The best show on television, without a doubt, is “The Bad Girls Club,” on Oxygen. It far surpasses the tedious, predictable douchebaggery of the “Jersey Shore” cast, who seem intent on solidifying their typecast personalities at the expense of any whiff of reason and self-reflection. In fact, “The Bad Girls Club” is better exactly because each season includes a new cast, so the new cast is constantly trying to outdo last season’s cast in terms of public humiliation.
The concept is simple: take a group of borderline alcoholics with rage and maturity issues, put them in a mansion somewhere in the hills around L.A., pump them full of alcohol, light fuse, get away, and watch. Each member of the cast will make repeated references to how much of a bad girl they are, which seems to roughly equate to the term “drunken whore.” Then they’ll spend most of the season reinforcing the image.
The producers don’t even make an offensively laughable pretense of doing anything good with the show. Yeah, the first season or two the casts talked about becoming better people, but even then that was mainly just talk, usually engaged in the morning after some ridiculous booze-fueled embarrassment. And yeah, occasionally one of the cast members from the newer seasons will make a statement or two over the course of the season about wanting to become a better person. But there’s no organized activity for the group to perform; they don’t help underprivileged kids like the “Real World: Boston” cast did, they’re not even free slave labor for a business, like the “Jersey Shore” cast is.
Instead, they just drink, fight, recover, drink, fight, recover, talk about how much of a bitch so and so is, drink, fight, recover. It can get repetitive, but the cast is good about mixing things up.
It’s become a time-honored tradition, but each girl at some point in the season will brag about how she runs the house, whatever that means. A couple seasons ago, one girl took it to a whole other level when she bragged, constantly, about how she runs L.A, which is impressive to do in a near-constant state of blackout drunk. And this bragging will no doubt engender hostility among the other alpha females, who will without fail take offense and (a) throw possessions off a balcony, (b) toss bottles or wine glasses around the kitchen, or (c) just hit the girl.
As an anthropological study, it’s fascinating to watch cliques form, dissolve, mutate, and solidify. Sometimes that can happen between the time the girls go out to the bars, and the time they get home. Fighting is so common on the show that, when they fight amongst themselves in the back of the limo on the way home from a club, it’s almost passé. And I’m not talking about your standard high school girl fighting, where the dominant group tries to ridicule the loner into an eating disorder. I’m talking about fisticuffs, usually done in a state of intoxication that would make a longshoreman cringe.
Wall-to-wall psychological problems, rampant promiscuity, substance abuse. It’s like a strip club on television, with the nudity in pixilated form. If you’re a fan of trash television, join the “Club.”