Today, children, we see the most egregious example of reality show manipulation in all of WEtv. This is the episode where the counselors create scenes of the “alternative future” if the couples don’t get their shite together. First up: The reality of divorce. We all know the worst part of divorce is the pain you feel in the pocketbook. They bring in Judge Toler from “Divorce Court.”
Natalie and Jacob are up first. The intake tapes, where each couple said things that are half for show and half real, are shown. It doesn’t phase them. The Judge tells Jacob that Natalie is hopeless since she keeps proclaiming how fine she’d be without him and that nobody is leaving her fat ass because it’s so fine. That’s a lot fine assuming. “No recovery!” she exclaims.
Aviva and Reid are next. Their major problem: The negative publicity and how it affects them both. The discussion turns to who would get custody of the children, and Aviva says she would fight for that because she is their Mother. (For some reason, the producers choose to cut to a clip of Spencer ranking on Aviva and Reid saying they’re not being real. Yes. Spencer. You see the irony, too, don’t you.) You go, Girl! The Judge agrees with Aviva. **Phew!**
Next up, Syleena and Kiwane, whom it seems are depending upon her income since he’s retired from the NBA. Way to emasculate a man, eh? Their intake tapes both bring up the same thing — no one’s getting any. IMHO, that’s what happens when you put down your man and rub his face in the fact that you’re bringing in more dough than him. Even if you are, you shut up about it, Girl! No man wants to dance with a woman who’s always leading. Take that to the bank from your sister Wendy. The Judge focuses on the child custody issue, which makes Syleena cry and cry and cry. Splitting the family up is not an option to her. All Kiwane wants is for her to step away from work and participate in the family life. Judge rules for Kiwane since he’s the primary caregiver and this makes Syleena melt down and leave the room. Now everyone knows she’s a bad mother. And Syleena agrees. For some reason, Liz has to be comforted by Jim. Isn’t that a bad sign when your professional counselor is crying? That would be a big clue for me. Jim drags them back in after comforting poor Liz, and Syleena promises to change.
Spencer and Heidi. What can one say. She’s 28 and wants kids. He doesn’t want kids. We learn Spencer doesn’t have a job. Oh, it’s not that he wouldn’t get one if forced to, he just won’t get one if the money is going to a kid. One thing I’ve learned in life: People always tell you exactly what kind of snake they are; it’s we who choose not to hear it. Heidi needs to clean the wax out of those ears and not make a baby with this loser. He’s telling her straight up he’s a loser. Listen. Learn. By the way, how do these two pay for plastic surgery and stuff when he doesn’t have a job? Does she have a job? What do these two do? If anyone knows, please comment below to help me out of this “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” (HT: Winston Churchill. See, this blog is not only fun, but it’s educational.) The Judge agrees with me, and Heidi tells us she won’t ask him to have children again. Thank goodness! These two should never procreate.
Rachel and Tyson are up, and we learn that Tyson thinks his reality show winnings are better spent on jeans for himself than some fancy-schmancy wedding. Now, while I agree that a $50K wedding bash is an absolutely ridiculous waste of money, I don’t think spending that on jeans is a better investment for the future, do you? Tyson just out-and-out says that Rachel loves him more than he will ever love her. For some unfathomable reason, Rachel responds with how much she loves him. Wow. Talk about tone deaf. Dump this ugly-ass long-haired p.o.s. and find someone else while you still have your youth. Jim asks Tyson what is heart would look like if he ripped it out right there in front of everyone. Tyson says he doesn’t know, but we know. That’s an easy-ass question. It would look like that scene from the second Indiana Jones movie, wouldn’t it? I gotta say, if Jim was counseling me, he wouldn’t stand a chance with these childish scenarios. How about getting in his grill and asking him to straight up say he doesn’t love her and won’t marry her? That’s the real answer we want. Not some stupid “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?” type question. (HT: Barbara Walters — dumbest question ever asked of anyone trying desperately to be revelatory and especially so since it was asked of the great Katherine Hepburn, in 1981.)
Liz decides to tell the whole group that divorce is not fun. Duh. People pay how much for this kind of advice?
On to the next “drill.” But first, we have lunch and Rachel is looking like a doormat to every single person in the room. How embarrassing. Tyson disappeared for a bit, and when he returned, looks to me like he spilled his drink on her on purpose to put an end to any discussion. She gets up, he follows her, and tells her she’s too emotional. Yeah. That’s just what every woman wants to hear, isn’t it ladies?
So, as I said, the next drill. It’s the absolutely ridiculous play-acting exercise of one spouse pretending to be dead so the other spouse can supposedly have an epiphany about how much they don’t want to lose their spouse. Ha! Yes, I said it. Ha! There. Said it again. How mentally immature or unstable would you have to be to have a reaction to this set up? We’ve all thought about what it would be like to die or have your spouse die. That’s why we write up a Power of Attorney and End of Life documents, and Wills, and buy life insurance. Right? Real adults have already prepared for this eventuality. I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow and only focus on those who ridiculously over-act in this scenario to look like their human for the cameras.
Kiwane, Natalie, Aviva, Tyson and Spencer have to go with the helper elves so that their spouses could get made up like they’re dead. The envelope for the Most Ridiculous Response to a Fake Death Scenario, please. And the winner is: Spencer. He plays it up in such a phony fashion that the counselors decide to call him on it, which doesn’t phase him at all, natch. Liz tells Jim, “He loves her like a boy loves his Mama.” Whoa. That’s not only gross, but an incredible leap to make when they barely know these two. I mean, sure, he’s an immature asshole, but really, now it’s Oedipal? Where did these two “counselors” get their “degrees” from and what was their field of “study?”
You don’t want amateurs like this poking around in your psyche, people. They could really mess you up.
Now, as much as I can’t stand Liz and Jim‘s tactics, it’s Spencer and Heidi‘s ridiculous comments about Aviva that annoy me even more. How they think they’re qualified to talk about a relationship where children are involved and they work and deal with real life every day, just mystifies me. Spencer calls Aviva a “cyborg” while Heidi makes faces and does robot moves. Well, at least we now know that Spencer and Heidi are equally immature which makes them not Oedipal but absolutely perfectly matched in the stupidity quotient.
Each night at boot camp ends with an evaluation, so now we hear Jim‘s snap judgement on what everyone’s problem is in his mind. Spencer is an 18 year-old “spoiled brat reality star,” which is something any 18 year-old watching Spencer could tell you. It’s a good thing these people are being paid to be “counseled” by Jim because otherwise, I smell the ever-so-faint whiff of lawsuit in the air. When they decide to tell Aviva and Reid that they have deeper problems, they take it with grace, and consider the source. Natalie, on the other hand, tells us she’s “not gonna make any promises I’m not gonna act a fool in this house.” Oh, wait. I thought that was real for a moment. She means she’s gonna act a fool in this house for the cameras.
Next time, I can only hope somebody’s gonna act a fool because I need some “Act-chun!” (HT: Alicia Bridges and Susan Hutcheson.)
Wendy Owen is a freelance writer for All About The Tea.