Sunday, March 13, 2011

Genuine Ken: Episodes 6 & 7

It's really getting down to the wire here! Only one episode left! Here's what happened in 6 & 7.

Episode 6, "Race to NYC," had the remaining four guys, Keith, Chris, Kash, and Kurtis (so many hard-C names) running errands for Barbie to test their memories and skills. Needless to say, the tasks did not require a lot of memory or skill, but still proved to be somewhat difficult for the boys. This was not the most exciting episode, and basically I just waited for 21 minutes until Keith, who's been basically a bimbo since the beginning and has squeaked by on charm, finally got kicked off. Keith, Chris, and Kash will unnecessarily travel to New York for the final episodes!

Episode 7, "Public A-WEAR-ness" I thought was a lot more interesting. It opens with the guys watching a video from Kenneth Cole talking about his devotion to social activism, and hints that the guys will have to think about this for themselves. They learn that their challenge is to create a PSA for a cause of their choice. Chris, who seems to be a really genuine person, also seems to be not the brightest. I mean... not that I have high standards for this show or anything, but he's sort of like a dumb puppy. His cause of choice: orphans. ...? He filmed a confusing PSA, filled with a lot of not-information, although it seemed nice. Kash, who seems like he is a lot dimmer than Chris, also picked orphans.

First off: this seems like a really weird thing to me. Like, when there are PSAs they're for causes or ideas, not for people specifically because that's an impossible project to speak on the behalf of a type of people. So for PSAs that help homeless people, they address homelessness and usually shelters and soup kitchens that help the people. While orphans may be a needy type of people, no one makes a PSA about orphans, they make it about the importance of adoption. Or a certain agency or organization you can donate money to. Except for Chris and Kash. What was confusing about this episode to me was that they weren't actually picking an existing organization, which in retrospect, might have had legal complications in certain organizations saying, "I don't want some airhead man from a not-real reality TV show representing my cause!" but in any case... that's what happened. So these were hypothetical PSAs, which will never be seen outside the context of the show because they are for organizations that are not real. What made it confusing is that Whitney Port & co. announced to the boys that the winner would get money donated to their organization. To... their fake organization? Or a real one that actually does stuff for the philanthropy they support? (I'm sure it's the last one, but it was never actually specified.) Kash made even less sense than Chris did, and babbled about golf tournaments to support orphans (sorry, orphans, I have swore to stay as far away from golf as possible, I cannot help you) and did a poster with him showing his abs. Nail in the coffin.

Kurtis actually did well and chose to talk about domestic violence. His mother was in an abusive relationship until he was 4, and it was something that he said he "never" talked about. His PSA wasn't the most eloquent thing in the world, but it was heartfelt, and he actually had a connection to the cause that he was trying to raise awareness about. This brings up-- implicitly, because the show is not long enough or relevant enough to actually include this kind of information--the fact that a lot of people are affected by domestic abuse and have a hard time talking about it. Professional football players included. And it was affecting to see this grown man talk about the importance of helping women and children affected by domestic abuse (although there are men who are affected by domestic abuse as well, and people not in heterosexual relationships... but again, the show is simple.) and reminded me of that PSA a football player put out right before the Superbowl this year asking men to not pay for sex and think about what makes something consensual... or something... I don't remember it that well. Anyway, Kurtis did a good job, and I applaud him for being able to highlight a part of himself that was vulnerable and genuine when that does not typically fit into the American macho construct of masculinity.

At judging time, Whitney Port & co. (including guest judge Kenneth Cole) expressed these concerns as well. And Kenneth Cole had the opportunity to say THIS gem, "From one genuine ken to 3 aspiring genuine kens, to be aware is even more important than what you wear." (Oohhhhhhh!) And thankfully, Kash went home.

"A lot of guys would have died to be in my shoes." -Kash (BARF, and not true.)

And now it's Chris vs. Kurtis for the title of GENUINE KEN: THE GREAT AMERICAN BOYFRIEND. This is not a surprise. I probably could have predicted this from the first episode. They're the least offensive guys in the competition. Everyone else had gaping character flaws, mostly ignorant self-worship, and Chris and Kurtis seem somewhat down to earth and normal.

OH WAIT! I just realized these two in the finale mean that it's down to the college cheerleader (Chris) vs. the college football player (Kurtis). Is this significant?? Will they mention it in the finale (they did in the first episode)? If the cheerleader beats the football player, does that say anything about masculinity? Or if the football player wins does that mean alpha-maleness doesn't change? Or is all of this completely unnecessary and a way for me to avoid doing homework???


  1. omgg how can you not like this show..?

  2. I think I hate that I love it.