Despite all the madness of season four, everything seemed to end with a neatly tied, pretty-enough bow. After a Maury Povich-worthy lie-detector test discovered that Jen and Evelyn do miss their friendship, the feuding pair resolved their issues and embraced in a hug that brought them — and apparently some viewers, judging by my Twitter timeline — to tears. Evelyn agreed to set a better example for her young stepdaughters, and Tami, whose bullying behavior helped to bring on the heat of critics, sort of apologized to Kesha again for talking crazy and stealing her handbag in Tahiti. Executive Producer Shaunie O’Neal offered a minutes-long (eternity in TV land) soliloquy on how she feels horrible that the show has resulted in broken friendships and so much drama. She vowed to do better next season by depicting more positive aspects of the cast’s life.
It all sounded good. And I’m intrigued by the idea of a show that would more often portray the women building businesses, doing charity work, or spending time with their families. And I never minded the seemingly daily brunches and dinners, just when they dissolved (often) into brawls and arguments. What Shaunie is promising is something I can tune in for. But I’m skeptical as to whether it will happen.
In each season of the show one of the women shown has done something outright crazy and violent. And after every major fight — usually Evelyn or Tami hopping on someone or throwing something — there’s been an public outcry, followed by promises from Shaunie and other cast members to do better. I’ve lost count of how many times Shaunie’s said she’ll make adjustments, or how many times Tami’s spoken about cleaning up her act.
This time there seems to be more effort put forth for the charade. I can’t recall whether it was before or after Evelyn jumped on the table… or was it when Ev’s assistant Nia smacked Jen that the grumble against the show turned into a dull roar? Whatever the catalyst, the complaints this go-round seemed bigger, even escalating to an online petition that at last count topped 30,000— impressive, but a minute number compared to the show’s weekly viewers. Still it’s possible the petition, might have given the women, or more likely the advertisers of the show, a change of heart.
Will they change? Maybe. Maybe not. Id’ like to hope so, but I’ve heard “Wolf!” too many times to get my hopes up.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk