Another episode of television’s most uninteresting cast of characters, Basketball Wives: LA.
In the first scene, Laura and Jackie meet up at for drinks. Laura is wearing the same frosty beauty supply store lipstick that Tanya wears. Only hers is pink. Jackie talks about her upcoming 16th wedding ceremony. She confides in Laura that she’s been married three times before. (So that means she’s had 19 weddings?) “I don’t hide my past,” she says. This gets me wondering about what fate befell Jackie’s previous husbands. I’m afraid to know what’s in her deep freezer.
Jackie tells Laura that her first husband is white. “White is right!” Laura says. “People say once you go black, you never go back and I ain't never [expletive] going back to black!” In that moment, Black men around the world rejoice.
Jackie tells Laura that she’s pretty and that she can move on. Laura says, “I don’t worry about money or any kind of man.” Considering you’ve birthed four children, you should probably worry about the former, Laura. Lest they have to move into Draya's son’s bachelor pad of neglect, microwaving lean cuisines every night.
Malaysia and Imani meet up for ice cream. Malaysia is completely overdressed in a mini dress and stiletto heels. Imani says she had reservations about this outing because of the first two times she met Malaysia. I think she’s afraid Malaysia might steal on her like she did with Laura. They talk about Imani's past. Imani reveals she left home at 14 years old. Okay, seriously.
This episode is so boring, I feel like I can’t get through it alone without downing a bottle of wine. To keep Basketball Wives from driving me to alcoholism, I call my dad. I convince him to watch this by telling him VH-1 was airing a documentary on the Stylistics. He couldn’t understand why Russell Thompkins had a ponytail and lipgloss. But then my dad starts telling me old man stories of his days partying at Hogates and The Fox Trap, and I decide watching Basketball Wives is the lesser of two evils.
Imani begins to talk about her children’s father, Stephen Jackson, but his name was censored. “I don’t apologize for making him taking care of his kids,” she says. “Because that’s what he’s supposed to do.” So are you. Get a job.
Malaysia says Imani is a good person. Imani said she walked away with a whole new respect for Malaysia. They part ways, but really look like they can’t wait to get away from each other fast enough. I know I can’t.
At Jackie’s house, Jackie and Doug discuss Jackie’s mother’s health with their children Chantel and Doug Jr. Jackie’s mom is suffering from cancer and it’s not getting better. “We’re hoping that the doctors is [sic] wrong,” she says. Jackie is disappointed that her mother won’t be able to attend her upcoming 16th wedding to Doug and that she can’t imagine how hard it will be to not have her mom at her wedding. Do her appearances at the first 15 count for anything?
Jackie says, “Being that she’s not going to be able to go, we’re going to have to skype her in.” What?! I spit out my water. Her ailing mother, who is likely in need of serious rest, is being forced to watch her insane daughter and her Stockholm Syndrome suffering son-in-law engage in nuptials for the 16th time. And her children will be responsible for making it happen. Jackie is despicable.
Elsewhere, Gloria is pretending to be a girls basketball coach. She informs her young charges that her fiancee Matt will be stopping by to assist her. In addition, Jackie has untied Doug from the post in the backyard long enough to allow him to join Matt.
Where they’re practicing appears to be the prison yard of Alcatraz. They’re outside on asphalt, completely surrounded by water. Matt and Doug teach the girls basic skills. Gloria coyly confesses that Matt refers to her as Bobby Knight.
Oh I can totally see the resemblance. Except for the part where Bobby Knight is a championship and Olympic medal winning coach with a long resume of achievement. Gloria’s talent is definitely comparable. Plus, I’m sure the parents of those young girls are relieved to know their daughters are in the care of someone who compares herself to a coach who choked his players.
As the practice goes on, I notice these girls aren’t particularly good basketball players. In fact, they’re kind of terrible. One girl misses an easy lay-up. One girl shoots an air ball from about two feet in front of the basket. I suspect they’re all actresses, picked straight from the Disney parking lot. Gloria, playing the role of tough cookie coach, yells at them and hurries them through their water break. The girls stare at her blankly, suddenly realizing they’ve been duped and that they’re actually not on the set of “That’s So Raven.”
Doug mocks Gloria’s pretend toughness with her players. “Damn coach,” he says. “No water, get a salt tablet.” Doug smiles because it reminds him of all the things Jackie screamed to him on their wedding night.
Laura and Imani meet up. Because Laura moved from a large house in Virginia, to a two-bedroom apartment in California, she’s asked Imani to leave some of her belongings at Imani’s house. But instead of the few boxes Imani was expecting, Laura brings a U-Haul amount of stuff. “My parent’s house was big,” Laura says. “Then I went to a bigger house, and now I’m in a smaller house.” So move in with your parents, you bum.
Next, we see Mother of the Year, Draya at a photo shoot. Some guy tells Draya that they’re going to transfer her from the big booty magazines to something that’s more Hollywood. Draya says she’s used to taking pictures in bikinis, but that the “big booty shots” are not necessary all the time. So in complete contrast, she decides to do this photo shoot in her underwear.
