In this episode, we’re treated to something old…
…(it’s an old Italian recipe, OK?)…something possibly new…
…something not quite borrowed…
These weddings are really coming together, no?
As Joey and Sandra were the focus of last episode, Danny and Tammie take up most of the screen time on this one. With good reason! There are crazy, crazy things happening with them!
Danny and Tammie
When we first see Danny and Tammie, they are preparing for a party being held by Tammie’s boss, Maria. In many people’s lives, two things would disallow them from attending: the imminent child from Tammie’s sister (she’s in the hospital about to give birth) and the one that’s possibly in her own womb. However, the lives of Danny and Tammie are not many people’s. That’s why they’re here, you know?
With more than a hint of resentment in her voice, Tammie explains the situation with her sister: “I get engaged, she gets pregnant. Then I go to a party, she has to go into labor.” Her sister sounds like such a selfish creep — who goes into labor when their sister has a party to go to?!? Control your contractions, woman!
Tammie does plan on attending the birth of her sister’s child — she just might be doing so drunk, she explains to Danny. “I’m not letting this ruin my only day off,” she resolves. Nothing like an addition to the family to really s*** all over your day, you know? Danny brings up the prenup that had Tammie in such a tizzy last episode — he says that his lawyer thinks something is amiss since Tammie refuses to sign it. Tammie doesn’t want to talk about it. She has bigger issues — namely, the most important party in the history of time. She shuts down the prenup conversation by saying that she’s feeling dizzy and “nauseous” so she’s going to drink it up tonight. Alcohol is definitely the cure for dizziness and nausea. Fight fire with flammable liquid, that’s what I say! It is here that Tammie reveals that she might be pregnant.
“Well, you f*** me every night, so…” she says to Danny. I know from Where Did I Come From? that this is, indeed, cause for suspicion. Nothing like frequent sex to get those babies popping! Danny reveals that this is the fifth time she’s claimed to be pregnant – they even went to the hospital, one time, only to find out that no one was yet renting out her womb. Tammie seems mortified that he’s telling the story on camera. This will be a helpful thing to recall later in the episode, when it seems as though nothing on earth could possibly ever mortify Tammie enough to refrain from doing it on camera. Danny says he won’t believe Tammie is with child until the baby actually comes out. Experience has taught Danny well.
The pre-party drama rolls on, making this an epic exercise in getting ready. This is a snapshot of purgatory. Tammie’s running late and she says it’s because she had to get Danny’s daughter ready. “I can’t do this anymore!” she moans to him. “You have three kids, what do you expect?” he asks her, completely reasonably. She doesn’t say it, but the clear answer is self-sufficiency. Good luck getting that out of teenagers and young adults.
Danny’s daughter asks him for a cell phone that will come in just under $300.
Tammie pitches a fit, and says they have a wedding to pay for. She confronts Danny, probably loudly enough so that his kids can hear, saying, “She doesn’t even do anything around the house to earn that!” Well, she is a 20-year-old. Her baby entitlement probably hasn’t fallen off yet. Tammie interviews that Danny already plays their child support. This is actually a fair argument, except not in light of Tammie’s behavior last episode, when she flagrantly spent more money than Danny had allotted for her flowers. It seems that Tammie is tight with Danny’s money…unless it’s for something that she wants.
Danny attempts to thwart this argument with a tactic that has to be another product of experience:
This doesn’t work. Tammie becomes more upset.
Imagine, a man giving money to his children. I hope Tammie gets used to sharing Danny’s resources with his kids soon, because this is a losing battle.
Tammie clears this emotional hurdle and attends the party. She prefaces the action with, “When I drink, I’m not as classy as I am usually.” Given everything we’ve watched go down so far, that is promising.
She doesn’t really disappoint, either:
Danny says he can tell Tammie’s drunk when she tells him how much she loves him. Really? The bravado is what tipped me off. This is merely confirmation:
Tammie interviews that she thinks she might be pregnant, but is keeping it quiet so that she can still get attention when she’s home from her honeymoon. Deceit and brutal honesty in one fell swoop!
Also, she lies:
“So, I might be pregnant!” she announces to a large group of women inside the party. The prospect of attention must have been too tantalizing to hold off. I understand. When on reality TV, do as reality TVans. People ask her how she knows, and she says she just knows. No pregnancy test needed. She can feel it inside of her, kicking. That kind of proves that she isn’t pregnant there and then (unless she thinks she’s, like, five months in!), but shhh! Don’t tell her that! It’ll spoil the fun!
