The kids decide to make a float for some event called "Fantasy Fest." While shopping for costumes, Janelle starts to like John a little. John thinks Janelle is very "intriguing" her own damn self. John and Tyler take the lead on the float project. They build the float in the shape of a Mystic Tan booth, decorated with horrible Pier One flotsam and glitter. Svet calls the house for a ride from the airport. Meanwhile, Hurricane Wilma approaches. The kids go to a dirty gym; Janelle and John flirt. Jose picks up Svet. Martin's pops has died while she was back home. Wilma promises to ruin Fantasy Fest. (Promise?) The kids go out to eat fish at an ocean-side restaurant and they swim. John pulls off Janelle's bra in the water; she's not happy about it. Janelle yells at John that "no means no," even on a stupid reality show. They make up. Zach decides he wants to stay in Key West for the hurricane because of their "obligation to Mystic Tan."
Among many highlights from an interview with reality television mavens (David Goldberg, David Broome, R.J. Cutler, Chris Cowan, and our own Jonathan Murray -- here's a handy link to IMDb so you can look up what they've done) in a recent Hollywood Reporter, there were two gems.
Naturally, when asked about the Writers Guild lawsuit trying to unionize reality writers, or as they insist on calling them "producers" and "editors" (or in Cowan's case, those whose job it is to "communicate an idea"), everyone in the room hemmed and hawed and looked down at their loafers and stated the agreed-upon party line. And then they pointed to all the good things they were doing...other than paying television writers what television writers have fought very hard to get. Murray then grasped a little more. See, he explained, what B/M does isn't taking advantage of young writers who maybe have no other opportunity or can't yet break into scripted. No, here's what they call that instead: "Our company also takes kids out of college and teaches them the business." Teaching Kids The Business! Whee! What a noble man J.Mu is! Friend of twenty-three year olds locked in basement offices at the Sherman Oaks Galleria all night everywhere!
The other gem is this. When asked about manipulation of storylines, Cowan said, "I work very hard to honor the essence of what happened."
There you go, folks. There's the new motto:
Reality Television: Trying To Honor The Essence of What Happened.
Previously on...the kids lived through a hurricane. They got off lucky with no damage. Svet went home to visit Martin's ill father. John and Janelle wrestled, flirted, found each other intriguing.
Opening Credits. Shirtless boys. Bikini girls. I do declare! Melanoma.
Banjo guy. Signs. Street. "Fantasy Fest" banner. Salon. Bossman Ricky Croft holds a meeting, his five o'clock shadow working now about nine hours overtime. He tells the kids that they need to start thinking about Fantasy Fest, which, John helpfully exposits, is the next biggest party to Mardi Gras. Talk of Fantasy Fest. Tyler camera-queens that the population of the island swells, and that this is their opportunity to have a lot of fun. Bossman Ricky Croft wants this to be the best week they've had here! His lame attempt at energizing the group seems to have the opposite effect. Bad bossa nova music plays as John comes up with the idea of doing a Mystic Tan float, replete with some sort of fake tanning booth from which drag queens then emerge. Or something. John camera-frats that the float should be great. They babble. They babble. They discuss shooting paintballs filled with toxic tanning sludge at people. The lawsuits are preemptively filed.