Exclusive Television Preview: Sean Avery and Ryan Callahan Hate Your Clothes

The NHL lockout will last a long time. Sean Avery and Ryan Callahan's vicious fashion critique show has now lasted for one imaginary episode.
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Oh wow, so you're just going to go with the collar like that? No, totally... I mean, work it or whatever.

Image via NHLSnipers.com.

The latest NHL lockout has left players short on options. While many head off to international leagues in search of a living, others have found more unorthodox and less physically demanding ways of passing the time.

Chief among them is on-ice sociopath and off-ice fashionista Sean Avery, a controversial figure in both worlds who nevertheless has landed a menswear critique show on Logo, a cable television network with programming geared toward the LGBTQI community. Joining Avery on the show, at least in the pilot we recap below, is New York Rangers team captain Ryan Callahan. An aspiring sartorial/social guru with the instincts of a teenage Redditor, Callahan's relationship with Avery is at the heart of the show's dark but undeniable appeal. Where Callahan seems happy just to get out of the house and talk threads with the man he calls his “tightest bro,” Avery appears happy to have finally found an opportunity to get paid to be an unstable person without the added hassle of having to put on ice skates. This is a rough transcript of the first episode. Spoiler alert implied, of course.

Sean Avery: You are not ready for this.

Ryan Callahan: Bad clothes? No style? Need help?

SA: Not our problem. Try Bravo.

RC: It's time for...SHADE AVERY, where we "check" your fashion sense! Let's start with the consensus best-dressed man in hockey, my main man, the best goaltender alive, the Excellence of Execution himself, Mr. Henrik Lundqvist.

RC: Drink it in, people. THAT is how a full-grown man gets dressed.

SA: Oh, please. Guy has regular features and all the teeth nature intended and we're supposed to gush about his taste? Typical conservative, idea-free dressing here. Cary Grant looked good, but he wasn't tricking himself out in the evening wear of men six decades past and gone. Henke, how about taking a chance one time? It's 2012, dude. Try a color. Or a fabric. An accessory, even. Don't be skurred.

RC: How—Sorry, dude, I don't even. Sean, the man looks fantastic.

SA: The man looks terrified to take a stand. Last time I checked, neither style nor fashion were about doing what everybody else in the world says to do.

RC: Yeah, and where did you "check" that?

SA: A place called Vogue. Maybe you've heard of it.

RC: (Giggling) That's a Sean Avery Check...

SA: Christ, enough with that shit, guy. And enough with Lundqvist. Call me when you need color film to do his kit justice. Who's next?

RC: Well, if you want a man who follows no voices other than the demonic bellowing in his own warped mind, then here you go! The Republican Vice Presidential candidate and rock-star Congressman with rock-hard abs, Mr. Paul Ryan himself.

SA: Not even gonna touch that one. What Meat Beat Manifesto here has done is fail the most basic test a man can face when it comes to stumbling forth into the world: he hasn't paid attention. No man can look good when his clothes don't fit. Any man can look good if he does the most basic due diligence. Know yourself; know how you're actually shaped, and shop accordingly. I know dudes who dress out of dumpsters and look better than this because they don't put on things that don't fucking fit.

RC: That's one to grow on—or to grow into!

SA: Christ, I hate you so much.

Commercial break is four full minutes of bizarre, Euro-centric high fashion ads, all of them directed by Terrence Malick.

RC: Hello, and welcome back to SHADE AVERY, the show that "checks" your fashion sense.

SA: I thought we agreed we weren't going with that hack shit.

RC: You think it's too on the nose?

SA: I think it's awful garbage.

RC: Well, I think it’s the kind of snappy conversation our audience wants. Sean, I was reading this great little piece in Reader’s Digest on syntactic rhythm and, yes, I didn’t understand most of the words and I definitely don’t understand the ones I just said, but I do remember something about snappy dialogue…

Sean mimes the process of encasing himself in a vat of dried bull semen and slowly suffocating to death. Sean has been fascinated by physical storytelling since childhood. The incident that led to the NHL’s Avery Rule was a misinterpreted recreation of man’s struggle to overcome a world bound by cultural norms and anxieties.

SA: You ever notice how when you're talking, everybody around you is like…sighing and rolling their eyes a lot? A lot of meaningful eye contact between everybody around you but not with you?

RC: I promised myself you wouldn’t make me cry today, Sean.

Ryan forces back the tears and goes to his happy place: the magical afternoon he and Sean spent in Paris last off-season wandering the streets speaking of times past and friends lost. He gathers himself and snaps to.

RC: GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has come under fire of late for a series of campaign blunders. Not the least of which being his choice of—that’s right—jeans! Let’s take a look at the pants that have become a full-blown…

Ryan squints trying to make sense of the last word on his cue card.

RC: Meh-meh? Oh, sorry, his pants have become a double meh!

SA: Lord, deliver your humble servant. Ryan, the word is "meme". I'd rather not have to try to explain it.

RC: Oh, a meme, right. Here are the pants that have “the net” buzzing. I still don’t know what “meme” is.

SA: If you fuck with a religion that believes in magical underwear, I guess it’s not a big leap to steal your mom’s jeans and pretend that’s how a Presidential candidate should dress. Seriously, what in the actual fuck, dude. Even McCain’s old ass is trying to pull away from the sartorial void that is Mitt Romney’s denim decision-making. Are you okay with a guy who wears shit he stole from your Nana’s Goodwill donation box running the free world? This guy, who is once again possibly our next President, believes Jesus broke bread with the Native Americans. I’m amazed cell phones don’t make him go into grand mal seizures.

RC: Sean, I don’t think it’s fair to bring his religion into this. Can’t we be constructive?

