‘Total Divas’ Episode Recap: You Can’t Just Make Us Like Eva Marie

One of the questions that I’m asked so often during my autograph sessions at Hooters is: “Why so much hate, Burnsy?” Sepcifically, why am I always so mean and hateful to poor, harmless Eva Marie, who enters our living rooms every Sunday night as one of the WWE’s most talented women on the E! reality series Total Divas. The answer, while complicated, is that a good TV show makes you like and care about it characters. But a reality series that needs to generate ratings to both promote a specific product and help a network capitalize on non-Kardashian programming doesn’t have time to make you care, and that’s why Total Divas portrays Eva Marie in such a poor light that even her family hates her.

Total Divas has had a big problem through the first four episodes of Season 2, as the show is being both repetitive and very predictable. Obviously, there’s a redundancy in repetition and predictability, but even the show’s “new” material (i.e. – Nikki Bella becoming a real estate agent so she can sell a condo that she loves) is so predictable that Tyler Perry is like, “Wow, that’s bad.” This week’s episode, “For Better or Worse,” added a third layer to the chaos, in that not only were we going back to the well for a fourth time to seek parental permission, but we’re also being asked to care about Eva Marie now, after the series has spent 17 episodes making her one of the most hated people on TV.

Seriously, for me, it’s 1) Chrisley and 2) Eva Marie. How those two manage to be ranked ahead of Charlie Sheen is remarkable.

Pre-Episode Total Divas Power Rankings

1) Naomi – I was mad at her for the music video, but we’re all good now. This week is too special.
2) Summer Rae – Brandon and I had a brief discussion about Summer that I’ll get to shortly. It’s very positive.
3) Brie Bella – Because this show is so fake and therefore so poorly written, I’m pretty disappointed that we haven’t gotten to the inevitable Bella twin feud yet.
4) Cameron – The show is lulling me into a false sense of confidence with Cameron, and it will all implode once Vinnie returns and does something horrible.
5) Nikki Bella – It’s still pretty remarkable that after all this time, Nikki and her breasts aren’t my least favorite things about this show. John Cena should be ashamed of himself for a lot of things, but this horrible “real relationship” storyline is at the top.
6) Nattie – Again, to reiterate my point from last week, I’m not saying that Nattie deserved to be slapped and have her nose all f*cked up, but… you know.
7) Eva Marie – She is and has been the worst for 98.7345r546% of this series.

That said…

The Thing about Trying to Make Us Care

From the very beginning, Total Divas should have been a show about the behind-the-scenes lives of the women who make up the WWE’s most under-appreciated division and how they all aspire to succeed in both wrestling and their careers beyond. Instead, it’s a very overdramatic and poorly-written extension of their in-ring personas, and it’s also an extra hour per week to let us get to know these women, just in case they were bumped from Raw or whatever the week before. For Eva Marie, this is the most that we get to hear from her, so however she portrays herself (or how she portrays how she’s written) on Total Divas is how we view her. Period.

What makes this worse for Eva Marie is the fact that when she was introduced in the beginning of this series, she was portrayed as a girl who would do anything, including lie about her talents and sleep with Fandango, to succeed in the WWE, and it was proven that the company was going to give her every chance to succeed because of her looks, in spite of the fact that she didn’t know Randy Orton is from St. Louis and she called Jinder Mahal “Ginger Mahal.” Whether or not it was the show’s producers’ ambition, Total Divas made us hate Eva Marie, because she made bad decision after bad decision to the point that even her own family told her to f*ck off.

But now we’re supposed to feel bad for her because she had an ovarian cyst that ruptured and possibly ruined her chances of ever having children. I’m not saying that I don’t feel bad for her, but even if that is what I’m saying, why the hell should I hide it? You can’t serve us 17 episodes of someone acting like a complete asshole and then flip the script, have her parents suddenly accept the husband that they almost disowned her over, and then ask us to change our minds about that person. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m stubborn when it comes to TV characters and writing (Tom Haverford makes me irrational to the point that I dislike Aziz Ansari sometimes) but I can’t just up and feel bad for Eva Marie.

A good terrible character redeems herself, just like how a truly great heel suddenly turns face with an act that we don’t expect. Eva Marie can’t just hit her father over the head with a ruptured cyst. She needs to actually become a better character or person through a series of actions. Until then, my finger is locked firmly on the fast forward button any time I see those tears start.

Oh, and Another Thing…

Cut it out with the f*cking using phones while driving, WWE. This is the second time that we’ve seen a Diva take a “bad news” phone call while driving – not to mention the texting and driving we’ve already seen – and that really pisses me off. Arrive alive, you dicks.

Nattie Doesn’t Know What Doggy Style Is

Hey, remember Nattie’s broken nose? The one that she incurred after Summer Rae slapped her in the face in a case of clear assault? The one that Nattie had to secretly see a doctor about, because not only did she not report it to the police, but she also didn’t tell the WWE about because of her title match? The one that she cried over last week because the doctor told her that she was going to have to miss up to six months of work for? Yeah, that one. Well, Nattie doesn’t remember it. Neither does the show, because the focus this week is once again on how Tyson Kidd isn’t pleasing Nattie enough in the bedroom.

