Posted by Ilana Angel
Last week I began my series of interviews with reality TV fans who follow me on Twitter. I spoke with @FavAuntJulie and it was great. She is a wonderful lady, a lover of reality TV, and a southern belle. This week it was my pleasure to speak with @SweeetBea. She is an interesting woman, and not at all what I thought she would be.
Bea was born in Columbia, South America and moved to New Jersey as a small child. She works in office administration and has a reality television addiction. She also has a new boyfriend who is not only aware of her addiction, but accepts it. By accepts it of course I mean like all the men in our lives, thinks she is insane for watching but loves her anyway.
Bea joined Twitter so she would have a place to chat with other reality TV fans. Turns out that Twitter is like rehab for reality TV addicts. The only problem is that we are in a rehab that insists we still use. It was through people on Twitter that she learned about the various reality TV blogs, and how she ultimately found mine and followed me.
I discovered some interesting things about Bea during our chat. One is that she actually meets people in person she has met on Twitter. Who does that? She has been on Twitter since it started and she has developed true friendships with many people she knows from there. Twitter is a crazy place so she is brave.
Bea is adventurous and inherently kind. She met her boyfriend through a hiking group on Facebook so it makes sense that she would also meet people from Twitter. Twitter can be a very mean and dark place and that freaks me out. Truth be told, Bea used to be one of the people that scared me. When I first started tweeting I thought she was a spy!
Bea is friendly with everyone on Twitter, does not get sucked into drama, and is respectful of opinions. She is a fan of Bethenny, and we all know what I think about Ms. Frankel, but she still reads my blogs, comments on occasion, and regardless of our differences of opinion, has followed and supported my work. Bea does not take any of it too seriously.
When I was new to Twitter, my blogs about Bethenny ruffled quite a few feathers, particularly a certain blogger from Chicago who was so offended by my distaste for Ms. Frankel, that she decided to start trouble for me. It resulted in my becoming guarded on Twitter. I could not figure out how everything I wrote got to the dark side.
I blocked a bunch of people who were engaging with the troublemakers, yet there was still trouble. I went through my followers one day and saw that Bea was following me, in addition to the dark side. She was the only one I could find that was following everyone so I came to the only logical conclusion. Bea was a spy for the dark side!
I blocked her of course, and then saw that she continued to read my blog and tweet with other people about it. She did not agree with some of what I wrote, yet never said anything unkind about me. One day I was reading through my timeline and saw that some things were being said about my blog and Bea had subtly come to my defense.
I remember chatting about Twitter with my son at the time. He is not a fan of Twitter and thinks I should not be on there. He does not get how mean people are, particularly to me, but when he started to read through he asked who people were and I explained to him that Bea was a Twitter spy. He thought I was crazy.
My kid told me that Bea seemed great, was defending me to crazy people, and she was not a spy. He then proceeded to tell me that if I actually thought there were spies on Twitter, I had lost my mind and needed to delete my Twitter account. I look back at the conversation now and I laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Twitter is insane.
I told the spy story to Bea and we had a good laugh. In the end Bea is not a spy, although for the record I do believe there are spies on Twitter. Bea is a nice woman who loves her family, loves her friends, works hard, is kind, sweet, and has a serious reality television addiction. She is also very smart in that she is able to enjoy the best parts of Twitter.
She is savvy when it comes to both Twitter and reality TV. She has learned how to distinguish good from crazy and light from dark. You must earn her trust, but when you have it, she is a loyal and devoted friend. I asked Bea to tell me three words to describe herself and she said friendly, adventurous, and open minded. I agree with her self-assessment.
Bea loves reality TV and while the shows are embarrassing, she is not embarrassed to be watching. She started watching reality with The Real Housewives of Orange County. When the show started she watched and thought how great it would be to have the life she saw. After several seasons of crap she wouldn’t want to change places with them.
Talking to Bea was like talking to an old friend that I have known forever. She is charming, laughs easily, and makes you feel comfortable immediately. She loves discussing her favorite shows, and reads quite a few blogs. Her favorite blogger is Real Old Housewife. I blame my not being her favorite on that damn Bethenny Frankel.
Bea has mastered the art of Twitter and I am a little envious of that. She is able to have fun, quickly identify the crazy people, maintain her cool, laugh at the drama, and be in the middle of things while safely watching from the sidelines. She could be a spokeswoman for Twitter because she is one of the few people who get it.
Bea is a sweetheart and I loved talking with her. I am happy my son convinced me she was not a spy, I respect her for respecting the opinions of others and engaging in conversations with class and kindness. I would even meet her in person! I look forward to the next installment of this series because fans are good at keeping it real.
12.3.13 at 10:31 am | Liar, liar, pants on fire.
12.2.13 at 7:09 pm | Second week in a row of boring television.
12.2.13 at 7:12 am | I was bored with all the jumping around.
12.1.13 at 9:20 am | The constant end endless desire to hurt someone. . .
11.25.13 at 11:14 pm | They started off strong, but tonight tanked.
11.25.13 at 9:02 pm | Some of this episode was uncomfortable to watch.
12.1.13 at 9:20 am | The constant end endless desire to hurt someone. . . (3963)
12.3.13 at 10:31 am | Liar, liar, pants on fire. (3447)
12.2.13 at 7:09 pm | Second week in a row of boring television. (3366)
May 22, 2012 | 12:42 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
It’s week two and again, just five minutes in, I am totally into it. Emily is beautiful and that we are in Charlotte, not Los Angeles makes it better. We see Emily with her daughter and we are reminded that this is, on some level, real. She would not involve little Ricky if she were not committed to the process. Her friends seem normal, she seems normal, and I am invested.
I have met and interviewed Chris Harrison and he is a wonderful man. He is smart, funny, charming, and very attractive. That said, I don’t get him on this show. He does not seem to serve any real purpose. In the beginning we needed him to explain how it all worked, but now he just a waste of time, too old to be doing this, and clearly in love with Emily. Could get creepy.
