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Frank the Entertainer in A Basement Affair Season 1 Episode 3: Haggle For My Love

This week’s episode opens up with Minnesota Melissa and Blonde Asian Tammy teaching each other their own personal dialects.  Who would have thought that the Great Lakes and the Vietnamese Rice Paddies could go so well together!

While Melissa and Tammy are trading accents, gorgeous Jenny pouts about getting alone time with Frank, telling the camera that she’s not used to being in competition.  The boys fight over her, damnit!

As Jenny whines about how hard it is to be beautiful and beating boys off with a stick, Annie confesses her status as a perennial resident of the Friends Zone. She initially doesn’t help her case by telling Frank how cute she thinks his chubby school picture looks. 

Meanwhile, Relationship Renee writes Frank a Sooper Secret note and then tells him that she’s going to be his Sooper Secret spy in the house and will report back to him on everything that the other girls are saying and if “they’re not here for Frank.”  (I love that phrase, which seems to be unique to these VH1 dating shows. I love it even more that if it’s found out that “you’re not here for” insert-show-subject’s-name-here, that’s immediate grounds for ejection!)

In the midst of all the hand-wringing and confessionals, Frank announces this week’s challenge to the girl’s: The Maresca Family Garage Sale.  In order to house these hoes, the Marescas had to clean out a bunch of their treasures to make room for them.  Treasures like stuffed monkeys, cathode ray tube televisions, and tricycles that haven’t been used in over a decade… Unless Frank still enjoys puttering around the house on his Big Wheel… Which could be entirely possible. Nevertheless, the point of this challenge is to win over Frank by proving that they’re a girl who will work hard (read: support him).  The team that makes the most money from their sales wins the challenge and a date with Frank.

The girls are split up into color-coordinated teams and each team of girls will “earn their keep” by working the sale. Chatty Cathy is on Team Pink and is initially stoked because she looks great in pink… But then is bummed because she finds out Renee is on the same team.  Renee is confident she can win this since she’s “a saleswoman” and knows how to sell people on things.  Since they are the only team with just two girls, Cathy contemplates throwing the challenge just to ensure that Renee doesn’t get any more date time with Frank.

As part of her plan, Chatty Cathy “accidentally” breaks one of the ceramics on the sale. Turns out, Cathy doesn’t have to work all that hard to throw the challenge since Renee is more than capable of gumming it up herself. In an attempt to recover the loss of a ceramic, Renee then tries to step it up and come up with a big item to sell.  She attempts to picks up the ginormous, old school cathode ray tube TV and tries to run back to her post with it.  Even before someone in the editing booth pushes the slow-mo button, it’s plain to see that no good will come out of this.  Relationship Renee sabotages herself when she does a header, tripping over her own feet and crashing onto the TV, which crashes onto the concrete pavement below. 

After multiple viewings of Renee’s Fail-Cam, the Yard Sale is on.  Unfortunately, none of the girls are really having much luck unloading the Maresca’s junk.  Some of the more industrious girls decide to offer other services in addition to the “treasures” they’re peddling.  Tammy and Felicia’s team decide to offer $5 massages to passer-bys wandering into the yard sale.

From there, decades of positive portrayals of Asian-Americans in the media are destroyed as cute little Tammy announces the price for her massages as “fi’e dollah fo’ five min-nit!” (I was half expecting at least one of the 51 Minds to throw in a Full Metal Jacket soundbyte or two.) Mama Maresca sees what’s going on and does not appreciate that some of the girls have opened up their own sidewalk Rub n’ Tug.  She immediately flips out and starts screaming that doesn’t want anyone in her family giving out massages.

Things further devolve into Stereotype-a-Palooza when a very ethnic, Italian neighbor complete with frizzy black hair and leathery tan attempting to haggle for the broken TV in equally broken English, asking Renee if it turns on.  Even if Renee could plug that sucker in, chances are, there was no way it would work.

Meanwhile, Little Artist Annie makes use of her art skills and starts selling portraits/caricatures to Yard Sale patrons for a dollar a piece.  She makes an aside to the camera that she’s at least being industrious and using her talent to make money, unlike the Rub n’ Tug girls who are giving some of the guys “stiffies.”  (Yes.  Sweet, squeaky-voiced Annie said “stiffies” and it was awesome! Mega props for her!)

