Recap: Match Made in Heaven, Ep. 3: Meet Mama Maggie

Mama Maggie is all smiles... unless you cross her or Shawn. There are 15 women left in the house, down from the original 24. Two ladies voluntarily left, 7 were kicked out. With these numbers, “Match Made in Heaven” is looking more like “Survivor” than dating show.

Two of the women that left provided a good portion of the drama/ ratchet antics on the show, And since this is reality TV, everyone can’t be well-adjusted. So who’s gonna turn up? Um. That would be Shawn’s mama, Maggie. (And of course, Dolly.)

At first, Mama seems pretty chill. After Shawn introduces her, Mama conducts a polite receiving line of hugs as the girls greet her. But we know from the commercials that Mama has another side. Infamously, she threatened to “f--- up a b----h” for coming at her son the wrong way.

Mama Maggie will be staying at the house. Shawn explains to his harem, “you are the princesses. She is the queen.” Got it? He adds that he will make his own decisions, “but her influence will weight heavy on my mind and my heart.” Translation: I’m not a mam’s boy, but I love my mama.

With Shawn standing nearby, Mom tells the ladies, to be themselves and “enjoy the ride. And at the end we will se who wise my young son’s heart.” What she means is, you see me standing here, act like you have some sense and I might put in a good word. When Shawn leaves, the real Mama Maggie, the one from the trailers, seeps out. “I can be sweet. I can even be your best friend,” she tells the women. “But I can be your worst enemy as well.” Oh.

Mama is unimpressed with the cleanliness of the house. There are clothes, luggage, and a surprising amount of drying hair weave everywhere. To credit, the women don’t have a lot of space. One room has at least 8 beds in it. These chicks are sleeping like they’re in barracks. I don’t get it. We’ve seen the panoramic view of this mansion. Surely, there’s enough space so the women don’t have to bunk up. However, a bunch of people sleeping in close quarters is a guaranteed way to cause drama.

Still, there’s no excuse for all of the unmade beds. (Confession: I don’t make my bed everyday. But when my room is shown on TV, it is.) Mama is appalled. “What makes them think that my son wants a dirty ass woman?” she asks.

Mama picks a space in the largest room and has the production staff set up a Queen size bed just for her among all the bunks. Catch that subliminal shade.


Today’s group date is at the casino. Shawn is doing his best James Bond impression. He begins by flirting with Alexandria aka Nes’s house boo. Nes doesn’t like the idea of Shawn and Alex hooking up without her, so she tells Shawn, “we’re a package deal, so what you gonna do?” Was that a threesome offer? Shawn thinks so. He squeezes them both into a hug, as Mecca stares at them like a menacing villain from across the room.

Shawn eventually wanders away to find out what the other ladies are up to. At the Texas Hold Em table, he mutters something about “every move being a good move as long as you make a move.” This is all the encouragement Angela, a busty blonde, who’s been leaning over the table to show off her cleavage to Shawn, needs. She asks him to meet her outside so they can have some time alone, which in reality TV world means “let’s make out!”

Mama’s “hussy radar” goes off. She doesn’t see Shawn, so she wanders into the parking lot to find Angela and Shawn tonguing each other down. Needless to say, the make out session comes to an abrupt end and all three head back inside.

Angela ans Shawn are embarrassed after Mama catches them making out.

Pastor J is there now, and he’s got a challenge. He wants all the ladies, who are all dolled up, of course, to remove their make up in exchange for a slow dance with Shawn, and maybe a one-on-one date later.

“One of the easiest things you should ever do is show the real you, “ Pastor J says. True. He also wants Shawn to see what he could be waking up to in the morning. To credit, the girls are all still quite attractive sans make up.

Khalena bails. “My mom always told me you take it off one layer at a time. You don’t shock the man,” she says. I’m with her mama on this one.

Shawn picks Phoenix for the date. He, still in his tux, takes her, still in her gown, to “the hood”. He says that back in 2008 he was living in a similar spot.   Their date takes place in an unfinished basement, replete with sleeping bags, wine in brown paper bags and PB& J sandwiches. I ain’t even mad at this date. When you really connect with someone, it doesn’t matter where you are, just who you’re with.

Phoenix doesn’t flinch at the cheap date. She’s had her own hard times as a single mom, and she and her son were once on welfare. She gets it. Shawn cries, then they cuddle. I’m adding Phoneix to my list of suitable choices for Shawn along with Mecca.

