A handful of months ago, I took a deep dive into the world of Willam Belli’s Beatdown (as detailed on Episode 23 of Pizza Rainbow!), where I discovered Gregory Gorgeous*, who, thanks to his wildly popular YouTube channel, was given his own Canada-based reality TV show called The Avenue (which I also talk about on Episode 11 of Making Good Choices With Amber L. Carter!)
After watching one and a half episodes, I made the decision to recap it for you, my dear readers.
Because this shit?
I was saving the recap to post until after all The Bachelorette + Bachelor In Paradise madness, and NOW THE FIRST SEASON ISN’T ON YOUTUBE ANYMOOOOOORE.
Which is okay, since you can just read my words below to find out what happened, but it’s even better if you can watch along with my words to you can then be made even more aware of how brilliant and insightful all of my recaps are.
But no matter! We do this one and then we’ll jump ahead to recapping Season 2 – which looks like it’s still on YouTube at the time of this post – for you next week!
For our opening sequence, Gregory Gorgeous is strolling around the city in his short-shorts and stilettos, carrying (what I can only assume is) a designer purse and a (single, unidentifable) shopping bag, trotting daintily across the street with his cell phone (he’s a girl on the go!), and looking up at the skyscrapers of Toronto with bright eyes full of big dreams. What are those dreams, you might wonder? Great question! Gregory doesn’t tell us. What he does tell us is the basic story of just a small-town girl (a.k.a., boy) living in a lonely world (an affluent suburb just outside Toronto), looking for the midnight train going anywhere (hint: It ended up in Toronto!). Back at home, he was able to make a name for himself “in the fashion and beauty industry” (is posting a bunch of videos of yourself doing your makeup considered “making it” in the fashion and beauty industry?! Cause if so, get ready for my new YouTube Channel, “Amber Didn’t Wake Up Like This!”) but now he’s ready to take it to the next level! He’s leaving everything he knows for the big city of Toronto!
Gurrrl. That’s like saying I left everything I knew for the big city of Minneapolis.
Or Des Moines.
Gregory has a fabulous place in the heart of the city. He loves to have fun (is this an OkCupid ad?), but he also needs to make sure he stays on track at school (what school? Why are you going to school? WHY AREN’T YOU TELLING US ANYTHING IMPORTANT).
But also, he had to admit that he did move here for a boy. Dan is his everything, you guys! He’s sensitive, funny, and gorgeous (also imaginary). Also, I don’t know if you guys know this, but in order to make it in Toronto, you have to get in with the right crowd. Luckily for Gregory, he’s already got a bunch of great friends, including Rachel, who LOVES to party and doesn’t take anything seriously; Claire, who’s apparently sweet and believes in true love; Jessica, who’s apparently a model by trade (really? Cause the stuff she was modeling…I don’t know) but acts like creating drama is her full-time job; Arta, who is apparently a Toronto socialite and a fashion journalist who’ll STOP AT NOTHING TO GET WHAT SHE WANTS, NO MATTER WHO SHE HAS TO TRAMPLE OVER, YA GUYS.
It might seem like Gregory has everything going for him (one thing he doesn’t have going for him – a legit production crew that can make this opening sequence look better than a low-budget “Yeah, just walk around on the siiidewawk there, we’ll follow yous with our camera!”), but not everything is going to come easy.
Except that it probably will, because just in the first 5 minutes it’s pretty obvious that this entire “reality” series is legit fake.
