Lil’ Kim’s “Girl Cruise” is a reality show that seems different

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Audiences who are old enough to remember the first reality show on Music Television – – “The Real World” might recall the excitement, or dread, that greeted the idea of watching allegedly unscripted television programming. Almost 30 years later, rapper Lil’ Kim, presents “Girls Cruise” on VH-1. The show seems to be about building relationships with other women. So far, there are no petty or angry outbursts. The promos however, do indicate that this is no chastity cruise, and for at least one participant, the presence of attractive, gyrating men will prove to be a serious source of temptation.

“Girls Cruise” and audience expectations

At this point in the history of reality shows, audiences might be jaded. After all, there are franchises of shows in which people attempt to “beat out” others to find love, or get married to foreign people after 90 days. Still others potentially exploit people based on their weight or height, or whether or not their family members were in organized crime. And those are just a handful. Audiences should not forget the half-dozen or so shows about the housewives of a given city. If American audiences are jaded about or just sick of reality shows, no one can blame them (us), really.

But, “Girls Cruise” gives audiences hope, sort of. If viewers can get over the sometimes overly soft lighting that seems to smudge out features when participants give their out-of-scene perspectives, then there is something to be hopeful about when it comes to the new show.

Lil’ Kim is a rapper, who, in addition to her own records, was famously a part of the quartet that brought the world “Lady Marmalade” from the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack. In fact, one of her fellow performers from that song, Mya, is also on “Girls Cruise.” For people who have not seen Mya in a while, it was a pleasant surprise to see her cavorting on the ship.

The show’s premise seems both simple and not quite clear. Lil’ Kim wants to show her friends a good time. The ship is outfitted like a multi-million dollar home. Their comfort on the cruise is not going to be an issue. But the rapper has also planned excursions and activities that are designed to get the ladies out of their comfort zones, teach them how to build trust, gain confidence and live their truth.

So far, the scariest thing to happen has been a two-story slide from the ship’s upper deck to the water. Before going down, participants are to declare something about themselves. Lil’ Kim is a scene stealer of the best kind as she comes overdressed, but fabulously so, for every event. As she swam off at the end of the slide, her black train of several feet, trailed behind her. For hydro jetpacking, she wore designer boots – – yes, on the beach and into the water, and yes, held up with the assistance of two male chaperones.

Unlike some shows, even the promos for upcoming episodes do not tease viewers with scenes of fights and arguments. But participants who get emotional about their truths are comforted by other women. And, Chili, yes of TLC fame, is abstinent, and will find it difficult to be surrounded by dancing, ripped men during an excursion. Those men are the crew. They are introduced in episode one, and it seems likely their roles will get bigger as the show continues.

The women participating in “Girls Cruise” in addition to Lil’ Kim, Mya and Chili, include “Wild N’ Out” cast members Pretty Vee and B. Simone. In addition, Tiffany Panhilason and Char Defrancesco are also on the yacht.

So far, “Girls Cruise” seems to be the something different that it appears to be. Whether it can compete with other shows in this genre remains to be seen.

“Girls Cruise” airs on Mondays on VH-1 at 9 p.m.

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