Thursday, February 27, 2014

Couples Therapy 2/27/14

This week's episode of Couples Therapy opened with Whitney and Sada having their usual argument. However, they said that they've learned about reading other people's cues and things, which helps their relationship.

Sada waited anxiously for her dad to arrive at the Couples Therapy house. Her dad, Alvaro Bettencourt, didn't look immediatel threatening - he even hugged Dr. Jenn Berman at Sada's request. Dr. Jenn explained that Sada and Whitney fight a lot, and Sada explained that Whitney didn't experience the yelling that she did as a child. Sada noted that her dad used be a body builder and would break furniture in the house, but then five minutes later it would be all over. Dr. Jenn said that Sada has a habit of taking care of her dad, and Sada said she knows they love each other. Dr. Jenn explained that Alvaro didn't realize how scary his attitude was for Sada. He said he learned it from childhoold, in which his dad was even scarier than he was. Dr. Jenn said when someone has a violent parent, they either say they don't ever wnt to do that or they end up like that parent. Dr. Jenn asked Alvaro where he falls, and he admitted that he'd hit Sada one time. He apologized and it seemed very sincere. The pair ended up realizing they should talk more to end the cycle of violence, and both seemed genuinely happy to have appeared on the show together.

Farrah complained that her boyfriend Daniel was coming to join her in therapy. When asked what she wants to gain from it, she said Dr. Jenn can ask why boyfriends don't show up and they act shady. (Anyone else think she's placing the blame in the wrong place? Also, Farrah gave him permission to be there.) Dr. Jenn said she's hoping to get some insight about what it's like to date Farrah. Daniel said what he saw from Farrah initially was good - she was kind and they had fun. But if you express any opinion to Farrah, she wouldn't let that happen - she had a 'my way or the highway attitude'. Daniel said he didn't feel like he was treated like a boyfriend and he saw things about her that he did not like. He elaborated - Farrah was rude, blunt and had no regard for anyone else. She doesn't seem to notice this. Farrah said that when she gets a lack of affection from people, it's hurtful. It was like Farrah shuts down and changes the subject when she get insulted. Daniel elaborated, saying that Farrah should be setting a better example for Sophia. Clearly, Farrah was angry. She gave Daniel a fake goodbye and when he went to shake her hand, he refused.

After Daniel left, Farrah said Daniel's words were hard to hear. She insisted that she's always a very good role model in front of her daughter in real life. Dr. Jenn said that Daniel's feedback was similar to the feedback from her housemates - she comes off as disrespectful even when she doesn't mean to be. Dr. Jenn said she thinks Farrah still has the kind heart that Daniel saw, but it's hidden by pain. Dr. Jenn told Farrah she's come so far - in the beginning of therapy, she wouldn't be able to sit through being insulted. Afterwards, Farrah talked to the confessional and said some stuff that made it sound like she took absolutely nothing out of Daniel's visit - it was like, I'm getting insight into why guys leave and maybe I can change something about myself. She's still placing all of the blame outwards.

We caught a quick glimpse of Kelsey and Ghost, and it was nice to see Kelsey coming to terms with everything.

Dr. Jenn met with Taylor to talk about parenting. Taylor admitted that it's stressful and she felt that during her marriage, she couldn't be emotionally with daughter Kennedy. She has a lot of guilt about that. After Taylor talked about Kennedy getting angry, Dr. Jenn said it's normal for Kennedy to be angry - she's lost a parent and gone through a lot. Dr. Jenn reminded Taylor that she has to remain as an authority figure. This seemed to get through to Taylor, because she told the confessional that she'll now be all about Kennedy and John (her fiance), ands she'll try to create structure for Kennedy.

Jon Gosselin talked to the group about Kate and how she's suing him for millions. Jon made an interesting point about Kate. He said, regarding Kate, "You hate me more than you love your children". Taylor made a good point - so what if Kate wins against Jon? There's nothing she can take; he doesn't have millions to give. And in the process of creating this hate, neither Jon or Kate is giving their kids the love they deserve.

Jon had a phone call with Kate that did not go well. He felt like Kate doesn't value him as a person. His girlfriend Liz said she wished that she could take away Jon's pain. Jon resented the fact that Kate can say whatever she wants but he feels like he can't, and he feels that she exploits the kids. (Which, you know, she does.)

Dr. Jenn planned something special for the group. She said it's evident that many people in the house have childhood pain and trauma that they've supressed. Dr. Mike said the group would be doing exposure therapy, which really means that they can smash stuff to get out their anger. Dr. Mike asked the group to find items that bring them back to their defining moments, and then trash the place.

Taylor went first and this really worked for her. She channeled her anger at her parents and her ex-husband, and she really freaked out. Afterwards, she said she felt better but not in control of her body. She said she felt better because she realized that what other people did wasn't her fault and she could stop blaming herself.

Farrah was next. She said she hated worrying about a house - her mom cared more about the house than family. Farrah started by smashing a painting, which is representative of all of the things she was never allowed to touch and all the messes she was never allowed to make. Dr. Mike told Farrah to pretend Dr. Jenn was her mom for a minute and talk to her. She told her mom she wanted her to care about her more than things. She said some other stuff but it was lost in tears. Dr. Mike asked about someone whose name was blocked out, and Farrah talked about how with that person, she didn't feel insecure about her face, body, etc. And then she talked about how she changes herself (the plastic surgery and all) to hide from the insecurities.

Kelsey's turn was all about how people never understood her and weren't willing to compromise with her. Ghost noted that he never realized what Kelsey was feeling. Dr. Mike asked Ghost if he now understands why Kelsey was so upset when she found out that Ghost was seeing another woman, and he seemed to actually understand for the first time.

When Jon's turn came up, it was brutal - or at least the cameras made it look that way. He kept talking about how he wasted his life with Kate and hated how everything had to be perfect...yet everything was fake. Jon was told to tell Liz what he needs. He said love, but more than that, he stood up for himself and told Liz what he wanted. They shared a big hug, which is more than we usually get from Liz. Jon seemed like he genuinely felt better about his relationship with Liz after this exercise.

Next week is the season finale. Taylor will cry, Ghost will be a jerk and say he forgives Kelsey (say what?) and I'm sure we'll get a lot more emotional breakthroughs.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Being Farrah...More Like Being A Little Misguided

I watched Being Farrah today, and even more than before, I realize how delusional Farrah is.

A couple of observations:

Farrah made a big deal about how she wants to be normal, yet nothing she does is for the sake of normalcy. Club appearances, porn videos (oh I'm sorry - sex tapes) and a sex toy line - not for someone who truly wants a normal life.

I think my favorite part of what conversation was when Farrah was asked how she made the leap from a sex tape to a sex toy line and she acted all kinds of offended...or at least I think so. I couldn't tell past all the makeup and overstated eyelashes.

When asked whether she was worried about anyone talking to daughter Sophia about her sexual entertainment ventures, Farrah pretty much said that only someone disgusting would do that. She said if it happens later in Sophia's life, it'll be okay because she'll, like, have totally told Sophia about the birds and the bees like that!

Later in the show, Farrah said she hates when people call her a porn star because that's a lie. She later clarified, saying that she's done one movie, but she's not a porn star! She also said she didn't fit in with the porn crew, and she didn't understand why her friends have sex tapes which is fine, but hers isn't okay. (Well, she's famous and her tape was filmed on a sound stage with a porn star. So...yeah.)

Another thing - Farrah let her dad move into her guest house, then complained that he's around. Yet Farrah travels all the time...so her dad must be watching Sophia, right? It must be good to have him around then! Let's be clear - Farrah is not raising Sophia on her own.

Farrah sees an aesthetician for preventative work on her face, even though she'd had a million plastic surgeries and looks, well, plastic. She's so proud of the work she'd had done - what happened to being even remotely happy with who you are?

I can't say Farrah is entirely to blame. As we learned on Couples Therapy, Farrah and her mom have issues. And Farrah's mom clearly can't open up and be a mom in the way that Farrah needs her to be. And the pair seem to be both pushing on each other and pulling away from each other at the same time. They also seem to have the same ways of being in denial - they talked about how it's good to be good at things in the sex industry as long as they're not disgusting, and that's not who they are or something.

