Be Good Johnny Weir Recap of Episode 4: Johnny works on skating spectacular and doesn't sign Evgeni Plushenko
Be Good Johnny Weir airs Mondays 10/9 central on Logo. The show follows two time Olympian and three time US national figure skating champion Johnny Weir as he tries to find a career outside of skating, while training for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
In Episode 4, who you need to know: Tara Modlin (Johnny's agent/manager) (photo at right, with Johnny), Cazwell (gay white rapper), Jirina Ribbens (skating show producer/executive director of Ice Theatre of New York), Nina Petrenko (choreographer), Sasha Uspenski (Russian skater), Eric the opera singer (Johnny's blind date), Lewis Carroll (author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Episode 4 begins in Tara's NYC apartment and we are still stuck in the time warp of January 2011. Tara preps Johnny for his skating gig in Russia where he'll play the Mad Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for eight shows. But first, Johnny must visit his good friend Cazwell -- musician, gay, white rapper -- for dating advice. Tara has arranged for a blind date after Johnny returns from Russia and he is
anxious as he has not dated in years. Cazwell provides two great pieces of advice: First, keep the Blackberry in your purse and out of sight. Second, think of one nice thing to say about the other person. Cazwell also shows Johnny how to flirt with his eyes. Johnny tries but ends up looking sleepy (see screenshots of Cazwell and Johnny here).
Back in Tara's apartment, Johnny and Tara eagerly await the arrival of Jirina, an event producer. (Jirina used to produce shows with Dick Button and is well connected in the skating world. She's currently executive director of Ice Theatre of New York.) Tara explains that if anyone can pull off a skating spectacular as envisioned by Johnny, it will be Jirina. In walks Jirina and Johnny throws out the words "acrobats, porn stars, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera" and Jirina is not impressed. She gives him a reality check and tells him to go line up skaters, get a budget, stop throwing out fantasy ideas and get to work to make this happen. Most importantly, get skaters' committments because without the skaters, it's a second class Cirque du Soleil show.
Johnny is skating at the Ice House in New Jersey and meets up with Nina, his choreographer. They talk about the spectacular and he mentions former competitor from Russia Sasha Usbenski as a cast member. Nina approves and thinks Sasha will be a perfect fit for the show and make Johnny look good.
Johnny arrives in Russia and is met with a throng of wellwishers. It's still amazing to me the Johnny fans out there who meet him at the airport. Do they look at flight arrivals from NYC/NJ and start guessing which flight he may be on? I don't know about you but that's allegiance. Johnny begins rehearsals as the Mad Hatter and goes for costume fittings. He must wear a ginormous hat as the Mad Hatter and he looks unhappy and hot. He also meets up with good friend and skater Sasha Uspenski to go fur shopping! Johnny does not apologize for his love of fur and picks out a black jacket to bring back to the states.
Tara arrives in Russia with boyfriend Josh and BFF Carin. They all meet for dinner with Johnny and Sasha. Johnny tells Tara in front of everyone that he would like to sign on Sasha for his spectacular. This is where I got lost in Episode 4. Tara in the ConfessionCam says it would have been nice for Johnny to ask Sasha himself, instead of putting her on the spot. Tara awkwardly asks Sasha for his participation. Hm? Something just went over my head. I think it was the nondramatic-ness of that moment. Sasha ponders, there is a commercial break and he finally says he would be happy to. I think I was hoping for Evgeni Plushenko to say "Well, I don't know, I'm a big star in Russia, I don't know, I just. Don't. Know. Ok I'll do it!" I don't know Sasha, obviously he is an amazing and entertaining skater, I couldn't get excited that Johnny's first confirmed cast member was Sasha.
We see Johnny skate as the Mad Hatter and there is a lot in the Alice in Wonderland show that Johnny sees for his spectacular. He's excited to start working on his show.
Back in NYC, Tara and Johnny call Jirina to tell her the good news! They've committed Sasha Uspenski for his show. Jirina is underwhelmed and tells them good job, you got the chorus, now where are the stars? What's the date? Where's the venue? Can they please get to work? I like Jirina -- she's a hard talking, hard working, no nonsense European woman who also would have made a great dentist or surgeon or some profession where you need to take charge and get the job done.
Finally! The blind date moment is here. Johnny meets Eric, an opera singer and super cute, at a ping pong club. They play, they talk, they sit at the bar, I didn't see the chemistry. I think because Eric's too tall for Johnny. Also, Eric said he was on tour and off to Dubai, Africa, god knows where...Johnny needs his boyfriend to be the steady one. Johnny flies everywhere every week, we don't need his boyfriend to have a crazy schedule like his. Plus by now we know that Johnny got married to lawyer Victor Voronov on December 31, 2011 and seeing them together looks more...right. Oh! Forgot to mention -- Johnny did listen to Caswell's advice and extended one compliment to Eric, that he has beautiful eyes, just like Johnny.
Tune in next Monday at 10/9 central for new episodes of Be Good Johnny Weir 2 on Logo.