In the annals of reality TV, VH1 holds a special place in my heart. Who could forget The Surreal Life, with a drunken Verne Troyer pissing into the corner atop his scooter, or the tender affection that blossomed between Tammy Faye Bakker and Ron Jeremy? But the VH1 show that really blew my mind was Flavor of Love, Flavor Flav's take on The Bachelor, in which our hero tried to find his match amid dozens of skanky hopefuls all packed into an L.A. mansion. That show's greatest moment occurred when a contestant — ironically given the nickname “Sumpthin'” by Flav — had explosive diarrhea run down her legs at a Champagne toast. “I was like, yo, what is that fucked up smell in my crib, yo?!” he crows. Ever the optimist, Sumpthin' told the cameras that at least this would help her stand out from the other girls.
I'm happy to announce that in the grand tradition of horrible ideas that somehow work, VH1 is unveiling three new reality shows this year that sound fucking ridiculous but will probably work. But to test your canniness at detecting reality-show absurdity, I've made up a fourth (maybe VH1 will pick it up, who knows?). Can you spot which one I made up, and which ones are real?
Recuerdas Gerardo? No? He had that one-hit blunder “Rico Suave,” a song almost as bad as its video, which featured a shirtless Gerardo in torn, acid-washed jeans, rapping about “eating” women “raw like sushi.” Why, just the other day I was wondering whatever happened to that Menudo reject. It turns out he is a high-mucky-muck at a record label now and has a family. “We're like Ricky and Lucy but with a handful of crazy kids trying to run my casa,” he says in a press release. Right, Gerardo… the only difference is that people actually wanted to see Ricky's show.
Walk of Shame Shuttle
Finally, a show brave enough to examine the steamy underworld of drunken college sluts — think Taxicab Confessions for the hungover and pantyless. Follow L.A. entrepreneur Kellyann Wargo as she expands her next-day pickup service that allows the regretful to at least gather some shred of dignity as they escape in the dawn's early light. Begun as a lark on Twitter, her service is cheaper than a cab (but then again, so are her customers) and she doles out advice to the lovelorn and possibly contagious as she escorts them home. Her success has prompted media outlets to refer to her as “the queen of going viral,” but probably not for the reasons you are thinking.
You've met the men of the Mexican drug cartels — now meet their women. Yes, it's The Real Housewives of Nuevo Laredo. It's not easy being the wife of a bloodthirsty sadist, but these gals try to keep house and home from going completely loco while juggling kids, $300 manicures, and lazy drug mules (“Is it so [bleeping] hard to stick baggies up your butt?!” says Maria “La Hiena” Pitalúa, wife of Sinaloa jefe El Bastardo). Filmed over a year on the border between Texas and Mexico and translated with Spanish subtitles, these Latina mob wives have had to “remain strong in the face of mistresses, headless corpses, and grand jury indictments,” reads the press release. “What do you mean you are getting another face tattoo?! Ay papi!”
It's time to explore “the art of romance free of pre-conceived notions [and] stereotypes,” says the VH1 press release. Potential pairs are butt-naked in an “exotic” location, where things like clothes won't get in the way of them making sound, responsible decisions about their love life. Sure, it sounds exploitative, but not when you really think about it: Instead of having women vie for a guy's attention by trying to out-cleavage one another, they are going to have to rely on their personalities, right? If the Discovery Channel could pull off Naked and Afraid, surely the king of all reality networks can pull off Naked and Horny As Hell. It's like shooting crabs in a barrel. Can't wait for the pelvic exam with speculum in the Fantasy Suite!
Go to blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist to see which show is fake and read Katy St. Clair's blogs on The Bachelor, The Real World: Ex-Plosion, and Looking.