Monday, May 18, 2009

Charm School 3 Episode 2: Hypocrisy

This week's "Charm School" lesson was "Thou Shalt Be A Model Citizen," or something like that, but perhaps a more important lesson for these women might be "Thou Shalt Aspire To Not Be Raging, Transparent Hypocrite." These women (or, "girls," as they insist on calling themselves) are starting to irritate me. Scratch that- they have irritated me from the start. Same goes for the producers.

Last week we lost Beverly, who managed the not inconsiderable feat of being both awkwardly dull and a loud mouth bitch, and poor Gia, who was a drunken loud mouth bitch. Both women were graduates of "Rock of Love Bus," which has Ashley concerned, because "The 'Real Chance' girls are just loud mouth bitches."

This viewer could not help but to cast his mind back to last week's episode, in which the lovely KO offered most of her clothing and $100 cash to charity, and the lovely Bubbles, who aspires to bring joy to the world by provided voices for animated characters. How can Ashley accuse this group of being "loud mouth bitches?"

Well, it turns out they really are "loud mouth bitches," as the Real Chance Girls are shown mercilessly ganging up on Bubbles. It's maybe only four or five against one, but these bitches are such loud mouths that it easily appears to be many more. Bubbles makes a valiant attempt to defend herself against the onslaught, but she has no reasonable chance. I wouldn't want to be in her shoes, but I am a bit of a wimp- that's to be expected. What is surprising is that even Farrah is concerned over the injustice.

"And it doesn't even make any sense," she says. "How are we supposed to be in 'Charm School' dealing with that?"

Whenever Farrah speaks, I listen very attentively, for some reason.

Farrah, do you even listen to yourself? I ask this, because later in the episode you will lock Brittaney Star in the bathroom for "an hour and a half" and slip hot dogs to her under the door.

Anyway, Ricki Lake interviews that she won't tolerate disruptive individuals. That's all well and good, but what happens when everyone in the house is a "disruptive individual"? (Except poor Bubbles, of course, who just wants to do cartoon voices.)

Before the first lesson, Marcia looks to take the edge off with a bit of tequila. Marcia, you see, is a bit of a lush. She hasn't had the kind of meltdown that Gia had last week, but she did become vomitously drunk and then make out with Bret Michaels on Rock of Love Bus. So, yes, she does enjoy her drinking.

During the lesson, someone called Tanya Acker, who is some kind of activist or something, tells the girls they need to be activists, or something. It's important. Marcia mentions, tearfully, that she grew up in Brazil, a third world country, and understands the miserable pain of growing up poor. Bubbles thinks that "poor" doesn't have to mean "unhappy," which is exactly the type of thing you expect to hear from someone who has never been poor in her life.

In her defense, she wants to do cartoon voices for a living. Presumably, she would have other people write dialogue for her.

The beautiful Los Angeles River. Mighty. Majestic. The pride of the City of Angels. If only the city could find a group of women of questionable virtue to clean it up and maybe, in the process, clean themselves up as well.

The girls are divided into three groups of four and taken to "the beautiful Los Angeles River," which I think is supposed to be ironic (it's filthy, littered with detritus and refuse, and they somehow found a part of that mighty river that's more than just a few inches wide) where they're lectured by an environmentalist. After soaking in all that knowledge about the environment, the women I mean girls are given 15 minutes to put their new-won knowledge into action, by cleaning up the Los Angeles River. By picking up garbage and throwing it in a dumpster.

Ashley claims this is stupid, and I'd be inclined to agree with her except (a) somebody has to do it, and (b) these girls aren't really qualified to do much else.

Unless, of course, one of them can find a way to explain to me how stripping can help the environment.

Here, Ashley surprises me by doing just that in her interview. She suggests that cleaning the filthy, ankle-deep water is "worse than giving a lap dance to a fat man." Well, we've heard that overweight people are apparently a burden on the environment, so if you're giving him a lap dance, he's not eating a hamburger. And maybe burning some calories besides.

