What We’re Watching: Reality Bites

In this month's TV roundup: the good, the bad and the why-bother (Love & Hip Hop, we're looking at you) of reality TV.

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P.J. Augustine started the tow truck business, literally eating and sleeping in his truck to support his family. He now has a fleet of 22 trucks, which he runs with his wife, “Tow Diva” Pam, and sons, Jamal and Phil. They work hard to keep the business afloat, scrambling to be first on the scene, even competing against P.J.’s business partner, Mickey Caban. Mickey is a veteran wreck chaser like P.J. and also owns a tow yard. Like P.J., family comes first for Mickey, who works hard to keep his wife, Lynette, a nurse, and their two children, Mickey Jr. and 8-year-old Siana, happy.

What’s interesting about the show is how competitive P.J. and Mickey are with each other, yet they are still able to manage a growing tow truck company. “First on the scene” has new meaning with this show. Pam is a “ride or die” chick for sure, working side by side with her husband to make it happen. It’s cool to see black and brown folks bootstrapping it and achieving the American dream — one smashed car at a time. Wreck Chasers airs on the Discovery Channel. Check your local listings.

Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars is an audience favorite, which we fought watching until learning of this season’s cast, which includes Sugar Ray Leonard, Hines Ward, Romeo and the infamous Wendy Williams. A boxing legend, a Super Bowl MVP, a rapper and a trash-talking talk-show host? We had to watch.

We were not disappointed — Ralph Macchio and Kirstie Alley have been turning it out week after week. Who says big girls can’t dance? Kirstie Alley did not get that memo. The only thing good about Wendy Williams’ performance is that she has single-handedly done away with the stereotype that all black people can dance. Her “dancing” was hard to watch, and it was not surprising when she was voted off.

On the other hand, it was hard to watch Sugar Ray Leonard get voted off, especially when he had seemed to just hit his stride. He dances a mean Viennese waltz. Now we’re left with Romeo and Hines Ward, both of whom can cut a rug.

Dancing With the Stars is as cheesy as the costumes, but what’s fun about it is rooting for your favorite dancers, whether or not they’re good, and awaiting the results in that 1980s, Star Search kind of way. Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. EST. 

Love & Hip Hop

It’s official. We’ve had our fill of angry, bitchy, shallow black women trying to land a man or hold on to one. Love & Hip Hop is a sad show about the sad lives of four women who lament living life in the world of hip-hop. The show features Chrissy, the girlfriend of rapper Jim Jones. Chrissy’s claim to fame is … being the girlfriend of rapper Jim Jones, although she insists she’s his stylist. He’s a bad advertisement because he always seems to be wearing the same thing. While Chrissy grandstands and talks smack about everyone, you’re left wondering when she’s going to get her own life.