It really is remarkable how this poorly-written show mirrors actual WWE writing. Last week, Nattie was getting the push of her life, and we were led to believe that this was finally going to be her big run as one of the company’s top faces. But then without any explanation at all, she’s right back to a stupid, meaningless storyline this week, and it’s one that she’s already done. If she doesn’t have a talking sock on her hand by the end of this season of Total Divas, it’d be a miracle.

Because none of the other Divas had anything interesting going on in their lives, everyone was focused on Nattie’s sex life. This is actually really funny to me, because not one Diva appeared to have called Eva Marie to ask her why she was missing, and none of them traveled to Hawaii for Naomi’s wedding, which we’ll get to shortly. It was like the writers wrote Story A and Story B, submitted them and then were like, “Holy shit, you guys, we forgot the rest of the entire cast.”

The main thing that we learned about Nattie this week is that she didn’t know what doggy style means, and of course Nikki knew, because she watched her family’s dogs have sex when she was young.

Quote of the Episode

“Are you saying to me that dog semen is like glue?” – Daniel Bryan upon learning about that strange thing that happens when two dogs get stuck together when they’re having sex

I’d make fun of his naïve confusion, but I remember the first time that I read about dogs getting stuck together, and I can’t mock his reaction at all.

Go Away, Dr. Milrod, and Don’t Ever Come Back

To solve Nattie’s sex problems, Cameron called her sex therapist, Dr. Milrod – she’s on speed dial, NATCH – and had Nattie schedule an appointment. I don’t like to crap all over people’s professions a lot, because I’m a blogger who writes about Total Divas each week, but I feel like a sex therapist should be someone who witnesses a problem that is keeping someone from being able to be intimate, and not someone who walks into a home and makes a bunch of horrible innuendos about the “sexual energy” of the home. If your problem is that sex has become a chore, watch porn together. Say some really raunchy stuff to each other and see if anything works. Don’t pay someone to act like a genius when the only thing she should be certified in is me throwing my shoe at her head.

Dumbest Quote of the Episode

“I would give anything to see it.” – Nikki Bella referring to Dr. Milrod telling Nattie to put the banana somewhere and Tyson Kidd’s reaction

Really? Fine, give me one million dollars, Nikki, and I’ll let you see the reaction. None of you remind her that she’s on a reality show and everyone will see everything that they do on TV.

The Worst 30 Seconds in TV History

Tyson Kidd playing the burglar who breaks into the home to have his way with Nattie the school girl was horrible. And God knows I don’t need to think about whether or not Nattie got laid by watching her wrestling closely. Also, what’s up with the wounded moose cry that Nattie lets out before she pulls off a suplex? Nattie is really strange, and they just need to give her an episode or two off already.

Rikishi is Back to Ruin a Beautiful Thing

Like most people, I have a juvenile fondness for Rikishi’s career in the WWE, because, “Haha, he just put his giant ass on someone’s face!” But seeing him on this week’s show was pretty disappointing, mainly because Naomi’s wedding was actually really sweet, and I didn’t need to see it ruined by Rikishi being a crappy dad who bailed on his son’s wedding. However, I appreciated the purpose once Jey Uso shed some tears while telling Jimmy that he didn’t need his dad there because they had each other. It was just a depressing distraction to an otherwise beautiful event.

Look, I never thought that I’d be watching an episode of this series and thinking, “Aw, this is so sweet,” but when the year is over and someone inevitably ranks TV’s best weddings, I’m coming for every single one of those lists with a pitchfork and torch if Naomi’s and Jimmy’s wedding isn’t No. 1.

On Summer Rae and Making Us Hate Her

We had literally one second of Summer Rae in this week’s episode, and that was probably good for everyone involved, because I need to ask the very important question – What the f*ck are they trying to do with this girl? Summer Rae is a great Diva. She’s attractive, has a ton of personality, can act well, and, most importantly, she can perform in the ring. As she can only get better, they should be portraying her in a totally different way, because she was basically added to the show so the writers could repackage Eva Marie’s Season 1 crap.

They could have made her the brash and arrogant new talent that doesn’t give a crap about earning her keep, because she’s here to be the best. They could have made her the exact opposite of that, a hard worker who wants to learn from the best so she can one day be the best. They could have even made her the ditsiest airhead blonde on the face of the planet, but dadgummit, she can wrassle. Instead, they made her come off as a slut, who had somehow pissed off Nattie, without ever explaining why people think she’s a slut or why Nattie hates her.

It’s not only astounding how lazy this is from a writing perspective (at this point, I would gladly take over as the head writer of Total Divas if the WWE asks) but it’s detrimental to the actual Diva brand. How the hell are we supposed to take this show and these women seriously when every time we meet a new girl, she’s portrayed as someone who will whore her body for success? It takes away from the veteran Divas who are busy trying to teach us about how they used their breasts to find success.

Post-Episode Total Divas Power Rankings

1) Naomi – Seriously, that wedding was adorable, you guys.
2) Summer Rae – She wasn’t on the episode, but she made me think about life or something.
3) Brie Bella – She was responsible for Daniel Bryan being there.
4) Nikki Bella – She was also barely on the episode, and despite being the dumbest person on screen for one scene, she wasn’t awful.
5) Cameron – She brought the sex doctor back and that made me really angry.
6) Nattie – Please stop trying to get us to picture Nattie having sex.
7) Eva Marie – Still the worst, but I hope she recovered well.

On next week’s episode, they make the joke about Nattie’s p*ssy again. If this show didn’t have the WWE attached, I’d have it on “Canceled Watch.”