REVIEW: “Committed: The Christies” (Episode Two)

by Lang Whitaker

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who didn’t enjoy the first episode of “Committed: The Christies.” (Check my review of episode one here.) I know this because tonight my DVR/cable box refused to record the second episode of the series. I checked and it’s listed in the series manager, but for whatever reason my DVR refused to subject itself to the Christies.

I caught the error, however, and was able to record the replay of the show later in the evening. Here are some things I wrote down while watching episode two of “Committed: The Christies”…

• The theme song of The Christies is something by Jamie Cullum, that young British pianist/singer guy with spiky hair. Random.

• Tonight the Christies are going to Jamaica! Keeping it irie with the Christies!

• Jackie Christie invites along Siobhan, her friend from Sacramento. Doug invites someone he calls “my boyhood friend, Tyrone.” On the screen we see a still of Tyrone with the words “CHILDHOOD FRIEND & ENTOURAGE MEMBER.” Doug also invites his brother William (“WILLIAM A.K.A. STINKER” — DOUG’S BROTHER & MENTOR — ENTOURAGE MEMBER #2″) and his former high school coach Pete (“PETEY — DOUG’S H.S. COACH & ENTOURAGE MEMBER #3”). Interesting crew Doug has assembled. I like how he has assigned numbers to his entourage members. As for me, I really like my old high school coach and he and I still keep in touch even today, but there’s no way he’s getting into my entourage or coming with Wifey and me to Jamaica. That’s just how I roll, homey.

• Suddenly we’re in the lobby of the Westin Grand Bohemian in Orlando, and Jackie is sitting in Doug’s lap. She says she just needs a mimosa and then she’ll be able to wake up. She amends that by saying, “Then I’ll be woke.” Yes you was.

• At 5:00 a.m. a limo arrives and whisks the Christies’ crew to the Orlando airport. While checking in at the airline counter, somebody has problems checking in. They present a birth certificate that doesn’t look authentic, and the airline (American, if you were wondering) doesn’t want to accept this person on the flight. Problem is they don’t tell us who this issue is about; this incident is edited in such a way that somehow it takes us a nearly a full minute to figure out the problem here is Tyrone.

• Someone better call Tyrone! (Call him!) He doesn’t have a passport, and his raggedy birth certificate isn’t working. (Why would someone even try to travel overseas without a passport?) Doug tells us that Tyrone had to call Alabama to see if they can send something over. I’m not sure if Doug is talking about the legendary country and western band Alabama or if maybe Tyrone is from Alabama.

• During a sit-down interview that’s edited in, Doug notes of the woman working at the airline counter: “The woman was an *sshole.”

• The woman tells the Christies that they need to get a (presumably readable) copy of Tyrone’s birth certificate send from Alabama, and that the quickest way to get it to Orlando is through priority parcel. Jackie grumbles to her friend Siobhan, “If she wanted to she could have put it through and we could be at the gate.” Apparently the Christies don’t understand travel and increased airport security in the post-9/11 era.

• Jackie decides that the woman at the counter is giving them “haterism.” She gets on her cellphone and tries to call other airlines, perhaps finding one without any security procedures whatsoever. Doug says they went to American Airlines counter — although this whole first thing was in front of the American Airlines counter — and the people there also declined to allow Tyrone to travel with his raggedy birth certificate. Duh.

• Tyrone comes up with a plan! Finally, maybe we all (the Christies, their entourage and us, the suffering viewers) can get out of the damn airport check-in area. Tyrone is going to get his birth certificate sent to Miami. Not sure how he’s getting to Miami. Anyway, he’ll meet them in Jamaica a day later.

• And we’re moving! Oh, but Jackie’s not finished with those ladies behind the airline counter. As they walk away, Jackie takes a glance back at the counter, makes eye contact with one of the women and says to Doug, “She’s mad, she’s f*cking pissed! That’s a bitch! Did you see her rolling her eyes at me? I was like, thank you! I can’t believe she’s mad at me.” Doug kind of hustles Jackie along.

• Jamaica, mon! We get a shot of them walking through the airport in Jamiaca behind a woman carrying a car service sign that reads “DOUG CHRISTIE.” I know it’s supposed to let them know where to catch their ride or whatever, but instead it’s like she’s announcing their arrival to everyone in the airport. Classy.

• Some Joe Cocker song plays as Jackie and Doug ride in a van along a beautiful coastline. The shots of the sun and sand are frequently interrupted with shots of Doug Christie.

• They arrive at the resort and Doug greets someone named Garfield, saying it’s good to see him again. This place must be their spot in Jamaica. And if I can figure out the name of the place, it’s where I’m staying from now on in Jamaica, just on the off chance I can meet up with The Christies. I’ll totally buy Jackie a mimosa.

• Uh-oh. Back in Miami. Tyrone is walking down a hotel hallway that looks rather cheap, grumbling “Why does this always happen to me?” He walks into a spartan hotel room and a sour look crosses his face. He announces aloud: “Aw f*ck no! This ten dollar motherf*cker, man!” He looks like Antoine Walker with a goatee. I laugh out loud. I’m liking Tyrone. We’ll probably never see him again.

