Category Archives: Reality TV

“Eat, Drink, and Remarry”: The World According to Ms. Patricia

When Bravo’s “Southern Charm” debuted last year, I tried so hard to hate it. I really did. But despite my best efforts, I’m now out and proud as a huge fan of (almost) everyone on the show. I mean, Shep’s adorable! Cameran seems genuinely nice! Thomas is a lovable doofus! Whitney should be named Wit-ney, am I right?! Landon is…pretty? Craig and Kathryn? Well, as we say down here, bless their hearts.

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But there is no one on this show – hell, no one on ANY show – who can compete with Ms. Patricia Altschul when it comes to wit, glamor, and bell-ringing, gin-scented gentility. She is the true star of the show. Whitney bugs sometimes, but I have to give him this: as executive producer of the show, he gave the world a gift when he introduced us to his mom.

Patricia’s over-the-top interior design sensibilities are matched only by the quickness of her wit. She lives an amazing life that she seems to truly enjoy. And she enjoys it with the effortlessness of someone who was born fabulous and has spent a lifetime cultivating good taste and good times.southern-charm-season-2-photo-diary-patricia-01

From this day forth, I intend to model my life on hers. I haven’t asked her for a list (yet) but from her appearances on the show and her activity on Twitter and Instagram, I imagine she would recommend the following as her guiding principles. Continue reading

Jessica Biel’s Restaurant or “Bye Felicia”: Which One’s Worse?

Let’s play a little game.

I’m going to tell you about two things, and you’re going to tell me which one is worse. Ready? Okay, here we go.

1. Jessica Biel is planning to open an “exclusive, organic restaurant for kids”

If your first thought was “who?”, welcome to my blog. I like you.

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Jessica Biel seems like the kind of person you’d accidentally sit next to at a party. You would spend the next five minutes nodding your head and pretending to listen. And wondering why she’s here. In fact, Jessica Biel’s entire celebrity persona can be summed up with “Why is she here?” She’s married to my husband – Justin Timberlake – and I just DO NOT GET IT.

There is just something relentlessly C-list about Jessica Biel-Timberlake. As a heavy consumer of celebrity-related “news”, I put her in the same category as people like Garcelle Beauvais or Lisa Rinna or Jessica Alba and all the people on all the shows on the USA network. Which makes it even funnier that she is the person opening an “exclusive organic restaurant for kids.” Um, what? Is this a thing we need now? Is this a thing the One-Percenters are clamoring for?

This can probably be traced back somehow to Gwyneth. I bet Gwyneth was chillin with Jess one day (Beyonce was busy) and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take our kids somewhere exclusive to eat? You know, somewhere where we could get away from the, like, riff raff? Somewhere organic. Exclusive and organic.”

Yep. I just figured it out. Jessica Biel saw an opportunity to – literally – sit with the cool kids and she hatched the idea for a place that’s being called a “Soho House for kids.” Blech.

WORST PART: The place is called – no lie – AU FUDGE!

 

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Southern Charm: New Favorite Hatewatch?

If you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me. We need to talk about Bravo’s newest offering, Southern Charm.imgres

Last night the series premiered with an episode titled “Peter Pan Sin-Drome”. (I see what you did there, Andy Cohen.) As expected, the episode was little more than a “meet the cast” showcase, but it gave me some thoughts about what we might see on this show.

It’s hard for a reality show to find the perfect balance between genuine interest in the cast, and genuine interest in slapping the cast hard. I may be speaking way too soon here, but I think Southern Charm looks like a winner. So let’s meet the cast, shall we?

 

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Shep ::

Shep is basically a giant human puppy.  He takes leisure very seriously and spent 5 years at UGA because of course he did. I (grudgingly) give him credit for using the word “tomfoolery” in his bio. Shep is cute and seems 10 years younger than the 34 his bio says he is. I enjoy thinking about how his sixth generation South Carolinian family members feel about seeing him on the show, blowing the family fortune on trucker caps and fun socks. 

 

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The Week in Celebrity Vaginas

I probably should have used quotation marks around celebrity because the people I’m talking about are celebrities in the same way people like Ingo Rademacher and Sean Lowe (who?) pass as “stars” on Dancing with the Stars.

So, how about this? Some people that a lot of people are aware of said some stuff about their vaginas and I have some things to say about what they said.

