Thursday, January 30, 2014

Couples Therapy - 1/30/14 - Ghostface Killah Plays the Victim

This week on Couples Therapy, we learned that Ghostface Killah has two girlfriends...and they didn't know about each other.

Ghostface Killah dropped a bomb on his girlfriend Kelsey Byers - he was seeing someone else without her knowledge...and he wants the women to meet so he can decide what he wants. Say WHAT? It was pretty incredible how Ghost made it seem like we should feel bad for him - HE feels like he's stuck in the middle. HE's the victim. Umm...he's the guy secretly sleeping with two women. Is he in a bad situation? Absolutely. But is he the victim? I'm going to say no.

Dr. Jenn made Ghost fess up to Kelsey about his infidelity, but not until after she listened to him talk about how his relationship with Kelsey is still new and all that. Regardless - if you're close enough with someone to appear on Couples Therapy together, you're together enough to know that your girlfriend is going to be mad when she finds out that you're sleeping with another woman.

I think the best / worst part of the whole thing was when Ghost told Kelsey that his other girlfriend should be more mad than Kelsey because she's been around longer. Um, no. Both women have a right to be mad because Ghost is seeing both of them without the other one knowing. And the excuse about only knowing Kelsey four months is getting old - if you've known someone for a year, you've known them for a year, regardless of how much time you've spent physically in the same place.

The episode closed out with Ghost rubbing up on Kelsey while still being ridiculously aloof. After his confession and all that, he still had the nerve to ask Kelsey to get him some juice. When he commented on it not having ice, Kelsey threw it in his face. And you know what? He deserved it.

Next week, Ghost's other girlfriend will appear on the show, and it looks like things get explosive. This is going to be a very interesting episode!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

90 Day Fiancee: 1/26/14

The show opened up with Paola talking about how she doesn't have privacy in Russ' parents' house. Paola went down for breakfast in skimpy pajamas, and the family was too conservative for that. The family had bacon, which Paola refused to eat. Russ' mom talked about how the wife has to learn to cook like her husband's mother, which was said nicely but seemed to at least be a bit of a dig at Paola for not being a traditional American girl.

Russ and Paola went to look at apartments because neither of them were happy about having separate bedrooms at Russ' parents house. They looked at a great place, but Russ expressed concern about the cost, even before they knew what it was. The apartment Paola loved was $1,100 a month, and Russ gave in and they took it.

The pair moved into the apartment. (I noticed that it was completely furnished, which kind of made this look fake - it looked like they were staying in a hotel. And from what I understand, furnished apartments cost way more than $1,100 per month...especially a place that has a pool and a hot tub.)

Alan took Kirlyam to a salon to get her hair done as a pre-wedding trial. This was the first time she'd been to a salon like that. After her makeover, Kirlyam's hairdresser and makeup artist told her she could be a model, and gave her the info for her friend who's an agent. (Okay, we all know reality shows aren't real, but this is pretty much as staged as it can get, especially given Alan's jealousy.) Alan said they could at least call the agent, although he was concerned about people trying to get Kirlyam caught up in that lifestyle.

Alan took pictures of Kirlyam to send to the modeling agency. Alan admitted that he wasn't fully comfortable with it, but nothing was guaranteed yet.

Mike and Aziza were settling in, but their sex life was still at a standstill. Aziza said she wanted to wait until after the wedding, but Mike said they'd discussed having sex sooner. Aziza told the confessional that she doesn't feel ready to have sex. She made a comment to Mike about not wanting kids yet, and Mike suggested birth control. Aziza was concerned about how it would affect her.

The pair visited a place called J-Bella to check it out as a possible wedding venue. They planned to have between 40 and 50 people at their wedding, and Aziza worried about J-Bella being so small and not fancy enough for her. Mike ordered food for them to try, and Aziza wouldn't try it...and she said she didn't want pasta at the wedding. Mike explained that pasta is pretty standard for wedding buffets, but she wasn't having it.

Mike met with his dad, who noted that Mike's sister is worried about the relationship. Mike said that if Aziza was targeting someone to use, it shouldn't be him because he doesn't have a lot of money. Mike's dad asked how long Aziza had been planning to come to America, noting that she speaks English really well. Mike maintained the fact that he and Aziza want to be together, and she's smart, which is how she was able to learn the language. (Flash back to the fact that Aziza had recently been denied for a work visa. Just saying.)

In a totally not staged looking situation (sarcasm), Mike asked Aziza to meet him at a bar. Coincidentally, he was talking to two women outside when she arrived. Aziza told the confessional that she was jealous, but outwardly, she didn't seem to care. (Also, how was Aziza meeting Mike at this bar with no transportation? Looks a little sketchy to me.) Because of this, Aziza decided she needed to show Mike that she loved him...and then the show implied that the two had sex. You know, in the kind of scene where they pull a blanket over their heads, and the next camera scene shows a closed door with lights turning off beneath it.

Louis and Aya went to Louis' home in Indianapolis. Apparently, Mike told Aya he'd clean the house before she arrived, but he didn't - there were still dishes in the sink. Mike, contrary to Aya's expectations, thought he did clean the house. Aya thought Louis could have made the house a little nicer for her. (He really could have - let's be real here.)

Louis and Aya had dinner with Tonya (Louis' ex-wife) and her husband. Aya wasn't concerned with Tanya liking her, but she wanted her to be comfortable with Tonya and Louis' kids spending time with Louis and Aya. Things got tense when Tonya talked about people in the Philippines having a history of spanking kids and Aya took offense to that. Things got weirder when Tonya brought up the subject of Aya being on birth control and how she and Louis had discussed Louis not having any more kids.

