Marching Orders

Episode Report Card
Djb: D+ | Grade It Now!
Jenny Jenny, Who Can I Turn To?

Back at the Rose Bowl's annual We'll Stoop To Anything To Pay Our Rent Bowl (I tell you, they've got a Bowl for everything these days), Jessica and Jesse freeze from their mercifully unaired conversation ("Hey, you like rocks?" "Yeah, but how come they're always, like, grey?") at the sound of a ringing whistle somewhere off in the distance. And then -- and really, I kid you not -- from out of the Hellmouth portal that is the Rose Bowl's Gate 19 comes charging an entire marching band, dressed in full marching-band regalia and playing while marching. It's horrible. It's the living depiction of the third scariest nightmare I've ever had, right after the one where my mother turns into a witch and the one where I die in Nebraska when I turn thirty-one. I know. Crazy, right? All I'm saying is, if you live in Nebraska, I'm not visiting you when I'm thirty-one. Don't even invite me. It's nothing personal. It's just not going to work out between us. It doesn't mean I don't think you're a perfectly nice person. Anyway, I'm trying to avoid the horrific, awful reality here: there's a billion-person marching band on their date. Jesse and Jessica are falling in love to the sound of "Celebrate Good Times (Come On!)" on fourteen tubas. Actually, I don't know what they're playing. It sounds a little like the music piping out of the car of the guy who's running for mayor in Back to the Future. What it's not, as Jesse tries to pretend it is, is "awe- inspiring." An aerial shot shows the band take on the shape of a heart. Jessica recaps, not leaving it to the professionals: "We're in the Rose Bowl, okay? We had our own marching band. And then we had a heart around us. Hello!" Uh, hi. Jesse agrees, "This is dope." God, he writes the way people talk. Jessica thanks him for "planning this," recognizing how much investment it took him to field the producer's memo (and have someone read it to him) that there was going to be a marching band on the date and responding, "Wow, man. They march? I can't even walk and chew gum at the same time." And, smacky kissing. Because who can resist a guy in a sky-blue turtleneck? Jessica tells us that this is the best date she's ever been on in her life: "It just gets better every day." Or is it just an illusion in keeping with the incremental lowering of standards? Uch. I hate Jesse so much it's a problem. A math problem.

I can't get a read on Mandy Jaye, but I've learned that if you can't figure out what a girl's hook is on this show by the fourth episode, it usually means that she's not one-dimensional enough for the producers to pigeonhole her into an archetype. Oh, wait. She was the one in pageants, right? Yeah, never mind. She and Jesse are off to a private yacht and dinner at Newport Beach. Well, if no other solace exists, the one thing we do know is that Newport Beach is in Orange County, which means some unlucky member of this entourage will be getting his or her face bashed in by the end of the night. Were we only able to choose who. Mandy Jaye walks down the steps carrying a red bag and wearing a pink pashmina scarf. I guess she knows that the turtleneck blew all style recognition right off of America's collective cornea and she just decided to say fuck it.

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