Marriage Boot Camp – Spenser lacks Emotional Intelligence, and Aviva lacks Emotions – by Veena
It’s the second episode of Marriage Boot Camp, and I’m ready for someone to be voted off the island. Please let it be Spenser. But instead, the show starts off with a faux divorce court. The idea is to let the five couples feel what it would be like to get divorced, and as a special treat – those couples that have children get to argue about who gets custody. Each segment starts with a few clips of their audition tape so that we can see what bullsh$t they sold the producers to get cast on the show.
Note: We all know this show is full of famewhores (and their enablers/loved ones) so that they can extend their 15 minutes in the limelight. I’ll hazard a bet that most (if not all) of these folks think their relationship is fine – and just made up some issues for their casting tape. The joke is on them because they all have DEEP issues, even if they were in denial. And now they have to work through them on National TV. It is soooo much better than Couples’ Therapy – where they are able to fake it and get away with it. No wonder Aviva was so mad and refused to pay the headhunter that got her on the show.
First up in divorce court is Bad Girl’s Club Natalie and her husband Jacob, who have only been married since 2012 (their marriage was featured on an episode of Bridezillas). Jacob wants Natalie to settle down and have kids; Natalie wants to focus on being a member of the Bad Girl’s Club. Natalie is basically told that Jacob is going to find someone else unless she stops acting like a spoiled brat; she shrugs her shoulders and tells everyone he can’t do better than her. I think he knew what he was getting into when he married her and probably loves it. There’s plenty of time for kids and settling down when their 15 minutes are up.
Next we have Syleena and Kiwane. Kiwane has retired from the NBA, and Syleena has stepped up to be the breadwinner of the family. She’s scared about holding all the responsibility, so everyone piles on her and tells her she’s selfish for focusing on her career when she could be home catering to her husband and kids. The judge says she’d give custody of the kids to Kiwane, which is total BS. Since when is it a bad parent to work to bring income to your family? What about joint custody. Syleena breaks down in tears and almost storms out, as the counselors and Kiwane gather around her and tell her the judge might be right. You can hear her whisper to Kiwane – do you think I’m a bad mother? Why didn’t you stick up for me? I think the real issue here is his insecurities over not being the primary breadwinner any longer, but somehow they’ve decided to play this story a different way.
For a real treat we get Aviva and Reid coldly discussing who gets their kids. Aviva – with ice water in her veins – says that Reid only wants custody so that he won’t have to pay child support. She says she expects alimony and child support, and he says he’s okay with child support as long as he can say how it is used because she spoils the kids. The camera cuts away to Spenser, who tells us that Aviva is faking the entire thing. Pot meet kettle. I don’t think Aviva and Reid like each other. The judge gives the kids to Aviva because she’s a stay at home mom, but wishes she could give the kids to Reid. Neither seem to care.
Next is my favorite couple, survivor’s Tyson and Rachel. Since they aren’t married, there is no need for a divorce. Instead, Tyson tells the judge he appreciates that Rachel is always there for him and accommodates him. He doesn’t mention loving her. Everyone wants to get up and smack him, but instead they pile on Rachel for being a doormat. The judge tells Rachel to smarten up, take control of her life, and put herself in the position where she doesn’t depend on him – advice she’d give her daughter. Advice I give my daughter. It’s pretty clear to everyone and the doormat that Tyson is never going to marry Rachel. He’ll string her along for years until she finally gives up and leaves him, and a month later she’ll read on the internet that he’s gotten married to someone else and they’re happily planning a family. And she’ll wonder what is wrong with her.
Speidi is up next. Their issue is she wants kids and he isn’t ready. They’ve been married six years. Spenser (who doesn’t work), says he’s willing to get work to support Heidi, but not anyone else – clarifying by anyone else he means future spawn. Red flag red flag Heidi. Spenser is just giving flippant answers to the questions, trolling, hoping to hit a nerve and cause drama. #overit
Next they split into two groups – the famewhores in one group, and the loved ones/enablers in the other. Syleena is put in the loved ones group – probably because Kiwane needs to learn how to appreciate her and all the things she does for their family.
One by one each couple is led through an exercise where the loved one is playing dead in a car crash scene. The set up is that they were reading a nasty text from the famewhore while driving, and that led to the accident. The first three couples react like humans – and by that they show real emotion during the exercise.
Then we get the emotionally stunted shells of humans in the form of Speidi and Aviva and Reid.
Spenser can’t even take the exercise seriously. He says he’s no Johnny Depp – and can’t reach into his emotions “on demand.” I’d agree he’s no Johnny Depp – or even an Eddie Cibrain type of actor – but he’s not supposed to be acting – he’s supposed to be feeling some sort of emotion. The counselor’s label him as lacking emotional intelligence, and in a moment of clarity Spenser explains that he was 22 when he dropped out of college to be the bad boy on a reality show. Since then he’s been constantly rewarded for his bad behavior – and can’t break the cycle. I suspect Spenser thinks he’s just fine the way he is, and quite frankly, it’s all he’s got going for him. Isn’t this show rewarding him for his bratty behavior by paying him to be a brat? He won’t change until his 15 minutes are well and truly over. But in all honesty, I can’t think of a better partner (in crime) for him than Heidi.
Finally there is Aviva – who stares blankly at dead Reid, blinking madly. You can see the little wheels turning in her brain as she tries to figure out what to say to please the counselors. She comes up with some sort of platitude, delivered in a monotone, to the camera, as though she’s completely unaware of Reid’s sprawled and blood-stained body just feet away. In her defense, Reid doesn’t do much better. It’s really too bad this couple has reproduced.