Reality Roundup: Best of Breakups

There’s nothing like an old fashioned Bachelor breakup to remind us that we’re that much closer to (a) The Bachelorette premiere and (b) the remaining series of breakups that will be bombarding our televisions in the coming months.  After all, if Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay is going to find next year’s TMZ headline her future husband in this season’s sea of suitors, she’s eventually going to have to get rid of the rest of them.  And while nobody can orchestrate a good dumping quite like Bachelor Nation, which leaves its rejects strewn across uninhabited islands, Irish cliffs, and New Orleans swamps, a number of shows have recently come close.  Below are a curated selection of this week’s heartbreak highlights.

Most Inevitable: Cameron and Mikala (Are You The One: Second Chances)

 “The fact that my penis is somehow starting all this drama and I’m not even putting it in anyone is beside me” – Adam

Are You the One: Second Chances is down to just a few final competing couples – and after weeks of being held hostage in the same house, they’re starting to really hate each other.  Shanley and Adam slipped past their short moment in the sun for a collective lunge at the jugular, while Devin openly contemplated pulling a Shay and splitting with his team’s joint back account.

But an even deeper split has begun to take shape between Cameron and Mikala, the only team on the ‘perfect match’-themed show that’s actually in a relationship (or so we thought).  Ever since he called her ‘boring’ for wanting to talk about what the couple’s cat might be doing without them (um, rude), she has been increasingly vocal about never having wanted to participate in the show in the first place. After this week’s blind elimination, it seems all but certain that she’s willing to double-cross Cameron to force them both off the show.  Since we know that the two are no longer together in real life, the question is not will they break up, but when – and whether the cameras will be there to catch it when they do.

New episodes of Are You the One: Second Chances air 9:00 pm ET Wednesday on MTV.   Recent episodes are available on-demand.

Most Likely to See This Exact Fight Again (and Again and Again and Again…):  Farrah and her Mom (Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition)

“It’s not about a beer competition FARRAH” – Debra

As an avidly on-and-off viewer of Teen Mom OG, I am hard pressed to think of a time that I haven’t been mildly traumatized by a fight between Farrah and her mom.  (Farrah in particular likes to scream.  A lot.)  This time, they’re screaming about her mother’s decision to potentially leave the Boot Camp house for a day to possibly get engaged to her boyfriend.

Maybe this is just the way that they communicate with each other; maybe they’re holding out for a show with even more words in its name – but either way, the Boot Camp therapy clearly has yet to take.

New episodes of Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition air 9:00 pm ET Friday on WE tv.   Recent episodes are available on-demand.

Most Prolific: Sonja Morgan (The Real Housewives of New York City)

“You’re like a curator of c**k” – Bethenny

The romantic overlaps of The Real Housewives of New York City are as historical as they are borderline incestuous.  From the serial Housewives daters (Harry and Tom) to the serial Housewives flings (the infamous pirate of St. Barts), the overlapping men all have one common denominator: Sonja Morgan.

As Ms. Morgan rightly pointed out this week, it’s not her fault.  “I find my guys at other places and then these girls go out with my guys,” she earnestly explained.  Given that she’s already moved on to at least two more potential suitors this season, I’ll be scouring the screens for hints of future storylines as her men make their way through the Housewives crowd.

New episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City air 9:00 pm ET Wednesday on Bravo and are available on-demand.

Most Elaborate Setup: Vanessa and David (Married at First Sight: Second Chances)

“I shy away from that kind of drama you know…they were kind of baiting me, to get in a dramatic situation” – Maya, who doth protest too much (and also, every wanna-be Bachelor villain ever)

The structural parallels between Married at First Sight: Second Chances and The Bachelor/Bachelorette are obvious: one lead, many potential mates, group dates, cut some loose, wash, rinse, repeat.   And while there are many things that Second Chances has that The Bachelor franchise does not (running commentary from relationship experts and Indian lunch buffets), it falls short of The Bachelor’s shadow in a few areas.  The largest of these problem areas is, without a doubt, the show’s budget.  Which, presumably, is why the Second Chances competitors stay in their apartments and just came to shoot when they’re called, rather than being whisked off to live in some dude’s Agoura Hills mansion.

This logistical twist must also make it difficult to round up the right people for elimination ceremonies (where some get cut loose and others are chosen to stay), so the solution seems to be to send romantic leads David and Vanessa to show up and, like overgrown Girl Scouts peddling rejection, knock on the doors of their soon-to-be dumpees.

We’ll have to wait until next week to see who’s unlucky in love for this round – and maybe even get a glimpse of their living room in the process.

New episodes of Married at First Sight: Second Chances air 10:15 pm ET Thursday on Lifetime.   Recent episodes are available on-demand.

Most Obviously Doomed:  Shawna and her “Acting Career” (Second Wives Club)

“Why be with someone that you’re not in love with?  I mean that’s horrible, I mean, it’s almost as bad as being with someone that you are in love with– Shawna’s…“monologue” 

While Second Wives Club came barreling out of the gate with at least one divorce under its belt, the signs of another split bubble below the surface.  This week’s episode focused on Shawna, a struggling actress-turned-wife of 80s heartthrob-turned-struggling actress with 80s heartthrob money, fishing for representation.

I refuse to trust the agent that agreed to work with Shawna after bearing witness to her nonsensically awkward impromptu monologue.  With judgment like that at the wheel, it seems inevitable that her career will continue to stall.  That being said, I hope I’m wrong – and hey, even roles like “Hot Pool Girl” and “Saloon Girl” reflect a far more prolific acting career than what many of us could ever hope to have.  So, doomed or not, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for Shawna on this one.

New episodes of Second Wives Club air 9:00pm ET Thursday on E!   Recent episodes are available on-demand.

Most Graceful Recovery: Stanten (First Dates)

“And my heart sang edelweiss, edelweiss… at last it might be for my wife” – an actual First Date ditty (from someone who needs a refresher on The Sound of Music)

Every story needs a hero. This week, mine went on a blind date with bad-boy seeking Renelle, who foolishly parlayed his second date request into an ‘hang out’.  “Romantically…no, probably not romantically,” she mused, as Stanten’s facial expression showed the shattered visions of picture-perfect bliss featuring the women he had met only hours before.

But Stanten sprung back quickly, turning his dumpee status into a platform on his quest for love.  I’d wager that it would be nearly impossible to find a human being whose heart didn’t melt just a little at his earnest plea: “I’m just looking to be someone’s idiot.  That’s all.”   And if that isn’t true love at its purist, I don’t know what is.

New episodes of First Dates air 8:00 pm ET Friday on NBC. Recent episodes are available on-demand.