I take back what I said last week about I Survived a Japanese Game Show being the best new reality show of the summer, because VH1’s I Love Money has finally premiered, and it is great. Don’t get me wrong, we should all still enjoy ISAJGS, but it lacks a few of the things that make TV important and watchable: strippers and raw greed. And as humiliating as putting on a diaper and trying to stuff all the mochi balls into your butt might be, it’s nothing compared to the humiliation and self-degredation performed by the professionals on I Love Money. I don’t know what college these guys received their PhDs in Sadness from, but they’re all fully tenured professors in Kill Yourself now.
They arrive at their mansion via boat, with former members of I Love New York, Flavor of Love, and Rock of Love waxing nostalgic about being back on television. You’ve got The Entertainer, Chance, Pumkin, Mr. Boston, Midget Mac, Hoopz, Destiney, Brandi C, and they’re all ready to do whatever it takes not to go back to their jobs stripping and parking cars in LA, wondering why their manager stopped returning their calls. The boats pull up on a beach and Midget Mac refuses to jump down because he saw his uncle drown and now he “doesn’t fuck with that water.” So
Entertainer 12 Pack rushes in and stuffs Midget Mac under his arm and runs him to the safety of the beach. Alliances are being formed! Entertainer informs us that he will do whatever it takes and “if [he] has to eat your heart, [he]’ll eat your heart.” I really hope that’s one of the challenges.
The mansion is actually kind of beautiful. It’s on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Not that any of the contestants will notice over the glimmering haze of their inevitable alcohol poisoning. Everyone picks out rooms and Megan and Brandi C hide the third bed so that no one will stay there. By hide the bed I mean they lean the mattress up against a wall. Which is probably hiding it as much as you need to in this special ed camp.
The host asks everyone to give a statement about why they need the money. This is probably the best part of the show. They all have such noble goals. The Entertainer wants to move out of his mom’s house, Midget Mac is going to give 50,000 dollars to strippers, and Megan wants to help “retarded dogs.” Selfish. I think Heather wanting to use the money to cover up the Brett tattoo she got in her last reality TV show is probably the most heartwarming, not that I wouldn’t also like to see Rodeo use it to grow her barbecue sauce business.
MAY THE WORST WOMAN WIN.
The first challenge is to stand in a bikini and shove money up in there and the two people who shove the most money in will become team captains. Mr. Boston says that being in the money booth felt great and that it made him feel like Bill Gates. Not only is that what Bill Gates does all the time, but that’s how he made his money. But the rumor is that he cheated and computerized his bikini. Or something. Whatever, Mr. Boston’s an idiot. White Boy and Hoopz win, so everyone competes to see who can ingratiate themselves more. Except for MIdget Mac, who refused to put on a bikini because he’s totally thug life 4 real, and who refuses to give anyone any reason to keep him around, unless a reason is telling Hoopz that she’s a bitch and that he has more money than her, which actually makes as much sense as any other reason anyone else has ever given for being on a VH1 reality show.
The rest of the first episode is a drawn out decision process, and Midget Mac does get eliminated, but not before Mr. Boston appeals to White Boy by bringing up the fact that they’re both Jews, and then takes the whole Tribe back to the year 3579 by pointing out “Jews always stick together, especially on I Love Money.” Woof. And the host points out that “just like the fat kid in gym class, if you don’t get picked you gotta bounce.” This show should be called I Love Reinforcing Stereotypes That I Forgot Were Offensive Because It’s Been Decades Since I Was In Junior High.