When one of my starting fantasy football players has a reality show wedding on E!, I must watch it.
Eric Decker is a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos. He’s having a good year. Jessie James is a pop singer. She has released one album and had one Top 40 hit – it hit #40 on the charts – with this song. She hasn’t been regularly played on radio for three years.
And we complain about the quality of sitcoms these days…
But I digress. On Monday night, around 8:30 p.m., it was tough to find something to watch. The girlfriend and I watched the first segment of 2 Broke Girls with a mix of indignation and horror. It was a string of the unfunniest one-liners you could possibly imagine shot one after another after another to an overzealous laugh track in a desperate attempt to elicit something from the audience.
It elicited contempt from me. I remarked brilliantly, “This makes me think I could be a comedy writer.”
I’m not that funny.
Alas, I needed something to watch and the Packers game hadn’t started yet. And there it was – the Eric & Jessie: Game On: Wedding Special.
I knew the show existed from previous channel-clicking in lieu of live sports. The only previous episode I saw focused on a shirtless Eric Decker posing with a horse in water for a DuJour Magazine, which may or may not be a real thing. Based on the poses, no, I am not Googling that to confirm. You have fingers – you can do that.
So as the wedding episode began, I had to watch. I can’t explain why. It felt like something I should watch. I needed to cleanse the Asian stereotypes and bad jokes from 2 Broke Girls from my system. I needed to get a read on my valuable fantasy football starter.
I was rewarded with pure, unadulterated, crappy American entertainment. Yeah, the New York Post is telling me stuff like this is the end of our society but, dammit, I want to laugh on a Monday night!
In no particular order, except for the order they are listed in, are my 10 favorite things about the episode:
1) Putting The Real in Reality
When you watch a reality show these days, there is the expectation that absolutely none of it is real.
Well what struck me about the Eric and Jessie wedding – other than the fact I noticed this – is that it seemed more like an episode of My Fair Wedding than an E! reality show. The church was…a church. Eric Decker was…a guy getting married. It was a little off-putting, a tad endearing and a bit strange. So I liked it.
Jessie also let us know about the realness of the day when a jeweler let her borrow a necklace. She asked how much it was worth – the jeweler responded, “Over $100,000,” and Jessie nearly fainted. You would think this is cute. But this is E! dammit – I don’t want my celebrities blown away by any cost in the six figures. Seven figures or bust! You think Kim Kardashian faints over a $100,000 necklace? I picture Kim spitting on it.
Jessie acting like a normal person was a little off-putting, a tad endearing and a bit strange. So I liked it.
2) Blurry Faces
As they scanned the crowd at the wedding and the reception, there were a lot of blurred faces. “They wouldn’t sign a waiver?” my girlfriend asked incredulously.
Why would you show up at someone’s wedding and not let your face be shown on camera? Were they too embarrassed to be there? Were they not supposed to be there? Did they tell people they weren’t going to be there? Were there a lot of famous football players that didn’t want to be on camera?
So many questions, so few answers.
3) “Oh, It Takes Me Back”
As a pre-wedding gift (I guess), Jessie gave Eric a book of erotic photographs. Of course, this simply made me recall the Simpsons episode where Homer wins the free boudoir photography session and has to look up both “boudoir” and “photography” in the dictionary.
As Eric looks at the pictures – in front of men who are either his close friends and/or family members – my starting wide receiver is clearly aroused. It is awkward. And then, we get to Eric’s one-on-one with camera about the photos. His take?
“The pictures were so sexy. Oh, it takes me back.”
Back to where? And really, I’m not doing justice to the stupidity of that line without mimicking Eric’s “uhhh” demeanor as he says it. As if he’s confused as to the feelings brewing inside him. Maybe he is.
4) “It Has Stuff Written On It!”
Jessie’s gift from Eric is a ring. And, per the quote above, it has stuff written on it. Why? I don’t know. What does it say? I don’t know. Why do I care? I don’t know. Why are you still reading? I don’t know.
5) The Crying, oh the Crying
The ring from Eric makes Jessie cry. A lot. Her mother helpfully explains that Eric’s gift was so thoughtful – I mean, who has ever thought to get a woman a ring before? – that her collection of naughty photos seem dumb in comparison.
If only she knew the photos took him back. I don’t want to speculate on Eric’s wishes or desires in life, but it seems like a collection of naughty photos is exactly what he wanted.
6) The Lack of Makeup
No, I don’t want to make fun of a woman for being seen without makeup. Especially when she’s bawling and crying and sneezing and snorting – it’s just not a good look for anyone. And I fear the wrath of any woman I know if I start making fun of Jessie’s nose, so I won’t.
I’ll just say that it’s a little jarring to go from non-makeup, red-eye-crying Jessie to fully-done-up, perfectly-lighted Jessie and back and forth for 2 minutes. It was the story of two completely different people.
And no, I am not making the drag queen joke my evil girlfriend made. Nope, not going to do it. Because I have standards and such.
7) The Wedding Food
Yes, they served lobsters or crawfish or some sort of red shellfish at the wedding. Yes, Jessie wore a bib over her wedding dress to eat. And yes, she mocked the “Yankees” that had the audacity to use a plate and then gave an impression of said “Yankees” that was just a bad Canadian accent.
Yes, I laughed out loud during every second of the scene. 2 Broke Girls needs to hire these writers asap.
8) “Football Cheers”
As Eric was waiting for his bride to walk the aisle, he face crumpled and trembled. He tried to fight the tears, yet only ended up looking dumber for the effort. But he tried. Lord, that man tried. He then helpfully explained what he was thinking of in that moment.
“I was trying to not be nervous, so I thought of football cheers.”
Every man, as they are about to be wed, has the following thought ringing through their head – “DE-FENSE!” “DE-FENSE!”
9) The Love Between a Man and his Dog
The last scene of the show (that I watched) was Jessie and Eric sitting next to each other, yapping about love or fate or lobsters or something. But the star of the show was the couple’s little dog, sitting on Eric’s lap and getting the head-rubbing of a lifetime. That dog was so happy. Eric looked down and smiled at the dog. Jessie keeps her eyes locked on the camera.
Jessie is the third wheel. Do you think she knows?
Of course, after they cut the cake, Jessie has a “surprise” for Eric. And that surprise is a song she wrote for Eric. And I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that the song is now up on YouTube, entitled “I Do” and now available for purchase. Nothing says I love you like a piece of over-produced pop crap.
That’s the lasting image from the show that I’ll always remember. Eric Decker, standing by himself, trying to make believe that he’s enjoying the terrible song his new wife is ostensibly singing for him, but really singing to an audience of women, and me, who will be watching in a few months.
You know what, that’s not it. I’ll always remember the laughter.
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