Jay Cutler a star once more as the dressed-down, deadpan wag of ‘Very Cavallari’
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“Do you want a margarita?”
“Yeah, I mean, I’ll booze.”
— Kitchen exchange between Kristin Cavallari and her stay-at-home hubby Jay Cutler on “Very Cavallari.”
It’s quite likely Jay Cutler has been called a “breakout star” by the media more often in the last two weeks than over the entirety of his 12-year career with Broncos, Bears and Dolphins.
The accolades aren’t about the recently retired Cutler’s football talents and leadership abilities. They’re all about his strangely captivating, highly unmotivated, camo-wearing, deadpan quipster persona on the first two one-hour episodes of the E! reality show “Very Cavallari.”
Each show is primarily about former “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills” star Kristin Cavallari and her fantastically attractive but perhaps not particularly deep friends and colleagues as K-Cav launches a brick-and-mortar store in Nashville for her Uncommon James line of jewelry and home goods.
But so far, Kristin’s husband J-Cut is the supporting player creating the most buzz. Lumbering about the house with too much time on his hands, wearing outfits that look like an 11-year-old’s idea of how a grown man should dress, offering dry commentary on whatever Kristin is up to, Cutty is like a somnambulant version of “Seinfeld’s” Kramer; whenever he makes an entrance, we perk up and marvel at his zany outfits and his askew views.
(To be fair: the Cavallari-Cutlers aren’t putting their three young children on camera for the show. If Jay is spending a ton of quality time with the kids, kudos.)
“Why do we have goats?” J-Cut says to K-Cav at the outset of Episode 3.
Indeed, a number of goats — some of them wearing sweaters — from “Shenanigoats Landscaping” are frolicking on the lawn of the expansive Cutler compound, “fertilizing” the grass, because this is the kind of visual stunt you need to keep “reality” shows interesting.
This episode of “Very Cavallari” has a number of running plot threads, including:
• Shannon (the social media director for Uncommon James) dealing with the aftermath of a fight with her boyfriend John, who isn’t happy about Shannon’s flirtations with Wirth, a hunky, man-bunned retail associate.
• Store manager Brittainy interviewing candidates for hourly retail jobs at Uncommon James. (When one bright-eyed hopeful is asked why she wants to work at the store, she says, “I watched ‘The Hills’ when I was younger.”)
• Shannon’s best friend Taylor, who models for Uncommon James, inquiring about one of those retail jobs and asking Brittainy and Shannon, “Would you guys be cool with me being super part-time?”
• Drama at Wirth’s housewarming party, when office assistant Reagan confronts Shannon and says, “I’m not your b—-.”
Meanwhile, Jay is lobbying Kristin for the family to move — and he even has a place in mind. Looking like a country music contestant on “The Voice” in his denim shirt, wool vest and dark brown cowboy hat, a clean-shaven Jay gets behind the wheel of the family truck and takes Kristin on a drive to scout out the place.
“How far away is this house?” asks Kristin.
“Ah, you know,” replies Jay.
At one point, Jay stops the truck and whips out a pair of binoculars because he thinks he sees a couple of turkeys. It’s the most excited he gets all episode.
The potential new house is way out in the country. It’s nice, but not as palatial as their spread in Nashville. (Spoiler alert: Last month, it was reported the Cut-Cavs listed the Nashville mansion for nearly $8 million.)
There’s a chicken coop, and room for goats to roam around. (This couple is clearly pro-goat.) Kristin is charmed.
As for the 45-minute drive to Uncommon James headquarters: Hey, that’s not Jay’s problem, he’ll just be chilling at home! He tells Kristin, “You can listen to some songs, you can make some phone calls” to kill time during the commute.
Later in the show, Cutty sports a beard, and he’s wearing a baseball cap with the logo of a company that makes hunting gear, and a green windbreaker.
In another vignette, he’s in a camouflage hat, black shorts, black T-shirt and slip-on shoes. His attire alternates between, “I might go out and shoot something,” and, “I ain’t doing s— today.”
As Kristin gets dolled up for Wirth’s housewarming party, Jay muses, “I’ve never had a housewarming party [and] I’ve bought a lot of houses,” and speculates the main motivation for such a gathering is to get free booze from the guests.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?” says Kristin.
“Quite positive,” says Jay.
Cut to Kristin telling a producer of the show she’s glad her friend Kelly is coming along instead of Jay, because “Jay’s a party pooper.”
Maybe. But is he also a Zen genius? With his amiable “Don’t Care!” demeanor, J-Cut is like a cross between the Dude from “The Big Lebowski” and Brad Pitt’s couch-dwelling, never-leave-the-house Floyd in “True Romance,” who calls out to his roomie, “Get some beer … and some cleaning products.”
If “Very Cavallari” were a fictional show, this episode would have us wondering if Jay is a friendly ghost, visible only to Kristin. He never interacts with anyone else. (Even the lady who supplies the landscaping goats at the top of the show is seen meeting K-Cav but not Jay.) It’s just the two of them in the kitchen, in the car, at the potential new house.
Cutler also seems to be without a care in the world. (Financially speaking, that would certainly be the case.) If he’s missing football and lamenting how his career results never matched his raw talent or feeling restless and uneasy about being 35 and having little or no interest in the next chapter of his professional life, we haven’t seen even a hint of that on “Very Cavallari.”
On the premiere episode, Cutty told his wife, “I’m not really looking to do a lot of work right now. I’m looking to do the exact of opposite of that.”
He wasn’t kidding. And yet there’s something very entertaining about the way he goes about doing nothing.