Tanya dropped off Louis' kids with Louis and Tonya. Aya greeted the kids with a big hug, which Tanya thought was over the top. Aya, fortunately, seemed to have fun with the boys even though they were rowdy. The kids noted that their dad didn't have a lot of rules, and I have a feeling Aya will be changing that shortly.

And with that, the episode ended. Want to read about last week's episode of 90 Day Fiance? Click here.

Miss an episode? Find them on Amazon:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some News From the Week: Khloe Kardashian, Dean McDermott, a New Fox Reality Show and More

Remember how Khloe Kardashian let it be known that she was having fertility issues? Well, it looks like that may have been leaked to throw us off the scent of the real issue - her relationship with Lamar Odom.

Big sis Kim Kardashian spilled the beans to Jimmy Kimmel, letting the world know that Khloe Kardashian Odom, despite her desire for kids, secretly skipped fertility appointments and things because she knew her marriage was in trouble. And with the Lamar Odom cheating / hooker / drug scandals that erupted, the girl was right!

That being said, there were also rumors of Khloe cheating on Lamar (although they were kept pretty well under wraps if they are true), and Crazy Days and Nights reports that Khloe may actually be pregnant but doesn't know who the father is. CDAN also notes that some of this stuff could be done for story lines to keep Khloe relevant on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Dean McDermott is perpetuating the Hollywood stereotype that every mistake is an addiction and rehab will make it better. (Well, maybe Hollywood's real stereotype is that most people that go into rehab for an eating disorder are actually coke addicts...but this can go along with it. Isn't that the line Ke$ha's using now?) Anyway, because Dean cheated on Tori and the news got out, he's claiming he has a sex addiction and is getting help for it. While I would never say that sex addiction isn't real (you can get addicted to anything, right?) this honestly sounds more like the inferiority complex of a serial cheater. Remember, Dean cheated on Mary Jo Eustace with Tori Spelling. And now he's cheating on his more famous, successful wife with someone else. Plus, Tori's all wrapped up the kids and I think she said some wonky things about Dean in her book - the man probably feels embarrassed and neglected. I can't fault Dean for his feelings, but cheating isn't the way to go about fixing them.

The point is, Dean went the PR-friendly way of going to rehab, because then we're supposed to feel sorry for him because he has an addiction, so it's totally not his fault, you guys. (Re-read that last sentence with a valley girl accent and pretend you have bubble gum for brains - that's how I mean it.)

I do hope Tori and Dean can save their marriage for the sake of their kids, but if Dean's got the need for sex, cheating on his wife isn't exactly great motivation to get her to want to do the deed. Just sayin'.

As you can see from the stories above, society can be pretty screwed up. So Fox decided to play on that fact and pick up a version of the Dutch show Utopia (a brainchild of the guy who created Big Brother), which challenges people to create a utopian society from scratch. The show will be spread over the course of an entire year, so whoever signs up better either be unemployed or be able to take a long leave of absence from work. The goal of the show is for the group to create their own culture - structures, laws, chains of command and whatever else.

The elimination format will likely be similar to that of the Dutch show. Per RealityTVWorld (original article linked above):
The elimination format of the current Dutch version of Utopia has three inhabitants facing eviction as two new potential contestants simultaneously arrive. One of the two newbies will be forced to leave, but the one who gets to stay has the power to decide which one of the three remaining inhabitants will definitely be eliminated.
The show will either show a society that soars into success or falls into chaos...or most likely, a mix of both. I'm sure the show will mix those who want a utopian outcome with some villains, otherwise the experiment will progress way too easily. It'll be interesting to see what kind of governing structure gets put into place. Will the inhabitants stick with a traditional democratic structure, or go for something a little different, even though it goes against mainstream tradition? I guess we will find out when it airs!

Now that we've talked about potential problems in a fake society, let's talk about real ones - like the upcoming trials of Joe and Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. While planning to plead not guilty, the pair have petitioned for separate trials. Why? Because this will invoke marital privilege and allow the spouses to not testify against each other. Also, a big piece of both Joe and Teresa's cases are that Teresa didn't know anything. Joe signed her name on things, Joe did fraudulent stuff, and for lack of a better description, Teresa was too oblivious to know what was happening. While most people I've spoken to don't buy Teresa's excuse, this defense, in my opinion, is likely to keep her out of jail while Joe spends years in the slammer (and then maybe gets deported). Even though Joe reportedly cheats on Teresa a whole lot so he clearly doesn't care about her as much as he should, he probably realizes that he's going to be found guilty, and it'll be way better for the kids to have one parent instead of none.

So those are my recaps for the week. In case you need more news, Teen Mom 2's Leah Messer shared the news that daughter Aliannah has muscular dystrophy, there are hilarious pictures circulating the internet of how much Justin Bieber looks like Miley Cyrus in his mugshot, and you better not call Patti LaBelle a diva.

The elimination format of the current Dutch version of Utopia has three inhabitants facing eviction as two new potential contestants simultaneously arrive. One of the two newbies will be forced to leave, but the one who gets to stay has the power to decide which one of the three remaining inhabitants will definitely be eliminated.
The elimination format of the current Dutch version of Utopia has three inhabitants facing eviction as two new potential contestants simultaneously arrive. One of the two newbies will be forced to leave, but the one who gets to stay has the power to decide which one of the three remaining inhabitants will definitely be eliminated.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Couples Therapy - 1/23/14

Couples Therapy opened up with Whitney and Sada discussing that Farrah's supposed 'sex tape' is actually a straight up porno, unlike Farrah's claims. They noted that there's a camera crew and everything - therefore, not an amateur sex tape.

