Props to Wing and Sars and Glark and the thinking that enough props will form an engine that will take to the air and fly me westward for dinner. ["Aw! That's what I want out of life, too, every day." -- Wing Chun]
Blue skies and morning-time vibes greet the waking inhabitants of AmbiguLand (seriously, where in the world is the hot tub always on but the sky turns a mood-appropriate grey when people are in a bad mood? The set of The Truman Show?) this morning, as we join Randi "Siegfried And" Coy in the process of pretending to wake up in front of the cameras (who sleeps holding bottled water?) and rub her eyes in a this-is-totally-spontaneous kind of unengineered way. Bedecked in a white robe with a bath towel folded swami-like around her head like The Crown Princess Of The Sovereign Land Of Duh-Topia, she ambles over to the sink and tries not to give away the secret of the con to her unwitting friend "Internal Monologue," who has been brought in to do all the really hard thinking for her: "Last night, it was a little intense," she voices over. How intense? "Hugely intense." Bigly, fatly, obnoxiously intense? Let's go see!
We land square in a steaming pile of flashback, where we discover a disgusted (she's not alone, but for different reasons entirely from the rest of us) Randi reminding Steve, "Don't be getting any feelings, now. This is a business plan." I guess Fox edited this show with the predisposed thinking that they were going to build on the buzz of how fabulously irreverent everyone was going to say it was, so they thought they'd have to show some flashbacks because of how much their audience was going to increase from week to week. So, that went well. A cut later, and we're still knee-deep in the darkly auteurist Tim Burton Presents Footage From Last Week's Episode Of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé -- I mean, I guess I understand the black & white, but did they really have to letterbox the thing? -- where we find Steve screaming for Randi and then hopping in the hot tub, because that's the only actual thing that happened last week that didn't involve repeated shots of Randi putting her hand over the crooked nose of her far-less- perfect-than- she-thinks- it-is face and whispering, "Oh, my god."
"I'm feeling a little more optimistic today than I did last night," Randi says, her training as a private-school educator clearly having never required the Psychology 101 training where you learn that repeating exactly the same patterns over and over again and expecting different results means that you suffer the pathology of being a garden-variety fucking lunatic. Squinting into a vanity (appropriately enough), and applying enough eye makeup to win a free Earth-encircling tour on the U.S.S. Clowny Face, Randi confessionalizes, "When a million dollars is at hand, I think I'm going to have to step up a notch." A million dollars? Wasn't it just minutes ago a half a million dollars? Quarter of a million for her, quarter of a million for her family? I guess her training as a private-school educator didn't teach her simple equations, either. Did Randi just gaffe the math by a half a million dollars? Or is there something we're supposed to be reading into this? I mean, I know the production values on this show have thus far offered it that extra pathetic Plan 9 From AmbiguLand quality that makes you just want to watch episode after episode, but I'm telling you people right now: we're being screwed. I mean, not just as citizens of this island Earth; I've already resigned myself to a life shortened by six useless hours that I'll try my damnedest not to regret when I'm shaking off the mortal coil. What I mean is that this show is screwing us, too. There's an extra twist and we don't know what it is yet. Is it something simple like that they'll all win a million dollars if they pull it off? Or is it that Randi is also an actor, and so is her family, and that this isn't a reality show at all but a scripted series? Is it that once they get married, they're actually pronounced betrothed by the power invested in the presiding minister and by the state of AmbiguLand, and that to get a legal divorce she'll have to spend $250,000 of her own money? Will Steve pull off a mask and reveal himself to be Darva Conger? Do they all die at the end? Hmmm? What about the dying idea? All of them at the end, I mean?