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?

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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