Dr. Jenn decided to talk about trust and fidelity in the group session. Kelsey and Ghostface went first. Kelsey said it hurts her trust when Ghostface is with other women. Ghostface asked if he's being made out to be the bad guy. Ghostface said he doesn't fall in love in four months. (They've known each other for a year but he's referring to physically spending time together - not while he's on travel.)

Sada and Whitney discussed that they've both been not ready to settle down, but they both trust each other. Dr. Jenn pointed out that many of their fights are related to jealousy. They said many of their arguments stem from misunderstandings and the need for attention.

Liz pointed out that Jon Gosselin is needy. Jon said his marriage with Kate was like a business transaction. Jon said that he had to complete tasks for Kate to be happy. Liz noted that she has trouble trusting Jon because when they were on a break, he was with multiple women. Dr. Jenn pointed out that Jon, who hated his controlling relationship, is creating a lifestyle where Liz has to be controlling to keep her anxiety in check. Dr. Jenn thinks Jon is still rebelling against Kate, in a way.

John said that he gets jealous when Taylor ignores him to spend time with their fans when they're out. Taylor said she tends to project her ex-husband Russell onto John.

Farrah said she feels hurt by her sex tape. She's hurt by people thinking it's a porn (even though it is) and she doesn't want it to mess up her whole life. When confronted about how there are different camera angles, Farrah said there was a camera person...and then said there was never a camera person. She's getting caught up in her own lies. It was noted that Farrah needs to be true to her own truths, but she responded with something about being judged. I think what's really happening is that Farrah did make a sex tape and sold it, but regretted her decision once she got backlash, instead of praise, for her actions.

Back in their room, Ghost and Kelsey discussed their relationship more. I'm kind of over their relationship at this point - Kelsey seems to want more, Ghost seems to want to have sex with more people.

The topic of Farrah's sex tape came up again. Kelsey explained to Liz and Jon about how it has more than one camera and things. Jon said his theory on the porn, which pretty much matches mine above. And Jon made a good point - nobody's judging Farrah for doing a porno - they're judging her for lying about it.

Farrah spent some time with resident counselor Keisha. Keisha noted that people sounded like they were having fun outside and asked if Farrah wanted to join them. Farrah said no because these are people she'd never be friends with and they're not trying to be friends with her. (Hello, defense mechanism!) She made a point that she's sick of fighting because she'd seen her parents fighting so often. Dr. Jenn met with Farrah and asked how she's doing in the house. Farrah said that people in the house are saying she's coming across as mean or rude. She wondered if she's so messed up from what she's been through that it affects her badly. Dr. Jenn said her perspective is off kilter based on her past. Farrah said she's confused because she's trying to be truthful with people and they think she's mean. Dr. Jenn said that Farrah came off a bit rough when she came into the house and needs to let people know her for who she is.

Farrah said that she was dating three months after having her baby. Dr. Jenn noticed something about Farrah - she'll share something about herself and then will share a judgment or anticipate someone having a judgment. She said Farrah has a lack of compassion for herself.

Farrah said she's been told not to feel sorry for herself and she judges herself. She said she feels like it started when she was young, and it likely came from her mom. Her mom and her dad have called her a b*tch and whore, and she believed them even though what they said was untrue. Farrah said she doesn't know what love is, and she feels like her parents are trying to use her. Dr. Jenn said that parallels her relationship with men. Dr. Jenn said she'd be bringing in Farrah's parents to work through their issues.

The group relaxed to celebrate Sada's birthday. There were women dressed as mermaids, Sada's friends, drinks and other fun stuff - even Farrah said she was having a good time. Sada had a great quote, "There's nothing wrong with being a day older, unless you're sushi or a banana."

Whitney noticed that Sada was flirting with Ghost, which was frustrating. Sada knew Whitney got upset with her but wasn't sure why. Whitney said she was going to bed and Sada chased after her. Sada told her to talk about what's bothering her, and Whitney explained. Sada said she wasn't flirting (especially because she's not into men), but Whitney always flirts with people. The argument went on for a while and didn't seem to come to any resolution. Then it came up again the next morning. This time, they discussed that it was a miscommunication and made up.

In a totally crazy (in my opinion) argument, Liz accused Jon of masturbating (which he said he wasn't). She got mad because she was right there, and if he needed to get off, he should have asked her. Jon maintained that he was in fact, not masturbating. The pair discussed it again later. Jon felt hurt so he clammed up. Liz practically attacked him, asking why she should believe him. Liz said Jon masturbating was embarrassing for her, and Jon said the situation was embarrassing for him. In my opinion, Liz was in the wrong here - she kept pressing the situation after Jon told his side of the story, and she laughed and made fun of him. She told Jon to not be the victim, yet she forces him to be. Jon pointed out that she's acting like Kate.

Next week, Ghost will talk about a woman he's seeing, Jon and Liz will discuss their scandal further, and Kelsey will throw juice in Ghost's face.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fifth season of Worst Cooks in America premieres February 17th

The casting call to find the worst cooks in America was sent out late in summer 2013. Now 14 contestants have been chosen, all of whom will have the chance to win $25 000 in the fifth season of Food Network's Worst Cooks In America. But in order to actually have a shot at winning the grand prize, under the supervision of celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell, they will need to transform from kitchen disasters into skilled cooks, and they only have seven weeks, or seven episodes to prove themselves.

The premiere of the fifth season is set to February 17th at 9pm ET/PT when all the fourteen recruits need to make their "signature" dish, after which they will be split into two teams, team Anne and team Bobby. Before this season Anne has managed to make three of her teams victorious against Bobby's one win.

“Watching Anne and Bobby compete and teach these truly kitchen-challenged contestants is both hilarious and inspiring,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President,  Food Network. “With the help of these masters, the contestant’s comical mishaps early on lead to some serious cooking chops and remarkable transformations.”