Ashley, you are kind of my new hero now. You've really stumbled upon something. Stripping is good for the environment! I take back my (b) point above.

Ashley makes a valid point about strippers and environmentalism, but I would have expected more from her on this season of Charm School. She was a terror on Rock of Love Bus, but so far she hasn't been able to move beyond a few funny lines and bullying Brittaney.

Farrah in particular impresses the judges. Because she's not on a team with Ashley, the venal girl is away from the negative influence that so often leads her astray. Her team is declared the winner, and the four women are safe from elimination.

Kiki is irritated that she broke a nail. Kiki with a broken nail is a dangerous and unpleasant sight to behold. She is most emphatic in her expressions of dissatisfaction. No one who comes into contact with this woman will ever be heard to ask, "I wonder just how Kiki really feels about that?"

She takes out her frustration on Bubbles, who dares to defend herself, to try to explain to Kiki- and Baybaybay, who is playing Farrah to Kiki's Ashley- that she doesn't appreciate being called stupid. It makes her feel bad.

Last week, Bubbles claimed that one reason she wanted to attend "Charm School" was to learn to be more assertive, and to stand up for herself. Kiki and Baybaybay sense this weakness in her (Bubbles herself has exposed it), and it's obvious that neither Kiki nor Baybaybay suffers from low self-esteem. They despise it. And they despise Bubbles for it.

I took a psychology course in college once- I know these things.

Bubbles wants to learn to be more assertive. Learning to point while making a statement is a good start.

Kiki will later claim that she has a "strong personality," which some people mistake for intimidation. No, Kiki, you have an aggressive personality. You verbally attack people. People with "strong personalities" don't have to attack people.

Compare Kiki to the bullies of the great MTV show "Bully Beatdown." She is a bully. (In fairness to Kiki, she's not the only one. For starter's, Ashley's a bully, too.)

Speaking of Ashley, she and Farrah are laying in bed together. And they are bored. Let me repeat: Ashley and Farrah are in bed together, and they are bored. And, since they unfortunately did not have my telephone number, they decide to pick on Brittaney Star. They tear off down the hall to Brittaney's room.

The Real Chance girls don't understand why Ashley and Farrah have to pick on Brittaney all the time. They pause from bullying Bubbles for a few seconds to wonder about it, and then get back to bullying Bubbles.

Brittaney has gone to the bathroom and Ashley notices that, for some reason, the bathrooms have locks on the outside of the doors. This is a feature exclusive to VH1 reality show homes- I've been to a number of structures in Los Angeles, and I don't think I've ever seen that before. Anyway, the temptation is too great to pass up, they lock Brittaney in the bathroom and feed her hotdogs.

Brittaney Star's (or "Starr's") website is here (NSFW). She's still doing pornography, I guess, which is good for her, I'm not one to judge. Maybe she can take her "locked in a bathroom being fed hotdogs" experience and turn it into a porn film? On second thought- it probably wouldn't work.

Brittaney's revenge attempt is both strange and pathetic (and, therefore, totally worthy of her): she leaves a plastic scorpion in Farrah's bed. This sends Farrah into conniptions, and when Farrah races down to Brittaney's bed to confront her we discover that, for some reason, Brittaney has a fire extinguisher in the bed with her. Apparently she's trying to get a jump on next week's "Thou Shalt Always Practice Good Fire Safety" episode.

Brittaney seeks comfort with the Real Chance girls, who agree to take her under their collective wing. Just so we're clear: Brittaney is being bullied. So she runs to the other bullies for help. Somewhere out there is a budding psychologist trying to come up with something to help him make a name for himself, and here it is: Why is Brittaney so crazy? And, is this common among people who are bullied? Not to be too glib about this, but we know that women who have been abused as children often seek out abusers themselves. They also go back to men who have abused them. Maybe this is a similar dynamic?

