And Then There Were Two

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Mural's Wedding

Teresa and Adam go to a shop of grostesqueries to look for '80s costumes, and there's a charming interlude where Adam is scared of penis sculpture in this guy's office, because I know you were thrown off by his oafish demeanor, but Adam is so not gay. As a public service, however, he will keep reminding you of this. This is really becoming The Adam Show in a strange way. Maybe production feels bad for his exit or something, but seriously, even Teresa is kissing his ass. Meanwhile, Paul and Teresa are placed in charge of calling for donations. Arsenio admits he had fundraising nightmares in the past (the Leno check), but he's got Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Whoopi, Jerry Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin all lined up, it sounds like. "I thought you'd be friends with Oprah," asks the in-no-way-concerned-about-coming-across-as-a-racist Lisa Lampinelli. Speaking of, Lisa takes the reins of decorating the event space, while Teresa is put in charge of catering. Because of her cookbook, of course! You didn't know that Teresa Giudice is at the forefront of Jersey cuisine? I'm not sure anyone else could have picked a menu that had both a pork option AND a fish option.

Time to shoot the charity ad, and Adam directs it. There's a shouldn't-be-complicated shot where Arsenio passes a basketball offscreen and Magic Johnson is supposed to catch it in his shot, which is being filmed out in L.A. by what turns out to be Adam's podcast crew. Which, yes, seems suuuper dubious. Anyway, Adam and Arsenio spend a billion hours on the phone trying to explain what side of the frame Magic should be catching the ball on. So many repetitions of "camera left" and "frame right" and clearly no one knows what they're doing. But everything else about the ad seems solid. Lisa's good, Paul plays into his grumpiness, per usual. Teresa is clueless but not disastrous. The consensus from his team is that Arsenio is a hands-off leader in a good way.

In the editing bay later on, Arsenio is fundraising on the phone while Adam works with the editor. As Arsenio interviews to us, it turns out some of his friends have been stiffing him, or at least ignoring his calls. And he's like, "No worries! I get to shed their bullshit friendship and tell them to fuck off now!" Arsenio is kind of a simmering cauldron of rage underneath, huh? Meanwhile, the Magic footage takes FOREVER downloading from L.A., and when it does get there, it's the biggest disaster: Magic receives the pass, then proceeds to turn to his right and delivers the whole speech about the charity while standing SIDEWAYS to the camera. It's literally the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen. I don't care WHO is managing that shoot or how many wires got crossed with the "camera left" thing -- who doesn't know that you don't deliver exposition like that while standing SIDEWAYS? I hardly ever believe in producer-dictated fakery on this level, but COME ON. Anyway, the footage is essentially unusable. CLIFFHANGER #2.

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