Thursday, September 25, 2008

Janice Dickinson And Watching Grass Grow

In season four, episode five of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, it became unquestionably clear how dull the show has become and how different this season is from previous ones in its lack of any enticement for tuning in each week. Gone are the risque images of homoerotic bare man booty. Nearly gone is Janice's shredding of the models' dignity and view of their self-worth. The result is that all goodness and no butt shots makes Janice a very dull girl.

In past seasons, there was the constant bickering between Janice and her ex-business partner Peter Hamm that would inject drama and friction into every episode. Now the show has to bring back Brian Kehoe repeatedly in a series of brief and mildly sad debasements of its former supporting star supplicating to Janice for forgiveness and Janice coldly denying clemency. The second time this occurred in this episode, Kehoe stood outside the model house, staring at the door, just waiting for something to happen. How like the experience of viewers this season.

Paul VandervortWe used to be able witness Janice ripping into the models and telling them how bad she thinks they are. Now we see her being all sweetness and light, as she was when she counseled Paul Vandervort about his concerns with being too short and not being selected by clients. The old Janice would have told Paul to get taller or get out. Now Mama Janice hugs and says everything is going to be okay. Miss Dickinson has become Mrs. Rodgers.

On the show's storylines, I haven't gone along with others' views that everything on this show is made-up but it's getting harder to resist that conclusion. When Kehoe showed up at the TINte Cosmetics shoot, you could easily imagine hearing a director tell Xian Mikol to experiment speaking her line in different ways. To herself, she said: "Why is he here? WHY is he HERE?" To Crystal Trueheart, "Why is he HERE?" To Kehoe, "Why are YOU here?" Hey Xian, one more time, with feeling.

A second contrived event was Nathan Romano from Ed Hardy showing up out of the blue at the model house with his photographer Steven Barston. No appointment, not believable. It appears to have been done to create a gag of Sorin Mihalache shutting the door in their face and making them wait while Janice runs through the house telling her models to clean up. Too cliche.

Nathan RomanoAs I stated last season, I like Nathan Romano, and it is nice to see that he agreed with my comments on how good Payton Brady wore his company's underwear. Unfortunately, the photoshoot this episode lacked the spark and excitement of the Miami runway show. The wearing of two layers of underwear by the models during the photoshoot aptly reflected the tone of everything: safe and bland and suitable for families. Even having Traci Moslenko topless was mitigated by having Payton Brady immediately call his girlfriend to confess and state how pure the event actually was. More interesting would have been to see Payton visit a chiropractor to have his back looked at every having well-rounded Traci jump into his arms.

Strangely, the history quiz led by Janice's daughter Savannah ended up being the best part of the episode. It wasn't very entertaining, but it did allow viewers who learned something from it not to feel like they had completely wasted an hour of their life.

On the other hand, it looks like the show's producers believe their viewers must be somewhat slow witted. They have Martin Ritchie, as the quiet observer, give a inside summary of who on the show is flirting with whom, just in case the viewers couldn't quite comprehend what they had just seen where the models explicitly stated who they were interested in. With that kind of analysis, is there anything left for me to do?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Janice Dickinson And The B Word

In season four, episode four of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, it was all about the B words, plural, and surprisingly none of them apply to Janice.

At the beginning of the episode J.P. Calderon lectured Brian Kehoe about his bad behavior after Kehoe had been kicked out of the model house by Janice. Referring to the way he spoke to Kehoe, J.P. said "I just lost it," although if the subject hadn't been booze and blow you might compare J.P.'s demeanor to Mr. Rodgers teaching a child about sharing or respecting other people's feelings.

J.P. as teacher, father confessor, and saint-in-residence can be a nice character, as it is good to have positive gay figures, but having both him and puppy dog sweet Martin Ritchie as the models that are gay on the show doesn't leave room for having a bed-hopping man-whore model who ends up getting with every guy in the agency. That would be a nice character to watch on the show also. At least the beatified J.P left the door open a crack by telling Kehoe he wanted to be his "[f'ing] friend".

Question: does anyone else think that Janice's watching her spy tv monitors with her hair stylist Duke is just a little too much like the Witch of the East and her chief flying monkey watching Dorothy and her friends through the crystal ball? ("Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeep.") Unsettling.

