A new cast member arrives on the scene this week. Well, sort of.
Those of you with fond memories of Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew might recognize Duncan Roy, the British director/producer with a strong appetite for Internet hook-up sites.
Now Duncan’s A-List-adjacent, taking Derek out on dates, giving him watches and peppering him with meaningful get-to-know-you-isms like, “Tell me about your tanning.”
“It’s going really well,” answers Derek, proud of his accomplishment. And sure, this sounds like a love-match, but…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before the show re-introduces Duncan to a public starved for a status update from the online sex trenches, everybody has to get some Botox. I blame Edwing for this. Remember Edwing? He made an appearance last season and now we see him again, retailing it in a shop full of ugly shiny things—garments Ryan and Derek can’t get enough of. “Shopping centers me,” reports Ryan, before stepping out of a dressing room and presenting for the camera in blinding red pants and a strappy upper-body article of clothing that isn’t really recognizable as men’s wear. To accurately describe the thing, you’d have to refer to it as a “top.” In Ryan’s defense, he looks really comfortable, so I hope he bought it, price be darned.
Anyway, the Botox. You know that after you go into a store that refers to itself as a boutique and have a dude named Edwing assisting you, the only reasonable next step is a trip to the dermatologist to get a face full of poison. You’re about 30 now, after all—time to hit it early and hard, make that shit look as waxy and weird and Bruce Jenner-ish as you can. That way when you’re 50, you’ll have made your goal of resembling a 38 year-old female cat a triumphant reality.
Derek and Austin’s UK spouse, Jake, take needles to the forehead, while Austin simply wants as much in his armpits as possible to wreck his sweat glands and make all the perspiration come out of his ankles. There’s no sweating in Playgirl. The aspiring centerfold’s agonizing needle-screams are one reason your TiVo remote’s eight-second “repeat” button was invented.
To celebrate his armpit paralysis, Austin decides to throw a cocktail party, hoping to demonstrate to all the naysayers and interventioners that he can tank up without physically attacking Rodiney, that “cocktails aren’t the problem.” This is true, cocktails are not the problem; Austin is. Then he agrees that Rodiney’s decision to take out a restraining order against him is probably a good idea. Austin knows that the more him-proofed the world is, the safer we all are.
Not wanting to court trouble in the opening moments of an episode lest we all lose interest by the first commercial break, the show sequesters Rodiney in an undisclosed location, allowing him to comment on the action without actually showing up. In almost-Portuguese-kinda-English, Rodiney swaggers up to the plate to take a swing at an American idiomatic expression and smashes its skull open with the aluminum bat, reminding everyone in the listening audience that he doesn’t trust Austin as far as he “can throw to him.” Can Rodiney get a spin-off series? He’d make an excellent Punk’d-style game show host for a competition where the contestants would have to understand the rules as explained by Rodiney, then do exactly as he instructs, no matter how baffling.
Nyasha’s more or less absent this week, too. We get about three minutes of her and T.J. in the Nyasha Club Hit Dance Records Recording Studio. The sound guy plays back a Nyasha-vocalized track. It sounds like “Pokerface” performed by a swarm of angry bees. Nyasha enjoys T.J.’s company and T.J. enjoys Nyasha. She announces that he keeps it real (true) and he talks about how her music is pop and how gays support pop and how gays like to flip their hair in the manner of Beyoncé and how gays enjoy things that sound like bees.
Later, celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch meets with Austin. This meeting was called in order to better allow Bloch to pinch Austin’s non-existent fat wads and express happiness that Austin took his advice and stopped being so obese. Bloch also called this meeting to piss on Austin’s activist spirit. See, Austin hopes his boner shots will advance the cause of bi-national couples and their immigration concerns. But Bloch’s here to remind Austin that this approach lacks efficacy. No, Bloch doesn’t say “efficacy.” They’d have bleeped it out. Anyway, Austin disagrees. Meeting over.
Except wait, because now Ryan is on camera telling the audience that, in spite of all visual evidence to the contrary, Austin is still extremely fat and gross and has no business posing for Playgirl, that nobody wants to look at “the Pillsbury Doughboy eating bacon.” And technically Ryan is correct. We want to see the Pillsbury Doughboy eating some Pop n’ Fresh cinnamon rolls (dough-erection optional).
Complementing Edwing’s cameo, Gina’s back this episode, too. First season viewers may remember her as Derek’s best friend and assistant, the one who, in order to keep her job, endured him pronouncing her name like it was vagina’s second syllable. There really is nothing quite like the intimate bond between gay men and the women they hate.
Derek tells Gina that he’s already done with Duncan, that Duncan’s old and nasty and has a smell. And the gift watch was used. And that now Austin has gotten all buddy-buddy with Duncan, going so far as to invite him to the watch-me-get-fun-drunk party. There’s no good reason for Austin’s invite, of course, because it was the show’s idea. And this hurts Derek a lot, so much so that Ryan announces on interview-cam, “I know that Derek is hurt [but] he’s not the type to show emotions.”