Those Abs, Those Teeth 

Wednesday, Jul 26 2006

The debut of Work Out — Bravo’s new unscripted series about gay Los Angeles–gym owner Jackie Warner and her sculpted staff of high-personality trainers — is enough to make you think about your own weight issues, wish you had $400 an hour for a trainer and reconsider joining a gym. But what you really wonder is this: Why would anyone date a biter?

Mimi, Jackie’s 26-year-old Brazilian-born girlfriend with a big swoop of hair only a few teases away from that feral kid’s coif in The Road Warrior, sits in a restaurant booth with Jackie at the end of the first episode and makes a deal to apologize for some bad behavior — in exchange for a hard bite on Jackie’s flesh. Now, I’m no professional arbitrator, but I’m not sure how Jackie comes out ahead here. Of course, Jackie’s a pretty tough chick, too, but in the prebite moment she starts to look like that red-hooded fairy-tale girl just as she realizes grandma’s in better dental shape than she remembered. And when we see the mark later when they’re in the car, it’s impressive, like a cattle brand. Which is arguably the effect the jealous Mimi was after. But there’s something sad, too, in the image this projects, considering the very serious issues Jackie has in a later episode as the out daughter of an antigay, conservative Mormon mother. But maybe that’s what the producers had in mind: Get the lesbian-vampire stereotype out of the way in episode one, before we move to the gay-marriage debate in episode three.

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