The Black Box: “H8R”

Television pilots are tough to make. It’s hard to introduce the concept and entire cast of characters of a show in one episode and still have that episode hold up on it’s own. But just because something’s hard doesn’t make it any more excusable when you fail spectacularly at doing it. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Black Box, where we check out pilots that crashed and burned to see exactly what went wrong.

This week, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis shooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww.

Ahem. So this is not the show I’ve been looking forward to that I hinted at last week. That show got bumped a week for scheduling reasons. No, this is the show I was LEAST looking forward to reviewing. It’s my first foray into reality television reviewing (something that I don’t plan on doing very often) and it may be the perfect combination of shitty early 2000’s trends in television. And this motherfucker came out in 2011!

“H8R” was a reality television program hosted by Mario Lopez, in which controversial celebrities confront their “haters” to show that they are just, like, real people who don’t deserve to be hated on, yo. The show premiered on September 14th, 2011 on the CW. The series was canceled after airing four episodes, with two more having been filmed. The original pilot shown to the network featured Kim Kardashian (take a good look at that name because it’s never showing up on this review blog again) and “Jersey Shore” star Snooki as the two of them confronted “haters”. But, that’s not what I watched, because the actual aired pilot replaced the she-who-shall-not-be-named segments with 2010 “The Bachelor”…um… bachelor, Jake Pavelka confronting one of his haters.

What they did right: Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

What they did wrong:

SNOOKI

First, let’s talk about the half pertaining to human mistake “Snooki”. Actually, no, I refuse to fucking call her that. Every time I type that name, I can feel myself getting stupider. In the show, she asks to be called Nicole, but I know a few Nicoles, and they are all too awesome for me to drag their collective name through the dirt by associating it with this trash hurricane. Instead, I’ll refer to her by the name of something I love, but don’t love enough that I’m uncomfortable saying terrible things about it.

So the episode starts with Mario Lopez going to get The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms from her hotel room. In the car, he shows her a clip of her “hater”, an Italian-American New Jersey native who feels that The Beast makes all New Jersey-ans look bad. The show does not reveal how they found these “haters” and the way in which they are confronted feels impossibly staged. Also, each segment has a pseudo-hip-hop introductory music sting, and they are just so fucking dumb they made me giggle every time. My favorite has the immortal lyrics “Hater, ha-ha,ha-ha, hater”.  Speaking of “haters”, I’d like to talk about that word. I dislike that word, because I think it’s often used to discount valid criticism. Yes, there are people who just hate for no good reason, but I prefer to call them assholes. See? Better term, isn’t it?

So The Beast confronts the hater and spouts a lot of “you don’t know who I really am” bullshit, while completely ignoring his criticism about her public image.  Hey, Beast, maybe if you’re upset people think you’re an irresponsible shithead, YOU SHOULD STOP ACTING LIKE AN IRRESPONSIBLE SHITHEAD ON TELEVISION!!! The Beast then decides that she’s going to prove she’s a good person by spending a day with her hater and cooking his family dinner. Note: in this segment, the hater is by far the best part of the show. This guy is legitimately funny and raises excellent points about The Beast that she never refutes. Also, Mario Lopez watches all these events on on iPad (somehow) form an undisclosed location while cackling maniacally. I wish I was joking. Once The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms arrives at her hater’s house, she meets his family, including his mother who, when prompted, says that she feels The Beast sets a negative role model for children. The Beast’s literal response is to tell the mother to “stop being a hater”. And what’s worse is I think the show thinks that’s the correct response! Ugh, I’m really done talking about this shitheel. So she cooks dinner, opens up about who she really is, the hater apologizes, and The Beast presumably returns to the oceanic depths from which she came.

JAKE PAVELKA

Ok, so when i started this, I at least knew who Snooki was (mostly due to that “South Park” episode, but still) but I had never heard of this guy. My research uncovered that he was “The Bachelor” in 2010, so I asked a Bachelor-fan/friend of mine what this guy’s deal was. Her response to my question was: “He’s a pilot, he’s famous for crying a lot, his relationship ended really poorly.” And so, having only that information to go on, I dove into his half of the show. Jake’s segment starts with a quick montage of clips of him from his season of “The Bachelor” to introduce him to the audience. And, I swear to fuckin’ god, the clips they showed were, IN THIS ORDER: him flying a plane, him crying, and him shouting at his ex-fiancé. It’s like the show knew those were the only three memorable things about him.

So Mario Lopez again shows Jake clips of his hater (a lady this time) talking about how much she hates him for being a douchebag. Once they arrive at the spa where the hater is, Lopez decides that it’s a good idea for Jake to purposely act like an asshole around her, because that’s supposed to change her mind about him… somehow? He accomplishes his task of “acting like a douchenozzle” super effectively until his hater literally tells him to fuck off. He leaves, comes back with Lopez and some cameras, and reveals that she’s on a television show. He then offers to take the hater out for a day of funtimes that will surely prove to her what a great guy he is. She agrees to this, because why-the-fuck-not? Jake’s first activity for the day is to take her flying in his plane because of course it is. Somehow flying in a sky-plane doesn’t make the hater think Jake is any LESS of a douche, so he next decides to take her to the “Bachelor” mansion. While there, he remembers that this is the point in the script where he’s supposed to open up to her, so he does. He doesn’t cry, though, no matter how much I shouted “CRY, GODDAMMIT” at my computer screen.

Jake whines about how his dad never loved him and how people hate him for not knowing “the real him” blah blah blah whatever the fuck. I was super tuning him out at this point. After he’s done being sad, the hater makes the point that he is being just as fake with her as he was on the show, and that he’s not presenting the real him, but instead the version of him he wants her to see. She then asks him to come up with five good things about himself to counteract her negative feelings about him. And, I shit you not, the third thing Jake Pavelka says about himself is, and I quote, “Morally, I’m great!” Protip, if you’re trying to convince somebody that you are not a douchebag, NEVER SAY THAT. He gives up after four “good” things because I don’t think he could think of a fifth, and he accuses his hater of “just not wanting to like him”. Yeah, asshole, that’s what happens when you don’t try. He gets pissed when she continues to tell him the truth and walks off.

And, here is the best part, THAT’S THE ENDING! Yeah, Jake literally gives up and the hater goes home, still thinking he’s a douchebag. And they aired this on television! What’s funnier is that I found this segment of the show uploaded on Pavelka’s own Youtube channel. That’s right, he looked at this 20 minute segment of him failing to win someone over and thought, “yeah, I wanna make sure everyone can see this!” So the hater leaves, Jake whines about how he did everything he could (suuuuuuure you did) and the episode ends with him going to fly his plane and, I’m assuming, openly sob.

I’M DONE!!!!!!! Holy shit I’m finally done!! I don’t have to talk about this abomination anymore!! To be honest, part of me is sad it was canceled, mostly because they had apparently planned for Mel Gibson to appear and I would have loved to watch him try to defend himself against the entire Jewish Anti-defamation League. But then again, this shit was terrible and I’m glad it died a horrible death. So that’s it for this week, and til next time, Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis shooooooooowwwwww!!!!!

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