Jay Cutler is a former NFL quarterback. More specifically, he is a former NFL quarterback who, over the course of his career, became the poster child for untapped potential and a lack of the NFL’s highest form of currency, “grit.” After three impressive seasons with the Denver Broncos, Cutler infamously feuded with new head coach Josh McDaniels and forced his way out of the franchise. As a Chicago Bear, he infamously sat out the second half of the 2011 NFC championship game due to a sprained MCL, leading many to question his dedication. As time went on, the fierce criticism turned into more of a running joke. By the time Cutler came out of retirement to play one season for the Miami Dolphins in 2017, his sheer inability to make it look like he cared was one of the funniest ongoing stories in the NFL. Here he is at the press conference after the Dolphins signed him, really making his excitement known:
( : @JasonLieser) pic.twitter.com/9iQgQqDOYQ— SB Nation (@SBNation) August 7, 2017
And here he is during the season, really selling himself as a wide receiver:
Cutler really selling his role in the Wildcat at the bottom of the screen pic.twitter.com/WgHxXvxlHL— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) October 1, 2017
Jay Cutler is not a reality star. He so lacks charisma and energy that when it was rumored last year that he’d be stepping into a role as a football color commentator, the general response was bewilderment. Everyone was concerned that he’d implode, but also looking forward to him reacting to an 80-yard touchdown with a massive existential sigh. The guy is not made for TV. And yet, on Sunday night he became a TV star, thanks to his wife Kristin Cavallari’s new E! reality show, Very Cavallari.
Very Cavallari is mainly about Kristin Cavallari’s venture into the fashion world with her Nashville-based brand, Uncommon James. (The origin story of the name Uncommon James, per Kristin: “James is my daughter’s middle name; Jay came up with ‘uncommon’ and I loved it and it stuck.” Great job, Jay!) The show is a hybrid of Vanderpump Rules and the early seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, when the Kardashians still gave a shit about their store, Dash. Like Lisa Vanderpump or Kim Kardashian, Kristin is the overlord of the Uncommon James narrative, but the company’s employees—namely, the rude and lazy social media director, Shannon; the uptight store manager, Brittainy; and the dumb office assistant, Reagan—also get their own story lines. That part of the show is just OK. Thankfully, the show is also about Kristin’s home life with the newly retired Jay Cutler, and though Kristin is a reality TV icon in her own right, having starred in the classic MTV series Laguna Beach and The Hills, he is the true draw of Very Cavallari.
The show’s producers seem to be aware of the magic they’ve captured by convincing Jay Cutler—someone who should absolutely not be on a reality TV show—to fully participate in a reality TV show. In the first episode alone, they employ him perfectly as a source of comedic relief, cutting away from a dramatic argument between two Uncommon James employees to Cutler doing something hilariously boring and pointless. In the first scene of the first episode, Cutler rolls into the family kitchen with a giant YETI cooler full of elk meat:
AND THEN THEY NEVER REFERENCE THE ELK MEAT AGAIN! (Although, later in the episode Cutler does order “the exotic game” at a fancy restaurant.)
When the Uncommon James girls come over to the house for a business meeting, Kristin begs Jay to be nice. As a compromise, Jay promises to be “neutral.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is his neutral face:
“I would love to sit here and say that I’m not afraid of Jay, but I honestly am,” says Shannon.
All this time we were trying to force Jay Cutler to be a great NFL quarterback, when really we should have been letting him fulfill his destiny as a perfect reality TV character. “Not caring” is usually the worst quality someone on television can have, but Cutler’s using it and turning Very Cavallari into one of 2018’s best new comedies. He’s so unmagnetic that he’s somehow undeniably magnetic. Because it’s obviously completely necessary, from here on out we will be checking in on Jay Cutler’s non-antics on Very Cavallari, discussing his highlights and lowlights, his best quotes, and handing out a weekly award for Jay Cutler’s Most Jay Cutler Moment. Let’s get to Week 1.
What’s Jay Cutler up To?
You wanna know how Jay Cutler is spending his retirement? Let’s go to Kristin for an update: “His latest thing is he watches deer cams?” she perplexedly says to her best friend, before trying to explain further. “It’s like live feeds of deer eating out of a deer feeder, not even on our property.” First of all, this explains why Jay Cutler wears a camouflage hat for the entire first episode of Very Cavallari:
You gotta always be ready to hop into a deer blind, I guess. Second of all, the only time I was mad watching this show was when they didn’t give us a follow-up shot of Jay Cutler, alone in a mansion, intensely watching a live cam of deers eating.
Jay Cutler’s Quote of the Week
Kristin wants Jay to get a new job, or at least a hobby, because apparently she’s tired of him sitting around the house all day watching random deer. “Just to not have to deal with Jay on a daily basis … I cannot wait for that to be over,” is an actual sentence Kristin says about Jay, who, I’ll remind you, is her husband. Over a nice dinner, Kristin asks Jay what he plans to do in retirement, and Jay responds, “I’m not really looking to do a lot of work right now. I’m looking to do the exact opposite of that.”
Those 21 words are the most fitting words Jay Cutler has ever said. They could be applied to any moment in his career: in the locker room during halftime of the 2011 NFC championship game, in regard to him building a relationship with any wide receiver ever, at the Dolphins press conference, or that time he didn’t wear pants on vacation.
Jay Cutler, Also Known As ...
At two points in the premiere of Very Cavallari, Kristin refers to Jay Cutler as “Les Mis.” I would like to declare my support of this nickname, while also pondering whether Jay knows where it comes from.
The Most Jay Cutler Moment of the Week
Technically, the most Jay Cutler thing Jay Cutler did in the first episode of Very Cavallari is say that he was trying to do as little work as possible. That’s about as Jay Cutler as you’re gonna get. But I’d like to also direct your attention to the Parking Incident. Early on in the episode, Shannon parks in the grass at Jay Cutler’s house:
Certainly a weird move by Shannon—the Cutler-Cavallari house is enormous and has an enormous driveway—but not a huge deal, right? Wrong. Minutes later, Jay Cutler texts his wife, despite being just rooms away from her, to complain about Shannon parking in the grass. Then, later in the episode, he summons Reagan away from her actual job to make her put down cones in the driveway so that no one ever makes the mistake of parking in the grass again. And look at how many cones he has!
In total, I count 19 cones and seven traffic poles. That is a lot! No normal person needs that many cones in their home. Maybe they’re for some deer-related plan Jay has.
Anyway, Jay goes on to talk to Reagan like a 4-year-old, cast glances of profound disappointment, and berate her over how many cones she’s capable of carrying:
Then, when Kristin returns home in the middle of this traffic cone extravaganza to (a) make fun of Jay for caring this much about people parking in his yard and (b) shudder at the realization that these are the sort of things Jay is going to be most concerned with postretirement, he responds not with words (lol), but with a silent expression:
Jay Cutler never showed this level of displeasure as an NFL quarterback, and he once threw five interceptions in a game. Getting more upset about a car parking on his lawn than anything he ever did on a football field is easily the most Jay Cutler thing to happen on the first episode of Very Cavallari. I’ll see you next week when, hopefully, we find out where all that elk meat went.