Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who Is Daisy?

I've alluded in a few of my recent posts to my love/hate relationship with reality programming, specifically the shows aired on VH-1 (Slogan: "We Still Play More Videos Than MTV"). These shows have, at different times, fascintated me, repelled me, disgusted me, amused me, and made me think, sometimes all at once. In a comment on one post discussing the premiere of "Daisy of Love," one adorable reader left this comment:

"Who is Daisy?" (Hi, Mom!)

To answer this question, I must delve into the history of Celebreality, the reality-show genre specific to VH-1. (Okay, maybe it's not an issue of "must," but "I want to." I'm a nerd who will take literally any opportunity to do research.)

VH-1 got in to the reality show "game" by taking over another network's show, "The Surreal Life." This show was essentially "Big Brother" with the cast made up of former A- and B- list celebrities and current C- and D- list celebrities. Cast members have included such '80's faves as Cory Feldman and Bronson Pinchot; beloved sitcom stars like Christopher Knight (Peter Brady) and Dave Coulier (Joey from "Full House"); musicians Vince Neill, "Pepa," CC DeVille, and various New Kids On the Block; perennial celebrity Charo, porn star Ron Jeremy, reality-tv "stars" Adrienne Curry (America's Next Top Model) and Omorosa (The Apprentice); and perennial "The Soup" punchline Janice Dickinson.

The premise of "The Surreal Life" initially was to observe celebrities interacting with each other. It became more of an exercise in humiliation the year Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) got so drunk he rode his Rascal-type scooter naked and urinated in the corner of the room. Though Verne claims the incident was his wake-up call that led to his current sobriety, it is hard to find any other silver lining in that cloud.

I only mention "The Surreal Life" because it was the progenitor of one of the most prolific Celebreality family trees. There were two spinoffs from "The Surreal Life" that traced the relationships of couples that "hooked up" on the show: "My Fair Brady," a horrible, horrible exercise in passive-aggressiveness which taught all women why your husband/fiancee DOESN'T appreciate you giving him pictures of you being intimate with another woman for Valentine's Day; and "Strange Love," the aptly named chronicle of Brigitte Nielsen's affair with Public Enemy hype man Flava Flav.

To the shock of every right-thinking audience member, "Strange Love" ended with Flav and Brigitte calling it quits, but remaining "the best of friends." (Possibly the fact that Brigitte was dating someone else had something to do with it.) Flav, bereft, went on to his very successful spinoff, "Flavor Of Love," which aired for three seasons.

Enter Deb. I began watching the first season of "Flavor of Love," fascinated by Flav's sensitivity and understanding of women. He began each season by announcing that he couldn't be expected to remember the actual names of the women present, so he would assign each a nickname to be determined by him after 15-20 seconds of "conversation." So, the cast members have included New York, Hoopz, Goldie, Pumkin, Delishus, Buckey, Buckwild, Toastee, Serious, Crazy, Thing 1, Thing 2, Bootz, and Sapphyri (her real name).

By the end of season 1, I desperately wanted Flav to be happy. When Hottie decided to microwave the chicken to feed Flav's mother, I yelled at the TV, "Send her home, Flav! The girl can't fry a chicken!" Then I had to lay back with a moist towel on my head and call for peeled grapes.

Happily, Flav proposed to Liz, the mother of his youngest child, on the season 3 reunion. I hope he has found true happiness.

Do not despair! After seeing the show, comedienne and etiquette expert Mo'Nique decided to educate these women with "Flavor Of Love: Charm School." This show filled me with such delight, I can't even express it. Both seasons were magic.

New York, who had been rejected by Flav on season 1 and 2, got her own shows as well: I Love New York, I Love New York 2, New York Goes to Hollywood, and the upcoming New York Has Fleas. (No, it's really something about her getting a day job, but I think the flea idea is better.)

Two of New York's cast-offs, brothers Real and Chance, got their own show, Real Chance of Love.

And now, we come to where Daisy enters the picture: Rock of Love.

Apparently, after seeing the success that was Flavor of Love, Bret Michaels (front man of "Poison" and Pamela Anderson-Lee-Rock-Solomon castoff) decided he should find love the same way. Rock of Love led to three seasons: Rock of Love, Rock of Love 2: Burning Sensations, and Rock of Love 3: Antibiotic Ointment. No, the third season was really called Rock of Love: Bus and featured all of the girls on tour with Bret. Sensibly, after this season Bret chose the woman most agree will bring the most stability into his life: a Penthouse Pet who wants a singing career. What were we all to do? Now that Bret has found deep and lasting happiness, how are we, his adoring and incredulous public, to get deeper understanding of interpersonal relationships and dynamite waxing tips?

Enter Daisy. Daisy was the runner-up on "Rock of Love: 2," which apparently entitles her to her own show. Don't let the photo above fool you; Daisy is a total class act who actually can walk a straight line, when motivated. She spent the premiere of her show in a two-piece bathing suit with a skirt, effectively showing the men present that she was a strong, sophisticated, liberated woman with visible tattoos and a dynamite spray-tan. When presented with The Triplets, a group of Swedish brothers who apparently all wanted to date Daisy at once, she classily expressed her opinion of such an arrangement thusly:


You can't teach class like that.

So, I am really looking forward to this season's guily pleasure, "Daisy Of Love."

Just to round out the family tree, "I Love Money," now in its second season, features contestants from all of the above shows competing for $250,000 (but trade in any dignity they had before), "For the Love of Ray-J" just finished its first season, and I wish Ray-J and Cocktail all the happiness in the world. Rock of Love Girls: Charm School is about to enter its second season with Ricki Lake replacing Sharon Osborne as hostess.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a cold towel waiting. This much intellectual effort is exhausting.


Kristina P. said...

I LOVE that you did this post. And I knew every single thing that you were talking about. Pathetic or awesome? I'm going with awesome.

Barbaloot said...

I think you, Kristina and I all need to live next door and enjoy our VH1 reality bliss together.

My favorite was 'I Love New York.' What a classly lady. When expounding on why she liked certain men..."He drinks a lot. I like that." Wow. True love.

And when Buddha asked her to marry him she eloquently replied, "Did you just engaged to me?!" I will never get over how much I love that line.

Joanna said...

I am both distressed and depressed that I recognized absolutely none of the people you talked about, except Peter Brady. I had just reached the point that I recognized Branjelina. The horror, the horror! I can't go on! But at least I know what starter is!
Love ya!

Joy and Dennis said...

Though I couldn't really relate to all of these shows - I've only watched Big Brother a few times and other than commercial outtakes, I've never seen any of the others - but I still love the blogs, Deb. So keep 'em comin'!
You have a way with words that is very entertaining as well as slightly informative.
And yes, I too knew what starter was.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Did my darling Deb really just write this post? I didn't think that my love and allegiance to your blog could grow anymore and then I stumble upon this.

If I am being totally honest, I must admit that I read this post about three times, totally trying to absorb all of its brilliance. I had no idea you were such a reality TV fan.



Boy Mom said...

I think Francesca has a bigger crush on you then I do. Back off Francesca! ;)

Deb, thanks so much for your insightful and informative post on the delightful realities of VH-1. I have surrendered the obligatory brain cells to revel in the joyful horror that is VH-1 reality programing on many occasions. My favorite is still top 50 this that or the other, those color commentators are hilarious.