Ryan gets the first one-on-one date and it’s so funny to see the men hanging around the pool acting like chicks. They are jealous of each other and plotting against each other, and it’s fabulous. Emily is seriously beautiful and for her first glamorous date she takes Ryan to her house and they bake cookies because she is snack mom for school the next day. Love her.
Emily and Ryan drop off the cookies to soccer practice, but he waits in the car and I love her even more. They are going out to dinner and she is a knock out. Ryan is sweet but I’m not totally feeling him with her. She is asking good questions, wants someone who is there for her, not someone trying to win the game. Ryan is answering well, but I’m still not into it.
I predicted him first week to be a contender but I’m kind of over him. That didn’t last long. Emily tells us she thinks he might be like Brad. Really? If she is feeling that then she should kick his perfectly toned ass to the curb. They finish dinner, he gets a rose and they listen to some band play and while dancing in front of the impromptu crowd that has been scripted to be there.
It’s group date time and the remaining 13 guys are meeting her in a theater. The date is putting on a variety show with The Muppets for the charity named after Ricky’s dad. It’s a sweet date and while I know I’ve said it before and know I will change my mind, this season has a much different vibe. There is still a lot of scrap, but a level of authenticity that is new.
Charlie is having an anxiety attack because he is afraid of speaking in front of a crowd. I love this guy and want to hug him. By hug him of course I mean kiss him. He goes to Emily and tells her he is uncomfortable and self-consious with his speech and asks if he can do something else. I freaking love this guy. He has no shot in hell, but I am pulling for him.
The Muppets are classic, still funny, and it is a treat to see them here. Ricky and her Grandma are in the audience, which is nice. Miss Piggy is divine, Charlie did a great job in the end, and while it was a little lame, it was great. The problem with it was that it was simply too long. Is this The Bachelorette or the Muppet Show? It went on and on and I lost interest.
The group date boys are now having drinks and everyone is trying to get time with Emily. Emily is talking with Chris and telling him she likes him. He is only 25 and that is simply too young for her. Jef and her have “the best talk she has had with anyone” and I am laughing because they talked about everything but the fact that he is unsure of his sexuality.
Stevie is dancing with Emily and it’s cute. He is a party DJ, which is not cute. Kalon is talking to Emily now and he is repulsive. He is not into her but salivating over the possibilities of 15 minutes. Some guy, whose name I do not know, comes to take Emily from Kalon and Kalon is begging for 2 minutes but the guy says he is not waiting and takes Emily off.
Emily goes with what’s his name and Kalon is complaining to the other men that it was not cool. Stevie hates Kalon, is a little drunk, and they are behaving like Ali and Vienna. It’s fantastically mortifying. Emily gives the date rose to Jef which was just weird. I thought she would give it to Charlie so I was surprised. Men are pissed and about to start acting like chicks.
The final date of the night is with Joe. They go by private plane to her home state of West Virginia. They go to a resort where she went growing up and then it happens. Week 2 and she is in a bikini. She rocks it, Joe is sweet but it’s much more interesting back at the house. The men are talking about dating a woman with a child and buttons are being pushed.
Kalon is saying he thought his first child would be his own and he needs to process dating a woman with a child. Kalon, the douchelord, tells yummy single dad Doug that he put being a dad on hold to be on the show. Really? Them are fighting words and you know Kalon is going to be hated by the end of the night. He has been gross since the first second we met him.
Joe and Emily are out for dinner. She is saying she wants to get married and have more kids and he is saying he does not want to plan it all out. She is not feeling butterflies, he is not ready, and he is saying all the wrong things. She dumps him, cries through it all, and you have got to love her. She is in it, not playing games, and God help any ass who tries hurts her.
Joe leaves with no hug, no kiss, and says it was a great opportunity. See ya sore loser Joe. Arie is chatting with Emily and he reminds me of Andy Samberg. He tells her he has dated a single mom in the past, and you can see her heart flutter. Yay for the token Jew. Ryan, who has a rose, goes to talk to Emily and gives her a poem. Totally creepy.
Poor Tony is pissed Ryan is taking time with her. He goes to get some time and instead is standing there like a putz while Emily reads Ryan’s letter. It was freaking 7 pages! Tony is talking about having a 5 year old son and its so tragic because he has no shot in hell, is pouring his heart out, and there is no chemistry. She could care less about him or that he is a dad.
Kalon is with Emily, again, and he reminds me of a rich preppy kid who gets charged with attacking a woman, then gets off because he has so much money. He seems like the type of guy who will have a bad Lifetime movie of the week made about him. He’s creepy, slimy, untrustworthy, and full of crap. He needs to go. Quickly.
Two men are being sent home which is stupid. We just sat through 2 hours to have a total of 3 men go home? They are going to have to move this along a little faster if they want us to stay in it. I am willing to watch for 2 hours a week, but I need a minimum of 4 dudes to get the boot. The 2 men going home are Aaron and Kyle. Both men leave pissed and on the verge of tears.
Next week will have lots of crying, which I am not ashamed to tell you I love. What makes it so great is that the crying is by the men not Emily. I am excited about this season and they are teasing us just enough to keep things interesting. They do need to move it along however. I will be supportive for now but if they start jerking us around they lose all hope of keeping it real.
May 21, 2012 | 8:14 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
Last week I wrote that I was no longer going to blog this show because it had become so dark and unappealing. I then did an interview with one of my readers and she told me that I must see the season through as my blog was an outlet for many people to discuss the show and if they were all suffering through it, so should I. Well, here I am, once again blogging about what may be the ugliest reality show on television, and there is lots to say.
We start this week in the car with Teresa and Juicy. She is explaining to him what happened last week when she fought with her brother at Kathy’s house. Juicy’s response is horrible. Poor Teresa tries to defend him and it is heartbreaking. He goes off on her, her family, and even the kids. He is rude, abrasive, and vile. He tells her to shut up and when she tells him to not say it, he gets even meaner. It is uncomfortable to watch.
