Full disclosure: I do not follow the reality show people I write about on social media. (Well, there is one. I’m Twitter buds with Ariana from Vanderpump Rules, but that’s because 1) She followed me first and 2) I’m pretty sure she’s fucking normal.) But the rest of them? Nope. It’s nothing personal, but I figure my job is to write exclusively about the lives they so willingly portray on these shows and I see no need to cloud my recaps with outside stuff. And it is because of this intentional blissful ignorance of mine that I had no idea how correct my first impressions have been of Logan, Kortni’s terrifying boyfriend. Last week I mentioned the way the guy causes my insides to freeze. Then I searched online for a picture of him to accompany the post on my site and it turned out that Googling “Logan Floribama Shore” led me to all sorts of scary articles you can check out yourself if you’re interested in what I guess I’d call “tragic spoilers.”
The season finale of Billions ended with Bobby Axelrod standing at a very unexpected doorway and then — even more unexpectedly — being invited inside by a person who was (REALLY unexpectedly) quite pleased to see him. That ending was a shocker. Know what’s never a shocker? When an episode of Floribama Shore ends in a brawl outside of a bar or with two unappealing human beings fucking in a shower that they’ll probably then piss in during a moment of postcoital bonding.
One taught me how to grill vegetables inside a tent made out of aluminum foil. Just some zesty salad dressing for a marinade, he told me. If you can chop and turn on a grill, you can cook.
So it appears the most pressing issues are as follows:
Nilsa wants Gus, but he’s yet to fully give in to her advances. He’s also in the midst of a full-blown spiritual crisis that could cause his hair to finally go limp.
Candace is choosing to date a walking hyphenated felon. She also cannot forgive Gus for refusing to swear to a police officer (who has a gun) that Kirk did nothing wrong — even after everyone, including Kirk, admitted he did something wrong.
Kortni refuses to stay sober for longer than fifteen minutes straight and enjoys pissing in corners.
Aimee is mostly keeping it together, but a recent story on Page Six makes it clear her stability is temporary.
Jeremiah can’t believe he shares a bathroom with such imbeciles and he needs a stylist immediately.
Codi likes to kiss strangers after puking in urinals.
Kirk punched a guy at a bar and is currently in handcuffs in the back of a police car.
Now, I’d love to believe a weekend of intensive group therapy or the lighting of several hundred Jesus candles will resolve all of these issues, but let’s be realistic. Let’s also remember that we’re only in episode four and modern technology probably cannot even begin to chart just how far things will devolve from here.
It’s either love or desperation that’s brewing in the Floribama Shore house between Gus and Nilsa. Fortunately for us, neither driving force is ruled by the desire for privacy. It appears their entire courtship — from Nilsa’s bold flirtations to Gus eventually giving in to the imminent sex recorded by night vision cameras to their subsequent alcohol-fueled drag out fights — will all be televised, and I suppose I should be concerned for the mental wellbeing of all the other roommates as they become forced spectators of this probably doomed relationship, but really? I’m just one person. I can’t afford to expend energy worrying about everything that can go wrong in that house, especially since I’m far more apprehensive about the moment Kortni decides to break someone’s nose for doing something unbelievably egregious like moving her contouring kit. Still, a romance between housemates cannot possibly be a good idea, so I think it wise that we organize – that we benefit from this madness in some way. Here’s what I propose: we set up some sort of bracket wherein we place bets on all the crazy shit that will eventually transpire in that house, including how and when things between Gus and Nilsa will eventually crumble beyond reason and comprehension. And I think this bracket should involve money, as I have recently decided to redecorate my living room and the hammered stainless steel block coffee table I have my eye on doesn’t come cheap.