• Back in Jamaica. The sun is setting and the Christies crew is seated next to a swimming pool, preparing to eat dinner. It’s not a hotel they’re in but a private house. Looks pretty nice, actually.

• At this moment, I’m mostly excited that for the first time in an episode and a half, we now have multiple storylines being developed in the same half-hour. This must have killed their poor editor, who might be assemlbing this show on an iMac.

• The Christies miss Tyrone, so they set a place at their table for Tyrone and put a sweatshirt over the chair, with a hat balanced on top. There’s a plate for Tyrone, and for some reason on the plate is a single slice of tomato.

• Doug: “Tyrone, he’s just the stupid motherf*cker in the group.”

• Whoa!!!!!!! Now we’re getting somewhere. During the singularly mundane dinner conversation, Doug tells the table that his wife has not only seen Bloody Mary (had to Google that one) but that she’s also seen Sasquatch, who was crossing I-5 at the time she spotted it. Doug laughs while he says this, but Jackie isn’t playing. She says there were a several people who called the police that day claiming they also saw Sasquatch. Jackie says this happened in Seattle and that Sasquatch was big, “like 6-8 or something.” Jackie says everyone laughs whenever she tells the story, but it really is true. Sasquatch was covered in hair and was “tan colored.” Doug’s former coach/entourage member Pete asks if he looked like Squatch from the Sonics. Everyone laughs (including me) but Jackie says that actually, yes, he did look like the Sonics mascot. Jackie adds that it was raining that day. Siobhan asks if Sasquatch is based in Seattle. Jackie says, “No, I think he travels…”

• I now like Jackie Christie about one thousand times more than I did 15 minutes ago.

• The next morning, the guys go play golf while Jackie and Siobhan hang out by the pool and talk about the haters. Jackie says she and Doug are like any other couple, and everyone else are the “psychos.” Jackie compares their relationship to Will and Jada Pinkett, with the caveat that because Doug’s “not in Hollywood making movies,” people think the Christies are abnormal. Siobhan is a heckuva enabler, nodding Jackie on, saying that everyone should want a relationship like the Christies.

• Out at the golf course, Doug takes a break to do an interview via cell phone with a morning radio show in Washington D.C. The radio host immediately starts asking Doug about his relationship, pointing out Doug can’t “drop it like it’s hot” with anyone but his wife because she’s always around him. She’s my wife, Doug notes, why would I want to drop it with anyone else?

• The radio host asks Doug if his wife comes along on the road trips. He says she occasionally does, and all of a sudden a cartoon appears on the screen of Doug Chrisie riding in a bus, with Jackie Christie tailing along behind him, waving at the bus. Just totally random to drop a cartoon on us like that. Oh you Christies!

• Back at the pool…
SIOBHAN: “If I could have that same type of love, that strong deep love like that. And he’s attractive? He is handsome? Tall? Got a great job?
JACKIE: “Thank you!”
SIOBHAN: “Oh girl!”
JACKIE: “See if you weren’t my friend, I couldn’t go for someone talking about my man like that.”

• Doug ends the radio interview and gets back to golf. In a sit-down session (in front of a roaring fireplace, no less) Doug says interview was pretty much like all of the rest of them: “A bunch of bullsh*t, trying to clown me. But in the end I usually get my point across, let them know where I’m coming from, and then they usually shut the hell up and understand what’s really going on.” I’ve been watching this show for two weeks and I have no idea what’s really going on. Except that Jackie Christie is awesome.

• What happened to Tyrone? Nobody knows. Doug can apparently do an interview with a radio station in Washington D.C. with his cell phone, but he can’t make a call to Miami. To get some exercise, Doug and his brother William go for a jog, and Jackie follows in a golf cart, asking Doug if he’s alright every ten seconds. Jackie asks if they’ll see “hoochies” when they get to the village. “You know what they say about island women,” she says menacingly.

• They go shopping in the village as “Money Ain’t A Thing” plays in the background. Subtle.

• And that’s it for Jamiaca. The Christies have to return home. Abruptly.
• Tyrone is never mentioned again after the shot of him cursing his hotel room. I’m guessing the editor just completely forgot about that plotline.

NEXT TIME ON THE CHRISTIES: Whoa!!!!!! Doug tells the camera that Jackie doesn’t believe owls exist. Then we see Jackie and Doug chatting and Jackie asks Doug if elves really exist. I wish this was on tonight!

CONCLUSION: Well, this was better than the last show. They still need a producer who can tell a story, or at least someone who can organize all the video clips into something more cohesive. If it was me, I’d make it an entire series about how wacky Jackie can be: Sasquatch, elves, owls, wouldn’t that be amazing? Jackie gets a lot of flack (most of it deserved) for being nutty, but I like her. She says what she thinks, and doesn’t really care what you think. She’s like the female Gilbert Arenas.

The interesting thing is that when they’re around together, Jackie and Doug seem like a pretty normal couple. But whenever they’re apart Jackie nearly always goes crazy. Codependency probably isn’t healthy, but it’s better than anything else on BET-J.