There is a level of vulnerability every personality needs when they do reality television in order to make the show worth watching. They have to be willing to go into detail about the things going on in their lives. The good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly.
But there’s a difference between a personality being open and vulnerable, and a person being overexposed at a particularly troubling time in their lives. That’s not good TV, but rather, capitalizing off of someone’s pain. If you ask me, that’s what it feels like watching Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life.
I get what the show was supposed to be. Fans were going to see Braxton rebuilding her life to obtain her intended happy ending. After her very public divorce, she looked as though she’d found love again with David Adefeso. She was jumpstarting her music career on her own. She also was trying different means to deal with the trauma of falling out with her family, a number of friends, childhood pain, and the things that plague her dreams. It was maybe going to be feel-good television.
However, what the first episode showed wasn’t warm and fuzzy. We saw people put their agendas ahead of her needs. There was Mona Scott-Young persuading Braxton to do the show even though she was clearly unsure and emotional. There was Adefeso griping about not being able to have sex with her for 45 days as part of her efforts to analyze her dreams, which she felt would help her reach her highest potential. There was the music producer who was so concerned with trying to get her to churn out a hit, he didn’t pay attention to the fact that Braxton claimed she couldn’t sing because she lost her voice. He also didn’t catch on to her clear lack of desire to record in the moment. And then there was the show producer who wanted to film even when she physically and emotionally couldn’t do it.
And more than anything, everything just felt sad. To clarify, she is not sad, and I don’t pity her. That’s patronizing. What I mean is, despite her trademark exaggerated gestures and expressions, the weight of the burdens she carries is clearly heavy. It’s not easy to have started something with your sisters and then years later, not be in good standing with most of them. It’s not easy to lose your manager and your husband in one and have to start over in your profession from scratch. It’s not easy to be a person of faith and feel like you will emotionally drown if things don’t work out as you hope. Now that part I can relate to. And it’s not easy doing all the aforementioned while trying to be a parent. So to watch someone show the insecurities that come with trying to pull it together from all of that, feels wrong, especially when you know that the mere prospect of the show airing in general pushed her to the brink. She was aware that was was captured was more hurtful than helpful.
Braxton is, in most cases, entertaining. You see it in glimpses on this series. Still, she is not a show dog or puppet needing to perform when those behind the camera say “rolling!” She deserved the opportunity to deal with her demons away from the glaring eye of others. Not with producers trying to evaluate her breakdowns, not with a dream coach, and certainly not on national television.
I’m not the only person who felt that way. Hit the flip to see reactions to the premiere of Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life.
“So I stumbled upon the premiere of Tamar new reality show.. this footage is so uncomfortable to watch,” said Twiiter user @heyjerbear about the first episode. “Y’all ought to be shame.” The Twitter user tagged WE tv and Mona Scott-Young in their comment.