Quick Take: Basketball Wives, "Episode 10"
"Don't sit there and tell me how to dress if you're still wearing colored contacts." - Royce
Review: Basketball Wives, "Episode 10"
(S0310) I should have hated Basketball Wives.
Hell, I wanted to hate Basketball Wives. I love sports, but I couldn't care less about athletes' wives and girlfriends. I think it's a gender thing. My girlfriend is mildly obsessed with the subject. When Tom Brady left a pregnant Bridget Moynahan for supermodel Gisele Bunchen, my girlfriend never forgave him. I never batted an eye, all I cared about was watching Brady throw 50 touchdown passes in a season. When Elin Nordegren went to town on Tiger Wood's Escalade with a seven-iron, my girlfriend was thrilled. All I could think about was how the incident would effect Eldrick's chances of surpassing Jack's majors record. Despite an utter lack of interest in the subject matter, I couldn't bring myself to hate Basketball Wives. It's just too damn entertaining. Sure, it's obnoxious. Sure, it's trashy. Sure, it probably portrays African American women in a not-particularly-positive-manner. But, boy is it fun!
The show was developed by Shaunie O'Neal shortly after the collapse of her marriage to NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal. Filmed in Miami, Basketball Wives follows a collection of ladies (I use the term "ladies" in the loosest possible way) who date professional athletes. The current season, which aired its finale last night, stars Evelyn Lozada, fiance of NFL star wide-out Chad Ochocinco; Jennifer Williams, estranged wife of former NBA small forward Eric Williams; Royce Reed, ex-girlfriend and baby-mama of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard; Suzie Ketcham, ex-girlfriend and two-time baby-mama of NBA also-ran Michael Olowokandi; Tami Roman, Real World: Los Angeles cast member, Ms. Black California runner-up and ex-wife of former NBA player Kenny Anderson; and Meeka Claxton, ex-wife of former NBA player Speedy Claxton.
If I had to compare Basketball Wives to another show, I guess I would say it's most similar to Real Housewives of Atlanta. It's just a bunch of catty broads masquerading as classy, trying to parlay their husband's wealth into success of their own. The trashiness of the show is what makes it fun and the fact that these women have been romantically involved with famous athletes adds a layer of intrigue that differentiates Basketball Wives from the Real Housewives series.
For most of the episode, I sat wondering why anyone rich or famous would ever date any of these chicks. The BW ladies aren't particularly beautiful, nor do they have anything interesting to say. And they damn sure aren't nice. So why would a professional athlete, a person with the means to hook up with virtually any woman they want, choose one of them?
Most of the finale revolves around Jennifer's divorce party. She and Suzie prepare for the suare by hitting the local cake shops. Apparently divorce party cakes are pretty popular, and pretty violent. They settle on a cake featuring a statuette of Jen holding Eric's severed head, his body leaking blood at the base. It's pretty gruesome and not appetizing in the least.
The violence continues at the party, as Jennifer brandishes a bat against a piniata modeled after Eric's head. If that isn't enough humiliation to put her soon to be ex-husband through, she makes out with a dude in full view of the entire party.
Eric Williams gets the last laugh, however. The day after the party, he and Jennifer sit down at a restaurant to hash out their divorce. At first things are civil, but quickly the conversation turns hostile. Eric gets up to leave and Jennifer hurls a glass at him. Eric marches back to the table, picks up a full martini glass and splashes it directly in her face, drenching her. It is absolutely epic. I am certainly not an advocate of violence against women (although, is throwing a drink in someone's face really violence?), but I couldn't help but jump off the couch and do a spinning roundhouse kick in jubilation when that vodka hit Jen's face. Just give the guy his last name back! Ya dig?
Lingering thoughts on the season finale: