Eh, Rae's Alright.

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House of Cards Season 2, Episode 1 “Chapter 14”

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m marathoning House of Cards because I’m a lonely virgin. Watch with me. (Duh, spoilers abound and shit.)

The season opens with Frank and Claire Underwood doing their rich-white-people-out-running-at-four-AM-and-not-drunkenly-toward-a-halal-truck thing, looking happy and not like the MURDERERS they are. #RIPPeterRusso There’s a cut to the opening credits sequence which is still super boring, but does make DC seem way more beautiful than I remember it actually being. Then again, I don’t remember much besides being stoned and eating Potbelly’s on the metro while two old ladies grumbled at me and my friends for breaking the rules. (Sidenote— whose bright idea was it to put carpet on public transit? Those fibers will always carry the stench of dreams deferred no matter how often you shampoo it.) The Underwoods come home to find Frank’s creepy hot Chief of Staff Doug Stamper and his Head of Security Edward Meechum waiting outside their home. It’s Frank’s birthday, apparently, and Doug has just told Meechum not to give Frank the fancy cufflinks he got for their boss. Can you return stuff at Tiffany’s? Once inside, Frank and Doug talk in hushed tones about prostitutes and covering up MURDER, and we learn Claire Underwood has tossed out her husband’s cigarettes because he’s a Vice Presidential nominee with an image to consider and, well, she’s a boss ass bitch.

Ugh. Zoe Barnes is as insufferable as I remember, having insufferable people sex with her wack ass boyfriend newspaper editor Lucas. Whatever. Frank is in a meeting with Congresswoman Jacqueline Sharp who looks every bit the boss Alma Garret would have been if she would have just stayed off the opium. They plot to have Sharp take over as Majority Whip once Underwood is named VP.

Ugh. Here’s Zoe being insufferable while talking to Lucas about hounding a prostitute about information in a car. Frank meets with the President and some other people about who the next Majority Whip will be, getting started with his scheming by throwing his support behind one of the men he’s already set Congresswoman Sharp up to take down. Creepy hot Doug shows up at the restaurant where THE PROSTITUTE who was part of the plot to kill Peter Russo works as a waitress and informs her that he has arranged for her exit from DC.

Boss ass Claire Underwood is in her office at Clear Water Initiatives discussing the pregnancy discrimination suit brought on by Gillian Cole, whom Claire fired for insubordination and not for being pregnant as the suit claims. Claire’s lawyer is trying to get her to settle, but Claire is all like, “nah homie, shorty’s lying so you can tell her to go scratch” and looks like like a million bucks while doing it. Then Claire’s assistant provides her with a list of doctors who were in East Africa at the same time Gillian Cole was abroad disobeying her boss’s orders. Suspenseful music and a close up on the list of names lets me know this is a detail that I had better pay attention to.

Insufferable Zoe goes to THE PROSTITUTE’s restaurant, and discovers that THE PROSTITUTE (fine, guys, her name is Rachel) has just quit. Zoe lies her way into securing Rachel’s contact information from a manager who should be way more knowledgeable about HR confidentiality policies than he seems to be. At Frank’s office, Doug promises to make Rachel disappear, but not like disappear, you know? Doug gives Frank a burner phone, and the close up on the phone and creepy ass “Happy Birthday” Dougs wishes him lets me know this is a detail that I had better pay attention to.

A disheveled lady gets out of a car and confronts Gillian Cole on Gillian’s walk home, and oh shit she’s the wife of one of the doctors on the pay attention to this list of doctors list! Apparently that doctor put the baby inside Gillian even though he had his disheveled wife and hopefully not disheveled kids at home. Gillian is embarrassed and the wife says “put a condom on when you fuck somebody’s husband” but I feel like you should put a condom on when you fuck single people, too. Gillian hasn’t told the doctor she is pregnant so Claire obviously spilled the beans and while I feel for the disheveled wife, Mrs. Myhusbandisadirtbag should go home and handle Dr. IsmashbiddieswhilepretendingtobeagoodpersoninAfrica instead of looking crazy at this woman’s door.

