While simultaneously watching the NFL Kickoff game and Jersey Shore, Grantland’s David Cho asked a question not unlike the Prisoner’s Dilemma or that confusing “Should you switch doors?” thing from Let’s Make a Deal — a question so puzzling that it has no answer. It was, “If you had to marry, and live with for the rest of your life, one woman from Jersey Shore, which one would it be?” We discussed it for ten minutes and, right when someone else asked, “What is Snooki going to look like when she gets older?” Jimmy Graham mercifully scored a touchdown so we could focus on football again. These days, though, our football discussions have shifted away from things like, “Which fantasy league did I start Jordy Nelson in?” to ones like “I am not looking forward to starting Aaron Rogers four times in the Bad Quarterback League.” Heady times at Grantland. This week, the leader board in the GRTFL was dominated by one show. No group of Californians has been this prone to violence since the Hell’s Angels. Yep, I am talking about the Basketball Wives.
Malaysia (Basketball Wives LA, Simmons): 70 points. Malaysia knows how to fight. At the first sign of trouble, she removed her heels, giving her ability to sidestep around the table while facing her opponent, Laura. Once within range, she led with a decoy left jab that opened the door for an overhand right that gave Laura Steven Adler jaw (25 points for decisively winning a fight). Basketball Wives fights always deteriorate into tug-a-weave contests and Malaysia knows the best technique — get low. Using her body weight on Laura’s weave, she jackknifed her like a running back being dragged to the ground by his facemask. Eventually, production intervened (25 points) and she was kicked out of a restaurant (20 points), but it was a masterful performance. In 2024, Laura will be passing down her secrets like the Freddie Roach of Basketball Wives.
Laura Govan (Basketball Wives LA, House): 45 points. Let’s say you're a PA on Basketball Wives. You’re 23 years old and probably stoned. Half-asleep, you realize that the Basketball Wives have started a tug-a-weave contest and Spanx are popping out everywhere. What do you do? You can’t ignore it but you can’t be too aggressive about breaking up the fight because the Basketball Wives will kill you. The white-belted chap from this episode played it perfectly. He stayed close enough to the melee to give the impression he was doing something, but really just threw a hand in there and muttered, “Let go of her hair, let go of her hair, let go of her hair ...” until reinforcements arrived (25 points for Laura for being restrained by production) and they were all kicked out (20 points). I see you, white-belted PA on Basketball Wives. Well done.
Kasey and Vienna (Bachelor Pad, Connor and Kang): 45 and 30 points. Ladies and gentlemen, an excerpt from the tragedy that is Kasey and Vienna’s relationship (5 verbal fighting points each):
- Kasey: “Are you making a big deal out of it?”
Vienna: “I am not, you came upstairs and ripped a ring off my finger while I walked out of the bathroom.”
Kasey: “Because you continuously lead me on.”
Vienna: “Continue? If a girl doesn’t want to have sex with you, you don’t run upstairs and rip a ring off her finger.”
Kasey: “No, listen. I am just saying, don’t say you are going to do something and then not do it.”
Wait, what? Kasey ripped a ring off of his girlfriend’s finger because she would not have sex with him on television? How would your girl react if you did that to her? With a lawsuit? Castration? Murder? Well, after Kasey threatened to leave (15 points), Vienna reacted by joining Kasey in his bed and saying, “Let’s just get it over with” (25 coitus points). Who says you can’t find true love on a reality show?
Snooki (Jersey Shore, Lane): 35 Points. The cast members of Jersey Shore are no longer reality TV stars — they are legitimate celebrities. I have no idea how we got here as a society but facts are facts — more people know who Snooki is than Warren Buffet. I would go so far as to say that most people would guess that Warren Buffet is Jimmy’s brother. That being the case, when the Jersey Shore cast goes to a club, like any celebrity, they are recognized, ridiculed, and targeted for abuse. This week, when a drink gets thrown on Deena and Snooki, they respond the only way they know how: with a vicious attack. Screaming (5 points), flailing, and grabbing at anyone in their way in the drunken search for the culprit, Snooki grabs on a woman’s hair (25 points) and pulls her around the club doing her best Basketball Wife impression. However, she has no idea that the woman’s hair she is pulling is Deena’s. Last week, the Situation kicked his own ass with a wall and this week Snooki inadvertently attacked her best friend. She then went home, fought with her boyfriend on the phone, cried (5 points), woke up, forgot the entire fight because she was blacked out drunk and resented her roommates for being concerned. Snooki, I don’t care what you look like when you get older. You’re the answer to the question that has no answer.
