August 15, 2000
Les Bons Temps
From the very beginning of the season, this week's episode was the one I was curious about, darlings. After all, Mardi Gras is New Orleans' premier event, and since it involves plenty of alcohol, nudity and carousing, I hoped for some juicy action in the Belfort House. First of all, however, these seven Mardi Gras neophytes have to figure out what the carnival is all about. Is it "boobs and beads," in the words of Melissa? Is it a fabulous festival "celebrating life and sin," as Julie remarks? Is it the day to get completely wasted and then cheat on your boyfriend? If you're Danny, bingo!
Julie seems to be the housemate who's the most excited to be seeing this grand spectacle of debauchery and civic pride. She's a little disappointed when her colleagues aren't as hyped as she about surly beauty queens and marching bands (this is during the day, before the more sinful activities begin). But the ennui haunting the others dissipates as soon as they receive an invitation for a catered meal at Ms. Anne Rice's house. Catered, mind you! Thank god they don't have to try to choke down Ms. Rice's cooking! The whole affair, I have a feeling, has been engineered by Chris Rice, the homunculus of the famous goth author. He wants to rub elbows with the kids who live in the sunlit world of MTV, instead of hanging out in the cobwebbed basement with Mom. Anyway, the affair is a pleasant one; the cast members adore Ms. Rice's house, which with all it's dolls and skulls and voodoo charms, resembles nothing so much as the Belfort Mansion!
As the grand fete draws nearer, dearies, everyone seems to have love (or is that "kertanging?") on the brain. Matt laments his inescapable attractiveness to some (I imagine, very lonely) gay men. I mean, have they seen that polka-dotted shirt of his? That'd scare me away tout a fait! With all the parties and flirting going on, Danny is struggling with his promise of fidelity to Paul. And David isn't struggling with anything, it appears. He brings home yet another dance-hall darling, and they writhe around under the blankets. This particular girl is remarkable in that she manages to be frumpy and skanky at the same time. Imagine that! If you really have a strong stomach, you can also imagine Matt sleeping in the next bed over, or consider the embarrassing situation of that scarlet hussy Mrs. Doubtfire's friend, who must humbly wait in the study. Ick.
And, because David has a friend over, and Kelley has her Peter over, the entire cast must play musical beds. The situation culminates in drunken, naked wandering by Danny, who seems to be looking for somewhere safe to sleep. Julie, Melissa and naked Danny all end up in the same bed, which causes Melissa to babble incoherently. Julie shrieks, "What did we sign up for?" I ask myself the same question, believe me.
The housemates are invited to ride in the Orpheus parade, which is quite an honor, although maybe not as impressive as if they were invited to ride in Rex or something. That's the good news. The bad news, mes amis, is that they must don these completely sexless orange sateen tunics and gold sun masks. The fabric looks like what we sell for 39 cents a yard the day after Halloween at Hancock Fabrics! But, everyone except for David is a good sport, and they giddily fling beads at the well-lubricated masses. David decides that he'd rather woo-woo on his own, thank you very much. When the kids' float passes by the Belfort Mansion, he can barely bring himself to peek from the doorway. This sets up the drama for next week (see below).
Danny has so far abstained from hanky-panky, even if he is drinking like a fish and even if he is constantly surrounded by tender, pliable young men. Oddly enough, Danny says that alcohol loosens his inhibitions! Anyway, he moons what appear to be Real World pilgrims in front of the Belfort mansion, and then quickly gets into some hot water. Actually, he gets into the confessional booth with a moussed-up stripling named Forest. And, by the time the he emerges from said booth, Danny has some major confessing to do. "I royally fucked up!" he moans. Meanwhile, Julie is practically drooling for all the juicy details. Quite the voyeur, that Julie.
So, even if the party isn't officially over, it's already the morning after for Danny. Sure, Julie dresses as a slightly outrageous Cindy Williams and kisses total strangers, Jamie dances like a chicken, Kelley and Peter smooch and Matt declares himself "King of Mardi Gras." But it all feels like afterthought. Danny sweeps up the sad debris of a wild night and broods over what Paul will think. It turns out that Paul forgives Danny and even still trusts him. Thank goodness, or we wouldn't be able to end the show on time!
Did You Know? Melissa currently has a production job on "The Jamie Fox Show" and is attending the Groundling Comedy School in Los Angeles.
Who's Shirtless: Bien sur, it's Mardi Gras, so the entire population of New Orleans is topless, including an obese man with a skull mask and a girl who likes to spank herself. Danny roams the house with not a stitch on, except for the computer-imposed blur. We also see Julie wrapped demurely in a towel.
Who Cries: No actual tears are shed, but Danny comes very close to crying over his faux pas with Forest.
Most Annoying: This week, I choose Matt, because he has the gall to declare himself King of Mardi Gras. He didn't even get pukeworthily liquored up, for heaven's sake! I was tickled pink when Julie tricked him into the kitchen and then squirted him good!
Best Quote: "Just let the hell go," David exhorts. Just how much "letting go" can one do when one's biceps are the size of rump roasts?
Next Week: David vs. The Other 6! Plus, it's vacation
time in South Africa.