Zoe, Lucas and reporter frenemy Janine are at a coffee shop discussing the newly missing Rachel and not so newly dead Peter Russo. These folk are supposed to be the heroes, and yet I want them all to disappear, and like disappear, you know? LEAVE FRANK ALONE! Apparently Frank doesn’t wanna be left alone as he has texted Zoe (from the burner phone!) to meet. Lucas reasonably expresses concern for Zoe’s well being in suggesting she might not want to go chilling alone with her former lover whom she suspects of killing a congressman and could have disappeared a prostitute just that morning. Of course, Zoe acts like the self centered asshole every baby boomer think we millennials are by saying, “I’m not gonna fuck him! Just talk to him.” And ugh insufferable Zoe makes it out of that scene with no cup of boiling hot coffee in her face and with her wack ass relationship in tact.

The Latina White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez who is actually played by an Indian lady (yay diversity!) is meeting with Christina Gallagher, once the girlfriend of Peter Russo when he wasn’t dead, because she wants a job at the White House. Doug goes over to Rachel’s apartment where she is not packed, but is waiting for Doug with a knife. She is eventually overpowered and disarmed by him and he’s all, bitch stop playing and pack this bag.

Frank and Doug are meeting with the head of the Secret Service, where Frank refuses security detail ahead of the announcement of his role as VP. Oh, and he insists Meechum, who is well aware of just how much of a creep Frank is, be given a job on the Secret Service detail despite his lack of qualification. It must be exhausting being a congressman who has to keep track of and give favor to all the people who know you’re a creep. Does he keep a ledger?

Wack ass editor boyfriend Lucas meets with his uneasy contact in the police department who provides him with a police report that claims Peter Russo was on the passenger’s side of the car he supposedly committed suicide in. Lucas texts this information to Zoe just as she is about to meet with Frank in the park. Frank asks Zoe to delete their phone history, while she accuses him of a bunch of stuff and tells him that she knows Peter’s body was not in the driver’s seat of the car he died in. Because she’s a stupid person who really really wants to die. “Let’s start over! I’m VP now!” Frank says. “Zoe’s gonna die!” I say.

Claire is in her doctor’s office talking about trying to get pregnant. She mentions a drug she discovered through Google search that should help with the baby makin, but the doctor is all like, nah don’t worry about that drug. The shot lingers on Claire’s gorgeous face long enough to let me know she’s gonna worry about that drug.

At a diner (don’t these people have homes? I feel like homes are a better place for discussing your plot to accuse the Vice President of murder. It’s more private) Lucas and Janine argue about Zoe’s well being and what to do about Frank when Zoe suddenly takes off. Wack ass Lucas chases after her, but she brushes him off and promises to call tomorrow. She won’t though. I bet she’ll be too dead to.

Frank is at his favorite black people food restaurant where his favorite black people food making friend and he have a too on the nose conversation about butchering delicious pigs illegally. Insufferable Zoe’s a pig, I guess, and she’s gonna suffer.

Gillian Cole visits Claire at Clear Water Initiatives because the insurance guaranteed by her severance package has “suddenly” stopped. See, boss ass Claire is willing to let Gillian’s child “wither and die inside” Gillian without medical care unless she… takes over Claire’s job? Wha?? Is this a result of Claire’s baby fever? I mean, we see Claire cancel her appointments with her baby making doctor immediately thereafter, so maybe not.

Back at Zoe DeathWatch 2014, Zoe meets Frank disguised as the black Spy from Spy vs. Spy at the Cathedral Heights metro station. Zoe deletes their phone history, and promises they are good. But she insists on asking about THE PROSTITUTE and tells Frank she’s the only person who knows all what she knows. Well now he has no reason to keep you alive Ms. ImtheonlypersonontheplanetwhocanruinyouFrank. And HOLY SHIT FRANK TOSSES HER IN FRONT OF A TRAIN!!! I didn’t see that coming at all! I was expecting at least one more episode and a more graceful murder for Zoe, like after sex strangulation or a quick neck snap. Frank goes home to Claire and a lovely birthday cake while wack ass Lucas visits a scared, packing Janine. Janine’s trying to get out of dodge now that Zoe’s dead, and Lucas is all “bbbut a real story is worth dying for!” And Janine’s like, “SOMEBODY PUT PICTURES OF ROONEY MARA’S SISTER’S TITTIES IN MY MAILBOX THIS AINT THE TIME FOR BRAVERY, MY DUDE!” She’s a smart cookie, that Janine.