The challenges the contestants or recruits need to undertake are all different, from twisted high-stakes pizza challenge to milking cows and fast-paced sushi preparation. So, there will be something for everyone.

The season finale will air on Monday, March 31st at 9pm ET/PT where the two last cooks, formerly known as true kitchen disasters, will have to prepare a three-course menu for the judges.

For more information about the show, including interviews and photos, check out

Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.

90 Day Fiance: Episode 2 - 1/19/14

90 Day Fiance is back, and we're ready for the drama...especially from Paola, who's forced to live with her in-laws...which she wasn't exactly expecting.

Paola saw her fiance Russ' room for the first time, and it wasn't as mature as she expected for a man his age. He told Paola that girls were never allowed in his room and she was the first. Then he dropped the real bomb (aside from the in-law thing in the first place) - for the next three months, until they're married, Paola will have to sleep in Russ' brother's old room. Needless to say, Paola was less than thrilled.

Russ set up a meeting between Paola and his friends. He worried because he said in Latin culture, things are a bit more risque than in Oklahoma. Paola seemed to have fun, although she drank a lot because she was nervous. And Russ' friends didn't seem to appreciate Paola's love of drinking because of cultural differences.

Russ took Paola to buy cowboy boots so she can fit in better with the style the girls in Oklahoma wear, even though their style doesn't match hers. She ended up choosing a pink pair that were very nice, but above Russ' intended price range. She then tried on an entire outfit. Mike said she'd end up emptying his wallet, but he bought it anyway.

Russ took Paola line dancing, which is not like the dancing Paola did at home, which is based on feeling the music. Line dancing was much more structured than what Paola was used to.

Russ said not staying with Paola is tough but he wants to respect his parents' wishes. Paola snuck into his room wanting to spend time together but Russ seemed hesitant because of the rules. At least he said that they should get their own place.

We met Louis next. At 33 years old, he's been married before. He and his ex-wife share custody of their two boys - Louis, 10, and Donovan, 7. Louis (the dad) had seen an ad for a free dating site, on which he found Aya's profile. She's from the Philippines, and the pair began chatting in 2012. They've only spent two weeks physically together. Louis is adamant that Aya's not a mail order bride - there was no broker. They met through a dating site, on their own, on their own free will.

Louis asked his kids if anyone at school said anything about Aya, and they said they hadn't really talked about it. Louis explained that the kids should just tell people that their dad is getting married to someone he loves, and they shouldn't be afraid to say that she's from the Philippines. He also asked them if they knew what mail order brides were, which is fine but maybe not an idea to put in their minds, especially because that's not what their potential stepmother is.

Louis dropped his kids off with his ex-wife, Tanya. Louis noted that Tanya would be a big part of his and Aya's life because she's the mother of his kids. They discussed Aya coming over to the US. Tanya asked why Aya wants to leave the Philippines so badly, and Louis said she doesn't want to leave. He said he would have moved to the Philippines if he didn't have his kids. Tanya asked if Aya is a mail order bride. Mike said no, as he thinks that a mail order brides have marriage brokers and other things. Tanya was concerned because Louis got defensive when asked about the mail order bride thing. Tanya made it clear that she's not comfortable with the boys being around Aya just yet, and Mike said that if Aya doesn't get along with the boys, he won't marry her.

Louis went to meet Aya. Louis believes that there's one person for everyone, and that Aya is the person for him. Aya seems very reasonable - she admitted that she'll miss her family, but coming to the US is the right choice because of Louis' kids.

Alan and Kirlyam walked through their house and got Kirlyam acclimated to things like water heaters and the American words for things. They labeled items in the house like cups and bowls. The pair went food shopping and Kirlyam saw foods that she'd never seen before, like jarred tomato sauce and canned beans. They went to the self checkout line and Kirlyam didn't want to try scanning items by herself.

Kirlyam discussed the plan for her and Alan to stay chaste until their wedding. Because of the temptation, Kirlyam ended up moving in with Alan's parents. Kirlyam was concerned because she doesn't really know Alan's parents. Fortunately, his parents are supportive and seemed very welcoming to Kirlyam.

Alan's parents went to work, and Kirlyam was left alone, which is something she's not used to. In her home, there was always someone around. Kirlyam got emotional about missing her family. Kirlyam talked about how much she loves Alan, but she' having a hard time with out her family around.

Mike and Aziza headed to Mike's hometown in Cleveland after their visit to New York City. Mike worried about how Aziza would like his home, although it didn't seem as if he had to worry - she enjoyed meeting the dog and loved the basket Mike's mom left as a gift for her. The pair discussed how they hadn't been intimate yet because they'd only been physically together for 13 days, and in 'traditional' relationships, they don't feel that sex should happen that quickly.

Aziza went to meet Mike' family. They'd prepared hamburgers and things, and Aziza kindly rejected the offer and told them not to worry about her. She actually didn't eat at all. Mike said in the confessional that Aziza doesn't like people to see her eat. He's allowed to see her eat, but others aren't. He called it a phobia...but it seems kind of like an eating disorder. Mike's mom seemed offended that Aziza wasn't eating, and noted that it didn't seem appropriate. Aziza, in the confessional, said it's something that she can't control. Again, sounds like an eating disorder, because socially, Aziza not eating is a big faux pas.

Side note: Some people are speculating that Russ is gay. While I didn't immediately think that, there are some signs - Russ not fighting to share a room with Paola, not trying to spend time away from Russ' parents, and Russ being hesitant to break the rules and spend the night with Paola. That being said, I'm not willing to jump to conclusions because Paola seems to really like Russ...otherwise she wouldn't be staying with his parents and dealing with all of that madness!