He tells her that nobody from her family is allowed in their house and if she tries to bring them over he will kick them out. If she defies him, he will kick her out too. He then goes on to say he swears on the lives of his children that he will leave her if she does not obey him. Teresa is clearly mortified, and tries to laugh it off by saying he did not mean it. That Bravo put his rant on the show is disgusting and I just wanted to cry.
Rich and Joe Gorga are in the gym working out and it pisses me off that they are even getting their own scenes. This is about housewives not pathetic husbands who are looking for fame. Rich is a tool. He and Kathy try to make us think they are so loving and caring about family, but the fact is they are scripted that way, and not nice at all. They are troublemakers and Kathy was clearly brought on to cause trouble with Teresa and Joe Gorga.
We then are forced to listen to Lauren Manzo complain about being fat. It is humiliating for her and that she is even going along with this storyline is strange. Her dad tells the camera he was glad she was fat in high school so guys would leave her alone. Really? Caroline then tells the camera she was too fat for her junior prom and her brother had to take her. WTF? Caroline is crying that her kid is fat and I want to punch her in the face.
Important to note that punch her in the face is a figure of speech. I would never really punch them in the face. That said, should I be around one, and should my foot fall asleep and accidentally slide out from under me and land in front of a walking housewife, causing her to fall and perhaps land in some dog crap, or God forbid, knock out a tooth, it would simply be an unfortunate accident that truly had nothing to do with my mentioning a punch.
Teresa is on the phone with Jac telling her about the party at Kathy’s and it is hilarious. She is having the entire conversation while she sits at her vanity looking at herself in the mirror. I love Teresa. Her kids are there, they can hear what she is saying, and it’s crushing. Her little one is putting on makeup and I want to play with her. These four children are stunning and you can’t help but wonder how they will be as teenagers and adults being raised by mom of the year Teresa, and Juicy, her ape of a husband.
Lauren is going shopping with Jac and once again talking about how fat she is. Jac talks about how Lauren is a great fake daughter and I want to scream. Ashlee may be a whining, spoiled brat, but can you blame her? Her mom is a total bitch. Lauren should not be a storyline, and if we are forced to watch her, why does it have to be about her weight? Stop eating Sweetie. Problem solved. Jac is disgusting and Lauren is being humiliated.
Back with Teresa, she is with her daughters and it’s cute. Truth be told, Bravo should cancel this crapfest and give Teresa her own show. She’s the only interesting one. Just her and her kids. Gia is talking about getting her first bra and her period, and it is charming. I’m not a fan of including the kids on this level, but it is sweet and proves they need their own show. Gia is a sensitive girl and I feel sad for her.
Over at Jac’s house she is hosting a field day and you have to wonder how exhausting it is to live your life on television under the illusion of having money. I’m not buying it. Bravo pays for all the scripted parties because none of these people have the kind of money they want us to think they have. Everyone is coming over to play and you know it is going to get real ugly, real fast. There is no concern for the children on this show.
The Manzo’s and Jac are in her kitchen gossiping about Teresa. Albie and his roommate Gary are there and it’s sweet. Sad that they feel the need to hide their obvious love, but they are a cute couple and I wish them well. Lauren is there getting mocked for being on a diet, she lashed out and they think it’s because she is either on her period or starving. Caroline should be ashamed of herself for humiliating her child in such a public way.
Teresa is out bra shopping with Gia and it’s fun. Gia is a real sport to do this on the show. Teresa is uncomfortable, Gia is uncomfortable, the sales clerk is uncomfortable, and this never should have made it onto the show. Gia is only 10, but is clearly wise beyond her years. Teresa talking to Gia makes me glad I don’t have a daughter. She has to go through this with four girls so God Bless her. That is a lot of work so good luck Momma!
Melissa and Joe Gorga are on their way to Kathy’s and there is a lovely scripted moment of Melissa reading a fake text from Joe, then pretending to support him and his family getting along. They get there and she immediately starts gossiping about Teresa. Caroline is all over it, and Melissa is wearing shorts that are simply embarrassing. No matter how great her body is, her shorts are inappropriate and showing your ass in front of company is not cute.
Jac, Melissa and Caroline are repulsive to me now and watching this show is hard. Caroline can’t stand it that Dina is friends with Teresa and not her. Caroline is a bitter hag and is so toxic that everything she says sounds bad. Jac is roving around the party gossiping and I want to scream. Kathy brings dessert and the camera pans to Lauren licking her lips and being pissed off. FYI: nothing Chris Manzo says is interesting or funny.
Joe Gorga talks to Gia and tells her he will try to make things better with Teresa. This poor little girl is protecting her mother and it’s so very sad. She is growing up fast and I feel for her. This week seems to be all about Gia, and it’s troubling. She is a child, they are setting her up for humiliation, and when it blows I’m going to be pissed off. Joe Gorga says he wants to make a change but yet he does nothing. We are not stupid Mr. Gorga.
Joe Gorga cheats at one of the games and Gia calls him out on it. She is a little kid, wants to play fair, and is not mature enough to let it go and just have fun. Teresa is trying to calm her down, but Gia leaves to go off on her own. Jac then proves she has no parenting skills by attacking Gia. She is a complete bitch and that she voluntarily puts her pathetic parenting on display proves how truly ignorant this woman is.
Caroline comes to talk to Gia and they are now attacking her. Caroline and Jac need to be kicked off this show. I am so angry watching it and shame on everyone for being involved. My heart is broken for Gia and for Teresa. Caroline’s children have no jobs and Jac’s daughter hates her, so why do these two think they are qualified to give parenting advice to Teresa, or help guide Gia through a difficult situation? Really ladies? Shut up.
