Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hey Baby, I Don't Think I Wanna Marry You...

Sunday night is slowly becoming my fave TV night. There are just so many delicious options to choose from that sometimes I feel like I am living Sophie's Choice every time I check my DVR. Lately I have been recording Bridezillas, Amsale Girls, The Glee Project, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Real Housewives of NJ on a weekly basis (but more on some of those later).

Bridezillas has been a favorite of mine for a long time, which should be no surprise at this point. I love weddings and I love watching people that are ridiculous. In 8 seasons, no one has ever topped my number one appointed Bridezilla of all time, Karen from Staten Island, although LaDreina "Chocolate Donut" is a close second (no wonder they edited these two beauties into the same episode!).

This show takes on a whole new meaning for me now. Being that I am 6 months post-nuptial (a moment of silence, please) most wedding shows make me depressed. I'm not exaggerating, I mean literally sad face little tears. I can't watch Say Yes To the Dress anymore without weeping internally that I will never have Randy ask me "is this your dress??" or knowing that David Tutera is not going to swoop in at the last minute and makeover my winter themed reception (not that I needed it- my wedding was "da bomb" as LaDreina would say, although I never did get that that ice castle).

Bridezillas has the opposite effect, because instead of feeling sad that my wedding is over, I feel awesome that I am not a horrible human being. These bitches are straight up crazy. Don't get me wrong, I was crazy. I went through periods of crazy, followed by sobbing. But I never hit my fiancee, told a bridesmaid they were too fat for a dress or threw a cake at anyone (if you've never watched Bridezillas before, these are all real things that I have witnessed on the show. Stop reading this and get to OnDemand, now!). Sure, I ran out of ink the night before my wedding when I had only printed 25 of 150 programs. I found myself at 3 months until the big day without the photographer I was supposed to have. I even got cut on the arm by one of my bridesmaids at the reception when I changed into my party dress (she was cutting off those hangy things) and almost bled on myself. Despite all those things, I never felt stress to the point of acting like a lunatic and possibly facing jail time. I survived, and everyone else survived, and as far as I'm concerned, I could have been a.lot.worse.

So that is my Bridezilla disclaimer. Now onto the girls:
The first 'Zilla highlighted was Porsha, who we met last week. Now I do not want to stereotype, and this description comes with a BIG disclaimer that I am not discriminating against her for any reason, but Porsha is one of the more commonly featured Bridezillas. She is a large black woman who is a DI-VA, which we all know now is just a female version of a hustler (thank you, Beyonce). And in case you were wondering, the other breed of Brides normally featured on this program are big-haired, loudmouthed orange girls from Florida, New Jersey or... Staten Island! (Enter, Karen).

Porsha, like so many of the other 'Zillas before her, has a perfectly nice and normal (and thin) fiance Byron, who she beats into submission on a daily basis. She is also convinced his "baby momma" is going to show up at the wedding to ruin her day. This is also a reoccurring theme on this show, as many of the Brides are SO full of themselves that they think every woman that has ever once dated, looked at or spoken to their future husbands are going to show up and make a scene to "try to ruin their day." My favorite are the ones that threaten security- "if she think she 'gon show up to MY weddin, she is goin to be escorted OUT by security." Please. If you can't afford real flowers, a DJ or clothes that fit, you most definitely do not have the budget for a security detail.

Aside from her general unpleasant demeanor, Porsha had another bad habit that I personally find disgusting, and I have been known to eat shredded cheese out of the bag as a snack. When she gets stressed, she sucks her thumb. Oh, by the way, she's 28.

If that wasn't bad enough, the opening scene featured Porsha trying to squeeze herself into a salon massage chair at the nail salon, as a bridesmaid fed her a fast food burger and while Lois, the poor pedicurist was faced with the daunting task of attempting to saw off the calloused bunions on her feet.