In case you missed the first episode of this season’s Floribama Shore, allow me to catch you up: Kortni is psychotic. There. You now know all you need to know. What’s that? You demand evidence to back up my harsh (and completely accurate) diagnosis? Fine. As I am one of those pesky people who, you know, appreciates facts instead of blatant lies being peddled simply to support a false narrative, I am happy to inform you that my above statement is based on the following:
I’m going to be honest here: I’ve sort of forgotten about most of what went down during the inaugural season of Floribama Shore. The day to day activities of the cast went fleeing from my crowded mind months ago, probably to make room for more important things, like how the Democrats seriously need a solid candidate in this next election and how badly I probably need to hire a bodyguard after writing incredibly accurate recaps of Ex On the Beach. (By the way, if anyone knows Angela from that show, please inform her that I’m a black belt in some form of karate that doesn’t even exist yet — that’s how impressive it is. Not a bit of that is true, of course, but as we’re dealing with a woman who doesn’t particularly truck in what’s real, I think I’ll be able to buy myself some time.) But when it comes to our Floribama friends, I have few linear memories of the show. Still, the memories that do remain fragment-style are not so bad. I recall Gus has very tall hair and a sweet relationship with his mommy. I know Aimee believes herself a feat of evolution, what with being born a mermaid goddess princess and all. I recollect that I never once spelled Jeremiah’s name correctly without the aid of spellcheck and that his brother has a tail. I remember Candace wisely ditched a strip-club-loving guy, Kortni pissed a steady stream of urine on her roommate’s bed, and brawls occurred pretty much whenever the group walked into any establishment that served alcohol. But I can also call to mind the evening the entire group took Aimee out to cheer her up and how they got her flowers and her very first pedicure and I appreciated that collective kindness. I hope there will be more of it this season, but in a time where blatantly bombastic behavior leads to a contract for a third season on a reality show – or the presidency – I’m not all that optimistic.
And so we arrive at the final episode of Ex On the Beach. Three years ago or so, I would’ve claimed this program was the newest sign signaling the imminence of the End of Days, but since the world we’re existing in right now is so terrifyingly shitty, this show has somehow morphed, almost magically, into escapism. Allow me to be very clear here: I’m not saying this show is comforting escapism the way a quality program like The Good Place transports me all too briefly to My Happy Place. (Also: watch that show.) Ex On the Beach really only serves to remind us that a large segment of the population believes any sort of exposure is good exposure. The cast and their actions promote a quest for notoriety and an absolute refusal of growth. The women on this show allow the men to get away with total garbage and the men just shrug when the women act like total garbage and not for one solitary second do I believe — or do I care — if any of these couples have stayed together. I feel zero investment for any of them and I’m flat out confused by anyone who feels differently. Still, there have been some very nice wide shots of the ocean (the ones when desperate people haven’t come crawling out of the waves) and, at the very least, watching this show for an hour each week has meant it’s been an hour I’ve been away from the actual news that confirms each and every day that this country is becoming rapidly similar to Gilead, the dystopian America that is the setting of The Handmaid’s Tale. (Also: watch that show, too.) I guess what I’m saying is sometimes an MTV dating show starring people who have been treated like trash (yet will undoubtedly continue to appear on the very next show producers wave in their faces) can momentarily feel soothing to a viewer. Sure, one of the stars of this show is a spitter, but it’s not like her loogie can break through a TV screen, so we’re safe. Praise be.
There are certain actions so egregious that one cannot ever adequately atone for having participated in them. This assortment of garbage behavior runs the gamut, from eating the very last bakery cookie – the one I was saving to nibble while watching Southern Charm, though I swear this is a purely fictitious example and I didn’t recently go ape-shit on anyone – to locking children in cages, right here on U.S. soil. Yes, there is a wide range of misdeeds on the YOU ARE NOT MISTAKEN; I REALLY AM THIS DISGRACEFUL OF A HUMAN BEING list, and somewhere smack in the middle of said list is the choice to willfully hock a gigantic loogie onto someone’s head from a balcony.
It’s time to take stock, don’t you think? As the very willing participants of Ex On the Beach limp, crawl, or twerk their way towards the finish line, we should really see how things are shaping up before these people land with an unceremonious thud back in the Real World, a place where flags emblazoned with their faces will not rise in the distance and acting like an unrepentant asshole can have consequences like prison or the presidency.