SA: Constructive? Okay, let me go construct a fucking monument to the stupidity of a grown man whose go-to casual look is whiskered denim the color of a drowned white body left out at sea.

RC: Well, aren’t boot-cut jeans due for a comeback? I think I read that in GQ.

SA: GQ? You mean GetTheFuckOutMyFace Quarterly? Yeah, let’s just defer to them. Let’s fucking do that shit. Maybe later I’ll ask my boy Nicolas Batum for a running dick punch instead of making my three o’clock Brazilian fuck-pit appointment.

RC: Sean, what’s a Brazilian fuck-pit? Is it going to give me nightmares?

SA: Ask your mom, bro.

RC: Sean, I had you over for Thanksgiving last year. You brought over a pumpkin pie that you made from scratch and told my mom she did a great job raising me. Why would you say something like that?

SA: What was the first thing I ever said to you, homestyle?

Ryan looks down sheepishly like a child who realizes he has been caught.

RC: …Boot-cut jeans are never coming back.

SA: Exactly. Tell your mom I’m glad she liked the Pucci print scarves I got her.

RC: Don’t you mean Gucci?

SA: No, I meant Poochie The Talking Dog, numbnuts. If you ever try to correct me on fashion again, I will make sure that the words “Pucci print scarves are a timeless statement piece” end up on your tombstone.

RC: I’m glad your retirement has mellowed you out, Sean.

SA: I’m glad being a dickless freak hasn’t stopped you from disappointing your wife, Ryan.

Ryan visibly gnashes his teeth, lets out a deep, familiar sigh and forces a well-rehearsed smile.

SA: And what was the second thing I told you?

RC: The...the only thing worse than jeans with pleats is jeans that look like they have pleats.

SA: Exactly. You got any more you want to say about those jeans?

RC: They're really not the best.

SA: What I thought.

RC: You seen those Hustle and Flow Beauty Fit jeans for hockey players, though? Got that extra room for this right here [gestures redacted for reasons of self-aggrandizing filth] and I KNOW you know what I'm talking about Mister Cuthbert Firsts!

SA: ...She was really cool, man.

RC: Coulda kept her, too, if you got with Team CallaNation. Just needed to neg that trick, set up the hard one-five change, I told you I'd set it up for you—

SA: SHE JUST GOT MARRIED, OKAY? To some Edmonton slab I'm pretty sure is a full-blooded Neanderthal, and I didn't get invited to the wedding, and I didn't even get asked to send them two candlesticks, and I just really don't want to talk to you about any jeans with extra space for the ass, or about how those jeans definitely one hundred percent of the time contain one giant ass, or about the timely value of a Hustle and Flow reference in 2012 or even the whole "beauty" thing. I have seen beauty, Ryan, and it is not some dudely hockey player you can bro down with any- and everywhere. No. The name of beauty...

He falters.

SA: Beauty's name is ELISHA.

His face is hard and contorted. The cords of his neck protrude and form a ghastly criss-cross. A vein jumps, then jumps again. He's not looking at anything. He doesn't look prone to continuing. Time passes. Inexorably.

RC: …Well, speaking of marriage, Emmy-nominated actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson announced he’s tying the knot with his boyfriend of two years. Here’s the more famous half of the lovely couple at this past weekend’s Emmy awards.

RC: Jesse looks so happy in that picture, do you have to say something mean about him? He was nominated for an Emmy and just got engaged! To a man! You like gays, right, Sean? Cheer up!

SA: And I’m happy for him. Not as happy as the dumbass stylist who somehow sold all three feet of the dude on slapping on an un-hemmed plaid flannel suit and “contrasting” plaid bowtie, but still, I’m happy for the guy. Happy he can walk around with a quintuple break at his ankles and still smile with 58 pounds of cheap sheep fur on his feet like elephant-foot-looking cement shoes. Happy he thinks plaid on plaid is somehow different than taking a shit on the red carpet. Happy he can live with himself. Oh, and “the gays” is a reductive term that serves to mask and minimize the diversity of the individuals that make up the homosexual community. Most of whom, at the risk of beating a dead horse, dress way better than this joker.

RC: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. Also, I like the plaid on plaid.

SA: Of course you like plaid on plaid. You’re a fucking idiot, Ryan—a fucking idiot who’s about to get snitched on to GLAAD.

RC: Remember, we're about stitches, not snitches, Sean! Oh, I’m delightful! And what’s wrong with plaid on plaid anyway? The scale of the patterns is different and you said as long as the scale is different you can match anyth—

Sean gets up without a word, casually walks over to Ryan and looks him up and down. A single bead of sweat draws a sparkling line down Ryan’s taut face. Sean points behind Ryan who looks over his shoulder a moment before taking a kidney punch that finds its mark a bit too well.

SA: Scale is but one aspect of pattern mixing, not matching! Or are we just gonna sit around thumbs on our dicks and pretend color, fabric and proportions don’t matter? Is that what we’re gonna do? Are we gonna pretend mixing patterns is the same as matching patterns? Is that another thing we’re gonna do? Fuck no.

Ryan is still writhing on the floor. A drop of blood falls from his wheezing mouth.

SA: Don’t talk to me about style, Ryan. I’ll embarrass you. I will not even feel bad about embarrassing you. It will hurt a world more than what you're feeling now. I promise you that.

Sean turns toward the Camera One. His eyes are predatory. A disturbing smile slowly forms on his face. The camera pulls back and we see his navy wool and cashmere blend three-piece suit in its full glory. He stands there motionless, a majestic monument to fine tailoring. The camera fades to black and the credits roll in cold silence. He never even says goodnight.


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