Broman Holiday

Bromans Episode 2 Recap

Read last week’s recap here.

Salutations, readers who probably neither like nor even watch Bromans but are perversely curious about it anyway! I’m writing to you from Portugal, where I’m on holiday (hence the title of this recap, and the slight lateness), but no amount of holiday is enough to keep me from my favorite British reality show with a pseudo-historical premise bolstered by disturbing notions of slavery and masculinity. So, let’s make like Princess Ann and run with it.

Since we’re all new here, a brief reminder of what happened last week. We started with eight bros and WAGs, all in possession of pretty hair and delightfully patchy knowledge of ancient Rome. After two humiliating little games that they had to play mostly naked, Richard the Flatearthed and his lady love, Soph-two, were banished via a democratic process that was so transparent that you could see who voted for whom by turning around. That leaves seven against Rome, and if you got that joke I dub thee, classicist.

I also came up with the first two rules of the Bromans Drinking Game. Take a shot whenever: 1) you hear a Rome-related cliché (e.g., “all roads lead to Rome”) and 2) someone pretends that an anachronism isn’t an anachronism (e.g., “an ancient Roman iPhone X”). Also, I just discovered that the narrator is named, of all things, ROMAN Kemp. So really, you should take a shot whenever the narrator narrates in accordance with Rule 1.

The narrator narrates (SHOT!) that “Jordan is definitely up for some action.” I can understand Jordan better this week, even without my British flatmate, but I really wish I could go back to hearing mumbling because we are privy to an intimate conversation between Jordan and Jade; namely, he is telling her that he is very sexually frustrated, with the inevitable result that he is looking at other women’s asses. “You’re going to have to put out tonight,” he concludes.

(For those of you who haven’t seen this show, everybody sleeps in one room with the beds right next to each other, so I’m starting to wonder how many more episodes we can go before ITV2 broadcasts a brorgy.)

The camera pans to Tom and Dino, two of last week’s top contenders, and the narrator mocks them by noting that they are sizing each other up by “sharing a manly bowl of porridge in a garden,” instead of, I guess, working out their frustrations like REAL MEN, who ARM WRESTLE while eating RAW STEAK for breakfast and simultaneously PLAYING FOOTBALL (?).

(From today’s soundtrack: Katy Perry’s “Roar.”)

A close up of tits and ass heralds the return of Doctore, who, on a show where women once rolled around in the sand wearing gold bikinis, might still be the most objectified character. He pairs the bros up to fight one-on-one. Kai versus Brandon, Tom versus Tian, Jordan versus Glenn, and Dino versus…nobody? Aww, that’s kind of sad. Oh wait, there’s a new one named Liam, who’s about 1.5x the size of the other bros. He has a girlfriend too! Are they going to add people every week? Is this some ploy to keep the show going for longer than eight weeks? What if this show never ends? What if this is just…my life now?

Well, fuck.

Anyway, Liam’s girlfriend — correction, fiancée — Ellie says that Liam is “a lad’s lad but more of a bubbly lad’s lad than an arrogant prick, though he does have those qualities sometimes.” Did anyone get that distinction?

The first task is to grab a sandbag lying in the middle of the “Colosseum” and ring a bell on your side of the “Colosseum” before your adversary does. First up are Glenn and Jordan, who starts screaming incoherently before the round even starts. Ooh, men wresting in tiny briefs! This show has gotten a lot more interesting. Jordan wins, so I guess all that incoherent screaming worked. He does a raunchy dance and screams again: “Come on!” Round’s over, dude.

Kai and Brandon are up next. “They don’t call me ‘Lightning’ for nothing,” Brandon says, even though this is the first time we are hearing about this. Kai rings the bell first, but forgets that he needs to take the sandbag before doing so, giving Brandon the chance to bolt (ha!) to the other side of the stadium. Well, that was over in about five seconds flat.

Next up are Tom and Tian, and somehow this round is over faster than the last one despite the fact that everybody understood the rules. (Tom wins.) Finally, we have Dino “The Beast” fighting an actual beast. (Dino wins.)

