I have a better understanding of how reality TV works from the two seconds I spent taping Love and Hip-Hop. That being said, after screening the first episode of Bravo’s forthcoming docu-series Blood Sweat and Heels, I don’t feel the show is fake (too fake) or ratchet. There is drama but that’s a given when you throw women who generally aren’t friends together in front of cameras. The other element to this, and all reality TV, is that people modify and/or enhance their behavior for the cameras–some willfully and others subconsciously, even in subtle ways.
Producers don’t cast people who aren’t big personalities already but there are definitely people who play up the dramatics for their theoretical big break. For those who may not know, Blood Sweat and Heels follows professional New York City women, (some of which are my colleagues in media…yes, that again) as they try to balance their busy careers with their personal lives.
Most of the first episode goes off without a hitch until the women get into a discussion during a brunch about whether women can be effective leaders or not, and I was disturbed to find out that many of these women don’t believe that women are good leaders because we’re “emotional” and “unstable.”
Check it out:
The notion that women can’t be good leaders is not only sexist (and there’s nothing worse than sexism from women) but negates the concept of this show. I get why the women who were frustrated were annoyed. I wasn’t raised to think that way and I rejected any socialization that attempted to teach me to fall in line so, it makes me wonder if these beliefs are more a reflection of how these women feel about themselves.
There are absolutely differences in how men and women think, how we react to situations, how we process information, and how we express emotions. That difference is in part due to estrogen and testosterone, but it’s preposterous to believe that women can’t lead and that men aren’t emotional. Every human being has emotions and we express them differently based on our experiences and what we’ve been taught. I’ve seen middle-aged men, during my career journey, straight up throw tantrums in office environments. With women, I’ve dealt more with that insecure, passive aggressive Mean Girls shit but I digress.
Anyway, I hope you watched that clip because you should know that Demetria (the woman wearing the peachy dress that called bullshit) writes a blog about the situation that upsets the other women and that’s where you’ll see some drama brewing but I don’t think this is going to be a show where women are physically fighting. There’s only one woman in the cast that I’ve pegged as unstable and I think you can figure out who she is by watching the trailer.
Overall, the show looks entertaining. It looks more polished and less contrived and manipulated than NYC Gossip Game, and we’ll actually see some productivity (not just shopping trips and lunch to discuss gossip) in addition to inevitable cattiness. It’s a diverse group of working women, who aren’t all dodo birds, in a range of fields. Some of these women seem to be better role models than what we’ve seen on previous shows but be prepared for inevitable smh moments as you watch various personalities and motives at play as the season unfolds. Admit it, that’s why we all watch reality TV, especially when we know the people in the show.
I’ll be watching and tweeting.
And about that passive aggressive Mean Girl shit that I mentioned encountering, here’s a lesson on shade:
Catch Blood Sweat and Heels on Sunday, January 5 at 9/8c and please let me know what you think.