Mariah HuQ Turned down Housewives by NoMoreDrama
Bravo’s foray into scripted drama with Married to Medicine seems to be paying off in the ratings. They’re still pretending it’s “Reality TV”, or “docu-drama,” but I like to think of it more like an improv class led by puppet master Mariah HuQ.
From what I gather, Mariah’s production company (Mariah Media) filmed the show and sold it to Bravo. She probably gathered the most over the top “wives” she knew, and set the ball rolling. As a “character/producer” on the show she didn’t have to stoop to the heavy levels of manipulation that have plagued New Jersey – she was right in the thick of things. She needed to SELL THE SHOW, and what better way than to have a fight in the early episodes. Isn’t that they way Joey and Melissa scrapped their way onto New Jersey after years of pleading?
Mariah explains her role as producer in her latest Bravo Blog: “Although I am one of the producers, I don’t make the final decision on creative content, contrary to popular opinion. But never doubt that I’m behind-the-scenes trying to portray Atlanta women in a positive light.” I somehow doubt that. As producer of the show she could have scrapped the entire thing if she didn’t want it to air.
The blog also includes: “My vision for Married To Medicine was and continues to be a desire to show a different side of life in Atlanta. Successful young families who live, work, and play in the medical world.” “I didn’t work on this project for the last few years to create another reality show based on negative stereotypes.”
Unfortunately she did just that. There is a lot of talk on the show about where the ladies “came from” and digs at the projects or the hood. Mariah and her sister did grow up in a housing project – the Harriet Tubman Homes in Chattanooga. Their mom, also featured on the show, Lucy Bolden, stressed the power of education in bettering their lives. She spent the night outside the “magnet school” Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences magnet school to make sure her daughters’ were accepted. The two girls were the first in their family to graduate from college – Lakeeda “Lake” Kelly from Emory University in Atlanta, and LaKeisha “Mariah” Huq from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. (References here)
After college the sisters started a multicultural children’s bedding line in 2009, and by 2011 it was featured on Housewives and being launched in Macy’s. Today the company (Jewel and Jem) seems focused on kid’s pajamas. These are successful, accomplished women and it’s a shame they traded it in for a brief stint on a reality show. Perhaps it was inevitable. Mariah claims she turned down a spot on Housewives of Atlanta several years ago. In this article for her alma mater, Mariah talked about her company, Jewel and Jem being featured on Real Housewives of Atlanta after they designed a bedroom for Phaedra Park’s son, Ayden. “I was approached to be part of the cast (of RHOA), but that’s not what I wanted to do,” she explained Interview here, read page 3.
Part of me is proud of Mariah for starting her own production company and having a successful show. If I justify it as acting, the fight doesn’t bother me as much. But I do have to wonder if she regrets creating another show that showcases negative stereotypes. She would have been better off accepting that role on RHOA, if indeed it was offered to her.
Mob Wives Season 3 Reunion by Detox
Welcome back to “Mob Wives”!
Well, this is it: the Reunion. Finally, this season has come to an end and, in my opinion, this season started off with a BANG and ended with a WHIMPER. The Reunion reflected this, as it was basically anticlimactic, in my opinion.
I present to you, the very last recap of Season 3:
The Reunion was hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky in front of a live studio audience. Big Ang, Carla and Drita sat together on one couch, while Renee, Karen and Ramona sat together on another.
Dr. Drew immediately addresses the fact that Love is not at the Reunion. He says that the show decided it would be best to part ways with Love (In short, Love got fired. No real explanation for her exclusion from the Reunion and her being let go from the show is given. It is rumored that Carla threatened to take legal action if Love was allowed to attend the Reunion and remain on the show. Carla has denied this. Who knows what is true? At this point, who cares? *Shrug*).
The audience is shown various clips of Love throughout the season, which include some of her individual interview comments and her interactions with the other women. Clips of the other women making various comments about Love are also shown during this segment. Of course, the very last clip shows Love attacking Carla.
Renee is asked about Love, and she says that she never really ran in the same circles as Love and did not really know her personally before the show. Karen, on the other hand, says that she has known Love for years. She also admits that she and Love once physically fought in a parking lot when Karen was 17 years old. She says that Love bit her finger during the altercation. Ramona, without addressing her history with Love, says that she thinks Love is a psychopath. Drita says that Love is “semi-mental,” but she says she does not judge Love for her violent tendencies because she is a reformed violent person herself. Drita says that she is now in “recovery” from being violent. She also says that she does not think what Love did to Carla was right.
