Monday, August 31, 2009

"Real Chance of Love 2" Episode 5: Stop Acting Like the Woman Who Cast You

Last week, 51Minds and/or VH1 had a real softball opportunity to clarify their position regarding Ryan Jenkins, and his casting on “Megan Wants a Millionaire.” How did a man who’d already been convicted of hitting a woman get through the rigorous screening process to be cast on an “of Love” show? What is that screening process, exactly? How does it work?

Instead, a woman from whom I would not buy a used car talked about her feelings, her total shock over how Ryan Jenkins (apparently) murdered his wife, and how his subsequent manhunt and suicide deeply affected her- the person who had (apparently) cast him on “Megan.”

Stuart Brazell’s appearance on “Larry King Live” was the most distasteful hour of television the people responsible for “Charm School” have ever been a part of.

It was as if VH1 and 51Minds were throwing down the gauntlet. Daring the viewers not to watch. And those who remain, those willing to actually sit through any more of their shows would obviously be the same viewers that Ms. Brazell herself criticized in that same Larry King “interview.” The viewers for whom VH1 and 51Minds seem to have such contempt.

Real and Chance are two of the more likable centers for these shows. They seem as sincere as anyone can seem, under the circumstances. It’s true they claim to believe in Bigfoot, and they engaged the services of a foot psychic last week, but in the first episode they expelled two physically attractive women for fighting.

They expelled two women for fighting, on the first episode. Of a VH1 reality show.

This week, however, the women vying for Real’s and Chance’s affections will be wrestling. That is their challenge.

It’s like Bizarro World. I expect to hear them say “Goodbye” when they enter a room. How Bizarro is it? In the first minute of today’s episode, Chance admonishes Blonde Baller and Junk, the two women he did not eliminate last week (and isn’t eliminating women the point? if you were Real, wouldn’t you feel cheated that you eliminated someone and Chance didn’t because he couldn’t make up his mind?), “Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”

VH1 reality shows have entered the Bizarro World. Don't believe me? Just keep this in mind: “Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”

This is the Chance who eliminated Vegas and Show Me on the first episode. But, you see, the women are going to wrestle on this episode. The women are going to wrestle.

It is not going to be mental wrestling. “Wrestling” in this case is not a metaphor. The women are going to get into a ring and fight each other.

“Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”

Blonde Baller’s best friend might have been shot last week. She got a call from a friend saying as much. Blonde Baller’s reaction to this news was… not what you would expect from someone who has just learned that her best friend has died. There were some tears, but her primary concern throughout the episode was in proving to everyone that she was “there for her man.”

Johnny Fairplay from "Survivor: Pearl Islands" and "Survivor: Micronesia" was a trailblazer among reality show contestants. Interestingly enough, following his first "Survivor" appearance, he got into professional wrestling.

In the last great season of “Survivor,” the infamous Johnny Fairplay instructed a friend to deliver to him the sad news of the death of his grandmother, in order to gain sympathy from his fellow contestants. In an interview, Fairplay disclosed to the viewer that his grandmother was most assuredly still breathing, and probably watching “The Jerry Springer Show” right that moment. It was a brilliant reality show moment, because it completely usurped our expectations of a reality show contestant’s behavior. It was a very clear example of just what a person would be willing to say in order to win $1 million. Would you tell your fellow contestants that a relative had passed away in order to gain their sympathy? I asked myself. A lot of people asked themselves the same question.

Fairplay’s reference to “The Jerry Springer Show” added an extra layer of PoMo self-awareness. In America, I think “The Jerry Springer Show” is the forerunner of the modern reality show, especially shows in which VH1 specializes. People willing to do or say anything, seemingly with little sense of shame, revealing about themselves intimate secrets for a chance at just a taste of infamy.

Think about it- would any of your favorite VH1 characters be out of place on an episode of “Springer”?

Jerry Springer, another reality show trailblazer. Would there have been a "Flavor of Love" without him?

In trying to keep it “110- like, not even 100” with Chance, Blonde Baller offers Chance the unlock code to her cell phone. Chance is impressed. That is something a “real person” would do.

But, Chance- would she put someone in a headlock for you? That’s the “real” question this week.

Junk doesn’t buy anything Blonde Baller is selling: “She’s just as fake as the eyelashes on her face, and the blonde in her damn head.”

Because “The Stallionaires need a really slamming chick who can hold her own and… really throw down,” Junk will have the opportunity to pull that blonde out of her damn head.