This show is painful. I feel sad for Teresa and her kids. It’s time for them to walk away and start fresh with a different show, and perhaps not include Juicy. I will watch, and I will blog, but know that it’s hard. Maury Povich and Jerry Springer have classier shows than this. Part of me wants us all to boycott and simply not watch to send a message to Bravo that this is garbage television. It wouldn’t work because Bravo is about ruining lives and making money, not keeping it real.
May 20, 2012 | 10:22 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
I love the Bachelor/Bachelorette series. By love of course I mean I am obsessed with it and the worse it becomes, Ashley, the more I want to blog about it. I am a true romantic and believe love can be found for everyone. By everyone of course I mean everyone who is not on this show. Statistically they have no shot in hell, but bravo for trying.
Emily Maynard is back as this season’s Bachelorette and to be honest I thought she would be a dud, but she is surprisingly fabulous. We are only one show in so I reserve the right to change my mind, but as of now, it’s a winner and she is fabulous as the woman all the men want. She is staying true to herself and including her kid, which is brilliant.
The show starts with a reintroduction to Emily and her story. From the death of her fiancé, her finding out she is pregnant, to her being heartbroken by double loser Brad, she is now 26 and ready to once again look for love. Within the first five minutes of the show we are reminded of how much we love this girl and want her to be happy.
Important to note that I do laugh a little when she speaks of how hard it is to be a single mother. I raised my son alone and it was not in a house like that, or driving a car like that. Being lonely is difficult and raising a child without the help of a partner can be debilitating, but I can assure you doing it in that house would make it a lot better.
Chris Harrison is back as the most useless host on television. He is now separated after 18 years of marriage and it’s impossible to watch and not think he will fall in love with Emily along with all the men on the show. Keep an eye out for his longing stares and compassionate touches. He barely does anything so he’ll have time for cold showers.
Here is a breakdown of the 25 men who are going after our girl. I love it that the show keeps calling them the most eligible bachelors in America. Really? If this is the best America has to offer it might be time for Emily to relocate to Canada. There are some winners to be sure, but I would pass on more than I would keep. Nice bodies though.
The season is taking place in Charlotte, which is awesome. I like that she is staying home so as to not disrupt her daughter. When she gets out of the car to see Chris I think I actually saw him drooling. So good! Sidebar: Emily keeps saying awesome which was cute the first few times, but now just sounds ridiculous. People over 25 should not say awesome.
Sean: Cute, sweet, boring entrance, nothing memorable
David: singer/songwriter, looking for 15 minutes - OUT
Doug: single dad, talks about his son, love him
Jackson: gets on his knee, says something lame - OUT
Joe: super animated, not a shot in hell
Arie: racecar driver, cute, Jew?
Kyle: drooling, looks at her as if she is naked, icky
Chris: sweet, religious, strong family, nervous, she dug him
Aaron: biology teacher, Clark Kent glasses, not very memorable
Alessandro: from Brazil, cute enough, not a shot in hell
Jef: skateboarder, seems immature, has a bit of a gay vibe
Lerone: great body, single mom speech, not a shot in hell - OUT
Stevie: party DJ. Really? Not ever going to happen
Charlie: recovered from bad accident, best dog ever, I love him
Tony: single dad, wife cheated, Prince Charming? Lame and creepy
Randy: came dressed as a grandma, cute but no - OUT
Nate: attractive, she likes him, holds his hand and likes his smell
Brent: harmless but she is way out of his league - OUT
John: goes by “Wolf”, never going to happen
Travis: brings her a large egg, very weird, I didn’t get him
Michael: his hair rules him out immediately, there is just no way
Jean-Paul: nothing appealing about this one - OUT
Alejandro: speaks in Spanish, needs to lose the bling
Ryan: ex pro athlete who works with kids, I really like this one
Kalen: pretentious douchebag who likes the sound of his own voice
It’s an interesting group of men and my top three picks for her are Ryan, Charlie and Doug. I will be surprised if one of them is not in the final. That said, a great guy can become a douchelord in a split second so it may be too early to tell. I love this show. By love it of course I also mean love to hate it and it is my favorite show to blog.
Emily is sweet. She is nice to all the men and makes them feel like they have a shot when clearly they do not. Love it. Brent tells her he has six kids, which is deal breaker. Chris gives her bobble heads of himself and her, and they are fabulous. Listening to the men sit around and talk about her is like listening to a bunch of chicks.
One on one they are men, but as a group they are cackling hens which is hilarious. Doug, the single dad, gives her a note that his 11 year old son Austin wrote. It is the best letter ever and made me cry. Dear Lord, I love this man, love his kid, and love them together. He just shot to the top of the list. He’s milking it but in a sweet way.
Kalon is immediately the man that all the other men hate. They are openly critical of him and it makes them all look like a bunch of sensitive chicks. Kalon is talking to Emily and it is pissing men off. He is pulling the single mother card as he was raised by one. If she picks him it’s because the producers made her do it. They have no chemistry.
Arie tells Emily he is a racecar driver and she assures him it is okay, but her initial look is heart wrenching. She is a southern belle and a lady through and through. I can’t wait for her to be pushed too far by a loser and lose it for a minute. It’s coming and I bet even when being a bitch, she is a lady. She is off to hand out the first impression rose.
It goes to Doug, the single dad who brought the letter from his son. Perfect choice. He looks at her with a little awe, which I think is romantic and so lovely. He accepts the rose and while I don’t know if he is the one she will end up with, they are cute together. The other men are whining and complaining which is simply wonderful television.
Six men are sent home and it’s brilliant. There is crying and self pity which I must tell you is worth sitting through all the crap. It’s fascinating to me how upset people get after knowing someone for a couple of hours. They are onvinced they are missing out on their one true and great love. The guy with six kids is actually surprised he got the boot. Really?
I thought Emily might be a little tight to really enjoy herself, but when we see highlights of the season, we see she is making out with a lot of the men. Good for her. We learn there will be a snake in the house and the other men will sell him out. We will even hear Emily drop an F Bomb, which is killer. I am in it and cannot wait to see how it all plays out.
