The A-List: Attack of the 50-Foot Black Woman
If LOGO cared about things like “sweeps weeks” then this would have been the episode to feature. For a show whose only (questionable) appeal is “Watch assholes act like assholes” an episode that could have been advertised with the tag line “This week on The A-List … EVERYBODY’S AN ASSHOLE!” would have been a great way to appeal to the advertisers, don’t you think?
But if you think we’re going to run down every utterance that came out of these assholes’ mouths, you’re crazier than Nyasha on a case of Red Bull. It’s like this:
Ryan’s friend and personal designer (with an extra consonant) Edwing, who Ryan introduces EVERY SINGLE TIME as “my friend and personal designer, Edwing” (because when introducing one’s friends, it is polite to also point out the service you pay said friend to provide, e.g., ‘my friend TJ, who is my personal slave’), is having a low-rent fashion show in a YMCA or church basement somewhere. Ryan, forced to go through contortions to justify the producers’ ham-fisted, crayon-wielding attempts to provide a “storyline,” acts like it’s a delightful idea to get all of his friends who aren’t working models (and most of whom hate each other) to walk in the show. TJ is not asked to model so he amuses himself by doing bad drag.
Rodiney is also not asked to do the show because he’s starring in his very own storyline; one we like to call, “The Queen’s Speech.” Several scintillating minutes of watching his speech therapist try her hardest not to run out of the room laughing, as she gets him to improve his pronunciation of “comfortable” until it sounds like “cuntable.” She declares the day a success, gives him a lollipop and ushers him out. “I’m ready to do a movie!” he declares on his way out. “I will be do well!” She buries her face in a throw pillow and laughs until the tears come.
Austin and Reichen meet in a semi-empty restaurant, clumsily flirt, badmouth everyone else, and criticize each other’s relationship history. In other words, this scene could have been shot a year ago. Later, they compare intellects. It doesn’t take long.
Reichen: Co-de-pend-ent. I said that all by myself.
Austin: You shut up. I want to spend all day exposing my ass to my husband.
Reichen: You shut up. You don’t even know what codependinament even means.
Austin: Excuse me for not being Mr. McNally who writes the dictionary! I bet you his ass isn’t as fine as mine.
Reichen: Mr. McNally does not write the dictionary, dumb face. Mr. McNally writes the …um… maps!
Austin: I bet you that bitch Nyasha doesn’t know who writes the dictionary.
Later, Austin works out with his trainer and tells the camera about 15 different times that he’s totally not thinking about cheating on his husband with him, okay maybe a little. Then we find out this is his first session with the guy. Somewhere in Manhattan, a bright red expiration date starts flashing on the back of Jake’s neck.
Mike, his ever-present Dad, Martin, and Nyasha met up at an event honoring Mike. Mike’s dad essentially tells Nyasha that her tits look great in that dress and she laughs and, calling on her charm school background, mentions something about punching the old man in the face. Mike gives a lovely speech about becoming role models for the next generation, which Ryan takes to mean that he should circulate through the crowd and badmouth Austin to Nyasha and Rodiney before batting his lashes and flitting out the door. Nyasha lifts her skirt to Rodiney and grinds her panties in his face as a seduction technique. Rodiney runs away to find a nice quiet Brazilian girl to oil his abs.
The next day, Ryan has Austin over to teach him a few tricks that will make people believe he isn’t a sociopath. “Promise me you’ll behave,” he urges him. “Say it, JonBenet. Tell mommy you’ll be good.” “I think I’m growing as a man,” replies Austin. Ryan pats him on the head, feeds him a snack, and bites his lower lip to hide his delight at the impending trainwreck.
Mike and Rodiney meet out in the desert to shoot Rodiney’s calendar, which will surely land Rodiney a wife, because what girl doesn’t love to see her man in a pair of leather bikini bottoms, ass up and oiled up? “I was like half nake,” Rodiney informs us. “I think this calendar a lot of straight girls are gonna love.” “Oil up his taint,” says Mike, pointedly.
Austin meets with the Playgirl guy who tells him he’s too fat for Playgirl. Austin tries not to cry. “Tell you what,” says Playgirl guy, “I’ll pay you 30 bucks to come back to my office right now and take your clothes off.” Austin runs out, his dreams of greatness once again crashing headlong into reality.
