Reality Check #7

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

 Real Housewives of New Jersey


by Caitlin Malone (@SpaceCaits)

Ultimately this episode was all set up for the final 4 minutes or so, which is the most interesting part of the whole thing. Here are the highlights:

– Caroline tells Jacqueline about last weeks trust agreement between her and Teresa and that Teresa is supposed to try and make amends with Jacqueline. Jacqueline is not enthused and is worried about the whole thing. In the talking head portion Caroline says that Jacqueline is a time bomb. So should she really be sending a time bomb into a conversation with a person she greatly dislikes, if not hates? Maybe Jacqueline should avoid Teresa until she is a little less explosive.

– Joe has a photo shoot for a Sizzle Tan billboard. He poses for photos with a girl in a bikini and says that the girl isn’t his Filet Mignon, but sometimes he is in the mood for a hot dog. The Gorgas and the Giudices: objectifying the world one woman at a at time.

– Jacqueline gets a call from Teresa who wants to meet up with Jacqueline as per her agreement with Caroline. Jacqueline agrees because she would things to at least be civil between her and Teresa. ‘Civil’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot on this show (and all of the Housewives franchise), but I have yet to see one ounce of civility ever on this show.

– Rosie goes out to try and meet a special lady and when she finally sees someone she likes she is too drunk to make a good impression. Some lines thrown around by Rosie that night are:

-“I got a lot of things going on upstairs. So it’s like, ahhhh.” This does not show off a lot of mental stability on Rosie’s part.

-Then she talks about bite sized cooking.

-Food talk is followed by some ‘me’ talk, “I don’t want to stay home and go to the movies either, but…” You can’t stay home and go the the movies at the same time and what are you talking about?

-And of course back to food, “fried green tomatoes with a slice of bacon on top.” Well, admittedly she has my mouth watering. That sounds awesome.

-Finally Rosie compliments the girl on her eyes and smile. Perhaps you should have led the conversation with the compliments Roe. But the girl says that she will give Rosie a call, so perhaps this night was a success!

– Jacqueline and Chris meet up with Teresa and Joe. Chris and Joe go upstairs to talk and have a drink while Jacqueline and Teresa are sequestered in the restaurants empty dining room. You know when the show makes sure no one else is in the room with the housewives that something is about to go down!

– Upstairs Chris and Joe make amends because ultimately none of this nonsense matters. Bam. Conversation over. Jacqueline and Teresa could learn from their husbands. Yes, even Joe Giudice has something to offer.

– Jacqueline admits that she goes a little crazy with her tweets about Teresa and Teresa responds with this whopper, “I realize there is evil people out there, and I just feel like you are one of them.” Clearly civility must be Teresa’s main goal. I’m sure by getting it off her chest that Jacqueline is evil will fix everything.

It was a pretty boring episode with a lot of filler. On Sunday the Jacqueline and Teresa conversation continues.

Big Brother


by Kyle Trembley (@KyleLovesTV)

Just when it was looking like the Big Brother house was calming down – either because Aaryn decided that “racist monster” wasn’t a good look or because the house is starting to run out of people of color to say terrible things about – in charge Amanda and Spencer, proudly waving the banner of hate.

Amanda, whose official job description must include “yelling at cameras”, turned her yelling toward Candice during the Head of Household competition this week.  Now, Candice had been off the rails for a few weeks, including a hilariously misguided (and successful!) attempt to derail Spencer’s genuine efforts to save Howard.

But Amanda took the argument to the next level by proudly declaring to Candice, “That’s the Shaniqua coming out of you, I guess!”  Which, you know, is super racist.  To Amanda’s…credit?…she  followed up with an “I guess I’m racist now,” which is A) True, and B) The kind of thing you’d only say if you were keenly aware of how racist the house has been this season.  Big Brother houseguests are sequestered from the outside world, so it would be plausible for some of them to have no idea what kind of firestorm the rampant racism in the house has caused.

But no!  You don’t follow up a racist remark with “I guess I’m racist now” if being racist wasn’t already an established thing.  Like, if you were talking to your friends and you said something sketchy, THAT’S not how you’d follow it up – unless you and your friends have a long history of sincerely accusing each other of racism (if so: weird).

So, Amanda knew full well that racism was a big issue in the house, and decided that was a train that she wanted to jump on.  Great.

Speaking of trains!  Oh Spencer, you hapless train conductor.  Thanks to all the terrible things said early in the season, Spencer’s use of the always-winning “Hitler was a great speaker” argument slid somewhat under the radar (that’s what happens when Ginamarie is wantonly throwing around the n-word).

But not to be out-awful’d, Spencer decided this week that it would be a good idea to launch into a seemingly never-ending child pornography joke.  For his efforts, Spencer warranted a press release from both his local police department and his employer, who said in so many words that if he wasn’t part of a union he would definitely be fired.

TL;DR – Big Brother remains the feel bad show of the summer.

WWE Total Divas


by Ricky Diaz (@rickyjdiaz)

This episode seemed to concentrate really on one of the Divas. Eva Marie. If they do this for the rest of the show, then I won’t really complain, like a typical one hour show, you have A/B/C storylines, concentrating on one person in particular, and showing bits and pieces of the others.

