“CordCutting.com Watches” is a new recurring feature in which the CordCutting.com staff watches and reacts to a streaming show or a movie.
This time around, we’re watching “Stars on Mars,” the reality TV show on FOX that puts (real) celebrities on a (fake) mission to Mars and eliminates them weekly until a winner is declared.
STEPHEN LOVELY, Editor-in-Chief: Well, here we are again: It is once again time to discuss “Stars on Mars.”
I’m going to start things off by admitting that I was starting to lose my sense of ironic detachment during this episode. I’m genuinely enjoying this ridiculous show.
SHARI WEISS, Editor: I was dying over Lance using the base commander's personal bathroom so he could poop in private. Marshawn's reaction to possible toilet stains was pretty priceless.
I know I’m the only Lance fan on the team. Who are you guys pulling for at this point? And please don’t say Tinashe again.
DEANNA NGUYEN, Streaming Editor: Tinashe!
ANDREW COLE, Internet Editor: Tinashe. Say it with me one more time: Tinashe! While she might not get the most screen time, she is already placing herself as the next major leader, and she has some believers.
DEANNA: I feel like she doesn’t get enough screen time, but she seems like a team player and has put in the effort to complete the missions. I really hope she gets to be the base commander at some point because I can see her being a great leader.
SHARI: I think Ronda Rousey is another one to watch. While I don't know that I'm rooting for her, I was impressed seeing how much she was stepping up. She was taking care of the plants quite seriously, made the case for why she should be base commander, and was even willing to brawl for the leadership role.
ANDREW: My favorite part of this episode was Ronda and Marshawn sprawling on the ground and vying for base commander through combat. I mean, let’s be honest. If that was actually how they chose a base commander, Ronda would have a reign longer than Queen Elizabeth II.
STEPHEN: All for naught, since Tallulah ended up winning the vote! I was rooting against Tallulah early on, but she won me over with some of her goofy hippie lines. By the way, did anyone else notice that Tallulah Willis got a promotion to “Entrepreneur”? In the premiere, her chyron just referred to her as Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter.
SHARI: There were so many quotable gems this week, but my favorite was the disembodied voice reminding Tallulah that she's “responsible for everything from cleanliness to survival to fitness.” I chuckled at how “survival” was just thrown in there.
DEANNA: Speaking of the caves, I thought this week’s mission was a step up from previous ones. I wonder how far they’ll push the crewmates to take on missions that’ll take them out of their comfort zone or face their fears (like we saw with Porsha and her fear of heights).
SHARI: I have to admit it was kind of sweet how supportive and reassuring Lance (aka “Bey-Lancé”) was as he rappelled down the cliff alongside a terrified Porsha. I'm still not rooting for him, though.
ANDREW: After her initial misstep in labeling Lance as Neil Armstrong in the first episode, Ariel Winter is stepping up to the plate. She wasn’t satisfied with just filling drums and took on the rappelling task (that literally put Porsha in tears). There’s something to be said about her bravery.
STEPHEN: I’m 100% rooting for Marshawn at this point, but I have to tell you: I was pretty concerned about how aggressively unhelpful he was during the crisis (it’s the main reason that I dropped him in this week’s “Stars on Mars” power rankings). Though I will say that I enjoyed his little drum solo.
DEANNA: Marshawn’s drum solo while everyone else was panicking inside the cave was the highlight of the episode for me. Even though he’s clearly not taking anything seriously, he’s doing it in a way that’s fun from a viewer’s perspective.
SHARI: I was very suspicious when, after everyone rappelled down into the cave, the episode never showed how they got out. It just cut to everyone reentering the “hab.” What kind of shenanigans is this?
By the way, I had no idea that the base commander could be ejected. With Tallulah’s exit, this episode made it clear that the base commander can be eligible for ejection, but apparently only if the team blows the mission. Meanwhile, the “mission specialist” is immune in all cases, and actually gains the power to make the cuts in the case of the base commander’s demotion.
Assuming I got all of this right, doesn’t that mean that the mission specialist has almost no incentive to get a positive result in the mission? They could even intentionally sabotage it in order to boot their own base commander. This is insane. What sort of system of government is this?
ANDREW: Speaking of mission specialists, I am starting to turn on Natasha Leggero. She is avoiding tasks, hiding behind the scenes, and just looking for ways to stay alive in the game. I thought she was going to be the comedic relief of the show, but she should probably stick to roasting and writing, and leave the comedic antics to Marshawn and Porsha. Actually, great idea; let’s get Marshawn Lynch a show doing stand-up! I would watch that.
Let’s bring this home: Any predictions for the next episode and beyond?
DEANNA: It’s odd that they included that argument between Marshawn and Richard at the end of last week’s episode as a preview but it never came up in this week’s episode. Maybe they’re trying to build up the tension between the two, but I suspect we’ll see more drama among the crewmates.
SHARI: Agreed. In this episode, they were the only people to get to do a shared, two-person confessional. This just furthers my theory that the pals and teammates have an advantage over the other contestants who are more or less strangers to one another. But I'm wondering how long this bromance will last.
ANDREW: I don’t know if it’s exactly a prediction, but I would like to see Tom Schwartz end up in the bottom three every single week and somehow get out of it. Using his good looks, charm, and just plain honesty, it’s hard for anyone to send Tom to the great Mars beyond.