There will be weeks where I want to pop my own eyes out, weeks where I will need a bottle of wine just to get through it, and weeks when my heart soars at the romance of it all. I am watching and look forward to blogging and your comments. Love is grand and while this show never works, I watch with an open heart and hope that Emily can keep it real.
May 18, 2012 | 7:56 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
I was so sure Aubrey O’Day was going to make it into the final two of Celebrity Apprentice, I bet one my readers she would. She felt strongly Aubrey was out and so we made a wager. If the repulsive Ms. O’Day was in, she would write a guest blog for me, and if awful Aubrey was out, I would write a blog about how smart my reader was. Well here we are, and let me just say, my reader is brilliant.
I am writing the first of what I hope will be many blogs in a series called “Conversations with Reality TV Fans”. My subject is Julie. Many people know her from Twitter as @FavAuntJulie, and I can now confirm, she is in fact my new favorite Aunt Julie. I had never spoken to her before we did our interview on the phone. I just knew her from Twitter, and her comments on my blog. I thought she was sweet, but I had no idea she was also fascinating.
Many people assume reality TV fans are a little nuts. A bunch of people who sit at home watching the shows as if they are being shot live and everything is real. Those types of watchers certainly exist, but that is not everyone. There are also smart, educated, sophisticated people who watch because street crack, no matter how smart you are, is going to get you in trouble. Reality TV fans are addicts.
I am proudly a slave to my reality TV addiction and in speaking with Julie, I have seen that it’s not only the freaks in their basements who watch, but also wonderful people who like me, watched one show, then another, and before they knew it were addicted. This series of blogs is for the addicts and for those who judge the addicts. There are people out there who are brilliant, and while addicts, have voices that should be heard.
Julie is a remarkable woman. I will start by saying she lives in South Carolina and talking to her is like talking to Scarlet O’Hara. Her accent is divine and she sounds like she is singing when she speaks because the words roll into one another like a melody. She is very sweet and soft spoken, which was interesting because while lovely on Twitter, she can also be a firecracker. Sadly accents do not translate well on Twitter.
Julie is an engineer that has worked for the Department of Defense and also Homeland Security. She had exciting jobs that required her to travel extensively. She is one of five children in a family that has two sets of twins, of which she is one. After years of being away from home, she decided to leave her lucrative job and return to Charleston to be closer to her family, which includes nieces and nephews.
Julie’s mother had been killed by a drunk drive years earlier, which I imagine makes you want to leave and have a change of scenery, but is also the reason you want to be home and close to your family. She is a strong woman who has been through a lot, seen the world, and in coming home built a new family for herself. She and her husband Shawn have a real love affair. I am a sucker for a good love story, and they have one.
She went to high school with Shawn 25 years ago. He married his high school sweetheart right after school, and his wife was a friend of Julie’s. When Julie moved back to Charleston a quarter of a century after they graduated, Shawn and her connected on Facebook through high school friends. Julie had never been married, Shawn was now divorced, and their love began. They reconnected, got engaged and married within a year.
Shawn has children, and while Julie had not spoken to his ex-wife since school, she reached out to her to make sure she had her blessing as she did not want to hurt her. To hear Julie tell the story is quite remarkable. She is a real southern lady and to check in with her friend was lovely. I’m not sure many other women would have been as gracious or kind. In the end her friend was happy for Julie, and for Shawn, and they all remain friends now.
Shawn is a true gentleman and he loves his wife. They are not only in love with each other, but like each other very much. Julie sent me a link to her wedding video and I must tell you I cried. I am a hopeless romantic and watching the wedding made me feel like I really knew her. Shawn adores his wife and you can see it. You can tell how much a man loves his woman by how he deals with her addiction, and bless him, Shawn accepts it all.
Julie’s addiction began innocently enough with Big Brother. She got into the hardcore Housewives and there was no turning back. She watches, reads blogs, and Tweets about the shows. I am fortunate to be on the list of blogs she reads, and I have enjoyed chatting with her on Twitter. Julie has seen first hand how fun and how brutal Twitter can be, and she takes it all with a grain of salt. She is not there to piss anyone off, just have fun.
Sometimes it’s hard to keep your cool in a sea of crazy, but Julie does a good job of not getting sucked into the drama. She has learned over time who is nice, who is a little off, and who is full blown delusional. Reality fans are an interesting group of people and if you can separate the loons from everyone else, Twitter is a great place to chat with other fans. Reality TV is much more fun to talk about when there is no judgment of your addiction.
Julie is so into Twitter that Shawn has now threatened to get an account so her can get in on the action. They have come up with the word “Twignoring” as he will occasionally call her and she will not respond as her phone is not with her, but her iPad is, so he’d have a better shot at getting her through a tweet. Now, I’m no expert, but I feel confident that no good can come from your husband having a Twitter account. Don’t do it Shawn!
Before Shawn and Julie got married, she told him she was addicted and he needed to deal with it because it was not going to change. He agreed and signed on. Cute that she told him about her love of reality television, and even cuter that he was okay with it. Julie is watching Real Housewives of New Jersey with all of us and she too is surprised by the open and constant attacks on Teresa. Involving the kids however, gets her mad.
She would never be on a reality show herself and is appalled when the shows bring in the kids. She wishes the ladies could get themselves together and instead of talking about how important family is, start acting like family. I loved talking housewives with Julie. She really is all about her family and to hear her talk of the ladies of New Jersey, I was even more embarrassed for the NJ gals. These chicks care more about the show than their kids.
I wrote last week that I was not going to blog about RHONJ anymore because it was no fun. I am still watching, just not going to write about it. Julie told me that she looks forward to my blogs because if she agrees, it is nice to have someone who sees things the same way and if she does not, then talking about how we saw it differently is fun and interesting. I am a fan who writes about reality TV so I forget sometimes that I have fans too.