The following morning, Pastor J sends a letter to the house saying he wants Shawn to do a one-on-one date with Khalena, who bailed on the make-up challenge. Khalena contours her face, adds some tracks, gets fancy and heads out to their date in wine country.

Khalena aka "Barbie" does not do the "roll over" face in public.

Of course, Shawn wants to know why Khalena didn’t take off her make up for him. She explains succinctly: “the roll over face is for the roll over.” Still not mad at her (or her mama). Shawn is amused. They toast “to the roll over”, then head to an above ground pool that’s been set up in the middle of the vineyard. It’s odd—and clearly a production prop—but I’m down for anything that includes Shawn taking his shirt off. Good job, producers.

Back at the house, Pastor J has a new challenge: temptation. He presents the ladies with apples. If one of the women bite the apple, it will bring Khalena’s date with Shawn to the end. While the women contemplate, what to do Mama Maggie reminds them “jealousy is a curse”. But, “this is a competition,” she adds.

Dolly decides to bite the apple. “[Khalena] didn’t take her make up off the other night. She does not deserve this date,” Dolly reasons. Fair enough. Angelique bites as well. “I just want him to come back and barbeque with us,” she explains. “Is that too much to ask for?”

At the vineyard, Shawn and Khalena are lounging in the pool making googly eyes at each other and about to share their first kiss when suddenly the pool breaks down and they go sliding into the mud. Producers show up (off camera) to tell Shawn there’s an emergency at the house and he has to go. And he has to leave Khalena at the vineyard. She has about the epic meltdown you would expect about being muddy and left behind.

When Khalena returns to the house, she is understandably pissed. Producers have filled her in on what happened, and she is out for blood, figuratively speaking.

Dolly speaks up and take responsibility for ruining her date. “I’m not remorseful,” she says. “It’s a comp.e.tition.” Dolly claps in Khalena’s face to emphasize each syllable, and the girls end up tussling with Mama Maggie looking on. The housemates break it up. This is Dolly’s second fight and I am entirely over her.

Later, Alexandria tearfully apologizes to Khalena for ruining her date. They hug and make up.

Now it’s time for the third elimination. Shawn, who looks glorious in his grey suit and sparkling diamond earrings (I got a thing for that), sits down with his Mom to get her thoughts on the princesses of the house. She’s no fan of Angela, “the hussy.”

Shawn also talks to Pastor J, who isn’t so much a fan of Dolly. Shawn, however likes that Dolly is ride-or-die. Surely, it helps the show that she keeps some drama going, so I don’t see her going home anytime soon.

Pastor J offers Alexandria immunity, which I’m sure makes Nes happy.

To the phones!! Mecca is over this ish. “’I’m just ready for these seat fillers to exit the premises.” I like this chick. Of course, she gets a “please stay” text.

Angela’s going to the bridge, as is Brandy, whose made no impression. Christina – not E.--- is going home. She guesses that she wasn’t assertive enough. So is Dani, who received immunity from Pastor J last week. Dolly, for a second time, and Khalena are headed to the bridge as well.

Angela gets sent back first. “You have a tough task with my mother in the house,” Shawn warns. Mom is not happy.

Shanwn isn’t too thrilled about the fight between Khalena and Dolly, but he likes Dolly's passion, and respects Dolly’s jealousy. Both of them will stay.

Bye-bye Brandy.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?

NOTE: I’ve learned that the show is taking a hiatus after this episode, and will return at a later, not-yet-given date. I’ll be tuning in. Will you?

Recap: Match Made in Heaven Ep. 2: Meet the (Sorta) Virgins

Match Made in Heaven's Shawn & Mecca have a dessert date in a place know one can figure out. This episode “held no cut cards”, as we like to say in the DMV. We have “conflict" straight out the gate. Our bachelor, Shawn, is 32, and Phoenix, 33, and Jen, 29, think Shawn should be with an “older” woman, someone closer to his age, instead of one of the house’s gaggle of early twenty-somethings.  Um, they’re right, but Mercedes, 22, doesn’t agree and is offended.

Phoenix points out, “This is supposed to be about finding the love of your life and they’re here taking body shots.” Again, Phoenix ain’t lie. The issue here is that Phoenix and Jen are over 30 and pushing 30. They want a husband yesterday. Most of the younger girls know they have time to kill and they’re not as focused. If they are single at 29, and 33, and want husbands/families, they will probably be more like Phoenix and Jen.