Deena (Jersey Shore, Jacoby): 30 points. Deena racked up 30 points (5 + 25 points) for her role in the fight. She also inspired the best quote of the season so far. Here's Sammi on Deena’s Italian paramour, Ellis: “He’s like Deena’s man. He comes over at 4 a.m. He must really like Deena.” Love — Jersey Shore style.
The Situation (Jersey Shore, Kang): 22.5 points. The Situation and Peyton Manning have a lot in common. They both love to work out, and they have large foreheads and mysterious neck injuries. Mike was so affected by his hurt neck that he cried (20 points), but it didn't stop him from wearing sunglasses in a club (2.5 points). If you're in Indianapolis tonight, there's a decent chance you'll spot Peyton Manning wearing sunglasses at the Slippery Noodle.
Imani, Kimsha, and Jackie (Basketball Wives LA, Jay, Lane, and Connor): 20 points. When being forcefully asked to leave the restaurant after the melee, the rest of the Basketball Wives sheepishly gathered their designer handbags and left shocked, ashamed, and embarrassed. Herein lies the dilemma of the Basketball Wife: They agree to go on the show in order to be considered an exclusive, moneyed, and “classy” group of women. But at the same time, they are conscious of the fact that it is only by behaving in ways that completely contradict this image that will make the show a success. So while their faces say “I am appalled at what we have devolved into tonight” their hearts are saying, “I hope I look skinny. This show is going to be a hit.”
Ronnie and Sammi (Jersey Shore, House): 12.5 and 5 points. Sammi to Ronnie: “Let’s give it another try and see what happens?” Audience to Jersey Shore: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Pauly and Vinny (Jersey Shore, Jacoby and Simmons): 10 points. Pauly and Vinny did something that was so meta, so layered, and so confusing that it reminded me of the work of Andy Kaufman, Carles, and Ron Artest. They dressed up as “Those guidos on TV that be trying too hard” and mocked guido culture, using hair gel, fist pumps, and exaggerated tri-state accents. They even consciously created a catchphrase: “Fist pump, pushups and chapstick” (10 points). I hope that in ten years it's revealed that Pauly D and Vinny are really accountants from Iowa and their whole Jersey Shore stint is all just some mockumentary they’re filming. That is the only way any of this makes any sense.
(Draya (Basketball Wives LA, Jacoby): 10 points. Draya is the Basketball Wives' worst nightmare. She is just like them except younger, drunker (10 points), more fun, firmer, sexier, and formerly a stripper. Draya needs to be careful because Basketball Wives will not hesitate to kill those younger than them that show the potential to one day threaten their position.
Graham and Michelle Money (Bachelor Pad, Connor and Kang): 10 points. A go-to for TV Producers in a pinch is to rip off old game shows. I may be guilty of this myself. This week on Bachelor Pad they decided to rip off The Newlywed Game. Seemed like a good idea until Graham and Michelle Money solved it like they were the MIT blackjack team (10 points for winning a challenge). You knew something was rotten when the host asked Michelle Money how many men she had slept with and Graham correctly guessed seven. There is no chance anyone would believe that the woman who took down Carlos Boozer’s marriage has only had seven sexual conquests.
Erica (Bachelor Pad, Jacoby): 5 points. We counted Erica’s attempt at seducing Blake as a one-sided verbal fight (5 points) because it escalated from subtle flirtation into her holding him at gunpoint and demanding coitus. Herewith, a list of the top five things she said while trying to bed Blake, starting with most subtle and ending with the most … Well, you’ll see:
- 5. “I am totally going to seduce him on this date.”
4. “I am definitely like really horny. I am not kidding like super.”
3. “So it is my mission to have a romantic time with Blake and hopefully end up in the missionary position tonight.”
2. To Blake: “We're going to have a room tonight with no one else around and anything could happen in there and I am ready.”
1. To Blake: “My astrologer thought I would be there for the final two couples and something sexual would happen around this time.”
Please, if you're single, go to a bar, walk up to the hottest woman there, tell her, “My astrologer told me we would sleep together tonight,” and then tell us about it.
Ella and Hollly (Bachelor Pad, Connor and Lane): 5 points. Ella and Holly cried on Bachelor Pad this week. Holly because her heart is torn in two directions and Ella because, well, do you really need a reason when you watched your mother get shot with a sawed-off shotgun.
