Turning Shit into Gold since 2006
“My name is Karen and I am pregnant. My baby daddy and I have been together for five years. He is an alcoholic, a cheater, a video game addict, and above all he is totally immature. Please help me VH1.”
If there is anyone more prone to a reality television binge than me it is my dear friend Riley. Do you know anyone else who watched and got weepy eyed over the two-hour wedding of Khloe Kardashian more than once, or who has been known to abandon a pool party for an Intervention/Hoarders marathon? That is why when I flipped around and found VH1’s reality show called Dad Camp, I was sad she wasn’t there to gawk at the absurdity that sucked away three hours of my life while lounging at my parent’s house.
At first the premise seemed predictable; a group of Tool Academy rejects who could not come to terms with the fact that their wiener in vagina act had produced a bun in the oven. The first episode I watched introduced the audience to the pathetic participants. A small town couple from Tennessee, a pair of high school sweethearts turned sour, a pair of Oreo cookie combinations, and the tattooed bad boy who inevitably ends up crying into the camera at the conclusion of every confrontation.
What held my attention long enough to get into the drama was the fact that the woman who was impregnated by her high school boyfriend was shocked that at the ripe old legal drinking age of twenty-one, Austin was not willing to drop his video game controller to pick up a stroller. Did I mention that he had cheated on her for two years, yet she was willing to let him father her first-born for the sake of saving their five-year relationship.
Then there is the bad boy, Elliot. Upon his arrival at the rehabilitation house he runs straight to the kitchen cabinets looking for liquor. When none is found he goes on a beeped out verbal rampage that is only calmed once he finds out he will be allowed to attend a ‘boys night out’ with the rest of the dude dads. Dead Beat is tattooed across his knuckles. That is one lucky fetus forming in his girlfriend’s belly.
The other two dad’s are also full of flaws that manifest in some explosive outbursts that are not only embarrassing, but detrimental to their transition from selfish asshole to committed daddy. There is a fifth father in training who had douche bag gauges in his fat ears, but every time the camera or his stern Asian girlfriend looked at him he got all wide-eyed and fearful, so I will keep his involvement to a minimum.
In the two episodes that I watched there were two significant events that revolted me, yet somehow reeled me in for more. The first involved the handful of dads joyously running out of the door towards a limo van, leaving their helpless, pregnant, emotionally unstable women behind. Smirnoff shots and single ladies were waiting on the other side, along with two or three rolling cameras. In classic fashion the men congregated around a bar full of hot babes as the booze kept flowing. Once all inhibitions were lost Elliot decided to define his relationship as “on the rocks” and proceed to caress the sleeve of a fellow female patron, defying all reality television logic. Austin’s intoxication allowed him to be so bold as to sloppily smooch a blurry beauty, knowing damn well his bloated baby mama would most likely find out at some sort of round table meeting the next day.
As expected the good Dr. Jeff Gardere gathered his social science experiments in a Khol’s decorated room with video evidence of the party dads in action. Hearts were broken and tears were shed. Apologies were flung across the room like a coffeehouse reading of Elizabeth Taylor’s diary. The mood was turned even more toxic when Dr. Jeff pulled out a bag of Marijuana and demanded that the owner of the substance come forward. Seeing as I always like to give a stereotype the benefit of the doubt, I tried as hard as I could to not automatically peg the black guy with gold teeth as the suspect, but like the camera, I looked into his bloodshot eyes and knew it was he who was trying to get high on VH1’s time. After a commercial break my suspicions were confirmed when Donta admitted it was indeed he who had smuggled the loot on set. I must admit that I did not blame him and was sort of sad to see the leafy bag go to waste.
The second event that made me want to throw any and all hope for humanity out the window was when the couple’s were shown actual calculations of how much having a child actually costs. Much to the dismay of the men a garage sale of their most expensive and prized possessions was set up in the driveway without their knowledge. Desperate cries of, “Not my snowboard” and “That’s a two hundred-dollar shirt! Where is your respect woman!?”, could be heard as they were forced to come to grips with the parting of their favorite toys. The event ended in a screaming match when Donta decided that he had sacrificed enough during the duration of his twelve month relationship with Bri, and the selling of his favorite designer jeans was enough to send him into an uncontrollable rage.
Back at the house Brian screamed at his fuck buddy co-worker turned mother of his child Christina who wants to rear the child in her small Tennessee town, while Brian dreams of big city lights. Since they live in separate states and the deepest their relationship has gone is vaginal, odds are the kid will have presents under two different Christmas trees every holiday season.
Like all good things this series will eventually come to an end and we, the viewers, will only be left with the memories of the dysfunctional relationships we were so glad not to be a part of. Too bad the children of these idiots will have recorded history of their unwanted conceptions and their numb nut fathers who will hopefully at some point put down the hair gel and pick up a full-time job.