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And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Creating A More Perfect G



For two seasons, Fonzworth Bentley (aka Derek Watkins) has been making me cry. I will never understand the life of a G. I’m pretty sure G is short for gangster, or a gangsta as the kids say. I am so uncool right now. It could mean something completely different. I am so not up on the lingo.

Anyway, FB has chosen to use his power and fame to help people. That’s the best way to use ones power and fame. He wants to make gentlemen out of the G’s. MTV’s “From G’s To Gents” is noble, far more important than those Charm School and Tool Academy shows for one reason—while all these shows change people for the better (or at least try to), G’s To Gents keeps young men alive. This season, especially, shows its value through Teddy, a participant whose friends were murdered execution-style a few days after he left town. That’s heavy. That’s why I cry.

Last season, a lot of guys told stories of woe that involved crime, violence, poverty, drinking, and needing to get out to support a family. Also, one guy had spiky hair and already owned three houses. He did not win. The reunion show presented the winner as having stayed away from the life he’d been living before he won. It also showed a violent attack by one guy on another during a backstage impromptu rap session. Dude knocked the other guy’s jaw sideways. They showed it over and over in slow motion. Then he came out on stage with his therapist who was disappointed in him for punching someone else. You can’t change everyone, can you, Farnsworth?

Sidenote—Did FB used to carry an umbrella around to shade SJPDPDSPCSC from the sun?

The major difference between this season and last season so far has been the obvious switch from calling the ebony spheres what they actually are in laymen’s terms: black balls. I am thankful for that because many of last season’s participants kept calling them ebony “spears” either because they thought that really was the right word or because they mumbled. Either way, black ball is much easier to understand.

The cast this season:

A. D. Killa, an unemployed 21 year old from Atlanta. He seems so nice despite his name.

A-Felon, an unemployed 23 year old from Elmont, NY. Ah, shout out to Long Island.

All-In, a loss prevention dude and DJ from Fort Lauderdale. He seems like a jolly kind of guy. Still, by 26, he’s been shot and I think stabbed. He showed the guys his scars, which almost made me cry.

Blue, an unemployed 22 year old from Los Angeles who is homeless. This guy has nothing. If he gets sent home, he has no home. At this point in the show, I lost it and was bawling. Blue is also almost eight feet tall, and tall men make me weak.

Dirty, a 21 year old barber from Miami. Ah, irony—check out Dirty’s hair and then remind yourself that he’s a barber. He’s the token drunk-on-the-first-night guy. He also made me weep uncontrollably when he told FB that when he was a baby, his mom threw him in the trash. Literally. Seriously, stories like that make the world of Demolition Man not a bad idea.

Fahim, an unemployed 25 Bangladeshian from Brooklyn. Bangladeshi? I’m not sure, but he’s from Bangladesh. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with that point. He also got thrown in the pool by Dirty and almost drowned because he can’t swim and a lot of the other guys took a bit too long staring at him in the pool to try to figure out if he could swim or not.

JoJo, a 25 year old car polisher from San Francisco. I think he’s kind of quiet because I really don’t know who he is.

Lank, an unemployed 21 year old from Jersey. Honestly, I thought he was the other white dude for a minute. The difference—Lank wears flannel and Killa does not.

Macho, a 24 year old tattoo artist from Chicago. He has a tattoo on his face! (Coincidentally, a gal on “For The Love Of Ray J also has a face tattoo this season.)

Mito, a 26 year old plumber from San Jose. Mito just wants to be better. He was in prison at a young age and luckily, the older guys there look after him and he cries while saying that he’s seen things no one should ever see, which in turn makes me sit on my couch and cry away.

Proto’Ge’, a married, 22 year old game advisor. I don’t know what that means, but he is all about being there for his daughter and he likes to wear scarves.

Teddy Tee, an unemployed 26 year old from Alabama. He’s the guy whose friends were murdered. That made me shiver. And then cry.

RiffRaff, an unemployed 26 year old from Texas who freestyle raps. He has yarn woven into his hair and also either too much stuff in his mouth or a speech impediment. I’m not making fun of him; I simply don’t understand anything he says. Fortunately for me, he was eliminated.

Also eliminated on the first night because they didn’t need to be there were Roq Monte, a model; Flex, a spiky-haired lingerie store manager; and Dre, who works in customer service and has designed his own clothing line. They did not make me cry so they do not belong on this show.

I admire FB for his giving back. Sure, this show exploits the contestants’ stories the way all reality tv shows exploit their participants to some degree. Reality tv works because voyeurs, like me, love to watch the lives of others unfold. We are curious creatures. However, this show, much like Celebrity Rehab and Intervention, shows a darker side of reality. While watching the guys get drunk and fall down and fight over stupid things is entertaining, the driving force behind the program underlies it all with a solemn, gloomy reminder that things outside of the show still go on and that people they know are in the same predicament they were in and will be in when they are no longer on the show.

Part of the problem is a lack of motivation and self-esteem. The other part is the cards they’ve been dealt. It’s easy for me to say suck it up and get over it because I’ve never had to suck up something so heavy and get over something so huge as a lifestyle of violence and fear. They’ve all taken the first step. They’ve all said that they want to change. The next step is meaning it. If they don’t mean it, they won’t win. Only the guys with heart will move on.

So this show solves the problem. It gives hopeless hope. It gives resources to guys who don’t have the resources they need. It gives them a reason and a purpose. It gives them a chance. I don’t have any favorites on a show like this. I hope that no matter when each one gets eliminated, they take whatever they’ve learned so far and build on it. I’m pulling for all of them to make that change.

I’m also pulling for all of them to do well in their next challenge: a rap battle that uses no curses and correct grammar. Oooh, I can’t wait! I’m such a word geek! Again, so very uncool right now.

A final sidenote—I think you all should know that I actually looked up names for correct spellings this week and I found out that all this time, I’ve been calling Mr. Bentley “Farnsworth.” Now I find that it’s Fonzsworth, and let me tell you, it’s no easy task to avoid the obvious Fonzie jokes. I don’t know why he can’t simply stick with Derek Watkins. It’s a fine name.

Can I pull off saying, “Ain’t nothing but a G thing? ” Email me. Chat in the forums.

If you’ve had enough reality, check out [b][url=http://www.xanga.com/getmoregossipgirl]Get More Gossip Girl[/url][/b], [b][url=http://www.xanga.com/thenew90210]The New 90210[/url][/b], and [b][url=http://theunromancingofroma.blogspot.com]The Unromancing of Roma[/url][/b].


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