What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this installment in the Basketball Wives franchise features lots of mature themes, including infidelity and brief discussions of child endangerment. The language is pretty strong ("piss," "hell," "bitch"; stronger words bleeped), and drinking and catty behavior are frequent. Physical fights sometimes break out between cast members. References are also made to some of the players' troubled lives.
What's the story?
BASKETBALL WIVES L.A., the California installment of the of the Basketball Wives franchise, follows a group of women who are (or have been) in a relationship with professional NBA players. The group is spearheaded by Gloria Govan, who has followed fiancé and now L.A. Lakers player Matt Barnes from Miami to Los Angeles. Joining the group are her sister, Laura Govan, former fiancée of Orlando Magic's Gilbert Arenas; Imani Showalter, former fiancée of NBA player Stephen Jackson; and California native Malaysia Pargo, wife of Chicago Bulls star Jannaro Pargo. Also featured are Kimsha Artest, the long-time partner of player and rapper Ron Artest; Jackie Christie, wife of retired NBA player Doug Christie; and Draya Michele, a model and aspiring actress with a reputation for dating basketball players. Occasionally joining the fray is Tanya Williams, the estranged wife of former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams. The women try to support each other as they show the world who they really are, but their past relationships and personal drama sometimes get in the way of their potential friendship.
Is it any good?
Like its sister series, this show offers a voyeuristic glimpse at the lives of women who've chosen to partner with NBA players and who are coping with the challenges that come with this lifestyle. But unlike the original, it immediately focuses on how different each of these women are and the hostility between them. Adding to the drama is the tabloid publicity that surrounds some of these women, including rumors about infidelity, a highly publicized shooting incident, and allegations of child endangerment.
Despite references to the importance of supporting one another, most of these women exhibit a defensiveness about who they are, as well as about their past and present relationships with their NBA partners. The result is a show that plays up the very stereotypes that the women claim are unfairly used to describe them. Some folks may find these theatrics entertaining, but there are few positive messages being offered here.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why these women would agree to appear on reality television. Do you think their behavior supports or detracts from existing stereotypes about them and the athletes they're involved (or no longer involved) with? Do you think these women would behave this way if they weren't in front of the cameras?
What's the fascination with "wives" on television? What kinds of messages about women do these shows send? Are there some shows about women that depict them supporting each other?