Monday, March 17, 2014

The Past is Prologue: Total Divas Season 2, Episode 1

Summer Rae starts out on top
Photo Credit:

After a bit of time from the not really winter finale to the still technically winter premiere of Total Divas, there's a lot of catching up to do with these women we've come to just sort of watch and hope there's similar enough qualities to enjoy them a bit. After all, everyone that isn't already in a relationship has to resolve their current relationship! We also bid farewell to Jojo Offerman, who went the path of those less traveled and just fell out of the show until they said "screw it, here's another blonde woman." And with that, the rise of Summer Rae is here.

The great trouble with Total Divas now in its current form, however, has sort of germinated from season 1. After we're aware of the motivations of these characters, the only thing left to do is fuck and fight, for lack of a better term. If anything, a lot of the current performers have become some actual assholes in the show. I suppose this is inevitable. No one is actually likable on reality television, and when they are at least reality show likable, they talk about how happy slaves were during the antebellum period and ruin any sort of "oh, what a nice guy" skeeze they had by being really kind of culturally blind (at best).

So let me get up a list to remind myself that I still write about this on the internet, and not about Broad City, a show that I wish I could write about on the internet. It's also way better than this or RAW or Smackdown. Anyways, here's a list:

1. Summer Rae

The by default ranking goes to Summer Rae, who I have done a double take on as a performer. Her schtick on NXT has significant legs (sorry), and she'll go a long way as a talent if she can translate that to Raw. But hilariously, Summer actually seems like a normal person right now. I'm only going on the show trailers for now, but her "ta-dah" pose after being told she is too sexually active is rich as well as her excitement for big penises because I mean.

2. Daniel Bryan

So I got mad on Twitter when I realized I didn't do a good job at following folks, especially when someone threw the hilarious "you guys don't even deserve TV if you watch Total Divas instead of Walking Dead" like I don't know that the games were far better at making a story I want to experience. It's like, what in the hell is your deal? I get it, bad reality shows are lesser than scripted programming in a lot of eyes. Most of the time, they are MY OWN eyes. But holy shit, not getting why wrestling reality shows are watched by wrestling fans (who can still be cultured) as well as how even your elitism is stupid (Like, COSMOS and Shameless are on at the same time. There are better shows I'm choosing to not watch for this, too) just makes me not take your actual opinions about wrestling remotely seriously.

Anyways, so Daniel Bryan is here because he said "Would you look at those boots?" Yup.

3. Naomi / Trinity

At the same time, I also get why this isn't really a thing a person needs to watch, either. This is the point where I kind of piss on everything I just said about elitism, because again, I've spent good portions of the column talking about everything else but Total Divas. Television has been pretty damn awesome and a lot of networks are actually getting their shit together. Take HBO, for instance. True Detective, for all its macho posturing, was also some damn interesting television. Fox is airing a damn 13-part science series. Comedy Central has several of its most interesting show ideas in years and none of them have Daniel Tosh in them to fuck them up. E! simply picks up another reality show and then does a re-airing of a USA reality show to remind us USA is cancelling shows people like and replacing them with a rich asshole from Atlanta who acts like sub-Paul Lynde.

Anyways, so Trinity didn't do much. Just sort of responded to stuff.

4. Cameron / Ariane

So where does television go? Some networks are doing a great job getting that scripted programming can become event television if given the proper care. For some reason, Breaking Bad is the prime example of this, and it didn't even earn the deserved attention of the public until its end. Most networks won't give that time for growth. Again, Comedy Central is doing a good job housing great things like Key and Peele, but without the viral East/West Bowl bit, it's much tougher to say where that show would be. Does the cable mentality breed an actual complacency to it? Comedy Central likes their original shows, but would people just watch Reno 911 repeats until the network just gets their ad dollars to cover the costs of taping and streaming? And what does dropping cable subscriptions have to do with this?

Alright, so Ariane had a minor fight with Nattie and there was a cop and then nothing happened at all and they kept drinking.

5. Brie Bella

I'm sure those who are thinking about the future of media are pinpointing President Obama's appearance on Between Two Ferns as a cementing of a changing media landscape where we watch our entertainment in bite-sized intervals. Of course, we've done this for years now, but television was around for a good two decades in American homes before President Nixon appeared on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. It usually takes a leader to simply cement a trend, especially one volleying Zach Galifianakis jokes. This allows a good discussion on the television/internet dichotomy. I don't even know what mentality allows two minute videos and six-hour TV binges to exist in the same mindset, but it happens.

Brie picked out some stuff, was adorable with Bryan, did a joke, I think.

6. Natalya / Nattie

"Digital witnesses, what's the point of even sleeping?
If I can't show it, if you can't see me
What's the point of doing anything?
What's the point of even sleeping?
So I stopped sleeping, yeah I stopped sleeping
Won't somebody sell me back to me?"

When St. Vincent asks this on "Digital Witness," a standout track from her self-titled 2014 record, it is an inherent criticism of social media and how we consume. Is our life now anything but a parchment of telling people the boring shit we're doing because otherwise we do not feel validated? I guess there are a lot of paradoxes to criticizing social media in a piece that will be promoted through that very form. It's a mite hypocritical at best, I imagine. Still, this and basically every other question I have had is one that I don't know the answer to. Where do we go from here? What IS the point of doing anything?

Nattie was a total ass this episode. I don't like where this is going with her.

7. Nikki Bella

I mean, she existed.

8. Eva Marie

Eva Marie is 29. I'm, umm, I need a moment to reconcile that.

9. Eva Marie's boyfriend

He's still an ass, but like, he wasn't as assy as the overprotective family.

10. John Cena

"Watch me jump right off the London Bridge"