Oh yeah, and Farrah maintains that she's a good role model because she can protect Sophia from things she's gone through, but I'm not convinced.

I'm not going to judge Farrah's parenting because what we see on the show is such a small piece of her real life, but I will say that it does seem to be hard on Sophia to have TV crews around. However, kids act out all the time, so I can't hold Sophia's tantrum against Farrah in this individual incident.

It was interesting that when Farrah asked Sophia how she looked before she went out, Sophia said she looks evil. I'm sure it's a random, weird kid thing, but it definitely seems if Sophia is fearful about Farrah leaving her and not coming back...probably because Farrah's always leaving for long periods of time for work and things.

I do think Farrah would be different if Derek was alive. It seemed that Derek loved Farrah for who she was, and he would have stuck by her and Sophia if he was alive. I think his untimely death was a big part of Farrah choosing the negative lifestyle that she did.

Farrah keeps repeating the same things like a broken record in every situation - I'm not a porn star, I've accomplished so much, I made mistakes but I'm good now, I'm successful, I'm a great mom, blah, blah blah blah. The most real thing I heard her say in the whole episode is that she and her mom get along better when they're not together all the time. That is probably the most real thing that she's said in years.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

90 Day Fiance Season Finale: 2/23/14

Tonight was the finale of 90 Day Fiance.

The episode opened up with Russ reminding us that he was called back to work and wouldn't have his wedding day off. Paola asked Russ if he was going to ask for the day off, and Russ said he'd try again. When Russ left their apartment, Paola cried because she and Russ had an argument and she'd made him feel bad. It seemed that the emotions about Russ leaving were catching up with her.

Paola felt lonely and sad with Russ away for a few weeks. Even so, she had her bachelorette party. She went out with Russ' cousins and a friend named Ashley to a club. Paola began to drink to get her mind off Russ being away, but she still couldn't seem to shake her sadness.

Note that between the video of Paola living it up, we were shown video of Russ being lonely at work.

Russ checked his phone and found a voicemail from Paola. She missed him so much. It's so strange - I really believed this marriage was a sham, but it seems that Paola's really into Russ. Russ called Paola and said he would come home immediately and make sure the wedding happened. He said there's always more jobs, but there's only one Paola. The weird thing is that Russ managed to get home on the night of the bachelorette party (the girls were still in the room with Paola, so I think it was the same night). If he's so far away, how did he do that? I don't get it.

Russ and Paola's wedding arrived. Paola looked amazing. Her dress was beautiful and much more modest than the sheer one she originally tried on. The venue Russ and Paola were married in was incredible. For a couple on a budget, they sure had a great wedding! Paola said most of her vows in her native language. Russ tried to read his vows but cried. It looked like his nose was bleeding a bit too, but that may have just been a shadow. After the vows, the couple shared a very intense kiss. Russ' parents said that they could tell that Russ and Paola are really in love...so maybe Russ isn't gay, despite the speculations. If they're happy, awesome for them.

After the show aired, Russ found a job with less travel and they plan to have a second wedding in Colombia.

Alan and Kirlyam arrived in Hawaii for their honeymoon. Kirlyam was so charmed by Hawaii. Alan and Kirlyam both talked to the confessional about how they've not be intimate with anyone before. However, their priorities weren't about sex - they first decided to check out the beaches of Hawaii. They looked like they were having so much fun.

The pair got to the hotel room and laid down on the bed. They cuddled for a bit. Alan asked Kirlyam if she wanted to go to bed. Then, they kicked out the camera crew. (Nicely, of course - Alan even said please!) They then found the in room camera and shut it off. You can guess what happened next.

Alan and Kirlyam were so happy to wake up next to each other. It was so funny - after saying how they were both glad to have waited until marriage to have sex, they gave each other a high five. It was so adorably innocent. They then talked jokingly about how many kids they want to have. Alan said eight, and Kirlyam said 'with who?' He tried to negotiate his way to a lower number, but Kirlyam stayed firm at one child. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out! Not that we'll ever know.

Since the show aired, the pair started discussing kids.

Mike and Aziza's wedding day arrived. Mike was worried that Aziza wouldn't want to get married because her parents couldn't make it. He had reason to worry - it made Aziza realize how much she missed her mom. She also didn't feel like America is home.

Aziza got dressed for the wedding. Aziza said the wedding was a nerve wracking experience. Mike said that he wasn't sure that Aziza would marry him until she actually walked down the aisle. As she waited for her big moment Aziza was freaking out - she felt sick.

Aziza did walk down the aisle, and she knew when she did that she was making the right decision. After the wedding, Aziza smiled in a way that we barely saw on camera. She looked so genuinely happy. While Mike's parents seemed comfortable with the wedding, others still had concerns. Still, Aziza defended herself and Mike, and said that it doesn't matter what others think because they're happy.

Aziza, since the show, has been pursuing a hospitality degree. She and Mike are looking for a bigger house.

Louis said he wished he had more time with Aya before their wedding. Louis' friend Tony set up a low key bowling bachelor party for him. Tony asked Louis if he's sure about marrying Aya, and he said "Pretty sure." Tony asked if Louis thinks things will wig out in a few months. Louis said he didn't think so because they planned to be together forever. Tony asked Louis if he had a door and said, 'you can get out...it's your last chance', but the camera cut over to another story without us hearing the answer.

Louis and Aya's wedding day arrived. Aya got all ready for the wedding, and she received a call from Louis saying that he's a little late and he'd be there soon. Aya said that Louis always seemed so sure about everything, so this concerned her. (I personally think she should have been worried about her overabundance of blue eye shadow, but that's just my opinion.)

An hour before the wedding, Louis still hadn't shown up. Fortunately, Louis made it (although late) and his excuse wasn't too bad - he was setting up for the reception, so it's not like he was having cold feet. Aya said it was such a relief walking down the aisle, and Louis was blown away because Aya looked gorgeous. Louis said he cried a little, and Aya cried openly - but they were tears of joy. She was excited to start her life with Louis. Aya later said the wedding and reception were great - I guess they found a good compromise within their budget. Louis and Aya said they want to have at least one child. Then Louis said he wants a motorcycle and Aya threatened to punch him - thankfully they laughed and were kidding about the threat of violence.


Sister Wives Tell All 2/23/14: Did Anyone Else Not Like What Robyn Said to Meri?

I'm watching the Sister Wives Tell All special, and there's one thing that sticks out to me - Robyn's criticism of Meri wanting to find herself.

During the Sister Wives Tell All, Meri talked about how she wanted to find herself now that she's an empty nester. When questioned about what she meant and something like sky diving was given as an example, Meri went with it - she went on to talk about doing something crazy but short term. In reality, I think she really meant that she needs some time away from the family.

The problem I had with this situation is what Robyn said. She said she resents what Meri said because she helped raise Mariah, and she expects Meri to do the same for her kids. I think she was trying to be funny - what she meant was that she knows Meri appreciates Robyn's help, and that Robyn appreciates Meri's help and wants her to stay around.

However, the way it came out was "I helped you; now you need to help me." Well, they are sister wives, but Meri absolutely does NOT owe Robyn anything. Robyn came in once the family was built. Robyn brought in her own kids to an already large household. Robyn was around after most of Mariah's formative years. Meri does not owe her anything.

That being said, this isn't exclusive to Robyn and Meri - I don't think the sister wives "owe" each other anything. If they want to help each other, excellent. More power to them. But they do not "owe" each other anything just by virtue of being sister wives.

Okay, back to the point - saying that Meri shouldn't be allowed to find herself is so, so wrong. When any parent's child moves out of the house, the parent has to find their new identity. They no longer wake up to feed their children. They have to accept that their kids are growing into independence. This, in and of itself, is a new identity.

