TGIF, y’all! I needed to let you decompress from that mess we like to call the final reunion installment of Love & Hip Hop. Are you over the scriptedness? I’m not, but I’ll plow through for you, dear readers. You know the old saying–when a door shuts on fake storyline rachetness, another one opens…and Stevie J. is waiting on your welcome mat!
That’s right. Once we get through this weekend, we’ll be treated to the star of VH1’s ridiculous L&HH franchise. After her violent exit from the season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Joseline Hernandez is back, along with other favorites. It’s the greatest of life’s lessons. No matter how horrible the behavior, if one brings the drama (and the viewers), that cash cow will never be put out to pasture!
On last night’s Dance Moms, the crew is still in Los Angeles, but this time everyone’s spirits are much higher. Of course, that comes to a screeching halt when they learn that they’ll be going up against the team that beat them on their previous trek out west. Jill is thrilled that Kendall will be launching her music career this go-round, but her daughter admits to her friends that’s it’s odd for her to be in the fore front. Kendall is excited about the opportunity, but she’s used to being in the background. Nia hopes their music videos won’t turn into a competition since they have such different styles, but she’s happy for her pal nonetheless.
The girls’ banter is interrupted when Abby Lee Miller says that it is time for the pyramid. Nia is on the bottom for her solo’s third place showing, followed by MacKenzie for being the group routine’s weakest link. She’s not applying the corrections given. JoJo rounds out the bottom, but Abby praises her for learning to keep her mouth closed. Maddie is in third (wait, what?) as her technique hasn’t been up to her normal standards due to her latest dancing gigs. Sure, dancing at the Grammys is amazing, but it doesn’t require the precision that Abby has been teaching her all along. Kalani is second, and Kira interjects to say that she and her daughter have been invited to a fashion show event. While she will be attending, Kalani has chosen to stay with the team. This pleases Abby, which should shock no one. Kendall is deservedly on top for her winning the overall high score with her solo. Abby reminds Kendall that she has a lot of work to do with her video so she’ll be relying on the other girls for assistance. Holly reminds Abby that Nia’s video is next week, so she will be focusing on that. Abby icily promises not to rely on Nia to help the team. Kalani and Maddi are granted dueling solos, and Abby announces that Maddie will be missing a day of rehearsals to perform on Ellen.
A dear, dear lifelong friend (transplanted to Boston but addicted to seeing her state featured on Southern Charm) texted me a “Which Southern Charm Gentleman is Your Soul Mate” (or something to that effect) quiz, stating, “I’ll tell you mine, but ONLY after you tell me yours.” I got Shepard “Shep” Rose (natch), and she hesitantly admitted that her match was Whitney Sudler-Smith’s divinely devilish mother. She lamented, “I think it’s slightly embarrassing that an opinionated lady who loves her medicine is my soul mate. What does that say about me?!?” Um, I’d say it just confirms how amazing my friend is…had I known Ms. Pat was an option, I may have swayed my responses! That said, last night’s episode proves that Whitney and Patricia are just fine playing the villainous upper echelon who take pleasure in looking down (way down!) on their co-stars. She’s like the love child of Julia Sugarbaker and Regina George with her flawless style, biting observations, and ultimate Mean Girl exclusion.
The show begins with Patricia summoning her butler (the newbie Mr. Belvedere has been busy polishing the silver…I’m glad to see he got the job!) to request glue sticks on his next run to the Publix. She’s compiling scrapbooks for her son as practice for a wedding photo album, but you won’t find these leather, gold-embossed babies on Pinterest, that’s for sure. Patricia opines about Whitney’s young, European reality star girlfriend and their foray into foreign tabloids as she dreams of a couture Valentino for their ceremony. Whitney arrives to complain about the Sandy Duncan from hell who Thomas Ravenel has enlisted to run his campaign. She doesn’t like the Raise the Roof ad, and Patricia is confused by this serf’s taste in low-budget political propaganda. Pat found her son’s vision of a dancing T-Rav to be “brilliant.” The duo laughs at the thought that any ad or manager could get Thomas a seat in the US Senate, as Whitney recaps his fundraiser at Bowen’s Island (Patricia briefly turns into Cher Horowitz…”as if” she’d attend any event off the peninsula!). He relays Kathryn Dennis’ bunny boiler meltdown when she felt condescended to by Whitney. Patricia poo poos the grammar and turns the attention to her diamond studded flats.