PS interviews: “This is my moment, this is when I’m gonna get to beat some ass.”

Junk is upset that she and Blonde Baller are on the same team, because she wants to beat Blonde Baller.

At Venice Beach, a ring has been set up for “Stallionaire Slam 2.” Just as Real and Chance like Bigfoot, so too do they enjoy professional wrestling. It’s one of their favorite sports. So they want to see the women wrestle for their affection.

The women, in three teams, will receive training from professional wrestlers. The first event is called “Playground Beatdown,” as Chance explains. You remember Chance- he’s the one at the beginning of the episode who told Junk and Blonde Baller,

“Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”

They are trying to get you not to watch. They are trying to make you turn away in disgust. If you do not, then you are Stuart Brazell’s kind of viewer. There is no other explanation for this.

A female professional wrestler whose name is (I believe) "Sexy Hollywood" will break it down for the "Playground Beatdown" team, and teach them how to whoop some butt. Again, Chance tells them this.

Next event is Generation Slam, and the third event is called Culture Clash 09. That for the more highbrow viewers.

The women are given some sexy gear and fifteen minutes to practice their wrestling personas and learn the script. So, you see, it’s all playacting. They’re not really fighting- there’s a script. It’s a set up! Like a play. A play with combat, for which fifteen minutes of training was offered. They need to stick to the script, because there’s nothing in the script about any real fighting. No real ass beatings- this is just for fun.

The Fabulous Moolah, arguably the greatest professional wrestler of all time, male or female. I suppose you could argue that professional wrestling was the original "reality television." It begat "Springer" (1991), which begat "The Real World" (1992), which begat "Survivor" (2000), which begat "The Surreal Life" (2003), which begat "Flavor of Love" (2006). But that's probably an entry for another time. This is really just a way to rationalize Real Chance's "wrestling" challenge.

Regarding the “Playground Beatdown,” Chance interviews, “They are physical man, these girls are crazy… they are breakin’ it, boy!”

“Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”

The women do throw each other around, and simulate their wrestling punches with genuine enthusiasm. Hot Wings leaps from a turnbuckle and lands on PS, who interviews that she is willing to get hurt “for her man.”

Real interviews that this shows her intentions are real and she’s there for him.

Oh, Real- weren’t Show Me’s intentions proven by her willingness to fight for you? Weren’t Vegas’s? Why did you send them home in the first episode, if you were going to have a wrestling challenge later? Think how much they could have shown you of their sincere intentions.

Show Me and Vegas show just how sincere were their intentions toward Real and Chance.

In Generation Slam, Junk gets her chance against Blonde Baller. Instead, she spends the match pretending to work out, for some reason. Both Real and Chance are disappointed. Chance interviews that he was waiting for Junk to “bust some moves.”

“Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”

Next is Culture Clash, and both Real and Chance are impressed.

Now with the show over, the announcer says, “Let’s bring out the girls who put their lives on the line for our entertainment.” Again, this has got to be a test. After everything that’s happened with VH1, 51Minds, with Ms. Brazell’s disastrous appearance on “Larry King Live,” no one thought to recut or edit this episode so as to make it less distasteful, because there is no way to make this less distasteful. “Stalloinaire Slam” is just inherently skeevy.

Chance says to Hot Wings: “Hot Wings we didn’t know you was that damn athletic. I mean, how you bended your back made me want to arch your back myself.”

Chance, who admonished Blonde Baller and Junk (do you remember that- at the beginning of the episode? if not, here’s a reminder: “Baller, Junk- you on some thin ice man, let’s keep it peaceful up in this sucker.”) not to fight, has just told Hot Wings that seeing her fight made him want to have sex with her. Chance is so hypocritical and lacking in self-awareness that he could get a job casting 51Minds shows.

Hot Wings: “This is my shining moment.”

But Real and Chance disagree, and it’s the “Culture Clash” team that wins. Hot Wings is a loser for the fourth time. Flirty, Pocahontas, Mamacita, and Sassy get dates with Real and Chance.

The date is what you expect, with the women trying to show that they’re really there for the men, for the right reasons, that their chemistry is there, and etc. There is much alcohol and laughter, and some eyegazing. Some tearful confessions of childhood troubles.

Then, Chance spends time insulting Mamacita’s family, and Mexico. Mamacita doesn't eat beef, but she does eat fish, which seems to mystify Chance. And then he goes to take a pee outside. Even Real is concerned by Chance’s boorish, (apparently) drunken behavior.

