“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” VH1’s latest addition to its reality show lineup, seems to be a hit. The show that takes viewers inside the lives of some of hip-hop’s Georgia peaches is serving up all of the juicy drama audiences love.

While we can debate whether or not the show does black women and our image a disservice, there’s one thing I am almost certain of: This reality show is anything but reality; it’s totally scripted.

Although I’m well aware that most reality shows have some element of staged drama, the conflicts, characters, and situations on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” just feel more like a bad primetime soap opera than how real folks actually live. As one of my Twitter followers put it the other night, “‘Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’ is a bad telenovela, but with negroes.”

I agree. And here’s why.

Stevie J is a horrible actor — and it shows

I’m sorry, but one of the main reasons I can’t take this show seriously is Stevie J. Instead of coming off like a real person, he sounds like he’s serving up his best Blaxplotation performance or Mase impersonation. His reaction to everything is just so lackluster and monotone and is not anything close to being real.

Pregnant jump-off? Stevie’s expression is placid. Angry girlfriend? Stevie’s face is so still (and his voice so flat) he must sweat Botox. Getting them “paws” put on him? Stevie was talking to Scrappy like he was asking for some Grey Poupon instead of getting ready to fight.

If the “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” folks want me to believe this show isn’t a horribly acted dramedy, then I’m going to need Stevie J. to seem a little less plastic and a lot more real.

  • Ms. Information

    I am a native Atlantan…and yes there are those of a certain socio-economic level that speak like this and worse….it is sad because these people are raising children.

  • Me27

    Yes this show is scripted and i wish they would just call it a soap opera and stop trying to fool people into believing it’s “real”

  • http://www.facebook.com/MuchMoreThanPretty Jess Ica

    Yes people talk like that in real life.
    Also, I know people who are extremely calm in stressful situations, and instead of flying off of the handle they make a conscious effort to appear calm by speaking in monotone, and talking through their teeth. And, of course, Stevie Js habit would be even more obvious because he is aware of the cameras watching him.
    Lastly, I do believe that MiMi is in some type of love with Stevie J, but the money & the lifestyle does overpower her common sense on how a woman should be treated.
    I’m sure the show is scripted to a certain extent, but that won’t stop me from watching. Its entertaining to me. I know its trash… Oh well.

  • Right as Rain

    It doesn’t take much for one to know the show is scripted.

  • Lynn

    Wasn’t Stevie J also engaged to Whoopie Goldberg’s daughter (Alex) as well in ’08?

  • http://gravatar.com/sweetaspie31 sweetaspie31

    Dumb show.

  • Mina

    Yes people (NOT ALL) from the South do sound and talk like this. I guess that’s why it’s a hit??

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    I told you it was a soap opera. I like their accents, especially Joseline’s. I like how she said, “kutty cat.”

  • Child, Please

    While I agree not all Atlantans (or people from the South in general ) articulate themselves this way, Atlanta is actually full of more people like this than people think. I’ve stay in Atlanta and have seen all walks of life;without even seeing a full episode (I’ve only seen the commercials and at best a 5-second snippet), what you described is not too far-fetched. I see this all the time with the exception of primarily north Atlanta. I love my city, but I’m not going to act like what you see isn’t what you get. As for how the people are depicted, there are unfortunately, a lot of women out there who are similar to Mimi and speak like the characters on the show. I will say the way the show is shot makes it more melodramatic than what it is (similar to The Game and that show depicts more successful individuals. It’s amazing what a camera and editing does). I don’t think particularly have a problem with the way these people are depicted; there have been other shows that displayed Atlanta life, some in far better circumstances others not. I also don’t think a show like this should be cancelled; I feel in doing so it shuts a certain socio-economic class out of a market in which they more than likely need to profit since the majority of them haven’t found success in a scrupulous industry.

  • MizzMoodie

    Not only are Stevie J’s acting skills terrible the situations are a bit too damn convenient. Who brings their jump off to a party where they know their wifey is gna be? This chick was supposedly smashing Stevie for six months and conveniently gets pregnant while filming a reality show? I don’t buy it.

  • shayla889

    And really – who carries around a pregnancy test? Like lady, you PEED on that! And seriously what man is going to take the pregnancy test, hold on to it, and then show his girlfriend the test his jump off took? That is completely fake and really, really stupid.

  • c0c0puffz

    From the sitting on a public toilet, holding a pregnancy test when she could of got it done in a hospital or her home, it turned into a soap opera.

  • maureen

    your second point is invalid, yes people speak like that in the South. nothing to boast about or be proud of but yes people do speak that way

  • http://ashleighla.wordpress.com Ashleigh L.A.

