Well. Fug Nation UK, it seems as if this will be airing in your neck of the woods sometime next week. All I can say is that I’m sorry, and that I wish this show aired with the disclaimer, “The following television program in no way reflects the opinions nor intelligence level of American people, and in fact, all of the approximately four people who watched it in the U.S. only did so to scream at it. #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK.” And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I turned up for episode two. Join me if you dare.
Previously: Jankmaster Flex here is pretending that he might possibly conceivably maybe be Prince Harry, because the Laserdisc of facial recognition software declared him a 99 percent match.
I think the next James Bond movie plot involves him breaking into America — as you do; we have very good deadbolts on the door — and burning the masters of this show. FOR ENGLAND, JAMES.
In which we hope the swan chose exactly this moment to relieve itself all over his name.
The show begins with Kimberly poking the premise with a stick:
She points out that she just doesn’t believe “they” would let Prince Harry around a bunch of crazy American girls. “I wouldn’t. Like, that should be a LAW,” she says. I suspect Prince Harry really enjoys being around crazy girls of all nationalities, because he’s a saucy ginger cad, and that the Queen routinely sits down with him and sighs and puts her head in her hands and grumbles, “JUST WRAP IT UP TIGHTLY MY BOY.”
Unfortunately, the impact of Kimberly’s instinct that this show has nothing to do with Prince Harry is blunted somewhat by her belief that shirts have nothing to do with shoulders.
Kingsley, STRAIGHTEN THE WALL HANGINGS. That one behind the door is crookeder than the entire show concept.
Rose wakes up in The Crown Suite, pretending to enjoy this flea-market crapheap. Seriously, there are probably some okay things in there, occasionally, but they are all thrown together in the cheapest way imaginable. It’s more likely that Harry would be allowed around a dozen American hornballs than that he’d tacitly endorse a place that was set-dressed this badly. Why is there a picture hanging all the way down near the bottom of that wall? Are the producers under the believe that the royal family pioneered hanging art at crotch level?
So, Rose puts on her special satin robe and brushes her teeth. And THAT is when they choose to let Fauxry inside. He sneaks up on her and she’s a total mess, but to her credit, just kind of stands there and keeps brushing, like, “Oh, well, between the Fresh Prince of NOT-Air and my teeth, I choose Sonicare.”
I also give her points for the fact that when she scampers off into the bathroom to get decent, she comes back in shorts and a tank top and no makeup, as opposed to a face full of paint. That may mean she really doesn’t care that much about this fool, or just that she is not that vain. Or is super confident. Whatever. I was surprised to see her return without full foundation, blush, and false eyelashes. She starts trying to solve the mystery of who he is — I think THIS is what she’s into, more than anything — by asking him if he skis, and things, and telling us that everything he does is on-point with how a royal person would act. Which apparently means saying things like, “Do you now,” and “Madam,” and, “Right.” She then asks what his name is, and he asks her to guess; she’s all, “Oh, um, something British, like… Harry, or…” Fauxry interviews that he needs to plant more seeds with the women — a turn of phrase he enjoys, I suspect because he means it about three different ways — because right now “if I put all my cards on the table and say, ‘I am His Royal Highness,’ it might not work.” Sir? THOSE ARE NOT ACTUALLY YOUR CARDS. And you forgot to say Uno. PICK THEM ALL UP.
Then all the girls watch from the dining room as Rose and Fauxry get on a helicopter, and Meghan hopefully tells everyone that some people get really, really sick on helicopters. I wish so fervently that Fauxry had been one of those people. I’d love to see Rose holding back The Royal Head-Suit while The Royal Stomach Contents splash out all over her shoes.
I can’t figure out why Fauxry is sending home girls he has actually spoken to, as opposed to the ones he was never interested in enough in the first place to pull aside. Like Anna Lisa here. She explains, of Rose, “I’m not upset that she’s going on a helicopter ride with my future husband” and then we cut away from her interview for the words “Prince Harry.” So basically, I suspect those sentences were, ‘I’m not upset that she’s going on a helicopter ride with my future husband, because he is not my future husband at all, and also he is totally not Prince Harry.” Sniiiip.
