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Let's not 'Talk About Pep'

BY CAROLYN KLARECKI
Senior Arts Editor
Published January 18, 2010

If the early ’90s were the Renaissance for hip hop, then Salt-N-Pepa were Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo (Spinderella can be Donatello). Their jams were infectious and everyone knew who they were. But what goes up must come down eventually, and Salt-N-Pepa have been down for the past decade. They have yet to accept their slip into the has-been abyss and instead are making regular appearances on VH1 celebreality shows to boost their image. Their latest publicity stunt is an insight into Pepa’s dating life with “Let’s Talk About Pep.”

Not only has Sandy “Pepa” Denton lost her star power, but she has also fallen off the dating radar. After four years of celibacy, she has decided to get out there and resume the search for Mr. Right. Apparently, this warrants a TV show. And what girl wouldn’t go on a man hunt without her BFFs at her side?

“Let’s Talk About Pep” follows Pepa and her three besties who fit neatly into convenient female stereotypes. Joumana Kidd is the sweet and compassionate divorcée looking for some fun. Jacque Reid is the ambitious career woman who’s ready for a family, but doesn’t want to wait for love. That’s why she’s looking first and foremost for sperm. And then there’s Kali Troy, or “Kittie” — the wild child who went on a date to a strip club and loved every minute of it. The four go out with guys and convene at brunch to dish the details while the cameras catch every moment.

The entertainment factor of “Let’s Talk About Pep” is based on what females do with their everyday lives. There’s no need to listen to Pepa and her gang when the girls down the hall have gossip that’s just as juicy. While it’s true that Pepa’s dating life is a little more exciting than most (no one in real life is showered with gifts on the first date), she’s not exactly starring in her own personal romantic comedy. Still, the creators did everything they could to create suspense.

Each scene is accompanied by what can only be described as porno music — that funky music that screams “Let’s get it on,” creating the expectation that someone will do just that. But other than the requisite VH1 hot tub and stripper pole, “Let’s Talk About Pep” is quite tame for a show centered on whether or not Pepa is going to get laid. When that question is finally brought to the table, Pepa coyly refuses to divulge any details (as though the line separating trashy and classy hadn’t already been crossed with all the love-making music). All that build-up with no satisfaction makes for a total waste of a half hour.

However, when it comes down to the bottom line, “Let’s Talk About Pep” is fun and flirtatious if not a little cheesy — all that it hoped to be and nothing more than other similar shows. Hardcore Salt-N-Pepa fans will love the glimpse into Pepa’s personal life, but the show doesn’t explore any deeper than her previous forays into reality TV. It’s not a comeback by any means, but it might beat some of Michelangelo’s later stuff.


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