Basketball Wives has lost its way. For five seasons we’ve faithfully tuned in to watch the drama unfold between women we’d never heard of prior to the show’s debut. The original crew–Royce, Evelyn, Jennifer, Shaunie, Suzie and Gloria–kept our attention span weekly. In its prime, we anticipated the next episode. Regardless of the starting players and women shuffled in and out, the show delivered on one thing: drama.
Drama makes for good reality television. It doesn’t have to be a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc thrown at someone’s head drama, but some level of conflict must exist. After four seasons of Evelyn throwing bottles, jumping on tables, swinging on women and Tami hitting women with a quick 1-2 combo, a public outcry in the form of petitions caused VH1 to reign it in a bit out of fear of losing advertisers. The women went on a PR campaign promising to straighten up their act. While we’re all for self-improvement, it’s like the saying “You can’t start the play in the second act.”
The fifth season is desperately trying to portray the women who’d once beat you down as moms, daughters, girlfriends and businesswomen. Nothing is wrong with showing a more balanced portrayal, but there’s not one interesting storyline. All that’s left is trumped up beef around a statement “it could go really right or really wrong.” On every episode the following happens: A PA (production assistant) sets up a lunch or fake shopping date with two or more of the women. They talk aimlessly about whatever women aren’t there. One of the women at the fake meet-up then relays the information to whomever wasn’t present thus creating a petty drama. Repeat.
It’s clear there is no chemistry between any of the women anymore. They’re all showing up to fulfill their contractual obligations but do not speak when the cameras stop rolling. Both Tami and Evelyn have confirmed as much in recent interviews. Tami took it a step further in her “Breakfast Club” interview when asked if she was returning for another season. She basically said it’s not so much that she won’t be returning but the show may not return because they’ve exhausted all storylines. There’s only so many episodes viewers can tune in to a basketball wives show with only one real basketball wife. We’ve heard the crux of their stories–they dated, were engaged or married to basketball players who all cheated with groupies. Nothing has changed five seasons in.
Let’s keep it all the way 100. The show became massively popular because it was a ratchet bottle throwing, fighting, jumping on tables mess. Taking those elements away and expecting it to still be interesting is hustling backwards. It’d be the equivalent of Jersey Shore without alcohol and fighting. Who’d still watch? And let’s debunk the idea that the show is now suffering because people don’t want positive TV. Tia & Tamera and Braxton Family Values are positive reality shows with good ratings. The difference is they’ve been positive shows from day one and that’s what their viewers love and expect. Due to the precedent “BBW” set, viewers expect drama, or at the very least women in relationships with actual basketball players.
Fortunately, most of the show’s popular women have made a name for themselves sans basketball player attachment. It’s safe to say they can move on to other endeavors that won’t induce their viewers into a yawn fest every Monday night. Yes, it’s that boring. And if the network/cast chooses not to make this season their last, viewers have and will. No one cares anymore. Sorry.