Reality Check #10

The Reality Check is a weekly column containing the musings of multiple writers on various reality TV shows. Are you hopelessly addicted to a reality show? We invite you to contribute your thoughts! The Reality Check runs every weekend on

Big Brother


by Guest Contributor Scott Zwick (@hoopsnutsz)

They say good things come to those who wait, and for those who faithfully follow Big Brother, its looks like we’re about to reap our rewards. After weeks of the entire household being held hostage by the “showmance” of McCrae and Amanda, it appears the remaining contestants have finally had enough.

But getting there was not easy. Elissa was awarded head of household, and dared to go where no one before her had, and put up 1/2 of the power couple, McCrae. Alongside McCrae, she chose Aaryn, effectively cutting into the “3 AM” alliance, that had been formed with Amanda, McCrae, Andy and Alyssa. It only took about 65 days, but the house finally came to their senses, and began a scheme to “backdoor” Amanda if anyone other than her won the coveted POV, a power that affords the winner to remove someone from the chopping block. To everyones surprise, Amanda rose to the challenge and won her first competition of the season, and thwarted those plans.

What happened next is why you either love, or hate big brother. Amanda took McCrae off the block, demanded Elissa put up GinaMarie as a replacement, and when she refused and put up the last 3 AM alliance member eligible in Andy, she simply erupted. She threw a temper tantrum that would make a 3 year old blush, verbally assaulting Elissa with personal insults and torturing her for hours. She banged on doors, stomped her feet and screamed herself hoarse in what I can only conclude was an attempt to make sure not only everyone in the house hated her, but all of America as well. It was a resounding success.

The fallout was not surprising. Andy, who up until this point had done everything in his power to make sure a big move wasn’t made in the game, formed an alliance with Spencer, Judd and GinaMarie. Their main target……..Amanda.

But first, Aaryn was voted off and promptly grilled by Julie Chen in her exit interview about racist comments she made in the house before winning an impressive 6 head of household competitions. Aaryn did what must come naturally to her, and played dumb, claiming she couldn’t recall making the offensive remarks. Chen then took out a cue card and quoted Aaryn verbatim. She responded by blaming her comments on being from Texas, which means she should probably start thinking about moving when she leaves the Big Brother game. Possibly to the moon.

So life goes on for the remaining contestants, and while it may have taken these people nearly three months to realize McRanda was the biggest threat in the house and needed to be split up, we finally have what makes Big Brother fun….a house divided. So buckle up America, because once Amanda realizes the house is out to get her its impossible to predict to what levels of insanity she will succumb to.

For more coverage of this week’s Big Brother, check out Kyle Trembley’s analysis/celebration of Aaryn’s eviction.

WWE Total Divas


by Ricky Diaz (@rickyjdiaz)

We start off with the only real shots of Eva Marie and Jojo, they are in the background of the rest of the show, but aren’t really pushed forward as they have been before. Its fair enough, they are new, and Eva’s already had an episode pretty much dedicated to her, Jojo so far, has only had a bit part, but from the prologue to next week it seems like she is going to be in it more next week. The episodes shows them training, and giving us an insight into what rookies have to do backstage – introduce themselves to other wrestlers, and shake their hand. Its an old school thing which still runs to this day, in fact, some rookies have been pushed down because they haven’t done this simple thing.