The house, by the way, is Englefield House, in Berkshire. (Ascot Racecourse is also in Berkshire, as is Windsor Castle, as is Sunninghill, a.k.a. the place of my father’s birth and the pub that I basically grew up in, The Nag’s Head. Which just closed. I AM HEARTBROKEN for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that the pub sign is of a horse chugging a beer, and if that place doesn’t get to stay open then WHAT HOPE HAVE ANY OF US AT ALL IN THIS WORLD. Ahem.) It’s know for being in X-Men: First Class, Hex, The King’s Speech, and now this debacle. I sincerely hope the owners were paid a tidy fortune, and that the Queen does not have it demolished for being treasonous to the realm. As our forebears always say, don’t blame the real estate, blame the agent.
I miss you, England. Rose starts asking if Fauxry does this sort of thing a lot — I don’t even think she KNOWS the real Harry is a helicopter pilot; I think she just believes Travel By Helicopter is what royal people do — and while trying to play it cool, Fauxry admits that it’s hard to act blase because this Hardy Prince of Wallis chap leads a rip-roaring life.
Meghan is ALL OVER the fakeness of this, because her bite is, “Rose gets to go on a date with Sir in the helicopter.” This begins what I think is a strenuous effort never to say the words “Prince Harry” unless forced, because she so totally does NOT want them to be able to make her look like she was duped. Because she wasn’t. BECAUSE SHE HAS EYEBALLS.
This is Andrea. Andrea seemed at first not to be super dumb. And then, as she preens by the pool, she notes that she is used to winning because she’s been first runner-up in every beauty pageant she ever entered. Andrea my love, by definition that is NOT winning. At all. It VERY SPECIFICALLY means that you did not win. In a sense, it is the exact opposite of winning. Also, that is how you know she is getting her ass booted out of this house.
Fauxry takes Rose to the beach as she comments about how amazing this all is, and he wonders if she’s never been treated this well before — which, by the way, involves them climbing down a steep grade and him letting her go first so that if there is any treacherous ground or slippery spots, she can take the hit for him, which is super gentlemanly and royal. She doesn’t notice, pointing out that this is “the royal treatment,” in the hopes of baiting him, and Fauxry decides to play along to give her a clue. He does this by saying… hang onto your fascinators…, “If a date with a royal can’t be treated well, then how can she?” WHAT ARE YOU EVEN SAYING. The producers must have wanted to tape his mouth shut half the time. He clearly meant to note that a date with a royal is one time when a girl should count on being treated well, but it comes out like stupidity.There are several words missing from that sentence. If Prince Harry ever sees this, he should send Matthew Hicks several rounds of notes, one of which would be, “DON’T EVEN.”
Rose freaks out, though, internally, and he then tosses off “Oh, did I just say that?” I think all these women believe he’s a random long-lost cousin of Prince Harry’s, and kind of wish he were suaver, but think maybe if that’s true then he could introduce them to the real one. But in the meantime, Rose commits, asking if he grew up at Buckingham Palace — which is an easy “no” for Fauxry because even Harry did not grow up there, although I’m sure Kingsley Shackledolt told Fauxry that it was Kensington Castle or something — and whether he has a brother, and is in the military. If she knew that much, why didn’t she ask Fauxry if he could FLY the helicopter for her? HE’S A PILOT. Easy way to trip up the impostor, although frankly, I wouldn’t trust FOX not to be like, “Sure, Matt, get in there and just see how you do. It’s like Atari.” I am also both relieved and surprised that nobody yet has asked, “So what do your parents do?” because having to watch Sir fumble his way through a lie about his mother would be so excruciatingly inappropriate, and if that DID happen, I am so grateful they haven’t aired it (yet).
Rose then decides they need to have oysters because they’re an aphrodisiac, although she titters that she doesn’t need the help, which is astonishing, because Fauxry gives off all the sexual magnetism of an oyster: slurpy, cold, and not something to enter into without courage.
