Reality Bites

Reality Bites: Basketball Wives

The NBA playoffs are in full swing, but because my favorite team (the Washington Generals) aren't in the mix, I decided to check out a b-ball-related reality show instead.

And I really thought this was the Generals' year.

It's interesting (to me, but I have notoriously low standards) to note that Basketball Wives is not VH1's first show about the spouses of professional athletes. Football Wives was canceled after one season in 2010. Never having seen it, I can't explain why VH1 axed that particular show after eight episodes and Basketball Wives is currently wrapping up its fourth season.

I have my suspicions, however, chief among them the fact that only one of the current crop of basketball "wives" is currently married. As we all know, married people are pretty boring.

It's true, only one of the ladies on the show is currently in a state of matrimony with a professional basketball-type person. Jennifer is the ex-wife of NBA journeyman Eric Williams, Royce is the ex-girlfriend of Orlando Magic crybaby Dwight Howard and executive producer Shaunie has been divorced from Shaquille O'Neal for five years. The closest any can claim to current marriage status is Kenya, who's in the middle of divorcing Pepsi Caserta guard Charlie Bell. If this were an actual sports statistic, we'd mark her status with an asterisk.

What's also staggeringly obvious from all the bling, botox and Tahitian vacations is how few NBA players bother with pre-nups. Even so, I can understand Shaq's ex sitting on some tidy alimony, but does being Michael Olowokandi's former girlfriend really pay Tahitian resort bills? Being Olowokandi himself doesn't pay much, either (he retired in 2007).

But of course he's not paying. VH1 is. The reason these broads are able to do nothing but get their nails done and bitch at each other on an island paradise is the same reason those adolescent nimrods on MTV's Teen Mom look slightly less monstrously neglectful than they probably are in real life: Viacom has deep pockets. Why would anybody on any of these shows deign to get a real job? Following around a person who works for a living (unless that work involves deadliest catches or trucking on ice roads) is astoundingly dull.

Don't get me wrong, the Tahiti episode was probably a ratings bonanza thanks to the endless parade of enhanced bosoms.

Anyway. Basketball [ex]wives. Tami (Kenny Amderson's ex), Shaunie and Evelyn (Chad Ochocinco's fiancée...wait, what the fuck?) are trying to address "the Kesha situation." No, not the repugnant pop star, but rather the ex-fiancée of GS Warrion Richard Jefferson. Kesha evidently left Tahiti to go home last episode after Tami's bullying. I'm not sure what the "situation" is, except the manufactured drama that attaches to all these TV shows, like syphilis to a poet.

Jennifer and Suzie are talking about Kesha, too. Jennifer makes her second reference to visiting the Maldives. That, or "the Maldives" is what she calls her boobs. Oh wait, now they're talking about Jennifer's feud with Evelyn. The former is apparently lawyered up, and Suzie at least has the decency to look bored.

Tami: "I don't even know where the fuck the Maldives is." She also drinks beer with a straw. I suspect the two are related.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar