LAST EDITED ON 11-04-03 AT 06:56 PM (EST)
LAST EDITED ON 11-04-03 AT 06:53 PM (EST)
Okay, so this is a week late. But it’s not because I’m lazy or have had problems with the process of taping the show. No, it’s because, like SpikeTV, I’ve simply wanted to extend the “Joe Schmo” experience as long as possible. And that means dragging it out for an extra week. Hey, if I was SpikeTV, I’d want to drag out the only show on the network anyone actually watches for some more time as well.
Well, I’m also lazy.
So here we go. The summary to the EXPLOSIVE SEASON FINALE of “The Joe Schmo Show.” And, as promised by SpikeTV, if you missed the first 15 minutes after last episode’s exciting cliffhanger, you’ve missed…
…well, a clip show.
LAST TIME ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: The final three were being voted on. Hutch the Asshole, Brian the Bland Guy, and Matt the Schmo stood in a line, waiting for the winner to be chosen.
TONIGHT ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: It’s down to the final three. Tonight, the riveting climax. And a shocking twist will be revealed causing Matt to yell “WhAt Is gOiNg On!?!” in a big house.
Then, opening credits. Then:
LAST TIME ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: The final three were being voted in. Hutch the—hang on.
SEVERAL EPISODES AGO ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Matt arrives at the show and forced to sleep in the same bed as a pretty woman. Actors slip up already, forgetting they’re supposed to pray and remember which underwear is theirs. Gina talks to Matt about voting and alliances, a subplot that quickly vanishes from the show completely. Gina’s plate is broken.
ONE LESS THAN SEVERAL EPISODES AGO ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Matt’s fierce skills of deduction determine that Gina voted for him. Ralph gives people pictures of himself, and Ashleigh is upset when Molly gets the only nude photo. Hutch wins the “talent” immunity and everyone votes for Earl for reasons never explained, and which Matt never questions. He just whines about it, completely unclear on the concept of a reality show in which people are voted off.
LATER ON TONIGHT’S JOE SCHMO SHOW: How will Matt react? Will he go “WhAt Is gOiNg On!?!” in a big house?
TUESDAY ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: See what critics are calling “A near perfect parody of a reality show.” And know why they are clearly paid off. Presumably, this is the pilot, which you can read about three paragraphs ago.
Then some commercials.
SOON ON YOUR NOKIA N-GAGE: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, apparently.
WHAT YOU COULD BE WATCHING ON FOX: “Arrested Development,” which is quite good.
BEFORE THE COMMERCIAL BREAK ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Matt whined. Earl left.
FIVE EPISODES AGO ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Dr. Pat goes to the hospital because—oh, screw this.
FOUR EPISDES AGO ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: No.
ON EPISODE FIVE OF THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Get on with it.
IN THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: You know, you could at least splice in a little more new footage.
LAST TIME ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: The final three were being voted on. Hutch the—oh, no. Not falling for that again.
EARLIER THIS EPISODE ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: The final three were—Now look, here. Do you have any new footage this week at all? Is this just leading up to a cliffhanger where they have fifteen seconds of Dr. Pat’s vote, announcing a tie, TO BE CONCLUDED next week?
PREVIOUSLY ON SURVIVOR: A new tribe, composed of the previously eliminated castaways, emerged to force both Morgan and Drake to go to Tribal Council separately on the same night and each vote out one tribe member.
NEXT TIME ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Dr. Pat’s vote results in a tie, which—no, just kidding.
AFTER THE COMMERCIAL ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: “The big reveal. How will Matt react when he learns the truth?” I’ve got a hunch it involves yelling “WhAt Is gOiNg On!?!” in a big house?
Commercials. We have now spent more time watching the final episode of “The Joe Schmo Show” than the housemates spent in the house itself.
The housemates vote, reusing more footage from the last episode. Ashleigh the pitch votes for Hutch. Kippy Ricardo votes Matt. Molly votes for Brian because “he could always lighten the mood by opening up his mouth.” Presumably, this means his lungs are filled with helium, as he hasn’t really said anything intentionally funny during the entire series. In fact, the funniest Brian moment was the inexplicable blurring of his manboobs.
Gina votes for Hutch, surprising everyone as nobody remembers who she is. Earl votes for Matt because he’s “squared away and strack.” I have no idea what that means.
Dr. Pat explains her vote. The heartbeats on the soundtrack grow louder. Bad guitar music plays faster. The audience fully expects a cut to a commercial break.
But no! Dr. Pat votes! She votes for Hutch because he gave him three consecutive orgasms, making Hutch the winner of “Lap of Luxury.” Balloons fall down! Everyone cheers! This godforsaken nightmare of a show is over!
Oh, wait. Of course it’s not. Smarmy Host gets a message in his ear piece and stops the celebration. “Someone in this room is not who they say they are. Before we go any further, does anyone in this room have anything to say?” Tense music. Shots of everyone. Fast cutting. Matt looks depressed.
NEXT: THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING ALL SEASON FOR. Wow, and only forty-five minutes into the show.