I learned a lot from talking to Julie. She is kind and sweet, but also tough and opinionated. She is educated, savvy, aware, and honest. She is the person that I am writing for, and so I will write. I am going to blog about RHONJ through to the end of the season because this is what I do, this is what she wants, and we are in this together. Julie is a wonderful woman. She has been a reader of mine for a long time and now she is my friend.
I am very excited about interviewing other reality TV fans, and not just those who agree with me! There are some really wonderful people out there, and their voices should be heard. I am blessed to have an outlet for my stories, and I look forward to now sharing their stories too. Thank you Julie! You are amazing and I loved our chat. Who shall be next? There are only two requirements: 1) A reality TV addiction, and 2) you can keep it real.
May 14, 2012 | 9:33 pm
Posted by Ilana Angel
It is official: Bravo does not care about the fans. Those who helped build the network are now being disrespected on a mind-boggling level. They feed us crap every week, and expect us to eat it with a smile on our faces. We may be addicted, but we know the difference between crack and crap. We like crack, but we can and will do without the crap.
I watched this week’s episode twice. Once was difficult, but since I am paid to blog about it, I thought perhaps I was being too harsh and decided to watch again. The second time gave me the clarity I needed to be able to share with you that I am no longer going to be blogging because this show has gone to hell and I’m too smart to watch it.
This show is mean, dark, uninteresting, and boring. These women are mean, dark, uninteresting, and boring. There are two camps when it comes to the women of New Jersey, Team Teresa and Team Melissa. I am a fan of both of these ladies for different reasons, and rather than pick a side, I will simply not watch it anymore. Both of them are behaving badly.
Sidebar: I have interviewed both Teresa and Melissa over the phone. Teresa was honest, open, and unscripted. Melissa was sweet, funny, and clearly rehearsed. Basing my opinion on my conversations with them, without the benefit of Bravo editing, Teresa was authentic, Melissa was not. Teresa was honest, Melissa was not.
Kathy and Rich are embarrassing. Rich is trying to be relevant in the same way Slade does in the OC. The fame has gone to his head and he talks crap to appear to be interesting, but in the end he sounds like a schmuck. Kathy is two faced. She talks about how she wants to support Teresa because she is family, but then gossips about her constantly.
Kathy and Rich have tried to parlay the show into other ventures and it’s just not happening for them. Kathy never should have been a housewife. They should have cast her sister Rosie, who is perfect television. Kathy came on sweet and innocent, and her family was lovely, but now she is manipulative and clearly bitter she is not making bank like Teresa.
Caroline is horrific. She came on the show talking about the importance of family, yet she is spending her time trying to break up a family that is not hers. She is trying to get sympathy by saying she is going through menopause, but it is not working. She is an angry old hag whose kids are useless, and she is clearly upset she is not making bank like Teresa.
Melissa is a fame whore who is so jealous of her sister-in-law that she is making it impossible for her husband to have any relationship with the sister that he loves. It has become clear she is causing problems for Teresa and it’s sad because love Teresa or hate her, she is simple but sweet, and just trying to live in a bubble, which under the circumstances, I understand.
Jacqueline is not made for television. She is boring, wishy-washy, and painfully uninteresting. She has chosen to focus her love and attention on her new husband and children, excluding her daughter Ashlee, then spends all her time fake crying, complaining about Ashlee being unable to get her life together, and wondering shy she hates her mom so much. Really?
Teresa seems lovely to me. She is in person just as she is on television, and I think part of the problem for her, apart from her husband being a putz, is that she is the breakout star who turned her time on the show into an actual career, and the other women cannot stand her for it. She is not particularly articulate, or familiar with English, but she is funny, kind, and great TV.
I started out wanting to blog this episode as a goodbye, but in the end I can’t do it. It is a waste of my time to write a blog that will recount the endless attacks on each other. These women should be ashamed of themselves. It is humiliating for their children to see what they have become, and they don’t seem to understand their kids will see it all.
I stopped blogging about The Real Housewives and OC, Atlanta, and Beverly Hills. I am now also done with New Jersey. I will give the new ladies of New York City a chance, but I’m guessing they will not be able to suck me in for the whole season. This franchise revolutionized reality television and for all the good it did, it is now doing bad. This show is no longer good.
The secret to keeping The Real Housewives franchise alive is to completely recast the show every 3 years. It is the only way, and while the fans have all figured it out, Bravo has its nose so far up Andy Cohen’s ass, they have not yet noticed. Andy Cohen is a genius, which makes his lapse of judgment hard to understand and impossible to forgive. Andy Cohen sold out.
And so this shall be my farewell blog to New Jersey. I’m sure I will watch on occasion, when I hear something interesting has happened, but my weekly RHoNJ is over. I suppose I could change my mind because in the words of the divine Mr. Justin Bieber, never say never. That said, Justin pulling up his pants is more likely than Bravo or Andy Cohen ever keeping it real.
May 9, 2012 | 8:52 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
We start this week with Lisa celebrating that Dayana has been sent home. She is miserable and it’s a real shame because she has built a career on being tough and raunchy, but still funny. We have seen that in real life she is not tough, mean, and not that funny.
The task is to do an ad campaign for Elle Magazine that will feature the Chi touch screen hair dryer. The owner of the company is there and he is on Aubrey like white on rice. The Elle chick is beautiful, and the VP for the Chi company has a Sandusky vibe that is creepy.
In a random moment, Trump tells the Chi guy Aubrey has gotten more beautiful each week, the Chi says her hair is beautiful, and she says her color is natural. Right. They flirt with each other for a second which makes me throw up in my mouth for real. This week will be weird.
Aubrey is taking over, doing everything, and giving Arsenio and Teresa useless duties to keep them out her way. Over with Lisa and Clay, Lisa is happy to have it be just them because she likes Clay, but if he drops the ball she will throw him under the bus. She’s in it to win.
Aubrey is doing a yoga, peace theme, which I think is lame. Lisa is using a don’t judge a book by it’s cover theme, which makes no sense. Both concepts are dumb and don’t focus on the product, but whatever. Lisa and Teresa are now going to negotiate for the models.
