-by-play. Just understand that there is a lot of sliding…
…although Felicia fears that doing so headfirst will pop one of her implants…
Now that would be waaaaay too Rock of Love Bus.
In the end, despite striking out once and swinging the bat like it’s a butterfly net always, Annie is able to make contact and win the game for her team.
She is named MVP. Renee interviews that she’s happy for Annie because “being picked last sucks.” I can’t imagine that Renee is speaking from experience or anything. The losers, Team Spaghetti get dinner with Frank’s parents. A consolation prize of torture is a fine consolation prize indeed!
Before anyone can eat, Frank finds a note from Jenny crammed into his door:
If Jenny spent more time actually trying and less time talking about trying, she might be getting somewhere. Who’s she fooling? Don’t walk on my treadmill and tell me you’re Uncle Traveling Matt.
So, Team Spaghetti and the couple sadist sit down to eat:
But their meal is soon interrupted by a visit from Frank’s Uncle Benny.
He has the girls guess what he does. No one can. He’s a funeral director. “I was really gonna say the mafia,” says Melissa. Well, at least she didn’t guess “Mario Brother.” Benny thinks his job is enough to creep people out…
I suppose he speaks from experience, although I really don’t see how anyone could have a problem with him, unless he smells like embalming fluid. Uncle Benny quizzes them on what they’re looking for. Jenny mentions never having had a boyfriend. Oh yeah. That. Susan then has Jenny help her with dessert…
Alone in the kitchen, Susan asks if Jenny’s for real. She is, but she’s not going to put herself out there like the other girls. Yeah, we know. But she’ll talk your ear off about mustering up the will to step it up so that she can step up to Frank and they can take steps forward in their connection and/or on the way to step class. Susan understands. “I would be just like you,” she tells Jenny. Jenny talks about taking it slow, but feeling like she might need to speed it up some. Oh really? This is the first I’m hearing of that! Susan gives her an entirely fake laugh in response.
When dinner ends and it’s time for Uncle Benny to leave, he says, “It was nice meeting you, and I’ll put a good word in for some of yas!” Give the corpses my best!
Meanwhile, Frank takes Team Meatballs to the beach.
Here, they eat spray cheese.
He feeds it to the girls on crackers as though performing a sacrament.
I can’t imagine more appropriate communion for the Church of VH1 than spray cheese. It’s kind of the essence of the network on a cracker. That is some powerful transubstantiation right there.
Frank and Annie steal away to share their one-on-one time.
Frank asks her, “How do you think you and I would fit together perfectly?” Annie asks in response, “Are you talking about sexually?” Wehehehell! Someone has a vagina and isn’t afraid to use it! Frank says they can talk sexually, whatever, everything!
Can they ever!
…the only thing that could make this shot lovelier would be to airbrush it on a T-shirt.
Frank and Annie return to the group, and Renee says she needs to talk to him. So he spends some one-on-one time with her, invalidating the specialness of Annie’s MVP one-on-one time, but whatever!
Their conversation is mostly awkward. Here’s sample:
Renee: What’s your fantasy?
Frank: I don’t know.
Renee asks him if he’s ever heard of the Mile High Club. He hasn’t. She asks him about having sex on the beach and he says, “Public’s not really my thing…” I really hope that Renee isn’t all of a sudden probing Frank’s sexual interests because of what Dana said in the kitchen earlier this episode. It’s a trap, Renee! And it’s held together by garters! Frank gently tells Renee that she’s monopolizing his time, and needs to get to know the other girls better. Meanwhile, said other girls are on the beach mocking Renee’s nylons. So, that’s fun.
Frank arrives home to find Jenny waiting at the top of the stairs for him.
She’s really stepped it up, har har!
Frank says he feels like everyone else in the house has opened up to him, but her. “I’m a conservative woman. Just because I’m beautiful, doesn’t mean that I’m sexual,” she interviews. I didn’t realize Frank was referring to that kind of opening up, but OK. Jenny feels like she needs more time, and then she does a series of back handsprings taking care not to hit her head on the basement ceiling. Just kidding, she does nothing unpredictable or out of character: she promises that she’ll step it up if she’s kept around. At this point, that doesn’t go without saying?
Then, Renee needs mom time.
She gets on the phone and she tells her mom about her efforts to get to know Frank, and his mild rebuffing. Her mom is very supportive. Renee breaks down and says that she’s making an ass of herself.
You know, self-consciousness isn’t so easy to come by in these parts. Let’s give Renee a round of applause!
Meanwhile, Frank feels like Jenny’s hiding something. Funny that he gleaned that from her behavior. All I got was that she was stuck on repeat. He wonders why she’s looking for her first boyfriend on TV. Since only seasoned love vets are equipped to handle the deep, meaningful relationships that come as a result of reality TV, of course. And so, Frank does a little digging…
He presents his findings at…
But first, he hands out some keys. Annie gets the first. Frank introduces her by saying: “Well, this girl has a new nickname. From my time alone with her, and from her performance in the softball game, this is a real Cinderella story.” So Annie’s new nickname is Cinderella Story? Nobody’s going to say all those syllables. Anyway, after a few more, “This girl…” intros, Susan pipes up and tells her son to speed things up because she’s tired. You and me both, Susan! Thanks for that.
It ends up coming down to Renee and Jenny. In a never-done-before move (!), he tells Renee to step forward. He asks her why the other girls don’t like her. Uh, because you assigned her as your snitch, Frank? Renee doesn’t say that, though. She assumes that it’s because she’s spent more time with Frank, and they’re jealous. The girls behind her give her a spontaneous laugh track. It is not out of support, you’ll be shocked to hear. He worries that Renee isn’t strong enough for this competition — she says she is and that her tears aren’t a sign of weakness, but one that she has a soul. Again, and again, Renee proves herself to be a rare breed. Frank tells her to rejoin the group.
He then calls down Jenny and asks her if she’s attracted to him. She is. Why does he not feel it, then? Because she moves different than everyone else, which is to say: she movies nudely on the Internet (supposedly). Frank wonders if she’s so conservative then why did he find an extremely liberal helping of her flesh online?
This is obviously blurred out to the point of pointlessness. We do know that it’s “incredibly sexy,” but that it’s far from the most shocking thing seen by such a connoisseur of Internet porn as Frank. We also know that Felicia finds it shocking…
Still, Frank doesn’t get her giving him the cold shoulder when she’s showing the world how not conservative she is. I don’t know, I understand how this looks like a disconnect, but posing nude and hooking up are two different things. It’s not like she said she was so conservative but then was hooking up with Sal. Although, I couldn’t hold it against her if she were. Mmmm, Sal.
Anyway, Jenny’s leaving. Susan yells at her on her way out, saying that she fed Susan a line. She charges Jenny with portraying herself one way, while living another.
Susan calls her phony. Jenny adjusts her boob while defending her class level.
She tells Frank’s parents not to be disrespectful. That’s like telling Jenny not to say, “I’m going to step it up if…”
In her exit interview, Jenny says that she can do better and that hopefully Frank will get his life together and move out of the basement before he’s 40. Girl, in the words of Judge Judy: you picked him!