One theory I read reflects that people think that Russ is from a religious family so this is his way of proving that he's not gay, and he's made some kind of deal with Paola.

Looking for a recap of the first episode of 90 Day Fiance? Click here.

Miss an episode? Check out Amazon:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Couples Therapy 1/16/14 - Welcome, Jon Gosselin!

This episode of Couples Therapy opened in the middle of Taylor Armstrong's meltdown from last week. It got way worse today. Taylor went off on Dr. Jenn Berman about how her towels are tea green, how she needs her latte and how she needs her giant house. It was pretty awful.

At the group session, Dr. Jenn brought up Taylor's incident. She said she'd never seen such an entitled tantrum...but she thought it was BS. Why? Because Taylor's been through a lot and it's got to be more than towels that set her off. When asked to defend herself, Taylor said she was upset about the food. John Bluher, Taylor's fiance, jumped in, saying the heat was too much. After that, Taylor gave in - she said she couldn't handle when John's attitude gets out of control (and his controlling behavior), and noted that her career in reality TV has already killed one person and she's worried about it happening again. Dr. Jenn assured her that her career is not what made her ex-husband take his own life - the issues went much deeper than reality TV.

Kelsey was the next person to talk. Kelsey worries that if she doesn't go along with Ghostface Killah's wishes, he'll find someone else. It was brought up that Kelsey's supposed to be okay with Ghostface being with other women, yet Ghostface is allowed to be angry that Kelsey stripped four years before. Ghostface got so mad - he equated stripping to prostitution, then made comments about how he bagged Kelsey and went off about how little time they've spent together. Dr. Jenn told Kelsey that she should never let a man define her value. After that, Kelsey left the room...and Ghostface refused to follow her.

 Kelsey spent some time with one of the therapists in the other room, and she talked about how the word love shouldn't be used lightly. She wants Ghostface to accept her for who she is. She gives Ghostface the benefit of the doubt even though he won't do the same for her. Ultimately, her goal is to get more love from Ghostface Killah and be in a stable relationship. Unfortunately, when the pair are on their own, Kelsey's unable to articulate what she wants, probably due to Ghostface's strong personality.

Farrah Abraham was next. She said that she feels that she's always accommodating others. Taylor chimed in, saying that Farrah reminds her of her younger self, and that's not a good thing. Farrah said it hurt her yesterday when Taylor said that it's hard to believe that Farrah's done everything that she's done in her young life. Taylor countered by apologizing for her approach, but explaining that it seems like Farrah's trying to make the world love her in all the wrong ways, and when you do so much, it starts to smell like BS. She doesn't have to do everything to make the world love her - the world should love her for who she is.

Taylor cited an example of how she and Farrah are similar - when Taylor was younger, she'd stop everything to be with a guy if he wanted her to, which is in line with what Farrah had just said. Instead of accepting Taylor's attempt to help, Farrah got defensive and said this isn't a place to hate on each other. Dr. Jenn cut Farrah off and said that hate wasn't Taylor's intention. She said that Farrah's so used to being attacked that she perceives things in that manner, even when that's not their intention.

The women from The Real L Word and Farrah were talking about reality stars, and the topic of porn came up. The topic of Farrah's porn came up, and of course, Farrah got defensive. She said that she's done a sex tape with a boyfriend (we're still sticking by that story?) and it got out. And when it got out, she sold the rights because that's all you can do.

The group was told that a new couple was coming, but not who, and Farrah told the confessional how welcoming she is and blah blah blah, yet everyone else is hard to please. Welcome to Farrah-land, where Farrah is always right. Granted, the others did talk about pranking the new couple, but I think that was more of a joke than anything else.

The mystery couple ended up being Jon Gosselin and Liz Jannetta. Yes, you know Jon - Jon from Jon and Kate Plus 8 fame. He said that he tends to go back to being silent during troublesome situations (battle scars from the Kate marriage), and Liz said she looked past her reservations to be with Jon, which included the fact that he has eight kids and she has three of her own. When asked, Jon made it clear that he and Kate are not civil towards each other at this time.

What was interesting was that Liz seemed to be very overbearing, much like Kate was - and isn't that what Jon wanted to get away from? Jon disagreed with my opinion, clearly, because he said Kate and Liz are like apples and oranges. There were weird similarities, though - Liz told Jon to stop making a certain face, and Liz also told him to do things - like, she told him to hang out and do his own thing while she finished her food.

The pair had a therapy session together. Jon told the story of how they'd met - in a parking lot, then at a bar, and then they went home together. From the way the conversation went, it sounds like they didn't get intimate that night; Jon just wanted to hug.

As Liz shared her story, she referred to Jon as "Jon Gosselin", and he said he didn't like that. Liz didn't understand why, and Dr. Jenn stepped in to say it's because it makes Jon feel like a character (like his TV persona), not himself. Dr. Jenn also pointed out that Liz's response to Jon's complaint is to diminish his feelings.

Jon talked about how he has to be guarded because of his past, and how it can't be let go because something keeps bringing it up. For example, Kate is suing him because she claims he sold information to an author that wrote a scathing book about her.

A big problem in their relationship came up - Jon seems to want marriage and Liz seemed hesitant. Yet Liz feels like Jon wants the lifestyle and she's interchangeable. This is definitely a complicated pairing!

Sada and Whitney watched Farrah's supposed 'sex tape' and talked about how it is most definitely not a sex tape - it's full on porn. (See here for more on that.)

Next week on Couples Therapy, we'll see Farrah defend her 'sex tape', watch Liz mentally destroy Jon and get a look at an argument between Sada and Whitney.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Teenagers Who Watch MTV Aren't Having Babies. Well, Sort Of. A Study Shows That Watching 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom May Have Lowered Teen Pregnancies.

