October 3, 2023
It’s not all roses behind the scenes of your favorite shows! Ashley is joined by Matt Bellassai & Sydney Battle, the hosts of the “Diss And Tell” podcast, to pit TV’s most famous feuding stars against each other, and ask which was the most iconic fight. They also talk about Doja Cat’s antagonistic relationship with her fans, a breaking update in 2Pac’s murder, and all the latest on the 90 Day Universe, Below Deck Down Under and true crime docs.
What We Watched:
The Great British Bake Off
How To Get Away With Murder
Below Deck Down Under
90 Day UK
90 Day: Before The 90 Days
Murder, She Wrote
Where Is Baby Gabriel?
Love Is Blind
I Am A Killer
I Survived A Serial Killer
Below Deck Mediterranean
Donate to Hollywood crew members in need at The Entertainment Community Fund.
If you have 2 minutes, please help TV I Say grow by filling out this survey: podsurvey.com/tvisay
S2E63 — Feuds Vs. Feuds w/ Matt Bellassai & Sydney Battle
TVISAY-S2-063-Sydney and Matt-20230929-AAv3-DYN.wav
Matt Bellassai [00:00:03] It’s so deranged. Like, the very concept is not even that they’re going in it blind, but that they have to get engaged and married at the end of it? Anybody who signs up for that is messy. And it’s going to be messy no matter what. And I love that.
Ashley Ray [00:00:28] Oh, I love it, too. I love it, too. Welcome to TV, I Say with Ashley Ray, your go-to podcast for discovering what to watch on TV and getting behind the scenes insight from the people who make the shows you love. You just heard a little tease of my chat with Sydney Battle and Matt Bellassai. This is such a fun episode. We get into some real good true crime docs. Yeah, Cold Justice. We get real into Cold Justice. Savior Complex, which just came out on HBO about that missionary who went to Uganda and kind of killed a lot of kids. Well, we talk about that, too. Is it worth watching? I’m going to let you know. This is a great conversation. I mean, there’s just so much TV to talk about. And you know we got to get into Love is Blind because it’s back with the most boring season ever. So, let’s get into it. Sydney Battle and Matt Bellassai, thank you so much for coming to TV Club. Welcome to TV Club. I am very excited to have you both here. Before we dive in, I do want to say you have a new podcast, you have a new Wondery podcast called Diss And Tell that you’re here to talk about. You dive deep into pop culture’s most iconic celebrity feuds–something that to me should be taught in schools. This should be AP U.S. History. You go into what happened. Who took the first shot? New episodes come out every week, so obviously I had to have you on the podcast. You are pop culture experts. You know the details–who’s bringing the heat. And obviously a lot of that is happening on our televisions. So how are you both doing emotionally, physically, and in life?
Sydney Battle [00:02:09] It’s a thrill to be employed. Yeah, just a simple thrill. I get a high off of it honestly.
Matt Bellassai [00:02:17] We’ve been trying to get more podcasts to feud with us, so it’s always great to be on other shows so we can pick a fight and then eventually be an episode on our own show.
Ashley Ray [00:02:29] I mean, eventually, by the end of this interview, we’re going to have a feud. We’re going to fight something.
Matt Bellassai [00:02:35] That’s the goal.
Sydney Battle [00:02:36] I did not know that that was the plan, but now…
Matt Bellassai [00:02:39] I did just make that.
Sydney Battle [00:02:41] Now a lot of Matt’s behavior makes sense. So, I am so happy to finally have a reason for it because I was starting to get concerned. And now that I know…
Ashley Ray [00:02:52] Now you’re on the same page. The antagonism and the controversy–we’re going to get into all of it. I want to know, you know, what made you want to talk about celebrity feuds on a podcast? What are the kind of iconic feuds that made you love this topic?
Matt Bellassai [00:03:07] I am someone who is on the internet, like, all day. That’s all I do. And that’s where a lot of celebrity feuds play out now. I remember when we first started talking about the show, the one feud that I was like, “I want to talk about this,” is Katy Perry versus the nuns that she accidentally, like, killed or purposely killed.
Ashley Ray [00:03:28] Yes.
Matt Bellassai [00:03:29] And they were like, “Wow, we’ve never heard of that one before.”
Ashley Ray [00:03:32] Oh, yeah. Katy Perry versus old people who want to keep homes.
Matt Bellassai [00:03:36] She just took out another one.
Ashley Ray [00:03:39] She’s taking out another. Yeah. And they’re like, “He’s not going to survive this. Katy Perry, please stop.” And she’s like, “I want 2.3 million.” I kind of love it for her.
Matt Bellassai [00:03:47] I just love mess obviously.
Ashley Ray [00:03:50] I love Internet feuds. Personally, I love, like, the micro celebrity internet feuds.
Sydney Battle [00:03:56] I know you do because you always be in something, girl. Sometimes I literally watch people pick a fight with you, and I go, “Why would they do that? Literally, why would they do that? They know that she is not afraid to clapback. I don’t know why you do this.”
Ashley Ray [00:04:16] Here’s the thing. I have a lot of it because I don’t actually know who anyone on the internet is. Everyone’s like, “You should know this person because they’re famous for being on the internet.” And I’m like, “That means nothing to me.” And then they’ll be like, “Don’t you know you just made Gaga Goo Goo Reddit angry?” And I’m like, “Who are they?” And they’re like, “Oh, they’re the fans of the babies of the Red Pill.” And I’m like, “What? What are these words? I’m a Christian-loving, Jesus… Like, I follow the Bible and those words aren’t in it.” But, like, I used to get really into weird Facebook. And I got into my own feuds because I made a list of my favorite, like, weird Facebook, niche, internet feuds. And someone leaked it; they took it out of my private post. And they were like, “Look, she’s making fun…” And then people were like, “Wow, I can’t believe that you’re saying that the drama between Josh someone and Jai–a person who has 1,000 followers on Facebook–is real drama.” So, I get into it. That’s the kind I love, when people are like, “Oh my gosh, did you hear this girl catfished everybody in a weird internet Facebook group and then stole their artwork?” And I’m just like, “This is the best story I’ve ever heard.”
Matt Bellassai [00:05:33] That’s also a valid controversy.
Ashley Ray [00:05:37] Exactly.
Sydney Battle [00:05:37] Yeah, it might be small, but the stakes are real. Whereas often the internet drama you get in is, like, so… It’s not even tethered in reality. It is just something so nonsensical. And I always watch it unfold, and I’m like, “Why would you poke the bear?” Literally that is my thought.
Ashley Ray [00:06:00] And this summer, when I’ve been on strike, I’ve had a strike summer to sit in my house on Twitter all day.
Sydney Battle [00:06:05] She’s got time on her hands.
Ashley Ray [00:06:07] But not anymore.
Matt Bellassai [00:06:08] Best ingredient for a feud is time on your hands.
Ashley Ray [00:06:12] Thank goodness for the WGA team because…
Sydney Battle [00:06:17] Get us back to work. It’s so funny. I was approached to do this podcast by our now producer. And she was like, “Wouldn’t you be perfect for this?” And I was like, “I don’t know why you would say that to me because in my mind, I don’t know anything.” And then she had to point out to me that I’m the person in almost every social situation that’s like, “Oh, well, did you hear about this? Did you hear about what was going on with this?”
Ashley Ray [00:06:45] See? You’re the observer. Like, okay, recently people have been like, “Oh, people hate on Doja Cat because her fans are parasocial and say she needs a new sound.”
Sydney Battle [00:06:52] That is not what’s happening.
Ashley Ray [00:06:55] But then you’re the person who is like, “That is not what happened.”
Sydney Battle [00:06:57] I’ll never forget having to explain to my ex-boyfriend what “she in racial chat rooms showing feet” meant. He literally did not know about it at all.
Ashley Ray [00:07:09] It’s wild.