At this point, Ramona interjects and says that Carla talks trash behind people’s backs all the time. Carla and Ramona start arguing, and Ramona yells that Carla is “a cop-caller” (This could be in reference to the fact that Carla either threatened or actually took some type of action involving outside intervention.). Ramona says that Carla “has a mouth because security is around.” Carla and Ramona then insult each other’s family members. Ramona tells Carla that one of Carla’s family members was a rat who died “with a canary in his mouth” (Ummm, Ramona, I would be careful about throwing that “rat” term around, seeing as how Karen’s father is often called a rat, and the same goes for Renee’s ex-husband/the father of her only child.). Carla responds by yelling that Ramona’s ex-husband stole money from Ramona’s father. Ramona denies this.
Possible Reasons For Love’s Attack On Carla
Next, Dr. Drew steers the conversation to the issues between Carla and Love and the ultimate attack which took place on the season finale. Flashback scenes of Love and Carla both talking trash about each other appear onscreen. The last clip is a flashback scene of Love attacking Carla at Drita’s birthday party.
Dr. Drew asks Carla why Love attacked her. Carla says she has NO idea.
Dr. Drew then asks Carla what it was that Love showed Carla on her cell phone before she attacked her. Carla says that Love never showed her anything. Ramona disputes this and says that Love was showing Carla a racist tweet Carla allegedly sent out referencing the fact that Love is ½ Puerto Rican (She is also ½ Polish) and making a nasty racist remark about Love’s Latina background (It is rumored that Carla once tweeted and/or called Love “a spic.”). Carla denies this.
Ramona says it’s true and then says that Carla is a racist that calls Black people “you people” and often makes racist remarks about people of other races. She says Carla “is the modern-day Ku Klux Klan.” Carla denies this, and the 2 women continue to yell back and forth at each other. At some point, in the midst of yelling back and forth with Carla, Ramona calls Carla a “Doberman Pinscher-looking son-of-a-b*tch!” (I guess referencing Carla’s long, narrow face).
Why Karen Does Not Like Carla
Dr. Drew then asks Karen why she does not like Carla. Karen says she does not like Carla because Carla is “cold, rude, snippy and sarcastic.” She also says that she and Carla have “another deeper issue” because Carla never wants her family members brought up but has no compunctions about talking trash about her cast mates’ family members. She says she finds this particularly insulting and frustrating when it comes to her own father because her father basically did some things that resulted in Carla’s own father’s life being saved. According to Karen, the least Carla could do is be grateful for this and respect her and her father but instead of doing this, she is nasty and talks trash about Karen and her father and other family members of Karen’s. Carla denies having any knowledge of Sammy Gravano doing anything to save any of her family members because “unlike you, I don’t keep up with all of that gangster sh*t!”
Carla Thinks She Was Set Up
Dr. Drew asks Carla if she thinks she was set up at Drita’s birthday party. Carla says that she does. She also says that she wishes Drita would not have invited Love to the birthday party in the first place (Now, Carla, you know that Drita has to do what the Producers tell her to do! I’m sure they insisted that Drita invite Love, although they are probably going to deny it now.).
Dr. Drew then asks the other women what they thought of Love attacking Carla at Drita’s birthday party. Drita says that Love promised her that she would not do anything to Carla if Carla was respectful to her. Big Ang says that she did not think the fight should have happened, and it really upset her that it did. Renee says she felt bad, but she also feels that Carla should not have leaned into Love and put her hand in Love’s face. Drita agrees and says that “with this crew,” people have to be careful where they put their hands. Big Ang says that she would tell Love directly to her face that she thinks Love was wrong for attacking Carla. Renee says she feels that Love addressed her issues with Carla “at the wrong time and the wrong place.” Karen says that Love wanted to send a message to Carla, and she did.
Carla And Renee And The Butter Knife
Dr. Drew changes the subject and then moves on to discuss the fact that Carla and Renee had major issues this season. Flashback scenes of both Renee and Carla talking trash about each other to other people appear onscreen. The last scene shows Carla using her butter knife at brunch to gesture and talk tough to Renee even though Renee tells her over and over to put the knife down.
