A friend of mine recently told me that The A-List’s Rodiney Santiago is a mean-spirited, dumb as rocks diva whose number one relationship issue with Reichen is that they’re both bottoms. I like Rodiney (and not just because he’s hiding a man-hammer in those briefs the producers force him to wear every episode). I find him as endearing as a Golden Retriever with a brain tumor and after watching this circus of shame for an entire season, I finally stumbled upon an essay which nails why Rodiney’s the only likable character in this entire meat-puppet show:
“While Rodiney appears to be aware of the fact that he is on camera, he doesn’t seem to understand the level of play-acting required from the medium of reality TV… When Reichen brings up the fact that he’ll be having a private dinner with Austin, a look of hurt and confusion flashes across Rodiney’s face that seems so genuine that it’s hard not to feel very bad for the man — and it actually makes you think he walked onto a reality show without having even the faintest clue of what to expect… A large part of what makes Rodiney compelling, and more than just a figure of ridicule, is that he represents an earlier, more innocent time in popular culture… a delightful reminder of the crude and unpolished pleasures that reality TV, in its earlier incarnations, could bring to television.”
In our media-obsessed culture where celebrities pre-plan “leaked” sex tapes and reality TV contestants go on to become minor celebrities, I wondered if there’s anyone left who wouldn’t know how to play overdramatic for a reality TV show. Apparently there are, they just live in different countries.
We only “enjoy” The A-List: New York because of its other over-the-top bitchy characters. If the show only featured men as sweet and naive as Rodiney, it’d be horrendously boring. That being said, after this season wraps up, we’ll soon have the antics of The A-List: Dallas and LA to
boycott protest set on fire and send to hell enjoy. In the meanwhile, thanks for coming along for this candy-coated saunter towards Babylon.
9:02 PM CST – Is it weird that I am a tad sad that this is ending? Back in the lakehouse its breakfast time and both Austin and Reichen wear briefs because they’re hungry for each other. TJ and Ryan both enter the breakfast nook wearing frocks and I’m pretty sure that moments before going to sleep they at least gave each other disinterested handjobs and air kissed before applying their facial masks. Ryan says he wants “a hefty serving of Austin bitch-slapping Rodiney.”
After jet-skiing, Rodiney threatens to feed everyone a cabbage salad. “I’m not gonna make you eat my salad,” Rodiney says… but oh Rodiney we wish that you would make us eat it.
9:07PM CST – Austin pulls a supremely bitchy act by taking a mouthful of Rodiney’s man-salad and then spitting it out like its just another weekday night in Chelsea. Then over lunch Austin basically pulls his master plan to make Reichen and Rodiney break up over the esalada de ropollo. Everyone wants to shut Austin up but they also know that without his re-hashing this tired old issue that there will be absolutely nothing to discuss.
9:11 PM CST – Commercial: Hopefully The A-List’s season finale also means the finale of this horrible Julia Stiles Stoli vodka commercial.
9:15 PM CST – Meanwhile back in New York, Mike Ruiz has an actual fundraising event for The Trevor Project with Vanessa Williams. He’s trying to rescue young queers from the horrible queeny stereotypes that might make them want to kill themselves. Stereotypes perpetuated by… nah, too easy.
9:16 PM CST – Austin’s swimming naked again except that this time Derek thinks it’s brilliant “because he’s doing it to piss off Reichen and make Rodiney uncomfortable.” Um… hey Derek, don’t you realize it was brilliant the first time because he did it to piss you off and make TJ uncomfortable? Remind me why no one with date Derek again?
9:19 PM CST – Wow, it only took eleventeen episodes for the guys to actually discuss the gay marriage between Ryan and whoever the hell his husband is. What’s great is that the meremention of a pre-nuptial agreement moves Austin to a tearful apology to Rodiney and Reichen.
Austin has a good blubbery cry and hugs Reichen who is wearing a goddamn shaw. Then Rodiney starts tearing up… and then TJ starts tearing up, because he’s an emotional chameleon that can only display whatever emotion the next person next to him is feeling, which explains why he attacked Rodiney on behalf of Austin several episodes back. Poor shaved TJ lives in Brooklyn… it’s not his fault! They’re all emotional scavengers out in Bushwick.