Reichen has Nyasha over to have a really awkward and pointless conversation that no two people who don’t know each other well would ever have. As a way of getting to know each other better, Reichen moans about his relationship history, the guy he kissed in Hawaii and the oft-repeated sentiment that “I don’t know how to be single.” Nyasha calls on her people skills and clinical training to declare that Reichen is “possessed by this spirit of like negative aura,” which sounds like something you address through the use of slaughtered chickens and black candles. After Nyasha declares him a mess (remember, this is a “get to know each other better” scene), Reichen casually mentions that no one really likes her and she’s tacky. This flips an internal switch in Nyasha and from that point on, it’s all neck-popping, weave and acrylic nails in Reichen’s face before she sashays out the door with a “Youdon’tevenknowmeIdon’tneedyourhelp there’snothingwrongwithme” and a slam. Several minutes of silence follow.
“You know…” says Reichen, a dim glimmer of synapses firing behind his eyes, “Nyasha… can… dish it out…but …
she can’t take it!” He looks around, pleased with himself.
It’s the day of the fashion show and all Ryan’s little players are in place. With a straight face, he claims to hope that the day goes smoothly and everyone behaves. Then he lifts his skirts with a cackle and dashes off to ensure that the exact opposite happens.
“Hi Derek! Do you think Nyasha will be a diva bitch today? I sure hope you and AUSTIN don’t have words now that he’s YOUR MORTAL ENEMY!”
“Hi, Nyasha! I hope the memory of THAT TIME AUSTIN PUNCHED YOU REPEATEDLY IN THE FACE doesn’t mar today’s proceedings for you!”
“Hi, Reichen! I hope Austin doesn’t drink and then say DEMEANING THINGS ABOUT YOUR GENITALIA! Oh, by the way, Nyasha’s here. Do you want to sit next to her? Maybe get to know her better?”
“Hi Austin. You’re going to be good, right? You’re not going to get into words with Nyasha or Derek or Reichen and you DEFINITELY WON’T HAVE A COCKTAIL FROM THE OPEN BAR, right?”
Austin assents to be on his best behavior and sulks. Derek, Reichen, and Nyasha all demonstrate that they’re like, totally mature, by talking really loudly with their backs to him.
“DO YOU WANT A SNACK?” “WHAT ARE YOU EATING?” “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?” “SNACKS ARE FUN WHEN YOU’RE AMONG FRIENDS. HAHAHA!”
Suddenly, Austin has had enough and fights erupt over makeup, chiffon, and immigration visas! Austin tells Nyasha he has no respect for her and Nyasha tells him he has issues. Everyone moves their chairs closer to Nyasha and declares her the winner. Ryan flips open his compact to check his makeup and hide his smirk. “Good job,” he whispers to Nyasha before walking 5 feet away and saying to Austin, “She’s a total bitch.” After getting him good and worked up, Ryan urges him to talk to her, i.e., to continue arguing with her. “You can talk to anybody,” reads Ryan unconvincingly off the cue cards just out of frame.
Ryan goes back to sit next to Nyasha. Soon, Austin comes back and asks Nyasha if he can speak with her privately. She refuses and claims that she doesn’t want to upset Ryan, who never mentions that mere moments before, he was urging Austin to talk to her.
This bitch is on fire. We’re talking Alexis Carrington-level shit-stirring. Never has a gay man needed a turban more.
Anyway, Nyasha’s not done with these queens and turns her gun turrets toward Reichen, dismissing him and informing him that “Your job is to sit there and be Ken Barbie.” Reichen ponders this for several minutes. “She’s not very nice.”
Everyone walks the runway grimly, and we can’t tell if it’s because they hate each other or the clothes they’re being forced to wear.
“This day was a total success, even though my little flock needs so much shepherding,” sighs Ryan.
“I’m totally on Team Nyasha,” says Derek, “Because I have the maturity of a 13-year-old and latch on to anyone who will make me feel special by cutting down all the people around them! YAY, me!”
“I’m here getting my makeup done by a professional,” says Nyasha, “I don’t have time for children because I know I look good and I’ve got too many things going on to let little babies question me or surround me with their negativity. I shut that Austin down because he has psychological issues and I put the brakes on that Reichen because he is too much of a child with issues who needs professional help and Nyasha doesn’t have time for that because she’s not a therapist but that’s who Reichen should see because he is a mess and I don’t need that aura in my life. Now I’m just gonna pop my hips as hard as I can because I got a runway to walk and Miss Nyasha knows that blahblahblah…”
“I…think Derek…probably talks about me…behind my back…” sounds out Reichen.
“Fake-ass fake bitches,” says Austin, third cocktail in hand.