She describes the joy of Danny ejaculating inside of her. I see what she means about degrees of classiness. This is definitely a step down from, “Well, you f*** me every night, so…” At last, one of the women notices that Tammie is, like, slurring with her dress over her head and asks what the hell she’s doing drinking if she thinks she’s pregnant. “You can drink during the pregnancy in the beginning,” Tammie explains. They tell her, “Not vodka!” I mean, not anything, right? I guess people slip up, but you should probably aim to put down the bottle as soon as you suspect the onset of fetal mitosis. Someone tries to reason with her saying, “Until you know for sure…” but Tammie interrupts and says, “…I’ll keep drinking!” Always err on the drunken side of things, I suppose! Tammie interviews that if she’s pregnant, she has to give up the Cotton Candy vodka because she heard it’s responsible for brain damage. In babies or everyone? Giving it up will result in her going through withdrawal. Is heroin the secret ingredient of Cotton Candy vodka? Tammie ends this scene wonderfully:
“To my pregnancy!” she toasts. That is how you tie things together.
Outside, Tammie bickers with Danny some more about the prenup.
“I’lll sign it, ‘F*** you!’ That’s how I’ll sign it,” she tells him. I wouldn’t doubt it. Then she sits on the stoop and chats with her gals about prenups.
This one has a swell take on it:
“You sign it, you get married, you hope he dies and everything’s left to you,” she reasons. I mean, you’d probably be hoping your husband dies anyway, so might as well profit from it, too, right?
Later, Danny’s kids want to go home. Tammie does not. “Your daughters want to leave the party. They’re sore losers or whatever…Your daughter wants to leave, she can walk home!” I love “sore losers or whatever,” as though she couldn’t actually think of an appropriate put-down (because what is the game?) but had to say something negative.
It really is nice to see Danny at last stick up for his kid. Tammie suggests his daughter hitch a ride and when it becomes clear that Danny’s leaving with his kids, Tammie calls them “boring.” He leaves, she dances back into the party without a care in the world. Really, if possible pregnancy, a prenup and fraying relations with her husband-to-be’s children aren’t getting her down, who am I to argue with her coping method?
Alyssa and Tyler
It’s crunch time for Alyssa and Tyler, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually crunching. They’ve hired a florist to be their wedding planner (which sounds…questionable, at best?), and they meet with him to reveal how much they don’t have done, basically.
Tyler thinks all they need is an open bar, a big dance floor and some music and people will have a good time. He’s probably right and I can’t help but salute the pragmatist who isn’t willing to take out another mortgage just for the sake of upholding tradition. He reveals that his friend will be marrying them, but he is not certain of his friend’s title. Eh, why bother getting into vocational details? Alyssa reveals that she doesn’t know what songs she wants played and she doesn’t like any flowers. At the end of the meeting, she says Tony presented her with too much information and her head is swimming. She took notes…
…but neglected to hold onto them. The words aren’t just swimming around her head — they’re swimming around outside of it. This does not bode well for the future.
Alyssa takes her bridesmaids shopping for their dresses. She wants them to look hot, but not hotter than her. That’s the mantra of today’s bride, no?
There is clearly tension between some of her bridesmaids. One, who’s pregnant, wants to wear a very small and short dress.
Another finds a green wig and decides she wants to wear it to the wedding.
“You would have green hair for my wedding?” asks Alyssa. “Why don’t you respect my personality?” returns her bridesmaid. Because it isn’t even so much as attached to your scalp? It’s hard to respect something as changeable as a wig, you know? Another bridesmaid chips in with one of the episode’s only “friggin'”s: “But it’s Alyssa’s big fabulous friggin’ wedding, and you’re gonna look like crap with green hair!” The bridesmaid above thinks green hair will give the wedding pizazz; Alyssa thinks she should be the only one giving pizazz. Not even the most chlorinated of blondes could argue with that.
Flash forward to Alyssa’s surprise bridal shower…
The tension persists, though this time it’s regarding who came early to set up and who didn’t and blah blah blah.
That’s kind of what I want to do to all this current drama. In response to the hand, the girl on the right yells, “Get your f***in’ dirty, ugly hand out of my face. Please. You can leave, no one even wants you here, you ugly bitch.” Just so you know how immense the headache is that we’re dealing with.
Alyssa arrives and it’s a surprise. Her mom gets completely out of control (mixing vodka an wine at one point!) and it’s…not a surprise.
She seems to get into it with everyone!
Between her and the fighting bridesmaids, Alyssa doesn’t much feel like joining the party. Her grandmother consoles her saying, “It’s crazy out there. Crazy and weird.” Succinct, and right on the mark.
Alyssa interviews that this is not how she pictured her bridal party turning out. I should hope not! Then the lights go out, just so the universe can, you know, rub it all in. Alyssa leaves and then everyone follows her. Her mom finally rolls up to Alyssa’s, saying she just took the longest ride of her life. She went from somewhere in New Jersey to somewhere in New Jersey. I seriously doubt her claim. Also:
She is drunk! Obviously! But what isn’t obvious is she’s throw-up-in-the-car drunk:
I can’t say what disturbs me more, though: the vomit or the general messiness. Ugh, who wants to rest your feet and risk having them wrapped in newspaper? Feet aren’t fish!