Matt Bellassai [00:07:10] I didn’t even know this.
Ashley Ray [00:07:12] Oh my goodness. “She was in racial chatroom showing feet!”
Matt Bellassai [00:07:16] I get it. I get it. Yeah. You don’t have to explain it.
Ashley Ray [00:07:20] But she started dating this, like, white guy–
Sydney Battle [00:07:22] Predator.
Ashley Ray [00:07:24] A predator who’s, like, famous for being on–I don’t know–Discord or something. And everyone was like, “He used to talk to teenagers, and you shouldn’t like him.” And she just started blocking all the fans who said anything. And then she waited two weeks, and her team was like, “Actually, her fans are mad because she has a new, deep, interesting sound, which you can hear on her new album out in two weeks.”
Matt Bellassai [00:07:43] That’s exactly why.
Sydney Battle [00:07:45] It doesn’t sound that different.
Ashley Ray [00:07:46] It doesn’t. It’s the same sound.
Sydney Battle [00:07:49] And, like, I’m a fan of Doja. And I understand that when you come into the business, you have to make the music that they want you to make. But she’s acting like she’s completely reinvented herself. I’m like, “Girl, you did what all of us, like, weird girls want to do, which is cover ourselves and blood and be a little weird.”
Ashley Ray [00:08:10] It’s still the girl who made Mooo! It’s still the same sound. It’s still like, “Okay, yeah. I love it. Love it. But don’t try to trick me, Doja, because I pay attention to the drama.”
Sydney Battle [00:08:19] No, exactly. And Matt, they’re saying stuff like, “Girl, your man is a groomer. He’s a groomer. He’s a predator. He’s bad.” And she’s like, “My fans don’t fucking know me. They don’t like me.” And it’s like, “That is not what’s going on.”
Matt Bellassai [00:08:36] She also is, like, a perennial online person, so she knows.
Ashley Ray [00:08:42] She sees everything. You gotta do like me. Just ignore it.
Sydney Battle [00:08:47] Ashley, do you ignore it?
Ashley Ray [00:08:49] Yeah. That’s actually the problem is people are like, “Did you not pay attention to…?” And I’m like, “Oh no, I never actually read all the replies to that. Why would I do that? That’s insane.”
Matt Bellassai [00:08:57] So sorry, I have to go grab something out of the oven. I’ll be right about.
Ashley Ray [00:09:03] What are you making?
Sydney Battle [00:09:04] Macaroons.
Matt Bellassai [00:09:05] Macaron.
Sydney Battle [00:09:06] Macarons.
Ashley Ray [00:09:07] Okay, fancy.
Sydney Battle [00:09:08] I will say, I think a lot of people don’t believe you when you say that you don’t remember or that you’re not reading the replies. I’m like, “First of all, Ashley does not give me the vibe of someone who’s, like, combing through replies. Second of all, she is high so much of the time. You think this woman remembers everything?” It’s stream of consciousness. Literally you just, like, open it and talk. And I’m like, “This is clearly someone who’s not, like, doing meticulous research on the timeline.”
Ashley Ray [00:09:38] And then people will be like, “Don’t you know this is someone who was a mutual follower of you for four years?” And I’m like, “Oh, my God. They followed me? Oh, I thought that was a girl I knew in high school. They have the same name, and I just never clicked. I just assumed.” And then people are like, “You should pay attention.” I’m like, “Oh, but who cares? It’s Twitter.”
Sydney Battle [00:09:59] Why would I have to pay attention?
Ashley Ray [00:10:01] I never get the chance to do this on this podcast, and I want to do this. I don’t even think you know this. Breaking news. Breaking news. Las Vegas police arrested someone in connection to the murder of Tupac Shakur.
Sydney Battle [00:10:19] They finally did it?
Ashley Ray [00:10:20] They finally did it, everybody! They have arrested a suspect.
Matt Bellassai [00:10:25] I saw on Twitter. Yeah.
Sydney Battle [00:10:27] I heard about this a few weeks ago where they, like, went to his house and they were finding, like, documents that help the case. And I was like, “That means that this person has not cleaned out any of their stuff for 20+ years.” This person has just, like, left literal receipts stacked up inside the house.
Matt Bellassai [00:10:46] You got to hang on to the souvenirs.
Sydney Battle [00:10:50] Oh, yeah, Matt. Yeah, that makes sense. Like a true killer. How are the cookies?
Ashley Ray [00:10:55] Yeah, how are they?
Matt Bellassai [00:10:56] They were good. I was getting anxious because they were in there for a while, but… I don’t want to skip ahead, but I watched… The Great British Bake Off is back, and I watched that this morning. And then I got inspired. I got spurred into action.
Ashley Ray [00:11:11] That’s one of the first questions on the podcast. What have you been watching? You were so inspired by Great British Bake Off you baked.
Matt Bellassai [00:11:18] I had to bake something immediately. Yeah. And then I mistimed it so that it would only come out of the oven once we hit record.
Ashley Ray [00:11:26] I love that you did that. I’ve never been so inspired by a show that I immediately do what it’s telling me.
Matt Bellassai [00:11:33] That’s probably for the best because most shows do not lend themselves to that. It’s not like I watch How to Get Away with Murder and then go commit crimes.
Ashley Ray [00:11:42] I feel like that show would not help you get away with it. I feel like everyone on the show really got caught for what they did.
Sydney Battle [00:11:49] And they had a really good lawyer working with them.
Ashley Ray [00:11:53] Yeah. And a cop on their side. And they still weren’t doing a great job over there.
Sydney Battle [00:11:56] No. We can say it.
Matt Bellassai [00:11:58] “Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” One of the greatest lines Shonda has ever written.
Ashley Ray [00:12:05] And said by an EGOT winner at that. It’s an EGOT-worthy line.
Sydney Battle [00:12:10] Has she gotten there yet? Has she gotten her Grammy yet?
Ashley Ray [00:12:12] Oh yeah. She got her Grammy. She did voice work on some book or something.
Sydney Battle [00:12:16] Oh, right. I remember being…
Ashley Ray [00:12:18] It might have been Michelle Obama. I don’t know.
Sydney Battle [00:12:20] Still. Go Viola.
Ashley Ray [00:12:39] Sydney, what are you watching?
Sydney Battle [00:12:41] I made a little list. Let me go down it. I just finished below Deck Down Under, which is the only Below Deck I’ve ever really watched. I just made it through both seasons of 90 Day UK.
Ashley Ray [00:12:55] Oh, yes, yes, yes. Incredible. Incredible. Did you watch the Tell All?
Sydney Battle [00:13:01] I did. Shane and Mert continue to be the best couple.
Ashley Ray [00:13:05] And everyone is jealous. And that’s why they came for them. They know they’re truly in love. And everyone is jealous.
Sydney Battle [00:13:13] And Shane has that thing where Shane has been through so much in her life that she is unafraid to call you out. She doesn’t want your fake friendship. She doesn’t want anything to do with you because she’s tired of having people in her life who are fake and not accepting her for all that she is. And I’m like, “I love that about you, girl. Did you go off and it seemed unprompted? Yes, but I knew it was prompted.” I’m also caught up on 90 Day: Before the 90 Days. It’s the only one I can really watch because all of the iterations other than that one make me too sad. Like, if it’s just 90 Day, they’re a little too locked in.
Ashley Ray [00:13:48] Yeah, because they have the visa. They’re here. They’re not going to be convinced to stay home. Before the 90 days, there’s still, like, hope. Like, you either know, “Okay, this couple really loves each other, like David and Shelley. Or they need to stay away from each other.” I do want to say that I recently met Gino and Jasmine.
Sydney Battle [00:14:09] Okay. Is your theory that they are playing it up for the show? Or is it that he has a humiliation kink? Are they really in love?
