The Continuing Jaiwatch

Last night’s episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy lends credence to my previous assertion that Jai, the “Culture” expert, is deadweight and needs to be fired. Let’s review his activities:

  1. Rather than say clever things himself, Jai laughs at and/or responds to the clever things said by the rest of the Fab Five.
  2. Jai has nothing whatsoever to contribute to the early, “Evaluation” stage of the show, other than to assist Thom in piling up useless furniture in the middle of the room. The producers throw him a bone by letting him utter the “let’s roll!” speech before the commercial, which falls flat.
  3. Mid-episode, Jai takes the guinea pig of the week, Tom, to a toy store to get some stuff for his kids. It’s obvious that Jai hadn’t known about the store beforehand. There’s some halfhearted footage of the two of them seeking out constructive, group-activity sorts of toys. It all comes to nothing, because when Tom’s son does show up that evening he breezes over the new purchases and instead wants to play Candyland.
  4. Just prior to the big night, Jai gives Tom some tickets to a Broadway show, hoping he’ll be able to use them to get a date with the single lady who’s coming to his little soiree. Not that Tom had expressed particular interest in that sort of thing. Or that the tickets represent anything that he can do that night. No, it’s straightforward bribery, Jai’s own, desperate call: “Let me be relevant!” As it happens, Tom never even whips out the tickets, and the lady leaves early.
  5. Final nail in the coffin: the end-of-show advice. Jai cheerfully that even when a show is sold out, it’s sometimes possible to get in. He recommends standing-room-only or same-day tickets. Really? Wow. That would be exciting if it wasn’t the most obvious advice ever.

Sadly, my quest to eject Jai may be over before it’s properly begun — not because he’s deserves to stay, but because the show has done two things to drive me away as a viewer. First: Wasn’t the incidence of Conspicuous Product Placement markedly higher in last night’s ep? I know it’s been a part of the show all along, but there was a point about two-thirds of the way through when it seems like every word out of the Fab Five’s mouths was a brand name. This has got to stop. Second: while the Five are watching events unfold on closed-circuit, Carson makes a snide comment about Candyland. “Well, you know why they’re called board games. BO-ring.” This sort of blasphemy cannot stand. Carson is now on probation. We may have to whittle the show down to just Ted, the food guy, because he’s clearly the smartest and the wittiest, and Thom, the interior design guy, because he’s the one who actually makes impressive changes that will probably stick.

Note: I wasn’t planning on keeping up with my anti-Jai campaign, but I took heart when I discovered that other bloggers also rant about silly reality TV shows.