LAST EDITED ON 12-17-03 AT 02:48 PM (EST)
**Official Average Joe Finale Summary: In Which They All Got What They Deserve**
How does a typical finale start? With a bunch of recap padding almost as think as Melana’s padding.
We met Melana “entering a fairy tale”. She quickly learned that a fairy tale was not to be. First, we see the parade of chests that only are the fantasy of ladies like Sara Lee and Betty Crocker. Oh look, Zach is still as obnoxious in the recap as he was in the episodes. We see the young studs brought in, and the smile on Melana’s face when she saw them. Finally, we’re down to two, Average Joe Adam and Studpuppy Jason.
And thus we face Melana’s dilemma…will she choose looks or charm? Will the Average Joe have a fairy tale ending or heartbreak?
A note from the author: We start the story with Melana not getting the fairy tale she expected. Can we truly expect our average hero to be given what she was denied?
Our latest chapter begins with a view of a vast wasteland. Is this symbolic of Melana's “depth” of character? Meanwhile, the guys look forward to bringing Melana to their homes. Adam proclaims an advantage, since Jason still lives at home with his parents. At least, New York girls would consider it a problem that their potential prince was still a parasite on the king and queen. Not just New York girls, hon.
Don’t Meet My Folks
Melana travels first to Irvine, CA. Jason greets her at the door, having conveniently stowed away his parents where they cannot embarrass him. He plans to take care of that himself. As she shows her around the place that he does not own, she exclaims, “We have those!” Cabinets? Drawers? No, she means the bronze shoes that every family displays once their son has passed puberty. She’s impressed that they both have so much in common, like “we both lived in our parents’ house since we were 3.” So, what happened before they were 3 – were they both raised by wolves?
Jason is delighted to have Miss Missouri in his parents’ home. She keeps talking about the cute pictures. Glad these two are so deep. While in his room, he shows her a map of the United States, with tacks to designate where he’s visited. She puts one in Kansas City as a promise that he’ll visit her. Oh, how tacky (oh, like I wasn’t going to go there.) He then takes her out to the yard to play Frisbee with the dogs, and then they go kayaking. We learn Jason’s philosophy of life as he teaches her how to paddle the kayak. “You don’t have to go fast, we just have to get together.” Now it’s time to go out for drinks, and Melana is surprised to see multiple drinks suddenly appear on the table. Jason declares, “My goal for tonight is to open up… Kind of loosening our inhibitions tonight.” Melana gives Jason some advice on confidence and tells him that he doesn’t need to use drinks to loosen her up. Gee Melana, but it’s worked for him up to this point in his life. Then she starts asking the “tough questions”, like “Are you a player?” Um, weren’t the drinks a hint?
After an annoying commercial break (I’m sorry, that’s redundant) and a quick recap, Melana says that she likes rattling guys she likes. Jason thinks she’s trying to find a major fault. Author’s note: The average viewer has already played Find a Fault with Jason. Average time to find one: 30 seconds. Melana does not appear to be the sharpest knife in the drawer at this point. She admits to being guarded, because she’s trying to “take it serious”. Had to put that one in quotes, since I know I’m not the only viewer who said, “Ly. Serious-ly.” to the television. She thinks that if she can let her guard down, and he can let go of his insecurities, that they have amazing potential. That’s like saying that if NBC got a decent script and a decent cast, they would have the potential to put a decent comedy on the air. Some of us won’t hold our breath on either count.
We have two pretty people who know that they’re a pretty couple on a date together – how will it end? With a long walk on the beach at sunset, of course. Sigh. I’ll bet they like long walks in the rain too, but since it never rains in California, they had to settle for this cliché. I don’t know about you, but the mood was shattered for me when Jason said he’d never done that before. He lives with his parents, and he’s never walked on the beach? What’s next, he hopes to learn how to tie his own shoes in the next 10 years? Then we watch the waves crash on their legs, and Jason hopes they won’t be swept away. Melana says she already has been. Note to self: Read some Harlequin romances. The plot has to be better than this dreck.