Commercials. More “Lord of the Rings” still that inexplicably uses the score for “Requiem for a Dream.”
BEFORE THE COMMERICAL BREAK ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Shut up.
Hutch comes clean. He’s an actor, and has brought everyone VHS copies of his work on “The Mullets” to prove it. Smarmy Host says he’s “ruined this whole show.” (If this were really the case, wouldn’t the blame lie on the producers? I’ve filled out reality TV applications—it would take a lot of effort to sneak your way onto a show with a fake identity.)
Hutch outs Kip with little effort and everyone feigns shock, except Matt, who looks like a confused bunny. Kip implores everyone to be honest about it and the entire cast raises their hands. And then, THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING ALL SEASON FOR…
“WhAt Is gOiNg On!?!”
Matt is, naturally, pretty stunned. Brian, standing right beside him, explains that everything he mentioned about his personal history is true. “Are you an actor?” Matt demands. “Are you an actor? Are you an actor? Are you an actor?”
I think he’s on to them.
Everyone claps and smiles and Smarmy Host fills him in. “The only thing real on this reality show… is you. Everything else is fake. The dog poo? Fake. Hutch’s goatee? Fake. The grass in the yard? Astroturf. That model you were licking? A man. Also an actor. With leprosy.”
Smarmy Host announces that Matt gets all the prizes from the show—the TV, the trip, the money and a copy of the home game, in which you set up a video camera in your bathroom and invite friends over to exchange underwear, then air the tape on public access television.
Matt demands to be asked where he’s going to go, prompting the SHOCKING TWIST promised in the teasers. Matt is going to Pittsburgh.
“We searched far and wide all over America to find the warmest, kindest, most genuine man we could make a total ass of without any fear of retaliation because he’s such a clueless dork. And that man is you.”
Thus begins a love fest concentrated on our Schmo that lasts nearly as long as the clips from previous episodes. Everyone loves Matt. The actors love him because he seems “real” and didn’t see through their inept mistakes. They love him because if they didn’t, he might come after all of them with a chainsaw. They say things like “Everything we said in the hot tub was the truth. Even ‘It’s okay, that sort of dysfunction happens to everyone sometimes!’”
He meets all the actors by name—even Ralph, who is actually who he says he is. He’s even really smarmy. (If you watch closely, you can see the actor playing Molly’s fiancee trying to get in on the Matt-love, and getting constantly relegated to the background. Well, I salute you, sir. I noticed you were there, even if you didn’t get to say anything.) All the actors have clips telling Matt how great he is including Molly’s comment that “If you were on a real reality show, you’d probably be in trouble.” I think this is meant as a compliment, but I think it’s true because Matt doesn’t seem to have any regard for voting strategies. Did he never wonder why anyone was voting for anyone else? There seemed to be an alliance at first, voting off Gina and Earl in one voting block, but then the votes started splitting off. Was there any background story explaining the votes?
Sorry, I got distracted. It beats watching everyone hugging and loving and learning valuable lessons about life.
Matt meets the writers. They love him. Matt meets the editors. They love him. Matt meets Hitler, Osama bin Laden and Bob Saget. They love him. Matt is so damn lovable.
EARLIER TONIGHT ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.
Ralph interviews a slimmed-down Matt who’s still somehow in shock. He says the money’s all going to his mother (because he’s so lovable) except for some that he’ll use to follow Phish around (because he loves the smell of ferrets and pot). We see brief clips of other potential Schmos, and to be honest, I think they picked the best guy from the short bits I saw. Matt’s a dork, but a likable dork, whereas many of the other candidates came off as too lecherous, smarmy or stupid.
We see the audition tapes of actors “trying to play those quirky reality show caricatures.” (Like “The Quack,” a new one on me. But whatever.) Matt is upset that he had a hard time at the evictions, while everyone else didn’t. Again, this might have not necessarily been true if he’d had the other housemates try to justify their votes. Sigh.
He talks about Brian, who he felt the most betrayed by. More behind the scenes footage, and talk about how the script was constantly in flux to compensate for Matt’s crazed mood swings. When Matt has happy, they were happy. When Matt was sad, they were sad. Again, everyone loves Matt. Got it.
Matt takes issue with the “we did this all for you” motif Ralph keeps repeating, which he’s right about. He doesn’t like the title of the show, but admits that “he couldn’t be a better schmo.” And he’s right.
There’s more to the interview. They talk about dog crap (Matt claims that it was an attempt to “bring his skills to the forefront” meaning his legal knowledge, but admits he wouldn’t have really had a case) and there’s footage of THE EXCITING MOMENT WHERE THE SHOW ALMOST CAME APART which mostly involves people thinking that Matt heard some behind-the-scenes talk (he didn’t). Matt discusses how he wasn't the least bit suspicious and how affected he was by Earl's eviction. But Matt’s quote about being the best Schmo he could be is such a great capper that I’m puzzled they didn’t end the show with it.
NEXT TIME ON THE JOE SCHMO SHOW: IF YOU MISSED ANY EPISODE OF THIS YEAR’S BIGGEST---click. You're dead to us.