Orphans danced. Cripples walked. Cult members removed their black Nikes. That's right, there's only one High Society episode left. Here's what and who went down on last night's installment.
It was an unusually sedate and focused episode, with much of the wretched ensemble MIA. Viewers could even detect themes! Which were:
- Family matriarch Dale Mercer goes on a date. Dale, face stretched and injected to within an inch of its life, is so eager for some elderlove that she treks out to Jersey to pick her anonymous gigolo up at the airport! Dale is from Virginia, so her thoughtful suitor gives her one of the Old Dominion State's storied wines. From there, the date entails being driven around in the back of a Town Car and ambling through Central Park. The camera crew takes mercy on the AARP spokespeople and shoots from the waist up, concealing all signs of walkers. After a smooch that gave Al and Tipper's a run for its money in queasiness, the two sneak off for a quick screw in the Ramble. Dale limps through a park exit alone, crowing about how fabulous it all was.
- Tinsley Mortimer gets all dolled up to shill for a mediocre vodka company at some midtown club no one's ever heard of. She meets forgotten American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis there. Constantine, who bears an uncanny resemblance to '80s-era Lieutenant Dan, deploys some of the cheesiest pickup lines to ever make their way onto network television. And they work, because the producers need them to. Tinsley and Constantine's first official date coincidentally doubles as a commercial for Constantine's play "Rock of Ages. " Tinsley shows up looking like a vintage 42nd Street lady of the night. At the end of it all, they kiss. Awkwardly.
- Paul Johnson Calderon introduces his phony boyfriend Tommy to his real (?) mother. "Young, youthful, fresh and ALIVE!" she exclaims. "He's the perfect match for Paul." Apparently, Ms. Calderon's criteria for her son's lovahs has since dipped to having a faint pulse. Anyway, she spares us all an emergency trip to the toilet by not asking if they've had sex. Then she kind of outs Anderson Cooper, saying if Cooper and Paul aren't gonna happen, Tommy will do. Then Paul asks poor Mama Calderon, really the senile Brooke Astor of High Society, for gobs of money to travel to Haiti and pluck indigent children out of the ruble. Nah, he wants to go to Gstaad. There's a chilling threat of "pulling a Menendez brothers" if mommy holds out. Which at least is a reference to something other than clothing labels. Speaking of...
- Tinsley hawks her handbags to Calypso. The verdict from the Guest of a Guest peanut gallery behind me: "I think the bags are shitty" and "They're all knockoffs." Paul seeks his mother's relationship blessing at Bloomingdales. Then he goes to Toots and the Maytals Stubbs & Wootton for a pair of ridiculous driving loafers to wear to a party thrown by...
Guest of a Guest
Yup, that's us. Like the "Tonight, Tonight" montage in West Side Story, we see brief clips of all the show's miserable creatures primping for their "totally A-list" evening. After all, "anyone who's anyone" will be there. Including yours truly. And Richard Blakeley. And Peter Feld. You know, the usual Sotheby's/Costume Institute crowd. Thankfully Jules Kirby, role clearly reduced after her Chernobyl-esque toxicity, and Devorah Rose, clonking sideways down the stairs to 675 in a pair of cement shoes, raised the fabulous level.
But all was not well! Tinsley, flanked by two pals like a contemporary Charlie's Angels silhouette, confronts Devorah in one of the bar's well-lit alcoves to bitch about...whatever. I was there. And it was weird. She actually confronted her, like, four times. And launched the same opening salvo with every take! Strange, right? Anyway, editors deprive us of the good stuff with a cliffhanger for next week that promises the "biggest catfight of the season."
But that will play second fiddle to the story of Paul's tireless fight against the petty courts after the trailer showed him flouting open container laws while placing a fake distressed call to Tommy while sitting on a cold, hard Meatpacking District sidewalk.