Melana won’t say Jason is her boyfriend, but she does bring up the P word again (psst, it’s Potential). Jason tells her that he wants her to have fun in New York and then back it up in a confessional by saying he wants her to have fun in New York. What eloquence. I feel like I’m watching Homer Simpson think out loud.
New York, New York
Adam says that now that Melana’s in New York, it’s “my game to lose today”. He starts the date with rollerblading in Central Park. He finally “feels like the guy” in the relationship. He then explains that since she was making all of the decisions and picking who stayed, he “felt like the girl”. Interesting statement on relationships. As they’re driving up to the limo, he jokes that she should tell his friends that they got married. Again, interesting statement on relationships. Bit desperate? She’s impressed when she sees that he lives in an upscale NY apartment, and that when he says “roommate”, he doesn’t mean “Mom and Dad”. He shows her his “Rocky” collection, since Rocky is his hero. *Warning: Theme foreshadowing!*
Adam’s roomie, also called Adam, walks in and starts to quiz Melana. He doesn’t want AJ Adam to get hurt and is worried she’s just going on looks. Meanwhile, Roomie Adam thinks that Melana is definitely AJ Adam’s type. Roomie Adam says it’s because of she’s smiling and outgoing. Wonder what other *cough* criteria she lived up to.
When they’re in AJ Adam’s room, she sees a Fortune article framed on his wall. It’s about him! And then, after a commercial break, we see it again, since the director is sure that the audience has the attention span of gnats. Hey, there’s a Fortune article on the wall about AJ Adam! Adam confesses that he is well-off for someone his age, because he has won and lost millions on the stock market.
Then he takes her to the office, where she meets more of his buddies. Important note: Ladies, a good criteria when judging a man is how is whether he tries to keep his friends separate from potential girlfriends. If he’s willing to share her with friends it means a) that he HAS friends and b) he won’t be stupid about how he spends his time. She says he’s genuine and not pretentious as she flirts with him in the limo.
Next stop is the bar where he’s part owner. Hmmmm, not trying to hit her over the head with which one of you has an income and who lives with Mommy, huh? Anyway, as she opens the menu, she sees a whole list of drinks specially designed to inspire memories of their time together. His strategy skates the line between cutely attentive and stalking psychotic rather well.
Back to the limo. He’s delighted that they’re sharing a romantic hand hold – the one with fingers intertwined. BUT. Just when it’s time to go in for the kiss. BOOM. She says the J word and the C word. For those scoring at home, she talks about Jason and says she’s confused. He feels like he’s been smacked in the face and wants to end the evening. He keeps asking to get out of the limo. Meanwhile, Melana shows her complete cluelessness and self-absorption by trying to keep him there. After all, if he leaves, he can’t keep paying attention to her. Why should he be bothered about her talking about another guy anyway? Because they’re competing for her? But she’s the one we’re supposed to pity. She’s the one dealing with the pressure. Hmm, she has to choose between a rich guy with personality and a handsome puppy. Yeah, hate it for ya, girl.
Things were tense when they got to the hotel for dessert. Adam said they got their first fight out of the way. His insecurities started cropping up because if finally felt real when she met his friends. Melana says that it’s beautiful that he puts family before feast, as she expresses her admiration for his prioritization of people ahead of money. Speaking of prioritization, isn’t it interesting how she uses the words “beautiful” and “pretty” when she expresses admiration for anything? Just sayin’.
They did end up kissing, and their teeth were clicking while they kisses. Adam laughs about his big teeth getting in the way. Yeah, a tooth click is going to be the difference between you and Weather Boy. After the date, Adam plans to remain focused and try harder than ever.
Overnight date – Yosemite
Jason and Melana are on two beasts. Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m talking about going horseback riding. Melana asked Jason if he missed her, which he dutifully did. While she was gone, he “kept checking his watch, wondering what they were doing in New York”. For those of you scoring at home, this should pretty much clinch the deal for “Jason has no life”. He lives at home, he had no friends to introduce to Melana, and he spent their time apart checking his watch. Gee, he’s a barrel of fun.