Claire hears a news report about Zoe’s death, seems to note that her husband could be involved and then just silently goes about her beauty routine. I’m like, TRUUUUUEEEEEE. Girl, I feel the same way.

Congresswoman Sharp meets with Frank, where they discuss Frank’s true motives for supporting her push for Majority Whip— their shared Ruthless Pragmatism. Hmmm. I’m not sure a man who has murdered two people because his feelings were hurt when he was passed over for Secretary of State is the most pragmatic dude, but ruthless sure is apt.

We see Christine got that job at the White House. That’ll mean something later. Rachel is with Doug and has gotten out of town. Meechum has begun his Secret Service training and gave Frank the birthday present Doug told him not to give. OOOh. Going over creepy Dougie’s head? Frank got himself a new friend to cover up his crimes now?

As he is in the bathroom, all of a sudden Frank does his awkward monologue to the audience Shakespearean thing I forgot he does and he tells us, “I know I killed Zoe, but don’t trip. I had to do that shit. Welcome back.” The camera zooms in on the cufflinks with his initials “FU” as the credits roll and I’m like, fuck me? I paid for my Netflix so no need to be rude, dude.

This was a pretty good opener. Everyone is crazy or stupid or Ruthless or Pragmatic, and I’m glad Zoe’s dead. On to episode 2!

Jada and The Whale

Cause when my coke come in, they gotta use the scale that they weigh the whales with.

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Jada Kiss with an orca for .5 secs in his solo music video debut. Easily the greatest moment of the Ruff Ryders Era.

Love Advice From Rafat’s Therapist

"When you looked at his text message and said aloud to yourself ‘NAWWWWW, nigga!! Fuck outta here!!!!’ you probably shouldn’t have gone on that second date with him."

In Defense of Joseline and K. Michelle Ratchetry; or, VH1 Is Not Harming Brown Women

Since the premiere of the second season of VH1’s wildly popular Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta  (yes. y’all, I know I’m behind on recapping— don’t worry, I got you!), I’ve been stewing my Joseline Hernandez (baby!) and K. Michelle ratchetry, but many in the Black community do not share in my excitement for the cast’s antics.

Recently VH1 has come under fire from those who say that Love and Hip Hop and reality shows like it are harmful in their depiction of women of color, with some going as far as drafting internet petitions to get companies to pull advertising or for VH1 to axe the shows altogether.

One of the loudest critics of the VH1 machine was Star Jones, who spoke out against violence on the show Basketball Wives, asserting, “We don’t have many options on television to watch brown women. And little girls deserve our very best.” I’m guessing Star hasn’t seen T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle ( a very popular Vh1 show starring a brown woman and her brown husband and beautiful brown family), or hasn’t seen Scandal, even though every black woman I know and her boyfriend pretending to hate it has.  Besides, why should little brown girls be watching cable television during primetime? They should be off playing with their Kenya dolls or reading Little Bill, or, you know, sleeping. They deserve our very best? C’mon, Star. Was it your best little brown girls were getting when you hosted the reunion special of the (IMO, gloriously) ultraviolent reality show Bad Girls Club? Star, girl, have a seat.

Star Jones’ hypocrisy aside, criticizing reality television shows for their depiction of women of color is just fucking silly. In that same interview, Star says, “It struck me… young brown girls were watching this example of brown women on television and getting their self image.” What in the fuck is she talking about? Watching reality TV of any kind is not at all like looking in the mirror. Reality producers specifically recruit subjects that are so unusual, their lives are worth documenting and sharing with audiences who never encounter such characters in their normal lives. The women of VH1 do not live like every day black women. How many women are raising the children of a rapper? (Well, hmmm… lemme ask a different question.) How many are recently divorced from a Hall of Fame bound NBA player? Not many. I’ve seen the Knicks play the Lakers from midlevel seats, and I tweet inappropriate things at JR Smith (love you boo!) with some regularity. That’s probably about as close as my young black lady self will ever get to filming alongside the Basketball Wives. And I’d bet my too-cheap-for-floor-seats-and-too-lame-for-TV experience is more representative of women color than anything that nutty Jackie Christie has ever done. But even if the personalities on VH1’s shows more closely resembled the average woman of color, what obligation is there for those women to be anything other than themselves once on camera? The expectation that black women on reality TV will be model citizens because of their race is an unfair burden.

