saltandpeppicsm.jpgWhen female rap pioneers Salt-n-Pepa disbanded in 2002 it seemed like the typical band breakup: Cheryl “Salt” James couldn’t take the harsh glare of fame and the exhausting lifestyle that came with it, while Sandy “Pepa” Denton was ready to keep on rapping and felt betrayed by her partner’s sudden abandonment.

Now VH-1 is trying to bring the two stars back together and is, of course, taping it for the whole world to see, with delightful results on “The Salt-n-Pepa Show.”
Upon leaving the group, Salt turned to God to help cleanse the demons of her performance days, including a struggle with a stress-induced eating disorder. Meanwhile, Pepa continued to search for the spotlight, appearing on The Surreal Life and The Surreal Life: Fame Games.
Pepa still harbors a great amount of bitterness toward Salt, but clearly craves the glory days of winning the Grammy for Best Rap Album. Salt is extremely hesitant and tests Pepa by asking her to perfrom with her at the megachurch she attends, noting that she doesn’t want to perform any of the sexually suggestive lyrics of their smash hits, like “Let’s Talk About Sex” or “Push It,” and doesn’t want to dance suggestively anymore. Watching Pepa try to pick out a modest outfit for the performance was one of the higlights of this television season; apparently she has not met a low-cut or see-through shirt she didn’t like.

The girls take the stage to great applause, do their smash hit “Whatta Man,” inserting The Lord’s name whenever applicable, to a standing ovation. When Pepa, breaks out a salacious move, Salt plays along to massive applause. After the perfomance, Salt, apologizes to Pepa for leaving so abruptly and wounds begin to heal. What a fine, fine example of being a good Christian–brought to you by VH1, nonetheless! Who would have thunk?
This week’s episode followed Pepa as she went through a matchmaking process. A professional matchmaker and Salt sift through a number of candidates to date Pepa. Salt is, of course, concerned how they feel about premarital sex and in the end doesn’t feel that any of the suitors are good enough for her friend. So, she hooks Pepa up with the youth pastor from her church.
When the pastor reveals at dinner that he doesn’t believe in premarital sex, there is a strained silence and an odd look on Pepa’s face until Salt says, “You don’t have to go home, but ya can’t stay here!” It looks to have been somewhat of a successful evening when Pepa takes the youth pastor’s phone number, but we’ll have to wait for future episodes to find out.

This show is like a modern day “Odd Couple” in a way. On one hand you have Cheryl (“Salt”), a devoted Christian mother who lives with her husband and children in a large, lovely suburban home and discusses her problems with her Bible study group. On the other hand, you have Sandy (“Pepa”), a divorced mother who enjoys dressing somewhat provocatively and gets advice from her “Sex in the City”-like group of friends. They play off of each other like old comedy pros. Although in next week’s episode, Pepa moves in with Salt, which promises some dramatic tension.
And while Salt clearly wishes that Pepa would also find God, Pepa is good natured about it and Salt clearly finds Pepa’s sassy attitude and dress a guilty pleasure.
So go ahead and watch this reality show; there’s no guilt, just pure pleasure.
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