Anyway, you have to feel for Alyssa, who has seemingly done nothing to bring on all this messiness. She worries that the scent of all this puked up nastiness and puked up…puke is going to pervade her wedding.
“I never feel happy, like, I’m always down, but now it’s like I have so much drama, I can’t even enjoy my own wedding,” she interviews. So that’s sad!
But at least things can’t get much worse. Don’t worry Alyssa: it gets better. It really, really has to.
Matt and Amanda
Amanda announces at the start of her first segment that she’s clueless about this wedding stuff and wishes she could go into hibernation until her wedding day. But what fun would watching that be? As a culture, we haven’t yet embraced that idea of people sleeping and yielding good television, but it could happen someday. Stay tuned.
Matt and Amanda are on the hunt for a wedding car. Since it’s relatively short notice, all the guy has is a ’59 Bentley.
Amanda doesn’t like it. I can’t even imagine being in a situation where I’m near a vintage Bentley, let alone one where my opinion on it is asked. What a fantasy land we’re visiting! She says it throws her eye off and looks “like a funeral.” Still, there are two weeks left till their wedding and this may be their only opinion. Time will tell if this is all one big omen.
They attend Sunday dinner at Matt’s mother’s house. Amanda, like Sandra in last week’s episode, is supposed to learn how to cook for Matt, and her first order of business is cleaning clams and mussels. She does not want to do this. It is only fair, according to someone else who is there (Matt’s brother?):
I am pretty sure that the censored word is “clam,” which on its own obviously isn’t obscene, but in context, obviously is. If nothing else, I really hope that Matt keeps the scrub brush far, far away from Amanda’ s crotch. It’s the least he can do.
Matt’s mom sees Amanda’s task as essential — “Food is the heart of the Italian family, so she needs to learn how to cook like an Italian,” she says. She grouses about Amanda’s squeamishness about taking the “beards” off the mussels. Maybe Amanda’s just a really big fan of facial hair, even on mollusks? When they finally sit down to eat, Amanda says that if it’s good, she’s taking credit, but if it’s bad then, hey, it wasn’t her recipe in the first place.
Everybody likes it, so it turns out that Amanda is the winner of this win-win situation.
Outside, in the truth pen, Matt’s mom talks about Amanda’s cooking:
“It was very good, but it will never be mine,” she says. And I’m sure nobody, but nobody would want it any other way.
Johnny and Megin
It’s an important time for Johnny — he’s about to set up shop inside a bigger shop called Corrado’s and peddle his Johnny Meatballs meatballs.
The preparation seems to be hitting snags when he reveals that in three hours, he’s made six meatballs. If he isn’t selling them for $15 a piece, this is barely worth his time. Megin suggests moving his operation to her friend Marissa’s house. It has a much bigger kitchen, for one thing.
Once there, things seem to be going smoothly. Johnny reveals that he doesn’t believe in measurements, that the old Italian tradition doesn’t call for them at any rate. The one problem of not measuring things is that you don’t quite know what you’re working with and things run out. Things such as meat.
This requires a trip back to the supermarket and cooking till the wee hours of the morning.
On the way to Corrado’s the next day, Megin implores Johnny to get a real job. He’s obviously gunning for making Johnny Meatballs a full-time job, but that takes time. And a trunk full of balls.
They set up in Corrado’s.
But the handsome…
…do little to attract customers — at first. One by one, people start to sample and before Megin and Johnny know it, they’re mobbed. And it doesn’t seem like producer-constructed mobbing or anything! It’s real, sell-all-the-balls, back-up-your-Jazzy-scooter-and-get-some mobbing!
After Johnny sells his last ball, the manager of Corrado’s takes him aside and says he’s willing to stock Johnny Meatballs meatballs permanently. Success! At least, it’s success if you’re measuring stock, not profits. When Johnny finally calculates the math, it turns out that his meatballs netted him $20. But you know, that’s $20 than he started with! And all he had to do for it is stay up cooking till 4 am and schlep to Wayne, NJ. What’s the problem?
Finally, we reach…
Joey and Sandra
She’s been interviewing for jobs “just to see what’s out there.” I thought a position as Joey’s assistant was what was out there? Then again, if she’s having second thoughts, it’s understandable.
She says she’s not in any rush — she wants to find something that’s right for her. Joey, shockingly, agrees with this approach. “If you don’t enjoy it to begin with, then don’t do it,” he starts to tell her. It sounds like actual compassion until: “…‘cause if I have to hear you coming home with an attitude that you don’t like your job again…naw.” She thinks this is the nicest thing he’s said in the last few days. I believe it!
Meanwhile, we see them finalizing their centerpieces, which will be composed of feathers instead of flowers. Joey gets really enthusiastic talking about feathers. It definitely adds a dimension to his character. Sandra, meanwhile, doesn’t like to face the grim reality of the plucking that will supply their wedding decorations. “Feathers just shed, that’s how I’m thinking about it,” she says. Her attitude could be summed up as no harm, no fowl.