Putting the “real” in un-real!
Staged on the same set as where the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” talk show is filmed, a Hollywood Junket reporter sat in during the taping of the premiere episode of “The Real” – a brand new talk show similar to “The View.” However, features younger, edgier hosts Loni Love, Tamar Braxton, Jeannie Mai, Tamera Mowry-Housley, and Adrienne Bailon. These hosts have excellent chemistry, and all have something special to bring to the table. Their opinions sound natural, unlike other television shows where it seems scripted and unauthentic.
The set up to the show is quite appealing. The women sit behind a table, Loni Love is the middle; she has the strongest personality of the group, and frequently dominated the show.
Sister, Sister Reunite:
A group of women who are put together not organically, but by what looks like the studio of Warner Bros., the show’s distribution company which is also the studio lot where the show is filmed. On an earlier taping in the week, host Loni Love forgot one of her co-hosts name. During a segment when two of the ladies stand in the audience to await audience questions (Mostly staged. More on that later) with a microphone, the hosts on stage call out to them. In this case, it was Tamar and Tamera that were in the audience area. Instead of Love calling-out to say “Tamar and Tamera”, she said “Tia and Tamar”. Which most fans will remember this reference to the sit-com that Tamera did as a child actor with her twin sister Tia Mowry called “Sister, Sister.” When the laughter had stopped, Love tried it again. But, this time she couldn’t get Tamera’s name correct. She kept calling her Tamara, then Tia again! By the fourth take, Love finally got it right.
During down-time from filming, the warm-up host on the show caught flubbed names and called the show “The View” a couple of times. Then joked that he was going to be fired.
What’s in a Name?:
Speaking of names, we ran into a member of the audience who claims that the name of the show is actually her idea which she said she discussed and suggested to a producer during preliminary screenings of the show when they were trying to come-up with a name. This person said the show was originally called “T” during these test screenings, or pilot (See photo below).
Guilty of This Common Talk-Show Practice:
Another non-real part of the show is that show producers actually bring-in some women to place in the audience to ask particular questions. For example, a young African-American woman was placed in the audience to discuss the fact that she lightens her skin, and wears colored contact lenses to change her eye color from brown to blue. Tamar told her it seems like she thinks that there’s something wrong with being black. When her segment was done, she left the show, and was no longer seen sitting in the audience.
All of the hosts are opinionated and are not afraid to speak their minds. They are also quite comedic, and had audience members laughing throughout the entire taping. For example, in the beginning of the show, Jeannie Mai said “I am not your typical Asian I can’t do nails, and I am bad at basic math. I have two accountants.”
One of the topics they discussed was “hood” names, and why the women on the panel who have kids chose to name their children “regular” names. Loni Love said “Okay people in the hood took European names and put an ‘isha’ at the end to make them sound different.” The audience was cracking up. They mentioned “North West”, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s daughter. The name is awful, and could possibly cause her to endure criticism on the playground and inside of the classroom. One of the women mentioned that it is going to be an odd name to fill out a job application with. Jeannie Mai responded, “I don’t think she is ever going to have fill out a job application. She is Kanye West’s daughter.”
Tech Savvy Girlfriends with Style:
The women talked about cell phone passwords and whether or not they agree with women snooping through their significant other’s cell phones. The audience members appeared torn. Some women screamed “yes” they believed wives/ girlfriends should be able to go through their husband’s phones. Others shook their heads in disbelief because a relationship needs to consist of trust, and if you do not trust the person you are with you should not be with them. Adrienne said, “I have been cheated on and I know you have 60 seconds to grab that phone before the code locks.”
Each of the women possesses their own sense of style. Tamar Braxton is the glamorous one, she was wearing a fitted body contouring black and white dress, and Christian Louboutin heels. Tamara Mowry-Housley is the cute one, she had on a dress, heels, and her hair looked flawless. She had straight, shiny locks and natural makeup. Toni Love is the casual one, but who needs a special sense of style when you have a personality like that? Jeannie Mai is the spunky one; she was wearing a tank top with heels, and funky pants. Adrienne Bailon is definitely the sassiest one of the group; she donned a coral jumper, and colorful pumps along with coral lipstick and a smoky eye.
The show seems like it will be appealing to the hip, urban, female crowd that they are aiming towards, however Rapper, The Game is the show’s first celebrity guest, and that could be a poor decision. A male rapper to attract a predominately female audience could cause the initial show to fall flat. Someone like Wendy Williams, Christina Milian or J Lo are examples of better choices. The interview was rather boring. They asked him a few questions in regards to his sex life, and his experience as a father. They also played a game called “Would You Rather?” They gave him two celebrities and he decided who he would rather be. Honestly, do the viewers at home really care about which celebrity The Game would rather be? At this point in the show audience members at home may take their television remotes and change the channel. It does not have any significant relevance to them, and that is something women don’t want to see when they are watching a talk show. They want to see something they can relate to.
Other celebrity guests we saw during tapings included: Tabatha Coffey from Tabatha’s Salon Takeover; Shark Tank‘s Daymond John; American Idol‘s Frenchie, and Debbie Matenopoulos from the first season of The View. The hosts asked for her advice, and she said to just be themselves. The Matenopoulos said maybe she could be the “white” host on the show. The hosts labeled her as their “honorary Caucasian”. “The Real” sets itself apart by having an all ethnic panel of women hosts.
Who’s The Man?
Many times on the show, the women go off on a long-winded explanation of how men think, or advice on what men like. Hmmm…Shouldn’t they just cut directly to the source and actually hire a male host to join the panel, being that the studio audience is purposely made-up of about ninety-five percent women. What the show really needs to get it that real edge over other talk shows similar to it, is to introduce a straight man’s point of view on the panel. This would be great being that there are five women on the show that would be able to tell him what their views are. The women did bring on three of their closest gay male friends. Love brought on Alec Mapa, a comedian from her other talk show past, “The Gossip Queens” which “The Real” at times, seems like a close knock-off of. The “gay besties” were there to give audience members advice. However, a regular male host of the hetero-sexual nature seems to be what the show really needs to give a real peek inside the male’s brain.
Adrienne Bailon talked about ‘the real’ on the topic of her nose. During a “rant” session with the ladies, she said she was tired of people saying that her nose was fake, that she had gotten a nose job. So, she removed almost all of her makeup, excluding her eyes, to make the point that it’s all in the make-up contouring on her nose and that she had not had plastic surgery.
But really, how real are these ladies being when they step into the audience at the end of the show and try to play nice with the women seated there who stand to socialize with them? We say it’s real FAKE! It appears to be something that the producers may have come up with to try to make these women seem more approachable.
“The Real” premieres on Monday, July 15 on FOX.
- Written by Alyssa Davis & Editor