A review-via-interview by Mary K. Moore
WEtv recently premiered what can best be described as the granddaddy of The Hills. Specifically, a liver-spotted offshoot called Sunset Daze, which follows real-life Golden Girls and Boys of a sexy retirement community located in Surprise, Arizona. We thought who better to review the latest episode than Kay and Charles, 70-something retirees who live in a similar lakeside retirement community and the parents of Smatter contributor Mary K. Moore. Here is their take (via phone interview) on the elderly underworld of hernia surgeries and “sexy lady parties”.
So do you agree that Sunset Daze is basically The Hills for the older set?
Kay: What is The Hills?
Have you ever heard of Audrina? Or Speidi?
Kay: Did you go to school with them?
No, they’re characters on The Hills. But back to Sunset Daze. For those who have never watched the show, fill them in.
Kay: It’s about this woman who gets invited to a party…
Charles: She means the whole show. The name says it all: Sunset Daze. They’re a bunch of people in the sunset of their lives in a complete daze. It could be called Sunset Crazed based on the way these people act. Basically, they follow a bunch of retirees shopping, playing golf and doing anything else to pass the time. The story lines are endless.
Kay: Not really, because the cast could die. They should consider back-up storylines because it could become a real problem.
Where does the show take place?
It’s Arizona. So what’s going on in the latest episode?
Charles: Well, there’s a bunch of people in this show. They’re all probably in their late sixties.
Kay: There’s one gentleman—I forget which one—who is getting prostate surgery.
Yes, Jack, and it’s hernia surgery.
Kay: Okay, whatever. Jack then. He’s friends with Kathleen, who’s promising she’ll drive him home after his surgery and take care of him, but then she doesn’t. So the show ends with him breaking up with Kathleen. And you don’t blame him. She promised.
Charles: But the break-up is so stupid. He takes her out to the middle of a golf course, and it makes no sense because he says it’s over and then tells her she looks like a movie star. That’s not how you dump someone. It was a sorry excuse for a confrontation.
Kay: But then his lady friend from the dog park comes over. She’s a belly dancer and brings him soup.
Charles: At one point, he tells his little dog to go fetch his Viagra. So you know where they’re going with that story. But to me, dog park lady seems dumpy, and you can tell he’s not into her. He likes Kathleen. She’s like the old version of what Mary will be like—she dyes her hair, gets surgery and wears fancy sunglasses.
Kay: How can you not like dog park lady for him? She brought him soup.
Charles: He’s going for eye-appeal. You have Kathleen and then you have the lady who walks dogs and looks like she shops at Target a lot.
Are there other interesting couples?
Kay: Bruce and Linda. She moves from Chicago to live with Bruce. Oil and water those two. He asks her to iron his sheets—and she does it!
So does this resemble your retirement community Wildwood?
Charles: Well, we have art classes and a garden club. But where we would have maybe a Tupperware party out here, they have a bunch of male strippers and a pole dancing class.
Kay: My skin would get stuck on that pole. But I’m 75. They’re a good 10 years younger, and it makes a difference.
Any other discrepancies with their lifestyles versus everyday retirees?
Charles: These people are really affluent. I mean, it’s not like they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Are you seriously trying to tell me you don’t know where your next meal is coming from?
Kay: Probably Sonic.
Charles: Sometimes they have sexy lady parties here at Wildwood, and that’s about as crazy as it gets.
Wait. They’re having sexy lady parties in Wildwood?
Charles: You know. When ladies buy negligees and whatnot.
I wasn’t aware of this.
Charles: It’s nothing to write home about.
So what’s ahead for the folks of Sunset Daze?
Charles: They had a preview of some lady entering a pageant on the next episode. Miss Sunshine or something. She was hiring a professional to help her dance, so she was serious.
Kay: To me, it just seemed sad. Then she hurt her back dancing on that chair, and I totally related to that.
Charles: But Bruce and Linda are definitely done. They won’t be together for eternity.
Kay: And for them, eternity is pretty soon so they better decide.
Voicemail from Charles later that day: Hey, Mary I wanted to say I thought about it, and I think Jack and Linda are on parallel roads. They’re both looking for the same thing but with the wrong people. I think they should get together and kick Bruce and Kathleen to curb. That’s all. Bye.