Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mitch the Intern's TUF 9 Recap: Episode 1

*Editor's note: Mitch the Intern is an NYU undergrad whose favorite Wednesday night pastime includes the TV in his dorm room, a green beanbag chair and two hits of acid. Enjoy.*

Close up shot of Dana White, driven down the mean streets of London to the gym where Michael Bisping practices his best Brad-Pitt-in-"Snatch" accent and sips tea and eats crumpets. They hug, long lost friends in a world where friends curse a lot and feign machismo, and they enter the gym where others of various degrees of fighting prowess and incoherent accents all want to be Dana's friend. "There are 16 of you but only eight are flying back to Las Vegas," says Dana, implying that the others must swim. Or stay there, where their accents will remain unfettered by the shackles of grammar and communicative ability.

"Jolly good," says one, a young lightweight with a handlebar moustache and a bowler atop his head. His name could be Gary Kelly or Grace Kelly or something, and he apparently trains with Bisping, as when he gets knocked out by a fighter from Narnia named Andre Winner, Bisping curses, saying "bollocks" like it means something dirty but it makes me think of buttocks. I laugh. Subtitles dance across the screen whenever a UK fighter talks and I laugh some more.

Others fight, one after the other entering the cage to earn a berth on Team UK, which will match up against Team US this season. Cageside, Dana and Bisping laugh and joke and share odd embraces, while Rich Franklin and the Queen of England sit taking notes (the Queen is sometimes referred to as "Dan". It's never explained why.) Within the Octagon, an assortment of fighters hailing from various UK neighborhoods like Nottingham Forest, the Shire, Middle Earth and Earthsea do battle. A shapeshifting referee, sometimes appearing like an over-tanned Mr. Clean, other times appearing like a smaller man who constantly says "lad", oversees the action.

A Pikey bareknuckle boxing champ named James Wilks tries to steal someone named Che Mills' leg. According to Wikipedia, the Pikey are like gypsies and cannot be trusted. Another fighter named Ross or Russ or Right-O-Old-Chap enters the cage and faces a street urchin named Oliver Twist. Oh poor Oliver! Ross or Russ or Right-O-Old-Chap feeds Oliver knees, which, as Oliver is but a sad street urchin, is the most he's eaten in weeks. "Please, sir, may I have some more?" Oliver asks meekly, and then the referee declares he's eaten enough and Ross or Russ or Right-O-Old-Chap is going to Las Vegas, where he will be tricked into eating urine-soaked fruit and man-splooge.

Meanwhile, Dana and Bisping giggle and whisper in each other's ears, then giggle some more.

Someone with a dire need for a plastic surgeon (or a better plastic surgeon than they already have) talks a lot but loses to a British Mr. T of the A-Team. A member of the Sex Pistols fights, another friend of Bisping except this time Bisping declares that he sucks amidst chuckles and snickers as he and Dana poke and tickle each other like friends are oft to do. Despite his suckiness, the Sex Pistol (Sid Vicious? Johnny Rotten?) wins. Then there are no more fights, and the eight remaining competitors are given jerseys by Bisping and Dana says the F-word. Maybe it's gratuitous, maybe it's necessary. I don't know. Just then, the acid kicks in.

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