As they’re riding along, Melana comments on her favorite topic – beautiful things. This time, she’s talking about the scenery. Jason agrees, saying “it’s like a postcard”. Nice display of art knowledge, Jason. Then they try the delicate maneuver of kissing while on horseback. No kiss, but loads of funny comments that can be taken out of context, like “Cmon, quit chompin’ at the bit, let’s go” and “I’ll move mine up, you move yours back”. Makes you wonder if Adam paid off Frank the horse to sabotage the romance.
This is Melana’s fantasy date, we keep hearing over and over. As they walk into the villa where they’ll be spending the night, Melana says it “feels like we’re on our honeymoon”. The villa is totally her style, according to her. Funny, it looks a lot more substantial that she is. As they tour, she offers him the bed while she’ll sleep on the couch. Ever the gentleman, he doesn’t refuse the offer. Now we’re, ahem, treated to Hallmark moments like Jason pushing Melana on the swing and the two of them playing bocce ball.
Melana comments that he’s good at things requiring skill but not the mind. Translation: Dumber than a box of rocks. He doesn’t do anything to convince the audience otherwise after suggesting a game of chess. “Shall we play quickly?...I know what the pieces do, but I don’t know how to win.” That’s because all he typically needs to do to “win” is smile pretty. They decide that instead of embarrassing themselves, they’ll just play checkers instead. Guess what? Fate decreed that they would indeed embarrass themselves, as they set up their pieces incorrectly and don’t realize until they’ve made several moves that they’re not on the same colored squares.
Time for a special message to Jason and Melana: If you too do get together, please don’t breed. Apparently, most children’s IQs are within 2 standard deviations of their parents’. Let me put that in terms you’ll understand: You will have idiot children.
It’s dinner time, and Melana explains that she and Jason have a shorthand. Basically, all they have to say to each other is, “you’re so pretty”. That says it all. She sighs during dinner, because he’s the type of can find other women to date. He says that so can she, that’s not the point. After dinner, they head out to the terrace, where he shares his feelings. Basically, he feels comfortable living at home with his parents and going to school. She’s supportive. As he continues to talk, Melana’s heart is flipping, because “he likes me for me”.
Now it’s Melana’s turn to open mouth and insert foot. She says that she never thought she’d be standing there feeling this way. She then goes on to say, “physically, I think you’re darling” and “I never met a guy who was so gorgeous”. Yup, I think we all see on what level they’re relating.
The date ends with her offering to sleep in front of the fire on pillows with him. Jason said he’d be heartbroken if she picked Adam. We already knew this, since this sound bite had shown up in every recap during the show (so that would be 37 times, give or take). As they kiss, the door to the room is closed. Hm, guess what we missed?
Dumping Your Date in the Desert
More wasteland scenes. Is this symbolic of how much time Adam is wasting trying to convince Melana to pick him? They take a jeep ride through the desert, and Adam interrupts his smooth talking to inform Melana that he might barf. Melana leads him on by talking about moving to New York and says he’s the “perfect family man”. He says the view is incomPAIRable. Then Adam employs the next part of his strategy by reading her a poem he wrote. Hey, bad poetry worked for Ryan and Trista, why not here? Melana said she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Obviously, Adam will not be offered the position of U.S. Poet Laureate any time in the future. As she kisses him, Adam says it’s the time to “close your eyes and take a mental photograph”.
Now they head to Sanctuary at Camelback Mountain, where he carries her around in the pool. She says she could make him into a desert person, and he says he’d follow her anywhere. I’m picturing her leading him into the desert and leaving him there. He says that when this is on TV, “every single guy in the world will want to be me”. Um, I don’t think so Adam, since those guys have seen her date with Jason and know where you stand, even if you don’t. It’s on the other side of the door, hon. Melana thinks back to when the guys were first getting off the bus and says, “I would never guess I could have such strong feelings for someone”. It’s obvious that the phrase has been cut off before Melana can add the “like him” (or something even more offensively backhanded). Nice doing, Editing Department.