The episode is called Feuding Funkadactyls and they take up a fair amount of screen time, but one of the other stories really clicks more, but maybe that’s because its designed as an overlying storyarc to the show, that is the story of Nattie and TJ. It was started a little bit last week, with them having problems due to their relationship seeming stale, and them not being on the same page. Even though it seemed resolved last week, this week it reared its head again. Its Natties “birthday week” as she calls it, and the WWE are in her hometown, for her birthday, something which rarely happens because of the nomadic nature of their business. The episode pushed the clash of heads between Nattie and TJs mother, both of whom feel like they are the woman in his life, TJ is obviously a momma’s boy and pretty much takes his mom’s side in most things, Nattie refers to her as the mother in law from hell, which is a little harsh, but instantly tells you how she feels without having to go into more detail. Because they are in Calgary which is both TJ and Natties hometown, TJs mother offers for them to stay with her (in a one bedroom apartment, in which TJ would have to sleep on the sofa, and Nattie in bed with her – as she is old fashioned like that). Nattie of course says no, and gets her way, but TJs mother throws a spanner into the works, by getting TJ to stay her house, whilst Nattie stays in the hotel room. The next day they go to breakfast, and it seems like Nattie is being ambushed by TJ’s family – his sister tags along – and it ends very awkwardly, but we’ve established that TJ is a very big family man. Nattie goes for a tanning session with someone she has known as long as TJ, and is obviously flirting with him, when TJ says they are going to his sisters for her birthday, Nattie walks off, and go to dinner with the tanning guy, who pretty much puts himself out there for her. We are left with them two sitting there.

Of course, this essentially being the Bellas show, they have to make an appearance, and its to do with their father, who after divorcing their mother, came in and out of their lives, leaving the Bellas to be raised by their grandparents, who it is established gave them a very good life, and the Bellas talk very fondly of their grandmother, and grandfather who passed away before they got into the business. Brie tells Nikki that she should come with her to see their father, but she says no, and then John, her boyfriend, says that the twins should see their father, Nikki of course listens, and off they go. After such a build up of Nikki “hating on her father” they air their dirty laundry, and reconciliate. Its very anticlimactic, and resolved quickly after so much build up.

Much like the Bellas father reconciliation storyline, the Funkadactyls is very anticlimactic. The story is given a bit more time, but the ending so quick that it just feels like a letdown. Like the Bellas, the Funkadactyls are pushed as different from each other. The Bellas are pushed differently in their lifestyle choices, but the Funkadactyls are pushed in their “sports entertainment” differences, as well as in other ways. Trinity is more laid back, and seems quite the homebody, who is comfortable in her own skin. Araine is more energetic and is very over confident (on the verge of arrogant).  In terms of “sports entertainment” Trinity is the wrestler, whilst Ariane is the performer, together, as one person they would probably be a good all round diva, which is probably why they were paired together. During a brainstorming session where they are trying to work out new routines, they start to hit a bump in the road in terms of how they think they should perform. Trinity thinks working out the routine first is the way, whereas Ariane is all about the pizzazz. This bump in the road comes to a head when they go to a go kart track with Eva Marie and Jojo, and have a race. Ariane wins (she says if she lost she would make a “boo boo face” which made me hate her even more), and isn’t the most humblest of winners which raises the ire of Trinity, and a shoving match ensues.  When they get to the arena, it comes out that Trinity doesn’t want to work with Ariane anymore, and whilst Ariane says that she leaves all the outside of work baggage at the door (which I respect her for), Ariane, to me at least, is the major cause of their bust up. This leads to a meeting with Stephanie McMahon, who after chastising them for being unprofessional, gives them a chance at singles matches. Trinity is happy about this, even saying that she is being held back at Ariane, which leads us to meeting who I am claiming to be the third Funkadactyl in Sandra the WWE seamstress putting her two cents in (seriously, Sandra always makes an appearance whenever the Funkadactyls are having a “major” storyline in an episode). After both Funkadactyls have their matches, both of which have flaws, it has them making up (with an extremely ugly cry face from Ariane) and realizing they both need each other. But like the Bellas storyline it’s just to quick a conclusion

Like Trinity says during Arianes match “slow it down, slow it down” – thats what this show needs to do at times. The show has 6/7 pairings which it tries to showcase in every episode, but because its got so many people to showcase, it just ends up being three rushed story lines in an hour, either they push a story for the majority of the show – much like the Eva Marie episode – or they cut down the number of Divas.

I’m not saying the show is bad, it isn’t, I actually quite enjoy it, but the show like most wrestling shows/matches nowadays, is just too much crammed into too short a time frame.

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