Air date: 7/15/08
The world of competitive reality shows is a lucrative one. You’ve seen The Bachelor, Flavor of Love, The Bachelorette, Rock of Love, I Love New York and Charm School. Think producers would be all tapped out of ideas by now? Of course not! Charm School did well, so how ’bout the male version? MTV and Jamie Foxx bring you From G’s to Gents. Is it supposed to be G’s or Gs? I’m using G’s in my recap because that’s what the show’s title has it as.
We start out with the first of many Reality Show Basics: The pimped out mansion. A narrator tells us: “Outside this prestigious L.A. gentleman’s club, 14 young G’s have gathered because they all share a desire to change.”
We get a close up of gold rings on someones hand, then clip to a shot of a white guy’s face, wearing sunglasses and a whole lot of gel in his hair. We’re told his name is Cee, and he’s from Atlantic City, NJ. “I’m a G because I’m a guido. I don’t know any other way.” Ah, so right off the bat I know that the G in the show title didn’t just mean “gangsta”. I thought it did, but will have various meanings, guido being one of them.
The narrator continues—“…to leave their thug life behind…”
Next we meet Zenel from Puerto Rico. “Of course I’ve gotten into fights! Of course I’ve gotten arrested!”
Narrator–“…get off the streets..”
On to J-Boogie who represents L.A. He says some boring stuff about sleeping on money. Let’s move on.
Narrator– “…and to become better men.”
Kesan from Atlanta is up next. Sorry, I can’t remember how to say his name anymore. No one really remembers any of the names after the first show anyway. If he sticks around til the next ep, I’ll learn it then. He tells us if he doesn’t change he’s going to end up “dead or in jail”.
The narrator is STILL talking. “…and they’ll be lead by the First Gentleman of Hip Hop…”
It’s Fonzworth Bentley. We get a shot of his book,Advance Your Swagger, which I assume inspired this whole show. You know, I looked his book up on Amazon, and it’s only got four reviews. They are all positive, but still. The narrator tells us who he is. “An author, international fashion icon and artist, he’s worked with P. Diddy, Outkast and Kanye West. So, really, he’s that dude that used to follow Puffy around with an umbrella. I know he’s done other things with his life, but..”international fashion ICON”? That’s taking it a little too far.
Narrator STILL isn’t done..”Now he’s taking on his toughest job yet…” Shots of grills, a guy spitting, Fonzworth saying “I gotta lot of work to do”.
“Guided by The Gentleman’s Handbook, they’ll be taught style, etiquette, manners and grammar.” We get various shots of the G’s taking part in various lessons.
“Some will succeed, some will fail, but all with be faced with the transformation of a lifetime. Who will make the ultimate transformation from G to gent?”
Finally, the narrator is done talking. That intro was over two minutes long, and now we have to sit through the opening credits. I’m not going to even bother explaining them, because if you’ve watched any reality show on VH1, then you already know what it’ll look like. No surprises here.
Back to the guys. We see Cee the Guido again, who plays with a pinky ring and tells us in an interview that he has a toddler daughter who he wants to change for. She’s either two or three, I couldn’t make out what he said.
Time to meet more of the guys. Shotta is from L.A. and has been to jail 3 times.
Pretty Ricky is from San Diego, CA. I can’t really describe his outfit because it’s so odd and unappealing. He’s trying hard to stick out. He wears a white glove on his left hand, and tells us
that he’s a money maker and can “smell money anywhere”. I know you’re confused, I was too.
A butler emerges from the house and introduces himself as Fredrick, then introduces them to Fonzworth. The guys all go nuts when F.B. swaggers out of the house. A little too excited, but maybe they were just glad it wasn’t Monique. E6 from Brooklyn, NY says he’s going to “go home a much better man now”.
A talking head of Fonzworth launches an explanation of “What is a G?”
Cut to Stan(Detroit, MI), whose definition is “gotta have money, gotta have the clothes, gotta have the body, ya know, the whole nine”. Uh, well, most of these guys wouldn’t quality then. I think Stan’s description is more fitting of a playa.
Back to Fonzworth who describes it as “A G is someone who feels that being hard and being tough is the solution to all situations”.
What makes me laugh at this point is that they cut to Kesan, who’s wearing a shirt that says “Love at First Sight”. Not exactly hard or tough.
Fonzworth again. “A G is someone who doesn’t like to show emotion.”
Cut to Creepa(Miami, FL). He tells us his sunglasses are “hater blockers. You don’t know what I’m thinking, I know what you’re thinking.” Um. Oooookay. Fonzworth finishes with “It’s easy to be a G. Being a gentleman takes a lot more effort.”