In walks Malaysia, for whatever purpose. Malaysia says that it’s nice to see Draya in her element. I take it that Draya’s element is frequently being naked and sprawled across some strange man’s couch. Draya and Malaysia discuss Jackie’s upcoming stupid wedding. Draya says she didn’t really think Jackie wanted her to come. Draya says she doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody. Well, except to the judge in your criminal case.
Imani takes her two youngest children, Taylor and Stacky to “Color Me Mine.” Taylor says she won’t send her father the craft she made because he doesn’t deserve it and he never sends her anything anyway. I see why Stephen Jackson wanted his name censored from this show. Imani starts asking the children about dating more men.
Taylor says the man will need muscles and to brush his teeth. Sounds reasonable. Stacky said the man needs to take showers. Jesus, what kind of hobos does Imani bring home? Imani says, “My kids are like ‘you need to find a new guy.’” No they totally aren’t. They were sitting there minding their own kid business until you and you and your wig started grilling them about your dating life.
Susie Ketchum from the original installment of Basketball Wives meets up with Gloria. Their conversation is stupid and boring, so I won’t even waste your time telling you about it.
Gloria and Imani meet Jackie for lunch. They both tell Jackie how much they admire her marriage. “Your story can give all basketball wives hope,” Gloria says. “But they won’t let it play out that way.” I struggle to figure out who ‘they’ are.
In Las Vegas, Doug and Jackie prepare for their ridiculous wedding. They meet with Wade, an effeminate man of whom I was sure Jackie was going to rough up to keep him from looking at Doug. But she surprises me and gives him a hug. Wade gives the delusional couple a tour of the suite where the ceremony will take place. The suite has water everywhere. Doug stares at the water and wonders if it’s deep enough to drown himself.
Wade shows Jackie where the computer from which her cancer stricken mother will be skyping. Again, Jackie breaks down, but can’t manage to form any tears. “If my mom is not going to be able to skype in, then I don’t want to do this,” Jackie says. Are you serious? Why are you even doing this at all? Why are you not at home with your mother?
Jackie tells Doug that her mother told her she’s afraid. Jackie says, ”And she doesn’t have a husband.” Well she has a daughter. One that I’m guessing she’s provided free child care for, for a number of years. And this is the thanks she gets. Doug says something about fear being an obstacle. And somehow, I think he’s giving himself a pep talk to run away. “She’s raised all you kids and grandkids,” he says. Doug’s voice trails off and he starts staring into space. Probably longing for the life he wished he had. Actually, I think he’s pondering jumping out of the window.
The guest list is filled with dozens of Jackie’s closest complete strangers, including her cast mates. Because all his real friends have likely been chased away or killed by Jackie, Doug hires Matt as his best man. Matt resembles a cross between El DeBarge and a skeletal calico kitty. Meanwhile Jackie gets her hair and makeup done. Someone flat irons her phonytail. He then puts the phonytail into a bun. This is all Doug’s retirement money going down the toilet. I could’ve made that bun for 20 bucks.
Back in Los Angeles, we’re forced to watch Draya get a bikini wax in front of her friends. Draya says it’s okay because her friends aren’t prunes. [sic] “Prudes, prunes, whatever,” she says. She’s a genius. Draya says she didn’t have any qualms about missing Jackie’s wedding because it was an intimate occasion. As intimate as removing your pubic hair in front of three other women and millions of viewers, I’m sure.
Jackie comes out in a very unflattering Contempo Casuals-looking black wedding dress. Doug is wearing a crushed velvet tuxedo that makes him look like a giant ventriloquist’s dummy. The saddest thing is that someone has propped Jackie’s ailing and very gaunt mother up in front of the computer like some type of updated urban version of Weekend at Bernie’s. I suddenly don’t feel so bad for lying to my dad about the Stylistics.
The wedding official uses words like “your mutual consent” and ”freely given” and I swear he’s looking right at Doug. I think he’s trying to give Doug an out. Like ‘blink once if she’s got a gun in your back.”
Doug repeats his vows and cries. I cry for him. He knows he’s stuck with this troll for the rest of his miserable life. Poor Doug. This man is truly broken down. I’m sure he cries every year. No wonder he can’t get anyone but El Calico Kitty to serve as his best man. The wedding official, with obvious disgust in his voice, declares Doug and Jackie married. Again. Imani says that Black love still exists and that Doug and Jackie set the tone for what a lot of girls are looking for. Not really, Imani.
Jackie and her gal pals eat cake and drink champagne. Meanwhile, Jackie’s mother is still sick with cancer. Jackie asks where Draya is. Gloria says Jackie was really hurt by Draya being absent. Meanwhile, Jackie’s mother is still sick with cancer.
Jackie starts to list all the places Draya could be. “Is she at the club? Is she still stripping? Is she in the bed with five guys,” she asks. “Where the hell is this girl at that she would miss something so special?” Meanwhile, Jackie’s mother is still sick with cancer.
What are your thoughts? Is Basketball Wives: L.A. a more civilized version of the original Basketball Wives, or is it worse?
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