Our first scene opens up at Gregory’s condo, where he’s doing makeup (of course he is! Did you guys not know that Gregory has made a name for himself in the fashion and beauty industry?) when Rachel arrives with Passion Tea (“Oh my god, Passion Tea! My fav-or-riiiite!” Gregory gushes). Rachel makes herself comfortable on Gregory’s bed and flips through a fashion magazine, gabbing with Gregory about this job interview she’s going to at some botique in what is apparently a fancy part of town. The sound quality is so shit that even when the banter doesn’t sound contrived, it still sounds like those video assignments that you had to shoot on your dad’s camcorder in the 10th Grade for your German Language Class where you and your class partners had to pretend to have a conversation in German, and even though you wrote out the whole thing on notebook paper beforehand and rehearsed it (okay, *pretended* to rehearse it), saying your lines sounded as unnatural as Paris Hilton being called a “role model.” Rachel asks if her makeup looks okay for her job interview, and Gregory tells her that they could do a little more shadow if she wants – because I don’t know if you guys know this, but Gregory has made a name for himself in the fashion and beauty industry!
Next we see Socialite Arta arrive at a boutique with a couple of her minions, telling the shop lady that they’re there to pick a few looks for the shoot they have coming up. A sweet little assistant suggests a blue shirt for a pop of color, and Arta snaps, “It doesn’t go with fur.” Cool. Way to humiliate your assistant on a YOUTUBE-BASED REALITY TV SHOW, ARTA! LOOKS LIKE YOU’LL STOP AT NOTHING TO GET WHAT YOU WANT, NO MATTER WHO YOU HAVE TO TRAMPLE OVER!
Then we see Gregory at his college, Casa Loma. Only Gregory is having the WORST time finding Classroom 303! He has to ask a person – “I’ve been looking for, like, literally two days” (literally? You’ve been there for two days? Maybe you should take some classes in English!) – and then ask an office assistant, and then ask another person…only this third person is a really cute guy! And WHADDYA KNOW, GREGORY’S CLASSROOM IS LIKE, LITERALLY** RIGHT THERE ON THE RIGHT! Even though he, like, walked around in a circle like, a hundred times and didn’t even see it! “First day?” the guy asks. OMG HOW DID YOU KNOW? Greg introduces himself right before he sashays off to class. “Hope I see you around!” Gregory calls back. Man, I wonder if he will? This show is so unpredictable!
Nightime in Toronto! Greg meets Rachel and her friend Claire at Restaurante Roma in a neighborhood called Bloor West. “You’re so pretty!” Greg tells Claire. “I love your purse!” Claire gushes back. “OMG SIT THE FUCK DOWN AND ORDER A DRINK, ALREADY” Rachel growls. “OMG, I’m thinking fruity…” Greg says, looking at the bar.
One of those exchanges didn’t actually happen. Guess which one.
The gang gets their cocktails, they cheers, and Greg takes a dainty little sip. “Oh my gawwwd. It’s going to be a good night!” He announces. Everybody laughs.
Meanwhile, at a place called Défíle (two accents, just be double-y pretentious about it) Magazine Headquarters, a shaky camera and a shitty sound mic (seriously, production, GET YER SHIT TOGETHA) shows and tells Arta at her fashion magazine meeting. Arta suggests doing a men’s editorial, and then suggests a really edgy and new concept called street style.
Back to Greg and the girls. They talk about how cute Roma is, then Rachel leaves to go to the bathroom. Greg and Claire talk about her recent break-up, then he points out a guy sitting across the bar who has been staring at him THE WHOLE TIME. It’s weird that there’s someone at the bar staring at someone being filmed, right? The best part is that the guy is just sitting at the bar, without a drink. Like, pretty sure it’s illegal in some states (but maybe not Canada, eh?) to sit at the bar if you’re not drinking.
