The show features TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas (first pictured above) in her search for the right man, with renowned relationship specialist and blogger Tionna Smalls (second picture above) trying to help Chilli find that perfect dude. (BTW, Tionna has actually visited and commented on this blog before, which was very cool!) Some observations from this inaugural episode:
First, Chilli has this wild-ass and extensive "Chilli checklist" (which frustrates Tionna to no end) of attributes that her potential beau must have in order to be a bona fide candidate for her hand. Here's a non-exhaustive list (everything I can recall) of the criteria: (1) No drinking; (2) No smoking; (3) No eating pork; (4) Must love God; (5) Must be gorgeous; (6) Must have a washboard stomach (at least a 4-pack, because Chilli says we can work on the other 2); (7) Must love kids; (8) Must have no more than 2 baby mamas; (9) Must ultimately want marriage and to have a kid; (10) Must be sensitive and charming; and (11) Last, but certainly not least (this appears to be very important to Chilli), the dude must be LARGE where it counts! So let's just get this out of the way real quick: How does The Independent Rage stack up with the Chilli Checklist? Well, about all I can say about that is -- If Chilli is willing to compromise on just a few things, I can officially say that I have never smoked! Translation: I'm Out.
Second, the question becomes, what's are Chilli's prospects going forward given the two men currently in her life based on the first episode: (1) Christian "Chris" Harrington (which I hope I'm spelling correctly), a cool, charismatic dude who's with an ATL engineering firm and whom Chilli met at a social function for ATL mayor Kasim Reed; and (2) Floyd Mayweather (yes, THAT Floyd Mayweather, perhaps the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world today), with whom Chilli has been close friends for 3 years.
I have to say, there's some real chemistry between Chilli and Chris. Chilli was absolutely blushing and having trouble putting together a coherent sentence the first time she met him: That's huge. That sort of thing is like straight outta Godfather (Part One) when Michael is struck by a lightning bolt upon his first sight of the gorgeous Apollonia Vitelli over in Sicily. I've known that same feeling before myself, and it's not to be underestimated. During their first date thereafter, the dude even divulged that he eats pork, and it wasn't a deal-breaker for Chilli (she gave him a a pass and is definitely interested in a second date)! (BTW, most dudes, apart from Samuel L Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction, eat pork, which makes that perhaps her most stringent item on Chilli's Checklist -- I'm glad to see she gave Chris a pass). Bottom line, I see some real potential between Chilli and Chris.
As for Floyd: My gut impression is that it just ain't ever happenin'. I think Chilli would be interested in taking their friendship to a new level, but I don't see it from Floyd. He as much as said so tonight. I just view that as a dead end in terms of a more-than-friends relationship, although it's great that they have developed such a close and real friendship.
And just to whet our appetites for more, the scenes from upcoming episodes included these highlights: (1) Tionna reaching her full boiling point with Chilli, storming off at one point, and also shouting, "I'm trying to help you -- I can take my ass back to Brooklyn!"; and (2) Chilli proclaiming, in best The Nature Boy Ric Flair spirit, "The way God built me, I'm supposed to be some guy's wife!" -- I love that kind of over-the-top talk! So check in again next Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. central time. I know I'll be!