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Punch Drunk

RVA's Next Great TV Show

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Everyone is talking about "The Real Babymamas of Richmond," a reality show that was scheduled to premiere just after Style Weekly went to press, Monday at 9 p.m. on public access television. (That's Comcast channel 95 and Verizon Channel 36.)

Yes, the streets are abuzz. What shenanigans and hijinks will Pumpkin, aka Big Sexy, Miss Bling and Miss EXXtra and the rest of the cast of lovable baby moms get into next?!

I'm joking. No one I know, or at least no one in the circles I run in, is talking about the show. Admittedly, I don't run with that many strong, independent, black women though. I should work on that.

Produced by 4 Pumpkins Productions, "The Real Babymamas" focuses on a group of black women in Richmond who are traversing the pitfalls and perils, ups and downs of everyday life that is motherhood, all the while maintaining sanity and striving to provide a positive message. Unintentional comedy aside, the show is meant to be a boost for black mothers, not a ridiculous bitch-fest like other Real Housewives series. This show is anything but "ratchet" — if I'm understanding the term correctly, and I think I am.

I commend the ladies on their effort, and after viewing the trailer and an episode of the local public access and online talk show, "Ghetto Gossip," which featured the "Real Babymamas" cast and entourage, I don't doubt the sincerity of their message. But as these things tend to do, it got me thinking about other Richmond groups and people who have long deserved their own shows. And oh so lucky for them, I've provided the titles and pitches.

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The Real Gov. Bob McDonnell of Richmond
A behind-the-scenes look at life in the Executive Mansion. Taking out the trash, helping the kids with homework, accepting extravagant gifts from former tobacco company turned controversial dietary supplement corporations, shootin' hoops — it's all in a Saturday's work for Virginia's No. 1 politician.

The Real God-Fearing Closeted Homophobes of Richmond
Things get "icky" when Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Republican nominee for lieutenant governor E.W. Jackson star as two men who oppose equality, yet support the strong, scratchy-stubble'd embrace of another man behind closed doors.

The Real F-Up Bureaucracy of Richmond
Fast-tracked Redskins training facilities, dead-in-the-water baseball talks, potholes, parking ticket chicanery and more!

The Real Jefferson Davis Highway Hookers of Richmond
Turning tricks, soliciting johns, avoiding Johnny Law and taking advantage of Virginia's myriad free-clinic health services is all in a day's work for Richmond's hardest-working ladies (and in a not-so-surprising twist, lady boys).

The Real Broadcast Anchors of Richmond
Juan Conde, Ryan Nobles and Rob Cardwell all sitting around Gene Cox's garage — talking shop, exchanging makeup and workout tips, passing around a "marijuana cigarette" (Gene's words). Just keepin' it real, man!

The Real Shirtless City Councilmen of Richmond
Jon Baliles, Charles Samuels and Parker Agelasto, shirtless, doing City Hall stuff. 'Nuff said.

The Real Shirtless Radio Morning Show Studs of Richmond
Lite-98's Bill Bevins, K-95's Catfish and me, shirtless, doing morning show stuff. 'Nuff said.

The Real Bearded Men of Richmond
Starring RVA Beard League's Travis Oliver and Chad Roberts and the rock gods of Three Sheets to the Wind. Just some dudes with beards, doing manly stuff, building log cabins, shot gunning beers, shooting charging rhinos and stuff.

The Real Shaka Smart of Richmond
Ever wonder what Shaka does when he isn't supporting local charities, giving his time and name to a variety of causes and, of course, winning basketball games through sheer kinetic intensity and will? Not much, actually. He lies on the couch and watches a lot of "River Monsters."

The Real Craft Beer Gladiators of Richmond
Hardywood is the tough new kid with something to prove. Legend Brewery is the old sage. Think Pat Morita. Also starring an entire host of newcomers who glut the market and hope to find a niche. It's similar to that Japanese game show where contestants are forced to endure endless shame and physical pain. OTSS (Look it up).

The Real Housewives of Twin Hickory, Wyndham and Deep Run
Nothing but lasagna parties, 24/7 (Look that up too). Bow-chicka-wow-wow.

The Real Foodinistas of Richmond
Local highfalutin' foodie types are forced to eat at Cook-Out, Panera and Genghis Mongolian Grill, forever. Robey Martin, Karri Peifer, Dana Craig, Brandon Fox and Piet Jones — as you've never seem them!

The Real Jackasses of Richmond
That kid who hit Frederick "Toots" Hibbert (of Toots and the Maytals) in the head with a liquor bottle on Brown's Island gets beaten MS-13 gangland style for 60 straight minutes. I'm kidding. He's just a dumb kid who made a really dumb mistake. Make it five minutes.

So just a few ideas that could possibly complement "The Real Babymamas" and their inevitable rise to stardom. Plus, it isn't like we don't already have locals who've found television fame already. Elliot Yamin is huge in Japan. Seriously. I wish that were a joke.

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Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at bartender@styleweekly.com. Lauterback also is co-host of 103.7-FM's "River Mornings with Melissa and Jack," weekdays from 6-9 a.m. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.

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