Where white television personalities are afforded the luxury of being individuals, brown ones are not. I’ve not seen any real push to remove the Real Housewives franchise from air, as no one can reasonably argue that Brandi Glanville or Teresa Giudice are representative of all white women poor or otherwise. They couldn’t possibly be— they are so different from one another! So if Brandi Glanville or Teresa Giudice get to be Brandi and Teresa, why can’t K. Michelle be K. Michelle and K. Michelle + Star Jones’s boring ideal of all of Black America?

All that’s to say is I can’t wait for K. Michelle to whoop Rasheeda’s ass.

Love and Hip Hop Atlanta returns April 22nd and I’m SUPER excited. My homegirl sent me the link to the supertrailer (above) and I had a few reactions:

Hi, Joseline Hernandez (Baby)!!! I missed you!

Bartenura Moscato? Really, Mona? You couldn’t even get Ciroc to sponsor this glorious trash?

Who is this new couple? Do I have to love this woman too? There’s only but so much room in my heart, and Joseline’s name is on the deed.

Mimi has a new boyfriend? Meh.

Stebie’s still trying to pitch his Big Love lifestyle. I guess there’s something to be said about a man that’s persistent. 

Mimi’s mad Joseline called her a maid. But… isn’t she a maid?

It seems that Benzino has found neither a neck nor his dignity since season 1 wrapped. No worries, there’s still time.

A girl is degrading herself for some tracks from Stebie, but it doesn’t quite have that Joseline Hernandez flair. 

Rasheeda’s still yelling at her husband? Oh.

She’s pregnant too? Ok. I mean, I guess.

Kirk’s demanding a paternity test because Rasheeda’s a rapper and rappers cheat? Come on, this show needs better writers. Mona, hire the writers put out of work when NBC canceled Passions. (It was glorious!! There was a witch and her doll she brought to life, Down Low brothers, an intersex person who got knocked up by his dad and of course, crazy, crazy Theresa. Get them writers on your team, Mona!)

Oh. The new girl is crying. 

Shay’s terrible weave still has an attitude with Scrappy and he really doesn’t care. Me neither.

Does no one in Atlanta furnish their homes? What’s that you say? The mansions are rented for tapings and none of these people are actually well off? Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

Momma Dee has completed her transformation into some hipster’s post modern interpretation of a blaxploitation supervillain. She is plotting the demise of Erica and Scrappy’s relationship while evilly stroking a too cute for this scene dog and sipping red wine from a wine glass with a straw. Perfect.

Does K. Michelle still hate Rasheeda? Well, from the way she threw that glass at Rasheeda’s head, I’m gonna guess yes.

Kirk is threatening K. Michelle on Rasheeda’s behalf, and for K. Michelle, there is a dearth of fucks given. 

Wait. K. Michelle fights Mimi? This gon’ be good!

Erica tries to beat up Momma Dee. I wouldn’t do that if I were her. Momma Dee is Satan’s favorite sidechick. 

"Lissen, Ah don’ tahk tuh de hewlp." But Joseline will sure beat the help’s ass.

Le sigh. Karlie Redd is still on this show. 

And she’s still pretending that Benzino has a neck and that she loves it. 

Joseline’s accent is virtually non-existent when she says, “BYE, BITCH!” Those speech classes were good for something, I guess.

"Where do you live?… Where do you live?… You know I can find you, right?" There are, without a doubt, 547,292,248,014,790 bodies in Stevie J’s basement. 

I. CAN’T. WAIT.

Whenever domestic violence issues are discussed, people always say, “I don’t want to get involved. That’s a private issue.” Violence, in general and in particular against women, is not a private matter. Repeated attacks against a certain segment of the population are a matter of public health regardless of where those attacks take place. So fuck all that noise. Let’s call Jovan Belcher a murderer, and say Kasandra Perkins’ name aloud. In public. Because she is dead not just in the privacy of her home. She’s dead to the public too. Private issue my ass.