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A Man on Starting Over
A Man On Starting Over: Week of May 3, 2004
, May 09, 2004
A man's observations on a reality show for women.
Week of May 3 - May 7, 2004
Really this whole show is about support. More than anything else, the support they give each other is one of the most important aspects of this show. Who doesn't want to take a friend along when the going gets rough?...or even better, when the going gets good, it's more fun with friends. I've always had a few around, and most of them are the type that I can discuss anything with. I wonder though if Lynell or Amy, or even Susan have those kinds of friends at home. I wonder if Amy makes friends easily. I know what it's like to be considered too direct or a little "off", but, on to the show.
Lynell and Hailey are chained together in more ways than one. The actuality of it changes little except they can't harp, then run from each other. Now, it's harp and face the consequences. The lunch with Susan was funny and meaningful. Susan's view of the mother/daughter relationship is an interesting counterpoint- a viewpoint that desires a mother/daughter relationship so much, and yet, sees just how off-kilter a relationship can become. I think this is one of Rhonda's best jobs so far. She seems to understand what to do to make them see each other and treat each other more correctly. How many of you cried when they wrote their respect contracts? (Sure, it's the pollen)
Josie and Amy. Could they come from more different backgrounds? One of priviledge and one of denial. Are they going to convince us that we like Josie before this is all over? Are we going to be sympathetic? Or are they just waiting for the baby, because who doesn't love babies. Maybe we'll skip liking Josie in exchange for going goo-goo for the baby. These are the rough spots in reality shows. Do you please the viewer or show reality? Most shows have opted for pleasing the viewer. That's why there's not much reality tv out there anymore. It's staged reality tv. Will Josie's apology make any difference? Does she say what she means or what she thinks they want to hear? Time (or spoilers) will tell. That bit about the baby being conceived in love is the biggest crock-of-***** I've ever heard. She still doesn't have a clue what that word means yet. Her quickies had as much meaning as her misguided abuse at the hands of Jonathan. She still is worlds away from reality.
I'm glad Rana and Amy cleared the air. They both needed that. Amy also vented with Susan. See, friends matter.
Go Rain, Go Rain, Go Rain, Go Rain. They've been weaning us from Rain slowly. We haven't seen her too much recently, but she's made some of her most profound statements of understanding when we have. Rain is nearly there.
I love Board of Review. We should all have one of those once a week or so. Strip it bare and tell it like it is. It's all about support.
One bad thing about Starting Over is that we have to live with the "before" picture first, and even after some understanding or progress is gained, we might revert back to our old ways in a pinch. Lynell and Hailey do just this, as does Josie (though she hasn't really progressed much except to get closer to delivery). It just proves that learning is a process, and that until we're comfortable and secure in our understanding, we'll follow the old patterns we're familiar with. Comprehension and control are two different things. This is also where the phrase, "Darkest before the Dawn" comes from. Before behavior changes actually sink in to our subconscience, there seems to be a desperate attempt to cling to the past. This is where good therapy, support, and perserverance are needed most. Did you see Hailey revert to her old self in the van. She's seen the light on her behavior and reactions to her mom, but she had no control there for a while. She needed another coat like a hole in the head, and when told NO, she went right into bad girl-get her back mode. She's got a ways to go on getting it just yet. Josie on the other hand is about 7 miles and 3 weeks behind Hailey and Lynell in "getting it". At this point, she's just painful to watch or listen to. It's the equivalent of watching her stick herself with pins. She just hasn't had enough of the bad stuff to let it go, yet. She has no clue what the "good stuff" is or how to go about getting any for herself. It's going to be a long, hot summer. Rumors are that she will be back for next season. Let's hope she learns a lot this summer.
Finally, a show about my two favorite houseguests. Amy reminds me way too much of myself. I don't take criticism well and never have. I know where it comes from and what I'm supposed to do about it, but I still have problems with OPO. Other People's Opinions. It's fun to watch your worst trait come to light in someone else. LOL. It'll make it easier next time I'm feeling defensive. I'm glad Amy is doing PR for Starting Over. She's a great communicator.
It was great to see Rain. She is protective, caring, and perceptive. All the things you'd look for in a good mom. Her trip to school was enlightening and entertaining. I thought the inside of that old school looked great. The hallways were beautiful. She was great with the principal and the the rest of the crew there. Rana is good at making Rain see where she's been and where she's going. They are not letting Rain out till they're sure she isn't going to revert to her old ways.
