It’s time to take a look at the new show, The Next :15 on TVOne, with our girl Claudia Jordan. We start with Claudia and Jennifer Williams in a heated argument that seems to be threatening to become violent. There are two of Nene’s “brymaids” on this show, Jennifer and Laura Govan, both of whom were on Basketball Wives. It looks like this is definitely going to be a problem on this show. But producer, Carlos King knows that and likely selected them for precisely that reason. But before we see how that argument plays out, it’s time to roll back to the beginning, about two weeks prior.
We cut to Claudia in a bright orange bikini frolicking in the Pacific Ocean with a voice over explaining in sultry tones the heartaches of poor misunderstood reality stars. Then they cut to the behind the scenes of the shoot where she is told to try to look more sad in her beach frolicking. Claudia says it’s time to see what happens behind the scenes
Carlos King will be in front of the camera on this show. He pops of right away proclaiming himself the King of Reality TV, with a fingersnap and a YAAAAAAS! If that sounds familiar, it is because he was one of the gay men on the RHOA set where Nene picked up all the gay lingo and gestures. She borrowed quite a bit from Derek J, Miss Lawrence and the “Sip and See” party planner whose name escapes me. Miss Lawrence actually quit RHOA because of the “cultural appropriation” of the gay culture by housewives who were quick to use homophobic slurs in arguments. When Nene and the other RHOA began to use terms like “tea” and “shade” and “read” and many other terms that were prevalent in the gay community for years (at least in Atlanta, I can attest to other gay cultures) many were hearing the terms for the first time, unaware of their roots. So for some, like Miss Lawrence, riding the coattails of the gay community and then using gay slurs was infuriating. Side note: I wrote all of that before the very upsetting gay shaming by most of the RHOA last night.
Claudia tells Carlos in a scene where they seem to pretend they are behind the scenes, yet they are talking about creating this show…yes I realize that is confusing… Claudia discusses her issues with being misunderstood on RHOA and her feelings that she missed an opportunity to show her true self, which is what this show is apparently all about. Claudia is seen pitching this show to Carlos. In a reenactment. Because, um, they are shooting the show right now. I hope all this meta stuff goes away very soon because it’s making my brain hurt. Carlos also feels like he is a misunderstood producer so he is going to be on the show too. Because, mediawhore. You, know, if I understand him correctly. Carlos says he is going to choose the former reality stars. And then they go through the ones he miraculously has already chosen. And there is a talking head about how real everything is on his shows. This whole scene is bizarre.
As he lists the other folks on the show, Claudia brings up that Jennifer Williams is supposedly dating her ex. So next we get introduced to Jennifer Williams. Jennifer says the misconceptions about her are that she is quiet and boring. Which is why she is on this show. To prove she has opinions and is not boring. She is interviewing her friend Laura Govan who says she is misperceived as a bull on Basketball Wives. I never watched that show, I only know what we saw of these two on Nene’s spinoff about her vow renewal. Apparently, her ex has a restraining order on her after she posted some email full of mudslinging toward her ex. So apparently, Laura wants to clear up the misconception that she is batshit crazy.
Next we meet Karamo who was on Read World a million years ago and is a hot gay man. Karamo is doing some TV hosting. He has a son who he was sued for child support for. His son will be on the show with him. Claudia shows up on his set to tell him the reason she is not on RHOA anymore is because she tried to be the peacemaker. Was I watching that episode? #RamenNoodles Claudia tells us her car was broken into and her computer stolen because people think Carlos hired her to take out Nene Leakes. Karamo’s misconception is that people think he is racist. Um racist like Don Lemon or racist like Louis Farrakan? IDGI. Anyway, he is wanting to let us know he is not racist. Karamo and Claudia will be good buddies on this show. I want to let him know that he is not the first black gay guy on reality TV.
Benzino wants to clear up the perception that he wears his heart on his sleeve and loves the drama. So he is on this new reality show to prove he is not all about the drama. I just got finished watching Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars where Althea was pregnant. She is about to have the baby in Atlanta and Benzino is in LA filming this show. Benzino says she is the love of his life and he can’t miss the birth of the baby. I predict he will. Apparently they are engaged. They got in at least two physical fights on Marriage Boot Camp while she was pregnant. So it’s a probably best to have a continent between them.
Carlos says there is nothing shady about not telling the rest of the cast about New York being on the show. Except there is. Carlos is Andy Cohen levels of shady. New York, who we sometimes call Tiffany (her real name), is from that super classy show Flavor of Love. She is fresh off a stint on Celebrity Big Brother UK. My head already hurts from her voice. So far Carlos has done nothing to change the perception that he likes making black folks act ratchet on TV. Oh wait, his misperception was that his shows aren’t real.
Jennifer goes to have lunch with Al Reynolds, the gay guy that Star Jones married that one time. Because what is a mediawhore festival without Al? Apparently, Al has moved to Weho. Al and Jennifer talk about Claudia “sexing her way to the top” and bring up Nene’s insult about Claudia’s clit leaving her body. Because this is a classy show.
Carlos has set everyone up to meet on camera in a tiny room. Because, shady. Claudia, who is on this show to dispel rumors she is a shit starter, is immediately show talking shit about Jennifer. Carlos springs NY on them all at the last minute. But first, we are going to see a focus group of random people discussing their perceptions of the group. Carlos says they will be behind a “two-way” mirror. No one corrects him, because… they just hear mirror and all got very excited. Claudia is super excited to see real live haters! She says they always hid behind a keyboard. You see, Claudia, everyone on social media is using a keyboard, because it’s the Internet.
