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Million Dollar Listing Recapped, Episode 1: Life Without Chad

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Please welcome Josh Williams, who is recapping the season premier of Season 4 of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing. And off he goes: Smiles everyone. Smiles! This time around, the million-dollar housing market woes are just a thing of the past and the gilded age has returned. There are crappy Los Angeles-area McMansions to be had! Old friends Madison Hildebrand and Josh Flagg are back, and we're introduced to Josh Altman. Let's get to it.

In the opening segment, we are brought up to speed with last season's happenings. The market was terrible, everybody was poor, Madison turned gay, Josh stayed out of jail, and Chad Rogers never existed. That's right, the perfectly olive-shaped hair, tight pants, and shaky little dog were all figments of your imagination.

This season's new real estate agent is Josh Altman, a character designed to appeal to Bravo's 13- to 15-year-old male "dude" demographic.

Josh A. has a man-servant, rides around in an Escalade, and manhandles a football as he looks out of his sparse office in Century City. He's an intense talker who hasn't determined the proper volume for phone speaking. Whenever Josh Altman's not on screen, other characters ask, "Where's Poochie Josh Altman?" He's probably throwing a football or hooking up with the ladies, that's where.

On last night's episode, Josh A. gets a listing in Benedict Canyon. The home at 2211 Benedict Canyon Drive is 5,265 square feet with four bedrooms, four baths, 40-foot-high glass walls, and a lovely pool in the back. A beautiful modern home! As Josh A. says, it will be an easy sell with an aggressive listing price of $3.975M. Naturally, when you say something is going to be easy, the Million Dollar Listing gods give you a client who actually believes you. The buyers just aren't flocking to the home, despite Josh's hard "Selling the Dream" push, leading to several angry phone calls from Josh A's client Jody who demands that the home be sold quickly. Josh hits the phones, reaching out to other agents, a move that he terms "old school." Eventually a buyer is found, but the buyer's agent gives a low-ball offer of $3.2M. Josh A. demands that they play ball/dance/rumble/do the loop-de-loop until an agreed upon price is reached. After some Ouzo-fueled negotiations with the buyer's agent, a selling price of $3.575M with all the furniture included is agreed upon. House sold.

Madison Hildebrand's client for the episode is Tim Burd, owner of the H2W high-end pot dispensary on La Cienega, who must be earning millions from selling "medicine" to the sick. (Note: Apparently, Tim sold the company in order to spend more time with his Internet companies, according to this listing.) Tim wants a 4- to 5,000-square-foot "big" house in the Hollywood Hills for $10 to 15K per month. Tim needs room for his multiple cars and demands proximity to Hollywood nightlife.

Despite Madison's attempt to sway Tim to Malibu, where prices are more reasonable for what Tim wants, Tim is adamant that the Hollywood Hills is where a pimpin' fellow of his caliber belongs. Madison brings his client to a listing from an agent named Frank, a Facebook friend of his that he's never met before. Frank is sweet on newly single gay Madison and ravishes Madison's slender body with his eyes. It's uncomfortable, especially when Frank says, "Madison you are obviously adorable." That's a hard sell. Nice work, Frank.

However, like Madison, Tim doesn't like what Frank is offering so they take a pass on the rental. It's too small and the driveway is slanted. Madison continues to push Tim to Malibu, where he says a better selection of rentals is to be had. Tim finally relents and follows Madison to a five-bedroom, five-bath home off the Pacific Coast Highway with ocean views and its own putting green. Tim falls in love with all the space in the home. So many places to smoke weed in that house! A different corner for every day. The price of $12.5K per month is within Tim's budget, and the agent agrees that Tim can occupy his new weed palace within two days. Everything's turning up roses and chronic.

Josh Flagg gets his action for the episode with a co-listing in Encino (located at the corner of Hayvenhurst Avenue and Adlon Road) from an eccentric award-winning makeup artist named "Monet."

Josh F.'s co-lister is Todd, an agent from The Valley, which Josh oddly tells us is 20 minutes from LA. The home is a relic of the halcyon McMansion days of the oughts, sitting on a corner lot, brimming with Mediterranean charm and lots of columns, and never lived in. For a moment we were having flashbacks to a McCansion once featured on Curbed LA; however, this home on Hayvenhurst is much larger. The home has 10 bedrooms and 10 baths, a chef's kitchen, and a kosher kitchen, all in a 11,500-square-foot shiny, columned monument to opulence. The owner believes the home is woth at least $6M, but thanks to Josh F., he lowers his asking price to the still-unbelievable price of $4.995M. Nobody believes the home will sell for that much. There's not enough travertine in the world to justify that price. Josh enlists his grandma and fan favorite Edith to help sell the home by putting together a Jewish buffet to attract all the Jewish agents in the Valley.

At the showing, nobody thinks the house is priced right. Josh A. stops by Josh Flagg's open house to twirl around the house with his man servant and to tell Josh Flagg what's wrong with the house. The agents agree that the house needs to be reduced by at least a million dollars—now somebody just needs to tell the owner. By the episode's end, there is no sale.


Madison Hildebrand: Following the end of his year-long love affair with the guy he was tongue wrestling with at the end of last season: "So I've gone through my first gay love relationship and I've come out of that, and I feel like I have a lot more energy to focus on my career and I'm going to go for it."

Josh Altman: Says things like, "This is a slam dunk offer," during a phone call and doesn't implode from douchebag overload.

Josh Altman, runner-up: "I don't even NEED contracts, but by law we're going to do it."

Josh Flagg: Josh's grandmother Edith in a Jewish deli, asking for pickles. Adorable!

· All Million Dollar Listing coverage [Curbed National]