There's a scene near the beginning of the first episode of "Tamar & Vince" (10 tonight, moving to 9 pm Sept. 27, WE tv) that gave me a sense of hope.
It's when the couple hosts a dinner that includes celebrity friends like Duane and Tisha Campbell-Martin and Mary J. Blige and her husband Kendu Issacs. Vince and Tamar talk about the beginnings of their relationship and then Vince asks for advice on making their relationship last. (Mary J. gets to preaching!)
Thank goodness because the rest of the episode is spent in the usual manner: Tamar signifying and talking about herself in the third person, Vince not paying her much attention, walking away exasperated, and them bickering. While the rest of the show makes you think, why are these two together? that early scene reminds you that theirs is a young marriage, just 3 years old. Maybe they can figure it out.
But it's exhausting watching them do it. If you're not familiar -- and I can't imagine why you'd be watching this show unless you were familiar -- Tamar is the youngest of the Braxton sisters, the mouthy, slogan-spewing self-conscious diva who doesn't understand why she isn't a major star. Vincent is Vincent Herbert, a successful music man responsible for Lady Gaga, who seems to want to help his wife become a star but also seems to want to retrain her which only serves to drive them both crazy.
For some reason, Tamar has become the breakout star of her family reality show "Braxton Family Values," another sign that bad behavior is often rewarded. This new show focuses on the couple and their relationship.
Let me say this: I do think Tamar and Vince love one another. They just have no idea how to communicate respectfully, give one another what they need, or just take one for the team. Hence the constant bickering. Really, Vince talks more lovingly about his dog Miracle than his wife. Bickering does not entertain me.
The show does open things up a bit by including the couple's best friends LaShawn & April who often bear witness to the fights, and since they've been married longer, often serve as voices of reasons, translating for Vince and Tamar what each meant to say to each other if what they said didn't have that layer of complete disrespect on top of it.
There's a part of me that thinks Tamar puts on for the camera. Can she really be this over the top all the time? And indeed, there's a scene in the show in which they are described as a sweet couple that's great to work with. But maybe that just means Tamar knows better than to behave badly in public. (Her mama is pretty tough, so I'm sure she has some home training.)
So let's say this reality is reality. Maybe that makes "Tamar & Vince" an upclose look at what it's like to learn to be married when you're married. Maybe in the end, they'll figure it out. In the meanwhile, good thing they live in a 12,000-square-foot mansion.