Anyway, Mercedes rants to the other women about her elders and Dolly points out, “if you’re sitting up here in this competition and you worried about what somebody has to say to you, you need to go home." Welp.

Somehow this angers Victoria, who reminds me of an German Coco (Ice T’s wife), and she and Dolly almost brawl. Victoria is also the most ratchet white chick ever to make TV. I don’t buy this fight. It’s made-for-tv madness.

Mecca, 22, pipes in to give the stereotypical “I’m not here for any of you” line that must be given at least once per reality TV competition show. She may be fresh off the breast, but she is focused. Take that, Phoenix and Jen.

Dolly is obsessed with Mecca, a New York socialite, for having the sides of her hair shaved. She says her edges look like pubic hair. As a habit, I don’t snark on people’s appearance. (I don't like it when it's done to me.) But Dolly, have you seen your weave? You don't have room to make fun of others.

Pastor J arrives and informs the ladies that they will have a “group” date, i.e., one man and 20 women, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity to build homes. All the ladies wear tight clothes and put on full faces of make-up. I mean, this is a date. Victoria wears sandals to do construction. She’s told to stand on the sidewalk.

Mecca and Phoenix flirt as they work. They are experts at this. Take notes.

Shawn gets a text from Pastor J. Um.. I think he’s nervous because he’s reading like Floyd Mayweather. It’s time for his first one-on-one date. He picks Mecca. (Bow down, Dolly.)

The date looks like it’s in the Middle East, replete with sand dunes and camels. I am dying to know where this was shot. The show is filmed in LA. Is this in Nevada? Is this a set? I want to go there.

So, riding a camel has always been on my bucket list. But maybe I’m taking it off. It looks terribly uncomfortable for two people to ride. Maybe that’s a solo activity, despite the number of humps. Hmmm.

Mecca is adorable in this red jumpsuit. And you are watching a Master Flirt here. Chick is finishing Shawn’s sentences, leaning into the nook, and talking future plans of mutual moguldum… on date one. She has Shawn eating out of her hand. He says as much, “that girl seems like she would consume a man’s mind.”

Just to be extra ass-y, she takes an “Usie” of herself and Shawn on the camel. “So fear me”, she snarks to the ladies back at the house. Um. I love this chick.

After the camel ride, Mecca and Shawn get cuddly in the sand. They toast to their first date. “Team Mecca. Team Shawn, one day being Team Us.” She stole that last part from EJ Johnson, but I ain’t mad at her. Neither is Shawn. They make out underneath the stars, and in the tent. Shawn says he’ll dream about her... “and maybe more than that.” Was that a masturbation joke?

Back at the house, Ness, 24, is looking forward to a date with Shawn because she’s never been in a relationship with a man. Ever. She’s more interested in her curvy housemate, Alexandria, than Shawn. I know why producers picked for her the show, but I desperately want know why she auditioned.

Later, the girls are sitting around hating trying to figure out why Shawn picked Mecca for the first date. (Um. Did you see her ass in that had-to-be-American Apparel one-piece at the construction site? Duh!) Dolly is still talking about Mecca’s sides. I'm unclear.  Shawn doesn’t have a problem, why does she?

Elsewhere in the house, two of the blondes, Jamie and Victoria, have become inseparable and dubbed themselves “The Blonde-tourage.” They seem to have bonded mostly over getting real f—ed up together. Dani is also white and blond, but notes she ain’t a part of whatever they’re on.

In the pool, drunk Victoria tries to start a fight with Jade, a model from New Jersey, who looks sweet an innocent. But Jade was The Wrong One and is probably from  Newark, cause she went from 0 to 100 real quick and shut Victoria all the way down. I ain’t even mad at her.

The “following morning”, Pastor J stops by the house to announce it’s time for another date with Shawn. He picks the two “virgins” — Mercedes and Nes. The logic is there’s no chance at sex anytime soon, so everyone can focus on each other.

Hold up. I need to know how we’re defining virgin. Does becoming celibate make you a virgin? If you’ve had sex with “plenty of women", but you don’t “know” penis in the Biblical sense, are you a virgin? I’m confused. To Mercedes credit, she says "born-again". Nes volunteers herself as one.