Oh no, now we have to see the sad contrast between the winners and losers as the bros tell the brodettes what happened. Modina, who wasn’t even there, comprehends the rules faster than Kai and asks him, “Are you fucking thick?” “Fuck off, Modina!” he shouts and then starts breaking things.

Kai eventually apologizes. “She always wants to be right and I always want to be right, so we never work as a team,” he tells the camera, and concludes that they just need to realize that they are a strong couple, and not two people who maybe have a fundamental incompatibility and should break up. What? I’m not suggesting anything. You are!

Dominus is back! Remember him? “Hello, Domitrus!” one of the gals says, so she clearly doesn’t. Dominus has summoned the women for a lesson on wine, with the camera panning to bottles labeled “Caesar Chardonnay” and “Pinot Greecio” (I’m not even sure what that’s a play on). Their task, he says, is to separate the grapes by color, which sounds easy enough.

“In Rome we say, in wine there is truth,” Dominus says gravely. (Ooh I know that one — in vino veritas. Also, SHOT!) The “truth” that emerges from the women is a serious discussion of which male body parts are their favorites. (I should note that, two episodes in, we’ve seen as much of their boyfriends as they have.) The task has fallen to the wayside because they are now “what ancient historians would call, pissed.” (SHOT!)

(Also from today’s soundtrack: Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You.”)

The next task brings everyone to the “cesspit” for the chance to “impress Doctore,” as I become increasingly convinced that this is British Bachelor featuring Doctore as the bachelor. “Welcome to palaestra!” — wow, Doctore has clearly been brushing up on his Roman lingo, if not what that lingo indicates, for we’re looking at a shallow, muddy pool with twelve short pillars, on which the Bromans must fight with giant Q-tips.

First up are Tom, Jordan, Glenn, and Liam. Tom, who’s currently competing with Dino to be my favorite (yes, I like rooting for winning teams) shows off his braided hairstyle, which he says makes his head feel lighter. Liam and Jordan knock Q-tips and both tumble into the water. That leaves Tom and Glenn — who may be the two skinniest blokes here — until Glenn bumps into Tom and falls, which means Tom wins again! Which means I still like him!

Ellie is really angry at Liam, who sobs into her toga. I’m now wondering whether Liam gets unfairly stereotyped because of his massive size and pushed into participating in hypermasculine activities when he’d be happier writing poetry and eating porridge in gardens.

The next thing that Kai can’t remember is Doctore’s name: “Dontaeus? Dictaeus? Dimitri?” That’s not how you get a rose, Kai! He’s up against Brandon, Tian, and Dino in this particular battle to win Doctore’s heart. Brandon and Kai take each other out relatively quickly, so now it’s just Tian and Dino — until they both fall in almost at the same time, but not quite, as Tian hits the water a second before Dino. Alas, this means that I still don’t have a favorite, so unless something happens within the next ten minutes…

Hold on — something did just happen! Doctore announces that the winners of each group will face each other, which makes a lot of sense now that I think about it. Tom wins, so he’s solidified his place as my favorite for now.

Words of wisdom from Kai: “Gladiators weren’t made in Essex, gladiators were made in Rome.” Although I get what he means — actually, I don’t get what he means, what does he mean? — the Romans did, in fact, bring gladiatorial combat to Roman Britain (and we still have some ampitheaters left), so gladiators were closer to being made in Essex than Kai thinks!

We’ve arrived at the moment everybody’s been waiting for: banishment. Dominus says, “For one couple, the battle is over, and all roads lead to home.” (SHOT!) The bottom two are Kai and Tian, so I guess Liam won’t go home and discover his poetic soul just yet. The citizen-slaves arrange themselves behind the bro who they want to REMAIN, not LEAVE (Kai’s on the chopping block, which means he can’t misunderstand the rules this time).

They overwhelmingly go for Tian, so Kai is out. Kai doesn’t break anything for once, but he and Modina snipe at each other passive-aggressively as they walk out, making great progress at the “working as a team” thing.

Maybe next time. Well, not for Kai and Modina. But for us, absolutely!

Yung In Chae is getting used to it.