I 100% percent Meri if she needs to go leave the family - even for an extended amount of time - to find her new identity. Just because she's in a plural marriage doesn't mean that she doesn't have an individual identity.  Maybe she wants to focus on being a businesswoman. Maybe she wants to be a chef for the whole family. Whatever she wants to do, she deserves to have that chance. And sure, she'll be involved with all the kids and love them as much as she can. But she deserves to find herself...and I bet when Robyn ends up with no kids in her home, she'll want to find herself as well.

90 Day Fiance: Len and Alina

Len, 48, and Alina, 23, met on one of Len's trip to the Ukraine, where Alina lives. Len is a gym owner from Arizona.

Note: as of this time, there's no resolution for their story on TLC.com. This recap provides all available information from the online videos.

Image from TLC.com
Len sat down with a friend named Kim, who wasn't fond of Alina. When Len broke the news that he'd be bringing Alina over on a K-1 visa, Kim wasn't happy. Kim thought that Alina was emotionless, and she couldn't see what Alina would be giving Len, whereas Len would be giving Alina a great lifestyle. Kim was clear in the confessional - she thought Alina was using Len - she wanted his lifestyle, and she'd ditch him after she'd been in the states a while.

When Len was talking to Kim, he mentioned something that reminded me of Mike and Aziza's story - Alina can't get any other kind of visa, so this is her only option. That is a little troublesome!

Len talked to his brother Steve about Alina, and he called her a mail order bride. He said he wouldn't trust a girl he'd only spent two weeks with, so why should Len? Len's dad asked if Alina had asked for money - Len said no. Len said he'd be getting a prenup. Kim said that Alina would be back on a plane within 30 days - nobody seemed to believe in this relationship.

Alina missed one of her visa interviews. When Len questioned her, she was defensive. It turns out that Alina was jealous about Len sharing a meal with Kim. (Jealousy problems for sure!) Len asked Alina if she really wants to come to the US and she said she didn't know.

Len and Alina went a week without speaking. Len was partially angry and partially worried. He kept calling Alina, but she didn't answer. Len said he'd dealt with Alina's spats in the past, but he wasn't willing to stop pursuing his happiness.

Two weeks after their argument, Len still couldn't reach Alina. Len said he'd never ignore someone for two weeks like Alina did. Len said eventually Alina would contact him, and he'd ask what happened. Eventually, Alina picked up one of Len's calls. She said she'd been on vacation with another man, who she said gives her everything she wants. (Looks like she's being a gold digger!) Len was angry - he knew what needed to be done but was on the fence about what to actually do.


In the end, Len cancelled the visa request for Alina because he could never trust her again. And that was the end of them...and the reason their episode only aired online, not on TV.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Couples Therapy 2/20/14

Couples Therapy is back for another night.

When the episode opened, Liz said something telling about herself - she said that nobody should hide the truth in order to spare her feelings. Which is exactly how she treats Jon, but Jon needs more of a loving, nurturing relationship. When Jon talked to Dr. Jenn, she said that Jon's falling into the same pattern as he has with Kate. Yet Jon defended her - he said that he loves Liz. It's almost like he's willing to look past the abuse for the positive aspects of the relationship. Dr. Jenn advised Jon that he should tell Liz when she's insulting him - he needs to stand up for himself and take back his power.

Jon and Liz later spoke, and Liz had a sarcastic response to Jon's question. Then Liz had a revelation - she's too blunt when she talks and she is, in fact, acting like Jon's ex Kate. I'm glad she finally realized it because even though Jon knows he has to stand up for himself, he hasn't yet.

Dr. Jenn announced that the group session would be one of the hardest because they'd be discussing childhood trauma. Taylor was first. She, at the age of two or three, experienced her dad beating her mom in front of her. Her mom grabbed her and they left. Taylor then reflected on her own abusive relationship with Russell and how she should have left sooner so her daughter Kennedy didn't have experiences like her own.

Ghost's dad left when he was 6, so he tried to become a man early. That led him to doing illegal things because he felt lost. He felt lost. Ghost noted that his inability to love properly comes from not experiencing love of his own.

Farrah was third. She said when she was two, she kept trying to get her parents' attention. Her mom said something along 'go inside and sit by yourself', and Farrah never felt like she was getting attention. As Farrah grew, she was forced to stay at someone's house, and that person would hit her. When she told her mom, she didn't care. (The person's name was blanked out.) Dr. Jenn pointed out that Farrah's history is that she felt like nobody has been there for her, and that Farrah chooses men who follow that pattern.

Sada was next. Her parents were always fighting. Her dad had two sides - the great, loving side and the crazy side after something set him off. When that happened, her dad would hit her, even in front of her friends. He would also break furniture. Sada's mom would always pack their bags and they'd drive around, but not leave. At one time, her dad saw them in the car and ripped the locked door off of the car. Whatever happened next must have been bad because Sada didn't remember it. Dr. Jenn told Sada not to let this define her because it affects her relationship. When asked, Whitney stated that abuse should be discussed because it can help people, and she's really proud of Sada.

After group, Kelsey told the confessional that she was surprised by Ghost revealing his true feelings. She seemed to soften towards him after the anger from the situation with Ghost's other girlfriend. Kelsey said she needed to get to a place where she can forgive him - she doesn't want to stay mad.

Dr. Jenn brought in Farrah's mom so they can address their issues. Debra came in and Farrah smiled at her but they didn't hug. Dr. Jenn asked if Farrah's always been as strong as she is now, and Debra said yes, and she comes from a line of strong women. Debra said she was by Farrah's side when she announced her pregnancy. Dr. Jenn then asked Debra what she said to Farrah at the time. She said that Farrah said she wanted an abortion but she was against it and said no. Dr. Jenn noted that Debra and Farrah both do the same thing - when they describe major moments in their lives, they become defensive and don't allow their feelings to be processed. Dr. Jenn asked Debra how she's feeling at the moment. Debra said she feels blessed to be there. Dr. Jenn said she's coming off as angry. Debra denied it. (Side note: did it look to anyone else like Debra's on some major anti-depressants and sedatives? She seems to have some peace pills flowing through her system.) Farrah said that her mom doesn't know how to talk to her and that creates distance. Farrah said the anger in the family makes it hard for people to get along. Her mom kept spewing the BS about how she isn't angry.

For once, I actually felt bad for Farrah. She and her mom are so similar, yet Debra, as the authority figure, had the responsibility to understand and listen to Farrah. And she doesn't. And probably never has. She seems to live in some kind of cloud (not unlike Farrah) where bad things don't exist and everything's okay because she's not tuning into her emotions.

Debra did eventually break down and cry...she talked about how hurt she is. What is comes down to is that Debra wants people to share their feelings, and she feels like she can't help because she can't understand people. Dr. Jenn told Farrah to start mourning the mother that she wants because Debra can never be that mother. Ouch. Valid, but ouch.

Dr. Jenn pulled Sada aside to talk about her father's rage. Sada said she felt guilty for talking about her father's actions. Dr. Jenn asked if Sada thinks her dad feels guilty for what he did. Dr. Jenn suggested that she talk through this with her dad. She asked if Sada had thought about her dad coming out to the show so they could talk, and suggested that she do that. Sada called her dad and asked. He agreed to appear on the show. Her father's impending arrival clearly made Sada nervous. Whitney tried to talk her through it but Sada wasn't responsive. It turns out that Sada felt sad because Whitney wasn't trying harder to connect with her. It was interesting - this couple has such strong communication issues. They're both trying to connect with each other but are missing the mark.

The pair tried to discuss their communication gap. Sada was telling Whitney to go when she really meant stay. Whitney said she can't read between the lines - she needs Sada to say what she wants. This led to a major argument. I hate to say it, but they kept talking in circles. Sada doesn't state her needs, Whitney doesn't listen, blah, blah, blah. When Whitney's voice got loud, Sada shut down, which is probably a carryover from her childhood trauma.

Next episode, Sada's dad will arrive. Farrah will meet with an ex. The group will deal with anger management. And we will see what will probably be a very intense episode.

