I am an original ratchetholic. Judge me if you want. But I love it I can't lie. My friend Scotty and I term ourselves as "clatchet" as we are classy women with a side hint of ratchetness. For those that follow me on Snapchat you will often see me advertise with great joy over #RatchetTime. I look forward to going home and seeing my regular ratchet shows unfold and the foolishness that they get up to. Looking back I've realised I liked ratchet TV before it became what it is today, I often tuned into BET to watch "College Hill", MTV "The Real World" and "Flavour of Love" which will always remain a classic for me!
But let's rewind. My love affair with the current reality ratchetness began in March 2011 from the very first season of Love & Hiphop New York Season 1 (no I didn't remember the date I'm not that sad but I do remember it coming out in 2011 kiss my ass so what) . Now if you remember the OG's like me, then you too are a fellow ratchetholic like myself *high fives* it was the love-child of Mona Scott-Young and was marketed as following the lives of several woman in New York who's boyfriend/men/baes were involved in the HipHop industry. Let's be real, we all inner so the fact that we got to see into the love lives some of our favourite rappers or people that we were familiar with in the industry was a great selling tool!
The first season began with the OG's Chrissy (girlfriend of Jimmy Jones), Emily (girlfriend of Fabulous) , Olivia (from Fifty Cent's record label), and Somaya Reece (a random rapper who's music I still don't know to this day) and the infamous Rich Dollar (music mogul and male slut and bonafide Creep Squad member) and from the GET GO I just remember kicking back at laughing at these grown folks go through the exact same bullshit that us regular smegular people do, but because it was on TV and it wasn't about my own life I was highly entertained, my boyfriend at the time could not stand it (although now he's into it just as much as me, what a joke!)
In the early days of the ratchet reality shows I enjoyed them as their lives and conflicts seemed genuine, it didn't seem forced and to a certain extent we as the audience became invested in their personal lives. I for one, felt for Emily when Fabulous had no act right and no damn sense to treat the mother of his child and stylist the right way, I remember at several points thinking she should use just burn all his shit and tell him to get out!
I don't know about you, but I was never a fan of Basketball Wives at the beginning, breathe before you have a heart attack just hear me out. I guess mainly because I heard the name of the show and was like "why would I want to watch rich bitches for? What problems can you really have with that lifestyle when you ALREADY KNOW that athletes tend to cheat?" So I stayed loyal to Love & Hiphop as the first few seasons unfolded and when the reunion came and the fighting was real (no security back then) I couldn't get enough! Now, I do watch Basketball Wives mainly because Jackie and Tami just make my flipping day!
Yes, I like violence. So what? Now before you start bursting an ovary that's not to say that I like to see people just get beaten to a pulp on a random and I obviously do not condone violence HOWEVER sometimes you have to check someone and unfortunately it might have to be with a fist to their windpipe...I'm just saying. No-one should fight for no reason unless you're a paid boxer, MMA ,Jujitsu, Karate athlete then obviously its for competition purposes. But I loved that some of the women owned up to the fact that they will lay hands on anyone if they pushed them too far...at least their being honest!
I love watching relationships period. How they unfold, how they began, the dynamics about it, I mean no shit Sherlock my blog is about relationships! There was something about watching the ins and outs of a relationship and not seeing the flowery/romantic sides but some real life issues/insecurities/problems and miscommunications that often happened. So when Love and Hiphop Atlanta came out I nearly lost my edges!
This was when we was introduced to a next level of ratchetness and craziness and got classics from Joseline such as "you not sending me back to the strip club Stebbie coz I'm not going back" and K Michelle's "woooooo! She's shaking the table" Mona Scott even upped the levels in terms of marketing and started the tradition of "supertrailers" now those were better than the regular smegular 1 minute trailers that she used to do and now would show you the juiciest parts of the whole season to reel the audience in and send us into a social media frenzy waiting for the season to drop which was always 2-3 weeks and it worked because my patience is a myth.
As time as gone by the amount of ratchet reality shows has exploded and we simply can't get enough. The fact that Love and Hiphop and Basketball Wives is now a franchise across several cities shows the impact and popularity it now has with us an an audience and I would often get excited waiting for a new season to come around as we now have been accustomed to a new ratchet season starting once another has ended!
Currently I watch the following shows (not in order of how much I like them)
Love & Hiphop Atlanta/New York/ Hollywood
Real Housewives Of Atlanta
Black Ink / Black Ink Chicago
Marriage Bootcamp Reality Stars
Cutting It In The ATL
Sisterhood of Hiphop
Braxton Family Values
Preachers of LA/ Detroit
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There have been a few other ratchet shows that I have tried and failed including Bad Girls Club, TI & Tiny Family Hustle but I got tired of them because I felt that the shows weren't interesting enough!
Now a betch is tired. I'm tired of seeing the same old, I'm tired of the forced staged confrontations and storylines that I see unfold within these shows. It's not coincidental that these women are always have some kind of meltdown/argument/epiphany/conversation with the most scenic of backdrops or in some secluded area that they've probably had to do several times in order to ensure that the production company got the perfect shot.