9:22 PM CST – Line of the episode: Derek says “Watching Rodiney and Reichen break up and get back together over and over again is like watching someone vomit and eat the vomit and vomit all over again. It’s disgusting.” God bless you Derek. You’re like the William Butler Yeats of reality television or some shit.
9:25 PM CST – LOGO Promo: If you really wanna be “A-List” go to all the places that the Foursquare computer demands and then you could possibly maybe never win $1,000!!! That’s like almost 66 New York cocktails!
9:28 PM CST – Austin makes sure to remind everyone that despite his tearful apology last night that he still thinks that Reichen and Rodiney’s relationship sucks butt (and not in a good way). Awwww… that’s so sweet! The boys aren’t even off of the lakehouse lawn ready to head home when they’re already discussing popping painkillers and getting massages by the Korea-town manhandlers.
9:31 PM CST – We finally get to hear Reichen’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell pop music masterpiece!!! It sounds like… um… like he needs a decades worth of voice lessons. Reichen’s so happy that he actually has a pop song that he tunes out the despair of his producers. They’re all like, “You see, what we really need to do is… um… replace you… kinda they did in the musical you were in.”
9:33 PM CST – Austin’s chunky agent says that Austin is too chunky to do anything but date his fake twink Brit boyfriend and eat shepherd’s pie in London like a lonely fatass sitting in the pub remembering his shattered model dreams . Austin enthusiastically agrees. He really is in love with whats-his-twink and Austin’s gonna move to Austin and maybe… NEVER COME BACK!!! Oh no! What will Derek do? He and Derek are totally best friends, for like the last three episodes.
9:34 PM CST – Oh look! A black woman in an HIV commercial. And with that, LOGO’s commercial racism comes full circle. Let us take a moment to mourn for all our other queer brothers and sisters who weren’t represented often in ads either: the poor, the crippled, the very old, Native Americans, dykey lesbians, Eskimoes, leprechauns, Methodists.
9:35 PM CST: Commercial – Chase Bank features a commercial about a little boy who goes to Africa and finds a really big bone. You and me both, gurl.
9:38 PM CST – Ryan tells TJ that he and Desmond (Ryan’s hubs) are gonna have a gaybie via a surrogate. “I’m gonna be an aunt!” TJ excitedly exclaimes which makes Ryan slightly recoil with disgust. Ryan mentions that he’d hate to have a girl and that if he has one, he’ll force her wear fake eyelashes and dresses even if she wants to wear pants. Basically he’ll make her conform to the bullshit gender stereotypes that force teens to call The Trevor Project.
9:47 PM CST – Technical difficulties on Queerty. I have somehow managed to make a balls of the live blog. Anyway, Reichen makes his pop debut embarrassing himself in front of Mike Ruiz and about 19 other gay men at some hole in the wall gay bar. As they smoke a cigarette, Derek and Austin rehash how mind-blowingly ass-mazing it is that that they’re actually friends despite being such horrible people. I’m secretly hoping that they end up together. TJ would be CRUSHED!
9:53 PM CST – Commercial: A blue-eyed Dustin Lance Black lookalike goes into tool shed, opens a secret box full of lightning, and then throws his electric javelin into a cornfield which is like a metaphor… for being closeted in the south… or something.
9:55 PM CST – Commercial: Macy’s plays Rent’s “525,600 Minutes” for their commercial selling wedding jewelry. How horribly ironic is that? Right song, wrong item. Hey Macy’s! Thanks for spitting diamonds in our faces. Maybe the jewelry is only available in Massachusetts, Iowa, and Vermont.
9:57 CST PM – After Austin tells Reichen how much he enjoyed Reichen’s retched pop song, Reichen then hears Austin drunkenly tell TJ and Austin how shitty it actually was. WHAT?!! HONESTY?!!! Reichen’s pissed. So disappointed in fact, that he cock blocks himself by mentioning Austin’s hijinks yet again to Rodiney while they ride home in a cab together. Usually Rodiney hates talking about Austin, but tonight he loves hearing Reichen finally say what he’s known from episode one, that Austin is dishonest and up to no good. Then they share an awkward kiss in front of the camera despite the fact that Rodiney looks hot as balls.