Ashley Ray [00:14:17] Look, you see them together in person, and you go, “Oh, it makes sense.” The energy between them is so horny for each other. I was shocked. I stood there, I watched, and I just went, “Oh, my God. I get it.”
Sydney Battle [00:14:35] Oh, my God.
Matt Bellassai [00:14:36] Is he the one that looks like a meatball?
Sydney Battle [00:14:38] He’s the one that doesn’t take his hat off because he has a little patch of hair at the back of his head.
Ashley Ray [00:14:43] So he wears a hat all the time. That night he was wearing a hat–a fedora. And then I was like, “Can I get a picture with the two of you?” And they were like, “You have to take them with us separately,” because they don’t want people to know if they’re together or not. So, they, like, made me take separate pictures.
Sydney Battle [00:14:58] Oh, my God.
Ashley Ray [00:14:58] But literally, he was just, like, obsessed with her. She’s like, “I’m going to make him move. I’m gonna make him do this.” And he’s just like, “I can’t wait to do everything she tells me.”
Sydney Battle [00:15:07] They’re ride or die. They’re ride or die. As much as we hate–as much as we know too much about them–I think literally her peeing on him shifted their relationship. We never needed to know about it. Like, I wish we didn’t.
Ashley Ray [00:15:22] I didn’t need to know that.
Sydney Battle [00:15:25] No. But moving off of them, I recently binged one of my favorite guilty pleasures shows. I don’t even tell people about it because it’s my own little thing, you know?
Ashley Ray [00:15:35] Share. Share with TV Club. Yeah.
Sydney Battle [00:15:37] It’s called Cold Justice. Have you ever heard of this?
Ashley Ray [00:15:40] Oh, I think so. Is it on, like, Investigation Discovery or something?
Sydney Battle [00:15:44] They have removed it from almost every platform. I had to stream it illegally. The premise is that it’s two ladies who don’t take no shit. One of them is from Texas, and she used to be a prosecutor. And as scary as that is in our current society, she is actually one of those good ladies who’s like, “I don’t care where you come from. I don’t care about your background. What I care is that you lost someone who was precious to you, and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we catch the person who took your beloved family member away from you.” And then the other lady is an expert crime scene investigator. And so, they go to these small towns–specifically small towns–where the police departments are just ill equipped and have bungled investigations and stuff like that. And they go in, they redo the entire cold case, they go around, they interview people–sometimes 30 years after the crime–and they’re collecting evidence. They’re collecting basically a circumstantial case. And then by the end of the episode, they lay out the entire circumstantial case to you, and they tell the investigators who are in that small police department, “You take it to your DA, this is what you tell them, and we can finally get justice for this family.” And so, the best result is that it goes to a grand jury and the person gets arrested for the murder decades after it happened. Or sometimes–even though you know by the end of the episode who did it–it can be sometimes the most violent crime you’ve ever heard of. They still can’t arrest the person because they just don’t have enough. And then it becomes this really intense heart to heart where the prosecutor, named Kelly, will go to the family. And she’s usually holding on to a mother’s hands or something. And she’ll go, “You gotta let it go. You gotta move on with your life because you’re never going to see justice for this. But know that she knows you love her.” Like, stuff like that. It’s just…
Ashley Ray [00:17:36] You’re pulling me in right now.
Matt Bellassai [00:17:39] Is this a true crime show?
Sydney Battle [00:17:41] Yes. But the thing is, I don’t think it’s gross or exploitative in the way that a lot of shows tend to be. This is them going to people who really need help–who write them letters. People write them letters, being like, “Please come and solve this case. My sister went missing 20 years ago. She would have never left her kids.” Sometimes the kids write in, and they’re like, “I know my dad did it. We could never prove it, but I know my dad did something to my mom.”
Ashley Ray [00:18:07] I’m going to watch this for the rest of the day now. I’ve been on such a, like, true crime kick. I’ve been watching Savior Complex on Max.
Sydney Battle [00:18:16] I can’t do it.
Ashley Ray [00:18:17] Yeah. Yeah. You’re better than me.
Matt Bellassai [00:18:19] What is Savior Complex?
Ashley Ray [00:18:20] So you may remember this story from 2015 to 2017. There was this woman from Richmond, Virginia, who was super Christian.
Sydney Battle [00:18:29] My home state? Of course she is.
Ashley Ray [00:18:34] She was from Richmond, Virginia. She’s a high school dropout who is, like, in a super evangelical ministry–decided to go on a mission to Uganda. And then when she was there, she was like, “You know what? This is where I’m supposed to be. God spoke to me and said, ‘You need to move to Uganda and open a clinic. You need to help the kids here.” She originally started as just this woman who, like, would get lots of food donations and hand it out to people in the neighborhood. Like, “Okay, she had this little house. And she would get all this food–hand it out to people. Lovely. Wonderful.” But eventually people started bringing sicker and sicker kids there who, like, had malnutrition. And instead of being like, “Maybe I should work with a local hospital or a local group that’s already here that works with malnutrition, I should just open my own DIY malnutrition clinic in this house.” There were, like, three different hospitals there that all had programs. It’s a thing you need to be qualified for. She did not have any qualifications. She just opened the clinic herself and hired one nurse who taught her how to put IVs in. And she would literally be like, “God tells me how to treat the children. I would take them to the hospital, and the doctor would just give them antibiotics. I was like, ‘I could do that.’” The doctor would just do a blood transfusion. I was like, “I can do that.” So, she truly opened her own intensive care unit in this house–painted the walls red–it’s wild. She ran it for a few years–treated 900 something kids. And 105 died, but some people think it’s way more. And she was arrested. Eventually they shut the clinic down. But Uganda was like, “You can go back to America and never come back here. Never come back to Uganda.”
Sydney Battle [00:20:18] “Kill a hundred kids and just go.”
Ashley Ray [00:20:20] Yeah. She adopted two children while she was there when she was 20 years old. She was just like, “I feel like God called me to be a mother.” And then she brought those children to America. And now they can never go back to Uganda. So, they were just here forever. And she’s like, “They’re punishing them.” But then Max decided to do a documentary from her perspective called Savior Complex. And it’s three parts. It also interviews the people who, like, were, you know, instrumental in calling her out and bringing her to justice and who, you know, kept going to the police and being like, “Hey, this woman is running a hospital and she’s not a doctor. She doesn’t know what she’s doing.” And basically, the Ugandan police were like, “Ooh, if we do anything, we’re afraid we’re going to, like, scare white people and Americans and they won’t come here and help us. So, we’re just going to let her do her thing.” And then finally someone was like, “She’s doing blood transfusions by herself.” And they were like, “Okay, okay, fine. I guess that’s a problem.”
Sydney Battle [00:21:18] It’s just like, it makes me ill. I can’t Yeah, I can’t even think about it too long.
Ashley Ray [00:21:25] The whole first episode is her perspective, and it’s her being like, “I’m here to defend myself. People say I did this and this and that I’m so horrible. And you know, there’s a rumor that I killed, like, 800 children. It was 105 children.” And it’s like… The people defending her are like, “Well, you know, let he who is without sin throw the first stone at her.” And I’m like, “Oh, I think I could.”
Sydney Battle [00:21:51] Yeah. I haven’t killed a kid.
Ashley Ray [00:21:55] If we’re going sin for sin, I could definitely throw a rock. Like, come on, she killed a kid–multiple kids!
Sydney Battle [00:22:02] The worst thing I’ve done in comparison that’s in, like, the same vein of that is one time I was on a plane, and I had been watching so much Grey’s Anatomy that when they asked for a doctor, I literally started to raise my hand. And that is the most unhinged moment of my life. And that’s my greatest sin.
Matt Bellassai [00:22:21] And that person ended up dying of natural causes.
Ashley Ray [00:22:23] Of natural causes, okay?
