Sunday, May 16, 2010

Episode 6 Tonight of "What Chilli Wants" on VH1: Business Is Picking Up! Enter the Remarkable Farmer D (But Don't Count Out the Other New Dude, Bill)!

(If you're not familiar with this show, try this primer:

Nutshell Synopsis: Through the organizational efforts of relationship specialist Tionna Smalls, tonight Chilli meets two men with whom she genuinely seems to be a enthralled (Farmer D and Bill). Tionna sees some very positive signs here, especially after Chilli makes a rare admission that she "was wrong." But not all is rosey in the ATL, as the previews of upcoming episodes indicate that another volatile Tionna-Chilli blowup is on the horizon!

Segment 1: The episode opens at the AQUAKNOX bar/restaurant in Atlanta, with Tionna meeting with a number of Chilli's lady friends (including Roxanne and Chilli's fellow TLC member, T-Boz). Tionna gets their sign-off on Tionna's idea of a "poker mixer" night at which Chilli can meet various men at the informal setting of the poker table (and in which Chilli's friends can also meet and talk to the same men). Additionally, Chilli's friend Christal has a stand-alone date suggestion -- Male calendar model Keston.

Next the scene changes to Chilli's date with Keston, involving a bike ride in the park. Chilli's first impression of Keston is that "he's really pretty." Chilli confides to him that it has been years since she's introduced any man to her son Tron. Then the conversation turns to relationships. Keston says his last relationship lasted over a year, but that fireworks erupted in that relationship when he did not feel comfortable calling the gal his "girlfriend," even after a year of dating. He explains that he's not big into the "label" thing, such as the moniker "girlfriend" apparently. His lack of ability to call his former gal "girlfiend" even after a year is clearly off-putting to Chilli, and she comments to him that she "feels sorry" for that lady. Keston twice comments that he thinks that Chilli tends to see too many things in "black and white" (meaning in absolutes). The date ends decent enough, with a hug and Keston telling Chilli that he will be in touch. After the date, Tionna and Chilli discuss it. Chilli says that Keston is "truly eye candy," but that she has some huge reservations about him because she feels that he had trouble being committed to a lady.

Segment 2: As mentioned above, "poker mixer night" has now arrived! Chilli proceeds to meet myriad men as 1 or 2 at a time sit down to play poker with her. First up are Spider (a basketball player) and Jason (a graphic designer who attends Chilli's church). After these dudes finish their poker with Chilli, they get the full-court grillin' from Chilli's friends (after all, that was one of the goals of this event). Next up at Chilli's poker table are Brandon and Reggie. Brandon makes an immediate impression on Chilli, because she finds him very funny (and he's certainly no ugly duckling either). Reggie seems nice but has trouble getting in on the Chilli-Brandon conversation. Reggie suggests a Push-Up Contest between he and Brandon. The two embark upon said contest, but predictably, all of the other men there to meet Chilli also join in on the contest. Brandon wisely breaks out of the contest to continue talking to Chilli. But when he reveals that he graduated high school in 2002, Chilli comments, "Oh Man." That puts him at around age 26, which Chilli clearly views as too young (Chilli is 30-something and is lookin' for a 30-something man).

Then Bill enters the picture -- the next man at Chilli's table. And the following facts are very important to future episodes: Tionna off-camera reveals to the audience that Bill was a dude she first encountered early on in the series when she was looking for potential Chilli dates at a Braves game in her luxury suite interviews of potential suitors. Tionna also reveals that she's been holding Bill in reserve, apparently for just the right moment to spring on Chilli (and there's no time like the present, since Chilli has simply not been connecting with the men that Tionna has arranged for her to meet recently). Like I said, remember those facts.

Anyway, Chilli immediately warms up to Bill and thinks he's cool because he's "not reserved" in the least. He's also 6'2", has no kids (not even one baby mama), and is a Christian who loves to go to church. All of those attributes coincide with Chilli's notorious "Chilli Checklist," of course. But what truly endears Bill to Chilli is that he's the only dude all night to actually pay her a compliment, telling her that "you are beautiful." They end their poker game with a big hug.

Segment 3: OK, so perhaps Bill is a serious candidate, but in this segment, Get a Load of Farmer D! Farmer D, real name Daron Joffe (and pictured above), is quite the accomplished businessman -- the founder and president of Farmer D Organics in the Atlanta area (a retail organic garden center). The segment begins with Tionna driving Chilli out to Farmer D's farm. Chilli has grave reservations about this one, noting that "I've never dated a farmer before." Clearly, Chilli expects to be meeting some dumb, boorish redneck out on this farm (Hey Chilli: Nice and intelligent men can come from farms, small towns and rural areas!, but I digress, especially since you were about to come to this realization on your own).

