I watched last night’s premiere of The Gossip Game , which you should know before I begin was neither a game nor Gossip Girl related. Although if there was a game about Gossip Girl, I would kick ass. I’m sure the whole time I was viewing this pilot, my face had a look displayed shock, curiosity, and confusion all at once.
The Gossip Game is sort of like Real Housewives if all of them had jobs, instead of just some of them. And if those jobs were all intertwined. Mainly it’s like Real Housewives in that it follows seven women and is full of scripted drama. Each of the women report on hip hop in some way. We’ve got Kim Osorio, the editor-in-chief of The Source, Sharon Carpenter, a TV reporter, Angela Yee and K. Foxx, two radio personalities, JasFly, a print journalist and Ms. Drama and Vivian Billings, two bloggers.
We get a taste of everyone’s lives in this first episode. Kim Osorio and Sharon Carpenter seem the most sane and the least dramatic. Maybe because they’re the highest up in the hip hop journalism “pecking order” according to Kim. The lowest? Bloggers. This would explain why Ms. Drama and Vivian were the most dramatic of the show. I mean, one of them is called Ms. Drama, so what did you expect?
The first big hunk of dramz involves JasFly inviting K. Foxx to lunch for an interview. K. Foxx doesn’t know that Angela has also been invited, but she arrives soon because JasFly’s article is about the rivalry between their radio stations, Power 105 (Angela) and Hot 97 (K. Foxx). The women go back and forth talking down each other’s stations, but the biggest insult comes when Angela says Funkmaster Flex– a DJ who’s been with Hot 97 for over twenty years– should retire. When Funkmaster Flex hears about this, he records one of his “legendary” rants. Later, Angela sees the rant posted online, but doesn’t really care because The Source just awarded her station number one on their annual Power 30 List.
Now to the real craziness. Blogger Vivian recently found out that her cousin, Star (a man and also a radio host) impregnated one of her friends. Vivian wants to run the story on her website but wants to check with Star first. He is more than okay with it, is sort of insane seeming, and describes himself as “not a ho, but a womanizer until the day [he] dies.” For reasons unknown, Vivian either has no concern for whether her friend wants the story on the internet OR the friend is already okay with it which wouldn’t make sense because the friend is married. When I was watching this, I kept wondering which one of the women would end up being the crazy one. The Kenya Moore, if you will. This situation made me place my bets on Vivian and I was right.
The show concluded with a “blogger appreciation event” thrown by Angela and Power 105 which, of course, almost all the women show up to because on reality shows everyone has to attend everyone else’s events. K. Foxx was the only one not there because she straight up wasn’t invited. At the party, Kim brings up how she wants The Source to do a round-table discussion featuring women in hip hop journalism. Everyone seems to think it’s a good idea, but the conversation is interrupted by Ms. Drama who can’t shake the feeling that Vivian is pissed off at her. Vivian refuses to respond to her, but then can’t take it anymore and tells Ms. Drama that she doesn’t like who she’s become. Worth noting is that, from what I can gather, this is only the second time they’ve met. They start screaming at each other and repeatedly call each other “ratchet.” I’d never heard this insult before, but these two ladies love it and threw it back and forth until Vivian left in a huff. (Side note: “Ratchet” has a pretty entertaining Urban Dictionary page.) Kim said that the whole thing was very unprofessional but that she was “guilty of being entertained.” Acceptable reaction. If you’re the EIC of a huge magazine, you can afford to be the normal one on the reality show.
Screaming at an event is standard for reality TV. For me, the most surprising thing about The Gossip Game was that it centers around various types of journalists. Hip hop journalism does not scream, “great reality TV concept” to me. I realized that the fact that they report on hip hop, or that they write or host period, doesn’t have much to do with it. It’s more about how these particular reporters have reality TV level personalities. I write and I can’t imagine myself being part of a blogger rivalry or getting in a fight at an event. Although, if anyone from The Gossip Game reads this, I may be well on my way. First I need to come up with a really good nickname.