Sydney Battle [00:22:25] I still think I could have helped a little bit.
Ashley Ray [00:22:28] They actually went over there. I do believe she just watched a bunch of Grey’s Anatomy and was like, “You know what? I got this.”
Matt Bellassai [00:22:34] “I can do a blood transfer.”
Ashley Ray [00:22:36] She’s like, “You can buy an oxygen machine off of Amazon if you really want to.” And that’s basically what she did. She liked people giving her all the money. And there were all these other clinics that were like, “Well, we’re struggling now, and people aren’t giving us money because they all believe in the American, white girl.”
Sydney Battle [00:22:52] “Yeah. And we’re actual doctors.”
Ashley Ray [00:22:54] And they’re actual doctors. And then eventually she was forced to hire a real doctor. And he was like, “I would tell her, ‘Hey, this kid needs this, this, and this.’ And she would call some American doctor and go, ‘I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. I spoke to the Lord and this person in America, and we’re going to do this.’”
Sydney Battle [00:23:09] Racist as hell.
Ashley Ray [00:23:11] Yeah. And eventually, slowly it’s starting to show the other side. But every time someone tries to defend her, it’s the most frustrating thing to watch. So, I need to get to the end. I am in the middle of it. I’m hoping by the end it’s everyone being like, “This evil woman.” I need people to truly call her out.
Sydney Battle [00:23:30] You’re stronger than me.
Matt Bellassai [00:23:31] From the name of the series, it sounds like hopefully she gets her comeuppance.
Ashley Ray [00:23:38] It’s weird because they also interview some people who run organizations that are trying to stop white saviors and, you know, who are trying to get people to really support local efforts. And they kind of make fun of them. Like, they don’t really show them in a good light. They’re just like, “Aren’t they kind of overreacting when at the end of the day, she did help some kids? Like, look at these healthy kids.” But you see people being like, “No, she was playing with people’s lives. She truly believed God was talking to her and just decided to be like, ‘Hey, I know what’s up. Give that kid malaria medicine.’”
Sydney Battle [00:24:12] What year is it? What year is it? This is, like, colonialism to the extreme–going into places–fucking everything up.
Ashley Ray [00:24:21] She’s like, “Well, some of the kids were close to death anyway. It’s a malnutrition clinic. Most of them have a 10% to 15% death rate.” But people pointed out that kids would go there who weren’t that malnourished. And–okay–if you’ve, like, learned about any sort of genocide or holocaust, one of the first things they teach is when these people finally get help, they’re so malnourished they can’t eat a ton of food right away because that’s more dangerous. And you have to, like, slowly reintroduce food to your body.
Sydney Battle [00:24:48] Exactly.
Ashley Ray [00:24:49] Learn that in, like, high school. And she’s just like, “You know, we would get them in there, immediately get them on an IV, start pumping them with fluids, you know, start getting them food…” Like two years in, a nurse came from America and was like, “What are you doing? You should be giving this kid just small sips of water for two days and, like, some no chew food, not hard bread and stuff.”
Matt Bellassai [00:25:12] She was boiling up pasta and bringing out the spicy rigatoni.
Sydney Battle [00:25:16] Kraft mac and cheese.
Ashley Ray [00:25:18] “We’re making traditional Ugandan food. I love to cook it.” And they’re like, “What are you doing? Why are you pumping them full of just IV fluid and medicine?” And then you realize, “Oh yeah, she really just was playing around.” And that’s why so many kids got closer to death. Like, if they had just gone to a hospital, they would have been fine. So, I mean, I don’t even know if I can recommend it.
Matt Bellassai [00:25:42] I cannot say I would watch it.
Sydney Battle [00:25:43] It’s horrific.
Ashley Ray [00:25:44] When they announced it, so many people were like, “I can’t believe that HBO is even giving her this attention on this platform.” And I don’t know if you watch Bs High about the guy who made the fake high school.
Sydney Battle [00:25:57] Oh, yes. Crazy. Crazy.
Ashley Ray [00:26:00] He’s crazy, he’s in the documentary, and he comes off looking horrible. I thought it would be like that. I was like, “Oh, they’re going to let her hang herself with their own petard. She’s going to show everyone that, you know, she’s so smart, but then actually it’ll be so damaging. But so far, they kind of are being like, ‘She saved some people.’” And when she was shocked, people would be like, “Well, that’s Africa.”
Sydney Battle [00:26:24] This literally makes me feral. Like, it makes me literally mad. If I ran across this woman, I don’t know what I would do. Like, it makes me so upset that they even gave her a platform of any kind. This person should be rotting in a cell somewhere, not even in jail. Lock her in a room in Uganda. Throw away the key. I don’t care.
Ashley Ray [00:26:48] And they just let her take her children and go back to America… And yeah.
Matt Bellassai [00:26:52] Where does she live now?
Ashley Ray [00:26:53] I think she moved back home. She lives on a farm now, and she’s like, “My kids have it so hard because people are like, ‘Your mom murdered people.’” But it’s like, “No, your mom did. Your mom murdered people. And it was probably very unethical how she adopted you.”
Sydney Battle [00:27:08] Let’s start the fundraising now for their therapy. Like, let’s start that now so that when they turn 18 and they’re free, we can just get them right to some help.
Ashley Ray [00:27:19] Start the GoFundMe. So, Matt, I want to hear more about what you’re watching. You only shared one show with us.
Matt Bellassai [00:27:30] The closest I get to watching any type of those dark shows is, like, Murder, She Wrote.
Ashley Ray [00:27:35] Love Murder, She Wrote.
Matt Bellassai [00:27:37] I have been watching Murder, She Wrote. I had never watched it before. I knew, of course, that Angela Lansbury was a gay icon. I knew that this show was sort of, like, gay, campy TV. And it’s become my, like, bedtime TV show. I’ll watch an episode or two in bed at night. And I’m obsessed.
Ashley Ray [00:28:00] It’s such a good one. I used to work in a nursing home in high school and stuff, and they’d always have it on. And I just love sitting back with everybody.
Matt Bellassai [00:28:08] I love that you’re like, “Yeah, nursing home patients also loved that show.”
Sydney Battle [00:28:12] That’s so you.
Matt Bellassai [00:28:15] That is my taste.
Ashley Ray [00:28:18] It’s just so comforting. And you just kind of know what is going to happen. And it’s pleasant.
Matt Bellassai [00:28:23] Right. It is the exact same formula every single episode.
Ashley Ray [00:28:26] Like, Law & Order: SVU–that doesn’t lull me to sleep.
Sydney Battle [00:28:31] They’ve tried to switch it up lately. Let’s talk about it.
Ashley Ray [00:28:33] Yeah. Let’s talk about it.
Sydney Battle [00:28:34] Here’s the thing. They’re trying too hard to be real. And the whole reason we watch the show is because we want a different version of reality where rape victims and rape survivors in power can actually have justice.
Ashley Ray [00:28:47] Where Elliot Stabler is on your side. Well, he’s not on there anymore. But you know, he’s punching people down on your behalf, and it’s all good.
Sydney Battle [00:28:54] And you’re like, “Abolish the police. Police brutality is disgusting. But also, get him, Elliot.”
Ashley Ray [00:29:00] “Get him Elliot. Absolutely.”
Sydney Battle [00:29:02] And now in the recent seasons…? First of all, my favorite scene is the scene where Noah–Olivia’s son–comes out to her as bi. I talk about this to everyone.
Ashley Ray [00:29:12] I did not know this happened. Happy Bi Visibility Week. Wow.
Sydney Battle [00:29:17] And his rationale is that it’s not fair for anybody to be left out. And I’m like, “Okay. You’re ten.”
Ashley Ray [00:29:24] I mean, that’s kind of fair. It isn’t fair for anyone to be left out of the opportunity to have sex with me. Yeah.
