I’ll be honest, I feel like Lala is my celebrity BFF. Last season I only watched her show because it filled a gap somewhere in between my Monday night TV lineup, but after a few episodes I realized she wasn’t boring, she was the type of down to earth, unwaveringly loyal friend, mother, and wife of a pro athlete that I think I would really like in real life. Her show and her personality definitely grew on me. With the premiere of season 2 last night, I was pretty excited to see a group of girls hanging out together, sharing laughs, and catching up—especially after the foolishness that came on before her show—but unfortunately that’s not exactly what I got.
Overall, the premiere episode was decent, but there was just a hint of artificial drama bubbling below the surface that I could have done without and that I hope won’t be a running theme throughout the entire season. The premise of last night’s episode was doubt; a more appropriate title would be instigated insecurity. From concerns over Carmelo hanging out at strip clubs to him sleeping with his young, female assistant, Lala suddenly became insecure and paranoid about Melo’s fidelity all because a few friends and associates were putting thoughts in her head—so much so that she decided to confront his assistant, Asani, while out to dinner and blatantly ask, “are you sleeping with my man?”
In all honesty, I think the drama over the whole assistant situation was half real and have reality TV. Carmelo is an athlete who travels regularly, and well, these two didn’t make it on MN’s chemistry clash list for no reason. He always seems less than half-interested in Lala (from an outside, sitting on my couch looking at this couple once a week on the TV point of view) which would make you think he’s more interested in someone else. But I also think the producers felt the need to try to introduce a female cattiness element and they got the cast on board with it, which bothers me.
This is one of the few reality shows that proves women can actually enjoy one another’s company on a consistent basis without tossing drinks, pulling hair, or calling someone out their name—keep it that way. Of course, you can never put cheating and sneakiness past anyone, but there was nothing about Asani doing her job that made any viewer question whether Melo might be tapping that on his away trips. And as Asani talked about it being sad that a woman can’t be beautiful and proficient at her job without there being speculations of her sleeping her way to the top, it’s equally sad if VH1 thinks it can’t garner enough viewers without inserting fabricated drama to see two women go at it. As I recapped the episode to my real best friend she kept asking, “So what did Carmelo say when Lala asked him about sleeping with his assistant?” And for the twelfth time I told her, as far as we saw, she didn’t ask. That’s because the whole show was about trying to cook up beef between these women for no reason. Luckily, even in that short segment of confrontation on-screen, no one got beside themselves. Unfortunately, it looks like they may down the line.
In the preview of what’s to come this season, there was an interesting spot where Lala and Po get in each other’s face asking “who you callin’ a b****,” and then Lala slaps her. Initially, I thought you can’t be serious, but after seeing that part over and over after watching all three encore presentations of the show last night (because that’s what I do) the scene almost looks totally fake to me, as if they are rehearsing for an acting job or something—except that slap looked pretty hard. Either way, it’s what VH1 thought would draw viewers in to see what drama unfolds between Lala and her main girl so they put it in the teaser footage. And you can’t really be surprised considering the success of its “Basketball Wives” series which makes a killing off of girl fights.
I’m going to keep giving Lala a chance because I think she’s smart enough to know being a drink-tossing, b-word slanging basketball wife is not only not a good look, but not a smart move professionally—not to mention the antithesis of who she appears to be in real life. But money does talk rather loudly so I hope she hasn’t buckled too much to pressure from the network to up the drama factor on her show.
What did you think about the season premiere? Did the drama seem a bit contrived? Do you plan on tuning in for the rest of the season?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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