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Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood Recap: Real Friends

Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood

Sex, Lies and Videotape
Season 5 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating *****

Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood

Sex, Lies and Videotape
Season 5 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: VH1

We start this episode of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood exactly how we ended the last, with A1 jumping over a table to snatch Safaree’s genetically modified hairline. Once again, A1 and Lyrica are the topic of conversation, and surprise, surprise, they are fighting with all of their friends. This is primarily because their friends aren’t really their friends. Except maybe Marcus, who tries desperately to be the voice of reason, despite the Disney villain on his shoulders encouraging him to do the worst. Brooke is a bad look on Marcus. She’s a bad look on herself, because following Lyrica around asking if she’s pregnant with Safaree’s unborn child … is not what a friend does. Ray J inviting Safaree to a baby announcement party to discuss cheating rumors … is not what a friend does. Safaree texting one of his closest friend’s wife pictures of his anatomy-defying package … is not what a friend does. And A1 has every right to be upset with this group of “friends” taking delight in the dissolution of his relationship. However, at the end of the day, the source of his pain is Lyrica. A1 needs to decide once and for all whether he trusts that she didn’t cheat on him. He says he does but his actions speak differently. That’s the only way they can move forward because these seeds of doubt will grow into The Unforgiving Tree and the couple will never be able to move forward.

On the other side of town, we have Paris watching Teairra Mari’s leaked revenge porn in some bistro with incredible Wi-Fi. While I don’t believe it’s Paris and Nikki’s fault that this sex tape was leaked, I think they owe Teairra as much attention now as when they were snooping in her business for laughs. The fact that Paris and Nikki are judging Teairra Mari for taking those videos in the first place and not deleting them off his phone absolutely misses the point. How about instead of judging victims, we judge aggressors for releasing intimate material to exact revenge. Anything else is just victim-blaming.

This brings me to Teairra Mari. I’m disappointed in her for busting Akbar’s car windows. This certainly won’t help her court case, but I can empathize with her being so mad that she defaces his property. This infraction gets a Kanye Shrug™. What really enrages me is the way that Akbar talks to Teairra. The fact that he could accuse her of leaking the sex tape for publicity is just sick. Seeing this monster on my television screen makes me break out in hives and I can’t wait to be rid of him. Akbar needs to take ownership of of his actions. And while I legally can’t say he’s guilty without getting a subpoena from one of his disciples, I can say that he sucks and I hate him and I hope he gets what’s coming to him.

By the way, I can’t believe that Lisa Bloom is on Love & Hip Hop. For those who don’t know, she is a famous (and controversial) lawyer involved in this decade’s biggest sexual harassment cases, on the side of the victims … as well as the perpetrators. Her role on this reality show feels both random and unsurprising at the same time but I hope she gets Teairra the justice she deserves. For what it’s worth, I appreciate Lisa Bloom introducing revenge porn into the show’s lexicon and it’s good to know that California has harsh laws against this. This conversation brings up useful information for the women and men watching this who have been subjected to this abuse. Lisa makes me think, in the way that it’s illegal to sell a stolen TV even if you don’t know it’s stolen, it should be illegal to disseminate revenge porn even if you didn’t steal it yourself. This is a great idea I just thought of and now I’m running for president.

Solo Lucci appears on our screen for the first time in years and I’m sure he misses Alexis Sky for making his constant pursuit of women seem like a personality. With Brooke and Marcus, Solo Lucci complains about Teairra Mari’s mixed messaging. I understand that Teairra’s behavior may be confusing, but so many victims go back to their abusers because they feel scared or isolated. Teairra deserves the benefit of the doubt and we should stick by her in her moment of need. If it is not abundantly clear, I am Team Teairra Mari. #JusticeforTeairraMari

Next we head to a nondescript dive bar most likely attached to a strip mall where Ray J and RoccStar complain about the dirty people of Hollywood. The idea that Ray J and RoccStar can call anyone dirty when these men have pushed their girlfriends into pools and systematically degraded women is laughable to me. Sometimes, the call is coming from inside the house. And Ray J must have caller ID because he calls RoccStar one of the top five dirtiest people in Hollywood. I cosign this. Especially since RoccStar spills all of Lyrica’s business and implies that they cheated together. See!! This is why you don’t confide in your husband’s enemies. Everyone saw this coming except Lyrica. Truth be told, I can’t tell if Lyrica cheated, but it’s apparent to me that she’s immature in her marriage.

Next we get to Jaywill, who is auditioning to be in Pride as himself, despite the organizers asking for his alter ego, Kandie. Jaywill is right, there is something antithetical about Pride organizers not accepting Jaywill performing as himself. But, Ray is entitled to put whatever act he wants in Pride because he’s organizing the event. Jaywill might not have chosen the best song selection for his audition and he was wrong to attack one of the event judges. If they were on the fence about his performance, he sure as hell isn’t getting the invite after that. Jaywill made a choice and he has every right to stop performing as Kandie. And if he never wants to perform as Kandie again, that’s great too. He can even get mad at the organizers for not accepting him for who he is. But what he can’t do is stop pursuing his dream. As soon as he gives up on himself, it’s a wrap on his career. If performing at Pride is important to Jaywill, he needs to come back next year with an audition so good they can’t say no. That’s the only solution.

Ok, we end this episode with a fight in a billiards facility. Why do the men on Love & Hip Hop play pool so much? Haven’t they ever heard of Fallout? This is another game of he said, he said. A1 gets upset with Ray J and Ray J tells him he can catch a brotherly fade. This gets A1, whose blood pressure must be higher than a tech CEO on Joe Rogan’s podcast, riled up. Ray J asserts that everyone has been talking about the Safaree and RoccStar rumors behind A1’s back, and Ray is trying to help by telling it to A1’s face. I believe that Ray is trying to help. He’s helping the show’s rating, he’s helping the plot move forward, and he’s helping A1 see the truth. All of these can be true at once because Ray J Norwood contains multitudes. A1 takes out his rage on Ray J because he can’t cope with the fact that his marriage has become fodder for ratings, plot, and his closest friendships. I can’t imagine this ends well … but lucky for us we get to see this play out in real time. Until next week!!!

Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood Recap: Real Friends