Back to the present. F.B. tells the guys everything we already heard in that long-ass intro. Meanwhile, we get shots of the various cornrows, braids, gelled hair, sunglasses and heavy jewelry that the G’s are all sporting. F.B. explains that the winner gets $100,000, and they all cheer like your average reality show contestant. Cut to T-Jones (Detroit), who confidently claims the money in an interview. We meet Mikey P(Trenton, NJ) next. He says some stuff about how he thinks it’ll be easy(yeah, he totally won’t make it into the top 3) and about being good looking, but all I could focus on was his super-gelled, spiky hair. So the two Jersey guys are guidos.
Fonzworth tells the G’s that Fredrick will show them the estate, and he retires to his study. Guess what happens next? If you said “Running around the house excitedly”, you would be correct. Throw in some expletives and you get the picture. RSB #4: Picking rooms. Booooring. The Truth(New York, NY) walks around with his ass hanging out of his pants, rambling on about “stepping G game up” and “going toe to toe” and bringing mouth game or g-game”. Again, huh? Party Like a Rock Star plays while the guys discover the bar and proceed to get their drank on.Shaun from Miami lets us in on out next Reality Show Basic: Getting drunk on the first night. We see various shots of Pretty Ricky downing drinks. After he’s got a good buzz going on, he mumbles some stuff about “superhero, super pretty Ricky comes out”. What are these guys even saying?
Fredrick calls them into the chapter room, where they will be introduced to two very important traditions. Fonzworth tells them they will all be given a navy blazer which they are required to wear at all chapter meetings. He introduced the G’s to his associate Rachel who is there to assist him. The G’s all smile and say hi to her, and Pretty Ricky drunkenly blurts out “She’s got big tits”. I must be really jaded from all of the reality shows I’ve watched, but I hate seeing someone get extra camera time after getting totally hammered the first night in the house. It’s so unoriginal.
Fonzworth asks the guys to introduce themselves and to come get a blazer. Shotta is first to come over. He mumbles a whole lot, so I could only pick up something about being “Cali-raised”, along with a handful of “know what I’m sayin’?”s. He finishes with “poppin’ collars all day” even though he’s wearing a tank top and doesn’t have a collar to pop. But he mimed doing it. The second tradition is explained. F.B. pulls out a black ball, choosing instead to refer to it as an ebony sphere, and tells them that at the beginning on each elimination they will each get a sphere and cast their votes. The three guys with the most votes go to the top of the list, but Fonzworth is ultimately in charge of choosing who goes home. The G’s look surprisingly serious as he tells them this. Tonight, two guys go home. They are told they will be called into the brandy room as groups so F.B. can learn more about each of them. Aaaaaaand, commercial.
Why do reality shows have to replay the 30 seconds we just saw before the commercial every time the show comes back? If you weren’t watching, too bad. So while the guys all wait to go sit with Fonzworth, Cee approaches every guy in the place to talk about forming an alliance. He has watched way too many Real World/Road Rules Challenges. He also randomly mentions he brought 16 suits. Pretty Ricky continues to get drunk, then wanders off and pees by some wall. We come into a conversation between most of the guys, and Creepa is spouting off about being a “goon”, and some guys say in interviews that he’s intimidating. Meanwhile, E6 and The Truth are having their own heated discussion. E6 has this to say in an interview: “If you don’t have respect when you go back home, or wherever you came from, no one will respect you whether you won a million or a thousand.” So, uh, if you don’t aren’t respected, people won’t respect you. The Truth calls him low class and a disgrace to the Gentleman’s Club. Fredrick calls E6 and Pretty Ricky in to meet with Fonzworth. Commercial.
We come back to Fonzworth asking Pretty Ricky why he wants to be there. Pretty Ricky is so drunk he can barely form a sentence. “Uh….um…I want to represent.” “I can use the bathroom on my own, but. And that’s why I came here. I am a G, to be honest.” Next on the couch is Zenel, who says he’s modeled in more than 25 ads. In a talking head interview, he tells us to google him. I did. He wants to be a millionaire by 30, a billionaire by 40. F.B. just shakes his head side to side. Shots of Creepa on the couch, sleeping. Quick shot of Stan telling F.B. that he was a stripper for 5 1/2 years. More shots of Creepa sleeping. Mikey P tells us he thinks he made the best first impression. “I’m a pimp”. Noooo, you’re not. Creepa wakes up and mutters some stuff about never seeing snow before, and that he is there to broaden his horizons, how he’s a goon, and again calls his sunglasses hater blockers. They had to use subtitles. Since I could understand most of what he said, I figure the point was to call attention to the fact that he was less than articulate. We meet D-Boy(Detroit) for the first time, and he says he wants to learn etiquette and act right. It can’t bode well for him that we don’t get introduced til him til the second half of the show. He’s somewhat cute though, so I’d pick him over J-Boogie and his boring self for the time being.
