Quick Take: Ton of Cash, "If Lakes Could Kill"
"I'm no Lance Armstrong or anything. I mean I have two nuts. But i canride a bike three and a half miles." - Chuck
Review: Ton of Cash, "If Lakes Could Kill"
(S0104) In my review of the series premiere of VH1's reality show Ton of Cash, I wrote the following sentence: "I don't know if I'll go out of my way to watch Ton of Cash again, but if it happens to be on I'll probably give it another chance." Well it was (on), and I did (give it another chance). And you know what? I'm glad I did. Ton of Cash isn't going to be winning any Emmys anytime soon (I hope), but for a reality show on basic cable, it's actually pretty damn entertaining.
I had accused Ton of Cash of having "way too many rules," but after seeing a second episode, I found the game to be much less confusing. Either I got much smarter all of a sudden, or the rules became more streamlined in later episodes of the show. For my sake, I hope it's the former, although I suspect it's the latter. Honestly, this time around I felt like the simple concept was one of Ton of Cash's biggest strengths. Carry the money from Point A to Point B. Vote two people into an elimination challenge. Send the loser home. Rinse. Repeat.
Sometimes it takes reality show contestants a little while to get used to the cameras. Since the only other episode of Ton of Cash I watched was the premiere, I didn't get a true sense of who these people really are. Now that it is a few episodes in and everyone seems comfortable around the crew, they are really letting their freak flags fly.
I don't remember the guy Jonny at all from the first episode, but I'm pretty confident I will never forget him again. Jonny is absolutely hilarious. It took me a while to figure him out, but by the end of the episode I decided that he is most likely an actor/comedian using the show as launch pad to bigger and better things. The "character" he plays, "The Greek Mystique", is an idiot savant -- kind of in the mold of Andy Kaufman. He acts out bizarre monologues and spouts goofy one-liners like "It's like the bible says; you only get one shot!"
This week's challenge involves moving the money from one side of a lake the other. The contestants have an hour to use canoes and dinghies to cross the half-mile wide lake, or use bikes and carts to traverse the three and half mile trail around the lake. Despite admirable performances from Chuck (the gorilla juicehead who used a homophobic slur in the first episode) and Jonny, they are voted into the elimination round; Chuck because he's a douche-bag and everyone hates him and Jonny because he's a complete nutcase and everyone is scared of him.
"Stay calm, cool and confident...like Tom Brady," Jonny says during a pep talk he gives himself. Unfortunately, Jonny loses the elimination challenge -- a puzzle -- to Chuck. But thankfully, Jonny makes the most of remaining time on the show. He climbs onto a stage and gives the remaining contestants a heartfelt, inspiration speech. "Guys, I don’t care how tough you are. Life hits hard..." he says before losing his train of thought. He breaks out of motivational speaker mode and starts pounding his chest and howling like a gorilla in heat. It's extremely strange, but knee-slappingly funny. Good-bye, Jonny. You will be missed. Maybe not by your fellow cast members -- who are convinced you might kill them in their sleep -- but certainly by me.