A-List Dallas Episode 5: Proud Papas and Military Daddies
Scene 1: A surprisingly reasonable and sober Trust Fund James visits my new favorite side character, blond hairstylist Brayden, for a little trimski and some advice. James has been searchin', unable to find a way to contribute to the world. But Brayden, who looks quite fetching, is in no mood for kvetching. He suggests a hobby. James already has one in mind, one that's not at all threatening to his obvious addictions: He'll be a party promoter! You know, like, at clubs and stuff? Brayden gives his now signature response: "Are you serioussss?" But just before the bonding gets too intense, James remembers that Brayden never brought him his wine. Didn't realize stylists were required to serve beverages. Don't get a hair in it!
Scene 2: Over a patio lunch at Taco Diner, Curl Girl Ashley and Loose Lips Phillip talk relationships. Phil reveals that his last and only real boyfriend came and went six years ago, and then widens his eyes for effect. Ashley's understandably shocked. But we know Phillip has issues feeling accepted by his mother, and that can throw a wrench in thangs. So Ash immediately sends Phillip to talk to some cute twinkies at another table, just for practice. After letting his nervousness seep out and quickly giving one of them his digits, he comes back to Ashley and talks shit. "His shoes were kind of dirty, and his eyes were, like, so busted. ... I bet he was so happy I came over to him." There's the Phil we all know and ... know.
Scene 3: Now Ash and Philly are at Gilley's. James is there, too, riding a bull (now required in a Texas reality show, yee haw). And hey, here are Brokeback Levi and Chia Chest Chase, fresh from last week's scandalous hump session. Cutaway Levi thinks it's hot that they share a secret their friends don't know. I process none of Cutaway Chase's analysis, because I'm too distracted by his sudden facial hair.
Anyway, Ash and Levi hash things out regarding that photoshoot drama from the last couple of eps. Things we learn during their make-up sesh: Levi doesn't consider himself totally gay - he's dated girls in high school and his adult life. Ashley shoots guns on the regular. Levi identifies with that, because his mom is a "glock girl." So, even though the words "I'm sorry" never come out of the cowboy's mouth, he and Ash agree to move forward and maybe do some shootin' together.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the empty bar, Phillip and James share a cocktail made from cigarette smoke and tension. Phil's mad that James doesn't call him enough. James is worried that his trust fund money's running low and he needs to find some sort of purpose in life. Phil's worried about his relationship with his parents. It's random, but boring at the same time. They're just talking out loud in the general vicinity of each other, because no one else cares to listen.
Scene 4: James meets with party-planner Juan at an establishment called the Brick to talk about his first attempt at throwing an event. "I'm kinda thinking I wanna do a ... best cock contest." Juan: "You can't do that. It's illegal." And then Juan goes for the jugular: "Can you feasibly work this party, work this event, and not get shit-faced?" James: "I'll be functional." Tsk tsk. I see heavy drinking and a possible ugly cry in the near future.
Scene 5: Ashley shoots photos of James at the Brick for his party's promotional campaign. As he tries on camo gear (it's a military-themed soiree), Ashley boosts his confidence: "I like how you can see your nipple rings through that shirt just a little bit." Fashion photography world, here she comes! She applies mud and dirt to him, making him look less like a soldier and more like a football player who just rolled around in a hog pen. Can't wait to see these photos.
Scene 6: Bleached and waxed RepubliTwink Taylor goes on a putt-putt date with Levi. He's obvi unaware that his chosen cowboy has just become a Chaser. (Wink!) As they attempt to insert balls in holes (harder than you think, ba-dump-bump), they dip behind fake mountains and make out. Turns out Tay Tay will have to miss yet another A-List event - James' camo cock party - because he has business in D.C. Taylor better be careful, or he might become the Accidental Republican Nominee for President! The scene ends with a deliciously mean moment: Taylor openly mocks Levi's sexy-hyena laugh, then tries to make it OK by saying "I love yer laugh!" While laughing.
Scene 7: Phillip's back at his therapist's office, talking about his fear of being himself around his mom. Jokes aside, these televised sessions could provide meaningful support for younger gay people. Kudos to Phillip for letting it all hang out. He's still a crazy Jekyll and HAY GIARRRL.
Scene 8: Phillip gives Chase style tips at Harry's Tailor Shop, segues into a heart-to-heart about the whole issue with his mom. Chase somberly relates the sad story of his own family estrangement. "I either had to repent or be straight or be celibate. ... I lovingly disinvited them from my life." But he advises Phil to give his 'rents as much time as they need. I really can't handle scenes in which these people are nice, loving and rational.
Scene 9: Yay, it's Crazy James! He's tripping because he's lost his party-planner to some hospital-related illness (that sick bitch!). So he's back to square one on finding strippers for the event. Who's he gonna call? Yup, Levi. We know Levi has recent experience herding naked guys for society's sake. So James bites the bullet and makes the awkward call. Levi agrees to round up some private dicks in the next hour and a half.
Scene 10: James' military night at the Brick is in session, and he's preparing Levi's army of skrippers for their performance art. "Ima need y'all to dance your cocks off. I need full-on hard ons. Fluffing? I'll get anyone back here you need." Ahh, James, so respectful of professional boundaries. The intense prep turns out to be unnecessary, because cast members are the only suckers who've shown up. Cutaway Chase: "You could drive a fuckin' Hummer through this place and not hit one person." James doesn't care. It's a success because he's drinking. Low expectations are the best policy.
Chase, the only person who's not in military gear, uses the evening without Taylor around to get another taste of Levi's lovin' lips. But Ashley discovers them kissing outside, quickly runs away, pregnant with info. You know she'll tell Tay Tay about this in the next episode. Cutaway Ash: "This is gonna completely destroy Taylor." It's all kinds of on.
Scene 11: Phillip reunites with his father, whom he hasn't seen since he was a teenager. Happily, Dad seems accepting and aware of Phil's gayness. So that's one down. They talk, they hug, they cry. Genuinely touching. And proof that this show isn't unlike Full House, structurally.