Danny NunezAt some point Janice stumbled out of her room dressed like a ballerina, lauded her previous experience with ballet, and then told her assembled and quickly horrified male models to put on tights. The guys were unhappy to put on the see-through garment plus dance belt, except of course for the ever agreeable Danny Nunez, who will do whatever the job requires. He mentioned that he is used to being naked a lot on the show. He knows he can't help being an anatomically correct Cuban Ken doll whose pants everyone wants to unsnap as soon as they take him out of the package.

Comment: The recently introduced blurring of the butt shots is treating the audience as if they were children. JDMA is an adult show for adults that want to see some glimpses of uncovered dude tang. The more gratuitious the better. We should be allowed to see an unexpurgated version somewhere, if not the tv then on the web.

After the boys were suitably attired. Janice showed them to Jonette Swider, a ballet teacher, who would be giving them instruction on the fine points of ballet, which is to say how to show off your manhood while simultaneously losing it. She had them stretching and squatting and leaping with their legs split and pointing their toes in strange positions. The scene was brief but long enough to notice that Payton Brady's backfield in motion is quite a sight and to notice with Paul Vandervort that tights come in child size.

At the end of the exercise Jonette selected J.P. as the best participant and Payton as the worst. Given their particular personalities and views of ballet, both were happy with their ranking.

Janice told Danny, Payton, and J.P. to move into the house immediately to help Danny and Payton to book jobs and for J.P. to act as a role model for the younger associates. They were all happy to get the order, but Danny and Payton quickly found out this silver lining had a dark cloud with it, namely having to be around more with nasty, ugly Gabe (Janice's make-up "artist").

Payton BradyTo have a little fun, former football players Danny and Payton tossed a few rolls of toilet paper back and forth in lieu of a real ball. Bitch queen Gabe acted as if this was any of his business and while spread out on a sofa with his wanky teeth and flabby belly exposed started criticizing the waste of the rolls and connected it to an implication that Danny's parents were unfit. Now I don't know Gabe's background, but he has always appeared to me like the worst kind of repulsive, smelly trailer trash, so maybe his family couldn't always afford toilet paper and seeing rolls wasted brought back an unpleasant memory to him. Nevertheless, he should keep his mouth shut around his superiors and not make clear what a loathsome creature he is.

Danny and Payton tried to be polite about it, but Gabe's hate filled invectives were bad enough that Payton had to eventually reply in kind . Janice overhead only Payton's comment and asked him to leave, not realizing that Gabe had been the one responsible for the turmoil. Once Janice found out that Gabe had called Payton a redneck, she gave Gabe a good slapdown, which caused Gabe to storm out of the house. Let's just hope he moves back to skankville and stays there permanently.

Danny NunezBuddies Danny and Payton moved their stuff in and went looking for sleeping quarters. Payton had said he loved the thought of being in a big house in a big bed. (Cue the Southern, laid back version of "Wouldn't it Be Loverly?") Chandler thought there was a pair of bunks in his room where Janice asked who was the top and who was the bottom, even though it is clear that they are both tops (as well as Janice who said "me too.") It was not meant to be though as they found the bunks were spoken for so they turned an alcove in the living room into their private VIP clothing-optional gentlemen's club. I want on that guest list.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Janice Dickinson And Role Playing

In season four, episode three of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, it was all about Janice and the models presenting themselves as they wanted to be seen on camera. Sometimes it was for the better, sometimes it was just bizarre.

The episode began with Janice apparently trying to portray a typical hausfrau, which is as believable as Marie Antoinette pretending to be a shepherdess. She was seen mopping the floor for a few seconds, just long enough to establish her bona fides in front of the camera that she knows how to clean house. She quickly grew tired of it and the mop went back into the hands of her all-purpose Igor, Sorin Mihalache. She then stormed through the house finding things to clean and garbage to throw out, loading Sorin with garbage bags the way the Grinch loaded down his down Max. Janice tried to make a bed but gave up in frustration, claiming her bitch nails wouldn't let her tuck the bedding in. Returning to her true role as queen of the realm, she got the female models to do it while letting them know she considered them pigs. Now that's the real Janice we know and love.