We’ve finally made it to the other side, y’all! Last night was the final installment of the Love & Hip reunion, and if you didn’t think it could get messier than it already was, you were sorely mistaken! Picking up where we left off last week, Nina Parker chides Rich Dollaz about not copping to what happened with Cisco’s ex Diamond Strawberry in the bathroom. As you recall from earlier in the season, Rich was intrigued by Diamond’s brand of crazy, but he promised Cisco he wouldn’t break bro code by going after his leftovers. Nina reminds Rich that the pair forgot to turn off their mics, and she then shares some previously un-aired audio from the encounter…which is pretty raunchy. Rich insists that nothing happened, and Diamond seems embarrassed. Diamond’s mother blames Cisco for making Diamond so vulnerable to be susceptible to Rich’s advances, although she does think her daughter made some bad decisions.
Diamond asserts that her fling with Rich wasn’t rooted in revenge. She was in a fragile state, and she had strong feelings for Rich. Her stalker ways are recapped, which, of course, feeds into Jhonni’s jealous rages. Cisco questions Rich’s intentions, and he can’t believe that his friend would act so shady. Rich does what Rich does, and Jhonni gets angry that Cisco refuses to go off on his friend. Can’t he punch Rich or something? Cisco gives a rousing speech about not becoming the next Stevie J and Benzino. If they’re going to scrap, it will be in private and when finished and they’ll party together like rock stars. He high fives Peter Gunz while representing the original L&HH as Rich laughs in agreement. Who are these people? When asked whether Jhonni posed a threat to her, Diamond quips that she didn’t even know who Jhonni was and assumed she was an extra. Jhonni retorts, “Your daughter is an extra,” which riles up Grandma Strawberry. It takes about fifteen men in suits to pull Jhonni from the stage. Diamond’s mother wishes they’d let her go so she could learn a lesson. Lady, have you watched this season? Jhonni would put a hurting on the elder Strawberry for sure!
Say what you will about Whitney Sudler-Smith (I certainly do!), but regardless of how sinister he’s coming across on the second season of Southern Charm, he’s pretty funny (even if we’re sometimes laughing at him and not with him). I think there is a lot about his life that we don’t get to see on the show. Whitney is clearly a talented film maker, so the silver spoon that seems constantly lodged in his mouth can’t be a permanent fixture. He has to work hard. We all know he’s the creator of my guiltiest Bravo pleasure and is a producer of the series.
Given that fact, Whitney has to know how he’s being portrayed…heck, he’s likely writing his own script! It’s a bit intriguing (and dare I say, endearing?) that he’d poke enough fun at himself to be the requisite villain. Y’all know I stalk them at any opportunity (I have a few grainy cellphone pics of a white jean clad Whitney waiting at a crosswalk…restraining order, what?), and I’ve been known to approach members of the cast when I see them around town. The one time I fan-girled Whitney, Shep Rose, and Cameran Eubanks at lunch (off season–they truly are friends), all were incredibly kind and cordial, but Whitney struck me as sincere and genuinely nice. Plus, we all know that “reality” these days means scripted stories where the stars use their real names!