Super Fun Night: The Night Is Probably Over...And I Mostly Like the Outcome

Okay, I know this is a reality TV blog, but I had to address the fact that Super Fun Night had what is probably its last show ever last night. As of now, it hasn't been officially cancelled or renewed, but I'm fairly sure it's not going to be joining us for a sophomore season.

Below are my thoughts on the show. If you haven't seen the final episode, I suggest you stop reading now.

I have to say, I enjoyed watching Super Fun Night. Rebel Wilson, the mastermind behind and star of the show, is incredibly entertaining. Her character, Kimmie Boubier, broke all the rules of being a young, successful lawyer, from using unicorn notebooks to dressing in a way that's too extravagant for the average workplace.

I think, though, the real star of the show was Lauren Ash's portrayal of Marika. I was so happy to see Marika find herself towards the end of the season. We all knew that Marika was a lesbian all along, and for her to finally admit and be open about it was nothing short of awesome. Beyond that, Ash's portrayal of Marika was great - she has these absolutely clueless moments which were hilarious to watch.

My main criticism of the show was the fact that Kendall seemed to flip flop between personalities. Sometimes she was a cold hearted you-know-what. At other times she softened. She liked Kimmie, hated Kimmie, pushed Kimmie away, made friends with Kimmie's friends - she showed a lot of personality change, but not consistently. I guess this was the way of getting us to like and hate Kendall alternately (as she is the villain of the show) but it got downright confusing after a while.

The final episode of Super Fun Night wrapped things up nicely, which makes me happy that the show probably won't come back for a second season. Why? Because even though I enjoyed the show, the season ended in a very clean way. No cliffhangers, no question, nothing. Everything's very settled, and to bring the show back, they'd have to shake things up. Sometimes it's nice just to have the happy ending.

So what exactly went down in the final episode?

- Helen Alice finally did the deed with her 'boyfriend', which landed him in the hospital because he's allergic to her.

- Marika came out to Kimmie and Helen Alice, then brought her girlfriend to their home, in which she said she lives in a closet. That was pretty funny.

- Kimmie, after telling James that she kissed Richard (against Kendall's advice), ends up losing James but went back to him in the end. This was the only disappointing part of the series for me - I wanted her to end up with Richard. Although I did like that Kimmie described James as having cupcake qualities - very creative! Anyway, although I wanted Kimmie to end up with Richard, that would close a possible storyline if the show does come back for a second round.

- Kendall, after losing a promotion to Richard (whose father, played by Charles Shaughnessy, gave him the promotion) decided to resign, even though she said being a rich white woman with lots of contacts would make getting a job very difficult. (This was great - nice use of dry humor.) However, when she gave in her papers, Charles Shaughnessy's character said he was going to make her partner. She gratefully rescinded her resignation.

- Having been given the promotion, Richard headed off to Berlin - which he found out pretty much immediately before he had to go. Kimmie met him at the airport, presumably to tell him she loved him and not to go, but she didn't - she let him leave.

The episode ended with an awesome musical number that had nothing to do with the show, but did provide an epic ending.

I will miss this show, but I think it's best that it doesn't come back. I would hate to see the show come back and lose its comedic value. (And let's face it, it wavered - I mean, cookie prom episode?) So for now I say farewell, Super Fun Night. It was great getting to know you.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm A Little Late To The Party Here, But I Didn't Realize What Really Happens After Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Okay, I realized I'm years too late on this, and I knew reality shows aren't in the business of ethics, but I was still shocked when I learned of the misfortune has fallen on some of the participants of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The show puts people in a really tough position after the show ends, leaving them with massive tax bills and electric expenses.

Don't get me wrong here - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition can be very helpful for people. It provides families with homes appropriate for their large families, for their ill children, and so on. And the show does advise people to consult a financial adviser after participating in the reality program. But it has the capacity to leave people with less than they started with.

The stories of foreclosures and undervalued home sales are incredible. Sadie Holmes, a recovered drug addict who dedicated her life to helping people, was forced to fight foreclosure on her Florida home. Per The Huffington Post, "Holmes has been burdened with charity fees, code-violation fines and money borrowed against the property that was revamped in 2006 by the ABC show."

Money problems aren't the only ugly truths to surface from the reality show. The Higgins family found themselves homeless and embroiled in a lawsuit because of the show. While I don't have the links to the articles that I read yesterday on this subject, I can direct you to this site for a piece of the story. When their parents died, the five Higgins kids, all aged 21 and under, were offered a place to stay by the Leomiti family, members of their church. Here's where this gets messy - the Higgins claim that the Leomiti family did this after they heard about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, hoping for a home expansion and a payday. The Leomiti family denies this, taking the side that they were taking the kids in to help them. Long story short, the Leomiti family ended up with a giant house and both families ended up with cars and other stuff. The Higgins kids ended up leaving the house shortly after the episode was filmed. The Leomiti family seems to stand by the fact that the Higgins kids didn't want to live by their rules, but the Higgins family states that they were kicked out after the show ended because the Leomitis just wanted the house, not the responsibility. So the Higgins kids, now scorned, try to sue ABC. They said ABC did them wrong - they were promised a place to live and they didn't get it. The case was thrown out of court because ABC never did promise the Higgins' any right to the property - after all, the Leonidis owned it before and they continued to own it after the show aired. The Higgins also sued on the grounds that ABC was showing reruns of the show and profiting off of their misfortune. However, they probably did sign lengthy contracts absolving ABC of all responsibility, so...yeah. That wouldn't hold up in court. When asked about why they're suing ABC, not the Leonidis, it seemed like the family was trying to go for a payday that they felt they should have earned for being on the show.

I honestly have no right to judge in this situation because there are three sides to every story, and there's no clear truth in this one. You could say that a little bit of fame and fortune made either family greedy. You could say the Higgins family was wrong and left on their own. And you could say the Leomiti family pushed the Higgins family out. We may never know. The thing is, I don't think that the Higgins family had any right to sue ABC, which was summed up well in the article linked above. Note that Mesisca is the Higgins' lawyer.

MESISCA: Well you have to realize that all this of has taken place since March 27 of this year.  On March 27, that's when the program aired and here we are in August, a period of about four or five months and in that period of time, the Higgins children, all of them have left the Leomiti's home. 
ABRAMS: But why is that ABC‘s fault? That's what I do not understand. If they want to sue the family and say, look, this was the deal.  You knew what the deal was.  You effectively suckered ABC into coming in here because our family was the one that made a great story.  I get that.  What I don‘t get is how ABC or the production company is responsible for these problems. 
MESISCA: I can approach this on a number of levels.  First, the Higgins have experienced a nightmare.  This has been a very difficult time for them, loosing both of their parents last year.  The home would have never been provided for the Leomitis in the absence of circumstances that the Higgins were involved...
ABRAMS: So you sue the Leomitis.
MESISCA: It was the Higgins who were told that a home would be provided for them, that a place would be constructed for them to live in.  I think what happened was ABC and the production companies involved steered this into a joint enterprise, if you will, between the Leomitis and the Higgins', instead of just going forward and providing the Higgins with a place for them to live.  There was never a disclosure made to the Higgins concerning the fact.

Yeah, I hate to say it, but Mesisca isn't even making that compelling of an argument. Any landlord / tenant agreement (which this clearly was, in a way) never says that the tenant 'owns' their home. Stating that the Higgins were never told that this wouldn't definitely be 'their' house is pretty weak. Which is probably why, aside from a big payday, the family went after ABC, not the Leomiti family.

The Llanes family of New Jersey had to leave their home because of the burden of increased taxes. The Simpson family sold their house three years after getting their extreme makeover. Another family tried to start a construction business and ended up losing their home when it failed. (Not a great financial decision in retrospect, but they probably thought that was their chance to get back on their feet.)

It's unfortunate that a show that seems to have such good intentions ends up being so tragic for so many people. But on the flip side, the show does exactly what it promises - it gives people a home and other things at the time of filming, but gives no promises for what happens afterwards. The show doesn't promise ongoing support. But the show also doesn't require people to stay in the home. And technically, that is fair. Everything's done after the cameras stop rolling...and those on the show did agree to be on it.