Carrying slightly on from last week, it shows the Funkadactyls of Ariane and Trinity slightly at odds. Last week, it was Trinity showing some anger towards Ariane, and this week, it’s not as much, but I can see it leading to something in the future, planting the seeds over the episodes leading to a slow up. Last week it was Ariane’s boyfriend who caused the tension, this week it was Ariane herself. Ariane wants to have a different designer work on their costumes. But what she feels to realise is that she is a vastly different body shape to Trinity. This leads to the “blurring out” of a certain body part of Trinity when she puts on her tights. This leads to them having to go back, with their tails between their legs, to the WWE’s costume designer, and old costumes. Trinity is quite down to earth, and someone who takes her job seriously, whereas Ariane, is well, quite annoying, really annoying even, she just feels like a caricature of a stereotype, and when she has to ask for help, she gets sassy at the woman who needs to help them, its great that the costume designer didn’t help her.

Whilst the differences are pushed between the Funkadactyls and the tension it could cause, the episode carries on the showing of differences between the Bella Twins. Not only in their personalities, but their lifestyles. This episode has us visit the two houses of the boyfriends. We first go to John Cena’s house, which is a vast lavish bachelor pad. Prior to the show, John Cena went through a divorce, and it shows from his house. His house is empty. Its literally a empty shell with bits and pieces dotted around. Sure he’s hardly there, as he’s on the road most of the time, but still. The episode shows how Nikki loves the life with John, and shows Brie coming around to living in that life. We go to Bryan’s house which is more homely, but it shows that there are doubts in Brie/Bryans relationship, she loves Bryan, and his house, but feels like its HIS house, and not their house. There the couples have a wood chopping contest, which really serves as a reason for everyone to wear as little as possible. There’s a bet at stake for a “intimate massage” which sounds really…. sexy. Whilst at Bryans house, it seems like Cena/Nikki are trying to change Bries mind about living there, and it shows them in a bad light to me. Sure they have Bries best interests at heart, but they just aren’t nice in the way they do it. Generally, Cena comes off as a douche to be honest. When Nikki talks about Eva, Cena is instantly on Eva’s side, he’s a bit frat boyie, or maybe its just me seeing his WWE character in him that makes me not like him much.

Finally, we have Eva Marie, who seems to be the main character of this episode. Eva Marie is being pushed as someone who will do anything to get what she wants, and what she wants is a “fast pass” to the main roster. She decides to use a new wrestler called Fandango (I find it really funny that the show uses his gimmick name throughout the show). Fandango’s gimmick is that of a ballroom dancer, and every week he has a new dancer come out with him. Eva tells Talent Relations that she has a dance background – firstly, I find it weird that Talent Relation don’t know about this – then it comes out that she is lying. We find out more about her, that she has been in a relationship for two months, we meet her boyfriend, and see him proposing to her. Eva Marie, then goes out with Fandango in order to sway him around to choosing her to be his valet, and we also see her take off her engagement ring, this shows just how much she will do to move up to the main roster. After a “date” with Fandango who is at his skeezy best, we then see her “big moment”. All the divas go to see Eva Marie perform with Fandango (along with Talent Relations). Eva Marie of course is awful. We then meet Stephanie McMahon, who like her father, is very over the top. She basically tells Eva Marie off for lying, and says that she embarrassed the company – which I find a bit over the top, as it was a behind the scenes thing and not in front of a live crowd

Whilst the episode didn’t have the overlying arc as the last one did (with the lead up to wrestlemania) it was a decent enough episode, some storylines “popped” more than most, and generally was entertaining, as well as it planting the seed (in my opinion) to some upcoming storylines.

The Bachelorette


by David Warren (@FunDavy)

It was part 2 of the Finale and we were also treated to “After the Final Rose,” a reunion of sorts. Desiree and Chris forever…!!! or forever….???. After a horribly painful “Heartbreak across America” (painful for the audience as well), Des has apparently moved on from Brooks and is all set to marry, and move to Seattle with, Chris.

Both remaining guys got roses, but then Drew was sent off. He didn’t even get a limo, and had to be whisked away in a Suzuki van (I didn’t know they made vans).

Chris and Des then have an awesome date, then he propo- oh wait – first Des says how much she felt for Brooks – Chris: “That’s ok.” Then he proposes and that’s it.

Then it was “After The Final Rose.” I do have to admit it was entertaining and a little nerve-wracking to see Brooks come out and talk to Des. Awkward and a little cringe worthy. But before Brooks came out, Chris Harrison really tested Des, repeatedly asking her about Brooks, how hard it was, how she felt, what it was like. That was tough to watch. Poor Des. But I was impressed with how she handled it.

Drew’s appearance was the least interesting. He’s apparently ‘hunky’ (according to Bachelor Nation – by the way, What is Bachelor Nation?) and is nice, but bringing him on really didn’t create any fun tension or Des/Drew nostalgia. Later Drew, best of luck.

And then there was the big Next Bachelor announcement: Juan Pablo! Juan Pablo! Juan Pablo! Continuing the endless cycle, The Bachelor will start up in Feb of 2014.

Lastly: For animal cutaway fans, we got perhaps the best one yet of a turtle in Antigua with the ocean in the background.

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