As the women of The Platinum Life quickly learned in Sunday night’s premiere, there is no better way to hash out an issue with a nemesis than to be forced to share a tight space with them on a private jet during a girls trip to a Jennifer Lopez show in Las Vegas.
Episode 1 of E!’s reality series about the wives and girlfriends of music stars employed the Basketball Wives and WAGS formula precisely, with emphasis on the affluent lifestyle of the cast, requisite shots of expensive cars and big houses, and talk of fame, gossip and the pressure of keeping up appearances. Fittingly, the episode opened with Ne-Yo’s wife Chrystal Smith attempting to capture the perfect “plandid” workout shot for Instagram while fake-boxing in a yard.
As we’ve heard before, it’s “not always glitz and glam.” Most of the women introduced themselves by sharing the rags portion of their journey. Nelly’s girlfriend Shantel Jackson says she “grew up in the hood.” Ne-Yo’s wife Crystal Smith says she “didn’t come from money” and that she gets scrutinized the most because of her relationship with Ne-Yo (she’s had public friction with his ex). And Miguel’s fiancée Nazanin Mandi has been on-and-off with him for 11 years and says he recorded his first album in their tiny studio apartment closet. She, to no surprise, appears to be the most carefree in this crew, not to mention the perfect match for Miguel. While driving to a group pool party with her cousin, she informs her that the couch at home is “so comfortable to bone on.”
The show has the makings of an okay Housewives knockoff, a la WAGS, which similarly relies on the cast members having prior friendships with each other.
To maintain their storylines, the women must have personal goals and/or obstacles. For La’Myia Good—Meagan Good’s sister and also the wife of singer/songwriter Eric Bellinger—it’s that she feels torn between having another baby and focusing on her career. Lola Monroe (girlfriend of rapper King Los) is “seeking respect” as a rapper on her own terms. Alycia Bella (ex-girlfriend of R&B singer Ty Dolla Sign) wants to get back in the dating game but has trust issues.
The most present obstacle for Crystal is her preexisting beef with Asiah Collins, wife of rapper Kid Ink. Though the exact reason for their tension isn’t completely clear, that back story will no doubt expand as the season goes on. In the premiere, meanwhile, the feud escalates after producers set it up so that Asiah planned a burlesque-themed brunch during the same weekend that Ne-Yo arranged for Crystal and her friends to see J. Lo in Vegas. The brunch has to be sacrificed because no one can turn down a J. Lo concert.
In the petty clip above, Asiah complains about the private jet not having enough legroom—“It’s a little cramped,” she says—and her attitude doesn’t sit well with Crystal, who already hates her but is “trying to turn over a new leaf.” This scene is the set-up to a long conflict that will recur throughout the season as needed for maximum drama. We’re all Nazanin:
Thankfully, once the cast settles in Vegas by the end of the episode, Angel brings it back to what’s important, stating, “I wanna get glammed up and go see J. Lo.”