Jay Cutler named a deer. He named it Dale. It’s not his pet, really, but just a deer he has his eye on. Dale eats out of feeders. Dale doesn’t live on Cutler’s property, mind you; he’s in the wild. But Cutler is stalking this deer. On the internet.
Welcome to Episode 2 of “Very Cavallari,” the reality show about Cutler’s wife that I not-so-secretly wish was about just him. But that’s not happening, and now we — or, yeah, I — just have to hope and pray that the E! producers figure out what makes the show’s sausage taste so damned good. It’s not Cavallari’s assistants who struggle with basic multiplication, although that was pretty funny.
As we wrote following Episode 1, the Cutler scenes were a cinematic tour de force. The ones without him were mostly forced labor.
Little changes in this week’s ep, titled “Sunday Not So Funday,” which had a double meaning for the viewer. Cutler again was hilarious. The rest wasn’t so good. And his screentime appeared to wane this week — can we please get a PFF-style snap count on Cutler’s actual airtime? I need answers and data to back me up on this travesty.
Kristin’s mid-show tweet from Sunday appears to pay homage to her scene-stealing husband. We now all can acknowledge what’s happening here.
Even the great Jerry Seinfeld, during his eponymous show’s rise to all-time status, realized that the “other” characters were the ones who made the show what it was. He didn’t care. He was still obscenely famous and rich because of it. I am starting to think this Kristin character has some real business savvy to her. One of the great rules of showbiz: Lead actors take home the flowers, character actors bring home the bacon.
My interest waned this week. Admittedly, I was here for one reason. It’s reflected, weirdly enough, in what I slugged my Microsoft Word file for both stories. No, for real. The first episode I went with ‘Very Cavallari’ 1.doc. Like, I legitimately used the single quotes and everything. My life has changed dramatically since Episode 1. Now this story is slugged Jay ep 2.doc, and I am not the least bit ashamed.
Last week’s ratio frightened the heck out of me. Yeah, I knew Cav would be prominently featured on her own show. That came in the show’s name — that much I was prepared for, and I kind of like her now. But all these flaky assistants and the whiskey-in-his-veins country music bro? All that airtime for them and not him? Let Jay do his work, y’all.
That brings us back to Dale. Yeah, the deer. Cutler calls him “wide.” As in it has a broad frame. This is like calling someone “husky” or “big-boned.” Cutler can get away with it. He’s stalking a deer, you guys. And I can’t wait to find out if they end up meeting.
He’s also defending the honor and purpose of his fish in a tank at the Cutler homestead (at least for now — foreshadowing!). When Cavallari questions Cutler’s commitment to raising a healthy school, noting that the last crew seemed to suffer a sudden mass death, Cutler steps up.
“What do you mean?” he asks. “Those fish are thriving!” It’s the way he says “thriving” that makes it, of course.
The first batch of five fish has, Cutler admits, “expired.” Yes, he used that word, taking yet another confident step toward American treasure status. There’s a new fivesome in the tank and they’re in peak fitness apparently.
You almost have to wonder if Cutler didn’t use this same wording to describe his first half-dozen or so offensive coordinators the Bears cycled through when he was in Chicago. Like … oh, Ron Turner? Yeah, he expired. Onward and upward.
Cutler certainly didn’t make many friends among that select coaching fraternity, just as he appears to be majorly butting heads with his wife’s assistants in VC. He apparently wants to fire them all. This is what we’re here for.
Cav summons Cutler to help her move her burgeoning product-line business, Uncommon James, out of the Cutler-Cav residence and into her office space. The process is coming together quickly, which seems nice, but Cutler’s suspicion about this being a clean operation is proving to be prophetic. Her helpers don’t seem very organized and it’s driving him crazy.
First, let's back up a tiny step. Cavallari had to ask Jay to help her with the moving. She is looking for him and finds Cutler sitting in this amazing library in the cavity of their house. The kind of room you’d expect a surgeon to have.
“Some light reading,” he says, “Just improving myself.”
Who is this dude?!
OK, so she wants help moving the boxes to the store. Light banter ensues.
“I’m not your employee, like, ‘Hey, I am going to cut you loose,’” he says, clearly joking. She loves it. They settle on 8:30 the next morning. It feels like a win-win. They’re a really solid couple, people. Believe it.
Oh, and Cutler is reading a book called “Thinking, Fast and Slow” — written by Princeton emeritus professor of psychology Daniel Kahneman — on a leather couch that costs more than my first car. The book’s synopsis, via Amazon: “[Kahneman’s] empirical findings challenge the assumption of human rationality prevailing in modern economic theory. With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors that arise from heuristics and biases, and developed prospect theory.”
Right on, man. Tell me this isn’t the most interesting man on television. I’ll wait.
So it’s move time and Cutler lays out the ground rules for his involvement. “I’ve got a couple of questions before we get started,” he says. “Number 1, where are all your employees.” It's less of a question than it is a statement. This is Cutler’s two-minute drill, and he’s off to a fantastic start.
Apparently the girls are the un-packers. Cutty’s the muscle on the front end, he’s figuring out quickly. “It’s not that much,” Kristin says, and Jay finishes her sentence: “Just the 30 boxes over here and the 10 over there. Just those.”
Does Cutler do parties? I’d pay straight cash for this. He even makes moving fun.
Cutler even gets emasculated for his efforts. “I know this is how you show love,” Cav says, and you just know a good portion of Cutler just died at that moment. Of course he loves her. It’s clear after watching. But hearing her offer that type of intimacy on TV? Cutler looks mildly sea sick after forcing a laugh. You can almost see why he has a side deer, you know?
