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The Telefile
<I>Pretty Wicked</I>: Pretty Average

Ten shallow girls were picked to live in a house to have their lives taped to see if they could become better people... for cash. Does that sound familiar? Like that True Beauty show that aired a few months ago? It's exactly like that, except it's only women in the house, its on Oxygen instead of ABC, they've swapped Vanessa Minnillo for Top Model alum CariDee English, and the cash prize is half the size. Basically, these girls think they're going to be on a beauty competition, but then find out it's judging their inner beauty, and they have to live in a house with (gasp!) no mirrors. The horror.

It's not a bad show, as far as reality series go, though I think that if you're going to call a show Pretty Wicked, the girls ought to be really wicked. But they aren't. This is not the Bad Girls Club. It's not Rock of Love Charm School. It really isn't even as nasty as the teen version of this show, Queen Bees that aired on The N. Sure, these girls are superficial, somewhat catty and think the world revolves around them, but they aren't really evil. Maybe I've been "spoiled" by the Bad Girls of the world, where they are openly awful to each other and get in brawls with each other and strangers at the spur of the moment. For the most part, these girls are just snobs who can be a little bitchy in their interviews. I'm hoping the sparks really start flying as the season goes along. Like, perhaps they were just holding back because they were shell-shocked about what show they were on. Though, if this show is about making them better, and not worse, maybe they'll be even nicer? That's a shame.

As first impressions go, I like Katie, who describes herself as competitive and then two minutes later goes out of her way to give up her bed so that she's non-confrontational. It's that kind of wishy-washy behavior that leads to meltdowns. And Vanessa, who admits to being totally fake and tells the house her special skills are "sleeping, shopping and blow jobs." Awesome. Reena's got potential to be a real bitch if she lets go, she was already dissing handbags and was so proud that she had a Marc Jacobs bag that she had gotten from an older gentleman. She's got an interesting philosophy on life and men with wrinkles. And she compared getting immunity on this show to having immunity to HIV. A real wild card, that one. Ana seems to be shaping up to be the troublemaker, but then she acted all apologetic in front of the judges. Though she's got mad skills with an ice pick, and she blames things on her teeny-tiny dog, so maybe she's really angry on the inside. She did claim to have "made plenty of girls cry by pointing out what is wrong with them."

The first challenge had some promise, with the girls having to make a first impression on a group of blind gentleman, but no one really did anything heinous or made any inappropriate remarks, at least not in front of the guys. Though Vanessa did lament the fact that they wouldn't get to see her fake boobs. She should have let them touch them. She let Amber feel them and Yogi the dog lick them on the first meeting. It might have secured her immunity in the first challenge.

The judges apparently get to watch everything that happens in the house, aside from The Burn Room, which differs not at all from any other confessional on any other TV show ever, aside from the fact that this one has weird photos of them all with votive candles in front of them and post-it messages on them, like a strange altar or Day of the Dead display.

At the Reckoning ceremony, we got to see the judges. There's Dr. Jenn Berman, a tough psychotherapist who may want to lay off the botox, and Mia Tyler, plus-size model, sister to Liv, daughter of Steven and... author? (Who knew?) Then there's Kyle Cease, who is billed as a self-help comedian. He looked familiar to me, so I went on the internet and realized that he was on Last Comic Standing and didn't make it past the first round. Apparently he's written books and once had a comedy special that people watched, but I've never heard of his psychoanalysis skills before. And so far, he's not even mildly amusing. These judges asked the girls riveting questions about how old their boyfriends were and if they thought they could change. But most of this session seems to have landed on the cutting room floor, since we only hear from about five of the ten girls. The others just stand there. After a bottom three, and more deliberating, CariDee gets to deliver the "You've been burned and the loft has no more room for you" line. It's no, "You're fired." And it definitely doesn't sound like what I would expect to hear at a ceremony that calls itself "The Reckoning." Maybe something like "This is the final judgment," or "You've been smited."

It's not terrible, and I'm not against watching it again, I just hope that they actually show us why these girls need to be transformed, because at least on Beauty and the Geek we really got to see just how vapid they were before they made it to the end.

What did you all think? Sound off below.

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