SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOTAL BELLAS, SEASON TWO PREMIERE
SEPT. 13, 2017
AIRED ON E!
REPORT BY SARAH K., PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
So, on this episode we’ll see Daniel Bryan try out a labor pain simulator, and everyone learns that JJ and Lauren are having marital problems… and John Cena might actually act like a person with a full range of emotions.
Anyway, we open at Birdie Bee headquarters – where they pick offices and hang a sign. Then Brie & Bryan are in a car. Bryan is determined to prep for the arrival of the baby. Bryan wants to know how long it takes to get to the hospital, where Brie will inevitably have an ultrasound. Bryan says he’s “super excited to be a dad” and “would love to have a baby inside of me.” At the appointment Bryan asks a cajillion questions, somewhat to Brie’s annoyance. And on to Nikki’s villa, where JJ arrives because he needs space from his wife and their three month old infant. Apparently JJ is there to act like a frat boy while his wife is at home with their three month old infant. SMH.
We move on to Brie and Bryan’s where Brie is decorating the nursery. Bryan arrives with cloth diapers and statistics about disposable diapers. Brie and JJ aren’t into the idea. Then the dogs fight over the baby that Bryan brought to practice using cloth diapers on.
So, back at Nikki’s villa, JJ and Nikki talk about her shoulder pain. Then Nikki face times with John. Their session is interrupted by a phone call from Mom. Nikki decides to face time her Mom a tour of the villa. This is the clip from youtube where JJ walks by wearing a towel and then the Mom assumes her daughter is having an affair. JJ and Nikki then argue about his towel appearance. JJ isn’t doing anything to prove to me that he isn’t an ass here. Anyway, after 15 minutes, we cut to commercial.
Back in Phoenix, Bryan takes Brie to a landfill. In the sixth grade we went on a field trip to our local landfill because the year was 1990 and recycling was all the rage. Fortunately, they had enough regulations to not allow us to touch the garbage. Anyway, it seems a little overkill-ish to me, but at least they’re not arguing. We transition to John Cena and JJ at a restaurant. They discuss the brim of ball caps. Strangely, 22 minutes into this episode it is THE MOST HUMAN JOHN CENA HAS EVER APPEARED ON THIS SHOW! Yes, really, and without any jackassery. Anyway, JJ thinks he and Lauren need separation to get back to where they were 2 years ago. JJ is averse to therapy, so, I suppose all the adults need to tell JJ about this fantastic thing called compromise. Anyway, John Cena has some thoughts about marriage. John Cena pretends that they were talking about guy stuff. Maybe if there was less casual lying on this show, everyone would be a little happier?
Next up: Nikki visits Brie at her home (also a YouTube clip). This is the one where Brie tells Nikki that their Mom thinks that Nikki is cheating on John based on the JJ in a towel / face time episode. Of course, if you’ve seen the clip — Nikki is going to spill the beans, after the commercial break.
So, Brie is the first one who gets to learn second hand that JJ has ducked out on his wife. Like most women, Brie says what we’re all thinking: If my husband pulled that s–*, I’d divorce his ass. Well, that’s the tame version of what I’m thinking. I might be inclined to ask Mick Foley if he could loan me Barbie, but I digress. Moving on, John and Nikki have a private talk at Smackdown about JJ and his problems. For some reason Nikki thinks that JJ talking to John about his problems is going to result in her and John breaking up… I have utterly no idea how she arrived at that conclusion – that if her dumbass brother abandons his wife, then by proxy John will abandon her.
Moving along, JJ, the Bellas, and Mom are off to Tahoe. The Mom asks why Lauren isn’t there. JJ blithely says that they need a break. Yeah, he’s an ass. Inevitably JJ ends up telling Brie that she’s a “bitch.” Seriously, what a f—ing troll.
Back from commercial, we arrive at Tahoe. JJ facetimes with Lauren. Afterwards, Nikki pushes hard for JJ to go to marriage therapy. It may be the smartest thing she’s done so far in this series. Anyway, the Bellas, Mom, and JJ have food. Brie is a tad annoyed that Bryan is reading up on pregnancy. Bryan calls and suggests that they name the baby “Branch.” Nikki suggests that they’ll consider that name if Bryan does a labor pain simulator. Nobody likes the name Branch… including me. Meanwhile, in another restaurant scene, Brie and Nikki are with their mom, where Nikki comes clean about JJ being separated from Lauren. Cut to commercial. Yeah, that’s right, it took 45 minutes into this episode for the mom to learn what everyone in America learned last week. If this was a sitcom, the subplot of the episode would be about honesty.
The mom is sad for Lauren. Brie, like most of the rest of us, is mad. For some reason Nikki feels guilty about telling the truth. Oh, the patriarchy. So, JJ comes back from snowboarding to the intervention. Brie asks JJ what most of us are thinking: What effort are you making to fix the situation with your marriage? JJ says “this” is why he didn’t choose to tell Brie about the situation, meaning that he would actually have to admit fault and work on being accountable. Brie suggests therapy. Brie wants to know when the issues started. JJ refuses to answer questions because “this isn’t fun.” The scene ends with Nikki hugging JJ, and Brie giving JJ the evil eye.
So, a few days later the entire clan assembles to try out the baby simulator. JJ goes first. Most of us women are thinking: Can they put those on his genitals? 54 minutes into the episode: Johnny Ace comedy spot. Next up, it’s Bryan’s turn. And cut to commercial.
So, Bryan remains calm for the simulation, which kind of kills the comedy value of the labor simulator. John Cena would like to know if we’re done torturing Bryan yet. No, ladies, John Cena doesn’t try the labor simulator. In the cut-away interview, Nikki admits what we were all thinking, which is that we would have slapped that thing on their balls.
Teasers for the next episode: When is Brie having the baby? If Bryan attends WrestleMania, will he miss the birth? Nikki & Cena face the Miz & Maryse. And Lauren says the logical thing: yes, we should try marriage counseling.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S SHOW REVIEW: 9/6 TOTAL DIVAS REVIEW: Sarah K.’s full rundown and analysis of all the drama with Nikki & Cena, Brie & Bryan, J.J. & Lauren