Married By America

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When marriage is its own penalty

Previously on Dead and Married: The Preoperational Stage. The peeps. The scandalous secrets. The white dresses. The tuxes. The rings. The wrist holes. The screens. The chemistry. The lack of chemistry. The SUVs. The Huggy-Boo. The sex. The lack of sex. That which appeared to be the sex, and was only in post-show interviews revealed to be the lack of sex. The schoolgirl. The French maid. The panel. The pain. The Miss P. The pixilated asses. The villas. The horses. The kayaking. The families. The raw meat. The lies of Announcer-Man. The mystery of Egghead's purpose. The merciful end of Matt and Cortez. The uncomfortable end of Jennifer and Xavier. The overdue end of Denise and Stephen. And now, the only question that remains: How much worse can it get? Oh, do you really want to know? Okay. Sit back.

First, we are subjected to lengthy Rehash-O-Vision footage of all the boring things that no one cared about that have happened in the last several weeks while people who might have chosen to watch were getting an early start on their spring cleaning instead. If nothing else, the failure of this show to interest anyone at all anywhere was beneficial for the cleanliness of America's bathrooms, if Fox is taking suggestions. Actually, Bleached By America would be a good follow-up. Anyway, during the rehashing, we do see a few new moments that we didn't see the first time around -- particularly Denise lying in bed with Stephen during one of her self-pity-fests, demanding that he admit that she's "pretty awesome." You know, if she ever locates the universe in which that's the way to get guys to want you desperately and treat you with respect, I hope she'll send me a postcard. But given the distance such a postcard would have to travel from there to the universe in which I live, I'm not sure she could afford the postage. In the end, though, we are reminded that we will be spending this hour with Billie Jeanne and Tony and with Kevin and Jill -- the two terrific couples that have been deemed worthy by our esteemed panel of morons, by virtue of the fact that they got good and naked without delay.

My favorite part of the Rehash-O-Vision, actually, is when the announcer declares that Billie Jeanne's "fearless commitment" challenged Tony's "more conservative values." Hee, Tony's conservative values.

When the interminable reliving of past agony is finally over, the new agony begins. We fade up on the rolling hills of what I guess are the exurbs of Huggy-Boo, and then we see Kevin and Jill -- him biking, her running -- traversing a woodsy road together, looking just like they're posing for the accompanying photograph to a Self magazine article called, "Can Working Out Help You Work It Out?" The captions tell us that this is Day 17, at 8:00 AM, which we are told is "79 Hours Before The Wedding." I'm sorry, 79 hours? Who counts down the last 79 hours before something occurs? Perhaps a condemned prisoner, which I suppose is oddly fitting. Jill, seated in front of a decorative piece of wall and smiling her bland I-lost-thirteen-pounds-in-two-weeks-on-the-MegaSystem smile, tells us that she cannot believe her wedding day is almost here. As she and Kevin continue their workout, we flash back to her engagement on the Preoperational Stage as she admits in a voice-over that she didn't originally envision her engagement taking place on television. I'm not even sure I believe her anymore. I'm beginning to think Jill has a To Die For-like desire to see her entire life played out on television. Kevin interviews that he had a wonderful feeling when he first saw her which he "can't put words to." Hmm, I could have sworn the words were, "Yay! Look, she's got big ones!" Of course, if anyone were going to be unable to put even that simple a feeling into words, it would be Kevin. Kevin and Jill sweat some more. Kevin is wearing a ski hat. And shorts. Because his top half is in Aspen, and his bottom half is in Miami.

At Tony and BJ's, she is bringing out a cushion for one of the pieces of lawn furniture, going as usual for the domestic vibe. She voices over that she thinks "it's meant for [her] to be here." Can you imagine if that were true? If she were actually put on earth for the purpose of being on this show? That would be so much worse than, as the old joke says, finding out that, after all, the hokey-pokey really is what it's all about. She recalls her appearance on the Preoperational Stage, and then, as they lay out in the sun, Tony talks about how impressed he was with Billie Jeanne when they met. He claims to have been "blown away by who she was," whatever that means. He also says he trusts in their feelings for each other. It's funny; Tony uses many words I know, but he seems to use them in a very different way. Also, he's wearing shorts with purple flowers on them. I think I had that shower curtain once.

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Married By America




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