And then his fake personal protection officers escort him to the water line after he’s changed. I am pretty sure Harry and William’s PPOs don’t actually try to look like Secret Service agents, and in fact, I just found thse amusing pics of Harry’s PPOs goofing off and PRETENDING to act like that while at a polo match. The producers probably found that photo and went, “OMG THEY HAVE ACTUAL WEAPON-HANDS.”
Fauxry continues his ignorant judgmental rampage, noting that Rose “is keen for a bit of hanky-panky” and that it’s “perhaps not the way to behave with a royal on a first date.” I would respect him a lot more if he was like, “Well, everyone thinks Harry is a delicious man-whore, which is half the reason I even agreed to this, so it all adds up.” Rose, meanwhile, notes that he’s too pale for her but that she went for it anyway, because every girl has dreamed of being a princess. Note: not being in love with a prince; just being a princess.
Poor, crazy Rose. I suspect she’s kissing him so she can go report back to the girls that Sir isn’t worth their time if he’s not royal AND doesn’t know what to do with his mouth. Also, I’d like to point out that if Sir thinks it’s so scandalous for a girl to get frisky on the first date, then what’s Sir doing passing her The Royal Tongue? Don’t be a Double Royal Standard, Sir.
Meanwhile, the Woo Girls are all playing croquet and drinking (probably)(I mean, they are consuming liquids, but what is IN them, I could not tell you) and are dressed like this is the Hillshire Farms Country Ho-Down Sponsored By Thighmaster. Personally I would not give a blunt object to any of these people.
And I guess Macy’s was having a sale on brown leather sandals.
The girls all speculate that Fauxry is probably royal because he uses helicopters. At this point, I sincerely think the game has turned into Joe Millionaire — they think he is a rich distant relative of the royal family but don’t for a second think it’s Harry — and when they get to the end and find out he doesn’t even own a bike, and that there is nothing in this for them except being laughed at when they turn up on FOX and Friends or something, they’re going to be like, “I sat through your boring small talk for THIS? FORGERIES SHOULD AT LEAST BE INTERESTING.”
Fauxry and Rose return, and the girls snark that they should go greet The Royal Couple, at which point Southern Belle Kelley shrieks, ‘THEY ARE NOT A COUPLE WE STILL HAVE TO GO ON DATES WITH HIM.” Girl. If they didn’t all want to maximize their free vacation, I think the others would all go home and let you have him. Rose privately tells Anna Lisa that all the security stuff is The Real Deal and then the show throws in a wild line that is OSTENSIBLY from Anna Lisa but which could have come from any scene anywhere and which they are careful not to credit to anyone in particular: “I think it’s him.” And by “him” she could have meant “that guy who helped me buy an Oyster card that time I was in London three years ago,” for all we know.
Then a bunch of the girls decide to touch Sir, which for Maggie involves grabbing his butt while waving around what is now clearly a cocktail. (I’ve decided she’s trying to get herself kicked off so she can live in whatever hotel they’re sequestering them in, although it would be funny if it turned out they are just sending them back to the States immediately one by one.) Fauxry is mildly scandalized, but I’m surprised he didn’t escort her to the Crown Suite right then and there, given that his chief interest seems to be — reading between his lines — Girls Who Are Up For It. He criticizes that in bites but then gravitates straight to Naughty Eye Twinkles.
He pulls Kimberly aside after telling her they haven’t had a chance to talk, EXCEPT FOR HOW HE ALSO PULLED HER ASIDE LAST WEEK. Sir’s mental wattage is on the low end of the scale. Kimberly starts telling him she’s not very sporty and he is AGHAST and shows about the most emotion EVER when asking how how in the world she keeps in shape. I think he hopes this means she is a sexual gymnast of reasonable proficiency.
