The 45-minute hour — When we re-join Jackie and Mimi this week, they’re still in the therapist’s office deconstructing their toxic relationship. Actually, Mimi is not in the room at the moment. At the end of last week’s episode, she abruptly got up and walked out while Jackie was talking. Did she suddenly have to pee, or order Chinese, or pace and fume and mutter to herself? I have no idea.
Anyway, Dr. Obvious asks Jackie, "Why are you in it?"
Jackie: Because I’m f—ed up. And I hate myself for even being in this.
I hate myself for loving you. Jackie’s a victim of circumstance. She doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation. Watch for Joan Jett‘s newest single, "Because I’m F—ed Up" coming to a store near you.
Dr. Obvious hypothesizes that Jackie’s punishing herself with a horrid relationship because she doesn’t feel worthy. These are not exactly unique epiphanies. Jackie immediately agrees.
At that moment, Mimi comes back into the room as if nothing happened. The therapist wants to know why she stormed out. Uh, because she’s Mimi and that’s what she does? Mimi says she left because Jackie was yelling.
Dr. Obvious: I think she was upset because you weren’t letting her talk, or you were interrupting.
Mimi: So I let her.
Dr. Obvious: So, you can’t be in the room when she’s talking?
Mimi: The thing is, is that it’s an argument again. So let her talk. Let her talk.
Mimi’s happy to let Jackie talk her head off, as long as she doesn’t have to be in the room. Typical bratty Mimi-logic. Then Mimi asks Jackie, without any irony, "Did you [talk]?" Ha.
Dr. Obvious asks why they’re together when they’re both so miserable. Yes, America is dying to hear the answer to that one. The question is met with a long silence. Dr. Obvious offers to give them the tools they need to stay together, if that’s what they want. And by "tools" I think she means a hammer and a saw, so they can build a boxing ring to duke it out in. Or should I say an Ultimate Fighting ring — is biting still allowed there?
Dr. Obvious presses them on whether or not they’re willing to do the work. Jackie decides the answer is "no" and gets up and leaves. Unlike Mimi, she really leaves, because in the next shot, she’s driving in her car. I think she stuck Mimi with the bill.
On to bigger and better things — Jackie goes to work the next day, and the only thing on her mind is her new business venture, Skylab, the fitness boot camp she’s launching to help severely overweight clients.
Jackie: My gym caters to thin actors and models. But I do realize that there is a huge need for a program that addresses overweight clients and people with body image issues. I want to teach them to eat right, cook right and exercise. But most importantly, I want to rehabilitate them emotionally.
One couples counseling session and Jackie’s a therapist now? That is one full-service fitness program.
Jackie interviews candidates to be the first Skylab rats. First up is Meaghan, a reporter for the gossip rag Star Magazine. Meaghan reveals she was too thin for a big part of her life, but now, not so much. She’s having a hard time hiding her "trouble areas" now.
Carol, a student, admits she’s a victim of that epidemic called low self-esteem. Kiki, another student, says she has two not-so-little brothers who, if they see her being proactive about her weight, might see it as a catalyst for change for themselves.
Jackie interviews a lesbian couple named Dina and Amy. Dina (I think) says: "We’re the C.L.’s. We’re the Chubby Lesbians." Amy giggles a somewhat annoying laugh. Good God, I hope Dina’s not funny, or it’s going to be a long season.
At first I thought Dina said, "We’re the seals." But I then thought, "You don’t look like Navy commandos, and you’re not so cute you could be calling yourselves only the most adorable animals in the Antarctic." I really have to get my hearing checked.
Anyway, Dina and Amy want to join Skylab to be sexy for each other. Aw. That’s so great — and rare. For many couples, it’s only about smelling good 24/7 and wearing your best underwear the first year. Five years later, your partner’s clipping their toenails in front of the TV and farting at the kitchen table.
Then there’s Rita, a hotel concierge who gives her fat pet names like "fun pouch," which is great if you’re a kangaroo, but not so much if you’re a 20-something woman who wants to look hot.
There’s an actor named Floyd who looks just like my girlfriend’s Uncle Jimmy. Floyd wants to look good and live a long life for his new bride, who I assume doesn’t look anything like Aunt Debbie.
Jackie talks to an aesthetician named Laurie who claims to be self-conscious about her looks. I’d believe her if she wasn’t wearing an extremely low-cut top that reveals cleavage so deep and large, it looks like she’s got an ass growing out of her chest.
And then, in walks Tess. Tess was featured last season and touched many people with her warmth and earnest desire to get healthy. Sadly, Tess is even bigger than she was when we met her last season. Due to a knee injury, she stopped working out for six months and man, it took its toll.
Jackie: Have you been heavy all your life?
Tess: [crying] Yes, there’s been a struggle with my weight all my life. Over the past six months, it’s felt like a losing battle because I haven’t been able to be empowered to do something about it. I’ve had to sit on the couch with my knee propped up and watch myself get bigger again.
Jackie feels she’s emotionally invested in Tess more than the others and makes it her mission to help her. I’m excited to watch Tess this season.