Love and Hiphop get's on my nipple the most, especially this season of Love & Hiphop Atlanta really has upset my ovaries. It's one thing that these people are willingly exploiting their personal lives and what they get up to but at some point it become flipping ridiculous. You KNOW that in the times that we live in people are extremely judgmental, trolls will be all over their social media dropping comments or trying to cash in on the fame/popularity that comes with these reality shows because it does bring a lot of money to them quickly without them actually having to have a talent or do much apart from sleep with the members of the cast and will happily play the side chick role as the cheques come through. This is why most of these "reality stars" and yes I use that word loosely are often found hosting parties and charge a ridiculous amount of money for it, just to stand pretty, pop bottles that they haven't paid for and stand in VIP for a few hours. That sounds great we would all do it if we knew for a few hours I had to just blow a few kisses and buss a bumflick or 3 as people took pictures of me, duh who wouldn't?
BUT... where did the REAL part of the REALITY go? I can not describe to you the amount of times I roll my eyes and I end up cussing on my social media as I watch this crap unfold because it's so far fetched I feel like I've wasted 45 minutes of my life on an episode of complete fuckery. I'm still not over the whole Amina/Peter Gunz/ Tara triangle and to this day I feel Amina needs some serious therapy and to learn how to love herself because her self-esteem must have been at an all time low to even facilitate and entertain half the crap that she allows from Peter Guns. It also makes me question how much are these women and men willing to sacrifice of their own pride and integrity just for the sake of being on TV? The majority of these reality stars have children and if your Peter Guns/ TI/ Stevie J you have a football team of children, some of them are teenagers and so are fully aware of what you are doing on TV. Not only are these stars exposing themselves, their children are collateral damage and they didn't ask for it. If I saw my mother swinging from a Shower Rod I would die....several times. It was embarrassing enough when you're mother would come pick you up at school so for why would I want to see her on TV begging for man or penis please? Not me sir!
Currently these shows are more concerned with sexualising everything and unfortunately they have now normalised it. To see triple/quadruple love stories involving several characters on one show or sometimes they now jump across several shows to stay relevant and those pay cheques coming is irritating as fuck. How these people are just sleeping around actually has me worried for their sexual health, I'm convinced some of these women must have thrush, because there is no way that you can be slapping skins with so many people and not have/had something or your vagina hole come like the EuroTunnel...I'm just saying. Better yet, the levels of disrespect that these woman allow these grown men to get away with and use the excuse of "love" is quite damaging to the younger generation out there who may think that the foolishness that they see on their TV shows are the norm, so when they jump into a relationship with a wasteman they won't think anything of it because they've seen it so many times. I have a younger sister and I've seen that she is now a fan of the ratchet shows, but I've made a point of speaking to her and making it abundantly clear that I never want her to think that those type of relationships are OK and as her older sister I am very protective of her, I don't even want to think about a man breaking her heart because I will honestly break his face in and go Bad Boys 2 style on his ass.
I think it's because now especially as I'm aware of TV production and indeed the reality that a lot of what we are watching is scripted I just can't invest in these shows like I used to. Especially Love and Hiphop who think they can throw any diarrhoea at us and think we are stupid enough to believe its real, but at the same time because we still watch these shows...we are giving them the viewership that they need to continue season after season. I feel now that Love and Hiphop the same way I feel about Fast & Furious franchise...that both need to end....quickly. It's so ridiculous now that half these rappers/singers/models/entrepreneurs on this show don't actually HAVE A TALENT OR A BUSINESS yet want to be claiming that they are "bosses" bitch WHERE? The only person that I have seen from that franchise actually want to branch out and make smart business decisions is Cardi B, she has now signed a record deal with a major label, featured of TV shows and actually released music which ALOT of these stars have yet to do. From when I saw Yandy's live "wedding" that actually wasn't legal and now I'm seeing next week that Joseline will go into labour on the next episode, it has me worryingly thinking what ELSE are they going to show on there? It actually worries me what else they have up their sleeve.
Nothing is sacred anymore, we've taken things that should remain private or intimate and cast out to the masses for people to like and judge us. And my God do we judge! We could cuss out a woman for staying with someone that cheats on them when we have done it ourselves, but we somehow think it's OK as we didn't blaze our business on a TV screen but you may have on social media so how different are we really? The older I get, the more I value my privacy especially as I am family orientated and I never want to be in a position of embarrassing the people that I love the most and the man I choose to spend the rest of my life with, for why? For TV? For people that have absolutely nothing to do with me? You must be sniffing skittles.
I would be lying that I will stop watching these shows entirely but now I've began to think what else could I be doing with those 45 minutes that is actually going to better my life. Because whilst I'm watching these reality stars I still have bills to pay! I have too much that I need to achieve in the #YearOfLavish so my time is precious, so instead of me religiously watching ratchetness I now utilise that time watching TV dramas, reading a book, or working on a script idea because these are things that are going to help develop me not only as a writer but a human being!