TV with Laura: Tough Love Episode 2

Hello, dear friends. I learned a valuable lesson last night: watching bad television alone (and sober) is very difficult. Impossible, really. I was at my parents’ house, watching the wonderful film Being There, when I realized it was close to 9 p.m. That’s when I had explain that I had to watch Tough Love so that I could blog about it. They are obviously very proud. Anyway, while in exile, I vowed that the guhls would have to join me for the nonsense next week. Jump for the (lonely) recap.

Last week, I vowed to do some research on Steve Ward. I let you down. I will do it this week. Anyway, we open the second chapter of the saga with Taylor still hospitalized, and the remaining housemates happy she’s gone. As Abiola observes, “The house has been really, really cool and mellow.” (Interestingly enough, although the introductory banners still identify the girls as “Miss So-and-So, for the most part, the girls’ Christian names are used. Which is such a relief after catching a bit of For the Love of Ray J where girls are called “Chardonnay,” “Cocktail,” “Feisty,” and so forth. Gross.)

Well, not everyone is mellow. Stasha approaches pretty, shy Jessa in the kitchen and informs her that she wants to put her through a boot camp. “I want to fix your belly,” she advises.

As if on cue, Steve enters with the first challenge of the day: working out in a gym. Jessa immediately starts sobbing about how much she hates her body and that she’ll never be a Maxim model. Honey, I submit that’s a good thing. Anyway, they all go the gym to interact with personal trainers who are there to–surprise–judge them! Not on their bodies, but on their personalities. Now, I hate to make blanket statements here, but when I have troubles with my out-of-control tummy, I will talk to a personal trainer all day long. But if I have trouble with self-esteem issues, negativity, or cynicism (I said IF!, haters), I will talk to a shrink. But Steve once again explains that this exercise is all about the “importance of the male perspective.” Ugh.

Obviously, disaster ensues. Arian talks about how hurt she’s been in the first five minutes of conversation. Jodie won’t stop talking about work (which I submit is normal). Stasha tries to train the personal trainer. (I love her.) Steve chastises the group for their behavior, and then rather randomly goes into the perils of text messaging. He warns them not use it useless it’s totally necessary–running late, “I’m married,” that sort of thing. And then it happened: I fell in love with Steve (for a minute, anyway). Abioloa asks “What if we just want to send a smiley face?” He tells her she should cancel her wireless service as soon as she gets home. YES.

A new day, a new challenge. While Abiola has the opportunity to go out with Terrence, the gentleman she met last week, the other women get the privilege of going on a date while hooked up to what amounts to a shock collar. I’m not kidding. Apparently, no one called a cab when Steve proposed this little exercise in electrocution. In fact, Jessa compares it to being “hooked up to jumper cables,” and again, does not run screaming from the house. Instead, they all board the Jon & Kate Plus Eight van for date night.

Jacolyn is first up–she gets shocked for talking about her ex boyfriend. Steve pushes the button and says, “Keep the past in the past. The past is like passing gas in public. Pretend it never happened.” Steve is a sage.

Tressa escapes shock because she is talking–no kidding–Halo with her date. Sometimes, public humiliation is worse than being shocked. Jodie is less lucky–she starts talking work, and gets so many jolts, smoke appears to rise out of her head. Poor Stasha can’t stop talking about her appearances in Playboy, and gets similar treatment. After the 40th shock, she takes a different method (which is brilliant, by the way): “What do YOU think about me being in Playboy,” she asks. (I laughed so hard that my mom came in to make sure I was okay. She shook her head when I explained what was happening and then walked out, shaking her head sadly.) Oh! And Stasha also gets the shock treatment for picking her nose at the table. So brilliant.

The next day, the women are sunning themselves talking about how awesome things are without Taylor. And then suddenly they hear, “Hey, wh•res!” and Taylor emerges, as if by magic (or design). The girls fill her in on the details of the challenge the night before, and she explains that she would have moved the shock collar to her “vajayjay.” As you will no doubt remember, Taylor is the woman who battled with the bidet last week. She has issues.

So, it’s (finally) time for Group Therapy. The gang assembles. Taylor has on some sort of weirdly Wonder Womanly ensemble with red boots and red tunic. She also feels herself up midway through the session, probably because there’s actually no reason for her to be there since she hasn’t been a participant in any of the challenges. Stasha is chastised and told that “bragging is a turnoff.” Here’s the thing, though: aren’t we sort of encouraged to let man brag about any number of things? “Tell me about your job!” “I like your car!” and that sort of thing seem to be acceptable for a woman to say to a man. How come we’re not allowed to brag? I’m not saying that I aspire to be a Playmate, but you know what? If I did, and if I had a body that allowed that, you bet your ass I would brag about it. Just like I would brag if I somehow got a story in the New Yorker–every minute, every day. I’m just saying.

Which is also why I got pissed off when Jodie was placed in the hot seat–Steve called her out and said, “A man needs to feel wanted.” Yeah, so do women, jerk.

Tressa wins the challenge. The lesson here: talk to men about their dumb penchant for video games, and you are a winner. Gross. I need a drink.

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