When Reichen drunkenly tells Rodiney, “I love you and I want us to have a peaceful life together,” you almost believe him. Except that you can taste the Stoli vodka wafting off his breath and melting the TV screen. Look what Julia Stiles and her evil twin have reduced him to!
The show ends with Austin shaking his bare ass to bad techno on a gay bar balcony, an apt image for the highbrow queerness this show embodies.
[A technical error previously prevented comments on this post. It has been resolved.]
This has been a really, really revolting experience. I recorded the series and must admit that I did it mostly because Rodiney is hot as hell and Reichen sort of is except when he’s crying like some teenage girl that just learned that Justin Bieber is really a lesbian into butch lesbians rather than girly girls. Most weeks, I can only watch it in five or ten minute increments so that it can take an entire week to finally work through an episode. A couple of times, I start and two minutes in, I deleted the episode and take a bath to scrub off the top two layers of skin. I don’t think I have ever seen a quantum of queens quite as unlikable as these. I actually hate Derek even though I have never and probably will never meet the whatever he is. TJ is like a remora that sucks onto the underside of Derek and the bleached blond (Ryan is it) eating the stray morsels floating off their latest kills. Reichen has to be one of the most narcissistic people around. I hope Chip and Lance realize how fortunate they are to be rid of that drama queen. Rodiney needs to remove himself from this group of shallow water mud puppies although I cannot say I really care. If he is dumb enough to come back for Reichen then he just might be as dumb as your friend says. It is my hope that Derek throws another of his “fabulous” parties then wakes up a day or two later in some remote hut in the middle of Arizona or Nevada.
If there is a second season, I won’t record it and I won’t watch it. Oh, and I hope Austen’s cute ‘fiancé’ watches this series before he actually enters into a civil union with that midwestern steer. Could you imagine what a nightmare that would turn into.
So the soul crushing minstrel adventures of Mike Ruiz and the six mental dwarves is finally over. I feel like Dante after he crawled to freedom from Hell’s ninth circle after bearing witness to the most depraved and sickening displays of human suffering ever conceived. It’s over, I think I lost a solid third of my brain cells, and I hate myself a for watching.
Now quick, someone send a Hazmat team out to Reichen’s lake house to purge that place with a nice, cleansing fire. God only knows what sort of samples they left behind.
All the gossip I’ve heard about Rodiney is that he is totally a top, which would be my first cause to doubt your friend’s knowledge. A second thing would be that he doesn’t come across as stupid to me, just foreign, emotional and out of place. Thirdly, I don’t believe that a mean diva could have restrained himself for the four months of filming with all that provocation from bitchy castmates or that the A-list producers would have left out diva behavior with all its drama or that his castmates wouldn’t have mentioned such stuff in interviews if it legitimately existed. Fourthly, I don’t believe for a second he’s a good enough actor to have produced a “performance” like this, and he sure wouldn’t be capable of it if he was as dumb as your friend claimed.
@Rob Moore: I kind of agree with you about Rodiney and Austen’s cute “fiance”.
I only watch this show for Rodiney. And I hope he doesn’t have to do this show again and be with “these people (as he said on this show and I was like, hell, yeah)” again. But, I think he really does love Reichen and that is over-ruling his common sense about leaving Reichen, etc. Rodiney has true heart and is of course, beautiful.
I read an interesting interview with Reichen and afterElton. At one point he stated that he and Rodiney never said bad things about others. And that is true. Reichen does seem very self-absorbed, he’s never asking about other people’s lives, etc. So, maybe that’s why he comes off as boring. There seems to be on facet to him only. Him and himself. Maybe we just don’t see that other side of him.
Austen’s cute “fiance” seemed like a good bloke as well, like Rodiney. So, I agree, that I hope he sees this horror show and wises up. Because I guess, Austin is a good actor and is able to fool people. I know I liked him in the beginning of this show. And then saw him as the crazy, mofo, asswipe he truly is.
I was right about Ryan, TJ, Dereck tho. First time I saw them, I saw them as bitchy queens and they are (they are so mean girls). By this last episode, I couldn’t care what happens to them, good or bad, because they are so despicable. I was like, oh, baby for Ryan, oh fly on the wall, whatever. Conversely, if the baby thing fell through, I would feel the same. The mean girls are repugnant. As is Austin.
