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TheRootDC
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Posted at 03:34 PM ET, 07/17/2012

Love & Hip Hop Atlanta: 5 reasons to watch and 5 reasons to consider changing the channel


What do you like — or loathe — about the show? (Kevin C. Rose - ASSOCIATED PRESS)
As a fan of the original “Love & Hip Hop,” I was both excited and wary when VH1 announced its Atlanta-based spinoff. It promised some quality entertainment, but also was sure to be another negativity-ridden reality show with a cast full of unhappy black women. After watching the torturous Stevie J, Mimi, Joseline love triangle in the first episode, I was all set to write the show off, but my Twitter feed was flooded with talk of the show each week. Resistance was futile.

 But let’s face it: Sometimes after a day of working hard and concentrating, your mind needs a mini-vacay, and reality TV provides that release. “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” serves that purpose magnificently. Nevertheless, yt’s a guilty pleasure for a reason. Here’s a list of five reasons to keep watching, and five reasons I may not make it past season one.

 Five reasons to watch

Stevie’s evil chipmunk grimace

This man’s facial expressions are legendary. It is something you have to experience firsthand to fully comprehend. Need visual proof? Google “Stevie J face”. You’ll thank me later.

Real female friendships

One of the major flaws with the majority of these reality shows is that the women hate each other, and usually themselves, as well. Women guaranteed to clash are deliberately cast to stir up more drama – um, Kimbella and Erica Mena – and it all turns into one neck-rolling, drink-throwing nightmare. 

What is refreshing about LHHA, is that Ariane, K.Michelle, Mimi, Erica, Rasheeda all seem to genuinely get along. Ariane seems to truly want Mimi to be rid of Stevie, and Rasheeda and K. Michelle really seemed concerned that Erica needs to be done with Scrappy. It’s all girl talk, tough love and support, so far.

K. Michelle

Speaking of K. Michelle, if anyone benefits from this show, I hope she does. Despite her bad reputation in the industry, she has a lovely singing voice. I want to see her get another chance at a record deal and succeed, putting all of that ugliness behind her.

Plus, she as the first person to notice that Karlie Redd enjoys embarrassing Mimi by publicly pointing out Stevie J’s indiscretions, and she’s hilarious. A few examples:

On Karlie -  “You a 40 year old aspiring artist without so much as a Wikipedia page.” “I will never trust a woman with a rhinestone snake around her neck.”

On Joseline – “She’s mad ‘cause she look like a man, but she gotta take that up with Jesus.”

 Mimi’s “Waiting to Exhale” antics

There’s something about that arc in a storyline, when the chronically mistreated finally get fed up, and give their abusers the payback they deserve. That’s the kind of satisfaction provided by watching Mimi put Stevie in his place.

Now that Mimi has finally had enough of Stevie J’s philandering and disrespect, she has given him an epic tongue lashing during every episode. She hasn’t caved at his empty promises, but instead, she packed his things in a few raggedy cardboard boxes, and dumped them outside of his house. What’s more, she ran some of them over with her truck as she left. Joy!

 Benzino

Formally of The Source magazine, Benzino is the only man on this show who appears to have any common sense, save for the fact that he hit on Karlie during Monday night’s episode. Wasn’t she dating L.A. Reid’s son the last time we saw her? Nonetheless, Benzino held back no punches when he chastised Stevie for his treatment of Mimi in episode 4.

Stevie J was trying to pretend that Mimi was being irrational, and should automatically open her arms and heart to him at the sound of his empty promises. He told Stevie to do whatever it takes to get Mimi back, even stop working with Joseline, if that was what Mimi wanted. He told him to focus on his music, and quit running around fornicating with anything in a skirt. “The word of the day is monogamous, my brotha.”

Five reasons I may not make it past season one

Buckeey and Scrappy, or Scruckeey.

The fact that Lil’ Scrappy has two women on reserve isn’t enough. He expects for Erica to shower him with constant love and affection, and for Shay (Buckeey) to listen to his complaints about his relationship with Erica. Add the fact that Erica is oblivious to his cheating, and you’ve got yourself a mess. 

Plus, Momma Dee is way too meddlesome, Shay is running around with like five packs of weave on her head, and I’m tired of seeing Scrappy in a tank top. Buy the man a real shirt.

Watch the video for a perfect example. Warning: There’s a little NSFW language from Scrappy.

 Joseline’s cornrows

It’s not enough for her hairdo to be outdated – straight back cornrows in 2012? – Joseline has to take things a step further with her cornrow wig. Switching up your hairdo is a woman’s prerogative, and wigs are a viable option if they are becoming. In fact, her Rihanna lookalike wig is almost acceptable, but those cornrows? They leave me with so many questions. Did she borrow them from Tyler Perry Studios? Does it come with a fake scalp? Does she honestly think it looks good? Why is she doing this to us?

 Karlie’s vocals

Karlie upsets me. She seems to get a kick out of embarrassing Mimi, reveling in the fact that Mimi’s guy keeps going astray. But her performance last night has me ready to start a petition to get her booted from the show. She sang and ears around the nation began to bleed. Joseline’s refusal to record a track with her is perfectly justified. Not that Joseline is exceptionally talented, either, but Karlie literally sounded like a rabid cat being strangled.

 Stevie x Joseline x Mimi

This toxic love triangle has given me the urge to throw my television across the room on more than one occasion. In fact, it was the reason why I had a hard time getting through this show in the beginning. Watching Stevie J blatantly disrespect two women on national television – one of which is the mother of his child – is painful. He cheats on Mimi, gets Joseline pregnant, and then acts flabbergasted because she’s furious. What is he drinking? 

 The gratuitous backside close ups

We get it. All of the women in the cast have voluptuous rear ends. Please, VH1, can we stop zooming in on their behinds every time we get a chance? In episode 4, there were 15 seconds where Shay’s hind parts took up half of the frame, and when we first met Joseline, the camera stayed zoomed in on her rear as she sashayed into Stevie’s studio. It’s like an hour long commercial for Booty Pop Panties at this point.

Did I miss anything? What makes you keep tuning in each Monday? Or have you decided to boycott the show until they give us some captions for Joseline?

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