Sydney Battle [00:29:31] Yeah. A ten-year-old.
Ashley Ray [00:29:33] Okay.
Sydney Battle [00:29:34] No, literally it’s a ten-year-old boy saying this, which is why I’m like, “That’s weird for ten-year-old to be like, ‘It’s not fair that somebody might not be able to be liked by me.’” Okay. Interesting.
Matt Bellassai [00:29:47] That was his rationale for being bi?
Ashley Ray [00:29:52] I feel like I would’ve been like, “Hey, little ten-year-old. Have you heard of Friends? Anyone can be your friend.”
Sydney Battle [00:29:57] Yeah. It is just wild. I don’t know if you have tuned in to the original Law & Order. I went through a thing earlier this year where I binged all of the original Law & Order. And the new episodes are absolutely wild. They have the guy who played Alfre Woodard’s son on Desperate Housewives. And they have that guy playing the new cop. And he just faces endless amounts of racism on the job. And he just gets absolutely railed by the NYPD. They’re suspending him because he confronted a racist cop. It’s stuff like that, and I’m like, “Guys, this is too much. It’s too real.”
Ashley Ray [00:30:42] “We don’t need this.” I don’t want to watch a show about how the police are racist. I already know that! Come on.
Sydney Battle [00:30:48] And so the fun version of that–like Max’s Murder, She Wrote–I love Monk. Monk also follows the same formula. And when I was little, his OCD… I have OCD, and I was like, “Oh, that’s right. Like, that’s our way of controlling the world. This makes sense.” Like, he was my hero growing up.
Ashley Ray [00:31:08] Yeah. Loved Monk. That’s a great one. Yeah. I mean, I did Murder, She Wrote, too. I guess Psych kind of counts in that category. Like, they were just fun boys–fun boys solving murders.
Matt Bellassai [00:31:22] I need to watch Monk. That is a good show to add to my list.
Ashley Ray [00:31:25] Yeah. Loved it. Loved it. Tony Shalhoub.
Sydney Battle [00:31:28] He also, like, grows as the series does. His OCD becomes more manageable because his whole thing is his wife got blown up by a car bomb. No other way to say it.
Ashley Ray [00:31:42] “It’s such a calm, chill show. His wife blows up in a car bomb.”
Sydney Battle [00:31:45] Just like Elliot Stabler’s wife. Spoiler alert.
Ashley Ray [00:31:48] Famous way to kill a wife.
Matt Bellassai [00:31:49] That induces his OCD?
Sydney Battle [00:31:51] No, he always had OCD. Like, the funny thing is, he was a weird child. And they do, like, talk about his childhood. But it made his OCD much worse because his wife was, literally in his mind, the perfect woman. Like, there’s no one like her. He adores her. And when he loses her, it makes him become agoraphobic–another thing that I suffer from. And so, I just really love his journey because he gets out of the house, his OCD starts getting better…
Matt Bellassai [00:32:20] Wow. I’m even more hooked now that I know there’s car bombs involved.
Sydney Battle [00:32:26] And the whole series, he’s, like, trying to find his wife’s killer.
Ashley Ray [00:32:30] Of course. You gotta. You got to get revenge for the wife’s killer. Come on.
Matt Bellassai [00:32:38] Yeah, I’m definitely not, like, true crime… Like, I am more like I want a cozy mystery.
Ashley Ray [00:32:44] Yeah, I love the true crime. As soon as I see, like, a juicy, new true crime doc, I’m like, “Let’s go. I hope it’s four episodes.”
Matt Bellassai [00:32:52] I’ll watch it. I’ll watch, like, a documentary here and there, but nothing too crazy.
Ashley Ray [00:32:57] I have a few. I mean, there’s one coming out on Netflix soon about, like, this newscaster woman who was killed. There’s one about this woman who was in the military and had kids, and then she, like, killed a bunch of people, I guess. Now she’s in jail. Oh, there’s some good true crime murder stuff coming out soon.
Sydney Battle [00:33:15] I did watch one based on your recommendation. I watched What Happened to Baby Gabriel?
Ashley Ray [00:33:20] Ooh, that one tore me apart.
Sydney Battle [00:33:26] Absolutely wild. Like, documentaries where babies or children are given back to the mother, when they clearly shouldn’t be, really mess me up. Yeah.
Ashley Ray [00:33:36] And that doc–I was like, “Oh, so it’s the whole system–why we do that. Okay.” That one I recommend to people with the biggest trigger warning because it will just make you angry for days about every system in this country that we have.
Sydney Battle [00:33:46] Because where do we think he is? Do we think they gave him away to another couple? Or do we think that she’s like an annihilator?
Ashley Ray [00:33:53] I think she gave him away. I think she gave him away.
Sydney Battle [00:33:57] The literal hope.
Ashley Ray [00:33:59] The evidence with the ring… If you don’t know, it’s basically this guy and his, you know, girlfriend have a baby. They’re immediately having problems. It’s clear she has, like, postpartum issues. But she is basically abusing the kid from the beginning, like flipping him over in bed and flipping over his cradle because she gets mad. And the dad is like, ‘I’m taking this kid.’ But then she goes to custody and says, like, ‘No, actually the dad is doing the abuse.” And they go back and forth and back and forth. And he just keeps going to the cops, being like, “She’s threatening to kill our kid. Here’s video of her saying she’s going to do it. Here’s a recording of her saying she’s going to do it.” And they’re just like, “Yeah, no. We’re just going to let her keep the kid because she’s the woman and that’s the law here.” And I guess that also maybe he wasn’t on the birth certificate.”
Sydney Battle [00:34:45] They weren’t married. Yeah
Ashley Ray [00:34:47] Yeah, because they weren’t married. So, he had even, like, less rights.
Sydney Battle [00:34:52] In Arizona. Yeah. In Arizona, it immediately goes to the mother.
Ashley Ray [00:34:55] To the mom. And then she decides to, like, move in with this family that is like, “We want to adopt your kid.” She kept saying, “I’m going to give him up. I don’t even want him.” And so, this family is like, “We want to adopt the kid.” And she says, “I’m going to go through with it.” But then the dad is like, “I don’t want to give my kid up for adoption.” So, then this family was like, “Well, if you run away with the kid and file in another state, you don’t need his permission to give the kid up.” But then it became a huge thing in the media. The dad went to the news, and everybody was like, “This is insane. Why is this woman trying to take this family’s kid when the dad is right there?” So instead, the woman goes to Texas, disappears–and so does the baby. And she tells everyone she killed the baby. There’s no evidence of the baby being killed. She’s like, “I put him in a bag and threw it in a dumpster.” They did a whole search. No one can find this baby. There are some people who believe she did give the baby up for adoption because in San Antonio, Texas, you don’t have to do all this paperwork.
Sydney Battle [00:35:59] It’s like a black market for adoption.
Ashley Ray [00:36:00] Yeah, it’s just a black market. You can just be like, “Don’t tell anybody I did this. Here, you can pay people with money. You can give them a car.” Afterwards, she told everyone, “Oh, the baby died.” And she, like, had jewelry and a really nice ring all of a sudden. And people were like, “Yeah, that was probably a payment.” They did find instructions that she had written to meet someone in a park, so they think she, like, handed the baby off and then just said, you know, “I killed the baby.” Then she got arrested, and then she tried to be like, “I didn’t kill the baby. I did sell the baby.”
Matt Bellassai [00:36:32] In what world is just being like, “Oh, I killed the baby,” your go-to excuse?
Sydney Battle [00:36:38] Because she’s a pure narcissist. She does not want the baby’s father to have access to him at all because he genuinely loved that kid. Like, he loved that little boy. Loved the kid.
