I never like when people say that reality-television shows are scripted because, well, we’ve now seen enough reality television stars try to act that we know that they’re not good enough to pull off a real script. However, I will admit that I sometimes think that things are a little bit overly produced. That is completely the case with Tom and Tom’s trip to Las Vegas for business meetings with Lisa and Ken. First of all, aren’t there restaurant-supply companies in Los Angeles that they could go to? Wouldn’t they have chicer products and a larger selection than some plate emporium in Las Vegas, a snow-globe replica of every great city jammed together and completely neutered?
Anyway, the idea is that Toms Schwartz and Sandoval will take their respective partners and travel with Lisa and Ken to Vegas, where they will have a number of early-morning, business-related adventures before the opening of their bar, Tom Tom. Jax and Brittany, like two skin tags your dermatologist won’t touch, come along for the ride because it’s Sandoval’s birthday so they’re going to party a little bit.
The first night goes swimmingly, even though they start drinking early in the day, drink by the pool, drink before, during, and after dinner, and take shots like a paper target at FBI training camp. But this whole trip is really a trap. Lisa putting them in a suite with a giant sex swing in the middle of the living room is a trap. Katie and Ariana pretending like they’re trophy wives is a trap. Even that go-go girl who’s shaking it next to the roulette table is somehow a trap that I have yet to figure out but am really interested in unlocking.
The Toms are talking about how serious they are now and how they totally won’t party too hard in Vegas. We have all seen enough sitcoms to know just where this is going: They surprise everyone by being early to Plates ‘R’ Us somewhere out in the middle of the desert the next day, but it all starts to go to hell once they take Jell-O shots as soon as Lisa and Ken are back in the air conditioning of their chauffeured SUV that was idling out in the parking lot.
Brittany thinking that she’s pregnant with Jax’s baby interrupts the pair’s downfall for about ten minutes. She doesn’t use birth control other than the “spray and pray” method, as Katie calls it. What is wrong with Brittany? Putting a protective membrane between yourself and Jax is a good idea even if you’re just chopping his salad at Sweetgreen, not to mention if you’re about to have intimate relations with the man.
Ultimately, Brittany not being pregnant and faking Jax out is not nearly as interesting as the outfit she is wearing while she does it. What the hell is that thing? It is like a duster that barely clasps in the front over her healthy bosom, but then comes with a matching short that isn’t nearly as long as the duster. It is like a skanky mullet dress: Hoochie in the front and business absolutely nowhere. I guess that means it is perfect for Vegas.
The Toms and their partners swill Vanderpump Rosé in the private dining room at Mr. Chow while Brittany and Jax go to Hooters, and then they meet up at a robot bar where the automated drink pushers make Jax feel as completely useless as the day before his Cialis refill comes through at the pharmacy. Then they go to the clurb where they are doing shots upon shots upon shots and Schwartz even starts swilling from the bottle. By 2 a.m., neither of them wants to say they should go to bed to make their 10 a.m. meeting so they just keep partying.
Let me tell you a little something I’ve learned from personal experience: Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Nothing at all. I have had some very good times late into the night and early into the morning, but all of that stops at 2 a.m. when things take a turn and somehow, without even knowing it, your life transforms into the reenactment portion of a true-crime show. When the clock strikes 2 a.m., everyone should just get home because the next thing to happen is an accumulation of regret that may or may not ever be cured by modern pharmaceuticals.
The other thing I’ve learned is not to do shots. Never. Never, ever, ever do shots. Shots are as useless as husbands at a Lamaze class and as dangerous as eating sushi in a landlocked country. Once you are old enough to have a college transcript, there is no place in your life for shots. If it weren’t for shots, Tom and Tom would have been on time for their meeting with Ken and Lisa and not smelling like a distillery the next morning. It was so predictable that their partners had to wake them up 20 minutes late and yell at them to go meet Lisa.
But that was never the point, was it? The point is to set them up, get them wasted, and have them disappoint Lisa so that she could then dismiss them at the designer’s showroom and pretend like they were a bunch of 10-year-old brats putting their Push Pops on every Edison bulb and steampunk grandfather clock they could possibly find. That was the idea all along. Mission accomplished, everyone. Pack up the cameras and go home.
It also seems like most of the work is done, that Lisa and Ken had already finalized the designs, and that the Toms are just there for a plot point on the show rather than actually offering any input or making any interesting suggestions. Lisa jokes that Tom Schwartz is entitled to his opinion but she’s not going to listen to that, and the kernel of truth in that joke is larger than Brittany’s boobs in her duster and matching short combo. Am I saying this was scripted? No. Am I saying this was more heavily produced than Ryan Seacrest at the most recent Oscars red-carpet broadcast? Yes. Yes, I am.
There are also a few scenes with Lala and Scheana, who try to go record a song written by Blk Elviz, not to be confused with “Blelvis, the Black Elvis” who used to hang out on 14th Street in D.C. in front of the Black Cat and would ask people to give him a word and then he would sing an Elvis song with that word in the lyrics. Now that guy was a friggin’ genius. If you haven’t figured this out already, neither Lala nor Scheana can sing. Scheana sort of sounds like what Siri would sound like if you asked her to sing you a lullaby that only a cokehead would like. Lala sounds like what would happen if a Vocoder got stuck in the Orgasmatron from Barbarella.
There is some drama about how Lala is having a showcase for her new songs that Stassi is producing and where DJ James Kennedy is making a guest appearance. Lala tells James that he can’t have one drink before the show or else he’ll ruin it. He begrudgingly agrees and then his girlfriend Raquel, a no-whip, no-fat, skinny soy latte with three and a half pumps of caramel that spilled on someone’s purse Chihuahua, blinks repeatedly like somehow she can make her future come into focus but really all she sees is more fake eyelashes and sadness. But this will end just like Vegas. She tells James not to, he will anyway, they’ll fight about it, the end. That’s how this show works. That’s how this show will always work.
The night before, Tom and Tom left the club and were gambling at the tables in the Planet Hollywood casino. Finally they decided to call it a night and left the timeless atmosphere to head toward their suite. When they opened the door to their suite, the runny poached egg of a sun was coming up over the Nevada desert. The both put their hands up and heads down to shield their eyes. “Man, it’s gonna be so hard to get up in the morning,” Sandoval said.
“Yeah, I know,” Schwartz slurred back. “Do you ever feel like Lisa is just setting us up to fail?”
“Shh,” Sandoval said, pressing his finger to Schwartz’s lips. He then removed his finger and replaced it with his own lips, putting his hands around Schwartz, just above the plump extension of his ass. He walked Schwartz backwards across the living room and slowly eased him down into the floating sex swing. “Ever fuck in a swing before?” Sandoval asked rhetorically, with a smile.
Schwartz scooted back so he could lie down fully and Sandoval collapsed his weight on top of him as they made out and slowly rocked back in forth in space. It felt a little bit like being at sea or the drunk spins, but neither of them seemed to mind. “Happy birthday, stud,” Schwartz said. Then he stuck his hand between them and rested it on the crotch of his pants, and they kissed even more passionately than ever, as if just being together were celebration enough.