Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Today, we wrap up this season of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood (and Adjacent Los Angeles County Neighbors). What a journey we have been on! We’ve gone through everything and nothing at the same time, and isn’t that the paradox of life?
We start part two of the reunion with Teairra Marí coming face to face with Akbar and his cronies, Not Sade and Alejandra, for the first time since the revenge porn scandal broke on television. Unsurprisingly, their argument goes nowhere fast, because no one can agree on the truth. On one beige polyester couch, Akbar claims that he took Teairra in because he wanted to fix a broken woman. But the more he spins his web of lies, the clearer it becomes that he preyed on a vulnerable Teairra Marí when she was fresh out of rehab. There’s not an ounce of me that ever believed Akbar had good intentions. Many may be be deceived by his light eyes and bright smile, but this man reads as a textbook manipulator to me.
So when Not Sade and Alejandra pledge their allegiance to this man they claim has changed their lives for the better, I just feel sad. I don’t know what happens behind closed doors, but from a viewer’s vantage, he’s got these women with independent thoughts and feelings and experiences arguing over him on national television. That doesn’t sound like a good life. And their little arrangement gets even worse when Alejandra openly states that she’ll gladly go to jail for Akbar over the revenge porn case. I’m not sure what this man has to offer her, but it’s certainly not worth going to prison for. I just hope these women find themselves before he robs them of their best years.
But mostly I feel bad for Teairra Marí, who is forced by production to confront her abuser for viewers’ entertainment. She must watch the man who allegedly leaked intimate videos of her play the victim in a story in which he’s clearly the antagonist. Teairra Marí’s character was defamed with their assertions that she leaked the revenge porn, that she knew Akbar was polyamorous, and that she needed Akbar for her success. But worst of all, Teairra Marí (and any victims of revenge porn in the audience) see that Akbar’s punishment for her yearlong torture is a platform on one of cable’s most popular reality shows. I believe that is the worst thing to come out of any Love & Hip Hop reunion.
Ultimately the conversation between Teairra Marí and the three stooges ends when she storms offstage, overwhelmed by the blatant lies they scream while staring her straight in the eyes. Backstage, she demands that the producers pick her or them, because she will not sit through this abuse for a second longer. The producers choose their star, and just like that, Akbar is gone. What a productive, useless conversation.
Next, we go to a brief exchange between K. Michelle and Teairra. Kimberly apologizes to Teairra for meeting with Akbar, saying, “You’re from Detroit, I’m from Memphis. I know we fight.” If you’re not from either of those places, you may be wondering what in the world she means. Kimberly’s point is that she doesn’t want there to be tension between her and Teairra. For some reason, Kimberly initiates this conversation in the comfort of the green room. I’m guessing she’s changing wigs, but who can really be sure. This is an odd conversation with a genuine apology.
Then we go to my favorite telenovela star, Brooke Valentine, and her many storylines. She has done so much this season. We start with Brooke outing Nikki for possibly having sex with Solo Lucci, and I’m stuck wondering how old we are. The cast arguing about who has had sex with who is so juvenile, I can’t even imagine being caught up in this conversation. Ultimately, we’ll never know whether Solo and Nikki had sex, which is great, because I don’t care!
Next in the chronicles of Brooke Valentine is her texting scandal with Amber Diamond. In this dialogue, we learn that Amber and Marcus dated before Brooke but ultimately decided to go their separate ways. Shun Love expresses that the real reason she swiped her daughter’s wig to hit Bridget is because she wanted to assault Ms. Kelly without actually hurting her. Shun says she would’ve thrown her shoe but she’s too old to bend down quickly. This is not a sufficient explanation for why Shun embarrassed her child, but we have to accept it because everyone is yelling and I’m getting a migraine.
Lastly, the cast talks about Marcus and Boobie’s manufactured rivalry for Brooke’s attention. From this discussion we learn that Brooke was formerly part of an Akbar-esque harem and that’s why she’s open to Marcus’s stepping outside of their relationship. I don’t know how to make heads or tails of their dynamic. During the season, I believed that they would inevitably break up. But on the reunion, it seems like they have a stronger bond than the cameras led us to believe.
K. Michelle and Paris finally hash out their feud over UberGate. Well, actually, K. Michelle screams that Paris is a thief via Twitter until she exhausts herself and walks onstage. This discussion isn’t a discussion, it’s a one-sided shouting match. (It’s worth commending Kimberly here for having an astoundingly loud voice.) But we learn something new: K. Michelle will be pressing charges against Paris for throwing a drink at her because Kimberly is tired of being abused by her former best friend. I’m not sure how these two went from BFF-ship to beef but I hope they rectify this, for Paris’s sake. After K. Michelle has her third (third!) temper tantrum of the evening and walks offstage, Paris shares that she has been trying to pay Kimberly back for a debt for years, but Kimberly has refused. I love that even though Paris is onstage by herself, there is still a security guard between her and the host, Nina Parker. The producers have such little faith in any of the cast members to act like adults that they have babysitters present at all times.
Our next conversation is between Moniece and Princess. Moniece apologizes for having tried to throw a chair at Princess while she was pregnant, and for not having had any regard for an unborn life. Princess apologizes for insulting Moniece’s mothering skills. This moment is brief and genuine. The wild part is that when Moniece and Princess get up to hug each other and finally settle their differences, the security guards go berserk attempting to restrain them from embracing. Apparently, they have no tactical strategy for apologies because they happen so rarely on this show. Instead, Moniece has to scream, “We’re nice!” to indicate that security should stand down.
Kimberly performs a forgettable song on the main stage. While the performance itself is tepid, it serves as a reminder to the rest of the LHHH cast that K. Michelle is top billing. It’s the ultimate power move for any reality star on this show.
Lastly, we see an expletive-filled montage of the funny moments from throughout the season. It’s not exactly comedic, but it does serve the job of reminding us that this season happened.
And with that, we wrap this season of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. But before Nina Parker graces us with her closing statement, she gets in her last few penetrating questions. She asks Teairra Marí what single looks like, to which Teairra responds, “Glowing, gloating, and expensive.” I’m not sure what that means but it sounds awful … Nina asks Apple Watts if she’s going to twerk over the closing credits, which Apple uses as an opportunity to promote her shoe line(?). I’m not sure who Apple’s audience is, but I support her in any business endeavors that will get her away from Shun Love. Then Nina asks what is going on in Bridget Kelly’s love life, and Miss Kelly responds by flashing Safaree’s custom ring. Apparently they are dating. I’m sure that will last about as long as the next season of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood.