Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Last night I was lying around channel surfing, because I have not been this indolent since I was 15 and all I want to do is watch TV while listening to the stereo and shoot the shit with my friends all night. But I am a grown up now with a job that I go to everyday and a metabolism that goes slower every week so I have to get up at the crack of ass and go the gym, so I lie around and watch TV by myself because I go to bed at 9:30 and it feels rude to tell people they have to go home. People who have children don’t really have this quandary – they go to bed when their kids do.

Anyway, I came across a show on Bravo called “Blow Out”. This is a reality show based in a hair salon in Beverly Hills that was just opened by “celebrity” hairdresser Jonathan Antin. I had caught bits and pieces of episodes 4 and 5, but this was episode 3 and I'd missed that completely. It was my opportunity to fill in some more of the missing pieces.

So, Jonathan Antin, inspired by Warren Beatty’s character George in shampoo goes into the fabulous world of hair after dropping out of high school. He’s supposedly super successful and famous and owns a shop in West Hollywood and now he’s sinking his savings into a shop in Beverly Hills. We watch the stylists arrive to the chaos that is the uncompleted shop and we are privy to all the snit fits that you would expect when you throw a bunch of gay men and insecure women together in what approximates the girl’s bathroom at a suburban high school. Oh and Jonathan – he’s not gay. He’s incredibly uptight and he could be the poster child for Narcissistic Personality Disorder – but supposedly he’s straight. I don’t get that he goes for women all that much though, except when they’re paying him $400 for a haircut. He strikes me more as the kind of guy who would actually prefer to jerk off in front of a mirror while looking deeply into his own eyes.

There is a stylist who is very reminiscent of George Roundy (Warren’s endearing and slutty character in Shampoo) and that’s Brandon. He’s even got Warren’s big 70s hair and cowboy boots/motorcycle vibe going. He’s cocky personified and the women love it. But where George was affectionate and loving to all his ladies, Brandon is obviously on the make and desperately needing attention. When Jonathan calls him on the carpet for his inappropriate behavior and Brandon looks at him cluelessly, you know he’s not long for this gig. I’m not worried about him though because he could easily have a line of women snaking around the block from his bachelor pad in Santa Monica. He’s 27 – he’s not going to have to worry for another 10 years because as he approaches 40 his act is going to wear thin and then he may find himself in George Roundy’s cowboy boots. In any case he’s going to be gone really soon – Jonathan will not put up with the competition for top rooster in this henhouse.

As I watched him alternately whine at and deride his assistant Kim I wondered if he gave any thought to how he was going to come off to his audience. He’s such a complete prick I cannot imagine walking into that hell hole that is his salon, much less paying him $400 for a haircut. Never mind the fact that all of his haircuts look the same he is a total starfucker and it’s obvious. When Brandon cuts the hair of some actress from a soap opera called Passions he just cannot stay away and he leads her over to the make up artist and insists that she get her make up done for free. Revlon is a sponsor for this show and so the make up artist gives the actress the blush she comments on. I don’t for one second imagine that if it were me, or any other average woman that we would 1) get a free makeover and 2) be given free make up. It also didn’t look like she paid for the haircut.

The show is also sponsored by Lenscrafters and when Kim, who is responsible for Jonathan’s glasses, loses those glasses we watch Jonathan head to Lenscrafters to get a free replacement pair. Not only is Kim, who has been working at as a glorified slave and doormat for Jonathan for two years in hopes of getting her own chair – the carrot he dangles in front of here while telling her at every turn how much she sucks – lost his glasses, but she also fails to oil his scissors every night. He takes her into the back room where he berates her for undermining him by not making sure that his equipment is working perfectly and he tells her that she is responsible for EVERY THING – not SOME THINGS, but everything. And as he does the entire viewing audience is thinking, “what a fucking dick!”

I couldn’t watch anymore, but I caught a tidbit from last week where Jonathan tells Kim that she’s crap because she can’t do a clipper cut. With tears welling in her large brown eyes she tells him that they’ve never covered that and he calls her a fucking liar that she did a clipper cut on Steve and she’d better change her attitude because he will not have anyone on the floor who can’t do a clipper cut. She pleads, “Jonathan, I never cut Steve’s hair, you can call him,” he tells that she is insane and he doesn’t get where this crazy girl act is coming from. He banishes her from the shop for an hour so that she can think about what a bad crazy girl she is. While she’s gone he calls Steve and finds out that no, she never did cut his hair. He proceeds to find Kim and still in pompous ass mode he tells her that she was right so he’ll give her a reprieve. He asks her to forgive him, but in a tone that indicates that it doesn’t really matter because she is nothing and useless and completely devoid of value and there a lots of women with healthy levels of self esteem just waiting for him to cut them into shreds. This is a man who gets $400 for a haircut – he is the golden God of hair for christ’s sake!!

I will definitely watch for as long as I can bear it tonight because in the promos I swear there’s a scene where Jonathan is crying. I can only hope that all of his high priced hairdressers – including Kim – tell him where he can shove his well-oiled shears and take to the streets in protest. One of the reasons I don’t like most reality programming is that it seems like there is always a level of humiliation that must be experienced by people who are weaker, not as pretty, or just don’t fit in and that humiliation is usually meted out at the hands of people like Jonathan Antin, who seems to feel that he has a right to treat people like crap. And after watching just the little bit that I’ve watched I have to say that I wouldn’t mind seeing someone who’s been dishing out get a taste of what it feels like – I’d really enjoy seeing him cry.

Wow reality TV really does bring out all that’s venal and evil in a person – whether they’re featured on the show or lolling on the couch.

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