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2004 – what a time to be alive. A website called The Facebook was launched, Gwenyth had her first child, and W was re-elected. But most importantly, MTV introduced us to ‘The Real Orange County,’ ‘Laguna Beach,’ and the teenagers who lived there. As the sweet serenade of “Come Clean” by Hilary Duff blasted through the television’s speakers, the introduction to ‘Laguna Beach’ interspersed shots of SoCal scenery, complete with wide-angle shots of beaches and cliffside mansions, with the cast, including Kristin Cavallari. Say what you want about her during the ‘Laguna Beach’ days: Kristin was the villain? Mmm, maybe from some perspectives. Not mine. Was she amazing? Obviously – her one-word-one-liners, delivered in a true California girl accent live on to this day. Her pronunciation of Stephen Colletti’s first name, “Steve-in!” and her description of her broken down car “Done-zo!” come right to mind.
It’s been a bit of time since Kristin has been on the silver screen – she was the “lead” in season two of ‘Laguna Beach,’ and then took over for Lauren in the last season of the spin-off, “The Hills” – but, dear God, she is back and better than ever. Her newest venture, ‘Very Cavallari’, premiered last Sunday on E! And not only have I found my new Sunday night program, I have found my new reality show. I am all in for this show after episode one, and while I love Kristin, she’s not exactly why I’m going to be tuning in. I’m all in on this show for one reason: Jay Cutler.
While the show might have Kristin’s name and be about launching her fashion/lifestyle brand, the runaway star of the show is her husband, former(?) NFL quarterback and noted expressionless and emotionless speaker, Jay Cutler. In his very first scene, in which he says, “Yo” in a monotone, indifferent tone as he struts into the kitchen, prominently displaying a five-o’clock shadow, hat backward, lugging a cooler full of something. “What’s that?” Kristin asks. Jay’s response: “Uh, meat” and he hoists the cooler on to the kitchen island. And as though it wasn’t crystal clear that Jay Cutler has nothing better to do, the scene keeps going as Kristin asks him what he’s doing that day: he has a BIG 2:30 appointment, and then he’s picking the kids up from school and wants to be first in line, beating the other moms there.
Kristin, from her years on being on reality TV, knows that America wants more, so she asks what’s on everyone’s mind: “But honestly, what do you do all day?” And here is the response from Jay, delivered with a straight face and flat tone, (who is, by the way, described in the title cards as ‘Kristin’s Husband’) that needs to be put on a poster, coaster, and everything in between: “I like to keep myself pretty free, so that if something does pop up – I can pop right into it.” And that, right there, had me hook, line, and sinker, into this show.
Jay continues to steal every scene he’s in with great lines (and facial expressions, or lack thereof) throughout the show, but here are the highlights, all with the same uninterested and tiresome delivery:
-On being nice to Kristin’s employees: “I’ll be neutral.” (He does not acknowledge them as they pass by him, just stares.)
-Kristin is nervous that there will be days that no one comes into her store, and expresses it to Jay: “I guarantee that’s going to happen.”
-When helping Kristin pick out a sweater: “Do people know that I style you?” which continues when she laments her hair is going to get messed up: “Oh, gosh, that’s the worst.”
-On picking up the boys from school and trying to beat other moms to the school: “Uh, I’m pretty jacked up.”
It’s hard to pick a favorite scene that features Jay. It could be when he makes one of Kristin’s employees line the driveway with cones so she doesn’t park on the lawn again. It also might be when Kristin tells him she’s moving the office out of the house, and he lifts his eyebrows to display happiness, but flatly responds, “I can barely contain myself” with about as much enthusiasm as a college kid making their first student loan payment. It might be when he watches Kristin and her friend DM a guy and he calls them out for social media stalking and calls the girls “gameless.”
Then again, there is the end of the episode, when Kristin and Jay are out to dinner she asks him if he’s thought about what’s going to do, “Yeah, no” is his first response, and then he adds, “I’m not really looking to do a lot of work right now. Looking to do the exact opposite of that.” Every scene he’s in, he’s stealing the show.
So while Jay might be the star, Kristin is ultimately the namesake of the show and obviously the workhorse of her family. Gotta give her that. On top of being a modern woman and having it all with friends and family, Kristin also has her business. She has a sign on her desk in her home office that says “I’m CEO, Bitch” and it’s quite clear that she takes everything that does, designs, and creates with the utmost care and pride. So it’s a little surprising that she has some complete duds working for her, three chicks whom I am going to call Red, Blonde, and Brunette because I don’t know or care to learn their names. While they do certainly bring drama to the situation – someone’s boyfriend is another’s music partner, the girls don’t like each other and naturally are “talking shit” about one another, – in episode one, the drama is a little too predictable about them not getting along. Plus, these chicks don’t seem very good at their jobs, Red in particular. Previews for the season show Kristin going up one side of her employees and down the other, so I am set for that.
And speaking of the previews… I guess you can take the girl out of Laguna Beach, but you can’t really take the Laguna Beach out of the girl. A couple of future scenes show Kristin out on the town, dancing on tables and taking shots. The first episode haunts back to her boy crazy days as she helps a friend DM someone on Instagram and she shrieks and gasps and drops her jaw over the exchange. Classic Kristin! Really, you can claim that you’re just watching the show to for Kristin, but you’re going to end up staying for Jay. So you can keep your Kardashians and Fantasy Suites and island hook-up shows, because I’ll be tuning in for ‘Very Cavallari’ for the rest of the summer..