Ashley Ray [00:36:46] His family–they’d show all the pictures and how much they, like, loved and took care of this kid. And then the mom would really be like, “Oh, I tried to feed him pizza, and he wouldn’t eat it. He’s such a dick.” I think he was, like, eight months old
Sydney Battle [00:37:08] It’s just so sad. The dad’s family–his, like, extended family, his cousins, his uncles, his aunts–they’re crying on camera about it. Like, not just him, but it’s so clear that it affected their entire extended family. They wanted this little boy. And so, she really is just saying she killed him so that they never get to have him back.
Matt Bellassai [00:37:30] That’s so fucked.
Ashley Ray [00:37:30] And she calls the dad and is like, “I killed them! And you’ll never get to see him again!” And so, it’s very convincing in making you think, “Oh, well, obviously she killed this kid.” And then by the end, you’re like, “Maybe she did. We don’t know. And they still don’t know where the kid is or what actually happened.”
Sydney Battle [00:37:44] Matt, maybe that’s not a good one for you.
Matt Bellassai [00:37:48] It does remind me of that tweet that’s like, “Oh, the dad didn’t want to take care of the baby. Have you ever considered that the baby’s vibes were bad?”
Sydney Battle [00:37:57] Yeah. Maybe the dad left because the vibes were off.
Ashley Ray [00:38:00] I love that tweet. I do want to get your expert opinions on some of the best TV related feuds. I am going to present two feuds to you and ask you which is the better of the feuds? The Feud of Feuds is just the name I came up with right now.
Matt Bellassai [00:38:34] I like that.
Sydney Battle [00:38:37] Nice. She’s a comedian. She’s a writer.
Ashley Ray [00:38:39] Thank you. An improviser. The first one. I’m going to go Lea Michele versus the rest of the cast on Glee versus Chevy Chase versus Dan Harmon and the rest of the cast of Community.
Matt Bellassai [00:38:55] That is a tough one.
Sydney Battle [00:38:56] I’ve got to pick. I know mine. Should we answer on three?
Ashley Ray [00:39:00] Sure. One, two, three.
Sydney Battle & Matt Bellassai [00:39:03] Lea Michele.
Sydney Battle [00:39:06] Absolute crazy pants.
Ashley Ray [00:39:10] They made a documentary about how evil she was on that set.
Sydney Battle [00:39:14] I haven’t watched that yet.
Ashley Ray [00:39:16] It’s not that good. It’s called The Price of Glee. It wasn’t really that great. They interview people who were on the show and worked on it. But it’s like the backup dancer from Season Two, the episode with Gwyneth Paltrow… And you’re just like, “Okay, so you were on set, like, three times? Okay.”
Sydney Battle [00:39:30] Yeah, like, all right.
Matt Bellassai [00:39:31] It’s funny to me that we both said it because, like, yes, Chevy Chase was notoriously a terribly difficult person to work with–was, like, a racist, curmudgeonly, old, difficult man. But Lea Michele shit in a wig, probably. So that just trumps it. I’m sorry.
Sydney Battle [00:39:49] Or threatened to.
Matt Bellassai [00:39:52] I choose to believe she did.
Sydney Battle [00:39:55] Every word you just used to describe Chevy is also something I would say about Lea Michele, except also, I would add supposedly illiterate.
Ashley Ray [00:40:04] Yeah, I was going to say at least Chevy Chase can read. So, to be that mean when you can’t even read Lea Michele? That’s just rude. Okay. I got to agree with you on that one. For this next one, I’m going to do Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall versus Isaiah Washington and the cast of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a little throwback there.
Matt Bellassai [00:40:27] Yeah. That’s another tough one to choose between.
Ashley Ray [00:40:31] And I do feel the Isaiah Washington one… But if you do remember, he used a lot of slurs on set, and then they won an award. And at the awards show, Isaiah Washington just comes out and goes, “No, I didn’t say the F-word.” But he said it instead of saying “the F-word.” The rest of the cast is behind him, and they all just gasp. And Patrick Dempsey just walks away. And apparently that was the night he said to Shonda, “It’s me or that guy.” Just to give you that context. It is a classic clip.
Sydney Battle [00:41:00] Patrick Dempsey. Ally. Okay. Here’s the thing about the Isaiah one. That one just makes me sad–straight up just makes me sad. I hate that T.R. Knight had to go through that on set. I think it’s kind of messed up that apparently when he was outed, Shonda allegedly wanted to write George being gay into the show. And T.R. Knight was like, “That makes absolutely no sense for my character.”
Ashley Ray [00:41:29] Yeah, that’s what Shonda loves to do. She loves to be like, “You’re dealing with that? Let’s write it into the show.”
Matt Bellassai [00:41:35] Nothing about that show makes any sense anyway…
Sydney Battle [00:41:41] How dare you, Matthew. Unfair. Before Cristina Yang left, everything made sense. I promise you.
Matt Bellassai [00:41:47] Was that before or after the lion walked into the hospital or the bomb went off?
Sydney Battle [00:41:51] That happened after.
Ashley Ray [00:41:52] The bomb made sense.
Sydney Battle [00:41:53] And the bomb was very good.
Ashley Ray [00:41:56] That was amazing television.
Sydney Battle [00:41:58] There was a time period of my life where I loved that show so much that any surgery Cristina Yang really wanted to do… If I was, like, studying in the library, I would put it on because they have surgeries on YouTube. You can, like, watch five-hour cardiac surgeries on YouTube. It’s soothing in a way. But I would have to pick the Kim and Sarah one simply because it’s more modern in a sense, even though they’re using social media in a way that’s, like, deeply rooted in being, like, an older woman. Like, a grid post callout, and then saying, “Copy and paste link” in the caption. I think it’s still unfolding, and we’ll have to see where it goes. Whereas Isaiah–they already brought him back. They let him be in an episode with Sandra Oh. That one’s kind of wrapped up.
Ashley Ray [00:42:52] Yeah, but he did go full Republican. He’s, like, full Trump supporter. He was on the show P-Valley for a while, and people were like, “No, you shouldn’t let him be on P-Valley. He still says all of this horrible conservative stuff.” And then they killed him on that show.
Sydney Battle [00:43:07] Okay. I’m not sad anymore. He had gorgeous skin, so I was sympathetic.
Ashley Ray [00:43:10] I’m going to go Sex and the City because I want Samantha to get her own spinoff. I think that will be the height of this feud. If we are watching these two separate timelines and shows. And it’s And Just Like That versus Samantha’s World–whatever they want to call it. They can use that. Something fun and girly.
Sydney Battle [00:43:33] Did you see that tweet that was like, “Why are people pretending like Samantha could carry a show by herself?” I was like, “Are you kidding?”
Matt Bellassai [00:43:41] Absolutely. She did it the first time.
Ashley Ray [00:43:44] Thank you. Matt, what’s your answer?
Matt Bellassai [00:43:47] No, I would agree. I think Kim Cattrall is, like, the perfect chaotic feud person, so anything with her.
Ashley Ray [00:43:55] Yeah.
Matt Bellassai [00:43:56] Sydney and I were DMing about that video of her scatting while her husband plays, like, the bass
Ashley Ray [00:44:04] Yes. And then you find out they got divorced, like, a week later.
Matt Bellassai [00:44:11] I didn’t realize that that video was from the ’90s. I thought it was just, like, a recent kind of devolving pandemic insanity.
Ashley Ray [00:44:24] She probably owned that house you see them in like. It’s truly the peak of her fame, and she was just always like that. And I just feel their feud gives you beautiful things, like that scene in And Just Like That where they’re clearly not actually speaking to each other. They’ve said nothing to each other. They’re in separate locations–countries–green screens. And they just chop it together. That’s what I love. That’s a good feud–when you know the writers had to sit in a room and go, “Okay, how do we do this without them needing to actually interact in any way?”
Sydney Battle [00:44:58] I still don’t understand why she didn’t let Miranda buy that apartment from her.
