October 8, 2014

Hollywood Divas Episode 1 Review

Now if you know me, you know I still have this homework stacked up to the roof. Still, I just had to watch the new TV One reality show Hollywood Divas. First, initial reaction is woah, woah, woahhh! It's definitely a different experience watching Hollywood Divas versus watching R&B Divas, but I'm going to get to that a little bit. To be quite honest, I'm not sure if I'm going to stick around for the whole season. The first episode of course gave us an introduction to the cast members. I'll try to keep it short but there's a lot to be said about this episode!

So, let me start out with a basic cast description (SKIP this if you already know who's on the show):

Paula Jai Parker is the one with the project. On all these TV One reality shows, someone has the big project to get the has-beens working again. The episode as well as the previews started out with her saying that 'Hollywood is a fickle business for a black woman'. Which I believe is true especially if you're not bumping elbows with Lee Daniels, Oprah, and/or Tyler Perry.

Elise Neal is 48 and fit hunny! She came out the gate with her confidence through the roof. In addition to acting she also does dance and is a singer. She says that the Pussycat Dolls are a direct rip-off of her own dance troupe.  She appears to be Paula's closest friend.

Countess Vaughn is probably the youngest out of the group. After two kids, one divorce, and no new acting jobs her storyline basically revolves around her physical appearance. She goes to a plastic surgeon with former Moesha cast member Shar Jackson to talk about getting liposuction, a tummy tuck, some facial stuff, and a 'g-shot'.

Golden Brooks is probably the one with the most not-too-dead career next to Elise. She's been in plays and movies for the past couple years and still has an agent. She reveals that she took some time off after Girlfriends to raise her daughter Dakota.

Lisa Wu was the last cast member introduced, probably because she's the most surprising. She was a member on Housewives of Atlanta a few years ago, and is now in pursuit of an acting career. She leaves her children behind to go to L.A. to help Paula out with her movie project.

Ok, now that all that's out the way, let's jump into this episode. First we get the premise of Ms. Paula Jai. She reveals to her friend, Elise Neal, that she's been homeless for some time and things have been difficult for her and her husband. She felt as if she was black balled because of her relationship with a director. First of all, the definition of 'friend' has to be different in Hollywood. Paula and Elise said they hadn't talked to each other in about 8 years, which is a long time to not even send someone a Facebook message. She said she thought she had been black balled because of her relationship with her now husband Forrest (not Whitaker). I felt bad for Paula Jai because the roles she's played have been awesome. She's very talented, very funny, and her voice is so unique. After seemingly having a bonding moment with Elise, here comes my issue.

After each scene, one of the cast members in that scene would comment on it as on all reality shows. But on this show, it seems super catty, messy, and FAKE. Which is why I was kind of reluctant to watch the show, because I feel as though anything with actors/actresses is just that an act. With R&B Divas they sing, acting isn't their true strong point (although some of them do it well), so it still feels believable and realistic. Even though these women on Hollywood Divas are battling real issues with jobs, money, relationships, etc. it just doesn't seem realistic. I think the commentary scenes are used to instigate drama. From the actual scenes, it seems as if they were lovey dovey, happy, and supportive but when they made their commentary they seemed bitter and almost like they don't even like each other.

The real problem came at the end, when Lisa Wu joined the ladies. Golden and Elise were surprised and not in a good way. They were offended that a reality star would join the likes of them, because reality stars are not real actresses. Golden talked about her Master's degree and Elise talked about her veteran title. I can definitely see why they're offended, because after all their hard work over the years some of these reality show stars that can't act, are getting these starring roles just because they have a large following. But also, as an actress the ladies should know that Hollywood is a business! Of course they're going to hire whoever can bring the bigger audience and make them a bigger profit. I don't watch the Housewives of Atlanta, so I don't know Lisa Wu but she seems like a really sweet woman, so far I like her more than Golden and Elise. Elise seems very cocky for someone who isn't working. Oh, but I guess that's her choice as she kept reiterating.

At the very end, there were some clips from the upcoming season, and it does seem interesting enough but I don't think I'll be pressed to watch it every Wednesday. I'd like to see what happens with Countess, Paula, and Lisa but I'm iffy about Golden and Elise. They just seem conceited and catty. As for Countess, I think she has some true issues with her self esteem. Getting (or wasting money on) countless surgeries won't solve them, so I really hope she gets to the bottom of it because she'll never be happy if she doesn't. I do want to see exactly what a G-Shot is though! Lol. Lisa seems interesting because I respect her for trying to get out and work, instead of having a sense of entitlement. But then again, also with Hollywood being so unsteady of black actors, why even try to jump on a sinking ship? I'm rooting for Paula, because I think she deserves better. Maybe she should try to link up with the Wayans again? But even their ship is on a steady decline.

All in all, I'm on the fence about this show. I won't do a review for every episode but will probably catch the reunion show and review it!

Other reviews:
Hollywood Divas Episode 3 Review
Hollywood Divas Episode 5 Review


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