The Gossip Game: "Trading in the Gossip Game" Review
Off Standish Start
As if vh1 didn't have enough shows where the estrogen level was above the national debt, The Gossip Game debut this week (Monday April 1). A reality show based around the world of hip hop gossip. The aim of "The Gossip Game" is to show us the world of hip hop gossip from three different perspectives: radio, print, and blogging. Hip Hop is dominated by men and it seems as the gossip world is female oriented.
At the top of the pecking order there are the radio personalities, K. Foxx who is one of the stars of Hot 97 morning show in New York and Angela Yee who is a mainstay on Hot 97’s rival Power 105 morning show “The Breakfast Club.” Also in that mix is Sharon Carpenter who works for Russell Simmons Global Grind website. In the middle you have the upcoming print journalist like freelancer Jasmine Waters aka “Jasfly.” At the bottom of the totem pole are the online bloggers, Vivian Billings (Hip Hop Gossip Site) and Candice Williams aka “Ms. Drama” (Ms. Drama TV)
For a series premier, this episode was entertaining and looks to have no problem with being able to keep up the drama. Two minutes in and there is an ambush interview put together by “Jasfly” for her “Power vs Hot” story. K. Foxx is visibly uncomfortable with from the beginning, and once the interview starts she belittles Power 105, “what war, they are a water down version of what we do” couple that with the fact that K. Foxx can not force her lips to mention the other station by name. Yee comes off as trying to be cordial, but states that Funk Master Flex should step down (even though he’s winning in the ratings) because he’s been there so long.
Vivian and “Ms. Drama” will be playing the role of Evelyn and Jennifer (Basketball Wives), or Chrissy and Yandy (Love Hip Hop New York season 2) or Mimi and Joseline (Love and Hip Hop Atlanta), which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The lack of a clear cut protagonist/antagonist hurt both Love and Hip Hop New York season 3 and Chrissy and Mr. Jones. Even though at only an episode in I'm still unsure on who is wearing the black hat and who is wearing the white one (I’m leaning toward Vivian as the good guy so far).
The episode concluded with Yee pushing Vivian to do more promo, thus invites her to Yee’s blogger event. Unlike “Jasfly” Yee is upfront with Viv stating that “Ms. Drama” will be there. “Ms. Drama” claims Viv does “ratchet gossip” and doesn't get her facts straight. “Ms Drama” attempt at solidarity was unsuccessful, Viv did not take the bait. “Ms Drama” dominated the scene by performing the usual reality tv tropes: speaking loudly, insulting a peer, and reversing common phrases ("stand offish" became "off standish") and it was a turn off not only to Viv but also Sharon. After a verb back and fourth between Viv and "Ms. Drama" the episode ends in mid argument.
In this premier Hot 97 comes off looking like a cult. During the “Power vs Hot” sit down interview Yee dropped hints about how Hot 97 employees aren't allowed to talk to anyone from Power 105, can’t be at the same events, or follow each other on twitter. After the interview K. Foxx is quick to tell Flex what Yee had said. At one point K. Foxx is cornered by her co-personalities on why she was even at the interview, did she stop the interview told her she doesn't talk to anyone outside our walls and to only do interviews via email. Living near Chicago one can’t help but wonder does WGCI and Power 92 have the same level of rivalry off the air.
The best part of this episode was Vivian revealing to Yee that Star a multimedia personality who has had stints at both Hot 97 and Power 105 may have gotten her married friend pregnant. Viv is conflicted about whether she should post this story on her website. When confronting Star about the situation, he tells her to post the story, but not before insulting the woman who had an affair with him and explaining he’s not a hoe but he is a womanizer until the day he dies. I really hope we get more of Star.
Vh1 may have struck gold with "The Gossip Game." And even if its fool's gold it doesn't matter, this show can easily serve as an in between since Love and Hip Hop New York season 3 just ended and the Atlanta version of the show won't premier until April 22. The cast is interesting and diverse enough to keep audiences coming back for more.