For some of this, I do not blame the show. I'm sure people could have sold the houses sooner than they did for financial security. Or budgeted differently. But in some cases, there's nothing people can do. If they didn't have enough money for a small home before, they certainly don't have the money for higher bills and tripled taxes. It's unrealistic to think that by giving someone a nicer house and a car, they'll magically find a better job and be more able to support their struggling family.

Some have raised the question, shouldn't ABC have stopped the extravagance and given people a modest but functional home? Well, sure. But that wouldn't buy them ratings and big money from sponsors. Nobody wants to watch Not So Extreme Makeover. The same way they wouldn't want to watch The Most Moderate Loser as opposed to The Biggest Loser. It's just not what people want to see.

Okay, that was my rant - that's what Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has done to some of its participants. It's not the show's fault - people did sign contracts - but it's still unfortunate that the tears of happiness turned to tears of desperation.


Monday, February 17, 2014

90 Day Fiance: 2/16/14

Mike and Aziza started this episode off with 51 days left to wed. Aziza wasn't having fun - Mike hasn't been home, and she was still upset about Mike's mom grilling her the night before. In a typically unstaged fashion (sarcasm), Mike walked to his home looking at least somewhat fresh and clean - typically not what a guy would look like after a raunchy, alcohol-fueled bachelor party. When questioned where he'd been, Mike said at Scott's. When asked how his party is, Mike said he only went to the bar. Aziza asked what happened there, and Mike admitted that he had been hanging out with the bachelorette party we saw in the last episode. Mike was looking super shifty when he talked about the experience - he was like, we were sitting when the girls were standing, it's not like we were dancing with them or something. Mike hoped something small (his words, not mine) doesn't derail his wedding.

Despite their tension, Aziza went wedding dress shopping with Mike's mom, plus Kelly and Amy. When asked if she's excited about dress shopping, Aziza said she is, but she didn't sound convincing. Fortunately, she got excited once they found a dress she liked (in her words, anyway - she didn't look excited). Everyone seemed to soften up when they saw Aziza in a wedding dress. It got even better when Aziza actually smiled when trying on a dress. Everyone seemed to like it, and Mike's mom got emotional when she realized how Mike would think Aziza is beautiful in the dress. Once they found the dress, everyone loosened up and laughed.

Aziza talked to her mom - she had to find out if her parents were going to make it to the wedding. Their visa to come to the wedding was denied. Aziza's mom seemed devastated. Aziza seemed conflicted. Mike worried that Aziza would be too upset to get married.

Mike and Aziza's wedding day arrived. Aziza noted that she wished she and Mike had more time to get to know each other. She also seemed devastated that her family wouldn't be there.

Alan and Kirlyam moved up their wedding date, so the day before the wedding, Alan went to buy his wedding band. When questioned as to why the wedding is so soon, Alan seemed so sure about how much he loved Kirlyam. And I believe him 100% - I saw on the Television Without Pity boards that Alan and Kirlyam were approached by the show about their visa, so they're a legitimate couple.

Kirlyam went for her nail appointment. The person who was with Kirlyam asked her if she's nervous about the wedding night. She was clearly nervous. Fortunately, she didn't seem to have some kind of crazy expectation about the first night, because I don't think that often ends well. Anyway, in her quest of a perfect first night, Kirlyam got her legs waxed. She said she'd never do it again.

Kirlyam readied for her wedding. Alan's sisters got her ready. As a surprise, Kirlyam was given jewelry with a stone from Brazil so she'd always have a piece of Brazil with her. Everyone seemed so happy - there was no judgment from Alan's family. Alan called his sister asking where they are - it turns out that they were supposed to be at the temple earlier than planned. They had to rush like crazy to get to the venue.

While Kirlyam's family couldn't be at the wedding, they would be video chatting the wedding so Kirlyam's family could see it. Kirlyam seemed so genuine - she truly wanted to get married to Alan. It was so sweet.

One thing that I question is this - I thought that non-Mormons and cameras aren't allowed in Mormon temples. So was this real? I'm not entirely sure.

Real or not, the ceremony was so sweet. And if I recall, Kirlyam wouldn't allow Alan's mom to see her dress beforehand so there was concern about modesty. It turns out that they had nothing to worry about. The dress was nice and very appropriate. On the other hand, Alan's dancing was a bit crazy! He was dancing like a maniac. But it was funny, at least!

The newly married couple was going on honeymoon in Hawaii. I bet they'll enjoy that!

We returned to Russ telling Paola he has to go back to work sooner than planned. The couple met with their DJ for dance lessons. Russ was given salsa lessons and per Paola, he wasn't good. But, to be fair, latin motion and dance abilities do not happen overnight. Russ was hurt because Paola and the male instructor / DJ / whatever called him a penguin. Russ was also hurt because he had to dance with an instructor while Paola danced with a different instructor. What Russ doesn't realize is that it takes and instructor to teach dance - even though Paola has great moves, if she doesn't have the ability to teach, Russ won't learn. The truth of it is that Russ was nervous that Paola would attract other men when he's away.

Paola went dress shopping, and she wanted a dress with real style. She picked one that was pretty much see through on top. Ashley, Russ' cousin who accompanied Paola, seemed to think the dress was too racy for Oklahoma. Which it probably was, but it did look awesome on her. The person who worked at the wedding dress store said they could cover her a bit with a veil, and Ashley laughed and suggested way more coverage. Fortunately for Ashley, the dress was out of Paola's price range, so she'd have to find something more acceptable.

Russ had to tell Paola some bad news - he has to work and won't be available on their wedding date. Russ said he's not going to cancel the wedding. Paola lost hope - she felt like she had no patience left.

Louis and Aya discussed their monetary struggles. Fortunately, Mike realized how much Aya gave up so he bought her the dress that she really wanted. The weird thing is, he said he put it on his debit card - so, he did have the money. Why not a credit card? Louis and Aya got into a touchy subject - the weight discussion. Aya said her mom said that she's fat because she's gained some weight in America. Louis made it clear that Aya's beautiful no matter what, but said he wouldn't argue with a woman about whether or not she's gained weight. Instead of saying something supportive, like that Aya's beautiful and perfect, he refused to engage in the conversation. Fortunately, he realized the err of his ways and joined Aya in the bed where she was crying. He did really well at making it better. I give him credit for that.

Aya spent some one-on-one time with Louis' ex Tonya. Tonya took Aya to a meeting at Louis' kids' school. Tonya asked how sure Aya is about marrying Louis. Aya said she felt isolated in the house. Tonya actually had the complaint - she wanted to go out and Louis didn't, which is part of the reason for their divorce. Tonya told Aya to make sure she's sure she wants to marry Louis. Tonya admitted it's partially selfish because she's protecting Louis and her kids, but she did also genuinely seem to want the best for Aya.

Next week, we'll see Alan get concerned about how attractive Kirlyam is, Louis say that he's "pretty sure" about her wedding, Aziza become unsure about going through with her wedding, and Paola have a bachelorette party. Should be interesting!

Click here for last week's recap.

Miss an episode? Find them on Amazon:


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Want To Name Your Kid Something Crazy? Don't Move to Sonora, Mexico.

Officials in Sonora, Mexico have created a list of names that parents will no longer be allowed to name their kids. The list is based on names that have been given to actual kids, so...yeah. This stuff happens.

61 names have been banned so far, and they include:
- Facebook
- Lady Di
- Rambo
- Circumcision (the Spanish equivalent)
- Martian (the Spanish equivalent)
- Juan Panties

Say what? Juan Panties? Yeah, that's probably not the best name out there.

The goal of this law is to ensure that kids aren't bullied because of their names. And while I do believe in the freedom to name your child as you please, I can definitely respect limitations. I mean, can you really imagine student body president Circumcision Jones? Or writing Facebook Smith on a party invitation? I think you can get creative enough with names without naming your kid after a social media site that may not even be popular by the time the kid grows up. A kid named Friendster would just be confusing these days!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kevin and Danielle Jonas: That's Not 'Jo' Baby!

