Reality Roundup: What Football Season Means to Me

Having long insisted that reality is my sports, I understand football in principle.  But with the season now fully in swing, I’m still have a little trouble relating to it in practice.

Enter WAGS Miami.

Focusing on, as the name implies, the wives and girlfriends of professional athletes, the show has allowed me to slowly take on the ‘sports’ thing without realty committing to it (for those of us who had zero idea how last year’s Super Bowl turned out, the Falcons/Patriots game running through the middle of the show’s second episode was a real nail-biter).  And if that isn’t reason enough for you to tune in, here are a few more things that will have you running in the WAGS’ direction.

1. The passive-aggressive snipping between Ashley and her future mother-in-law

Philip Wheeler’s omnipresent mother Phyllis (whose name conveniently echoes that of her son, lest anyone forget the uncomfortably overbearing nature of the relationship between the two) has quickly been the focus of almost every one of his fiancé Ashley’s scenes.  And there’s no questioning why.  Either the woman deserves an Emmy (or at least a nod – why does the committee always act like Ru Paul’s Drag Race and The Voice are the only two reality shows in the world?), or each perfectly programmed eyebrow arch and half-smirk accurately reflects her disdain for her future daughter-in-law.

Digging into Ashley for everything from her electronic ‘Save the Date’ cards (“It’s like new technology…a lot of people like to check their phones,” retorted a not-having-it Ashley) to her reticence to set one in the first place, Phyllis is a master at getting under Ashley’s skin while keeping her son (relatively) appeased.  In fact, with his nimble use of – spoiler alert, sorry guys – the Falcons’s Super Bowl loss as an excuse to get out of wedding planning, he seems pretty adept at ducking out of the conflict between the two women all together.

And while it’s clear that Ashley will eventually win at all of the things, I’ll be here for Phyllis as she gives her a hard time along the way (who WOULDN’T want Michelob at a wedding?).  After all, isn’t it the journey that matters?

2. The aggressive-aggressive snipping between Hencha and basically everyone.

Hencha’s struggles to adapt to the cruelty of a world that riddled her childhood with nannies, drivers, and not one – but TWO – security guards are meticulously documented throughout the WAG’s journey.  Described by her castmates as “likely to slap a b****” (considered both a positive and negative quality), Hencha’s volatility is surpassed only by her inability to do anything on the sly.  Whether it’s an uncomfortable reenactment of an even more uncomfortable-looking sex position on a friend’s podcast or her willingness to throw the wine glass along with the wine, Hencha’s unfiltered attitude is reason enough to watch her show.

Hencha’s unabashed honesty came in handy during her recent indignation at the cast setting up fellow single Astrid with two dates – and her with none.  Openly admitting to taking her annoyance with the cast in general and Astrid in particular out on Astrid’s potential suitor Michael, her openness in pursuing her own justice was downright admirable. “So now I’m going to take her cake and eat it all,” she declared, in an ironic (because, obviously, none of these women actually eat cake) yet completely accurate summation of her not-so-underhanded move.

3. The totally relatable way in which Astrid’s dating life makes exactly zero sense

Astrid took the extremely hot baseball player Michael out on an extremely lame ice bar date on which she was extremely ready to dump him on national TV.  And even though she had already made clear to the camera that he wasn’t her type (HOW), and even though she was also dating other people, she became extremely unhinged Michael when casually mentioned spending an afternoon with Astrid’s castmate Hencha.

With self-righteous disgust oozing directly onto the screen, she complained to the camera, “Now I feel blindsided.  What if I really liked Michael?”

BUT. SHE. DIDN’T.

4. Kayla and Faven, doing whatever it is that Kayla and Faven do

It took me a while to figure out why I was immediately drawn to new castmember Kayla, but I’m pretty sure it’s because she reminds me of a young Shelly Carbone (coming from me, that’s the highest honor one can get).  But however closely Kayla’s cadence matches Shelly’s, she has failed to even remotely live up to the class represented by Shelly’s crown.

And thank goodness for that.

First finding her fighting match in fellow newbie Faven (“she gets me out of my damn zen every time I’m around her,” lamented Kayla), she frequently found herself so entrenched in screaming matches that her fellow castmates felt the need to restrain her.

Their strife even recently drew in Astrid, who – fresh from her romance storyline and no doubt thirsty for another – recently bounded into the mix.  In an enviable first move, she had Kayla escorted out of her party for no clear reason other than to revel in the drama of calling security (to be fair to Astrid, if I had the unchecked power to arbitrarily call security, the power trip could easily lead to me, alone in a room after having everyone escorted out, except for maaayyybe my dog and only then if I’m feeling generous).  With the gauntlet thrown as unexpectedly as the tearful reconciliation that followed, it’s clear that the Kayla/Faven/(maybe now Astrid too) tide is nowhere near finished turning.

5. The “fashion”

Some of us may have naively assumed that the crop top/high pony combo went the way of the scrunchie.  And those of us who are firmly entrenched in this “some of us” category would take one look at the WAGS Miami cast and find ourselves to be sorely mistaken.

Despite Ashley’s lament that the show’s Miami setting “is like, the land of the fine b*****s,”  I can’t help but think that their clothing choices aren’t doing them any favors.  And though I’m not quite sure what’s inspiring the WAG look or what it will take to get them to stop, let’s hope that, at least for now, they keep them coming.

New episodes of WAGS Miami air 9:00pm ET Sunday on E! and are available the next day on-demand.

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