    I find it hilarious that people have such an issue with Scrappy’s speech. I guess he has to speak the Queen’s English for y’all to approve huh? lol

  • Stef

    Well if this is 100% scripted I hope the writers win a Emmy , cause this stuff is classic

  • http://gravatar.com/hardrockgem Courtney B.

    Ash!! Hey girl! Yeah, I think people sometimes forget that Atlanta is in the South, where proper English is hardly proper lol. Of course we don’t all speak with such a drawl, but it’s more common than not.

  • jFrost

    faker than that stripper’s booty!

  • Pingback: Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Star Joseline Proves The Show Is Fake

  • Tami

    I love Hip Hop Atlanta….its full of drama!!! And yes, I do think its scripted, but its good entertainment!!!!

  • Mary Norris

    What lifestyle? How is it a “money and lifestyle” situation when she has to have a CLEANING SERVICE??? Why not a Spa, or a clothing line, or cosmetic line like the rest of the (pardon the slur) crazy bimbos on these shows who allow their men to walk all over them for the sake of the viewing audience?

  • Mary

    Sorry! I clicked report insted of reply! My bad!!!

    To my point, though, “The Game” is a scripted show played by actors who get paid to act like they are someone else. “Reality” shows are SUPPOSED to be unscripted “exposes” of the real lives of “real” people… not a good comparison… IJS

  • who run the world?…GOD

    Stevie J is definitely a character but I’ve met guys like him before. When faced with accusations of cheating; they just smile, play dumb, and deny! However If it really is scripted, I doubt anyone would really care, I would still watch. They could just brand it as a soap opera or whatever genre The Game is!

  • who run the world?…GOD

    and va-jay jay!

  • http://twitter.com/T_Rocka1975 Leeyah D (@T_Rocka1975)

    I totally believe this show is scripted. If you ever noticed on some of the reality shows in small print it would say this is an re-enactment of events that occurred, for instance some of those reality shows on tru tv have that disclaimer. I did not watch love and hip hop Atlanta past the first episode to look for the disclaimer. I think I will though next week just to see. Even if there is no disclaimer I still think this show is scripted of real events that happened on the original love and hip hop.

  • Me

    I don’t watch the show so I may be reading your comment wrong, but what’s wrong with owning a cleaning service? I actually think it’s a much smarter investment than a spa, which is a luxury expenditure that people easily forgo during economic downturns, clothing, which is very seasonal and difficult to create/maintain customer loyalty, and cosmetics, which would compete with the likes of mega brands such as Cover Girl and Revlon, which have much broader appeal and household recognition. Cleaning services cater to businesses, which are much more apt to remain loyal once they’ve signed a contract, and provide a much more steady stream of revenue. I would think owning a sustainable business would definitely satisfy whatever money/lifestyle Mimi is allegedly trying to hold onto?

  • http://yahoo.com Val

    There is such a wonderful mixture of people here in the South. I actually live in Columbia, SC and some of us do have that southern drawl as you may call it, but our southern hospitality is amazing. I just can not beleive how nutty these people are on these so call “reality shows” Some of the things these females say would not ever cut it with me. I would more than likely be serving some serious time right now so I guess that why they know who to put on these tv shows. cuz 1 thing u aint fixin ta-do is disrepect be it scripted or not! Ya fell me! Much Love

  • Godzilla Jr.

    Reason #4. Joseline’s accent is entirely unbelievable. She speaks as if she has a natural southern Black accent but is attempting to pull off a fake Cuban Ricky Ricardo type accent. The southern accent peeks through at the ends of sentences and in certain words like “talk” and “walk”.

    Also, her real name is Shenellica Bettenncourt (google her mugshot). Maybe she has one Hispanic parent, I don’t know. But her real name, appearance and accent all sound African-American to me.

  • taylor

    To say it’s “scripted” is misleading. Are they reading from a script when they say their confessionals-probably. After they have told the news cameras their lives. Is it a documentary? No. But it is a reality show. Which means that they wait until you put your makeup on and dress up before they shoot you, they ask you to “reenact”when you first found out you were pregnant, they make you stand in certain positions to get a better view.

    That’s called reality tv.

    If you thought you were watching a documentary then you are stupid.

    Why would anyone be mad that they create some situations (i.e. wait until they are dressed, make them call one another, show them outside or in open spaces rather than watching tv)?

    To say it is scripted is misleading.

  • taylor

    I also find it highly offensive that Joseline’s accent and looks are the butt of so many jokes.

    Why does calling a woman a transsexual such a joke? Pretty discriminatory.

    Why do people think she’s not Brazilian? She sounds just like Brazilians who speak English and grew up in the slums sound. But I’m sure the people commenting have no idea what that sounds like which is why they keep making fun of her.

