Tyler Binks wears aviator sunglasses in the shade and would sport a bluetooth headset to his mother’s funeral. He wears skintight Henley shirts and drainpipe jeans that leave nothing to the imagination. He drives a Mini Cooper through the suicidal streetmaze of the Hollywood hills and he’s had plastic surgery to make his smirk permanent. He gets laid ceaselessly.
NBC pays for Tyler’s criminally overpriced mixed drinks and his designer cigarettes. He makes his money by sculpting other peoples’ lives. Mister Binks is an Associate Producer for Homeless Mansion, the next big thing in reality television. His job is to prowl the “set” – some expendable Beverly hills condo with more than its fair share of hooker skeletons embedded in the drywall – holding a microphone and looking for trouble. And when he doesn’t find trouble, he makes it. Executive producers in Big-Brother style booth whisper into Tyler’s bluetooth headset: “Mike looks upset. Go ask him how he feels.” “Tyra seems about ready to break down. Ask her another couple questions.” He is in the business of weaving a compelling narrative out of the relatively uninteresting lives of the everyman figureheads the network has seen fit to bring on television. He loves the job, because he believes it to be a well-paid stepping stone to real production work.
But beneath the rounded sunglasses and the permanent smirk and the tinted windows of the mini cooper, Tyler is a fairly average-looking guy. Scrawny, with short-cropped dark hair and a nose that points at the ground accusatorily. And he knows what he looks like. He knows that when he squeezes past a minivan on those suicidally ridiculous Hollywood streets, the drivers of those other cars are thinking, “boy, what a douchebag.” But to him, envy is the only authentic kind of appreciation. He got into reality TV because he envied the stars, and now he knows they’re not worthy of that. Now he envies serious producers and editors. And he knows that soon, he won’t even need to envy those people. All he can do in the meantime is make sure most people hate him at first sight. Because that’s how he’ll know they love him.