Bill Simmons (The Right Reasons): I know Season 2 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills took a dark turn (to say the least), but we should have included the show if only because of Ken — the british lady's wig-wearing husband who carries a tiny dog around with him at all times — dresses this dog in various outfits, insults the other housewives at dinner parties by saying things like, "if I had to go to a marriage therapist to make my marriage feel better, I'd feel weak," then gets offended when they're offended. I always thought "pajama rich" (when you're so rich that you go out in public wearing pajamas because you only care about being comfortable) was the final stage of being rich, but the more I'm thinking about it, I think it's carrying-around-a-tiny-dog-that-you-dress-in-expensive-clothes rich. Ken is awesome. Ken would have earned 125 points last week — 20 for making Taylor cry, 10 for being offended that she cried, 20 for carrying his own dog into someone else's house, 10 for dressing that dog, 20 for letting his tiny dog drink out of his champagne glass at the table of someone else's dinner party, 25 for then drinking out of the glass himself, and 20 for looking like a retired female professional golfer. I'm drafting Ken. Please retroactively add that wig-wearing, therapy-hating, dog-carrying wacko and his 125 points to my team or you're all fired.
David Jacoby (Blanket Coverage): There is a natural arc to a season of a competitive reality show that inherently makes the last few episodes of the season the least enjoyable. As contestants are eliminated, there is more focus on winning and less on getting drunk, arguing, and having sex with each other. It's hard to avoid and happens every year on The Challenge, which starts off as a frat party that's occasionally interrupted by challenges and ends as a grueling test of the human spirit occasionally interrupted by vomiting. The only show to properly combat this is, Jay Kang’s favorite, Project Runway. When they are left with only three or four contestants they ship in the craziest, most entertaining designers that were kicked off to join teams and disrupt the progress of those still in the hunt. Wouldn’t The Challenge be better if they brought back C.T., Mandi, Aneesa, and mirror-punching Jasmine right before the finale? Wouldn’t Bachelor Pad be better if they brought back Jake and put him on a team with Vienna? But it's hard for me to criticize the Bachelor Pad producers. In a shot of the kitchen this week, they revealed 24 bottles of booze lining the countertop. That's how you ensure a good reality show — stock the entire house like your craft services person is Charles Bukowski.
Joe House (The Fantashiques): I wasn't able to to share any reality TV thoughts last week (for humanity's sake, I hope absolutely no one noticed) because I was busy trying to come up with clever team names for multiple fantasy football drafts. You are goddamned right I'm an over-40 male with a mortgage and a child and a 401(k) plan — how else would you have me spend my time? Anyhow, I have had a nagging, gnawing cold sore of an issue bothering me the past few weeks, and I'm pleased to take this opportunity to get it off my chest: Sean Young SUCKED at reality TV. No really, she suck-sucked. Her performance on Celebrity Rehab delivered the same depth, emotion, comedy, interest, and intrigue as this entire (mercifully final) season of Entourage. Actually, I take that back — Entourage has been worse. In any event, 30 total points for a whole season's worth of house-sharing with lunatics like Michael Lohan & Bai Ling?!? Twenty-five of which were attributable to various bouts of crying?!?? I think Sugar earned 25 points for crying in a single freaking show! I drafted her third overall in the GRTFL because her crazy-resume is long and deep, with goodies like restraining orders, a homemade Catwoman costume worn in public, and — as recently as 3 years ago — physical removal from a Directors Guild of America awards ceremony for being intoxicated and heckling one of the nominees. But at the end of the day, I have no one to blame but myself. When the crazy goes, it goes. And I clearly underestimated the effects of menopause.
Connor Schell (Who We Thought They Were): This week, I finally watched Jersey Shore for the first time all season. The entire episode was a bunch of collective moping and talks about how other people's moping is killing the buzz, only broken up by one-sided drunk phone calls. I can't even remember if they left the house. Last I checked GRTFL did not have a waiver wire, but after a week of teriible fantasy football moves, I am convinced we should. Here is my first reality TV transaction:
I just waived the least interesting character on TV for the eagerly anticipated return of the Dragonslayer. Are we doing a Survivor draft or can I make this move?
Previously: Reality League Scorecard: Off the Wall
Reality League Scorecard: Climb Every Mountain
Reality League Scorecard: The Situation Goes Twinning
Grantland's Reality TV Fantasy League: The Complete Rules and Draft Results