Next we met Gloria from somewhere in Bad Accent, NY. As if being an anxious crybaby wasn't unappealing enough, Gloria is rocking some very 90's scrunched hair that you could tell required half a bottle of L.A. Looks. Ironically, later in the episode Gloria claims that her hair is falling out due to wedding stress. Stress, or maybe her hair is jumping ship to get far, far away from the abuse. After meeting her mother however, it wasn't hard to see that the apple did not fall far from the tacky tree. Gloria's mom actually declared that no one was going to "take her out of the 70's," which kind of didn't need to said as her hair said it all for her. When Gloria suggested a classier style, her mother scoffed at the idea of a French twist, because she "doesn't like anything with the word twist in it." Duh.

I found Gloria to be an all around bore, and maybe her personality would be better featured on a show called Weepzilla, because that is all she did throughout her entire episode. Where was the hair pulling, the forced bridesmaid diet, the bouquet-throwing? I do have to point out my favorite Gloria moment, when she was prodding her mom at the salon to please let one of those nice people attempt to style her witchy Anjelica Houston bangs into something presentable. As her mom continued to refuse their service, Gloria pleaded for her to relent, if only for her special day because (and these words are VERBATIM because I rewound it at least three times to make sure I heard it right), "How many times am I gonna get married?! Okay?! This is my second time." Thank you Gloria, for being the most forgettable Bridezilla so far this season but also possibly the most insightful.

Back to Porsha! The Divine Miss P was driving around Mississippi in her car prank calling Byron's friends to find out details about his supposed sordid bachelor party. She thought she was real smart calling one of his boys and pretending to be a dude inquiring about the soiree's location. She squealed with delight that said boy was so dumb he couldn't tell by her voice that she was a man or a woman. Uh, Porsha, I'm LOOKING at you and I'm still not totally convinced either way.

Porsha's main concern of course, was Byron's bachelorette party. Per usual demand by a Bridezilla, there were to be NO STRIPPERS entertaining the gentleman. In an odd twist of double standards, Porsha shows up to her own bachelorette party with her good hair on and a dress that looks like it was fashioned out of 20 irregular satin scarves (which sadly, still was not enough coverage) expecting to see "12 inches of you know what" all up her face. Direct quote. Said party was held in a "club" that looked like it was fashioned out of a tin can and I'm pretty sure was just in someone's back yard, because all of the beverages appeared to be served in Dixie cups.

Porsha then headed to the VIP room, which the Bridezilla voice over lady points out is most likely the attic (always the voice of reason), and suddenly the once outlandish Porsha is nervous and demure. "I'm not ready!" she declares under her breath, which I found hard to believe because she seemed prepared with a stack of $1 bills. Suddenly a very large oiled up man enters the room with what appears to be his pants halfway down his thighs (it was hard to tell with all the pixelation). I would like to take this moment to point out that in all my years of watching this show, this is the first time that I've ever seen an episode prefaced with a disclaimer warning the audience of "sexual situations." If you really need to see what happens next, I'm sure you can find the replay of this episode at least 30 more times this week on WE, but I'm warning you- please do so on an empty stomach.

Finally it was time for Porsha's "wedding of the century." The girls showed up for the ever necessary second rehearsal (?) at the "venue." I apologize for the sheer amount of quotation marks in this post, but using the word venue to describe Porsha's wedding location gives a bad name to all reception sites that ever were or will be. The only way I can describe it is a makeshift auditorium, complete with concrete floors, folding chairs, and those collapsable wood benches that you see shoved to the side in a high school gym when there isn't a basketball game going on.

Sigh. I miss Porsha already. Next week it's more Gloria (yawn) and some broad named Tricia who is apparently having a "Bro's and Ho's" themed wedding. I'm not quite sure what that is, but it sounds awesome...ly bad. And anyone that knows me knows I love a good theme.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Teenage Nightmare Part II... Now Baby, I Believe!

I know what some of you are thinking. "Lindsay, you started a blog over a year ago and wrote a total of three entries. You all of a sudden decided to post again, and you did it about a crappy MTV reality show that is ruining our society. Not only did you blog about said show, but you half blogged as you didn't even discuss 3 of the 4 personalities. Now you're probably going take off once again and leave us hanging about your true feelings about Maci, Catelynn and Amber, and how will we ever go on?"

