I bet the girls are soooooo jealous that their costars of this episode get to wear real furs. Try stuffing that into a trunk!
We return to You’re Cut Off! riding a wave of despondency.
Marissa is bummed over failing last episode’s challenge, as she’s never failed at anything she’s attempted in life. Welcome to reality and reality TV, Marissa. If that isn’t a one-two punch, I don’t know what is. Meanwhile, Nadia mourns being separated from her child…
She wishes she had an article of her daughter’s clothing so that she could sleep with it. That’s reminiscent of my cat, who no matter how clear the bed is, will snuggle with whatever dirty laundry happens to be strewn in the room. Nadia continues, “Maybe even her diaper, I mean like…” Now she really reminds me of my cat. Nadia says that something is wrong, and she can feel it and wants to go home. So she packs in the style of Jersey Shore‘s Angelina:
Seriously, she has this much stuff? What happened to the half-trunk rule? This stuff could easily top out a small landfill. Anyway, with the help of Jessica and Aimee, Nadia eventually calms down and decides to stay.
“Everybody has to have their meltdown!” is what Aimee chalks it up to. Again, I say: welcome to reality TV.
The girls receive a vague note telling them about their challenge. “You’re going to meet some people who are also cut off, but by their own choice,” it reads. Curiosity abounds.
Marcy wonders who’d cut themselves off. Hana says a lot of homeless people do it on purpose. I’m sure Hana has studied the homeless very closely and has a lot of data to back up that claim. What’s amazing isn’t that homeless people cut themselves off, but that more of us don’t do so to become homeless. It seems like such a fun adventure! To quote Wikipedia: “According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 643,067 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide on a single night in January 2008.” I really feel like if we got up off our asses, we could easily push that number to over a million. America, my message to you is: stop being so lazy and get homeless.
Marcy thinks they might be meeting with Amish people or monks. But no…
…it turns out to be just a bunch of hippies. The girls are shipped to the Urban Homestead, where they meet the Dervaes family. “They all look like they’re brothers and sisters. Maybe they’re married. I’m not sure what’s going on,” she says, adding that it all feels like an episode of Big Love. Since we are looking at one father and three siblings, Marcy is implying incest among these people. What a nice way of saying hello! T
he Dervaes patriarch describes his compound as an “island of sustainability.” Recycling is their lifestyle, and they spend about $12 a month on electricity and $600 a year on water. Well, pin a wilted rose on your collective nose, Dervaeses…and then throw it on your compost heap! (Not that I need to remind you of what to do with your biodegradables.) Today, the girls will get all kinds of urban-farmy with the Dervaeses. They’ll make apple butter with Anais…
…harvest crops and perform misc. chores with the oddly alluring Justin…
…and help Jordanne (Jordan?) with the animals…
They suit up in bandannas and aprons with scant complants. They must have been sedated heavily on the ride over. Amy and Marcy get to buttering with Anais, who tells them that the only thing in her kitchen that’s plugged in is their fridge. I don’t know, though, if you check their site, they do an awful lot of blogging for people who are attempting to exist off the grid. I wonder if they have a giant hamster wheel that they make the goats run on to generate electricity. Those goats can run! More on that in a sec.
Marcy asks Anais about her shoelessness. It doesn’t seem that principled — “I'm just like, eh, I don’t need ‘em!” is Anais’ loose philosophy. She also says there are studies suggesting that it’s healthy to forgo wearing shoes. Aye, but there are more studies about how painful it is to step on glass, and how nasty goat poop feels between your toes. Trust me, I conducted them. Also, they ask her about her favorite movie and she says, “I like black and white films.” Why, are they somehow more energy efficient to watch? What a principle to have. That’s almost as bad as someone who says they’re into “foreign films,” as if other countries aren’t capable of producing the same ratio of crap that springs from domestic ground. I don’t know, Anais’ interests are really rubbing me the wrong way, not that any of it is my business.
She has Marcy and Aimee make a smoothie using a blender attached to a bicycle.
It’s not so much frappÃ© as it is crappÃ©. After Marcy has pedaled with all of her might, the result is still so thick and gross. The yogurt never stops being yogurt. A rare miss for what I’m sure is a chunk-free existence at Urban Homestead. Meanwhile, Hana and Jessica tend to the goats.
They are so cute that it makes my eyes water.
Look at that! I didn’t know goats could sit like that! They’re people with horns and hooves! I want one so very badly for my apartment. I could just put it in the place of the paper shredder I’d no longer need. Hana and Jessica must collect their droppings for compost…with their mouths. Just kidding, although it would be nice if this show had a little more Fear Factor in it. Blast those princesses out of their comfort zone with poop! That’s what I always say (always!). One goat takes a liking to Jessica, and she claims that it is eating her. She’s really calm about it though. I guess the one thing about being eaten by a goat is that it’s interesting. Hana, meanwhile, says, “Good kitty, good kitty,” to soothe a goat who promptly starts chasing string, batting his hooves and hissing arbitrarily.
They have to brush the goats and Jordanne says that one of them enjoys being sung to. This goat’s name is Blackberry, which makes Hana miss her Blackberry. Personal appliances: they’re just like animals, which are just like people. Thank you for being a friend, Blackberry, and I’m sorry I threw you in the trashcan once I came to my senses and gave into the iPhone and its inferior touch pad. Speaking of, it seems that another goat may, in fact, be named iPhone, which is hilarious of the Dervaeses. Let me guess: the other one’s name is Flatscreen.
