‘Single Ladies’: Episode 6 Review

A short review of episode six of VH1's Single Ladies after the jump. You can read all my reviews of the show here.

I think what frustrates me most about Single Ladies is that I still don't buy that these women are friends. We know that Val introduced Darryl and April, but we still have no idea how Val and Keisha became friends – or why they remain friends. So much of the show is driven by the fact that Val and Keisha are opposites in many ways, but the show doesn't centralize that tension or use it effectively to further or deepen their friendship.  

The very thing that makes shows about friends work – characters that are easily definable personality types – is the very thing that in real life means that these people would never really be friends. The best "friends" shows understand that and utilize that to their advantage. On Living Single, the writers acknowledge that Regine and Max are like oil and water. On Sex and the City, the writers often used the fact that these women were so different to test the limits of their friendship. And on Girlfriends, Mara Brock Akil so understood that Joan and Toni probably shouldn't be friends that she made that the central story arc of the entire show, which fueled tremendous growth in the women individually and as friends.

Single Ladies could benefit from the same kind of nuance. Tonight's episode was the first time that it felt like the show was trying to do just that. But it just didn't work.

The central fight between Val, Keisha, and April started because they were robbed, but quickly revealed itself to be about the way each woman's individual drama puts tremendous strain on the other two. The fight itself was well-acted and well-written, but the show didn't allow it to really linger. The fight became about the stupid "swearing off men pact" that Val embarked upon – undercutting nearly everything that was said during the fight – rather than the relationships between the women, which really should be fraying a bit given all that has happened over the first 5 episodes.

By the end of the scene, the women were pretty much apologizing and over it. How am I supposed to believe that Val and Darryl were really friends first and believe in her frustration with the divorce if Val keeps allowing herself to be put in the middle? Why do these women tolerate Keisha's monumental irresponsibility? And why doesn't April understand just how selfish she has really been?

Ultimately, like everything on Single Ladies, the scene just didn't stick because the writers seem to have an aversion to stakes and character development. The scene fell flat because it advanced nothing for these women or their relationships with one another. It was simply just an opportunity to give the three leads something different to play

 

Some other thoughts:

  • Victor Webster. The latest in a long line of wasted male guest stars.
  • Since Jerry didn't have a weird quirk that turned Val all the way off, I'm assuming he'll return in subsequent episodes. If the show lets Val date an older, distinguished gentleman who isn't just shallow eye candy like every other man she's dated other than KC, that would be a good thing.
  • Stacey Dash plays anger really well. I enjoyed Val telling off Darryl at the end, but I sorta wish the show had built their relationship to such a degree that the confrontation meant anything at all. On a better show, Val's appeal to Darryl's better self might have made him break from the cartoonish villainy for a minute.
  • Christina sleeps with her professor? Snooze.
  • We need more Omar, Single Ladies writers. Please and thank you. 

 

What did y'all think?

About tlewisisdope

I write. I live in DC.
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6 Responses to ‘Single Ladies’: Episode 6 Review

  1. Hairy hunks says:

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  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along.I thought I would leave my
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  3. Emoyeno says:

    I really like your reviews on Single Ladies. Hope the writers keep reading it and do something about it too.
    I totally agree with you about developing a stronger relationship between the lead characters.
    The writers should come up with another conflict between these girls. I’ll keep reading your reviews!! Keep ’em coming.

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