There's no doubt that Kevin and Danielle Jonas have a baby. The question is more about whether Danielle actually had the baby. Unfortunately, evidence is leaning towards no. From cryptic birth announcements stating that a baby was due in 'early 2014' to the fact that Danielle didn't gain a pound anywhere but her belly, and Danielle's post-birth photo with eyeshadow and diamond earrings, some of us are having a hard time believing that she actually gave birth to a baby.
Image from Crushable.com

While I don't have much to add to the 'Danielle Jonas didn't actually give birth to Kevin Jonas' baby and the Jonas and Deleasa families were totally in on it (like when Danielle's sister Kathleen posted a pic...she had to know something!)' theory, I can provide you with a collection of resources to make your own decision.

Oh yeah, and before you click through all of these, keep some facts in mind:
  • The fake baby story was all over the blind gossip sites.
  • The baby's due date was cryptic and seemed to change as time progressed.
  • The staff at FitPregnancy, per BlindGossip.com, were told that Danielle wasn't really pregnant and they had to play along. And nobody was allowed to help her get dressed and all that. See the cover photo here...and look for a seam on the belly.
  • Rumor has it the baby is Filipino and Mexican. It's feasible based on the photos. Danielle and Kevin are...well, not.
Here are your Kevin and Danielle fake pregnancy resources:

Blind Item about the FitPregnancy cover shoot
Crushable's photo tracking of Danielle's pregnancy
Crushable's post baby birth recap
Some info about how the pregnancy was created for media attention
Some talk about the plan to fake a miscarriage and what happened after that
Here's where Hollywood Life says the fake baby rumors are lies because an unnamed source says so...they don't even seem that convinced

Also, the baby's birth was sponsored by a laundry detergent...if that doesn't say something about making this baby about money and publicity, I'm not sure what does.

You decide for yourself, though. What do you think?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

90 Day Fiance: 2/9/14

Tonight we were treated to another episode of 90 Day Fiance.

Russ opened up by telling us that he took a personal leave from work to help Paola get acclimated, but he could get called in any day. Russ wants Paola to like football, so he took her to tailgate for a college football game. Russ got frustrated because Paola took a long time to get ready.

Paola talked to someone at the tailgate, and she noted that she wanted to get married on December 7th, but Russ said no because there's a football game that day. Paola didn't understand why football was more important than their wedding. Russ tried to teach Paola how to play football, and she was good for someone who'd never played.

Russ was advised that he'd be called to travel for work, and he would be going back sooner than anticipated. He didn't know when, though. He also didn't know how long he'd be gone - it could be two weeks or it could be a month. Paola was very upset because this cuts into their time together. After an argument, they made up, and Russ said he'd try to find another job.

With 76 days until their wedding, Alan drove Kirlyam in for a modeling consultation. (If you recall, miraculously, Kirlyam's hairstylist said she could be a model and knew who she should talk to.) At her consultation, Kirlyam was set up for a test shoot with a modeling agency. Alan expressed concern about racy photos and made it clear that being immodest went against their Mormon beliefs.

Kirlyam felt the pressure of planning a quickie wedding. Alan's mom asked to see Kirlyam's dress, and Kirlyam said no. Alan's mom said one of the reasons she asked was to make sure the dress was modest enough. Kirlyam said her mom gave her the dress - it was her mom's way of being with her. Alan's mom seemed to understand after Kirlyam explained that - it wasn't an insult that she wouldn'ts show her, it was something special for Kirlyam and her mother.

Kirlyam arrived at her photo shoot. Alan worried about Kirlyam - he said that people always say how pretty she is, but never say anything about how she and Alan look good together. Alan tried to call Kirlyam but she didn't answer, so he got nervous...I suppose that he didn't consider that you don't keep your cell phone on a modeling set. So what's a jealous fiance to do? Show up on set. And then get jealous of how great your fiance looks. After the shoot, Alan got all jealous and asked Kirlyam to promise that she won't leave him.

Natasha from the modeling agency like Kirlyam's photos and would be sending them out for bookings. Alan go jealous, although when Kirlyam confronted him, he said he wasn't. (Uh huh - right.) Alan got ready to drop Kirlyam off at his parents' house for the night, but he wasn't happy about it, so they talked about moving their wedding day closer - as soon as possible, in fact.

When we caught up with Mike and Aziza, they'd done the deed. If you recall, Aziza was hesitant about sex until the (not at all staged) girls talking to Mike outside the bar. Mike brought up the idea of having a bachelor party with strippers, and Aziza wasn't feeling that. Mike said that it seems like Aziza has a lack of trust for him. Well...if he really was hanging out with girls outside the bar, I don't blame Aziza for not being entirely trusting. I highly doubt Mike was doing anything inappropriate with those women (as they were clearly placed there by the camera crews), but still...if you start breaking the trust with that stuff, why should Aziza trust you?

Aziza went for her hair and makeup trial with Mike's sister Amy and Mike's friend Kelli to join her, as they'd be her bridesmaids because all of her friends are in Russia. Aziza noted that she's not sure if the girls like or trust her. At the salon, Aziza went to the hair section while the others got pedicures. Amy and Kelli discussed that they were hesitant about Aziza - they didn't dislike her but they wanted her to get to know them better and don't feel like she's opening up about herself. Kelli asked the tough question - do you think Aziza's with Mike just to get citizenship? Amy said yes, but she thinks her mom would be more likely to confront Aziza about it than she would.

Mike had his bachelor party, and his group ran into a bachelorette party. We later saw a their party looking pretty wild and fun.

Aziza, Amy, Kelly, Mike's mom and someone else went out for Aziza's bachelorette party. The group tried to get Aziza to drink, but she wasn't going for it. Mike's mom got pretty drunk - she said she figured out Aziza's plan - get a visa, marry the guy, and kill them all with rat poison the day after the wedding. Woooow. She REALLY doesn't like Aziza...that or the alcohol was talking really, really loud. Mike's mom followed by asking why Aziza couldn't meet someone in Russia, and what is it she loves about Mike. Aziza said that Mike's her best friend, they can talk about anything, and she feels comfortable with him. And she started to cry. After that, everyone softened - they were so happy to see Aziza show emotion. Mike's mom was happy and said she loved Aziza, now that she knows that Aziza loves Mike.

Louis and Aya went to look at wedding dresses. Aya noted that she wants her wedding to be extra special because she changed her whole life to be with Louis, but Louis was immediately concerned about finding a wedding dress under $300. Louis noted that he was afraid that Aya would forget about the budget. Aya found her perfect dress, but it was above budget.  The dress was $300, but the veil and alterations put it beyond their price range. Louis shut down and said they'd have to talk about it, which made Aya upset because she wanted to have input in this decision.

When the pair discussed their wedding finances later, Aya was so reasonable - she was so sad about not getting the dress and veil she wanted, but she understood. Louis said they'd have to wait because he'd just paid rent, but there would be no guarantee that they'd get the dress because the shop wouldn't hold it for as long as they needed. To his credit, Louis said that he'd try his best to get her the dress and flowers she wants.

Looking for a recap of the last episode? Click here.

Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! If you don't want show spoilers, read no further. According to the forums at TWOP:

Mike and Aziza are married.
Russ and Paola are married. (Announcement here.)

That's not to say that the others aren't, but that's the info that's posted on the forums. Those two seem like the most staged couples, with popular opinion stating that Russ is gay, and because Aziza seemed to be chasing a visa to come to the US.

Some other info, also from TWOP:

Paola is a shoe designer and model.

Here is the site with Louis' and Aya's visa information: http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/profile.php?id=140762

Aziza's social media profile indicates that she may have some kind of eating disorder or extreme fear of getting fat - she has a picture posted of a larger person, with a caption indicating that she's afraid of being like that. (Note: this was posted on the TWOP forums and I was unable to see this for myself.)