I cannot disagree with that scenario being a possibility. Given my inconsistent history with this blog, I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking any of these things. All I can say is that this time, I'm going to be better. It is so much harder to write than I remember when you don't have a deadline looming over your head. So please, stick with me. It's going to be a little rough at first, after all, it is summer, which is not television's forte. But we're going to get through this, and come fall (and award show season- weeeee!) we will practically be besties.

So back to the Moms. I've always thought of Maci as the fan favorite (and unfortunately so do these people), not only because she smartened up and finally broke off what was obviously a terrible relationship, but because baby Bentley is just so damn cute! Despite falling for a tool and getting knocked up before she got her driver's license, Maci seems to have come out a better person in the end- she works, goes to school and raises her child, which most of the other girls that we've seen come and go through this series can barely seem to do one of those things. However Maci can't get all the credit, as she seems to be the only cast member that has the emotional (and obviously financial- how else could she afford her pimped out Celica and all those tattoos?!) support of both her parents, as does baby daddy Ryan, although he appears to be much more of a freeloader (on unemployment for a year at age 19?).

Any of us that watch Teen Mom most likely read US Weekly as well (sorry to typecast there, but let's be real), where we discovered that despite Maci and her boyfriend Kyle's breakup at the end of Season 2, they are now back together and like, stronger than ever! So now that Kyle is back in the picture, will he and Ryan ever actually meet?

It doesn't seem like Ryan and Kyle will be racing ATV's (or whatever the hell Ryan does all day) anytime soon, as Maci's Season 3 story began with yet another pass off of Bentley to Ryan for his allotted visitation (point for Maci- one of the only girls that has actually figured out a custody agreement!). As they exchanged uncomfortable small talk, Ryan let Maci know that he actually had a very serious question to ask her that he had to know the answer too. Not important enough to ask the question aloud, mind you. So what is Maci's tactic to solve this conundrum? While sitting in front of him in his garage, she tells Ryan to text the question to her (minus 3 points for Maci).

As if witnessing this exchange between these two former lovebirds wasn't awkward enough, MTV finally exposed the elephant in the room when they zoomed in on Ryan's text on Maci's phone. "Is Kyle slow?"

A moment of honesty: there has been more than one occasion in which I have asked the same question of doofy Kyle. Don't get me wrong, he seems like a sweet guy, but I never felt that there was a very bright light in the attic up there. I always chocked it up to the fact that he was sort of big and bumbly and Southern.

Regardless of whether or not Ryan and his friends were mocking Kyle in privacy for his presumed disabilities, it's not like Ryan is a Rhodes scholar himself. At least Kyle actually made it to college!

Maci acted like she was horribly offended by what Ryan was insinuating, but I have to think that this wasn't the first time that Maci has ever been asked that, at least to her face. I mean, I was raised right, so I speculate behind people's backs. Of course, Maci dealt with this the best way she knew how- by forwarding the text to Kyle just in case the knife needed to be twisted a little more (because let's face it- he would have eventually seen it on TV). Minus 2 points, Maci. Kyle is practically Bentley's stepfather already, and if she ever wants her boyfriend and baby daddy to meet, maybe it wasn't the best idea for her to share Ryan's little ponderings with him.

My absolute favorite part of Maci's appearance in this episode was courtesy of the Voice of Reason, Keelie, who despite her stupidly spelled name actually contributed the most insightful perspective I think I've ever seen on this series. As the girls did lunch (ahem, money, anyone?! Single Teen Moms aren't supposed to be able to afford lunch at adorable Southern cafes everyday!) and Maci pecked away at her caesar salad (have you ever seen this girl eat like an actual sandwich?), she exhaled slowly and exclaimed, "why is my life so hard?" Without missing so much as a beat, Keelie fired back, "because you had unprotected sex!" 100 points for Keelie, although if she makes any more appearances on TM I will be petitioning for a name change to help validate her role as the brains behind this whole operation.