With regard to the butter knife “drama,” Drita says that she and Ang tried to broker peace between Renee and Carla, “but we obviously weren’t successful.” Renee says that she gets that Carla has to defend herself, and she does not think Carla was going to do anything to her with the butter knife and was only using it to express herself.
Allegations That Carla Sleeps With Married Men
Continuing on the topic of the issues between Renee and Carla this season, Dr. Drew points out that Renee and Carla both made some serious allegations about each other. Flashback scenes show Renee alleging that Carla has a habit of sleeping with married men.
Dr. Drew asks Carla about these allegations. Carla says that, when she was 19 years old, she started dating a man that told her he was separated, and she believed him. She says that he had his own place, and this was one of the things that made her believe him. She also says that he told her that he was separated, and she had no idea that he was still living with this wife. (What about this man’s former wife, Carla? She says that you most definitely knew that this man was married to her because she confronted you about seeing her husband more than once, and you continued to have an affair with him anyway. Also, what about your ex-husband, Joe, who admits that he was ALSO very much married when the 2 of you started dating, Carla? You were a lot older than the 19 years old you claimed to be when you dated Mikey “Scars”. Oh yeah, about THAT….rumor has it that you were more like 27-29 years old — and NOT 19 — when you fooled around with Mikey “Scars.” You were even older than THAT, when you started fooling around with Joe, who was also still very much living with his wife at the time that you started seeing HIM. Is this a pattern with you? Why am I even asking? You will just deny everything the way you always do.).
As Carla is discussing the allegations that she has a propensity to get involved with married men, Renee, Karen and Ramona have looks on their faces indicating that they do not believe a word Carla is saying. Ramona then makes her disbelief of Carla known.
Carla responds by yelling out that Ramona can’t talk because her ex-husband was married when she started seeing him too. Ramona yells and denies this by saying that her ex-husband really was separated when she started seeing him, “and I got an 8-carat ring!” (Who gives an EFF about the 8-carat ring, Ramona?!?! What does that ring have to do with the price of tea in China?!?!).
Why Does Everyone Want To Have A Sit-Down With Carla?
Dr. Drew allows an audience member to ask a question, and she asks Drita why everyone seems to want to have a sit-down with Carla. Drita simply says that she completely understands why Karen, Renee and Ramona have issues with Carla. She does not really explain or elaborate further (or really answer the question for that matter).
The Evolution of Drita’s Relationships with Karen and Ramona
Dr. Drew changes the subject and points out that Drita’s relationships with both Karen and Ramona really evolved this season. Flashback scenes are shown of Drita, Ramona and Karen fighting and having to be broken up and kept away from each other by bodyguards. Then scenes are shown of Drita making up with both Karen and Ramona separately.
Dr. Drew asks Drita if her making up with Karen and Ramona was real. Drita says it was definitely real and that she is now in a good place with both of them (Thank God! I was tired of the fighting.). Karen and Ramona confirm this.
Dr. Drew asks Carla how she feels about Drita now being in a good place with Karen and Ramona. Carla says that she is “so happy” that Drita made peace with them because, before this happened, she felt like she was always “in the middle.”
An audience member is then allowed to ask a question, and she asks Ramona whose side she would be on if Drita and Karen had a falling out again. Ramona says that she would stay out of it. She also says that what people do not realize and what was not shown on the show is that she knew and hung out with Drita before she was ever even on the show and before Drita and Karen ever had their own problems. She says that her issues with Drita stemmed from things that happened during that time and not JUST from the fact that Drita and Karen later had a falling out.
Karen says that things would never get to that level again between her and Drita and Ramona “because we’re all grown women.” Dr. Drew (correctly, I might add) points out that they were grown women when they tried to murder each other before. None of them have anything to say in response to Dr. Drew’s excellent point.