And then lo and behold, helicopters swirl overhead and Sir’s Fake Protection Officers swarm and rip him out of there and he’s like, “Oh, right, see you later,” and if Sir hasn’t learned yet that Prince Harry would be smooth enough to bend down and kiss a girl’s hand when he’s being escorted away from a date, then Sir should get his ears boxed. Fauxry says this is all designed to make them think he’s Prince Harry, but I’m not really sure what incident they think would require these yahoos to YANK Prince Harry away IMMEDIATELY yet LEAVE the rest of them there, as if to say, “There’s a sniper nearby, but no worries, we have some Band-Aids in the kitchen so you’ll probably be fine.” Meanwhile, as the choppers circle and men in sunglasses make extremely unconvincing security officers, Chelsea, whom I didn’t screen grab, mumbles something in a bite that sounds like, ‘They’re taking over the world. We came to another country AND THEY’RE TAKING OVER THE WORLD.” Is… she talking about aliens? Does she think Independence Day II is taking place in the middle of a FOX reality show about a guy who CLEARLY bleached his eyebrows? Bill Pullman would never.
Meghan then says, “Today’s incident made us think he could be // the prince,” so basically, “Today’s incident made us think he could be somebody important but he is way more likely to be Prince than the prince.” Sniiip. Then they cut to her telling everyone he’s probably a Duke or a Lord or something. She has never been less tricked, and she is SO going to be the first one on Dancing With The Stars.
And then at some unspecified moment, because Sir knows not time nor space, the girls have all changed and are awaiting Kingsley Shackledolt and Rose. Kingsley trills, “Todaaaaay, Sir has decided that WEEEE are to PLAYYYY… CRICKET.” My notes read, “I loathe you Kingsley.” And in some EXTREMELY poorly shot exposition, we learn that Rose and two ladies she has chosen will be helping make tea instead of doing all the sports with Sir, which actually seems like a disadvantage unless you, like me, find Lord Sandwich more compelling than Sir. Rose picks the girls she likes to hang out with: Andrea and Karina.
Andrea is hella peeved because she actually LIKES sports and did NOT list “Sandwich Artist” among her hobbies. She’s also miffed because Meghan loudly proclaims her theory that Rose wanted to make all the cute girls wear dumb outfits, thereby implying that Andrea is not one of the cute girls. When in fact Andrea is actually one of the better-looking ones, and probably one of the more normal ones, which is why she sticks out like a sore thumb and will be going home imminently. Also, because I think she was a plant to try and foment feelings that it was Prince Harry in the first episode, and it didn’t really work.
Anna Lisa asks what a person wears to play cricket. Meghan snarks, “What does Queen Rose want us to wear?” Meghan is trying too hard. Meghan, you’re going to be on camera a lot, and you know it. Just relax.
So the Woo Girls put on their best sports bras, not ONE of them questioning why the freaking BUTLER is hiking across the grounds with them (Mr. Carson would faint, although this show WOULD be greatly improved with a few O’Briens and some EvilButler.coms in the mix,and OH, the fun Jimmy would have)…
… and the other three put on their best frocks, or in this case, two best frocks and one throw from the bedroom just in case Sir’s ideal lady is a Von Trapp…
… and head out to the cricket grounds, where, inexplicably, they then change into white tennis skirts. Why would they not make the girls change BEFORE the walk down to the house? Did FOX have a sports bra contract to honor? Also, I am embarrassed for America by how much the all try to bend over and flash him, and ALSO, I think it would have been funnier to make them wear actual chinos and sweaters like the real cricket players. Because a) you know some numbskull would do something horrible to it to make it “sexy,” and b) it’d be harder to pull off, and c) it might make them sweaty and catastrophic-looking, which would be amusing for ME, potentially, and would not scream, “Let’s make the dumb American girls be nakeder!” Then again, Let’s Make The Dumb American Girls Be Nakeder is a proud motto of many of FOX’s fine reality programs of past and present and probably future.
However, a full proper uniform would have denied us Maggie scratching her crotch like she has fleas:
Actually, in fairness, I think she is trying to flip up her skirt, the purpose of which can only be to alert Sir of her vagina. Sir’s vagina alarm does not seem to be pinging for Maggie, however.
