Redemption Inc., episode 2: the great gummy bear debate of 2012
What a week on Redemption Inc.! There was a pair of split pants, a video bio with a shirtless ex-con and two grown men nearly coming to blows over whether a sundae bar ought to include gummy bears (the answer is obviously yes). Kevin O’Leary was once again fairly absent (which we still can’t fully comprehend, because this is his show), and a comic narrator even made light of one former convict’s past criminal life (how charming!). Read all about it in our TV brief after the jump.
This week, those kooky ex-cons were in charge of an ice cream social boat cruise (you mean you’ve never been to one?) on Toronto Harbour. Why? Kevin O’Leary explains that the challenge was designed to test their sales, communication and service skills, but we know it’s really just to get them into some old-timey outfits. (We imagine the show’s executives thinking, “They’re tough-as-nails ex-cons and they’ll be wearing silly vests! It’ll be hilarious!”) While the contestants get to work selling tickets, prepping the sundae bar and learning the tour script, it is time to watch some dramatic, in-depth video bios. So much about these mini-docs is inexplicable—the industrial concrete location where they take place, the intense shadows in which the ex-cons are lurking, and the fact that Sam isn’t wearing a shirt for his close-up—but needless to say, they are amazing. We thought these ex-cons were supposed to be reformed!
But, sadly, the videos do not last forever, and we’re soon spirited back to the challenge. The sales team (Joseph, Alia and Adam) has a slow start, giving the narrator the opportunity to say, in his best National Geographic documentary voice, “Alia is finding boat cruise tickets are harder to sell than drugs.” You don’t say. We nearly keel over as Jeff, our quiet hero (who looks kind of like Dave Grohl if you squint, don’t you think?), struggles with his tour script, but, thank God, he manages to stutter something about the oldest lighthouse in the Great Lakes, which “was built in the early 1800s. Like, early, early.” Not Shakespeare, but we’ll take it. In the end, it’s the catering group, helmed by “I used to model” Ryan, that proves dysfunctional, and back at Redemption HQ, O’Leary cuts Aaron for his inability to play nicely with others. Another week, another ex-con gone, another step closer to Jeff’s triumphant victory.
• Number of “Got Gwop” T-shirts worn: 1 (Alia, we like you, but you scare us.)
• Number of times Aaron jerked forward and called something “bullshit”: 9
• Number of boating-based puns about “rough waters” and “rocking the boat”: 4
• Number of Toronto islands correctly identified during the tour: 0
• Number of passive-aggressive comments from the boat tour operators: 7
• Number of ill-advised tattoos: 6
• Number of seconds we thought it would be fun to go on an ice cream social boat cruise: 0.5
• Number of times we wondered if Joseph is hot, then decided he wasn’t: 4
• Number of years Ryan claims to have “modelled around the world”: 10