Ashley Ray [00:45:02] Right? Because she hates her. Because Carrie hates Miranda. Because Carrie hates Miranda, and she always has. I don’t know why, but she hates her.
Sydney Battle [00:45:10] Let’s talk about it. Yeah. That’s another feud.
Ashley Ray [00:45:14] Every episode, Miranda is just like, “Wow, I really just wish I had somewhere to live that wasn’t, like, a shitty apartment where, you know, there’s one bathroom and my roommate’s room and I can’t ever use it because she’s fucking all the time.” And Carrie’s like, “That really sucks for you. Anyway, my empty apartment is going to the stranger who lives downstairs.”
Sydney Battle [00:45:33] Yeah. Yeah. Bizarre. But I will watch five more seasons. I will be tuning in.
Matt Bellassai [00:45:40] Absolutely.
Ashley Ray [00:45:41] Yeah. And I mean, I will watch ten, 20 more seasons of Gray’s Anatomy, but Isaiah Washington will never be there.
Sydney Battle [00:45:46] Oh, no, no. Let’s not let him back.
Ashley Ray [00:45:47] The last one I will do is Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi from The Good Wife versus Will Smith and Janet Hubert on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which is the original Aunt Viv, who was kicked from the show basically because she didn’t really like to play along with Will Smith’s jokes.
Sydney Battle [00:46:08] It is wild that he absolutely derailed a woman’s career and then, like, decades later is just like, “Yeah, that was my bad. I was young and naive. I’m so sorry. That was my bad.” You ruined her trajectory.
Ashley Ray [00:46:27] You fully just replaced her with a new person on the show.
Sydney Battle [00:46:30] Light-skinned.
Ashley Ray [00:46:30] Had the rest of the cast all hate her and, like, ruin her reputation for years. And then I will say for that one, they eventually did some reunion where they all came together and were like, “We’re so sorry.” But come on.
Sydney Battle [00:46:41] Damage already done. Truly, that was probably… Can you imagine booking a show–a sitcom–having steady work, you’re so set, and then some 20-year-old who can’t even act at the time… Literally, if you look back, he’s mouthing people’s lines with them. This kid is getting you kicked off, and now you can’t work?
Ashley Ray [00:47:06] That one had real, real consequences.
Sydney Battle [00:47:09] Meanwhile, the Julianna one I don’t know as much about.
Ashley Ray [00:47:12] Well, that’s the interesting part of it.
Matt Bellassai [00:47:14] I’m the reverse because I know more about the other one. But when they replaced Aunt Viv, was it like, “This is the same character, but a completely different actress?” And they don’t acknowledge it?
Sydney Battle [00:47:25] Yes. She was light-skinned as hell.
Ashley Ray [00:47:27] They didn’t look the same at all.
Sydney Battle [00:47:28] No. Dark-skinned, tall, slender dancer’s body–the iconic dance scene. And then they bring in light skin Aunt Viv, and it’s like, “We’re just supposed to roll with this?”
Ashley Ray [00:47:38] And it really was like, “Just go with it. We’re not addressing it. Moving on.” So, it was a little wild for the show. But the Julianna Margulies? I feel like it’s fun because people are so “What happened there?”
Matt Bellassai [00:47:51] People still don’t really know. They both, like, haven’t confirmed anything. But that is one where they, like, hated one another so much that they refused to film together, so a lot of scenes were just completely fabricated.
Ashley Ray [00:48:07] Yeah, in the final scene, there’s some that are clear CGI or a stand-in. It’s a lot of over-the-shoulder shots of one person. But no real clarity on why things had gotten this bad–that these two people couldn’t even shoot together.
Sydney Battle [00:48:24] I don’t know about either of these women deeply.
Ashley Ray [00:48:27] I don’t know. Again, all speculation. Some people feel like maybe Julianna said something kind of racist or off-putting. Some people think that maybe there were just issues with pay and who was number one on the call sheet in terms of episode pay and just some jealousy.
Sydney Battle [00:48:50] Very Kim and Sarah if it’s about pay.
Matt Bellassai [00:48:53] Also Julianna–she was The Good Wife.
Ashley Ray [00:49:04] I don’t know. I guess maybe it was pay between some of the, like, white men on the show or something. Again, all speculation, which is kind of what makes it a fun feud because people know it exists, but we all are just kind of making our best guess. While the Will Smith one is like, “Oh no, we know what happened, it’s really mean and evil, and he ruined someone’s life.” There’s not a lot of fun memes in that one.
Sydney Battle [00:49:27] There’s no fun there. Though if you want to hear a musical adaptation of that whole thing, there is a song called Janet that I really love to listen to.
Matt Bellassai [00:49:38] A musical adaptation of the replacement of Aunt Viv?
Sydney Battle [00:49:42] Literally.
Ashley Ray [00:49:42] Yes.
Sydney Battle [00:49:43] Yes, literally. It’s a song called Janet. I think it’s by Berhana.
Ashley Ray [00:49:49] You need to confirm because obviously I’m going to go listen to that. I mean, it’s an iconic moment in history. I think we all know where we were when we tuned in for that next episode. It was like, “What?”
Sydney Battle [00:49:59] I watched it through reruns. I don’t think I was their demographic when it came out because I was born in the mid ’90s.
Ashley Ray [00:50:07] Yes. Berhana.
Sydney Battle [00:50:11] Yes. Berhana. It’s called Janet, and it is about the whole firing. And he talks about dark skin Aunt Viv and how he wants Aunt Viv back.
Ashley Ray [00:50:21] Damn. Yeah. I mean, I think I was like five or six years old when it happened. But, you know, in the Nick at Nite reruns, when it happened, I was like, “What? What’s going on?”
Sydney Battle [00:50:32] The world shifted.
Ashley Ray [00:50:34] The world shifted, I ran to AOL, and I tried to put the pieces together.
Sydney Battle [00:50:39] Yep. Yep. Teen AOL. AOL for teens if you remember.
Ashley Ray [00:50:45] And I tried to put the pieces together. I want to thank you both so much for joining me. We talked about so much TV, but I still have so many things that I want to talk about. Can you each give a recommendation for the listeners for the homework? I don’t usually let my guests do this. Usually, I am in control of what the recommendation is. But I trust the two of you so much after this conversation, I’m going to throw it to you.
Matt Bellassai [00:51:10] Well, I’m just catching up with Love is Blind–this season of Love is Blind. I’ve heard some mixed reviews about how other people feel about how this cast stacks up to past seasons. I’m obsessed. I think it’s the perfect reality show.
Ashley Ray [00:51:25] Oh, I’m obsessed with it.
Matt Bellassai [00:51:27] It’s so deranged. Like, the very concept is not even that they’re going in it blind, but that they have to get engaged and married at the end of it. Anybody who signs up for that is messy, and it’s going to be messy no matter what. And I love that.
Ashley Ray [00:51:45] And this time, it’s messy in the pods. Like, we’re getting messy from the get-go this season. So, I’ve been enjoying it. I have three juicy new episodes to watch this Friday. It’s the one show that I’m like, “You know what, Netflix? Fine. Roll it out slow. Let me enjoy it.” Love it. I cannot wait to see… I don’t think anyone’s getting married. Everyone is so unhinged.
Matt Bellassai [00:52:06] No, nobody should at the end of this show in any season. But this season does have a good cliffhanger, end of episode jaw-dropper that I didn’t see coming.
Ashley Ray [00:52:18] Same.
Sydney Battle [00:52:20] Okay. Okay, I’m torn because I do think at this point a lot of people have seen it. But if you haven’t watched Chewing Gum–Michaela Coel’s first show–you need to go watch that. But if you’re looking for something completely different in the realm of reality TV, there are three options. 1) Netflix’s I Am a Killer, which is chilling, and it’s just them interviewing people who are currently in prison for murder and then explaining why it happened–how they feel now.
