Vh-1's Basketball Wives wrapped its fourth season this spring and it was a boozy haze of fights, bullying, more fights, more bullying, pettiness and finally Tami Roman and Evelyn Lozada (who used to not care all that much for each other) coming together to form Rage Wonder Twins all over Tahiti. So, naturally, the reunion had to be about "Hey, we're not bullies in stilettos! Look! We're all going to sit here and pretend to be normal. We're normal. Look, NORMAL! Tee-hee!"
Hahahahaha. No, girl. Y'all not normal.
You had Evelyn Lozada this season trying to commit attempted homicide with a wine bottle over yet another person accusing her of being "loose." (I mean, is she going to swing on all of the Internet too? The Internet says the same thing. Does Al Gore need to watch his back?) You had Evelyn and her ex-bestie Jennifer Williams fight over Twitter statuses and blog posts. And people leapt on tables. And people slapped people. But all that would have probably been forgiven since everyone involved in these rowdy-bouts seemed to be about on the same screwed up level.
In fact, I'm pretty sure the protests over this season would have been a bit more muted, even with wine bottle assassination attempts, if that whole thing with Kesha Nichols and Tami hadn't happened.
Say what you will about Jennifer and husband stabber Kenya Bell (who Evelyn tried to murder), they at least seemed to understand what they signed up for. That Kesha/Tami thing is what happens when an only passively catty person finds out her bitchiness has limits and those limits don't involve adhering "prison rules" outside of a prison setting.
For the first time, the bad behavior became painful to watch as you had someone who OBVIOUSLY didn't want to engage and wanted this to go back to "real world" rules where when someone is intimidating and threatening you, you call the authorities. In the real world, at a posh resort with all these people watching, someone would have made an attempt to defuse the situation. Someone would have intervened because they didn't want Tami to go to jail or didn't want Kesha to be hurt or that they just wanted the damn yelling to stop. Order would be restored and all would calm down as what the fight was over -- in the real world -- is not a big deal. Especially not one worth going "primal rage" over.
But this is "Basketball Wives," the world's worst underground undergrad sorority. They live to haze. There is no oversight by a graduate chapter. If you end up in the hospital you're supposed to say you drank all the liquor on your own accord, not because your Big Sisters made you chug Patron as part of an initiation.
The addition of Kesha on this program reminded me of why I walked away from the public school system in Missouri and never looked back at 18, have never returned to a class reunion and largely just tried to forget most of it. I don't know if Kesha attended public school. I know if she'd attended public school in St. Louis County she would have met the St. Louis County equivalent of Tami Roman around 8th grade and gotten all this over with back then, so when she finally met actual Tami Roman she would have known this is what you call a "lost cause."
Roman, typical for most bullies, is a victim who channels her rage at her own victim hood into attacking others over perceived slights -- real and imagined. I had a few bullies like this. Their parents usually treated them horribly and since they couldn't beat them up, they bullied me. And like Kesha, I was a pretty easy target as a kid. It was easy to make me cry and I had no interest in getting into a physical fight with anyone -- mostly out of the fear that I'd get labeled a "troublemaker."
(Even at 10, I didn't know the word for it, but they were obviously preparing some of my peers for prison, not college. If you were "trouble" you went from "college-bound" to "lost cause" really quick. For years I equated all aggression and anger as bad because as a black kid in a mostly white school seeming "angry" was the quickest way to get marginalized in the system. Of course, now, as an adult -- like many women taught that their anger is anathema -- I'm all insanely passive-aggressive, but that's something I'm actively working on.)
My point is, Kesha, if she'd had this pop up back then, would have dealt with this in one of two ways: Laugh it off to deflect from how annoying it was to have her race questioned YET AGAIN, (as this happens to many biracial people) or NOT GONE ON THE SHOW "BASKETBALL WIVES."
You couldn't pay me enough money to return to the screwed up mindset of teenagers, so you know you couldn't pay me enough to do the equivalent of that by returning to this same mindset, but now in adults, on an exploitive TV show.
Tami was going to be mad because she wanted to be mad. All this "you should have come to me" is bull crap. In the real world who tells anyone they barely know every little thing they say or do that rubs them the wrong way? You complain to your friends about it, they go "woo woo woo" and you all move on. But Basketball Wives, like junior school, is an endless chain of people ready to "pop off" over "talking behind someone's back." Adults (usually) grow up to realize that since everyone talks about everyone behind their back all the time it's rarely worth getting upset over. Unless the talking is destructive in some potentially libelous career/relationship killing way or involves someone you are actually for really-real friends with, who cares?