Some of the other women feel judged that "the virgins" are picked to date Shawn before them. “It’s like they threw the Scarlet letter on us, and let us walk around with it,” says Dani.

Mercedes and Nes both show up for a yacht date with Shawn wearing all white. (Really, producers? LOL.) Shawn is in all linen, the universal uniform of 21st century Black men on boats.

Nes is nervous to confess that she’s a (sort of) virgin, as is Mercedes. Shawn seems pleasantly surprised, and gives them high-fives. Whew! That could have gone either way. But this is still weird. The two virgins are on a date with one man, and they’re all cuddled up like it’s a threesome.

Eventually, Shawn asks for one-on-one time with each woman, and he starts with Mercedes. Mercedes gives him her best sell: “If I’mma ride or die for Jesus, you know that I’m going to be ride or die for the one I’m meant to be with.” We’ve seen what Shawn looks like when he’s really into a woman. This is what it looks like when he isn’t. He calls Mercedes “awesome” and says he “respects her immensely”. That’s code for Friend Zone.

Nes has had plenty of practice flirting with the ladies, and it translates to men, it seems. A flustered Shawn asks her, “Are your eyes real?” Our usually debonair bachelor is fumbling here. Then he hits her with, “I know I’m the guy that’s worthy of your soul.” That’s straight out of the (dated) Billy Dee/ Harold Melvin handbook. After his time with Nes, Shawn declares, “it was like a Ralph Lauren ad… very sexy.” He’s smitten.

Pastor J texts Shawn and tells him to ask one of the women on a private date. It’s Nes. Surprise, surprise. (That was sarcasm).

The private date is at the gargantuan mansion, in the hot tub, in front of the Roman statues, next to the Olympic size pool. This place is laid the f— out. But what’s more impressive is Shawn taking off his shirt. Yowza!!!!

“This is nothing I’m used to.” Nes says. “I’m used to a womanly body, that’s what turns me on.” Later she admits he is the first man she’s been physically attracted to ever. She was once emotionally attracted to a man in high school. Oh.

What’s certain is Shawn is attracted to her. She’s got a lil' body on her and Shawn is tongue tied again. “You got swag, man. You do,” he slurs. Then, because she’s a flight attendant, he tells her is always wanted to join the Mile-High club. Really, dude? When they kiss, Shawn practically inhales her.  “She has rocketed up to the top of the charts for me,” he says.

Shawn devours Nes in the jacuzzi.

Back at the house, we learn Nes doesn’t feel the same way. Shawn was cool and all, but in her confessional, Nes is all about Alexandria. They go out to the jacuzzi to cuddle and Nes tells her about her date with Shawn. I’m unclear what part of the game this is.

Elimination is just around the corner, so Pastor J meets with Shawn to see who he’s feeling. Pastor J is wearing one of Steve Harvey’s suits, pre-Marjoire. The pastor seems like a nice guy, but the pimp connotations of the suits are distracting me. I digress.

At the elimination, Nes decides that she is becoming sexually attracted to Shawn. I thought that was covered in physically attracted, but maybe not. Like I find Amber Rose physically attractive, but I don’t want to do her. I just like looking at her. So maybe that’s the distinction.

Sorry, let me focus. It’s the second elimination and three women are going home. Pastor J gives immunity to “Dani”,  the blonde with all the tats who isn’t always drunk.

Shawn begins sending out his “yay” or “nay” texts. Mecca isn’t the first (or fifth) to receive a “yay” and starts to freak out. She had nothing to worry about, especially not after that "I’m not looking or a man, I’m looking for a champion” line. That was some epic ish. Some anorexic white chick makes fun of Mecca’s weight, suggesting she needs to do sit ups. Again, I ask, but Ma’am, but have you seen her ass tho’?

Brittany, a pretty girl, who has left no impression whatsoever is sent home. Mercedes is saying goodbye as well. She leaves the house wearing a freak’um, stripper heels and clutching a gigantic Bible. (She tweeted me later to say, "We were told to dress this way, not to say that I'm conservative; but I didn't know Christians were tied to the turtle-neck and the long ankle-length skirts uniform. You wanted me to have on my church stockings too huh, with the little #run in em? I'm sorry I thought this was 2015.")

Tanyka aka the chick who looks like Kelly Rowland, but not, and the Blonde-Courage gets called to the pool “to talk.” Everyone wants the drunk blondes to go. They get their wish.