Lisa does not care what models they use, but Teresa is set on who she wants, so Lisa plays with her like a mouse plays with a cat. She is bullying, manipulating, and confusing Teresa, which is sad, but hilarious. Lisa is funny in this scene, which is a nice change. Teresa is totally bulldozed.
Teresa caves and does what Lisa says, then tells the camera Lisa is dirty and she will fight back. Teresa is obviously going home this week. She has done a great job here, I loved her on this show, and she can be proud of herself. She played fair and was ousted by a bitch. It happens.
Aubrey is annoyed Teresa did not negotiate better. Eric Trump arrives and they explain how Teresa tanked with Lisa, and he tells the camera she “may go home for this”. Predictable. Aubrey is explaining it all to Eric, Teresa is embarrassed, and we know how it ends so why watch?
Lisa goes shopping for their photo shoot. Teresa is still pissed at Lisa for killing her in the negotiations, and Aubrey is saving the team by doing everything all by herself. Aubrey could run the world. Just ask her, she’ll tell you as much. Repeatedly.
Aubrey offers to be a model. She is out of control. Bless her and her massive balls. If Trump wanted the best player to win, it would be Aubrey. The problem is that she is not humble, or kind, so we all think she is a skank. Had she been nice, she’d be a fan favorite. Too bad.
Clay is not able to do the job without Lisa, who returns late. Wth the clock ticking, they show Clay running around like a chicken with his head cut off, and Lisa eating. It was not nice, but she deserves to be treated unkindly so she can get a taste of her own medicine.
Aubrey is having her picture taken and it’s hilarious. She is hanging out with her boobs exposed, talking about she should be a hair model. I think she also said she invented cars, nail polish, and television, but I was pouring my wine and may have misheard her. She’s out of control.
It’s presentation time and Teresa tanks. Their campaign has nice pictures but no information. The Chi guy is lusting after Aubrey, the VP guy is creepy, and the Elle chick is useless. Without seeing the other team you know Teresa is losing and going home.
Clay and Lisa present, and while the pictures are not as nice, they have a better presentation. Listening to the judges spend five minutes talking about the teams is boring and I’m skipping over it. Blah. Blah. Blah. Let me say again, this show should only be an hour long. ONE HOUR Trump!
We are 56 minutes into a two hour show and the boardroom has already started. Really? What the hell is going on here? Trump starts with asking Teresa about the negotiations and I‘m bored. There is nothing of any interest being said and I am resentful this is all they are giving us.
Eric and Don Jr. tell the teams what was good and bad. Trump spends ten minutes asking everyone who should go home which is lame. Who cares what they think? Of course they all want to save themselves. No big surprise here, Teresa loses and she’ll be out.
Important to note there are still 40 minutes left and I am not even listening anymore. Teresa is trying to save herself, Arsenio is trying to say he actually did something, and Aubrey is sitting there with a smug look because she knows she is not going anywhere. Teresa is out.
Aubrey and Teresa keep using the word, “overlook”, but I think they mean, “oversee”, and it’s bugging me. I’m pouring another glass of wine. I see their mouths moving, but all I hear is the teacher from the old Charlie Brown cartoons. I can’t understand anything they say.
With Teresa is out, Trump brings in John Rich and Marlee Matlin from last year to interview the final four. I love Marlee and Rich but there is no way in hell I am sitting through this. They are all begging to stay and it’s gross. I could have missed something good, but I don’t care.
Trump goes after Lisa for not being in control of her emotions, then out of nowhere, Lisa is canned. The woman who has been fighting all season, kisses everyone, is sweet, kind and gracious. Really? Totally disappointed that she did not leave guns blazing.
We are down to Aubrey, Arsenio and Clay. Next week Arsenio will be fired in the first 10 minutes, and it will be down to Clay and Aubrey. Aubrey will win. It’s been a good but predictable season. I’m in to the end, but glad it’s over and hope the finale can keep it real.
May 7, 2012 | 7:56 am
Posted by Ilana Angel
This show has gotten dark and mean. Like most of the housewives franchise, it has lost its fun factor and we are now watching fighting, gossip, and scripted crap. After last week’s blog, people wrote to say my blog was not funny as much as it was mean, and they wonder why there was a change. I don’t agree that I am mean, but one could argue that my recaps are a reflection of the show so it makes sense I am giving what I am getting.
Some of the comments came from die hard Melissa Gorga fans, and since I called her a shady and untrustworthy fame whore, I can understand how they may have taken offense. The truth is hard to take and makes people lash out, so I won’t take it personally. I will continue to write about the shows as I see them, and not worry too much about the fact that Melissa’s fans don’t like my blog. They like her, so there is no accounting for taste.
This show this week put my own relationship to the test. In an attempt to understand my work and why I watch so much reality television, my Englishman watched the show with me. Important to note he has been my boyfriend for a minute so it was a little nerve wracking to subject him to the madness of New Jersey. I am happy to report that while he will NEVER watch it again, we made it through and his observations were brilliant.
We start off at Teresa’s shore house where the troops are gathering for a boat ride. Caroline is out, but Kathy, Melissa, Jac and spouses are in. Teresa is telling Jac about the US Weekly article where she says she was worried about Juicy going to jail, and Juicy saying if he goes away Joe Gorga will not help Teresa. I read the article and it was tabloid fluff so I’m not sure why anyone paid any attention to it. It was easy money and that’s all.
Caroline is at home with her annoying kids, suffering through menopause, and one must wonder what the hell Lauren was thinking when she agreed to make her weight issue a storyline. Lauren says she has lost 5 pounds and fits into a size 8. Really? Does she mean her shoe size? Perhaps her ring size? She is talking about how she wants to be rich, so is her weight is a direct link to how rich she will be? Not too bright this one.