Here's Paola's Twitter account: https://twitter.com/pao8705/media 

Miss an episode? Watch them on Amazon:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Week In Review - Celebrity Gossip

Mackenzie Douthit of Teen Mom 3 gave birth to a baby girl. Awesome, right? Mostly. Except that she joined the realm of pseudo-celebrities who give their kids pseudo-creative names. She named her daughter Jaxie, after her grandfather Jack. I'm all about naming kids after family members, but here's the thing - this girl is now named Jaxie for life. Can you really imagine a CEO named Jaxie? Sounds a little closer to a stripper than a CEO to me, and I hardly think you want to lock your kid into a career box because you gave her a name that's a little bit off balance. Plus, this situation could have easily been avoided with some common sense. Mackenzie's grandfather is named Jack. So to me, the obvious solution is to name the kid Jacqueline. Then Jacqueline can be nicknamed Jaxie, or Jax, or whatever else, but in a professional environment, utilize her full (and socially appropriate) name.

Dancing With the Stars besties Derek Hough and Mark Ballas bought a house together and split it 50/50. I'm all about equitable sharing, but this does raise some 'are they in a relationship' flags to me. Which is all good, but if the pair is dating, maybe they should come out with it. Not because fans want to know, but because people should be proud of who they are and not have to hide it. Anyway, as Celebrity Dirty Laundry points out, both guys are close to 30 and either guy has enough celebrity power to snag any date he has his sights set on...so why invest in a million dollar home together if you plan to kick the other guy out when you get into a relationship with someone else? Something's just not adding up.

I think Fox and Simon Cowell came up with some kind of agreement so he could save face. As you may know, the X Factor struggled a bit in the world of TV ratings. And Fox announced it was cancelled...immediately after Simon let us know that he'd be quitting the show to return to the UK. So let me get this straight...Simon quit and then Fox immediately cancelled the show? Seems a little coincidental to me. My theory is that the struggling reality competition was on the rocks, but the network agreed to let Simon save his reputation by quitting before the show got the axe.

You know how a sequel to Farrah Abraham's sex tape/porn/whatever is coming out? Farrah's lawyer's on top of that...sort of. He's saying there's no new footage, and like, totally, Farrah is not a porn star, you guys. (Say that in the least convincing way possible.) He's also saying he tried to blockt he release of the tape but has been unsuccessful. Probably because Farrah signed a contract (that she can't discuss, as we learned on Couples Therapy) saying Vivid owns her soul for a while. Either that or her lawyer's given up entirely. Either way, this video will be out just in time for Valentine's Day for all of those romantic couples who want to see Farrah taking it in the backdoor.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Another Sex Tape - Is This Farrah's Big Secret?

If you watched last night's episode of Couples Therapy (2/6/14), you saw Farrah Abraham break down about how her sex tape is ruining her life and contractually, she can't talk about it. Because the sex tape has already been released and followed up with a line of sex toys, I couldn't figure out what Farrah could be hiding.

Until now...maybe.

It turns out that Vivid Entertainment will be releasing a second sex tape of the Backdoor Teen Mom. Per Crazy Days and Nights, who reported out on this new sex tape, Vivid claims this is a whole new movie, but also talk this featuring new footage. So, here's my thought: Farrah signed some kind of contract with Vivid. When she filmed her first porn - I mean 'sex tape' as she calls it, she thought this would bring her positive fame and new fans. When it backfired, she cried her eyes out because:

- She contractually couldn't tell the world that more movies would be coming out because that would kill the 'authenticity of her sex tape excuse.
- She realized that the sex tape did not bring in the kind of money she wanted.
- She realized the sex tape did not bring positive fame like she wanted.
- Her father probably had something to do with the planning of the sequels (Farrah brought him with her to her negotiation session with Vivid) and she hates that he's called her a whore or whatever, and probably continues to do so while taking home a slice of her earnings.

That's pretty much the only explanation I can come up with for Farrah's tear-fest and descriptions of why she hates the sex tape. Plus, it seems like the appropriate time to announce this new porno right after Farrah's breakdown on Couples Therapy.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Couples Therapy 2/6/14

The episode opened up with Kelsey reeling about Ghostface Killah secretly using her as a side piece. Dr. Mike talked to Kelsey about her feelings. Kelsey admitted that she loves Ghost but wishes she didn't. Dr. Mike told Kelsey she's going to have to make a decision on their future. Dr. Mike said either Ghost has to decide to be with Kelsey, or Kelsey would have to decide that he's not the type of man she should be with. Dr. Mike said that Kelsey should have some hope because Ghost did go on the show...although I'm not sure that Kelsey should stay with Ghost at all after all this.

Sarah Michael Novia, a resident counselor, sat down with Farrah. She spouted out some info about not trying to please people in the house because they don't care about her. So basically, instead of trying, she retreats. Very healthy. (Sarcasm.)

Some of the houseguests sat outside and talked about Farrah. They said she doesn't know who she is, and when she opens her mouth, words just spew out. As Dr. Jenn noted, the others don't have empathy for Farrah - but she does.

Dr. Jenn sat down with Farrah. Farrah said she feels like she has a lot of work to do on herself. Dr. Jenn wanted to talk about the sex tape and how it makes Farrah feel like a social leper. Farrah got angry and lashed out - she said it's just her having sex, and if someone holds it against her, she hates it. Dr. Jenn said she suspects sadness underneath Farrah's anger. Farrah chimed in saying that she's tired of considering all of the things she could have done differently. Dr. Jenn said she thinks something's holding Farrah back. Farrah said she signed herself away in a contract (I guess the sex tape agreement?) that she can't talk about. She said she wished she could explain more but she can't because of the contract. Dr. Jenn suggested that she and Farrah take off their microphones and talk privately off camera. Dr. Jenn took off the microphones and kicked all the camera guys out...and we went to commercial.

When we came back from the commercial (the day after Farrah's private session), the group went to therapy. Dr. Jenn said that she'd never be able to look at Farrah the same way after hearing her story. Dr. Jenn talked about how secrets become a wall between someone and those around them. At this session, they'd talk about secrets, and Farrah went first. Dr. Jenn spoke first about her, and said that some people think that Farrah hasn't been completely authentic with things, including her sex tape. Dr. Jenn said that she now has a lot of respect for Farrah's strength, and that she'd share information with the group if she could. John interjected, saying that he has been unable to connect with Farrah and he thinks she lives in a bubble and doesn't listen to anyone. Whitney said Farrah's been untruthful from day one, not just in terms of the sex tape. Farrah got emotional and reiterated that she can't discuss the sex tape issue.

Farrah replied with angry apologies for what people thought of her. Taylor jumped in saying that she initially thought she could mentor Farrah, but then she felt as if Farrah hasn't being open. Taylor said that clears up things for her. Sada offered an apology for judging Farrah because she thought she was lying.

Ghost and Kelsey were put on the spot next. Ghost said that his secret wasn't really a secret - he and Kelsey had never discussed who else they were seeing. (I think lying by omission counts as lying in this case...just saying.) Kelsey said she should have demanded the truth from Ghost because she was able to ignore Ghost's infidelity - she'd tried to hear what she wanted to hear. Taylor asked Kelsey if she wished she could go back and not know that Ghost is seeing someone else. Kelsey said that was a tough choice. Sada tried to talk to Ghost and he got defensive and told her that she'd never understand men because she's a woman. He also said that men want to (indulge in sexual acts) with anything and she'd never understand. Dr. Jenn said while what Ghost is saying may be true, we have choices to make, and he has to make certain choices to be in a relationship.

In the confessional, Farrah said she's happy to progressing in therapy. She talked to Ghost after having this revelation, and he noted that Farrah's not as dumb as people think she is.

Dr. Jenn reached out to Ghost's other woman, Letrice, who agreed to come on the show. (Letrice, by the way, did not know about Kelsey before this situation.) Dr. Jenn told Ghost that she hopes this experience helps him be more honest with women.