“Chance,” he says, “Stop acting like the woman who cast this show, and start acting like a decent human being.”

Not literally. But that was the gist. (And yes, according to this article, it looks like Stuart Brazell was one of the people who cast "Real Chance of Love 2." And here's how she assesses Real and Chance:

“Girls are looking for the guy they want to f*ck or the guy they want to marry,” Braznell [sic] says bluntly. “Chance is crazy, a total assh*le. He’s feisty. I love him. Real is down-to-earth, looking for true love and the mother of his children.”

Go back and compare her assessments of Real and Chance with her descriptions of Ryan Jenkins in the Larry King interview liked to above.)

Chance has passed out drunk, so Real offers Mamacita a shoulder to cry on. Mamacita interviews that she wishes that Chance was a little more like Real.

Back at the house, Hot Wings is packing her bags to go home. She’s done chasing. She’s not seeing the man she’s there to see. Somehow, Sassy talks a very sincerely hurting Hot Wings out of quitting the show.

Next day, Real and Chance take Sassy and Pocahontas to “The Chelsea Lately Show,” where they get to watch Real and Chance make a “hilarious” (according to Sassy) appearance. We don’t get to see enough of the interview to make a judgment. Chelsea Handler should have asked them how their show was cast.

Possible future "Charm School" host Chelsea Handler. A far better interviewer (it's not even close, actually) than Larry King.

Junk goes to Chance to tell him that she still thinks Blonde Baller is fake. Chance mutters something about wanting to know more about Junk’s “insides.”

Lady gets nervous during her one-on-one time with Real. Real is waiting for her to “spit it out, just tell me what’s going on with you.”

Mamacita is crying over Chance’s terrible date, and moreover upset that she didn’t get to meet one of her idols, Chelsea Handler. Real, a gentleman, pulls her aside and offers to console her. He doesn’t want her to leave, and he would like to get to know her himself. “I’m here for you,” Real tells her.

Would he take his brother’s woman?

Yes he would. “Sorry, bro,” he says to Chance, during the chain ceremony. But Chance has his own chain for Mamacita. Mamacita has to decide- Real or Chance?

Real, of course. She’s over Chance, after that date. That means Lady is going home.

Chance’s last chain was for Mamacita, so Junk, the last “Chance Girl,” is also sent home. Meanwhile, Real and Chance will fight over Mamacita. You will remember Mamacita, in a previous episode, gave Real and Chance pause when she "joked" that she was only there to be on TV. And Real said, "There's truth in every joke," or wise words to that effect.

Whatever her reasons, she's there now, and both Real and Chance want her. She has come in this way to represent the very fame she came to achieve- elusive, and pursued by both men.

Bizarro World code pic source.
Johnny Fairplay pic source.
Jerry Springer pic source.
Chelsea Handler pic source.
Fabulous Moolah pic source.


A.Jaye said...

Gotta give a salute to these recaps. I saw season 1 but this sounds like a summer blast. Those two chicks from episode 1? I Love Money 5 maybe?

Or maybe they should cast Stuart Brazell. Or cover her in tomato juice in a locked room and let Poodle Bitch have at her. I'd watch. I'd sponser.

R.I.P Moolah. Johnny Fairplay rocked on TNA and if Real hooks up with Mamacita Micah can supplant him in RCoL3.

Anonymous said...

At this point, Ricky, your recaps--especially the ones since Jasmine Fiore's death--are infinitely better than the shows they are ostensibly about. They are unflinching, thoughtful, humane. You take up these rotten, terribly addictive shows with their famewhores and hypocrites and ask them to do more than just titillate or amuse us. And in doing so you hold them--and us--to a higher standard. Thanks.

Brilliant point about Mamacita.

shampoo said...

it's apparent to me that no background check was conducted on anyone. or, alternately, one was conducted but the report itself was generated simply for the file, and not as a means to screen people.

stuart brazzell and 51 minds need to admit TO THEMSELVES that they didn't care about the cast except for the antics that could pull in viewers. it's also clear they have an extremely low opinion of their audience.

there was no way they could have predicted what ryan jenkins actually did. however, his assault conviction should have disqualified him. not only for the safety of others, but for his well being. if an abuser is trying to reform (which ryan's court-ordered treatment might make one think), why try to cause a relapse?

but, their irresponsibility and arrogance in the way they cast, run, and marketed these shows was leading to something bad happening eventually.

as far as this show. wrestling challenge? ridiculous.