BTW, this latest recap was so much better that the real show. And great quote, “…and then TJ starts tearing up, because he’s an emotional chameleon that can only display whatever emotion the next person next to him is feeling, which explains why he attacked Rodiney on behalf of Austin several episodes back. Poor shaved TJ lives in Brooklyn… it’s not his fault! They’re all emotional scavengers out in Bushwick.” You are so on about TJ being an emotional chameleon. Sad, poor, TJ. No emotion chip in his body. Even ST:TNG’s Data got one finally.
Thankyou for your selfless act of public service – watching crap so I don’t have to.
You do realise you don’t get those brain cells back, right? Oh, and loved the marine biology theme. Snark AND education win/win!
dont forget that there is a reunion special next monday!
@Rob Moore: Oh god. It’s not that bad. If you guys hate the show so much then change the channel. You’re just a bitchy and queeny as the boys on the A-List honey. No one wants to read some 50 year old queen bitching.
P.S. Rodiney is NOT HOT. What is wrong with you people? He looks and talks like a leper. He’s completely retarded.
Guess I just prefer some brains with some hot body. Rather than some mindless Brazilian bisexual trash whore.
“Oh look! Im a cliche! Im a gay guy that likes ‘hot’ foreign guys to fuck! mmmm!”
Honestly. Makes me sad for all of you.
When did gay guys start hating on femm gay guys? Seriously. Im noticing this everywhere.
@Matthew: Not everyone is interested in wasting time watching 20 something self absorbed gay men. We already lived it ourselves. You may be right about changing the channel as i have never once watched the show myself but someone should slap you upside the head for disrespecting older gay people.
@Matthew: many gay men want straight acting macho types to screw around with too. What they do not realize is those same people will be no where around when you are fighting for equality because they tend to be too frightened. Fem bashing is not a recent thing and neither is putting down older gay people like you just did.
Previously I thought of Reichen as a fairly brave guy who came out publically and won the Amazing Race as an openly gay man, as well as encouraging his ex to come out.
Now, I think of him as a whiny manipulative soul sucking black hole of narcisism and need who constantly plays the “Come Here, now GO AWAY” game with his boyfriends.
Ugh, I thought that the other bitches on the show were going to be the evil ones, but at least their issues were up front. He is the worst kind of nasty evil manipulitive bitch….the kind that actually sits there with a straight face and tries to pretend that they aren’t.
CAM I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!
REICHEN APPEARS TO BE TOTALLY MANIPULATIVE AND NARCISSISTIC.
TOTALLY SICKENING. SO DESPERATE FOR FAME OF ANY KIND.
THE WHOLE SHOW WAS A BIG MESS! NOT IN A GOOD WAY.
I UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PRODUCERS WERE TRYING TO DO TO GET RATINGS.
IT WAS LIKE PUTTING A BUNCH OF ALLEY CATS TOGETHER IN A BOX AND WATCHING THEM ALL FIGHT.
SUCH A POOR PORTRAYAL OF GAYS TODAY.
SHAME ON LOGO TV.
AFTER THE THE A-LIST NEW YORK. ITS GOING TO TAKE US EVEN LONGER TO EVER GET GAY MARRIAGE TO BE ACCEPTED IN NY.
@Matthew: Child, I am 56, which gives me approximately 42 years more life experience than your typical twink. I earned every line and wrinkle, you little twat.
As for my description of the characters, please, tell me where I once criticised anyone for being effeminate? A man with whom I was close friends until he returned to Akron, Ohio, god knows why, was one of the most effeminate men one could ever know, but he knew more about cars, their engines, and how to repair them than any butch Mary I ever met. The bravest boy I knew in high school was every effeminate stereotype you ever knew. He was also sweet, kind, and generous. I got over that prejudice long before you were around to soil your nappie.
P.S. Perhaps, the fact that you think it was not that bad says more about your tastes in entertainment than about the show itself.
@divkid: You’re quite welcome; however, if for some mysterious reason there is a 2nd season, you will be on your own since as I stated, I shall not be in the audience. I cannot afford further loss of brain cells.
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