Where we discuss MTV's Beloved "Real-Life" Soap Opera

September 1, 1998


This week: The Unstoppable Fish Guy!

Janet has her share of bon mots this episode. First, she utters the tired ol' chestnut that every attractive man is "either committed or gay". Then, just a few moments later, she compares sex to avocados. Her rationale is that they're both bad for her, and once she gets a taste, she's afraid that she'll crave them intensely. Of course, she admits that she's never had an avocado, so it's a puzzling comparison. Never mind the fact that one can't put crab salad in half a sex.

But, perhaps it's time for Janet to try. You see, my friends, Janet is smitten with a Fish Guy. Dave solemnly pronounces, "There's something different about the Fish Guys." This leads me to wonder if Fish Guys are some horrifying cross between man and fish, specially bred to survive Seattle's moist clime. But no, Fish Guys are merely the stalwart young men who fling fish for the enjoyment of tourists at the Pike St Market. So, don't bother looking for gills or scales. This particular Fish Guy, the one that has hooked Janet's heart, is named Justin. According to Dave, Justin is his "bro" and "a solid guy". Thank god he's not a vapor. That would make smooching tricky, wouldn't it, loves?

It turns out that Justin is a particularly impressive Fish Guy, because he actually washed off all the stinky fish guts before his date with Janet. This really makes her sweet on him. Oh, if it were only so easy for the rest of us! He's sweet on her, too; so sweet, that he takes her to a martini bar. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the whole world," he whispers with his orange roughy breath into her ear. "Except for the cigar and swing music bar down the block," he's thinking.

After the date, there's the inevitable girl talk in pajamas. Did he kiss her? Did he act like a gentleman? How much did they drink? Did he smell like the catch of the day? Janet concedes there's a possibility of romance.

Oh, but this possibility is soon tossed back into the pond! Usually, Janet chases guys who can't distinguish her from a Friday night fish boil, so the thought of a reciprocal relationship is rather frightening to her. She asks for the standard, "time to figure some things out". Also, her mother, sister, and grandmother are visiting, so she wants to be Fish-Guy-less for that span of time. She wants everything to be perfect, so that she can justify her MTV existence to her traditional mother and grandmother. This will be tough according to Janet, since the profession of disk jockette means about the same as dogcatcher to them.

She shows her folks the sights- the radio station, the fish market. Everything seems hunky-dory, until duh duh DUH... Fish Guy shows up completely trashed in the hotel parking lot! Luckily, Janet's mom and grandmother are not around to witness his drunken drooly meanderings. This interaction freaks Janet out immensely. "He's in my face all the time!" she exclaims. Maybe he's too solid a guy!

She's so upset that next we see her swaddled and brooding and avoiding Fish Guy's calls. Fish Guy is very sad about this and wants to cry buckets of salty tears. He doesn't even remember what happened the night before. Dave laughs and says, "Don't you just hate that?!"

After the girls come home from taping their first broadcast, they find Fish Guy waiting for Janet. Janet avoids him, and knows that this makes her a jerk. For now, awkwardness is the victor over romance! Our final assessment of Janet's situation comes from uber-spazz Lindsay. She says, "If Justin laid off just a little bit, she'd be eating that stuff up like no tomorrow!" What, red snapper?

The kids have decided to name their show "Dead Air", obviously anticipating quite a scintillating two hours. The End, "Seattle's Bland Music Leader", has wisely placed them on a midnight to 2 am slot; no drive time Breakfast Club/ Morning Zoo hijinks for these budding on-air personalities! The executives also made the wise decision to have the show taped, but that doesn't mean that the job is pressure-less. Oh no. If they make any mistakes, they'll have to tape themselves over and over until they get it right. This is quite a motivation for Tony, the page-boy-coiffed producer, to make sure the taping runs smoothly.

Not only does the gang face the obstacle of learning a new medium; they also have some other... issues. Rebecca has gracefully accepted her behind-the-scenes post in production, and the guys are responsible for the band interviews and other short segments. Before the first show is even on the air, the inevitable tension comes a-calling. And sweeties, it's the best kind of tension- tension lurking behind a clenched smile! Nathan's testy that Rebecca and Tony were discussing plans for the show without consulting the rest of the crew. Over the pool table, Rebecca confronts Nathan and Stephen. They deny that they were ever testy, of course. They think she's bossy. She thinks they're full up to the brim with male ego. They think that she thinks that it's "her job to make sure things get done." Oh, my head's in a whirl, mes petites amis!

Of course, if this show runs true to Real World tradition, you know very well that things won't get done. Everything's going to end up in the crapper.

Tony, the producer, talks to Nathan about his conception of Rebecca as bossy. Evidently, Tony told Rebecca to "suggest" 3 albums to cover for "Dead Air". Rebecca "suggested" them. The guys interpreted this as a "command" Nathan again denies that there is a problem. "Oh, it's totally fine." he forces out between clenched teeth. Watch out for the next time he gets a little likker in him. He's gonna blow! Some other gems: "It's not a girl/ boy thing at all," he steams. "It's going to take all 7 of us to make the show successful," he mutters. Yeah, right!

So, it seems like all the radio show excitement is happening behind the scenes. Lindsay and Janet studiously take notes and prepare for the first episode of "Dead Air". Irene says that not only are the two pals the "type of people who take notes, they're the type of people who highlight their notes!" Irene espouses a more spontaneous style of radio talk. All the notes in the world don't stop the girls from first night jitters, however. Janet says they were "struggling"; Irene pronounces the experience "a nightmare". Tony, taking lessons from Nathan, manages to grimace and say that he thought it went "fine", or at least "fine" for a first show. In his heart, you know he's planning to move to Argentina and become a mute cattle wrangler!

Number of times Dave appears shirtless: 1 and a half (if you count him strutting around in a tank top); He's back to true form, honeys!

The most annoying character? He's not in this episode much, but Nathan is in full denial mode. Each time he says, "everything's fine", I can just sense that his eyeballs are about to explode from his face. Let go of the anger, son.

Next time: Will Dave's rough-and-tough past catch up with him? This very special episode features brawling!


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