Shotta provides one of the more interesting moments of the show by telling us he’s jobless and lives in his car. Why is that interesting? It’s a Mercedes. True boughettoness right there. I give him credit for admitting that he bought the car for 5gs cash and that it wasn’t the wisest choice. He’s been homeless for 3 months and used to make 2k a week hustling. He’s got a two year old son that he’d ultimately like to get custody of, and talks about wanting to be the father that he never had to his son. Fonzworth thinks Shotta’s got the potential to make it to the end. It’s refreshing to hear these guys admit their mistakes and that they actually want to improve their lives. Let’s be real, with reality shows, most of these cats are just interested in the money. Speaking of which, we cut back to the rest of the guys and find that E6 and The Truth are still hating on each other. There’s talk about fighting, then we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, The Truth meets with Fonzworth alone and rambles for much of his interview. Even F.B. can’t pretend to be interested. Among The Truth’s ramblings, he says some shit about not being able to work for an hourly wage, he prefers working on commission, he always likes to keep clean, shower and brush his teeth. They edit it to make it appear that Fonzworth cut him off and ended the interview, but I don’t think it happened that way. A gentleman wouldn’t do that, and that’s what he’s claiming to be. It’s at this point that I write in my notes, “going home?”. There’s a difference between good TV-annoying and just plain annoying. Homeboy is the latter. E6 is in the hallway talking to some other G’s about The Truth, saying he said racist shit and “He stereotype do-rag, he stereotype America”. That’s what the subtitles said. I am just geeky enough to waste a few moments wondering if there was supposed to be a d at the end of stereotype, but I digress.
Fredrick the butler comes in and tells the G’s to go clean up, put on their blazers and gather in the brandy room in half an hour. The guys dress. Pretty Ricky puts a white blazer on over the navy one and says he wants to go out in style. The G’s all put their votes in by dropping the spheres into boxes labeled with each G’s name. Commercial.
When we come back from break, we get the next Reality Show Basic: on the spot interviews. The guys talk about why they should stay, who they think should go. Fonzworth comes in and reminds them they he makes the final decision as to which two G’s are going home tonight. Can I interrupt for a moment to ask if I’m the only one who always thought it was Farnsworth, not Fonzworth? The boxes all have sliding panels for fronts, so the panels are lifted up to reveal how many spheres are in each box. Zenel, Stan, Kasan, Mikey P, T-Jones, Cee, D-Boy, J-Boogie, Shotta, and Shaun all have zero votes. The Truth’s box holds 5 spheres. Okay, now I get why F.B. chose to call them ebony spheres. ‘Cause I wouldn’t want to sit here typing out ‘black balls’ a handful of times in every recap. The Truth thinks he got so many votes because the G’s see him as a threat. When we get to Pretty Ricky’s box, there are 6 spheres. Fonzworth: “Oh, I guess we found out where all the balls are.” I’m 12, because I giggled for a few seconds when he said that. Pretty Ricky says the standard stuff about how people chose him because they are jealous haters. Yawn. Boy just tries way too hard. E6 has one sphere in his box. The only other person with a sphere is Creepa, who’s gone a lone ball. :giggling: Okay, sorry. He gets pissed and tries to get whoever voted for him to admit it. We see a shot of Zenel placing his vote for Creepa, and he admits it in a talking head interview, but not at the elimination ceremony.
So since E6 and Creepa are tied with one vote each, four G’s have to step up for elimination. The Truth lame asses, “I run this house”. Pssht. You’ve been there all of three hours, playa. Fonzworth saves Creepa because he knows he wants to be there. Before we go to commercial, Pretty Ricky reads the standard reality show line the producers fed to him. “It’s not looking good for me. I might be going home.”
Back from commercial, Fonzworth gets right to it and sends Pretty Ricky packing for choosing to wear the white jacket. “Pretty Ricky, your membership is denied. Please remove your navy blazer, and hang it up on your way out.” Pretty Ricky half-heartedly voices over that “there’s a lot of haters out there. I shine all the time.” I hope when he watched this ep at home he realized how stupid an idea it was to wear that white glove.
We’re down to E6 and The Truth. In an interview, E6 refers to Truth as “The False”. Maybe it is better when the producers feed lines to the contestants, because it’s pretty boring when they make up their own lame insults. Fonzworth says, “The truth(get it?! get it?! Ah, whatever) is in the numbers”, and sends The Truth packing.
I’d recap the “This season on..” footage, but it’s the same montage you see for every.single.reality.show.
The show’s got some promise. I think I’ll hang out awhile. Join me.