Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Charm School 3 Episode 3: Pick Your Battles

Last week Ricki Lake had two plausible choices for expulsion from Charm School: Ashley and Kiki. I happen to think she made the right choice sending Kiki home, because Kiki just can't turn it off, whereas Ashley isn't as belligerent and bullying, and certainly not with the same consistency, as Kiki. Moreover, Kiki comes to us from "Real Chance of Love," a show on which she was competing for the affections of either Real or Chance, each of whom was so unmemorable and uncharismatic that he could not carry an "Of Love" show on his own, while Ashley was one of the top characters on "Rock of Love Bus," in which she was competing for the affections of none other than Mr. Bret Freaking Michaels for crying out loud, the guy who sang that song about the rose having thorns, and being careful not to prick yourself, or something. A genuine rock and roll celebrity, not a "celebreality" celebrity.

And Ashley wasn't the only one about to leave- she was going to take Farrah and Marcia with her. Ashley played it perfectly.

But Kiki's expulsion is too much for So Hood, who for some reason believes that leaving the show will be "making a stand." I suppose she sees Kiki as the victim of some kind of injustice (she says, "I'm like the modern day Martin Luther King," which only goes to show her just how breathtakingly stupid she is, and how little credibility she has, that she compares walking off a VH1 reality show with marching on Selma, for crying out loud), but this is a VH1 reality show, and Kiki was a jerk. Maybe this week's "commandment" should be "Thou Shalt Endeavor to Always Pick Your Battles."

So long, So Hood. Charm school can't help you.

The modern day Martin Luther King, Jr., at least in her own mind. I'd like to take this opportunity to direct her to King's Letter from Birmingham Jail. It's probably a good place for So Hood to start her research into life of the man to whom she compared herself, while flipping us off.

Anyway, maybe if they'd threatened to leave the show before the elimination, as the ROLBus girls did, things might have worked out differently.

Ashley, Farrah, and Brittanya can't even bring themselves to go into the house, because the Real Chance girls are throwing a fit. If only Brittanya weren't in trouble with the law, she would have beat the Real Chancers down. But, alas, she's left moping with Ashley and Farrah. At least until Farrah puts on her stripper heels and leaves. It's too "ghetto," she says. She wouldn't strip in a ghetto club, for any amount of money.

So long, Farrah. Charm School can't help you, either.

I will miss your enormous chest.

And then Farrah left, too. Because "Charm School" was too "ghetto." It was no place for a classy lady like her.

Inside the house, Risky points out that Ashley's physical abuse of Brittaney was worse than Kiki's verbal abuse of practically everyone else. I'm not compelled, but it's a valid point (even though I've already effectively demolished it in this post and the last). The abuse of Brittaney was far more mental and verbal than physical, anyway. I mean, no one actually laid a hand on Brittaney with the exception of the odious Beverly, and she was expelled immediately thereafter.

Brittaney prays for strength from God, and also prays that God will smite her enemies. Brittanya talks smack about Natasha for seemingly no good reason. "She looks like a guy, and she wants to be me," she says. This is surprising for two reasons: The first is, I don't think anyone would want to be Brittanya. The second is, I completely forgot that Natasha was in Charm School.

"Things are spinning out of control," Ricki says. "I need to get a handle on this before things get any worse." Indeed, very soon you won't have a show anymore.

Unfortunately, Ricki Lake's idea to "get a handle on this" is to turn this into an episode of "The Ricki Lake Show." She calls the "ladies" to the "lecture hall" for an "emergency assembly." "I want to hear all your gripes," she says, from her couch. "We're going to try to respect each other."

Risky feels the decision was wrong. Kiki was only verbally abusive, whereas Farrah actually threw things at Brittaney (I honestly don't remember that).

Ricki says that more girls were afraid of Kiki than Farrah. Eliminating Kiki, she says, "might have been pre-emptive, but it had to be done. Kiki's aggressive behavior was disruptive to many of my girls." She then asks Risky "Do you think that because Farrah and Ashley were white, that they got a pass?" It's a question that's both stupid and valid, especially given So Hood's insistence that she is a modern day Martin Luther King Jr.

Ricki solves Charm School's problems, and offers the rest of us hope that we can overcome our differences. You can tell she's serious because she's holding a Sharpie. I think she took notes, she was so serious.

Risky does feel that way. She then says something I find totally unbelievable: "I get along with all type of people, regardless of the race." Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for her to say, "I get along with all type of people equally well, regardless of the race." At this point one of the deans, Lala, says she understands why they think that, but it's just not the way it was. People were trembling in fear of Kiki. The Real Chancers seem to trust her, and appear mollified.

But Baybaybay isn't done. Ashley at some point called her ghetto, and she says that "just because I'm black, doesn't mean I'm ghetto." That of course is irrefutably true, but I suspect that Ashley was talking about her attitude, and not the color of her skin. Anyway, Baybaybay then states that she could call Ashley ghetto, as well. Ashley is, after all, a stripper. She is also the type of person who talks smack behind peoples' backs, locks them in bathrooms for over an hour, and throws salsa in peoples' luggage. "Because I'm black and I'm passionate about things I say, I have to be ghetto."

Baybaybay-- you were on "Real Chance of Love." Your point about Ashley is valid, but pick your battles. Quit while you're ahead.