So they meet. Chilli is sporting a black cowboy hat, about which Farmer D immediately comments that he likes. Chilli's initial physical reaction is that Farmer D is most handsome, and the two ride off into the farm on Farmer D's tractor for their date. Chilli reveals off-camera that she's a "Georgia girl," and therefore is not really out of her "element" on a farm. Farmer D shows Chilli a bee hive, which has Chilli runnin', but it quickly emerges that she and Farmer D have "alot in common," which is impressive to Chilli. For example, they both eat raw milk and raw cheese. Chilli's off-camera assessment at this point: "He's just cool."

Then it's time to head back to the head of the farm, and Farmer D allows Chilli to drive them back on his tractor. As she toils along on the tractor, Farmer D comments that this probably isn't quite like most of Chilli's first dates, to which Chilli says, "This is the best one." Back at the head of the farm, as Chilli disembarks from the tractor, her posterior accidentally waves itself rather close to Farmer D's face. She apologizes for her "butt" being "all over your face," to which Farmer D responds, "Not like I'm going to complain." They then head indoors for lunch and grasp hands in prayer before they eat. Chilli's final comments on this date: That Farmer D was not all what she was expecting -- "Farmer D is pretty amazing," she says.

Final segment: Tionna and Chilli talk about the Farmer D date. Chilli observes that Farmer D is "really smart," is a "good age" at age 33, is "laid back cool," and that she really "felt a connection." Comparing her initial reluctance to go on this date with her ultimate impression after meeting Farmer D, Chilli then confides to Tionna that this date has taught her not to judge people and situations "so quickly." Then comes a moment reminiscent of true old-school "Happy Days" Fonzie stuff (recall that Fonzie, whenever he desired to admit that he was wrong about something, would lapse into, "OK, I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr -- OK, what I'm really trying to say is, I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr..."). Because apparently (according to Tionna's comments), Chilli is not one to admit error very often (although, aren't so many of us human beings the very same way, truth be told?).

So, Tionna comes right out and says, "I was wrong" (not even stammering or stuttering around like Fonzie would) when it came to her first-blush reluctance to go on a date on a farm with a dude named "Farmer D". Tionna views this admission as a "real breakthrough," together with the fact that Chilli met two dudes this episode, in Bill and Farmer D, to whom she really appears to be open to a relationship. Tionna's closing remarks of this episode: Things are definitely "getting warmer," although Tionna still needs "it to be hot!" She tells Chilli that Tionna's just waiting for Chilli to "jump her little behind of top a somebody and tongue 'em down!" "Tongue 'em down?," asks Chilli.

Red Hot Preview of upcoming episodes: Even despite how well this episode went, not everything is exactly all studs and muffins in the ATL! In the episodes to come, it is revealed that despite the Farmer D-Chilli fireworks, Bill is still very much in the picture and he and Chilli have what Chilli describes as the "perfect date." Chilli then confronts Tionna over the reason why Tionna did not bring Bill into this picture earlier (since Tionna did not immediately hook up Chilli with Bill after Tionna first met Bill). Says Chilli, "You're the love expert, right?" Tionna responds, angrily, "Don't Go There!" Yadda, Yadda, Yadda, Tionna storms off after swiping their table of its contents. The argument continues in a parking lot, with Tionna shouting, "I could take my ass back to Brooklyn, and you will still be alone!" So Stay Tuned!

Final observations: When Chilli said "I was wrong," following her connecting very well with both Bill and Farmer D on this episode, the words "real breakthrough" came into my mind even before Tionna uttered them. And I'm hopin' one of these two dudes is going to turn out to be, finally, The One for Chilli. As for the upcoming verbal alteration between Tionna & Chilli, I have a fair amount of confidence that they will be able to patch things over afterwards, because the two of them really do seem to have a very genuine friendship. As for Chilli's questioning of Tionna holding back on Bill for awhile, my immediate reaction is: Chilli -- You've really connected with this dude Bill, and so why are you even worrying about when it was that Tionna first connected you to him!!! Be Thankful and Glad about the Connection Itself! Oh well. It is a reality series after all, and therefore we do need our fireworks!!! ;)