***We weren’t going to cover this show, but when we saw it we knew we had to. Recap number two soon to come!
Hey TLC fans! Change the channel, because this show is NOT for you. Hey Bravo fans willing to lower their standards! Welcome!
Welcome to Dothan, AlaBama, Cats and Kittens, and git ready, git set to meet the women that disprove the stereotype that southern women are soft!
No, not them.
No, not them.
No, not her.
Not even them.
It’s the Bama Belles!
They hunt, water ski, ride motorcycles and one of them is from New York (for no reason that I can determine). They also all have money (by rural AlaBama standards – guessing there will be no high roller trips to Vegas for these chicks to fight on), so I’m sure they attend the best rodeos, the finest pig roasts and drive the vroomiest of 4x4s. And yes, that last sentence was full of prejudiced, preconceived notions, but so is this show. It goes out of its way to an astounding degree to point out the down-homiest qualities of these ladies who are probably not nearly as dumb and ridiculous as they seem, but are definitely directed that way. But if that’s the game, I’m sure as gangbusters, darn-tootin’, dang dang gonna play.
Let’s meet the ladies!
Amie and her husband are ranchers, and into real estate, I think…? The most information we get out of her the whole episode is that they own 100 acres, live in their dream house and own a model home. Oh, and they love the country life!
I can’t take people who get kisses from their dogs, so you can imagine the amount of vomit I had to choke down watching this. And cookies can’t be good for cows. Amie also loves to hunt, which she is kind of hilariously childlike about. She can barely wait to get all of her girlfriends out into the baking heat to sit in a tent and wait for deer. Because that’s pretty much what deer hunting is about if you’ve never done it – getting up really early, sitting in the woods and waiting for slow-moving creatures to enter weapons range. Oh, and spraying yourself with deer urine, which Amie LOVES. But I guess that wouldn’t come as much of a shock given her standards for makeout partners.
Aside from her entrepreneurial adventures, Amie is also a radio DJ, but the only relevance that has in this episode is that she’s friends with a New York DJ named Val, whom she invites down to AlaBama for an extended stay in her model home. And finally, Amie’s most important quality, and the one that will get on my nerves more than any other, is that she’s the Momma! She plays mother hen to all of her friends, which includes getting herding them around to things they don’t want to do (hunting) and punishing them when they misbehave (leaving them at the tent site when they pout about hunting). Why do I predict I will not like Amie that much? Let’s take a look at other famous Reality Momma Bears: Jill Zarin. Vicki Gunvalson. Marie Osmond. Patti Stanger. Okay, Patti’s awesome, but I’m pretty sure Amie isn’t going to do anything even remotely close to as interesting as Patti bitching out a douchebag for bringing his friends on a first date.
And that’s Amie, friends!
Let’s give that hair a round of applause!
Up next, Jana! Jana’s a preacher’s daughter (aww!), she’s happily married to a Yankee (aww!), and she can’t have babies (aww!) and her mother-in-law’s a bitch from Jersey (hahahahahahaaa!). Jana’s actually a total sweetheart, and she cracked me up to no end with her simpleton ways. Example: she refers to cows as “moo-moos.” And she gets peer pressured into this:
I can see one getting pressured into sex. I can see one getting pressured into booze. I can see one getting pressured into drugs. But cow kissing? What is the fucking payoff?
Jana’s main story in this episode, and probably the season is that she can’t get pregnant. And as if she weren’t upset about that enough, her mother-in-law’s coming to visit, and they don’t get along. From the first few scenes between the two women, it seemed more like Jana just didn’t receive the ASTONISHING amount of attention she requires from her mother-in-law, and interpreted that as “dislike.” But then the woman actively made fun of Jana’s lack of child and I finally understood the term Yankee bitch. I wish Jana had been trashy enough to slap that bitch right off her wraparound porch, but alas, she’s a preacher’s daughter, so they just have a heart to heart. MiL holds onto a margarita for dear life throughout the entire thing, and it’s incredibly awkward.
It was also my favorite part of the episode.
And that’s Jana, Ladies and Gentleman!
Here’s hoping she can have a kid, because that is a LOT of people to know your business when it isn’t good.
Onto Melissa – she’s a firecracker! She and her husband seem like the Tamra and Simon Barneys of the group – they’re incredibly materialistic, own a really silly business that obviously isn’t doing well in the recession (luxury water sport supplies) and have their priorities totally screwed up (their son would rather study than be in a home magazine photo shoot and this is viewed as a bad thing). She and her husband are “really struggling” according to Amie, so the home magazine photo shoot is designed to reintroduce the profile of their business. I wouldn’t call Melissa a bitch by any means, but she’s as vapid as they come and a total control freak – see below:
No one chooses this.
The photo shoot didn’t go as well Melissa would have liked, but she’s up for a job later on in the episode, so there’s still hope for the future.
Her other job is a contract medical device salesperson, VERY specifically – pacemakers for the bladder. It’s a small market, but she thinks she’s got the corner on it because she’s up for the full-time position. It’s no small amount of pressure considering that if she doesn’t get the job, someone else will, and the contract position would be over. Also, she will have been passed over for a job that is explaining the use of bladder pacemakers to people.
It’s a dangerous place for pride, Dothan.
She doesn’t get the job. And that sucks, it really does, because it was the only real income the family had, and they own a lake house and a small child. Uh-oh.
But I’ll make it through with the help of good friends and lots of my son’s adderol to keep my eye on the prize!
Next up, Val! She’s not from AlaBama. She lives in New York and runs a website that she’d like to make more marketable to women outside New York. To that end, she’s taking a trip to meet up with her new friend Amie, and stay for free in a model home. She wants to learn what a southern woman is all about. But if your sense of smell is better than anyone in Dothan’s you catch that strong whiff of bullshit coming from a mile away. Val wants to be on TV, and she’d like to do it surrounded by hicks.
I’ll give her this, she’s got smarts. They’re bitchy, snotty smarts, but they’re smarts. She spends the episode acting all slackjawed at how small Dothan is, that not everybody lives in a shack, the inappropriateness of bringing her purse dog on a hunting trip and the stuffed animals mounted on the walls. I don’t know what I hate more about Val – her obvious exploitation of these women or the fact that I’m expected to believe that a New Yorker who considers herself to be cosmopolitan has never been to a small town before. I just refuse to believe she’s avoided upstate New York entirely.
Most of Val’s story in this episode is her lame fish-out-of-water shtick, and the cowboy she’s sure to use for sex before she leaves laughing all the way back to New York, but apparently next episode she’s going to clash with our last Belle – Dakota!!!
Dakota drives a motorcycle! She wears dew rags! She cheated on her husband and left town in a hurry! Her name’s Dakota! She’s the wild child…
And she’s for real.
Dakota’s as rough and tumble as they come, and before she left Dothan on a trail of fire and hog smoke, she divorced her husband, Ashley. I know Ashley’s a southern name, but I’m guessing they weren’t well-matched. Also, there are rumors that she cheated on him, so she’s pretty nervous about returning to town. I’m sure she’ll be fine though, once she pounds a few PBRs and starts confronting people. Dakota’s only the in the last 15 minutes of the episode or so, and in that time, we learn that she’s headed to the army soon, she’s good friends with the other girls, she’s staying in Amie’s guest house and she has an abnormally small head.
See you next week for a more appropriately in-depth look at these cow-kissing, hog-riding, deer-huntin’, Belles of Bama. What animal will they make out with next?