Kelsey, Ghost and Letrice sat down with Dr. Jenn. It turns out that Letrice, like Kelsey, believed that she was in a monogamous relationship with Ghost. Letrice asked Ghost why she had to come on this show to find out. Letrice asked Ghost if he's in love with Kelsey. He said he has love for her but isn't in love with her. Kelsey said that if she's known Ghost was involved with someone, she wouldn't have let her heart get involved. Ghost's defense is that Kelsey knew who he was when she got involved. This turned into a yelling match. Dr. Jenn quieted everyone down, then yelled at Ghost for being so disrespectful towards Kelsey. Kelsey cried but had a revelation - she now knows who Ghost really is. Ghost did nothing but talk over her. Letrice stayed very quiet, and Kelsey walked out of the room. And with that, the episode ended.

Next week, we'll hear Kelsey talk to Letrice, and the group will critique Liz's treatment of Jon.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rapper Bizzle Responds to Macklemore's Song Same Love; Misses the Point

Before I begin my critique of rapper Bizzle's response to Macklemore's song Same Love, I want to emphasize a point very strongly: everyone is entitled to their opinion. On any matter. We all have opinions on millions of subjects, and it is not my right, or yours, to take that right away. That being said, I'm entitled to respond to Bizzle's song in a way that reflects my personal opinion. If you don't agree, that's okay. I am not here to sway your opinion unless you're open to it; I'm only here to share mine.

I subscribe to a particular philosophy. That philosophy is that you can believe whatever you'd like, as long as you live your life in a fair and ethical manner. We will never be perfect. We will make mistakes. We will do things that are less than stellar (talk about people, feel jealous, angry, etc.), but the best we can do is try to improve ourselves and be happy with who we are.

Macklemore's song Same Love makes many valid points about society, some related to homosexuality and some not. Macklemore took a huge career-related risk releasing this song. He could have potentially alienated a portion of his fan base, risking sales, profits, etc. But he took a chance on sharing his views, and fortunately, he was rewarded for it.

It came to my attention today that rapper Bizzle so strongly disagreed with Macklemore's message that he wrote a response piece. Let me emphasize again that everyone is entitled to their opinion - and Bizzle is no exception - but if you're going to make a response, it's best to provide a compelling argument, and that is something Bizzle does not do.

Let's begin with this section of Bizzle's song:

There's a whole lot of things I could say really
But, see your hypocrisy is something I could paint vividly
Saying, it's the way you was born, and I'm sure that
You lust just like I do just in a different form
But I'm married so if I give into mine, I'm a cheater
If you give into yours, you just fight to make it legal
You rather fight God, then fight sin
The Bible is alright, until it calls what you like sin
And I feel so disrespected that you were so desperate
To compare your sexual habits to my skin (What?!?)
Calling it the new black
Tell me where they do that

Problem number one: Bizzle likens homosexuality to cheating. He cites legality. I see a few different issues with this argument:

  • Cheating is more of an ethical argument than a legal one. Cheating hurts people. If two people are in a committed relationship, regardless of their gender, it does not cause the same pain as violating the trust in a relationship by cheating.
  • Stating that the bible is alright until it calls what you like sin, well, that has plenty of problems. I'm not terribly familiar with holy texts, but I do know we'd live quite differently if we followed in a literal sense. And, to be fair, we are entitled to agree with some portions of holy texts while we disagree with others.
  • Upon reading the lyrics regarding comparing sexuality to skin color, I read the lyrics of Macklemore's song to find the passage below. This passage does not call homosexuality the new black. (Insert bad joke here asking, "Isn't orange the new black?") Anyway, the passage seeks to show multiple instances of hate, not one that equates skin tone to a sexual preference. And Macklemore is saying they're all wrong. He's not saying his fight is stronger, or better - he's supporting the fact that historically, people have been forced to fight for their rights, which they deserve.

It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender and skin color
The complexion of your pigment
The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins

Bizzle's next argument points to the fact that gay people can play straight, but he can never play white. Honestly, I can't argue that. It's true. But my point for this is, nobody should be forced to pretend they're somebody that they are not. So while people may be able to mask their sexuality, they should not be forced to do so.

Back to Bizzle's song:

Using black people as pawns for yo' agenda
And these sell out rappers will do whatever you tell em'
Skirts on stages, campaigning for that black vote
Afraid to be blackballed, so they play that role

I am not sure how this is relevant to Macklemore's original. So I figured I'd include it just because it confused me.

We all wicked and desire sin
But imagine a world where no one kept there desires in
If something was called right cuz' simply we desired it
When yo' right goes against my right, who's right would win

This point is valid. We do have conflicting desires, and sometimes one right wins out over another. But if someone's right isn't hurting people, aside from potentially offending them, why should people lose out on the opportunity to be happy? In the case of this song, this hits on the religious issue. Aren't we supposed to have a separation of church and state? The arguments Bizzle makes in his song are primarily based on religious grounds; marriage is a legal contract, not a religious one, unless you make it a religious matter.

Ever see use a word like retard
To describe someone who was born a little differently than we are
I guess down syndrome really isn't a thing ya'll
What do we call yo' syndrome?
Oh, that term is offensive now when it hits home
So, what gives you the right to call the way he was born a defect?
I call yours a defect, you feel it's disrespect

In a way, Bizzle accidentally supports Macklemore's point on this one. He's talking about how negative slurs can be harmful, which supports Macklemore's point about how the term 'gay' is used negatively.  That being said, Bizzle's point is that we call certain characteristics defects and others not defects. Okay, yes, that's true. But I wouldn't call homosexuality a defect. It does not impact someone's ability to live in society and support themselves - or at least it shouldn't because we should not be discriminating against people for such matters. But we shouldn't be discriminating against good people for any matter at all. Like I said above, if you live your life in a moral and ethical manner, nothing else should matter. Society isn't perfect so that's not something we've reached at this time, but that doesn't make it right that certain characteristics define someone's ability to succeed.

There are two other parts of the song I want to address. One equates homosexuality to pedophilia. There's a big difference here: in an ethical homosexual relationship, there are two consenting adults. In the other situation, one person is too young to consent. This is a big difference - the issue of two people making a valid, adult decision about a relationship, versus the other scenario being non-consensual.

And here's the last piece:

What I won't allow you to do
Is paint this beautiful picture
Like we don't have people from the LGBT community out here
Running up in churches disrupting services
Kissing on the pulpit
Out here attacking old ladies
Throwing crosses down and stomping em'
Violently assaulting people
So don't take my most aggressive lines that you know
Or to that group and try to apply it to the friendliest
Lovingest gay person because that's not the case
And to that struggling Christian right now
Struggling with homosexuality
Fight the good fight soldier
No matter what anybody says
We all have different desires

Bizzle is right on one front - we all do have different desires. And sure, there are definitely gay people that have done bad things. But this is not exclusive to this community. There are people of all backgrounds and cultures that have done both good and bad things. We cannot cite the bad things that some people have done as descriptors for an entire culture.

Bizzle does note that - that we can't lump all gay people into the same category - but his reasoning is flawed. He's saying that the 'good' gay people are those that go to God and try to fight their desires. Well, I would say the 'good' gay people (and good people in general) are those who do good things for the world, for themselves, for their friends and for their families. The good people are those who use their abilities for positive changes. To make a better world. And every single person, I believe, has the ability to do that in some capacity. Some people, like Macklemore, have the ability to do that on a large scale by sending a positive message. Others may have a smaller sphere of influence, but even positive words of encouragement from one person to another can make a world of difference.

Although I am not gay, I believe that I can speak on this topic. Why? Because as a society, we discriminate on many levels: ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. Just because I'm not gay doesn't mean I haven't experienced judgment for characteristics that I was born with. I think we all have. And if we dig deep and recall the feelings of hurt and inadequacy we felt for being judged, we should understand - it's not our background or our sexuality that defines us - it's who we are as people. It's what we bring into the world. I make no claims to be perfect (I write a blog that primarily makes snarky remarks about those who appear on reality TV), but I have respect for those who do great things either on a small scale or for the world, and I hope that those who deserve respect, regardless of their lifestyles or backgrounds, receive it.

If you'd like to find the source lyrics for Macklemore and Bizzle's songs, here are the links:

Macklemore's Same Love

Bizzle's Same Love Response

And if you want to buy Macklemore's song, you can find it by clicking the image below.

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