Brittaney, if you haven't been paying attention, let me spell it out for you: You are the Rock of Love Bubbles. Kiki is not your salvation; she is another Ashley. You are going from one bad situation to another. Do not do it.

Oh, but the Real Chance girls can be very charming, apparently. They teach Brittaney how to defend herself from Ashley's abuse by teaching her to shout "Kiss my black ass!" whenever Ashley picks on her. Even though Brittaney's white, they assure her that this is an effective rejoinder.

Before the vote for the bottom three, Ricki talks individually with a few of the girls. The consensus is that Kiki is an intimidator. Bubbles is in fact so fearful of her that she asks Ricki to "pinky swear" that she won't tell Kiki that she told her she was afraid of her. And, oh yeah, Marcia and Ashley are bad, too.

For the elimination, the Rock of Love girls target their attention on Kiki, while the Real Chance girls use strategy to target both Ashley and Marcia.

Kiki is quite unhappy with this, and begins shouting fearfully at the obvious injustice. She can't understand, when she's made such an effort to "talk" to everyone on the show, why anyone would want to eliminate her. (She has a very loose definition of the word "talk," which involves shouting filthy reproaches at people's faces while standing a few inches away.) Baybaybay thinks it's scandalous and unfair, because, well, Baybaybay is Farrah to Kiki's Ashley.

Ricki and the other judges, or deans, or whatever they are, cannot understand why the girls have broken off into cliques. This is not what "charm school" is all about. It's almost as if the Real Chance girls, and Rock of Love girls, are plotting against each other. They are shocked! After all, they've done everything they could to get all the girls together, to get them to mingle and become friends. They've done nothing at all to pit them against each other. Like, for instance, setting up a system in which the "charm school" "students" vote for which three to send up for elimination. How could such a system be abused in this way? It's almost like the most powerful, and popular people are going to create alliances and try to vote out the weakest people and win the money.

And, I tell you, shaking my head sadly, that's just not what charm school is about.

Sensing the hypocrisy, and knowing the fix is in, Farrah, Ashley, and Marcia walk out. Brittanya would have followed them, but she needs the money to pay her lawyer fees.

This is a disaster. These three are among the most entertaining. Rock of Love is the highest-rated VH1 reality show, and they can't lose five of the veterans of that show in two weeks. Ricki goes up to their room to persuade them to return. She finds the three of them in their civilian clothes and with their bags packed. Ricki feels they should be able to "talk things over." But some of these girls have a loose definition of the word "talk." How can you "talk" to someone who believes that shouting in your face is "talk," Ricki? Explain that.

Actually, to Ricki's credit, she kind of does just that. After bringing Farrah, Ashley, and Marcia back, the elimination ceremony continues, and Kiki is eliminated. She is deemed to be the primary instigator of all the turmoil in the house, and she pays for it.

Ashley and Farrah, you will remember, locked Brittaney Star in the bathroom for an hour and a half.

Kiki yells at people. Kiki threatens and insults. In two episodes of this show, she's seemed to have two volume settings, ten and eleven.

It could have been Kiki or Ashley, but I think that Ashley had two things going for her. The first was, as I've already mentioned, she was a favorite on VH1's top reality show. The other thing was that, as cruel and irritating as she could be, she could and did turn it off sometimes. Kiki seemed incapable of that.

So Hood seemed so caring, so genuine, so full of love on Real Chance of Love. Who would have thought she could blow up the way she did?

But now, the Real Chance girls are upset, and So Hood is so scandalized by the injustice of Kiki's elimination that she starts packing her bags and screaming "Kiss my black ass!"

Unlike Brittaney, she says it with real conviction.

Kiki doesn't seem like a seething cauldron of bitter anger and violence, but this photo's been retouched.

Kiki pic source.
Ashley pic source.
Farrah pic source.
LA River pic source.
Bubbles pic source.
So Hood pic source.

1 comment:

A.Jaye said...

Dude this episode sounds like a hot mess.

Did ya read the sweetie's exit interview?

She might be loud but she aint bubbles.