When I said BET needed to go back to basics, that’s not what I had in mind.
On Thursday, BET+ premiered Season 2 of College Hill: Celebrity Edition and it certainly got people talking. Like most reality shows, the word celebrity is used very loosely. The cast includes singers O’Ryan and Ray J; model/businesswoman Amber Rose; reality TV stars Joseline Hernandez and Tiffany “New York” Pollard; actress Parker McKenna Posey; former NBA player Iman Shumpert; and social media influencer Kwaylon “BlameItOnKway” Rogers. This time around, new students attend HBCU Alabama State University as they try to recapture the college experience they missed.
Here’s the thing: The original Hill College was really about students trying to make their way through college and figure out their future. Yeah, there were some wild shenanigans, because that’s what college kids do. But, underneath it all, there was a heart to it. College Hill: Celebrity Edition Season 2 may find some of those special moments, but based on the first episode, it feels like another generic reality show.
The first episode, titled “Welcome to the College Hill Family,” features the usual reality TV tropes. Actors enter the lavish home one at a time for introductions; they choose roommates; they marvel at the incredible ASU campus; A huge fight then broke out. In keeping with the rules of reality TV, the fight is about a completely outsized minor miscommunication. In this case, New York and Joseline – who are usually the stars of any show they appear on – are clearly fighting for control of the house.
It begins with Tiffany telling Joseline that she mourns the death of “her daughter”. However, in New York’s case, it means she is mourning the loss of her beloved pet dog. Joseline is angry because she feels Pollard made her a fool and doesn’t understand why she is so upset. From there, things turn into a howling match, leading to Joseline essentially locking Parker out of their room and the love and hip hop star losing his temper during a home meeting.
If you’ve ever seen a reality show, you’ve seen this all happen many times before. The whole scene was straight out of the reality TV book — something New York helped write. Of course, just because it was familiar didn’t stop the internet from commenting on all the nonsense.
College Hill: Celebrity Edition launches new episodes every Thursday on BET+. The Season 2 premiere is currently available for free on the streaming network’s YouTube page.
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