Somehow, Carla makes a comment that displeases Ramona, and Ramona tells Carla that she is “almost 50” and basically needs to shut up. Carla looks incredulous and says, “Almost 50??!! WHAT?!?!” (like this is the most ridiculous thing she has ever heard). Renee then quietly and calmly interjects and says, “Carla…you’re 47.” Carla has nothing to say to this (because, despite how much she’s lied about her age, the truth is out there: She IS 47. This is NOT a bad thing, but I would say that it is NOT inaccurate for her to be described as “almost 50,” seeing as how she is only 3 years away from it. Carla should be proud that she has maintained her figure and looks so good for her age instead of lying about it.).
Renee’s Addiction, Rehab and Recovery
Dr. Drew then turns his attention to Renee and notes that, this season, Renee addressed her addiction issues by going to rehab and working on her recovery and sobriety both during her rehab stay and afterward. Flashback scenes of Renee admitting that she has addiction issues; her decision to go to rehab; her actual participation in rehab; and her discussion of her recovery after rehab are shown. After the flashback clips conclude, A.J. is now shown sitting next to Renee on the couch.
Dr. Drew asks Renee if she is still sober. She says that she is, and the audience applauds.
Dr. Drew tells Renee that she was courageous to address her addiction issues and get help publicly. Renee says that she has struggled with addiction issues for many years. She also says that she has had periods of being clean, followed by periods of falling off the wagon. She says it is her guilt as a mother that sometimes makes her fall off the wagon because she beats herself up over not being the perfect Mother.
Dr. Drew asks A.J. how he feels about all of this. He says that he does not believe in the disease of addiction and believes it is all about self-control (Why are you not discussing this with him, Dr. Drew?). Despite his opinion, A.J. says that he is very proud of his Mother for doing what she felt she needed to do to deal with her problems.
Drita interjects and directly addresses Renee. She tells Renee that it bothers her to hear Renee talk about being a bad Mother when A.J. is all the proof that Renee needs that this is NOT the case. She says that A.J. is an amazing kid, and Renee had a lot to do with how he turned out. Renee thanks Drita and looks like she wants to cry.
Carla then addresses Renee directly and tells her that she is sorry for the nasty things she said about Renee’s addiction. Renee accepts her apology.
Carla then directly addresses A.J. and says that she did not mean to hurt him by saying those things about his Mother. A.J. tells Carla that she DID hurt him by saying those things. Carla apologizes, and A.J. accepts her apology.
Dr. Drew then asks A.J. if he is still moving to Florida, and A.J. says that he is indeed still moving to Miami. Renee tells Dr. Drew that she is going to support A.J.’s decision.
The Men In Their Lives
Dr. Drew then turns to some of the women’s romantic/personal relationships with men.
Drita And Lee
A flashback scene of Drita talking to Lee over the phone while she is driving and expressing her concerns and insecurities about giving him another chance appears onscreen.
Dr. Drew asks her how it was working out her issues with Lee onscreen. Drita says it was tough because she went through “a roller coaster.” She also says that she feels a lot of guilt for the things her daughters have had to go through because of poor choices she and Lee made in the past. Drita says that she and Lee are “VERY happy” right now. She does note that, despite his happiness, Lee’s guilt is “killing” him “because he missed so many years with his kids.”
With regard to the fact that she almost divorced Lee due to his infidelity, Drita says she trusts Lee, but she is also like his parole officer in a way. She also says that Lee now denies ever cheating on her and denies ever admitting that he did (Oh, brother!).
Dr. Drew asks Drita if Lee will ever appear on the show. She says that he will NOT appear on the show because “he cherishes his privacy, and he doesn’t want to be famous.” (Smart man.).
Carla and Joe
Dr. Drew then turns his attention to Carla and notes that she was going through a divorce this season while dealing with Joe and his girlfriend Raquel moving in together and spending time with her kids. He asks her how she felt hearing Raquel say that when Raquel and Joe were together with Carla and Joe’s kids, they were “like a little family.” Carla says that this really did make her angry because Raquel is NOT their Mother — SHE is (I am totally on Carla’s side when it comes to this. There is nothing wrong with Raquel being good to and loving Joe’s kids, but she will NEVER be their Mother. That title belongs to Carla alone, and Raquel should respect Carla’s boundaries and place as the mother of those children.).
Renee pipes up and says that she “despised” Joe for the things he said about Carla on camera (I must admit that Joe WAS very harsh and did not speak too highly of Carla in many of his interviews this season. They did seem to get along better with each other and come to terms with things toward the end of the season, but he DID say some very harsh things about Carla on camera throughout the beginning and middle of the season.). Karen says that she did not like this either.