Let’s start with Amerika’s favorite sisters, the Kardashians. I generally try to limit my exposure to Kardashianalia. There are a number of reasons for this but the primary reason is that I CANNOT LISTEN TO THEIR VOICES. Because I love trashy pop culture so much I want to marry it, I know that not watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians leaves a gap in my knowledge base. So I have tried, Lord knows I’ve tried, to watch the show. But I have never made it through a full episode because of those voices. The combination of that flat, nasal whine and using “like” every fourth word makes me feel insane.

Also, Kim’s face freaks me out.

But I am aware of them because DUH. So when I read earlier this week that on their television show, two of the sisters asked a third sister to compare and judge the smell of their vaginas, I thought, “Well, of course. Of course they did!” The way in which the winner was determined is that sisters Kim and Kourtney individually wiped their vaginas with a cloth napkin and then each in turn presented their napkin to sister Khloe for a sniff test.

That’s right: these adult women smeared (sorry!) their essences (again!) on a piece of cloth, which they presented to another adult woman to judge.

Big surpise, Kim was the winner! Know why Kim was the winner? Because Kim getting peed on by a third-tier R&B singer ten years ago is the reason these people are on TV. How is Kim gonna lose?

Here’s my favorite line from the whole thing: “Do I want to be the judge of the pineapple p***y?” Khloe rhetorically asks. “Not really, but we’re sisters … if I can’t smell their p***ies, what else am I supposed to do?” Exactly, Khloe! You just summed up sisterhood beautifully! I mean, come on! WHAT ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?!

Some would argue that Amanda Bynes is even less of a celebrity than the K sisters. We’re splitting (pubic) hairs here, but at least Amanda Bynes had a career as an actress with her own TV show and a movie or two before turning full-time professional car wrecker. Everyone pretty much forgot about her until she started acting all weird and druggy a few months ago. And then she went on Twitter with this lil gem:

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. . .

C Bale WHAT?

Um. I don’t . . . I just . . . WHAT?!

I guess she means she wants to do sex with Drake? But Amanda, WHYYY do you use words as though you’re a non-native English speaker?

Even though we hear the word “vagina” in public more now than we used to, it still pricks up the ears when people talk about their own. It’s sort of a guaranteed attention-grabber.

So, to you, masochistic Amanda Bynes and you, sweet-smelling Kartrashians, I say well played. Well played.

An Open Letter to Kim and Kanye’s Baby

Hello Baby Kardashian-West!

You are a baby! A new human life! Like any baby, I wish the best for you. Happiness, good health, prosperity and lots of laughs.

I’m not sure how familiar you are with your parents yet, but I’m gonna do you a favor and fill you in on a couple things.

Sigh. This won’t be easy but I want you to know it’s for your own good, ok?

See, your dad is Kanye West. I’ll tell you right now that I am a superfan. Your dad’s album “The College Dropout” was a game-changer, and joined a short list of albums – including “Kid A” (Radiohead), “Exile In Guyville” (Liz Phair), “Back to Black” (Amy Winehouse) – that I played the actual HELL out of. Your pop is super, super talented. So, that’s great, right?kanye-kilt

Uh, yeah. The problem is that he’s also kind of a huge jackass. A lot of people really don’t like him. Like, really don’t like him. As he says in his tune “Diamonds”:

The international ASSHOLE
Who complain about what he’s owed
And throw a tantrum like he’s 3 years old

His hubris is legendary. Mr. West is probably better known by the public for his awards shows freak-outs, grandiose statements, grouchy interviews and “the mic grab heard ’round the world” than he is for his awesome musical talents. He has built up a pretty breathtaking amount of ill will from the public.

You probably just need to know that, ok?

And kid, we also have to talk about your mom. And her family. I know this hurts, but let’s just do it.

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Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s Christmas Card!

And it is the most delightful thing ever and totally reminds me why I love this family.

honey boo boo christmas cardI’ve written about this before, but something that I really hate about modern life is what I call the Tyranny of Tastefulness. I blame it on Martha Stewart and her ilk telling all of us what “classy” looks like, dooming families to be photographed year after year in white shirts and jeans for their holiday cards.