    Pretty smart crowd.

  • Cleo Hines

    FYI, Bettencourt or Bettancourt is actually a valid Cuban surname and not really as unpopular as you would think, my maternal grandmother who is Cuban, her maiden name was Bettancourt and my boss at the newspaper that I used to work at is a black Cuban and her last name was Bettencourt. To me Joseline sounds like a Latina whose first language is Spanish, and who was raised in a Latin household in the south. You can pretty much tell from the way she pronounces certain things, the emphasis on certain letters/sounds and the dropping of others. What makes me know the show i scripted is the fact that she is obviously a transsexual, so she can’t have a period or get pregnant, when I saw that part I was pretty much done.

  • j

    Stevie Wonder can see this shit is fake! Whoever believe this shit real, jump off the earth!

  • Kechelle

    Yes , people from the south speak like that . I’m from Tenn and I speak like that . American ‘Proper’ English isn’t truly proper so don’t offend our dialog . Every language has a dialog Damn get off yalls high horses !!

  • Eileen

    i don’t think its stevie J bc i’ve seen dudes who take everything in life as a joke or think they’re too cute to get angry react like that in situations. The thing for me that makes it so painstakingly scripted is the chain of events that happen. For one why the fuck stevie j walking around with a pregnancy test?? and wasn’t it so convenient that she had an abortion. The bit in ep. 5 when carly is walking out of the meeting with stevie j and joselyn…that shit seemed sooo fake. Carly needs acting classes. And she just happens to be at every event and knows who’s slept with who. Like someone commented earlier i wish they would just try to label this as a soap opera and not try to pass it on as reality television.

    ANND lmao a miss cleo over here saying joselyn is “obviously transexual” just because she has a defined jawline doesn’t make her a transexual. womp womp.

  • MrsTurtle

    I have lived in the south my whole life and let me just say if you think this is scripted then you might better stay as far out the south as you can because it is just like that here. It is a small world down here. You have to realize that it is a very small, tight-nit community of people who determine who is successful in the hip-hop community. Its like the southern mafia. So if you are trying to get in, trust me, this is the exact type of life and daily b.s. you will have to make it in. I am down in Jacksoville and Jville is in tight connection with Atlanta so I have heard and seen it all. This is what any of our top successful hip-hop artists have had to come up through in order to get where they are at so maybe you can begin to understand why it is so hard for them to hold on to that fame and money cause its always someone hungry-er trying to claw their way to the top and hating all the way. For every one person who makes it up out the drama of the south, there is 100 left behind hating. I see women like Mimi and Joselyn and men like Stevie and Scrappy everyday. Scrappy with that momma-boy syndrome & Stevie with that need to have his d… Wet all day and night. Unfortunately women like Mimi are all to common. The south still raises our girls on them old school values that you need to keep the home together for the kids, when in reality all you are doing is showing your children that this is how life is supposed to be. Maybe by airing out the dirty laundry of the dirty south we can finally begin to bring around change. So ladies if you think you might be a Mimi, Stand up and be counted! Baby don’t be weak for no man, NO MORE. YOU ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE!!

  • Crystal

    Omg!! I thought I was the only one that felt like this show was 100% scripted! Stevie J. is the worst actor ever…this show is not real at all. Stevie J. is doing way too much for the camera & everyone else is just trying to play to the camera too much instead of being their true selves. Ridiculous!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/BeautifyMyBarbie Naomi Beautifulbarbie McKenzie

    I agree people are focusing way to hard on her being a man esp. the guys. mmmmm figures. down low men in the community.

  • Rina C.

    You all sit there saying Stevie the worst actor but you’re so forgetting Scrappys mom. Seeing and hearing her talk let me know this show definitely is fake.

  • justareply01

    actually that was a name she used for a fake id because she started stripping at a really young age. so whenever she got arrested that was the name she used. but her real name is joseline hernandez. google her name and get your facts straight.

  • Mike

    I`ve always known it was scripted or staged. However
    I watch it because its just entertainment especially stevie J.
    and joseline. I don’t take it seriously.

Latest Stories

After Mimi Faust’s Sex Tape, Steve Harvey Tells Women to Protect Their ‘Precious Jewel’ Because ‘It Is What Every Man Is After’

by

10 Very Basic Tips For First Time Homebuyers

by

New Credit Reports to Reflect Time Series Payment Data

by

How To Rock A White Dress

by
More in opinion, TV
steel-magnolia
Watch: All-Black Steel Magnolias Trailer with Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard, and Jill Scott

BET Awards
Black Excellence: The 10 Things We Hate About the BET Awards

Close