Fauxry explains that he plays a lot of cricket, so this is an attempt to let him inject a certain amount of himself into the situation, in a way that isn’t a euphemism. We then proceed to see absolutely nothing of him playing cricket or wowing any of them with his mad cricket science, and instead, he does things like say, “That’s where they’re most likely to hit the ball, if they hit the ball,” because everyone knows girls aren’t good at stuff. Kimberly takes him by surprise by bashing a couple nice shots, which I hope make him extremely concerned for the safety of his crown jewels once she finds out Sir is The Worst. He says, “Have you done this before?” and she replies, “I don’t know!” Perhaps one of Sir’s charities could be for Moonlight Cricket Fugue State Syndrome.
We also have Meghan (above) conspiring to get him to touch her by trying to bowl, because she’s now scripting a rom-com around herself.
While Andrea complains about having to make tea, Fauxry decides to pull Karina aside for some one-on-one time. Karina, you probably do not recall, is studying molecular biology. Does this come up? No. Or if it does, they cut it out, because what could be more boring than a smart person? (Okay, fine, in fairness, she offers up that she studied abroad in Spain, and says IN Spanish that she needs to practice her Spanish, but that’s it.) Instead, we get to hear him asking her… if she tans. No, really. Then he says that his greatest fear is that the women will fall for him, and then once he strips away the status and the money and the Sir, they will turn around and renege on the nooky. Of COURSE that is your fear, Fauxry, because, to quote my notes, you have no personality. I mean, if this guy gave them ANY charm and panache and charisma, the show would be ALL OVER using that footage. You know they aren’t sitting on piles and piles of film of him being a delicious rogue, and just not using it.
But how gorgeous is THIS:
“You’re a biologist. Tell me, can Lady Mary’s vagina want to murder?”
Fauxry makes a lame attempt to talk to Jacqueline, and she bulldozes through all her words and comes off completely frenetic and unhinged…
… which might be true, because she appears to be wearing her kill.
And now Kingsley Shackledolt has banged the dinner gong, because Sir invited them to a formal dinner, and of course the producers watched Pretty Woman and decided to make the women eat snails in the hopes of getting a “slippery little suckers” moment. It does not happen. Nothing about this scenario is remotely as interesting as Pretty Woman. I feel like there are a hundred better ideas for reality shows that you could have just from watching this one, and one of them is bringing ACTUAL hookers to an English estate with nothing but Kingsley to amuse them.
Maggie has a rough go at dinner. First, she asks someone if something is “sea urchant.” Then she has to get a lecture from Anna Lisa on what the utensils are, which finishes with her saying she doesn’t know what “beverage” means, the irony being that consuming them is her no. 1 hobby. And finally, she gets a plate of snails and oysters and whatnot, and she cannot hide her terror, until finally she tells us she’s going to “put my big girl panties on” and try this food. It goes extremely well…
… if by “well,” you mean, “she almost threw up in her hand four times.”
She also washes it down with wine, and I laughed, because she took a ladylike sip, then checked to see if Sir was watching, and when he wasn’t, she knocked back the rest of the glass. Oh, Maggie. I don’t think you ever came back from Spring Break that one year, did you?
Fauxry is seated next to Andrea the Dull and teases her kind of annoyingly about whether she’s using the tools elegantly to eat the snail. The food looks horribly unappetizing and sparse, which may explain why everyone gets so drunk, and the dinner conversation must have been excruciating because suddenly Kingsley comes in and tells Sir in front of all the ladies that it’s time for their private conversation. There are no decent scenes with him talking to anyone; it’s such a failure. Beyond being noxious claptrap.
So Kingsley, being the modern butler that he is, has some kind of tablet he uses to confer with Fauxry about his romantic feelings. He must have “gleam” or “twinkle” written under every name, because Sir does not know how to describe any of these ladies beyond noting the level of light in her eye and how it translates to his chances of a little rumpy. Fauxry inarticularly mumbles that Rose is still “in good form,” like she’s a racehorse he’s eyeing in the fifth at Newmarket; that he didn’t think he and Kimberly had a connection before; that Andrea has a mischievous glint in her eye; and that Jacqueline seems insane — wait, sorry, “outgoing.” But he means insane.