Meanwhile, Lauren, Marissa and Nadia are in the trenches working with compost.
Marissa has “see sickness” when it comes to worms. I think I have snore sickness when it comes to see sickness.
At some point, Aimee gets really sick of chopping things (I’m sure she’s given the dullest blade imaginable so as not to suck up all the free-radical jules of energy bouncing around the air in Urban Homestead)…
…and she and Marcy get to walk the goats. The only thing is that when they enter the pen to lasso the goats, they neglect to close the door and a goat that is not named Flatscreen (her name is Peaches), runs out…
Marcy runs after her like she’s out to eat him, according to Marissa. Marcy fails to nab Peaches, but Anais finally really gets her goat.
See what happens when you invite entitled princesses into your homestead? You lose goats. Simple as that. Really, it’s the hippies’ own fault for accepting the free work. You get what you pay for!
Finally, they all gather around the yard to eat pizzas they made with things from the garden (and goat cheese, presumably).
Nadia wishes she had this kind of space in her back yard (but I’m sure she wouldn’t wish 0n anybody the work it took to foster such a space). Marissa, meanwhile, is turned off by an environment that’s home to the likes of worms and goats. Such a gracious guest! She should win a prize for that. And you know something? She pretty much does. Soon. Nadia, Aimee and Hana are the nominal winners of this challenge, though, which means that they get video messages from their loved ones, which make them cry and teach them how to love again. Where Blackberry left off, their families pick up.
Marissa interviews that this is unfair because she’s closer to her parents than all three of those girls combined. Sorry, guys, it’s true: Marissa measured the parental love and then quantified it because she is a scientist of love. A loveologist. You’ve heard of those, I’m sure. In fact, you have a loveologist for your primary care physician. Just admit it. Marissa also for Laura to do this to people knowing that all of these girls are “struggling” is “cheesy.” On weekends, you see, Marissa works at a dairy.
The girls are called to group.
Laura says that this week’s lesson called on them to determine where they’re wasteful and excessive in their lives. The answer is, oh, everywhere. Jessica has an excessive amount of clothing, but it’s her outlet also. Similarly, shopping is Marcy’s therapy. Laura points out how tough this week has been for Marissa and asks if she relates to the other girls. Marissa identifies with Lauren because, “she has moral value. Like, we’re used to being around certain types of people.” Lauren then interviews, “Are you kidding me? I’m not used to hanging out with girls like Marissa. It almost was an insult to me.”
While it’s hilarious to see Marissa dropped on her ass like this, it does go to show that Lauren is at least similarly snooty, just in a different way. Perhaps she has more in common with Marissa than she’d like to admit. Marissa lists strong family values, education, “certain status people that we’re used to” and the lack of a wild past in her “moral value” list and says that she doesn’t relate to the wild child that is Nadia. But Nadia lives in a million-dollar house on a lake! Surely that counts for something! The girls take a few shots at Marissa’s constant label-dropping. Regarding the status of the house, Marissa exclaims, “A Harvard grad doesn’t hang out with a high school dropout!” God, what’s Harvard got to do with it?
Anyway, all the girls have passed (Hana’s VIP for not being, you know, hateful for a week), with the exception of Marissa, who flies into a quiet rage, which we’ve all seen by now.
It’s tedious and ridiculous enough to be infuriating. She thinks she’s having an allergic reaction to the whole situation, but seems to come up with this idea only after Marcy says the word “reaction.” Maybe it’s Marcy’s vocabulary that’s the real contagion? Basically, what it comes down to is separation anxiety — Marissa misses her mom greatly and feels incomplete without her.
So incomplete, in fact, that a paramedic is brought in to counsel her.
She doesn’t know if it’s allergies, but she is swollen. “I’m exasperating the symptoms with doing all these different things and then I’m getting nervous on top of it all,” she says. I believe she means “exacerbating,” even though she is exasperating (not to mention exaggerating). This statement really lends credence to her whole, “I’ve been brought up very articulate, feminine and classy,” spiel that she laid out earlier this episode to show how she’s at a different level than all of the other girls. Please. She misuses words with the best of ‘em.
Marissa doesn’t know if this is for her; being away from mom is what “this” seems to mean. And so Laura’s going to bend her rules to allow Marissa “this one call” to her mother. So, let’s get this straight: Marissa didn’t win the reward of parental contact because she acted like an entitled princess, and then acted like an entitled princess about that, and got a better reward than the winners of this week’s challenge, who were given a measly video message from their parents. Marissa gets points for being exponential, I guess?
“I’m getting a little bit sad, Mom,” says Marissa. She goes from “exasperating” to understating in minutes! Pshaw to her claim that her magic is dimming without her mom — she seems straight-up cosmic to me. “Because of our severe closeness, even a couple of days feels like a couple of years,” she says on being separated from her mother. “Severe” really is the word for it. Also, throughout this scene, I can’t help but feel that everything that’s soothing Marissa runs counter to this show’s whole point. She’s not cut off — she’s connected by a global network! Marissa’s mom feels lost without her daughter, but she’s trying to be strong. Melodrama is a heritable trait, not surprisingly. “This is your chance to shine!” are Marissa’s mom’s final words of encouragement. I thought it was her chance to learn perspective? Joke’s on me, I guess!