The New York Times brought us an interesting article about teen pregnancy, based on a new economic study. The study showed that teen births have decreased by 6% in the time that 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have been on the air.

Per The New York Times:
A new economic study of Nielsen television ratings and birth records suggests that the show she appeared in, “16 and Pregnant,” and its spinoffs may have prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010.
While there may be validity to this, there are other factors in play. The article openly notes that teen births were lower during the recession. I think that would have a strong impact on the lowering of teen births because when money is hard to come by, people may be more careful, knowing that they can't afford to support themselves, let alone raise a child. And as I understand it, this statistic measures teen births, not necessarily teen pregnancies. Per Wikipedia, in April 2009, Plan B (the morning after pill) became available from pharmacies staffed by a licensed pharmacist to people 17 or older without a prescription. That change in and of itself could have a major impact on the teen birth rate.

The article has more information, though, to support the claim that MTV is helping to lower the teen birth rate. The analysis, done by Melissa S. Kearney, the director of the Hamilton Project, a research group in Washington, and Phillip B. Levine of Wellesley College, supports the theory with the following data:

Ms. Kearney and Mr. Levine examined birth records and Nielsen television ratings, finding that the rate of teenage pregnancy declined faster in areas where teenagers were watching more MTV programming — not only the “16 and Pregnant” series — than in areas where they did not. The study focuses on the period after “16 and Pregnant” was introduced in 2009 and accounts for the fact that teenagers who tuned in to the show might have been at higher risk of having a child to begin with.
“The assumption we’re making is that there’s no reason to think that places where more people are watching more MTV in June 2009, would start seeing an excess rate of decline in the teen birthrate, but for the change in what they were watching,” Mr. Levine said.

The study shows additional good data, like the fact that internet searches about contraceptives spike during 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom broadcasts, the fact that the show makes teen pregnancy less secretive and heightens awareness of the consequences of sex.

While I don't think MTV can solely take credit for the decline in birth rates, I'm willing to admit that some of the stories show a very dark side of teen pregnancy. Take Leah Simms' story - she's raising twins, one of which is special needs. The flip side of this, though, is that the show does glamorize teen pregnancy because some participants do become stars, even if not for the right reasons. (Think about the struggles Amber Portwood faced before she was able to turn her life around.) And a lot of the women on the show go on to have even more kids, probably in part because they can afford them based on their MTV salaries, which sets unrealistic expectations for those not bringing in MTV bucks. (Think Kailyn Lowry on this one.)

So do I think this study has validity? Absolutely. I do. But I think there are other environmental factors that need to be considered - the financial climate, availability of birth control methods, etc. And I still stand by my theory that the original seasons of 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom did discourage teen pregnancy, but the show's continuation is where things get dangerous. Why? Because the continual new seasons and availability of instant celebrity - for making a BAD DECISION - does not enforce positive behavior. But if this study can be proven, I'm okay with being wrong!

Update: Here's a study that shows that Teen Mom encourages teen pregnancy and many teenagers are clueless about teen pregnancy. This article states:

Two assistant professors, Nicole Martins from Indiana University and Robin Jensen from the University of Utah, have published a study that presents findings that indicate many viewers of the programs, “believe that teen mothers have an enviable quality of life, a high income and involved fathers.” Teens who perceived reality TV to be realistic were the ones most likely to have these perceptions.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

90 Day Fiance: The Premiere

90 Day Fiance brings us the stories of those who have 90 days with their significant others from overseas. At the end of 90 days, they have to get married, or the fiancee has to return to her native country.

First we met Alan, 29, who is from LA and is Mormon. He'd been engaged to his Brazilian fiancee for a year. He was getting ready to fly over to get his fiancee and bring her to the states. Kirlyam, 21, and Alan met when Alan was traveling in Brazil on his mission. The most time they've spent together at one time is two weeks.

Kirlyam is from a farming town that doesn't have running water and hasn't traveled - she'd only been to neighboring towns.

Alan took Kirlyam to the Hollywood Walk of Fame because she loves movies. She was incredibly excited to see Johnny Depp's star because she's a huge fan. It became clear that Alan has some jealousy issues - he was concerned that his girlfriend would be scouted for commercials and things as they walked through Los Angeles.

We met Alan's friend Kent who will be chaperoning the relationship. This is in line with Alan's Mormon faith. Alan will sleep on the couch, Kent will sleep on the floor (on what looked like an air mattress) and Kirlyam will have the bed. This was to avoid temptation.

Mike, 31, and Aziza, 20,were the next pair. Mike is from Cleveland. He says he doesn't have many places to meet women that he's compatible with. His fiancee is from Russia. The pair met on a website where people are paired up based on wanting to learn each others' languages. It wasn't a dating site, but the pair ended up together because of it. The pair spent 6 days together in Russia, but that was the extent of it. Mike noted that Aziza doesn't have much money, so Mike spent his own money (including refinancing his house!) to get Aziza over to the states. He says it's worth it, even if it doesn't work out, because he had to try.

Mike hung out with his friends, who were skeptical of Aziza due to her beauty and the age difference between her and Mike. One of the reasons for the friends' skepticism is that Aziza had applied for a work visa earlier in the year but was denied. The friends also noted that 90 days is not enough time to truly get to know someone. Mike defended himself by saying he'd be a fool for not at least trying, so he hopes it works out.

Mike flew to New York City so that could be the first place Aziza sees when she arrived. He noted that the pair hasn't consummated their relationship.

Aziza stated that the hard times she experienced when her work visa was denied is what brought her and Mike together romantically. He helped her through the hard time, and that made her fall for him.