In contrast, Josie hasn't been taking her smart pills. They're going to take a long time to be effective from the looks of things. Jonathan is as stable as the weather and her rant about car insurance was pointless. It was like painting the White House with a toothbrush. You could work on it forever and you'll still have more to do. Plus, it's all the wrong tools being used. Her conversations might as well be directed at Uranus. Amy's faces were priceless and told the outsiders viewpoint without words. Too much drama, mama. Susan and Lynell feel the same as we do. Susan says about Josie, "Maybe she'll prove us wrong". Let's hope for the kid's sake, because here it comes
Yes. Time flies. And not just when you're having fun. Birth, Life, Death. It passes in just a blink. This show concerns itself with that issue today. Ready or not here it comes - Josie's baby's arrival is like a stimulant to all the housemates. People wait in hospitals for three main reasons. Birth, improved Life, or Death. While Josie is birthing, Lynell and Hailey are talking about the possibility of death. It's a big issue with them, but one they seem to keep under the surface. This exercise is exposing their fears about death, disease, and loss. Lynell's struggle with her fears have led her to losing her persona in her children, to burying her fears in other's lives. Now that her children are leaving the nest, Lynell is having to live with Lynell, and some of those fears are resurfacing and preventing Lynell from even imagining a future. Rhonda is peaking in her insight into Lynell's life. Her exercises are getting right to the heart of the problems and she isn't leaving any stone unturned. I offer my apology as to Lynell's physical appearance of large eyes. I said it was plastic surgery, but she says it's Grave's Disease. I apologize for what I said and hope she is well. I'm Starting Over with her. If she can do it, so can I.
Jonathan is just strange. Think Anthony Perkins in Psycho. His comments on Josies breast size postpartum were, I don't know what....icky, creepy, innappropriate at best. At least he got there before her mother. Some people just aren't equipped with all the tools for everyday coping. It's easy to see how screwy Josie is when you see her emotional back-up crew. Her posse just ain't hangin', dawg. They are not doing the do. Her feeble attempt at "natural" childbirth lasted about as long as her other commitments in life. Pussycat is not co-operating. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. And as long as it seems to take to get here, it'll be over in a flash.
OUCH! That was one big baby. Glad that's over. And that was the easy part for Josie. Like lots of other unhappy young women, Josie thinks that a baby is going to provide the love she needs and has never had. It's just not fair to the child. It is the right of the parent, but damn, sometimes you know it just isn't right. Now that "the event" is over, I hope the blinders come off. Yeah, so what, she performed a basic biological function, but that hasn't made her any smarter and hasn't earned her anyone's respect. The harder thing to do would be to give up this child, but I don't think she has the grit or the smarts to do it. She's using the baby as a tool to work the people around her. When she has a baby, Jonathan loves her, her mother loves her, her father loves her. Suddenly Josie has a family. Uggghh. Not really. I'm not sure about the validity of making this part of the show also. The baby doesn't have a choice in the matter. It gets filmed, talked about, used as a bargaining chip, and probably has to come back next season. I'm still working out the moral rightness or wrongness of this in my head. I'm not sure I like the idea of giving so much "air-time" to what I consider a poor decision maker and a poor example of "motherhood". Thanks to archer for pointing some of these things out to me and I hope she'll share some more of her thoughts with us.
Well, Rhonda's bangs had a life of their own today. They were screaming to me during her segments, "Get us out of Rhonda's eyes. Someone trim us. Please God, TRIM US!" Rhonda was quite animated, but those bangs stole the show. Rhonda was more excited about the new baby than any of the housemates. They looked kinda bored and over it and who can blame them? This is not the Josie Show, though it's been leaning in that direction for a while.
I guess they haven't wanted to rush the Susan story and I don't really mind. I like Susan and don't mind her being around. Her story is almost slower than Amy's and yet there's so much more meat to her mystery. Her story could be a movie of the week, or a least an after-school special. She's come full circle in dealing with her fears and feelings, and is finally strong enough to take the last step.
I'm so glad that they are helping Rain with her apartment. Her place in Indiana had not one picture on the wall and looked like the project apartment that it was. I hope those decorator's know their job. I personally don't enjoy such loud and brash people, and tend to avoid them in my life. Those pretentious sunglasses were more annoying than him (if that's possible), but I hope they do a good job on Rain's apartment. There's almost too much reality show mixing in this segment. Is it Queer Eye, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, or While You Were Out? No one likes a bossy bitch, do they? Amy looked a bit irritated with him, too. I look forward to the final product.
We also get a peek at Leah today. I think she meant to try out for America's Next Top Model or a role on Queer as Life, but somehow got sidetracked to Starting Over. It's all about crossover broadcasting today, anyhow, and nobody ends up on the show they auditioned for. Are they going to wrap this season up in one week. Hard to believe, but I'm looking forward to the reruns with commentary from the houseguests this summer.
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