SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
OCTOBER 26, 2016
AIRED ON E!
REPORT BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
We open with a brief recap of when Daniel Bryan retires (which I think is actually the fourth time in a row). Brie and Nikki are in a car. Neither one of them knows what “onomatopoeia” means. Brie thinks it’s a “grammar” thing. Nikki looks it up on Google and reads the definition. They still don’t know what onomatopoeia means. America’s educators collectively weep and hope that girls find better role models…
The opening segment moves around a lot in terms of settings. The settings are meaningless to the conversation, but definitely numerous. So, I’m guessing they couldn’t just produce eight minutes of cogent discussion on one topic. The topic of choice is that Bryan is changing Brie. She was once a wild party girl (a/k/a fun) and is now a dowdy hipster who wants ordinary things. The audience will spend the next half of the show hearing about the square footage of houses. Nikki insists that they need a large five-bedroom house; Brie and Bryan want something that’s less than 2,000 square feet w/four bedrooms. Anyway, in one of these settings Winston the dog appears and eats poop. It’s gross. No one disciplines the dog for doing it – again. I spend a few minutes dealing with my gag reflex. Yes, Total Bellas almost made me throw up in my mouth.
Back from break, the family (sans Cena) is gathered in a living room and the “argument” between Nikki & Bryan from last week’s teaser takes place. Nikki is really hammering this big house / lotsa square footage point. Bryan says that Nikki isn’t humble. Nikki (who isn’t humble and repeatedly demonstrates this) takes umbrage and counters that Brie and Bryan are complainers (because they’re not taking her advice / criticism). Voices are raised. Bryan makes the point that he often doesn’t express his opinion just to avoid arguing with Nikki. I nod, despite the number of times I may have yelled or muttered at the TV while watching this show.
Nikki thinks that Bryan is jealous of John Cena’s mansion. Yes, we’re still blathering on about square footage. Bryan and Nikki go run errands. They both apologize to each other for their fight. Honestly, only one of them needed to apologize; and I say that knowing that I personally find hipster talk of tiny houses to be completely galling.
We pivot to a dress up dinner. This is not a point of contention, but it should have been. I think John Cena is color blind and a fashion criminal. Cena is wearing a charcoal gray suit coat with a pattern that looks like graph paper lines, coupled with a bright blue shirt with a white collar (ATTENTION MEN: shirt color and shirt collar should be the same color, always, there are no exceptions; white collars went out with shoulder pads on women’s garments in the ’80s), and this is topped off with a peach satin-sheen tie. Again: charcoal suit coat, blue shirt with white collar, peach tie. What the hell? SMH. Anyway, they toast to their differences. J.J. announces that his wife (who is present) is pregnant. They toast to that. Then boys and girls adjourn dinner and separate based on gender. In the boys room, Cena asks Bryan what the fight was about. We cut to break.
Back from break Bryan admits he raised his voice to Nikki during their fight. I’m not sure why “raised voice” is such an issue, but whatever. Maybe they’ve never watched wrestling where people frequently yell at each other (insert Dolph Ziggler joke, or JBL commentary from his initial run on Smackdown). Anyway, John stands on top as alpha psycho defensive boyfriend after the fact and simply wants to know if “everything is okay.” He doesn’t ask it in a sincere caring voice, if you get my drift. Ladies, at some point we’ve all encountered this intimidation technique from a man in a workplace.
Nikki, some friends who are introduced but will have no notable lines, the Mom, Brie, and J.J. are going to Naples, Fla. for a bachelorette party. Brie and Bryan are having a quiet talk on a bench. Bryan got some test results. They’re not good. We learn this through a segment where the camera is shooting a set of double doors left open a crack while twins discuss this in hushed tones on the other side.
Bryan is taking a sojourn back to Arizona. Everyone else gets in a van and heads to Naples. Girl talk about Bryan’s mental health. Brie wants him to take antidepressants (so, you know he wants to sit in the woods and commune with a tree or something holistic like that). Nikki feels guilty about haranguing him about the house.
Back from break, they arrive at the hotel. Or, as I wrote in my notes “ooh fancy — champagne.” They have more champagne. They then have drinks at the pool after mildly harassing the Mom about the house dress she’s wearing over her swimsuit to cover her “grandma bod.” Ace shows up and does a strip tease for the Mom that involves not taking any clothes off. Ace pushes the Mom (in dress) in the pool. There’s a montage of drinking and people going down water slides and then more drinking. The twins argue about Brie being dowdy again. Brie pulls Nikki under the water. Nikki, ever the drama queen, refers to this as being tackled.
Nikki is getting her hair blow dried. She’s complaining that Brie has changed. Brie is having a heart to heart with Johnny Ace and J.J. back at the pool. They talk about changing relationships and Bryan’s depression and how Brie needs to talk to Nikki.
Nikki and J.J.’s pregnant wife Lauren are lounging around in hotel robes discussing the twins growing up and growing apart. Nikki doesn’t think Brie is happy. The show is suddenly over. Teasers for next week are that the Mom has lumps in her breasts and Brie goes back to Phoenix to be with Bryan.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: 10/19 TOTAL BELLAS REVIEW (ep. 3): Bryan says fish should live in the ocean, not Cena’s fish tank, Winston eats poop, a visit to NXT