Unless you were planted there by a reality show…
And then of course, just as Greg mentions him, the dude comes over (what a coincidence!). He tells them that he’s loving the Ken & Barbie collection right now (meaning Greg and Claire…I think?) and then asks if they mind if he sits. Greg tells him that their friend just went to the bathroom, but the dude doesn’t care – he says something about how that’s perfect and then just sits down. RUDE. Then he introduces himself to Claire, and then in a move straight outta your 6th Grade Summer School Playwriting Class, when Claire tells her name back to him, he cuts her off with a dismissive “okay” and turns all of his attention to Gregory to show that he’s really not interested in her, he’s only interested in him. He compliments Greg on his nail polish, then mentions that he thinks he’s seen Greg from somewhere. “Oh really?” Gregory replies, dying to be all, “That’s because I’ve made a name for myself in the fashion and beauty industry!” Then The Creeper practically demands that Claire switches seats with him because he’d like to get to know Greg and ask him some more questions. Greg does right by his gal pal and tells the lothario that Claire should stay where she is, but maybe they could talk later? The guy goes, “Well, since your friend wouldn’t switch seats with me, I’m a little ticked off, a little aggravated, but you know, that’s fine, I’m going to go have a cigarette and I’ll be right back. Keep my seat warm!”
Either this guy is insane or he’s the worst fucking actor ever. Either way, we win!
So then of course, Rachel comes back just then, and Greg and Claire gush to her about the creepy thing that just happened. Two seconds later, the guy comes back (that was some smoke!) and was like, “I’m glad you could keep my seat warm!” to Rachel. Rachel snaps, “Do you know Gregory or Claire? Because I don’t know you” and the guy says something like “Don’t get ___ because ___,” but we couldn’t hear because the mics ARE SO SHITTY. Before you know it, IT’S A TOTALLY FAKE BAR CONFRONTATION, EH!
The best is when you hear Gregory say, “Excuse me, do not talk to my friend like that. Do nawwwwt!” and then smiles a little to himself, obviously enjoying the whole thing. At one point he sort of half-heartedly warns Rachel to stop, and she turns to him and starts to sit down and then stands back up again, and there’s something about that part of it just screams fake (“Oh, wait, I haven’t gotten my cue yet to stop fake-fighting!”). The guy finally walks off, they all go, “Wow”, and Gregory is like, “I cannot believe that just happened.”
Yeah you can.
The next morning, the girls and Greg meet up for brunch, and they talk about “That Guy” again. What a creeper! Then they ask Claire why she wasn’t talking to any guys. Guys, she just can’t do it. “Oh, you forgot how to fliiiiirt!” Greg announces, then decides to set her up on a blind date.
And THEN, in the middle of BRUNCH, Sensitive Funny GORGEOUS Dan, who is Gregory’s EVERYTHING, texts Greg on his Blackberry, saying they need to talk. Greg’s scared now. That just totally ruined his day! Things have been good! Things have been okay! WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN BETWEEN GREGORY GORGEOUS AND GORGEOUS DAN?!!
We’ll never know now, because it’s not on YouTube anymore!
But tune in next Tuesday to find out what happens an entire season after that!
* Since the filming of The Avenue, Gregory Gorgeous has since transitioned to Gigi Gorgeous, but for the purpose of these recaps, I refer to Gigi as *Gregory* with his/him pronouns, only because this is a retro-recap where *Gregory* is billed as the star of the show. This is in no way intended to take away from the autonomy of Gigi or who she is now, and I absolutely mean no disrespect to her transition or how she identifies in the present. If you disagree with this decision and/or have ideas for how I can straddle this line more effectively, I am wholly open to intelligent discourse about it. Being an advocate for the trans community is something my heart is committed to, but there’s always more to learn, so let’s learn together, yeah?
** plz note the correct usage of “literally” in that sentence
For more writing like this, check out An Amber Colored Life Book, available on pre-order now!
Also: Now that Bachelor In Paradise is over (yeah, I didn’t recap it this season because 2 hours for 2 nights in a row is TOO GODDAMN MUCH WHEN IT COMES TO THE TIME OUTTA MY LIFE THAT I WANNA DEDICATE TO BIKINIS AND CRYING) and the new season of The Bachelor doesn’t starts up again until January 4th, I’ve decided to keep my recapping muscles warm and loose by retro-recapping various shows until then. Any particular shows you’d love to see me recap? Let me know by sending me a note via the form below!