As strange as seeing Janice as a maid was, it was more shocking to see her getting up from bed in the morning and walking around the house in her robe, toothbrush in her mouth, checking on things, without makeup and without hair styling. In summary: visual unpleasantness. I had always assumed Gabe slept at her feet like the lap dog that he is and was ready to do her face as soon as she stirred. Otherwise, what's the point of keeping that obnoxious chihuahua?

Brian KehoeTurning to the other wacky star of the show, Brian Kehoe has been pulling out all the stops. In the previous episode, Kehoe spoke privately with Janice and gave a sob story that he had no place to go and that he had slept in his car the previous night. Like in a bad horror movie where you know where such things are going to lead to, Janice let down her guard and allowed the seemingly normal young man to stay at the house.

The start of the unraveling was Kehoe bathing naked in the pool with soap. Okay, strange. It then progressed to loud, irrational confrontations with the other models at all hours of the night. Of course, the pseudo-psychosis was obviously for show. Kehoe did a convincing job of pretending to be a frat boy with paranoid personality disorder on angel dust, but it was clear that it was a put on for the camera. Kehoe is too nice for it to be real and if it doesn't seem real, it is not interesting to watch.

However, for the other models, such a display was still noisy and disruptive so it indeed pissed people off. Even deaf Martin Ritchie said Kehoe was loud. Of course, Martin as always was so sweet and adorable when he said that.

The beginning of the end was at a house party where Kehoe told Crystal Truehart that she should do blow in order to lose weight. Janice heard this and tossed Kehoe out of the house. Though it's beyond unreal, the Kehoe as a nutcase storyline will unfortunately continue like Michael Myers popping up over and over. Maybe it would be best if Janice would bring in a cosmetic skull doctor who could give Kehoe a quick extreme makeover with electroconvulsive therapy and be done with it.

Martin RitchieThe big client of the episode was Kentucky Denim Jeans, which did a photo shoot with some selected models at the Santa Anita racetrack. The boy models put out for stud were Chandler Maness, Martin Ritchie, Brian Kehoe, Dominic Figlio, and Christian Prelle.

First up was Chandler and Christian on a tractor combine thingy. I think Chandler's best feature so far is his hair. It's versatile. It looked great slicked down for the sophisticated, old world Nicolita look and also great messed up for a rugged farm hand pose. Martin climbed on the apparatus appearing with Dominic. Oh, be still my heart. Martin was totally believable as some sort of red state plow boy. A manly man. I will say at this point that his hair style and especially the color are really working for him. It doesn't look as good in his photos of the past when he didn't have the blonding.

Janice showed up with her super sized Dollar General derby hat. You know, when something looks incredibly cheap I don't think you really want to go large with it. It only needed a hanging price tag to complete the Minnie Pearl goes to the races look.

Janice found out from owner Liat Tala that Martin did a good job. Martin was happy that he was able to show everyone that he could do good as a model. Martin had talked through his interpreter about feeling left out when others are speaking audibly and he can't hear them. He said they forget to write things down in order to include him. I know what he's talking about. I have the same feeling when the janitorial staff at work is speaking in tongues, leaving me wondering what they are saying about me.

Paul VandervortCan't forget to mention Paul Vandervort. At dinner one nightm, out of all the models. Janice called Paul over to take away her dishes, although she couldn't remember what his name was. It was then that I realized why Paul looks familiar. At every function I've been to, there is always a cater/waiter that looks a lot like Paul. Put him in a white jacket and he's perfect for the part.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Janice Dickinson And Faux Drama

In season four, episode two of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, it was all about the instigation of faux drama with forced friction between new models and returning models. It's a predictable ploy used on the series and it's probably played out by now. Long-time viewers know that by the end of the season, or at least by the start of the next one, everybody will be model buddies and one big happy PTSD family, so it's not worth investing interest in these little tiffs.