Sadly, I have to stop tape right at the good part because this recap is taking forever to do because I have to introduce all the cast to you and get you caught up on their backstories. And I have to go recap RHOA right now. So, wait right here for me til I get back. It’s Sunday and it’s going to be a long ass night of recapping. Well, it’s 2 a.m. and I dunno what happened to Cynthia Bailey and Kenya Moore since Claudia Jordan left #TeamPretty but she needs to either come back or send Jesus to fix that shit. Things got messy tonight.
Speaking of messy, let’s get back to this focus group. Don’t nobody fuck with reality folk like Carlos King. He’s about to wind these folks up and let ’em lose on some poor volunteers. I don’t see this ending well. Why do some of the folks have backpacks? Did they put them through a metal detector? That one dude is 45 years old with a backpack. That shit makes people nervous these days, boo.
The second the volunteers enter the room, the cast start trash talking them. #hypocrites. Sidenote: I love the Warholesque graphics for this show.
First up is Claudia. The first girl says something nice. The second girl says she likes her too but she is calculating and she reminds her of a drag queen on steroids. Carlos wants to know what that means. She says she means she quick with her wit. She also said she heard Claudia slept with a lot of different men. She was on the come up. The blue haired girl has a deep stoner voice, she talks really slow and says “I think in that picture she looks like a he.” I immediately look up from typing to see if blue hair has an Adam’s apple. She strategically(?) seems to keep her arms in front of her throat when she talks. Claudia calls her a meth head (nah, she way too slow to be on meth, honey). The woman with BLUE FUCKING HAIR, moans out slowly “she’s very …arti…..ficiaaaaaal. Um…. ” Karamo says “She’s like goddamn walking dead.” True.
Karamo is next. Carlos tells the people he was on the first black gay man to come out on reality TV. That is utter horseshit. Karamo’s season of Real World was touted as the first season to have two openly gay men on the Real World. There were black gay men on reality TV way before Karamo. Carlos has to know who Marcellas Reynolds is and if doesn’t he needs some gay education. There was probably someone I am forgetting before Marcellas. Maybe Carlos tried to get Marcellas and couldn’t (He’s already a TV host) and he’s just salty about that. There was Stephen Williams who was outed by his cast mates on Real World Seattle (which was also the first reality show with a person claiming Chronic Lyme who later was on the Lyme propaganda movie Under My Skin with some of Yolanda Foster’s whackadoodle doctors). Stephen was completely outed when arrested for gay prostitution in 2001. But he was actually outed, although not voluntarily, on the Real World in 1998. I’m just saying.
Carlos then asks the following question, “Do you guys think being gay on TV is just overdoing it? Or do you think let’s see more of that?” What the fuck does that mean? Are straight people just overdoing it on TV? What the hell is this man talking about? There is one black dude on the panel sitting next to next to a lady with bright pink braids who is looking at Carlos like he has lost his mind. Apparently, it’s a night for me to watch people say stupid shit about homosexuality and in this case it is being said by a gay guy. The fuck? The woman with the black braids says, “We want to see more but he’s gotta come with something more than just being gay and black.” Other idiots jump in, like if he has OCD, or lupus or he’s an alcoholic. He needs something. I’m dying. I just can’t right now. Maybe I will set this aside for now. People keep fucking with my perfect little world where everyone has GBFs and it people aren’t crazy assed homophobes.
Next Carlos reminds us he has cast someone named Benzino on this show, yet he can’t pronounce his name. The black chick in the dress with the flatironed hair finds her voice to point out Benzino doesn’t have a neck. Benzino announces if he saw this chick in a club he would bag that. (And still make it home for the birth of his child, I assume.) The black dude that was perplexed with me about the “overdoing it” question says that him and Stevie J need to have their own show. Blue hair wakes up long enough to slur out. “I think he’s a hot mess. He’s so unattractive to me. Like you know…his whole unemotional…like..” Claudia says blue hair seems a little serial killerish. She’s right. I can’t properly explain this chick to you guys without sound effects. She really has to be a plant who is putting on an act. However, Carlos brushed over the fact that no one knew who Karamo was, so maybe these folks are legit. Claudia also speculated on the scent of her lady garden, but I couldn’t make out what she was saying.
Jennifer Williams is next. This one the ladies know. They say her voice was annoying and wonder where she has been. She’s robotic, boring, mellow. They didn’t even believe her marriage was real. Blue haired serial killer croaks out in her (his?) stoner voice, “I think she’s wonderful and haters will be haters.” I think it is probably scarier for ole blue hair to like you. Jennifer should probably be nervous.
Black braids says right away that Laura Gavon gained weight and lost weight. Black braids also says she wants to know her story. Did she go to college? Why she got so many kids? Why she ain’t married? She doesn’t understand having so many kids with someone you’re not married to. Another girl says she seems like a nice girl and she likes her “flavor” and seems like someone who could hang with the boys. Sounds to me like she’s been hanging with some boys if she has a lot of kids. They want to see Laura with her sister.
Now it’s time for the panel and the new cast to come face to face. Claudia confronts the girl who called her a slut, and she basically turtles. Claudia says that the slut comments come from one of her exes who apparently put out a list of people that she has been with (according to him). Just as we are moving on, stoner blue haired serial killer drones out, “does the money not help? I was wondering because I was homeless and just got housed a few months ago.” Karamo wasn’t paid for Real World (not exactly true, they got stipends to keep their lights on and such at their real home). He still had to deal with all the gay bashing. Laura Govan cleared up that she had been with the father of ALL of her four kids for longer than most marriages. Everyone ends us sort of hugging it out.
Afterward, Claudia explains to everyone that the plan is for them to do a talk show. Then Tiffany/New York walks in. And we end right there.
In the previews, New York goes all psycho crazy, Jennifer Williams tries to come for Claudia and we see parts of everyone’s real lives. Was that Chance with New York? So let me know what you think. Do you think this show is going to improve the perception of the cast members? Will you be watching? Should I continue to recap?