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July 28, 2008 |

By Stacey Nosek | TV | July 28, 2008 |

True story. During a recent visit to Maine, I forced Dustin to watch a VH1 special comprising the “20 Greatest Celebreality Fights,” Celebreality, of course being the VH1-created genre of reality, which consists of the lowest common denominator celebrity and the non-celebrity schmoes whom they sometimes date on these programs. It should come as no surprise to anyone with more than a passing acquaintance with these shows that the Number One fight was the infamous spitting incident between New York and Pumkin [sic] on the first season of “Flavor of Love.” At this point, Dustin suddenly became confused: “Wait a minute. So that’s New York from ‘I Love New York?’ New York is the name of a person?” And then we kind of bickered because I was all, “Dustin where the hell have you been? Do you even read my reviews?” And then he stammered back defensively, “Of course I do! I edit them!” Hmph. A likely story. In fact, he’s probably “editing” himself to look better in this anecdote as we speak. At any rate, he then went on to ask, “So that means that Money on ‘I Love Money’ is a person, too?” And then I had to explain to him two times that the money on “I Love Money” is, in not fact, a person but money in it’s most literal sense, as in the medium of exchange for which one exchanges for goods and services.

Tacky? Fer sure. Exploitative? Probably. Something that could have come verbatim from Idiocracy? Most definitely. Although, as I revel in mediocrity like a swine in filth and plan to be dead long before the balls to the wall societal dumbness, it always makes me really excited when I see Mike Judge’s prophecies coming true. And therein lies the beauty of “I Love Money.” VH1 knows they’re lowering the standards of not just their own network, but humankind in general, but at least they’re tongue-in-cheekly aware of it. And that makes it kind of acceptable, right? I mean, MTV has essentially been doing the same thing for years with their “Real World/Road Rules Challenge” franchise, which pits the empty-headed, booze-soaked, sperm-encrusted former reality cast mates against each other for cash and prizes. And there you have the premise of “I Love Money”: It’s basically just like the RW/RR Challenges, only with the strippers, thugs, and the mentally challenged from “Flavor of Love,” “Rock of Love,” and “I Love New York.” You know, my favorite shows. It probably comes as no surprise that “I Love Money” is the television event of my entire summer.

The first season of “I Love New York” was my favorite season of any Celebreality show. In my review of “I Love New York Two” I said:

“I Love New York” was, without a doubt, the most wonderfully spectacular television show in the history of reality television. I cannot stress this enough. Much like the big bang theory, it was as if all the forces in the universe were perfectly aligned to give us the most trashtastic, ridiculously entertaining group of freaks and miscreants ever to be assembled on film or otherwise.

So it only makes perfect sense that a whopping six out of the 17 contestants on “I Love Money” are from this season, including the, ahem, “Stallionaires”: Chance, Real, and White Boy; future registered sex offender Mr. Boston; and the “Party Boyz”; 12 Pack and Heat. No really, I am not making that up. 12 Pack and Heat actually retained their man love friendship from “ILNY” and formed an act in which they completely unironically call themselves the “Party Boyz” and dance around in clubs scantily clad. (Note: You are going to be sorely disappointed if you do not click on that link.) Also comprising the cast: From “Flavor of Love” Season One, winner Hoopz, and the lovely Pumkin who needs no introduction, as well as Toastee and Nibblez from Season Two. From “Rock of Love” Season One: Stripper Heather who is most famous for getting Bret Michael’s name tattooed on her neck, the perpetually neighing and cowboy-hatted Rodeo, Brandi C., who is dumber than a bowl of mice; and Paris Hilton wannabe Megan along with Destiney from Season Two. And while Season Two of “I Love New York” kind of sucked, VH1 was at least able to retain the two most entertaining characters, Midget Mac, who is predictably immediately eliminated, and The Entertainer, who strikes me at the type of guy who got suspended from school as a kid for trying to snort chalk dust.

Now excuse me if I get a bit teary eyed, but tell me: Has anything ever been so fucking beautiful? It’s virtually the perfect assemblage of people (minus “Rock of Love’s” Lacey) for reality trash gold. There’s fighting and hooking up from the very start, as can only be expected from a cast of people whose collective IQs are lower than the collective number of people they’ve slept with. The formula itself, not totally unlike your typical competitive reality show, is as follows: Each trashtestant, grouped into one of two teams, is given a giant, novelty size check which gets voided upon his or her leave from the show. For each competition, all which are “cleverly” modeled after events which took place on the respective “of love” shows, the losing team has to pick three of their team members checks to put on the chopping block, at which point the team captain of the other team ultimately decides which one to void. Only a few episodes in, there’s already been near-fisticuffs over whose check will be put on the line.

Although it’s difficult to choose, I think my two favorites of this season are Pumkin and Mr. Boston, who coincidentally dated at some point. Pumkin really amps up the skankiness factor this time around, (a near impossible feat after spitting on someone) by wearing garments that don’t quite cover her sagging breasts — of which she says “at least mine are real” after getting into an yelling match with Megan stemming from Pumkin herself saying she wanted a boob job. Mr. Boston on the other hand, is in full-on creepiness mode, leering at the women in the cast, stuffing his speedo with toilet paper, and later alternating between violent outbursts and hysterical bawling fits. Which really is as disconcerting as it is hilarious, because no one should have to see a grown man cry like that. Before “I Love Money,” I don’t recall ever being so invested in an elimination ceremony for a competitive reality show because, dammit! I just love them all so much I don’t want anyone to be eliminated. Fortunately, I have it on good faith that as long as there are people who take their clothes off for money and live in their parents’ basements, the “I Love Money” franchise won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Stacey Nosek is the world’s most articulate idiot, and a television columnist for Pajiba. You can also find her ripping on celebrities at Webster’s Is My Bitch.

"I Can't Believe You Like Money Too. We Should Hang Out."

"I Love Money" / Stacey Nosek

TV | July 28, 2008 |

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