The gimmick of this season is the use of group living for the cast in a "model house", ala Big Brother, Real World, etc. Janice herself plays housemother, which makes the house sort of a cross between the Playboy mansion and a minimum security psych ward. Ostensibly, the purpose of the house was to give Janice Dickinson the opportunity to spend more time with her models, shaping them and keeping them focused. In reality, the concept was used to give the writers inherently more potential story lines to put together. The models, realizing that the house was where the stories and camera time were going to be based, all really wanted to stay within its limited confines. As terrible as it would be to have Janice on their back 24/7, they definitely wanted to be part of Madam Janice's little fame-whore house.

J.P. CalderonAt the end of the first episode, the returning models were incensed to learn that only new models had been picked to live in the house. Only J.P. Calderon, the impossibly benevolent, good-hearted conscience of the agency, said he he was happy for the new models getting to live there. He indicated that he was blissfully ignorant of the anger of the returning models. Question: why are the gay characters on basic cable and network tv usually saints? When can we have gay super s|uts whoring with every drunken straight football player turned model?

It was understandable that the new models would need the most attention, so although I can understand that living in the house could be considered a bonus, it really was intended to be like remedial summer school and as such, anybody not forced to live in the house should have felt good that Janice considered them not needing the extra attention.

Janice DickinsonJanice pointed out that those not living in the house are still in her agency. She let them how much she still cared for them by saying, "I love each and every one of you. Shut the f*** up and trust me." She's so sweet. Lord love her.

The puke in the group that doesn't deserve any loving is Christian Prelle, who mocked Martin Ritchie's speaking ability. This was a new low for Prelle, lower than the repulsive behavior he showed last season before the PETA rally. Thankfully, Prelle got deservedly slapped by Janice.

Sorin MihalacheTo get all the models together, Janice threw a party. Everyone seemed to have a good time despite seeing Sorin Mihalache's mustache and sad little hat. At the party Janice announced that she had picked Maurice Townsell to move into the house. She explained that she hoped his manliness would rub off on the "effeminate" models. She went on to say that she meant it literally, describing some sort of weird, male model marking of territory where "he's going to rub his manly, manly, manly, all over the place." Not in, just over, sadly.

Strangely, Janice then wanted all of the models to cross-dress to show that they could portray different characters. This seem to defeat her purpose for bringing in Maurice as his female persona was unnervingly on target, looking like a $20 street prostitute. Martin, it should be noted, looked terribly sweet as a coquettish, naughty Texas housewife.

Chandler ManessGetting down to work, the first casting was for Nicolita Swimwear. The company needed one of the girl models to be the face of Nicolita for the season and the finalists for the part who were selected to do a test shoot were Traci Moslenko, Polina Tretiakova, and CC Fontana. Chandler Maness was also selected, to be the man prop.

The shoot employed a very classy, classic look that I love, like Italy in the fifties. Traci Moslenko's face and hair looked real good, but the featured photo made her look like she had a beer gut. Polina Tretiakova's style just didn't fit the genre. CC clearly had the best photo of the women. Very sexy. Chandler Maness had the best look overall, looking fantastic in a Ivy League look. His one problem was his arm tattoo. It needs to go or have some body makeup on it.

CC had shown up late to the shoot because of her period. When Janice found out about it, she was very angry. Hearing it was because of menstruation, Janice asked CC, "Do you not know every 28 days that you have a blood bath downstairs?" Hearing this word picture of CC and her monthly flash flood disaster was a bit much, but probably better than seeing Janice hurl tampons at CC, shouting, "Plug it up! Plug it up!"

During the shoot, Janice met Anna Babbitt, Traci's manager for acting. Anna explained that she was representing Traci for TV and film. Janice asked, "What kind of film, porn?" Anna replied, "Well, she's going to be in features... soon." (As every other woman in LA is eventually promised.) Regardless, it's an great inspiration for having fun at work. I've started to bring a friend of mine to every business meeting, explaining that he's my agent for TV and feature films. It's a break from my usual intermittent but frantic wavingMartin Ritchie away invisible bugs.

The second casting of the episode was for Kentucky Denim Jeans. Liat Tala, the owner, was looking for some male models (who isn't?) with a few females for background. The men had to try on jeans, which gave us a good number of crotch shots. Sweet! Christian Prelle, Martin Ritchie, Brian Kehoe, Dominic Figlio and Chandler Maness were selected. It will be hot to watch the photo shoot in the next episode.