The Shannon/Thomson family is not having any of that! I LOVE that they are not all color coordinated. That Sugar Bear is WEARING HIS BALL CAP. He’s all, “I got a hit teevee show and I ain’t takin’ my damn cap off if I don’t wawn’t to.” I also love whatever is going on with the background there. Are they in a WalMart? Possibly. Or maybe Shh! It’s A Wig!* staged family portraits this year. (That would explain Alana’s green extensions. Or hat. Or whatever is happening on her head.)

I also love that they are straight up, “Yeah, that’s the baby Chickadee had and she’s cute! We dare you to judge her for being an unmarried teen mom.” Chickadee and Pumpkin making the exact same face? Adorbz. (Yes, I know their names. There’s no need for judgment.)

Contrast this with the Kartrashians’ 2012 Christmas card, the embodiment of everything I hate:

Kardashian Christmas cardUgh. They are so gross. Mostly because they think they’re NOT gross. They think they’re klassy in their all white outfits. And they think we’re all too stupid to notice that they were obviously never all in the same room for this cobbled together, Photoshopped “merriment.”

My wish for each of you is a Honey Boo Boo holiday: one in which we can all be exactly who we are, no Photoshop necessary!

*Also known as “Shit’s A Wig”

 

How Your Reality TV Sausage Gets Made

As I’ve slowly outed myself as a lover of reality TV – well, some reality TV – one of the things I often hear/read is that it’s all fake, or it’s all scripted, or the producers engineer scenarios. I don’t fully agree with that – most of these people are not good enough actors to convey such real emotions – but I also couldn’t fully disagree. I’ve always wondered how much is real and how much is as fake as Teresa’s tan.

Never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for Jill Zarin! Good old J-Z was on Watch What Happens Live with Andy the other night, and among many other things, she explained how she engineered her conflict with Bethenney for ratings. Nice work, ding dong! Like so many before her, it seems Jill’s persona as a reality “star” at some point became more real to her than her persona as a “sane person.” I feel a little tiny bit bad for her. Don’t get me wrong: she is bananas. But her breakdown of how the whole conflict with Bethenney played out was actually really interesting. Continue reading

Bravo’s Sneaky Editors Did It Again!

We frequently hear from people on reality shows – particularly the villains – that it’s the editing that makes them look bad. Sure, they may have said whatever horribly offensive thing they said, but they always claim it’s “out of context.”

We’ve been seeing Aviva’s “You’re both white trash, quite frankly” bit in endless Bravo teasers since before the season even began. When the episode aired, we saw Aviva haughtily calling out Ramonja. Reaction shots make it look like they are shocked and hurt by Aviva’s accusations. But was it really Sonja and Ramona that Aviva was addressing? Or did Bravo’s editors pull a fast one?

Now it can be revealed! In raw video my sources obtained, we finally see what really went down that night in St. Barths. Click through if you can handle the truth. Continue reading

What We’re Really Talking About When We Talk About “Honey Boo Boo”

People who know me and also read this blog have asked me a couple times now what I think about TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” I haven’t been able to respond because I really wasn’t sure what I thought. I needed to marinate. Also, I hadn’t seen the show until I watched the 3 episodes available online the other day. (I ditched cable. I regret it.)

I became familiar with Honey Boo Boo Child when my friend Andy posted the original “a dolla makes me holla!” video on my Facebook page with a message that said  “that kid you gave up for adoption is on Toddlers and Tiaras now.” Jokes! Of course I watched it about 4 times in a row, and I felt a strange mixture of horrified, charmed, amused, depressed, and worried. When she grabs her belly fat, I just…I can’t. In case you haven’t seen it (or have blocked it from memory), here it is:

People get so worked up over reality TV. And, in a way, I get it. It’s worse than a carnival freak show because unlike the freaks in a hot, sweaty tent, we only watch; we don’t have to make eye contact with them. (Which I accidentally did at a South Florida fairground freak show. I need to write about that.) And yes, I think a big part of reality TV’s appeal is the “at least I’m better than them” factor.

But what really makes me clutch my pearls and do the whole “who will think of the children?!” routine is the thought that Charlie fucking Sheen enjoys the level of fame and riches he does. Until very recently, Charlie Sheen was the highest paid man on television. He was making 1.25 million dollars per episode of that hideously unfunny show he was on. He even managed to make money off of his spectacular meltdown. And he’s on TV again! Barf. That troubles me far more than the kids on Jersey Shore allowing their drunken hookups to be filmed. Continue reading