Mike noted that he bought a round trip ticket for Aziza back to Russia, should she want to go home. Which is very noble, but but not a great use of money. Although Mike says he doesn't care about money, so I guess it works!

Russ, 27, and Paola, 26, were third. Russ, from Oklahoma, had the opportunity to travel to Colombia for work, which is where he met his fiancee. Russ lives with his parents, and Paola will be joining him in his family's home. Russ said he loves Paola but he's not sure how he can make it work. He noted that Paola's concerned about moving to the United States because she's never been to the country.

Paola arrived with lots of bags, as if she planned to stay a long time. However, she seemed to be a realist and said that 90 days is not enough, presumably to get to know someone well enough to marry them.

Russ booked a hotel room for the first night with Paola. This was good, because in a confessional scene, Paola said she didn't want to live with Russ' parents.

Russ took Paola to meet his parents and his brother. Paola seemed excited and nervous about meeting his parents, which was nice because it showed that she was concerned about their opinion of her.

The first difference between Paola and the family came up when the family said a prayer before dinner. In the confessional, Paola noted that she believes in God but doesn't like going to church. She also noted that she felt tension in the room, so she decided to talk. Paola asked how the family felt about her being their, and the answers didn't seem to be very supportive.

Russ' mom served the family's favorite pie and said that Paola will have to learn how to make it. Paola made a face that looked less than happy. She did note, though, that she doesn't want his parents to hate her. After they left for the hotel, Paola expressed again that she doesn't want to live with Russ' parents. And honestly, who can blame her? She needs her personal space!

We got a preview of the season at the end of the episode, and it looks like there will be a lot of uncertainty in the relationships. There will be tears over family in the women's home countries being missed, concerns about one of the women going into modeling, and tension amongst families. This should definitely be an interesting show!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Couples Therapy: Some Thoughts on the 1/9/14 Episode

Couples Therapy brought us some interesting situations this week. While I'm not in the mood to do a recap, I'll give you some highlights.

Taylor Armstrong and Farrah Abraham had a conversation about Taylor's divorce and her husband's suicide. When Taylor talked about the horrible situation, Farrah looked completely blank. Like, it was almost as if she was an emotionless robot. It was so strange. Most people, upon hearing Taylor's story (her husband beating punching her in the face), would be horrified. Farrah hardly even reacted, although she did say the implant in Taylor's eye looks natural.

After the conversation, Taylor said that Farrah must be the most self absorbed person ever. I think she's onto something.

Farrah is working on both an erotic sex novel and a Christian parenting book....what? At one point, Farrah said something interesting - "I'm 22 so I can talk about sex." It's almost like she's trying to prove herself to...someone? Everyone? The world? In any case, during most of the time we saw her, she was stone faced. No emotion. She cried a little bit during the group session and the private session, but even that looked fake. Either she's learned how to turn emotions off or she's got a crazy wall built up. Maybe both.

Also, Farrah still maintains that she was dating 'her ex who was in porn'. However, James Deen tells the story differently.

Ghostface Killah was horrified when he found out his girlfriend Kelsey used to be a stripper. His reasoning was because he's open about his past with Kelsey, and she wasn't honest about hers. Ghostface Killah said he was thrown off guard, in part, because he doesn't date strippers. It was almost like he was stuck in a stereotype.

Taylor Armstrong had a bit too much to drink and her attitude came out. She let us know what she does and doesn't like. And when she got mad, it seemed like her fiance got mad with her. She was fuming and freaking out, and suddenly, her fiance was mean and demanding with her, even though he didn't seem that mad on his own. Let's just say angry Taylor is not a Taylor you want to see. She was angry, demanding, crying, screaming - it wasn't great. I hope she is able to work on that behavior in therapy.

It looks like Jon Gosselin will be joining the cast next week, so that should be interesting!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Couples Therapy: The 2014 Season Begins...And With Jon Gosselin and Farrah Abraham, This Season's Crazy Already

Couples Therapy is back, and Dr. Jenn Berman's got a lot on her hands.

The first couple to arrive in the Couples Therapy house was Taylor Armstrong from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and her fiance John. Newly engaged, their problems already run deep. Taylor opened up about how her ex-husband Russell was abusive, despite the perfect public image she portrayed on TV. Her husband then took his own life. After Russell's death, Taylor wasn't sure she'd love again. But then, she fell for her attorney. And now they're together. But Taylor's post traumatic stress disorder puts a lot of pressure on their relationship.

The first thing I noticed when Taylor and John arrived is that Taylor brought her assistant to help her unpack. Oh, to have money like that!

I have to give Taylor credit - she said she's already had one unhealthy marriage and she's not going into a second, so if she and John can't get their lives straight, they're not getting married. Props, Taylor, props.

Ghostface Killah from Wu Tang Clan and girlfriend Kelsey (a singer / actress / songwriter) were next to arrive. Although they've been together over a year, the pair's only spent about four months together because of Ghostface Killah's schedule. The pair seems to be really into each other, but Kelsey's worried about her man's rapper lifestyle, and she feels that things have gotten distant when she asks Ghostface Killah about other women. GK says that he'd consider getting married one day but wants to see if Kelsey's the one. GK also doesn't think he needs therapy - he said if he needs therapy, he'll talk to himself. So, my guess is that either Kelsey convinced him to do this show for genuine reasons, for GK saw a way to increase his fame and gain some more fans. I'd say it's some of both. GK sounded pretty serious about not needing therapy, but he comes off as a genuinely good guy - the fact that he was there for his girlfriend says a lot.

The two couples met, and they seemed to get along, which was refreshing. Although if we learned anything from Flavor Flav in previous season, a good first impression does not mean a good relationship throughout the time in the house.