However, this is the scene in which I began to ‘ship Kingsley and Fauxry. Because they are supposed to be having an ENTIRELY serious conversation about the ladies he wants to keep and axe, and Kinglsey is bringing all his Actorly Timbre to his voice, and yet neither man can keep a straight face AT ALL.
[Inspired by — but never equal to — the great Price Peterson of Vampire Diaries (and many others) recap fame.]
Guess who’s going home?
Andrea, who will MURDER. Except, no. She just cries when she’s told, because rejection sucks even when you’re not the least bit invested in the outcome. She then fires off this parting shot: “I don’t normally go for a ginger with bad teeth.” Well, perhaps you should’ve asked Sir if he has Dental before you got all upset about not playing cricket with him.
Because the show has no real story nor footage until Maggie gets drunk at the end, we get a very long, drawn-out sequence in which we’re meant to care which girl Fauxry picks, even though it’s embarrassingly obvious he’s booting Andrea and keeping Kimberly. Yes, Kimberly.
The real Prince Harry might appreciate the way Fauxry went full palm on her bum. Mr. Kissing A Guy On The First Date Isn’t Royal might want to check his judgments at the door of the Crown Suite.
In an entertaining twist, the girl LEAVING the Crown Suite has to be there waiting for the girl inheriting it, and Rose is like, “TA DA!!!!!” and then presumably whispers that Fauxry’s tongue is like raw cod.
Kimberly is amazed at either the hotel closet with bonus bedding, or the fact that her dress looks like it tore open after a wolf attack (that MIGHT be her mic pack we’re seeing, and not a bra, but still). She breathes that things like this don’t happen to her: “I don’t even win bingo.”
Meanwhile, Maggie is plastered. She slurs that she thinks Sir wants the combination of a girl he can have fun with, but also take home to grandma, but it takes her seven tries to get the words out of her mouth, and Meghan congratulates her for completing a sentence. “I don’t feel like I drink a lot, but I feel like I drink enough,” Maggie drools, which she makes sound like the motto under her family’s crest. Meghan opens up her notebook titled How To Get Camera Time and comes up with, “Stevie Wonder could tell” that Maggie drinks too much. She then asks somebody to hold Maggie’s hand on her way up the stairs, then tells Maggie she needs to slow down, and drink less, and eat more, so that she doesn’t get so far down the rabbit hole. This is all actually fairly sensible advice, and while I think Meghan is trying to be a TV mean girl, I also think she’s embarrassed for Maggie. Sadly for Maggie, no reality show in the history of the world has ever used “Drink Less, Eat More,” as one of its founding principles, and that’s exactly why they provided so little and such awful food for their big formal dinner.
Southern Kelley pipes up that Maggie is “a drunk, and that’s fine” — which, IS IT? IS IT REALLY? — “but it’s not ladylike and not something Prince Harry would really want to be around.” She clearly has never read anything about him AT ALL.
Then Maggie stars weeping off her tan.
And so her self-proclaimed drinking buddy Crazy Jacqueline confronts Anna Lisa and Meghan, and tells them that some girls are really insecure and drink as a means of escape, and just because AL and Meghan are NOT that type of girl doesn’t mean they should pick on the ones that are. Oh, Jacqueline, please don’t advocate “drink to escape” as a legitimate regular coping measure for adult women who are “24.” I also just had an idea for a spin-off of 24 that’s all about Jack Bauer trying to investigate reality-show contestants who say that’s how old they are.
She then calls Meghan and Anna Lisa the mean girls of the group. Meghan is bored by this, but clearly decides it’s time for a nuclear moment that they can use in a promo, so she leaps up with a magical energy boost and pulls out this little bon mot from Things I Workshopped Ahead Of Time: “Your head is lodged so far up your ass, I could eat alphabet soup and shit out something that makes more sense than what you’re saying right now.” Ah, the old Chef Boyardee gambit. Classic verbal chess. This is juxtaposed with Meghan noting that Jacqueline is not princess material, which, easy there, Pat Sajak, it’s not like going all consonants-and-bowels on us is so elegant either. I kind of hope episode 3 involves them all being deported.