Tanyka is going back to the house. Shawn says he just wanted to give her a head’s up that they haven’t spent anytime together. She deduces that he only called her to the pool to look at her ass, and by the way he stares as she walks off in her heels, I think she’s right.

Shawn is as baffled as to why producers brought on Jamie as the audience is. And I don’t know what antics of hers that were edited out, but our well-mannered bachelor releases the Philly on Jamie. “I do not want you,” he says. Damn, homie, you could have just texted her “We’re not a match”. He tries to explain to Victoria, “it’s not my fault that I don’t want [Jamie].” Now, I really want to know what scene(s) was cut.

Victoria says she doesn’t want to stay if Jamie goes. She gives Shawn a sneak-kiss goodbye, which he promptly wipes off with his handkerchief as the on-looking women cheer. Shawn admits he was fooled by Victoria until now.  “I was attracted to her and she’s crazy,” he says.


What did you think of Episode 2 of "Match Made in Heaven?"


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Watch Now: WE Tv's "Match Made in Heaven"

"America's First Black Bachelor", Shawn Bullard. I swore up and down I wasn’t taking on any new TV shows this season. Between “Empire”, “Being Mary Jane”, “Scandal” and the return of “Walking Dead” threatening to take over my winter, there was just no room to tap into pop culture and still be productive. But I’m making one more exception this season for WE Tv’s "Match Made in Heaven” (Wednesdays, 8PM, WE Tv), which features “America’s first Black bachelor” (no Flavor Flav and Ray J don’t count.)

I was intrigued after seeing the commercials for the show. I’m a former romance book editor (I started my career editing books for Arabesque and Harlequin) and I love all the romance, wining and dining, and the search to find “The One”. But, I was still skeptical, given the “black bachelor” TV- history of "Flavor of Love" and "For the Love of Ray J”. I wanted to see more connection — as much as you can have filming a show— and less coonery.

Last week, I reached out to “Match Made in Heaven’s” bachelor, Shawn Bullard, to get the scoop, and really, to figure out if the show was worth my time. By the end of the interview, I was sold enough to check out the first episode.

"Black men are not portrayed the best on reality TV,” Bullard admitted. "We’re always yelling and calling women the b-name. I wanted to show another side to us. I wanted to be the professional gentleman, an educated, articulate black man, one who would let the world know that we know how to treat our women, how to court them, how to make them smile, how to talk to them.”

“Match Made in Heaven” follows the standard premise of all the “looking for love” shows. One man, in this case a 34 year old very attractive (and chiseled) millionaire, looking for love amongst a gaggle of ladies who have varying degrees of act-right.

Bullard’s search for love is assisted by Pastor Ken Johnson aka Pastor J, who has been married for 32 years and acts as a “den father” to the women. (There are pimp-ish connotations here because of Pastor J’s choice of suits and overall demeanor, but he’s not skeevy, save for the occasional Nelly quote.) For Bullard, Pastor J functions as an advisor of sorts, one who will point out a woman than Bullard may be overlooking, arrange a date, or save a lady from elimination.

In the first episode, Pastor J warns “Match Made in Heaven" may "get loud and sometimes it’s going to get nasty and ugly.” In our interview, Bullard ranked  the show as just a 2 on the ratchet meter, just enough to keep the audience entertained, but nothing to disgrace The Community.

There’s just a bit of that in the first episode. The group of ladies are mostly in their early 20s, with a few in their early 30s for good measure. The standard outrageous “types” for this sort of show are present. Among the 24, there’s a weedhead, a born-again virgin, a woman who’s “not here to make friends” , a woman I’m pretty sure is an exotic dancer, another woman who I can’t decide is a lesbian or bisexual, and finally an overwhelming assortment of blond white girls (they provide most of the drama), which Bullard doesn’t seem all that interested in so far (confession: I’ve already seen the next couple episodes.) There are also several women— more than normal for a show like this— who appear entirely sane. This is a good thing.

The only thing missing from the debut is Bullard’s mama, Maggie Bullard, who appears in the commercials. I got two words: fired up. And I’m done. I got to more: turn up. And I’m done. Mama Bullard, what I expect “Cookie” from Empire will eventually become, doesn’t show up until Episode 3, and she is worth the wait.

Check out the first episode and tell me what you think.


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