Ashley Ray [00:52:51] Have you done the spinoff, I Am a Stalker?
Sydney Battle [00:52:53] I have.
Ashley Ray [00:52:54] And that one has people going, “Honestly, I wish I was a murderer because being called a stalker in prison is so embarrassing. Could you not call me a stalker? I should have just murdered.”
Sydney Battle [00:53:10] “Guys, let’s just be chill, okay?” And then they usually end up finding some version of religion that will not help them. Another show is called I Survived a Serial Killer. And that one has been really fascinating. It’s a spinoff of I Survived. And what I like about it is there are no reenactments. I hate reenactments in a true crime show. They piss me off. And it’s not just because one time I got asked to audition to play a 16-year-old girl who murdered her grandparents and burned their house down. And I was like, “That’s the most horrific thing I’ve heard in my life.” So that show is just, like… I don’t know. My anxious brain–I’m like, “Okay, this is how this person survived. If–God forbid–I’m ever in this situation, it’s nice to know what works.” And then something lighthearted if none of that appeals to you…
Ashley Ray [00:54:02] Yeah. Yeah. A little lighthearted. Yeah.
Sydney Battle [00:54:04] I’ve been watching Top Chef–going through the seasons. I’d never watched it before, and it’s just really nice because these people are all just, you know, so dedicated to what they do. And it’s not like watching Master Chef or Chopped where they’re hurried and they’re scrambling to get stuff together. These are actual geniuses, and you’re watching them really exercise their creative muscle. And so, I love Top Chef. I love Padma. Tom Colicchio, please call me.
Ashley Ray [00:54:32] Yes, two of my favorites. I am always jealous. Padma is super into comedy, and she does stand-up shows sometimes in New York. And she invites just comics I know. And I’m like, “What do you mean you did…? What? I’ll move to New York just for her and that. I don’t care.”
Sydney Battle [00:54:52] She’s quitting Top Chef to go full on into comedy.
Ashley Ray [00:54:55] Yeah, probably. She was so good on 30 Rock. Let’s be real. Oh, my gosh. Those are wonderful recommendations. I’m going to add to your list Below Deck Mediterranean. You said Below Deck Down Under. Well Below Deck Med is back. Captain Sandy–my favorite. We’re already starting with drama. Her new boatswain came to the ship with entirely falsified documents. First episode, they’re like, “Dude, the guy in this picture is not you. You have someone else’s yacht license. And she’s straight up like, “Where did you go to school?” And he’s like, “On a yacht.” She’s like, “No, this is a class thing that you would have done.” And he’s like, “Yeah, I took the class on a yacht.” And she’s just like, “Okay, how about you go get some clear answers on that and come back?” And then he’s like, “Okay, I’m not going to come back because I don’t have really answers for you.” And it’s so clear that he just thought no one would ask about the paperwork. So, we’re getting just from the jump some great drama with Below Deck Med this season. I’m also going to recommend Starstruck on Max. It is back for its third and final season. If you love a romcom, lighthearted TV show, it is about a girl who has a one-night stand with an actor that becomes a relationship. This is, like, a big A-list actor, so it’s a big difference. And they try to make the relationship work. And this final season–knife through my heart. Absolutely perfect. Finished it in a night. It is so good. So go watch that. Go watch it. I also was going to say Love is Blind because I just cannot believe what is happening with Lydia and Aaliyah
Sydney Battle [00:56:34] Oh, my God. Okay. Yeah. I need to watch.
Ashley Ray [00:56:36] Yeah, just the Lydia and Aaliyah part. I don’t know how long the drama will go, but I need your thoughts on it because Lydia is maybe one of the biggest villains in Love is Blind history that I’ve ever seen personally.
Matt Bellassai [00:56:46] Right. And it’s a slow burn.
Ashley Ray [00:56:49] It’s a slow burn villain story where at first, you’re like, “Oh, she’s a girl’s girl.” And then you’re like, “No, she’s evil. She’s the most evil of the girls.”
Matt Bellassai [00:56:59] I can confirm it continues because I already have watched. It’s Friday today. I woke up and started watching Love Is Blind.
Ashley Ray [00:57:07] I truly was going to do it first thing, and then I decided to watch the Savior Complex doc. And I don’t even know why because it makes me so angry. And I should have just done Love is Blind. I should have just done Love is Blind.
Sydney Battle [00:57:17] So Lydia is who I should look out for.
Ashley Ray [00:57:19] Yes, Lydia. And my last one is going to be Reservation Dogs, which just aired its final episode for its final season also. It was beautiful–just an absolutely brilliant episode of TV for a wonderful series that I just can’t believe is over. But I’m so happy it got to end on its own terms. And I think we’re going to talk about it for years to come. It’s in the pantheon with, like, you know, Atlanta and all of those shows. So, I don’t think its impact will be forgotten. But that’s your homework. I want to thank you both for joining me. Matt, Sydney… You know, we’ve been saying… This episode–we’re recording it in the past–you’re hearing it in the future. But as you know, every week we’re telling you to support the strikes. We don’t need to tell you to support us writers anymore.
Sydney Battle [00:58:06] But support us actors. We need it.
Ashley Ray [00:58:07] Support our actors, but they’re meeting Monday.
Sydney Battle [00:58:10] Fingers crossed.
Ashley Ray [00:58:12] Fingers crossed that by the time you’re hearing this, you’re not hearing it because my editors cut it because it’s not necessary anymore. But if you want to support the actors, if you’re in LA or New York, you can join a picket line or drop off food and water. You can also donate money to the Entertainment Community Fund, which helps non-actor Hollywood crew members who are suffering hardships due to the strike. They’re also going to be giving funds from that even though the strikes end. Clearly people aren’t going to go back to work right away. So, you can keep donating to it because people will still be getting help. And you can donate at entertainmentcommunity.org. And make sure to direct your gift to the film and television category when asked. Sydney and Matt, thank you so much. Where can people follow you? Where can they listen to the pod? Tell us. Tell us what’s up.
Matt Bellassai [00:58:58] Well, we’re both on the internet. I’m @mattbellassai on everything. And, yeah, Diss and Tell is on all your podcast platforms.
Sydney Battle [00:59:08] Yes, you can listen anywhere. And I am at @sydbattle on most platforms. Sometimes I’m @sydneybattle, but that’s mostly just on Twitter, which may or may not exist by the time you listen to this.
Ashley Ray [00:59:21] Who knows? They got new rules coming out. You got to upload your ID, fingerprints, and a birth certificate.
Sydney Battle [00:59:27] Oh, hell no.
Ashley Ray [00:59:28] So we’ll see.
Sydney Battle [00:59:32] So find me wherever.
Ashley Ray [00:59:33] Yes. Thank you so much for joining me. TV Club, you already got your homework today, so go watch all the amazing shows we’ve talked about today. I’m about to go watch Cold Justice–I know that much–after Love is Blind, of course. Thank you so much for listening. And we will be back next week with another episode. TV, I Say with Ashley Ray is an Earwolf production made by me, Ashley Ray-Harris. It’s engineered by Abby Aguilar, produced by Anita Flores, executive produced by Amelia Chappelow. And our original theme song is by RaFia. It means so much to me if you go rate, review, subscribe. Follow TV, I Say. Let us know what you think and tell your friends. Share with your Golden Girls. Tell your Boys. If you love my TV recommendations, let everyone you know. For special TV Club members, join my Patreon.
November 28, 2023
Guest Sona Movsesian
Gilmore Girls, Friends, The Office – what TV do you put on to drown out your family during the holidays?
November 14, 2023
Do you remember where you were the first time you heard Meredith Grey’s infamous line, “Pick me, choose me, love me”? Shaun Diston joins Ashley to discuss and act out some of their favorite TV monologues from shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Designing Women, Andor, and more.