Ashley's not a racist, she says, because her son, her whole reason for appearing on Charm School, is not white. "Obviously he's half, but I'm just saying." She also states that her behavior on ROLBus was "embarrassing to me." She then turns to Brittaney and says "I will say I am sorry. Like, okay, I seriously I'm just going to tell you right now I do- I apologize. I haven't treated you nice and I'm sorry." You can see, when it's written out like that, just how truly sincere she must be. Especially after locking Brittaney in the bathroom last week. She continues, to Ricki: "She is a human being, okay, like, I realize that... And I haven't felt right about it." Then, back to Brittaney: "I'm sorry and I'm willing to move forward."

Acknowledging Brittaney's personhood is a huge step for Ashley. No doubt it was painful, too. But, again, it must be pointed out that you locked the woman in a bathroom and slipped hotdogs to her under the door last week.

Arguably, Ashley's worst offense was wearing hot pink uggs to the "emergency assembly."

KO says that Brittaney is two people. Playing the victim role, while at the same time instigating the very abuse that is inflicted upon her.

But Brittaney insists that she is too "zen" for that.

Finally, the Ricki Lake Show ends with hugs all around. This is not very promising.

Thankfully, it only lasts so long. Brittaney confronts KO, who is seated on her bunk. "I felt like you ridiculed me in front of the judges; that made me look bad, and now I'm going to be eliminated tomorrow because of what you said about me." Brittaney interviews that she wonders if KO might be retarded, for not knowing what the word "instigator" means.

KO: "I never said that Brittaney Starr was an instigator, but I did say that she provoked a lot of the arguments in the house."

This is a fine distinction, and I suppose that KO is speaking of intent. But let's not get into a semantic argument.

Zen Brittaney's argument is alienating her Real Chance protectors. It wasn't very long ago they had taken her under their wing, and taught her to win any argument by shouting "kiss my black ass!" at your opponent. And now, they are starting to understand just why Ashley has such a hard time treating her as a normal human being.

Next day, Brittanya had to go to court. She was arrested only a few days before the show started, and, unlike Saaphyri, she isn't running away. But she's looking at, if convicted, a minimum of one year in prison. And this is LA, so she must have murdered someone to be looking at that amount of time.

Ashley's concern over Brittanya's fate prompts the best line of the episode:

"I hope Brittanya doesn't go to prison after she leaves 'Charm School.'"

If she does, maybe VH1 can follow her? Maybe she can get a room with Saaphyri?

We haven't even gotten to the challenge yet. "Thou Shalt Play Nice With Others," or something like that, is this week's official commandment. The girls are taken to a "senior citizen center" filled with elderly people. Listen to them, talk to them, impress them with your "charms," because it's the elderly who will be deciding who gets on the "dean's list."

One of the men recognizes Brittaney from her adult film past. A woman asks Ashley if she can feel her "fake" breast. Brittanya sits on the mens' laps. Baybaybay starts them dancing.

Then a man collapses behind a seemingly oblivious Natasha. Baybaybay rushes to his side, deeply concerned, having just recently lost her grandfather.

It's possible Baybaybay saved a life on "Charm School." Possible, but not probable. She did not save a life, but she did help a man who stumbled to the floor.

The elderly people vote for Baybaybay, who loves "old people...People say I have an old soul." In a way, I guess, this challenge was rigged.

The other girls go to detention, where Natasha agitates against Brittanya, Brittaney, and Bubbles. In that case, she feels, Brittanya would go home.

Could Natasha become the Charm School version of Tailor Made?

Brittaney Starr wears headphones to the elimination, so that she can "dance to the music in her own head." She's "just chillin', tryin' to have a good time." But Lala thinks it's a sign of disrespect. And Ricki and the deans need respect.

The bottom three: On the left is the one facing serious jail time. In the middle is the one who wants to do cartoon voices. On the right is the one who hears cartoon voices in her head. No wonder none of them were eliminated.


No one is eliminated on this episode. There's some nonsense about all the girls coming so far and needing to be commended, but we're not buying it. They have a certain number of episodes to fill, and in the last two episodes they've lost three contestants.

Dear Ricki: we will not respect you if you pull lame stunts like this. You had the detention, you had the elimination ceremony, and then you did not eliminate anyone. Not even the woman who showed you such "disrespect" by showing up to the "elimination" wearing headphones.

You have disappointed us all, Ricki.

Pics source.


A.Jaye said...


I haven't watched the show yet. Clearly I'm missing out.

So Hood has the balls to walk off a TV show which is more than most of the A-listers in Hollywood and more than most people on this planet (walk out of work or something financially advantageous). She's got my vote.

Sorry to hear Farrah's gone but Britanya vs Natasha? I thought they were buddies.

And A-Bomb apologising to b-star? I thought she hated her 'cos of her racism on ROLB.

Diasy of Love is falling apart at the seams. Sounds like CS3 is a car crash too. Megan's got a lot of entertaining to do.

Melissa said...

Ricky, I'm with you that the hot pink uggs are a disaster. Surely they're worse than the headphones during elimination.

And you're right, A.Jaye--VH1's continuing reputation for reality show excellence rides on Megan's shoulders now. If anyone can do it, she can--she made I Love Money 1 worth watching. I expect great things.

A.Jaye said...

She was the biggest thing on ILM1 but was made to look a wierdo on RoL2. TV is a funny place. They might sabotage her for the fight with Sharon.

We'll see. I'll blog.