Later we hear how Cutler wooed Kristin: through a serious of “love emails and love letters long distance” after the couple met. He squirms through that exchange, too. Vulnerable Jay Cutler, everyone!
“Jay has no game,” Cav explains. Sacked again.
But his game comes from slowly belittling Kristin’s rather useless helpers. The issue at the store: Someone forgot the labels in the move. She asked for them and no one got them. It's always the damned labels. There's lots of shrugging and finger pointing. It’s a Keystone Cop comedy of errors.
“Oh-for-two,” Cutler said, rolling his eyes under his baseball lid and shaking his head after yet another failed task. It’s the Cutler smirk at its most royal. “Take your time, ladies.”
I’m just crying watching this.
Later: “Do we have the labels yet?”
They still don’t. Then someone named Wirth is outside the office trying to deliver a box of stuff. The girls struggle to even open the door and let the dude in. He’s wearing capri sweats, has a manbun-ish thing and rolled up earlier in a matte black Mercedes Benz.
Apparently, Wirth — who is built like a Hollywood stuntman — needs a job at Kristin’s store as a retail associate and is here today to lug stuff into the store? He’s from old money, we’re told. Like old old money, apparently. Some of Wirth’s selfies (abs shots at the gym, on private planes, chilling in Milan, you know … the youzhe) are shown for B-roll. None of this passes the sniff test.
Wirth might be there to meet some women as potential romantic partners, it seems, but right now said ladies are about two minutes away from actual fisticuffs. Wirth’s mellow has been harshed. Cutler was already annoyed before that happened.
“All right, chop chop, I got places to go,” Cutler says, running a Ginsu knife through the tension in the group. Jay to the rescue again. He also never once looks Wirth in the eye. So good.
And when they still don’t have those godforsaken labels. Cutler asks: “Can I fire them?”
Please do. Tell the producers of the show what’s up, too, while you’re at it.
I will say that we did get this weird little bombshell earlier in that one of Cav’s assistants apparently made a childhood out of beating people up?
“I’m just going to tug her hair a little,” she says, stone-faced, to her boyfriend (I think?) before cracking a smile. “Just kidding!”
“You say that, but I know you’ve been in fistfights in your life,” the guy retorts, and … hello! (Also, I really like how he said fistfights to differentiate the fighting style. It paints a picture of this now-fashionista going to work with combinations on some girl from the other side of the tracks.)
“John, I haven’t been in a fistfight since I was 22,” she says, looking all of a grizzly 24 if I had to guess.
“Twenty-two you were beating people up?!” John who isn’t letting up a bit. He’s as stunned as all of us, except he’s known this for some time, it’s abundantly clear. I have no idea who this dude is, but he's not bad. Kind of the back-creek, poor man’s Cutler if you’re asking for my comp.
“I’m just saying that’s not normal,” John says between slurps of pale ale. He then admits that the only time he was ever beat up was at the hands of a girl: “That girl was really strong!” It’s nothing Cutler would ever say, but John is winning our hearts. It Cutler can get called out for his sappy love notes to Cav, John is cool with admitting his beatdown by some unknown girl.
The girl he's telling this to straight up laughs at him. It looks like they’re talking in the Del Amo Fashion Center food court, except this show is set in Tennessee.
But after that, there’s not much meat on the bone outside the Prime Cut. Ladies working out in posh gyms. A lot of juicing. Salads galore. Awkward meetings with passive aggressiveness — a bunch of those. Drinking, too. Hence the “Sunday Not So Funday” episode title.
The drama starts with one Cavallari assistant — hard to keep them straight — not liking another one. Something about Twitter, which is about the closest I can come to relating. They’re tense. It boils throughout.
But those two make up after one of their boyfriends gets jealous that she’s flirting too much with our guy Wirth. We’d already been subjected to two people in the show who were unable to multiply six times seven by that point, so it lost its highbrow edge rather quickly. By the time this bar drama unfolds, the emotional heft just isn’t there, really.
Cutler does what he can to rescue the show. The lack of airtime remains a major strategic error, but he’s making the most of his limited snaps. In a 30-second span, he goes from mocking his wife’s physical constitution to announcing a major family announcement.
First: “I think our level of what’s hard is,” Cutler says, deftly adding a dramatic pause for effect, “a little bit different.”
Then, hard turn: Cutler says he’s buying a house. Maybe that was an editing trick, but it felt like the weirdest celebrity conversations that you could dream up in a day.
You aren’t as good an athlete as I am. Oh, and I am buying a house today.
… he said in the midst of his multi-million estates in the rolling, verdant hills. Previously, she had mocked his getting a haircut representing a "big day" for him, and Jay spends the remainder of the episode wearing a hat to cover it. It's all so weird and wonderful, these little oases we get.
“Jay and I love to push each other’s buttons, we definitely have this playful banter, and he can be a little s--- sometimes, but he makes me laugh,” and dammit if she isn’t convincing me they genuinely like each other. Like, it’s refreshing!
Cutler also is close friends, we learn, with a guy named “Chuy,” aka Mark, an old Vandy buddy of his. Mark/Chuy recently came out as gay, is 40 years old and has to listen to Cutler awkwardly ask him about any hot dating prospects he has in the hopper. Learning about Cutler’s friends — including even Dale, the deer — is just so damned fascinating.
Even seeing him with Cavallari and how they seem to make this thing work so strangely well, it’s really the best thing about the show. Here’s praying for more of that next week.
So yeah, I am still watching. For now.