To make matters worse for Maci, who in comparison to Ryan normally comes out smelling like a rose, the child support that she assumed Ryan wasn't paying turned out to be nothing more than a technical glitch from the bank. You could just tell the satisfaction she got out of calling the child support people and hearing that if she reported him, he could possibly go to jail. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

To be honest, I'm still rooting for Maci and slow Kyle, as long as she keeps it real and puts Bentley first, which seems really difficult when you have to pay for hair bleaching and acrylic nails. Seriously, have you ever noticed how much the girls on these shows have iPhones, fake nails and tattoos? I have one of those three things (I'll give you wild guess as to which one) and let me tell you, it ain't cheap. So I have a really hard time listening to Maci complain about her child support when her turquoise contacts and ear gauges are staring back at me. Be careful, Maci. Don't let your story be another cautionary tale- girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl let's boy impregnate her in the back of a pickup truck after the homecoming dance, boy is forced to propose to girl, girl discovers boy is a deadbeat, girl gets reality show, boy acts like a moron, girl meets new boy, girl falls in love all over again, girl is on covers of tabloid rags, girl gets moderately famous, girls hangs out with Snooki and Co... you get where this is going.

Whew! Another one in the bag. But we still have 2 Moms to go! No rest for the weary I guess. I promise that future recaps will not be so long, that is, unless Amber starts punching people again.

Let's meet again tomorrow, shall we?


You Make Me Feel Like I'm Living A Teenage Nightmare

As much as it kills me to admit this as an (almost) 26 year old, college educated and relatively intelligent woman, I am a little obsessed with 16 and Pregnant and downright possessed by it's illegitimate spawn, Teen Mom.

I know that MTV has served us heaping piles of crap over the years like Next, Dismissed, Boiling Point and My Super Sweet Sixteen (there are so many more quality-free titles I could mention, but we'd be here all night). But for as many shows that they have produced that have made politicians and parents alike fret over the youth of America heading deeper into a downward spiral, there have been a few that have made a severe impact on pop culture (Jersey Shore, anyone?) and even stood to educate us a little bit about our fellow man in ways we did not think possible by the same network that brought us Beavis and Butthead.

Although there have been significant less successes than failures as far as informing teenagers and young adults about topics outside of video making and spring breaking, programs like True Life and the original seasons of Real World actually let people witness worlds they would never have encountered otherwise.

So that was my brief history of my feelings towards MTV. Now, let's get to the moms.

I have to admit I was a little behind on the 16&P Express. I didn't start watching until halfway through the first season, and despite MTV's affinity for reruns and life-sucking marathons, I still to this day have not seen Farrah or Catelynn's original episodes that began their stories that I am now so enamored with.

Like Jersey Shore, my initial fascination was that I had virtually nothing in common with these people. Nobody wants to watch themselves on TV (well, except maybe anyone on an MTV reality show, but that is besides the point). I'm guessing the Nielsen Ratings for a show about an awkward theater geek with an unbalanced haircut (that she referred to as "layers") and scoliosis would be slim to none. At the age that these girls were letting high school boys get to third base and eventually sliding into home (ew) I hadn't even had my first kiss. So needless to say, there is something almost gratifying about watching this show and knowing I will never be one of those girls with a bastard child now that I am a married lady (I apologize for both the use of "bastard child" and "married lady." Clearly we can see why there was never a risk of me being 16 and Pregnant).

While I always enjoy program that raise my self esteem while lowering my IQ, the first season of the 16&P spinoff Teen Mom fascinated me because of an element that is lacking from most reality shows- you got to see these girls beyond their 60 minute special that you thought was going to be a one time deal. I always wondered if those hoarders on Mission Organization went back to living in what appeared to be a landfill, or if the women on What Not To Wear couldn't stay away from velour track suits and scrunchies. With Teen Mom, so many burning questions about the status of Farrah, Maci, Catelynn and Amber were answered, while ironically, the other few girls featured on the first season of 16&P were never heard from again.