Karen and Dave
Dr. Drew then turns his attention to Karen and her relationship with Dave this season. Flashback scenes appear onscreen of Karina telling Karen about Dave’s new girlfriend; Karen flying out to Arizona to confront Dave; Karen confronting Dave; and Karen meeting with both Dave and his new girlfriend Rebecca at a restaurant.
Dave is sitting beside Karen on the couch after the flashback scenes are shown.
Dr. Drew asks Dave how Rebecca felt watching those scenes. He says that Rebecca “was heated” after she saw some of the things that were said about her.
Karen says she did not like how she found out about Rebecca. Dr. Drew asks Dave why he did not tell Karen about his new relationship. Dave says, “Because I don’t have to tell her everything.” Karen immediately says, “We have a child together. So, yes, you DO have to tell me everything that will somehow involve my child.” Dr. Drew and Renee make comments indicating that they agree with what Karen just said.
Renee directly talks to Dave and asks him if he can just admit that he handled the situation wrong. Dave acquiesces and admits that he did handle the situation wrong and then apologizes. Renee then shakes his hand for doing this.
At this point, flashback scenes of Ramona interviewing and saying that she still thinks Dave is in love with Karen appear onscreen. Dr. Drew asks Ramona about this. She says that she still thinks that Dave is still in love with Karen.
Dr. Drew then directly asks Dave if this is true. He says that he is NOT in love with Karen (And I believe him. For the majority of the season, I was of the opinion that Dave was over Karen. Karen and Ramona thinking that Dave was just playing games to make Karen jealous just seemed stupid to me. He loves and respects Karen as the mother of his daughter, but he is “done” insofar as being IN love with her.).
Dr. Drew then asks Dave if he has met Karen’s new love interest, Storm. Dave says that he has not met Storm yet, but he’s o.k. with that. He says that the difference between him and Karen is that he trusts Karen’s judgment and knows that Karen would not have a bad man around his daughter. In short, if Karen likes Storm, then Dave likes Storm (spoken like a man who is DEFINITELY over his ex-.).
Ramona’s Upcoming Wedding
Dr. Drew then turns his attention to Ramona and her decision to marry her incarcerated fiancé’. Flashback scenes appear onscreen of Ramona revealing her engagement to various cast members, and the consequences of that revelation.
Dr. Drew asks Ramona where she stands on her decision. She tells Dr. Drew that she is not married yet, but she is still going through with the wedding.
With regard to the fight that Ramona and Karen had when Ramona told Karen about her engagement, Karen says she stands behind Ramona 100%, but she would not have been a true friend if she did not express her real feelings to Ramona about Ramona’s decision. Ramona says she just wanted a little moment to be happy and enjoy the fact that she was engaged without having to immediately hear about all of the drawbacks of her decision.
Dr. Drew asks some of the other women what they now think about Ramona’s upcoming wedding. Karen says that she does not think Ramona should be planning a wedding while her fiancé “is still fighting a case.” Big Ang tells Ramona that being married to a man in prison “is no joke,” and she knows because she did it for 10 years. She says that it was very hard on her and her kids. Drita says that she feels bad for Ramona because being married to a man in prison “is so hard emotionally.”
Despite everybody’s advice and misgivings, Ramona says that she is still going to go ahead and have a big wedding and even invite Carla if her fiancé’ gets bail. Carla says she will attend if she is invited.
For some strange and inexplicable reason, Dr. Drew turns to the subject of sex. Flashback scenes of some of the women making sexual references and remarks appear onscreen.
This part of the Reunion was basically uninteresting, but here’s a quick rundown of what was said:
Karen said that Drita is an undercover “freak” when it comes to sex. Drita just laughed.
Karen said she does not call Storm “Big Daddy” even though she referred to him this way in one of her interviews.
Ramona will not be allowed to have conjugal visits with her fiancé’ even after they are married because this is not allowed in federal prison.
And that was it. Like I said, the Reunion was basically anticlimactic. Here’s hoping that next season, including the Reunion, will be much more interesting and maintain momentum until the very end, unlike this Season, which started with a BANG and ended with a sad little WHIMPER.
See you guys next season!!