Over at Teresa’s they are going out for a boat ride and leaving all the kids at home with cousin Rosie. Rosie is the very best part of this show and she needs to get her own spin off. Watching her with the kids is hilarious. She needs cigarettes and wine breaks to just get through and even the Englishman perked up a little and announced that Rosie was a cool lady and he’d rather watch her over the “plastic surgery” ones. I love him.
Jac is talking about Ashley and reminding us that she is a bad mother. She then tells the group Caroline is going through menopause and Teresa figures that is why she has been a total bitch to her lately. Wrong. Teresa dear, she is mean to you because she is jealous you are famous and successful away from the show, while she is forced to come to terms with the fact that her children are a sad lot with no real money making ability.
Melissa lets us know she is humble and sweet like Jac. Really? Juicy decides he wants to talk about the black eye Richie gave him last week and it’s pathetic. Juicy is pissed, Teresa is annoyed, Kathy is offended, and Richie could care less. Teresa reminds everyone that she is funny, haha, and you can’t help but think Bravo is scraping the editing room floor trying to pull together an hour of television. There is just nothing here.
At Caroline’s house Lauren and her boyfriend Vito are over for dinner and her dad and brother’s are making fun of their weight. Everyone talks about how hard it is for her to be with her two successful brothers. Really? Successful? Albie lets us know he is seeing a new girl and I guess he is talking about who cuts his hair because I’m guessing her is not dating her. The weight loss storyline is not interesting or funny, just lame.
Jac’s psychic is having a summer solstice party and she is taking everyone with her. Jac and Melissa are scripted to be at Caroline’s so they can drive over together, but really it’s just a chance for Caroline to bash Teresa. Melissa tells Caroline that Teresa said she would dump her bother for a richer guy and that sets off Caroline. She says Teresa is a bully, and lets Mel know she is willing to destroy her family to get rid of her. Really?
Caroline cannot stand it that Teresa is famous. Granted, Teresa has said some dumb things, but that’s Teresa. She is sweet and simple, there is nothing complicated about her. She may not have made good decisions about her book, but come on people. It was funny, haha. Now, when people need to tell you something is funny, it is probably not funny, plus it’s not like Teresa has changed. She is who she always was, and Caroline is green with envy.
Teresa is driving to the solstice party with Kim D. I don’t get this chick and have never liked her on the show. Sidebar: I follow Penny Drossos on Twitter. Penny is the own of the La Chateau salon in Jersey where all the ladies go to get their hair done, and where everyone must talk about them. Penny should be a new housewife. We all know all the best stories are told in a salon and Penny knows more than anyone. Hire Penny as a housewife Bravo!
Melissa is dressed a little whorish and Caroline tells the camera we cannot accuse her if being phony. Really? Caroline is a poser and while I liked her in the beginning, she is now calculated and trying to find ways to be relevant. She is now just like Danielle. Desperately trying to make us care about her, which we just don’t. Rosie confronts Teresa about Melissa marrying Joe Gorga for money and it’s too bad Rosie got involved. Not her place.
Kathy talks about how old school she is and I wonder what exactly does it mean to be old school? A back stabbing gossip? Is that old school? Jac talks to Teresa, Jac then tells Melissa to go talk to Teresa, then Jac goes to gossip about it with Caroline, and it’s ridiculous. Just like Atlanta, these chicks don’t like each other and forcing them to be in these situations makes no sense, is not entertaining, and frankly bores the crap out of me.
Sidebar: Here are some direct quotes from my Englishman: “Who the hell are these women? Are they real people? Do they all have the same plastic surgeon? What the hell is she wearing? That is the makeup of a hooker. Why are we watching this babe? How much longer is this on? You are too good a writer to be writing about this crap.” Important to note there was some profanity used so while slightly altered, the quotes are authentic.
Teresa tells everyone she does not want to talk about Juicy going to jail, then Melissa talks about jail and Teresa bails. Melissa tells the camera she does not understand why Teresa gets so upset about the word jail and one has to wonder exactly how mean is Melissa? She told her not to mention it, and she did. I feel bad for Teresa, but at the same time, Teresa cannot tell every tabloid Juicy may go to jail, them get mad when people talk about it.
Melissa is her family and she should have respected Teresa’s request. It’s silly Teresa is pissed off, but the issue here is that she asks for them to not do it and Melissa purposely did not listen, which is simply not nice. Teresa storms off and Caroline is all over it. Jac goes to talk to Teresa and the hostess is begging her to come back because she wants more camera time. Jac makes it about her and I must say, I do not like this woman.
Jac is a hot mess and I can see how it is that her daughter cannot stand her. Melissa is talking to Kathy and Caroline and being a total airhead. Kathy says she feels bad for Teresa, which is lame because she also slams Teresa every chance she gets. Jac goes to get Melissa so they can talk again and Melissa goes back out which was dumb. Melissa needs to stay away from her and Teresa needs to stop giving this chick chances. It needs to be over.
Teresa and Melissa are now fighting like kids in the parking lot and it is sad. I like both of them in different ways and for different reasons, and this is pathetic. I feel bad for both of them and can agree with both of them depending on which way the wind is blowing. When push comes to shove, Teresa is doing the best she can and Melissa seems unwilling to help her. She cannot take the high road and likes the drama more than anything.
In the parking lot fight I’m feeling a confused. I truly do see both sides, but in the end, if I were forced to pick a side, I would side with cancelling the Housewives of New Jersey and giving Rosie her own show. Caroline is saying that Melissa and Joe need to walk away from Teresa and it is fascinating. Caroline is a bitter hag and she needs to just shut the hell up and worry about her talentless kids, and leave this family alone. Enough.
Tonight we learned that Jac is wishy-washy and quite dumb, Caroline is bitter and bored, Kathy brings nothing to the table, Teresa is going through a hard time, and Melissa cares more about fame than family. We also learned that no good can come of inviting fairies to your party. Damn those fairies. I like this show and these chicks, but they need to get it together because it’s boring and repetitive. None of them are keeping it real.