The Yard Sale draws to an end and the Marescas count up the money for each of the teams.  Chatty Cathy and Relationship Renee came in dead last with Cathy accomplishing her mission.  Green Team with Kerry, the only team that actually sold the Maresca’s garbage and nothing else, came in third.  Team Yellow — AKA  Team Rub n’ Tug — came in second and the Purple Team with Annie, Jenny, and Dana win a date with Frank.  As a consolation prize, the rest of the girls win dinner at the house with Mama and Papa Maresca.  As she’s plied with tons of meatloaf and Italian food, Tammy comes up with even more awesome soundbytes, lamenting that she misses Vietnamese food and “cup ‘noodles” instead of all the heavy Italian stuff.

Before the winning team goes on their date, Tammy and Christi declare how much they love Annie and want to give her a makeover for her date.  You know if it was anyone else but Annie, they would have uglied that broad up.  But Tammy tweezes the hell out of Annie’s brows and makeup artist Christi flawlessly applies makeup and gives her a blow-out.  The end result is absolutely gorgeous and Tammy says that they’ve made the duck into a swan… “Not ugly duckling… Just a duck.”

The three girls go on their date with Frank, which is at a pool hall.  Jenny continues griping to the camera that she’s not getting much attention and that Frank has to compete for her, too.  Annie and her makeover go over big with Frank and her lack of knowledge on pool playing wins her some extra attention, much to Jenny’s chagrin. 

Jenny gets some alone time and a dozen red roses (how original, but she seems to love them… which says a lot about how unoriginal Jenny is) from Frank, but that’s still not enough.  He opens up to her and says that he’s very affectionate and a romantic. Jenny gets bitchy and says that she doesn’t like making with the PDA.  Not that there’s anything wrong with what she said, but just the way she said it. I’m not a big fan of being pawed at in public, either, but there are nicer ways of saying it.

Dana scores alone time with Frank, too, and tells him that she’s very shy and is trying to open up to him.  They’re cute together, feeding one another pastries. During Annie’s alone time with Frank, he praises her Annie use of her creativity and her brain.  Between her madd brain skillz and her smokin’ new makeover, Annie’s got her mojo workin’ big time!  Remember how earlier in the ep she said she hadn’t kissed Frank yet… Well, she did now!  They sucked face for a bit before going back into the pool hall.

Back at the house, Mama Maresca sees the girls lounging in their bedrooms and calls them out for being pigs, citing all of the hair and junk on the floor.  The girls are forced to clean up after themselves while Christi and Tammy go on a date with Frank at The Cupcake Factory.  (I’m not sure why.  Maybe for being Good Samaritans and making over Annie?)

On their date, the girls talk about Renee and how she tells them ad nauseum how she’s “always listening.”  Frank is irritated since that’s not being a very good spy.  How the hell is she going to be his eyes and ears if everyone knows she’s spying on them!

Back at the house, Frank pulls her aside to and Renee comes across as bunny-boiler creepy and paranoid when he calls her out on her lack of stealth. Her eyes get all teary after rolling around in their sockets wildly for a solid ten seconds and Renee sweats it out since tonight is Elimination Night.

During Eliminations, Annie gets the first key to Frank’s basement. Jenny is good and P.O.’ed, snarking that “he could have picked somebody hotter.” The bottom three this time around are Renee, Jenny, and Tammy.  Renee is safe on the grounds that Frank says he “wants a girl with a good girl and a bad girl side,” and that Renee showed her “bad girl” side.  (I’m failing to see how “crazy pants” somehow equals “bad girl.”

Ultimately, Frank chooses to give the last key to Super Hot Jenny, telling her he picks her but can’t wait forever.  Tammy is sent packing even though Frank thinks she’s sweet.  He just can’t understand a damn thing she’s saying.

Next week, the remaining girls have to play Bikini Softball.  I’m sure this will make for a few good “Mama Maresca Moments.”

One Response to “Frank the Entertainer in A Basement Affair Season 1 Episode 3: Haggle For My Love”
Cathy Wins - February 22nd, 2010 at 12:07 am

Kinda obvious on wiki… ;-P (I could be wrong)
Name[3] Age Hometown Eliminated
Cathy Nardone[4] 23 Staten Island, NY
Dana Piza[4] 22 Manhattan, NY
Felicia Tampa, Florida
Kerry Schwartz[4] 24 Brooklyn, NY
Melissa Minnesota
Melody 35 Nashville, TN
Annie Syracuse, NY Episode 7
Renee 27 Taunton, MA Episode 6
Christi 21 Chicago, IL Episode 5
Jenny Episode 4
Tammy Episode 3
Jessica Episode 2
Mandy 29 Long Island, NY 01 Episode 2[m]
Stephanie Episode 1
Kari M. 23 Chicago, IL Episode 1

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