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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
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Before we dive into the abyss that is the Rock Of Love 2 season blog, let's quickly address an obvious question: Should you feel guilty about devoting an hour of your life every week to yet another trashy VH1 "celeb-reality" TV show? The answer–and, granted, I'm biased–is no. By choosing to watch Rock Of Love 2, you have decided that reality TV is at its best when it makes no attempt to hide the inherent artificiality and prurient voyeurism of the genre. You are telling the world, "I want my cheap thrills served straight up, artless, and without apology!" Rock Of Love 2 is not the end of civilization as we know it; rather, it helps to move the culture forward by raising the bar on the lowest common denominator. If it weren't for shows like Rock Of Love 2, we might still be feeding people to the lions for entertainment.

Now that we got that bit of rationalization out of the way, bring on the slut bags! The last we heard from Bret Michaels, he was the victim of a shocking (just shocking!) turnaround by his chosen Rock Of Love from Season 1, Jes. That pink-haired beauty seemed to have it all: she was a highly successful part-time hairdresser and bartender; she convincingly pretended to show genuine concern when Bret's nasty case of the ol' diabetes acted up in Mexico; and she and Bret could talk seriously about their feelings and shit. But, alas, their romantic weekend in Mexico marked the last time Bret would ever bury his tongue just south of Jes' tonsils. She ended him rejecting him, Bret fucking Michaels, whose long, flowing mane of blonde hair is so lustrous it could pass for extensions. But it's totally his real hair, dudes! Clearly, Jes' jilting was a case of love gone wrong and not a cynically-executed plot device paving the way for another season of Rock Of Love.

So, here we are, in a "bigger and badder mansion than last year," with 20 new ladies just dying to rub their surgically enhanced lady parts in Bret Michaels' surgically enhanced face. On balance, I'd say this year's crop is a step-up from last year in terms of purely superficial physical attractiveness. There also are some—and I apologize for any unintended misogyny here–incredibly skanky, terrifyingly repugnant hosebeasts. I'm thinking mainly of Angelique, a walking indictment of the plastic surgery industry described by one of her cohorts, with surprisingly insight, as a "blowfish on acid." (I normally hate "(blank) on drugs" comparisons, but Angelique honestly looks like what Kate Hudson sees in the mirror if Kate Hudson happens to be on mushrooms.)

Of course, Bret Michaels is always willing to overlook the means of getting huge fake breasts and enjoy the ends, no matter how butchered those ends might be. Angelique got into Bret's good graces by–what else?–being the first girl to flash her tits during the obligatory introductory photo shoot. Bret likes these photo shoots because it's a chance "to find out a lot about the character" of his girls. Moving into a house with 20 nymphomaniacs and encouraging them to embarrass themselves in front of millions is like running for president—character is of the utmost importance. For instance, if you found a wallet full of money on the sidewalk, would you steal it? Or would you bend over, show me your thong, and then rub your ass on my crotch?

Rock Of Love 2 is helmed by Cris Abrego and Mark Cronin, the masterminds behind the Flavor Of Love, I Love New York, and Surreal Life franchises. When it comes to the reality show ensemble comedy, these guys are little Z-grade Robert Altmans. Like Altman, Abrego and Cronin are skilled at introducing as many as two-dozen characters quickly and clearly. But while Altman specialized in giving his characters a richness stemming from their moral ambiguities and internal, all-too-human contradictions, Abrego and Cronin strip each occupant of their heavily edited universe down to a single, easy-to-remember dimension. (She's the insane one! She's the dirty one! She's the insanely dirty one!) Abrego and Cronin are also good at highlighting the most interesting players right away, which is handy because the best characters also seem to survive the longest, a most convenient coincidence for sure!

Based on screen time and the fact that I remember them the best, here are the four girls to watch this season:

Megan: She's the one with "a horrific body," according to Bret. She also was the first one to get a pass tonight. I definitely see her making the finals. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I thought it was kinda sweet when she drunkenly proclaimed "Me and him forever!" after making out with Bret for the first time in at least 15 minutes.

Kristy Joe: Bret called her "one of the finest looking women I've ever laid my eyes on." She also had the audacity not to kiss him after half the STDs in L.A. County passed across his lips from the other girls. She's a more glamorous version of Season 1's Samantha.

Daisy: She was one of Bret's four VIPs, which she says is short for "Very Important Pussy." Need I say more?

Inna: The scrappy dirty girl who isn't afraid to dry-hump the floor to impress a faded rock star. Choice quote No. 1: "I wanna fuck Bret first, and then I'll make love to him." Choice quote No. 2: "My father was never there, and I just want someone to love me." This is Heather, Part 2, y'all.

Grade: B+

Stray observations

—Why didn't Bret go back to Heather as Jes suggested? (I know why, but they seem good together, no?)

—Bret's face is a profoundly disturbing piece of terrain.

—Bret says he's 40, but his Wikipedia entry says 44.

—Erin says she learned HTML from MySpace. Is that really possible?

—Which of the following is not a Rock Of Love 2 girl name: (a) Destiney; (b) Ambre; (c) Satyricon; (d) Jackeye.

—What exactly is a "rock" of love? Has this ever been explained?


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