Okay. This show is retarded, so let's get it done. There are four men who are buddies and belong to the same country club: Duncan (Dylan McDermott), Brody (Christopher Titus), Karl (Josh Malina), and James (Michael Vartan). As is usual in this kind of scenario, it's hard to believe they're friends. Duncan is the head of a cosmetics company and a twice-divorced Lothario who's on good (read: Posturepedic) terms with his first wife; less good is his relationship with his daughter, which is unfortunate, since she's the most enjoyable character on the show. Duncan gives her a job, and they eventually come to an understanding. Brody works in crisis management, which doesn't seem to help with his wife, given that all he does is complain about how hard to please she is. Karl is a billionaire who's a total dweeb and is cheating on a wife who's a billion times too good for him. James is the moral center of the show; he gets fired from his exec position, but his boss dies in a bit of sketch comedy that Desperate Housewives would have rejected as too over-the-top, and conveniently, the boss hadn't yet told anyone about the firing, so James is not only still employed but is in the running to take over the CEO position. James then finds out that his wife and his boss were screwing, which is ridiculous, since the boss was an older thin-haired dickhead and James is MICHAEL VARTAN, and then he gets the CEO job, which is even more ridiculous, given that the speech he gave to the board in pursuit of that goal would have ended up on The More You Know's cutting-room floor. Karl's bimbo mistress gets fed up with him and befriends his wife. Don't care. Brody has to plan a birthday party for his wife. Also don't care. And a reporter starts fishing around for dirt on Duncan, and we learn that he once got a bathroom-stall blowjob from a hooker -- who just so happened to be a tranny. Duncan and Brody go on a mission to find the tranny and pay her off, but it turns out the reporter got to her first and wired her up, so it looks like Duncan will bear the brunt of clever tabloid headlines and limericks soon enough. You guys, McDermott and Vartan are still scorching, and I feel particularly bad for Vartan, since he's trying his damndest to sell dialogue that could suck your soul right out of your body, but this show is...not good. I will have no choice but to talk a lot more about that in the full recap, but I feel I must point out that Vartan didn't even take his shirt off.
Oh, Lord. This show. With the possible exception of one episode of Jericho, I haven't recapped a scripted show this bad since the times of "Barbara Hershey." But it at least has some serious eye candy. I mean, I almost could get into watching it with the volume off. Hey, you take the good, you take the bad, right? Actually, I never believed that. Shut up, The Facts Of Life.
Okay! Jaunty mariachi music (...okay? I mean, I like it, but it seems a bit out of place) plays as we open on a tight shot of the back of a golf cart that's driving away from the camera; we then pan up and wide to see the large and expensive-looking clubhouse. Shots of people playing tennis, swimming in the pool, playing golf, and then inside, hoary dialogue about insider trading and deported nannies lets us know that this place requires some serious cash, as if we were under the impression that the principals from a show called Big Shots would be slumming it at the public courses with O.J. We focus in on a closed door through which we hear giggling, and then a far too-long pan around a wine cellar containing the entirety of last year's output of the Alsace region takes us to meet Dylan McDermott. It may seem rude that he doesn't turn around and say hello, but if he did, he'd be pointing at us, which is impolite as well. Yes, Dylan has some woman against the conveniently existing window seat and is apparently managing to thrust away, despite barely having his jeans lowered in accordance with network television standards. Tired dialogue that isn't helped by unconvincing panting lets us know that these two used to be married, but the sex is better since they've been apart, and also, they have a daughter named "Cameron," to whom the ex-wife wants Dylan to speak, as Cameron dropped out of school the week before. The only thing that's not a complete cliché about this equation is the daughter leaving school. I mean, if my parents were this oversexed, I wouldn't come home from college even in the summer. As Dylan seems to be, um, approaching, the frame freezes and we get a card that reads: "Duncan Collinsworth: CEO, Reveal Cosmetics."
Elsewhere, we observe a giant meat hook grabbing the last three enormous prawns off a platter, and then we see Christopher Titus, who I trust needs no introduction, not that that isn't a sad commentary on all sorts of things. Titus makes some unfunny, repetitive jokes to the extra playing the shrimp guy, and while he could stand to lose the weight of a small person, it still seems unfair to expect him not to stuff his face. If he's not allowed to talk, what else is he supposed to do with his mouth? A Hispanic serving guy with a mild accent appears, and Titus is all buddy-buddy with "Hector" until he sees that the shrimp are gone, at which point he bitches about the guy who took the last of them and then manages to be both obnoxious and pathetic in whining, "Can you hook a brother up?" Wow. First he's a total dick, then he tries to connect in the lamest, whitest possible way, and even mismatches the tired expression with the ethnicity. I mean, it's not that I'd expect much better from Titus, but he doesn't even know the word "hermano"? Did no one buy him the Arrested Development DVDs? (Also, there are barely any changes from the original pilot, but one is that they cut a part where Titus condescendingly makes fun of the guy for using "shrimps" as the plural of "shrimp." Probably a wise move.) Anyway, Hector, who seems to know that the "shrimps" are for Titus's wife, says there may be some more in the lower kitchen, and he'll run them down to the pool at once. Titus slaps his hand and says he's the man, because it's easy to be nice to the underpaid help when they're busting their asses for you specifically. He then gets a call from his wife, and he reports that the shrimp are on their way. When he hangs up, he gives us an exasperated sigh, and given the level of subtlety so far, I'm surprised there aren't actual chickens pecking at his shoes here. This is "Brody Johns: Founder, Alpha Crisis Management."