SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOTAL DIVAS, EPISODE 8
JANUARY 4, 2017
AIRED ON E!
REPORT BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Despite the all the teaser clips on YouTube focusing on Lana’s bachelorette party, we’re still getting the Bellas too. The show opens with footage of both the bachelorette party and that half of this show will still revolve around a meaningless plot with the Bellas.
As per the usual, the never-ending ever-changing 15 minute long opening segment takes us backstage where some of the cardinal players are talking about Lana’s bachelorette party. Then we’re in a salon where the Bellas are talking about being nervous for John Cena hosting the ESPYs.
Back at Raw, Lana and Rusev are backstage where Lana briskly explains that Rusev is like her first long-term relationship. Then we move on to Vegas where Lana has booked the Hardwood Suite at the Palms. It has a basketball court. Basically, it’s large and impressive and otherwise you can Google it. Then Renee, Lana, Russev, and Naomi are at a bar. They have an interaction with a handicapped fan; Renee invites the guy and his wife to hang out with them. This is weird to Naomi (and everyone else). Then Renee and Russev go back and forth over whether Lana should actually have a bachelorette party. Rusev does seem like a bit of a stick in the mud for not wanting it to transpire.
Meanwhile in L.A. the never-ending ever-changing 15 minute long opening segment switches to the Bellas, who are filmed eating and talking about Birdie Bee meetings. Then Mom and J.J. show up. I wish they would do something interesting. Instead J.J. chides Nikki about being on her phone and the twins are worried that their mom is going to look like a dork on the red carpet for the ESPYs. Because how could anyone watching the red carpet for the ESPYs not care about the Bella’s Mom? You know, as a woman who doesn’t watch sports, I may have had to Google “ESPY” because it’s an acronym. But seriously, it’s an awards show for sports stars. Upon doing a small amount of research I guess E! covers the red carpet, which would explain why their photo gallery is of 50 percent non-sports stars. I gather that Ciara attended the EPSYs, oh, and like Steph Curry too. Wow, that’s comically tone deaf.
Back in Vegas, Renee wants the bachelorette festivities to involve a trip to “Thunder Down Under.” Lana, Renee, and Naomi are having a drink when an old friend / old flame of Lana’s shows up. It’s Isaiah Mustafa from the Old Spice commercials. Those were the commercials where I used to turn to my boyfriend and ask him to explain if they made him want to buy deodorant and body wash. LOL. Anyway, hey, this is just like the episode where Nattie’s old flame showed up right before her wedding, no? Okay, I’m probably the only person who remembers that. If only there was a different subplot for pre-wedding festivities…
Finally, commercials! We’re back with the girls in Vegas with the Old Spice commercial guy. Renee invites Old Spice guy to a pool party. The Bellas, Mom, and J.J. are at an outdoor cafe. A guy with a camera is there photographing them. They discuss Paparazzi etiquette. Nikki feels she’s had some unflattering pictures taken…
Back in Vegas, the bachelorette trio is on a party bus with the accountant from the Palms. Not quite sure what that was about, but it was awkward. Anyway, Lana ends up on stage and gets a lap dance while sitting in a tricked out office chair. Yes, it literally looks like something you would buy at Staples. It has black and white streamers attached. After the festivities Lana, Renee, and Naomi discuss the experience in the back of a limo. Lana seems to pine for Old Spice guy a little bit. And we cut to commercial.
Back from the break, Rusev appears in the Limo, and they fess up that they went to Thunder Down Under. Russev is annoyed about it. They go to a club. There they meet the wife of the handicapped fan from the opening segment. She’s drunk, she has a friend there named Melanie. This is going to be problematic. The wife seems to instigate a fight with her friend Melanie after a drink is spilled. Naomi breaks up the fight. Then Lana figures out that the drunk woman had offered to make out with Rusev. She’s upset. We abruptly cut to the Bellas with Mom and J.J. where they practice answering red carpet questions. J.J. is bad at answering the questions. The Bellas really seem to think that folks really care about this John Cena not marrying Nikki thing…
Back from commercial Renee, Lana, and Naomi are in a bathroom / dressing room getting their hair done and discussing relationship issues. Naomi didn’t have bachelorette party. Are we surprised? No offense, but she comes across as too responsible to need to get shit-faced in front of a male stripper. They’re outside at a pool. There’s a lady with a hat with cat ears in the pool; she has a cat claw manicure, and she acts like a cat – except for that being in the pool part – you know, cats hate water (or, if you didn’t know that, then go to YouTube and type in something about cats and water…). Anyway, Isaiah shows up at the party. He’s amicable and platonic with Lana. So, of course, Lana ends up crying. Perhaps she’s had too much alcohol.
Back from break, Renee and Naomi console Lana. Then we switch to L.A. Brie and Nikki are outside on the patio obsessing over their looks. Yes, what role models… anyway, J.J. snatches Nikki’s phone and throws it to Brie; it falls in the hot tub. Nikki stalks off with her wet phone, presumably to find some rice. Meanwhile, back in Vegas, Lana and Russev are in a hotel room. Lana bursts into tears. Cut to commercial. Russev suggests that if marriage is so scary that then they can just live together forever. “When you have a problem, you run to me, and Rusev fixes everything,” he says. He was already instantly more likeable than John Cena, but that just makes him a giant lovable teddy bear. They tell each other “I love you,” hug, and all is well.
Then we move on to a dinner party with Lana, Russev, Renee, Naomi, and some of Lana’s family. There’s a “magician.” He introduces a man and woman wearing Lucha masks that are blurred out (I’m guessing for trademark reasons). The “magician” does a weird speech about marriage being like wrestling, and the people in the Lucha masks play-wrestle. Everyone at the table looks weirded out and mortified. And then it turns out that the Lucha performers are the wife and the handicapped fan from the opening segment. Yes, that was totally balls-out weird. Russev asks where’s the guy’s wheelchair… and we cut to commercial, possibly wondering if we’re about to witness a robbery or some other form of crime.
Back from break at the dinner, after the weird part with the wrestling, the accountant from the Palms and the cat lady from the pool also show up. Evidently Renee planned this weird shit. “You’re a sick person,” says Russev. Uhm, just hit pause for a moment, like a long WTF moment. Renee is quite pleased with herself, I can definitely see that. But as an audience member I’m just left with the thoughts of “WTF” and “uhm, okay, was that supposed to be funny or entertaining, because it was neither, it was just weird and awkward and maybe this show could use some writers.” Yeah, I’m not sure how booking that as a rib was a “fun surprise” for anyone, including the viewers.
In L.A. it’s EPSY day. The Bellas and family get gussied up. And then we’re on the red carpet. They answer standard questions with standard non-controversial answers. I wonder who watches this footage? I guess I’ll have to ask my boyfriend if he watches red carpet shows for sports awards, and if so is he really looking at the variations in suits? (Side note, yes, I know, Craig Sager’s suit! Also, RIP Craig Sager)… Maybe there’s something I don’t know about. Or I guess as a culture we really care about what every attendee at an awards show wears. That must matter to someone. Anyway: Footage of John Cena (who never actually appeared in any of the segments with the Bellas before actually appearing at the ESPYs) hosting the show.
Next week on the mid-season finale: Nikki gets a CAT scan, the draft is happening, and Dean goes after someone who probably took a picture of Renee. Yeah, it’s hard to type and watch TV and remember four teasers at the same time. My apologies, I forgot the fourth, although I think it’s about Lana’s wedding.