Third to arrive was a couple from The Real L Word - Whitney Mixter and Sada Bettencourt. They participated in the first lesbian wedding to be shown on national TV. Both women have strong personalities, and their struggle is to figure out who's the queen of the jungle. The pair struggles with communication and balancing out their power struggle, which is evident immediately on the show. The pair wants to have kids, so they're in therapy to move past their issues before taking the next step.

When Whitney and Sada arrived, Kelsey mentioned that she and Ghostface Killah have opinions on gay relationships...and it doesn't sound like their opinions are positive ones. This could get interesting.

Farrah Abraham on Teen Mom fame arrived next. She had attitude right from the start as she dragged her bag up the stairs....maybe Taylor had it right by bringing her assistant. Farrah said she never realized what love was until she lost the father of her baby, who passed away while she was pregnant. Farrah said she was involved with someone in the sex industry, but she's not a porn star....even though she has a sex tape. She said she took money to make her sex tape public because it was lucrative, the same way she took money to associate her name with a line of sex toys. Okay, Farrah, whatever. We already know you weren't actually dating James Deen. Anyway, she says she met a guy at her birthday party and they've been dating for five months (despite the fact that we've never heard about this guy in the media, so forgive me for being skeptical...along with the fact that Farrah tried to get a fake boyfriend to appear on Couples Therapy with her last season). Her story is that the day before filming, this guy stopped returning her calls and texts, as well as the producer's. This doesn't scream shady at all (sarcasm).

Immediately, the house was abuzz with questions - was Farrah alone? Did anyone come with her? Obviously there was some confusion as this how is called Couples Therapy. When Dr. Jenn walked in to talk to Farrah, Farrah said she doesn't have a boyfriend. She elaborated by saying that as of yesterday, her boyfriend didn't make it on the plane and he's not returning any of her contacts. Farrah thinks this guy did this purposely to hurt her. Dr. Jenn said she'd reach out to this mystery boyfriend, and Farrah said she's be open to working with the boyfriend if he decided to show up.

Hey Farrah, there are a few gaps in your story:
- You never mention your boyfriend by name. If you weren't hiding something, you'd say his name, right?
- How are you not concerned about this guy? If someone I was with was supposed to be on a plane, then suddenly disappeared, my first thought wouldn't be "He's mad at me", it would be "What happened? Is he okay? Was he hurt? Where is he?"
- How do you not come off as upset in the least? Seriously, shouldn't you be at least a little concerned?

After Farrah's arrival, the first group therapy session began. The residents met the counselors and therapists. Dr. Jenn said that some people in the house may realize they're more in love than ever, and other couples may realize that their relationships are over. Then, as she put it, Dr. Jenn talked about the elephant in the room - Farrah was there alone. Farrah said she's a little embarrassed and sad, and broke into tears. She said she was under the impression that she was coming with a boyfriend, but he suddenly disappeared. She said she's in shock. Dr. Jenn said that Farrah's mentioned seeing this pattern before - where men leave her and then sell stories about her. Dr. Jenn asked the group how they felt about Farrah being here alone. Taylor spoke first and said she was supportive. Ghostface Killah said Farrah needs to watch out to not fall into the same patterns, but also seemed to be supportive. Farrah later said that she wasn't sure if she'd stay if her man didn't show up, but we all know that's not true - Farrah won't turn down an opportunity for fame.

During dinner, Ghostface Killah remained hesitant about getting therapy. He seemed to think he was there to support Kelsey, but he was advised that he needs to be all in - he has to be a participant, not just a supporter. He and Kelsey continued their discussion later, in which GK said he cares about Kelsey but he hasn't officially labeled their relationship, and skirted around the issue of whether or not there are other women in his life. One thing's for sure - their relationship is complicated.

On this season of Couples Therapy, there will be lots of drama. It looks like Ghostface Killah and Kelsey will do lots of arguing, Taylor Armstrong will cause some problems, this mystery (fake) boyfriend of Farrah's may show up at some point (unless it's some other ex that shows up), and Jon Gosselin and his girlfriend will arrive. This is going to be an excellent season of Couples Therapy!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tori Spelling Forgives Dean McDermott, Even Though He May Have Knocked Up His Mistress

While I'm not one to be a huge fan of T-Spell and her shows, I do feel for her now that hubby Dean McDermott's cheating has come to light. Even though she and Dean were both cheating on their significant others when they got together.

News broke recently that Dean McDermott had cheated on Tori Spelling. He told his weekend mistress that he and Tori had a sexless marriage, and Dean and the mistress did it without a condom...repeatedly. So now that Emily Goodhand might be pregnant, I feel extra bad for Tori. Here's why:

- Tori has openly talked about the money problems she and Dean are having. Dean having to pay child support isn't going to help. Beyond that, Tori might want this child to know her kids because after all, they are siblings. That would be selfless of her, but very, very difficult.

- Tori Spelling tends to get a lot of bad press. This isn't going to help. She's got to be embarrassed by this, and I don't blame her. The worst part, though, is that Tori blames herself for Dean's cheating and forgave him because of it. Girl, if you want to forgive him, you do it and get yourself LOTS of family counseling. But don't blame yourself for your husband's infidelity. Cheating is NOT the answer, even when there are lots of problems in a marriage. And it is not your fault if you don't give it up as much as your hubby wants when you're chasing after four young kids.

- Tori's done a lot for Dean's fame and career. Sure, he's not A list or anything, but he would probably be way less famous if not for Ms. Spelling. Is he trying to make up for an inferiority complex or something? It can be hard when your spouse is more famous / makes more money / whatever else - but that's not a reason to act out.

Dean - hopefully you'll straighten up after this mess and stop cheating!