Case in point: A few years back someone once told me that someone said I was obsessed with them. And I was all, "Oh really? That's funny." AND THAT WAS IT. I don't know the person who said the thing someone else said they said. They are not my friend. We don't kick it. What do I care what they say about me as long as they aren't accusing me of being a pedophile? Everybody is grown. No one owes anyone anything.
But Kesha went on Basketball Wives where "talking behind someone's back," even for something benign or understandable, is a crime where the penalty is Tami Roman unleashing three decades of rage on you.
Kesha could have responded with this irrationality with a: "Good Lord, did you curse out the people who did REAL HARM to you like this or do you only reserve your rage for people with no interest in fighting you? I mean, when you've been raped, robbed, beaten, abandoned, cheated on and manipulated, complaining about your racial insensitivity seems pretty far down the offense chart. Can't you just call up your mom -- the one you're really mad at -- and curse her out for two hours and leave me alone?"
But you can't say that. Because ... what? Are you accusing her anger of being misplaced when she WANTS to be angry? Now you're just making her angry. And now she's the Incredible Hulk.
There's no way to win with Tami. She wants to be pissed off, which made this "apology" exchange between Kesha, Tami and show moderator John Salley all the more annoying.
All that acrimony was because Kesha said it hurt her feelings to have her race questioned to someone other in Tami. All the girl wanted was that "woo woo woo" we get from others to cheer us up. In real life, Evelyn telling Tami that Kesha's feelings hurt would have either lead to a heart-felt conversation about racial insensitivity and misunderstandings or ... NOTHING.
Knowing this makes Tami look even more crazy. It's like if you were abused by your parents, had children of your own and were trying to do some rote thing with them -- like put your child up on your shoulders -- and they screamed or cried because of their fear of heights. But instead of rationalizing that, you got offended because "How dare she think I would ever drop them! I would never hurt them like my parents hurt me!"
So you beat your kid as punishment for accusing you of trying to hurt them on purpose.
I mean, that's basically Tami's logic.
"You think I would hurt you on purpose? Oh, I'll get you something to hurt about!"
But no one calls her on it. (Except for much dumped on castmate Royce Reed. Who wrote about it. On a blog.)
Because this show is a farce. Not a therapy session.
But everyone's so better now, guys! And cast member Shaunie O'Neal has finally worked things out with the people of the show she executive produces to change what appears on it. And she's not that bad, guys, because she talks to her pastor and is a mother and stuff. I mean, c'mon. They do great things when they're not trying to murder each other. And they're all better now and they promise to tone it down next season.
But when you have a bunch of empty vessels of marginal-to-non-existent talent, what can you make the show about? It became "fight night" because there wasn't all that much there to begin with. There's no real life reason for these women to hang out together, so you have to create a story. The only story left was how none of these women actually like each other and if left to their own devices, would likely never speak to each other. Even if Kesha and Tami turn it around it wouldn't matter. The show still wouldn't have anything to be about. And that's ultimately the problem with a lot of these shows. There's no real story here on Basketball Wives to document.
Braxton Family Values is kind of entertaining because at the end of the day, they're all sisters and singers with families where lots of storylines and non-fighting drama can be pulled from. The Kardashians have their multimedia empire based on their respective "hotness" and scripted family drama to film. Mob Wives, when not fighting over crap that happened a decade ago, has the compelling drama of women trying to get over the death of the mafia in the United States, dealing with incarcerated spouses, raising kids and reinventing themselves. And in the case of all three shows the women have at least a tangible reason to be around each other -- either due to life-long friendships or the fact that you rarely divorce your family, no matter how annoying they get.
There is no connecting tissue to even pretend to make story arcs out of anymore on Basketball Wives. Who cares about a lip gloss line or a new charity event? What's the story in this anymore other than the story of the obvious dislike they all have for each other?
There's no real reason to watch except for fighting and analyzing their sartorial fashion choices. If Basketball Wives ditches the prison rules and goes straight, goodness only knows what they'll talk about. Royce can only have so many loves of her life per season to document. Evelyn can only beg Chad to call her when he cheats on her so many times before it gets pathetic.
Anger is all they have at the end of the day. Without anger and pettiness what is Basketball Wives? It may be an ugly car wreck, but people will watch a car wreck. Shaunie and Shed Media and Vh-1 should just come out and admit this stuff is like the WWE and that Shaunie is really Vince McMahon in platform heels. None of it's real. Instead, make it a "scripted" reality show like "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and obsessively manufacture all the drama so it at least makes sense and is carefully controlled. The girls can handle a script as most of them have rudimentary acting skills -- they're already all horribly fake.
Faking like they're going to kill each other over words would at least ease the minds of those who just want to make sure no actual Kesha Nichols were harmed in this taping -- just the fake version of Kesha Nichols the former dancer could be playing on Basketball Wives: WWE Edition.
Make it so or just cancel this tired thing.