Abby Lee Miller has taken the ALDC back to Los Angeles, which, for us dear viewers, means a week free from Candy Apples scripted craziness. That’s enough for me! It’s the little things. Last night’s episode of Dance Moms begins with the entire troupe in Lala Land, and Melissa brags that MacKenzie was chosen to go with Abby on a recent studio scouting expedition. All of the moms hope that this time on the West Coast will go much more smoothly than the last time. Jill reveals that Kendall wants to work on her music (she’s got the voice for it), and Abby has promised that she will focus on a music video for sweet Kendall. Of course, Jill knows not to rely on what has been said in the past.
At rehearsal, Abby is strangely chipper and excited for this week. Abby is ready to work on Kendall’s dancing, and Jill interrupts to remind her that she’s spread thin as far as contracts and deals go. Abby tersely reminds Jill that she’ll do her best. Holly understands Jill’s struggle (it’s real, y’all), and she apologizes in advance if Nia takes some time away to work on a music video courtesy of Aubrey O’Day. Abby is all kittens, rainbows, and unicorns about Nia’s opportunity, but she reminds her dancers that they have cell phones…if something comes up that she isn’t privy to, they should dial her immediately. Holly gets the message loud and clear, and Jill hopes the women’s relationship is on the mend.
Y’all, I just can’t help myself. Like Craig Conover is addicted to VIP status and Shepard “Shep” Rose is addicted to teeth whiting, I have a serious problem when it comes to saying no to Southern Charm.Cameran Eubanks is spot on with her assessments of things idiots and asshats, and it is fascinating to watch the drama play out between Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis on every episode knowing that we can catch the live show at any time on any given form of social media! Now, if only we could add some spice to the resident nice girl Landon Clements. Perhaps a seedy after hours encounter with Whitney Sudler-Smith? Nah, she’s far too sweet and likeable for that!
Last night’s episode returns on the heels of last week’s “to be continued” napkin-swatting, roof-raising cliffhanger. Kathryn storms out of Red Drum to Danni’s awaiting car as Thomas heads out to his Edisto plantation to relieve the nanny. The following morning, Craig is playing video games and sucking every last drop out of an Icee pop (breakfast of champions) while ignoring Cameran’s calls. Shep and Whitney are cleaning up after their wild party. Surprisingly (to me, at least), Shep isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty (although the stray boxers on the porch are a lot, even for him). Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think Whitney would be quick to play maid…I just didn’t see either one of them lifting a finger to bring the cleanliness of the beach house back to status quo. Shep acknowledges that while he raised in a privileged manner, he still had to clean up his messes. He’s always wearing a Bert’s Market t-shirt which tells me he appreciates a 24-hour convenience store featuring any household item known to man and two crock pots…one full of chili and one full of hot dogs for the best post-Budweiser fueled beach day snack imaginable. Whitney is likely wearing something from Kanye West’s latest collection, but he’s wearing it to be ironic.
Last night was the first part of the Love & Hip Hop reunion, and Mona Scott Young has given up her throne in favor of Nina Parker. Here’s hoping she’s able to bring out the dirt without inciting anyone to physically injure any of their co-stars. I’m not counting on it! Per the usual, it’s a lot of fake hair and dresses for which I would have given my right arm to wear to my junior prom back in the mid-90’s. There have been so many random characters who have appeared this season for no reason, the VH1 crew was probably hard-pressed to find a sofa that fit them all
Luckily, they are one person short, as Erica Menahas decided to forego the festivities. Ahhh, it seems Mona has scored the sit-down with the original franchise’s most volatile cast mate who claims she’s ready to start a new chapter in her life. Erica doesn’t want to risk a setback to her positive life changes, so she’s refusing to take part in the reunion. However, she’s happy to dress as if she’s ready to cut a bitch while wearing a cleavage-friendly sequined semi-formal. Erica believes she’s being very generous by letting Cyn, Rich Dollaz, and Chrissy Monroe have their time without her interrupting. After all, she is their story line. They can make up stories while she continues to prosper. Erica’s volatile relationship with Cyn is showcased, and there are some scenes I would have thought were from last season they took place so long ago. That’s a may be a sign the season played out a little longer than necessary.