At dinner, Melana gives Adam a present…an autographed picture. Self-absorbed much? She then tells him he’s the only one she’s given a gift. Parting gift? They dance, and she talks about how perfect things are – perfect temperature, perfect breeze. Yeah, sounds like she’s into her date, doesn’t she? He says it’s romantic, she says it’s fun. Melana tells him, “I’m just trying to take it easy on you.” Letting him down easily? Then it’s off for hot stone massages and seaweed wraps. Melana says, “I was beautiful”. OK she really said, “It was beautiful”, but it did sound a lot like she said “I”.
After a dip in the hot tub, they returned to a suite filled with flowers, gifts, and candles. There was almost as much pink as Trista had at her wedding. As Adam explained the Pretty in Pink theme, he tried to hide a pink stuffed dog. Melana didn’t hear a word he said, because he ended up setting the dog on fire. Adam pretty much summed up the evening by saying, “I burnt the mood”. He then gave her the gifts, and another date ended with kissing in front of the fire.
The Big Decision
Oh great, another recap. Screw it.
The three of them talk about the emotions, being torn, blah blah blah. As the clock ticks, Jason leans on the side of the pool and gives us his tortured look. Not surprisingly, it resembles his thoughtful look, his happy look, his scared look, and his constipated look. Adam tells us he feels like the underdog.
Uh, oh…I hear some theme music…yup, it’s the “Rocky” theme.
See Adam run.
See Adam do pushups.
See Jason tan in a deck chair.
See Adam do situps.
See Adam run more.
See Jason tan on a pool raft.
See Adam jump rope.
See Adam run while carrying a log.
Adam says he’s ready to get the girl. Problem is, does this girl want to be gotten by him?
Hey look, it’s Kathy Griffin! Wasn’t she supposed to be on this show? Oh yeah, she’s talking to Melana on how everything is going to work at the end. Melana will be in a private hanger. She and her chosen one will be taken on a $25 million private jet to a secluded 5-star resort so that they can get to know each other better and plan out their media strategy. But she also has to send her loser home on the loser bus.
Is Melana prepared? She said she knows she’s risking a friendship. Hint #1. Does Melana think she and her chosen one have relationship potential? She thinks she found a diamond in the rough. Hint #2. Kathy says she doesn’t know who Melana chose, since she’s only phoned in her job on this game, and she wishes them both luck.
One hour left, and we get to see the boys primp. Jason gets into a nice suit, with Adam choosing a more casual look. Then we’re shown the guys driving up and Melana’s apprehension as all three express their tension. Whoa, the Brady Bunch editing is really getting to me. Here’s the story of a lovely airhead who was stuck between a Joe and Weather Boy…
Jason’s limo pulls up, and he walks down the carpet toward Melana. She can barely look at him until he gets to the end of the carpet, and she’s trying to have a serious look on her face. She fails miserably, as she tells her pretty boy to get on the plane with her. Oh joy of joys, Jason isn’t heartbroken! They slurp for awhile before he takes his seat on the plane to witness Melana rejecting Adam.
Now it’s Adam’s turn to take the walk of shame. Poor fashion choice dude, you’re nipply in that sweater. She smiles at him and informs him that the romance must end.
QUIZ! How does Adam respond?
a. In the spirit of his hero, he pulls Jason off of the plane and beats him to a pulp.
b. He tells Melana that she’s a shallow bitch who couldn’t know what was in her heart because she doesn’t have one.
c. He shows that he’s way too classy for her by being a gentleman, even shaking Jason’s hand when the guy has the nerve to get off the plane to rub Adam’s nose in it.
As Jason and Melana fly off into the sunset, Adam is bussed out of there saying, “If I were the writer of this story, I’d be with Melana right now.” Oh why would you settle for that?
Average Joe 2 in Hawaii. Another disappointed beauty queen, another group of geeks, another set of twists, another set of hotbodies.
Right now, I pity the new beauty queen. After all, she’s stuck with Carrot Top’s obnoxious brother, Parsnip Head.
Stay tuned. I probably won’t.
(edited for a really bad typo)
I am the embodiement of snarky, sarcastic and smart.