Tonight I returned from my annual Fourth of July trek to Portland, giddy with delight knowing that at home there was a.) no husband to hog TV and b.) a brand new hour of the Season 3 premiere of Teen Mom. After showering off layers of SPF 55, sand, and margarita salt, I snuggled up on my sectional where I could choose WHICHEVER SECTION TO SIT ON THAT I WANTED and prepared to enjoy one of many on my growing list of guilty pleasures (I'm convinced at this point that my list of guilty pleasures is starting to outweigh just regular, un-embarrassing pleasures).

I don't know if anyone else shares my sentiment here, but I was so thoroughly disappointed in the current status of the Moms that I almost cried in my favorite guilty pleasure snack- half a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Let's start with Farrah, the biggest disaster of all, which is saying a lot considering that she shares a show with Amber (who we will get to in a bit). Farrah began her segment by once again reminding us of her deceased baby daddy and some footage of adorable Sofia looking forlorn and reminding me of that baby bird in "Are You My Mother?" We find out that Farrah has been very busy during the hiatus, as she is working, going to culinary school, "modeling," and oh yeah, raising her baby which she apparently just realized was a full time job.

One may have started to feel bad for Farrah after she recapped her frayed relationship with her parents and her inability to find closure for Sofia's dad and the fact that he would never know his daughter. I almost felt a twinge in my cold reality tv heart, until Farrah also informed us that the latest conundrum is her already stressful life was that she was struggling with whether or not to get a boob job, and even more difficult- how to pay for it! What's a girl to do? Don't you hate it when you accidentally get pregnant as a teenager and then your boobs get all weird and then you like can't afford to get them fixed because that baby thing is always crying and you have to spend all your boob money on like, jars of strained peas and stuff? Ugh, that is the worst.

In what appears to be a result of heavy sedation (seriously, the droopiness has to go), Farrah's mother only slightly disagreed with her decision, but not enough to raise her voice or show any emotion about it. And didn't you feel like she got some sort of satisfaction about asking Farrah to draw up that will "just in case?" There was a slight twinkle in her eye when she mentioned that something could happen to Farrah while going under the knife and Sofia would finally be hers, just like she basically was all along!

After listening to three people reject Farrah for her "breast augmentation loan," which I was horrified to hear was a category on the menu for the automated phone service she was trying to get through to, someone (cough, cough MTV) deemed her a viable candidate for the extra cash that she claimed wasn't being taken away from her baby to finally fix those terrible ta tas she been carrying around for these past 2 years. Whew. Crisis averted. Not only would Farrah finally feel good about herself, but this could also help her "modeling" career, which is really an investment in her and Sofia's future anyway, so if you think about it, this was like the best idea ever! Oh and by the way, she can't walk, carry or feed her baby while she's recovering so someone better check Michael's schedule and make sure he is wide open.

After her loving father (I mean Michael!) picked her up and attempted to carry her into her bed and load her up with frozen vegetables and whatever a "hot pad" is (I'm guessing it's a heating pad, but c'mon), Sofia was only minorly abandoned in this episode as Michael left her at the bottom of the stairs and commanded her to "stay!" Well-trained, Sofia. The kid has already burned herself with hot water and fallen off a queen-sized bed so she's pretty much learned her lesson than to let one of these winners in the Abraham family take care of her. Next week, she will have learned to change her own diaper and is going to be working on her learner's permit.

I really just can't believe after all we've been through with Farrah that she actually went through with the operation. Although I have always found her to be the most self-absorbed of the Moms, I sort of thought we made progress with the therapy sessions and the family drama to the point that she had the potential for being a real person. Instead, I am just more convinced than ever that people should be required to pass some sort of test before they procreate.

I think that's enough brain cell killing for now. I'm going to sleep and reboot. Tomorrow? Watch out, Bookout. It's all about Miss Maci... of course, Beehhhnt-laaaaay.

Stay Scandalous!