Oh, reality producers. You really don't trust our attention spans, do you? I understand. There's a millionth of a market share available to you what with DVRs and 100+ public channels and the Youtube and Netflix and Hulu and Whatsit. You want thingamabobs!? I got twenty.

But why do you have to throw the most contrived storyline since "The Great Train Robbery" at us in episode 2? You needed a catfight that fast?

Terra has a photoshoot she needs five friends to come to! But she has six friends! Obviously, she will leave out her least favorite person,Elena! But then Traci drops out, Terra is in trouble, but Elena comes through and shows up at the photoshoot! Wow! How did she get the address? That's so cool!

A fishier premise was never concocted than a photographer who asks for five subjects without screening their head shots or greenlighting their costumes before a photoshoot. And while nothing is more obvious than pointing out the staging of reality TV post-the Hills, this felt especially egregious because the the stars of LW:LA seriously don't need this much window dressing. They are turning out to be absolutely fascinating people all on their lonesomes. Just let them sit around and talk over mimosas, crying out loud!

The one chance all six women had to just sit together and shoot the shit yielded the biggest moment of the episode. Terra was convinced Elena didn't understand how offensive the term 'midget' was because a) language barrier and b) bullying doesn't exist in Russian high schools, in Terra's imagination. Terra was about to learn the crucial lesson that you never start a pissing contest about how bad you had it with someone who grew up in Russia during the 90's, when the number of people living in poverty rose to like what, 40, 50 percent of the country's population?!?!

Accused of not understanding the gritty realities of a little person's life because of her graceful proportions, Elena confounded the ladies with a tale of almost gothic horror from Mother Russia. Apparently from age 5-7 she was strapped down to a hospital bed, with a two hour visit from her mom once a week, in an ill-advised attempt to keep her from being bow-legged. Yes, it sounds positively medieval and claustrophobic and traumatizing.

However Terra's lightning bolt of empathy for Elena disappeared sooner than 'ere it could be said to strike, after the photographer fixed his crosshairs on Elena all throughout the Ladies' 50's Pinup photo shoot. He posed her across the hood of the car, leaving Terra and friends to grumble about her "hogging" the photos. As Elena lightly put it, what was she supposed to do?

Obviously a good friend would have swatted the camera from the photographer's hands straight onto the cement floor of the classic car dealership! Noooo, but because this moment—Elena's triumphant appearance when Traci pulled out at the last moment—seemed so staged, I feel freer to call it out as just tediously stereotypical. A bunch of ladies trying to out pretty each other! Jesus Christ, I already saw my 22 episodes of Bachelor, I've had my fill.

Much more interesting was Christy demanding her proposal. Personally, I am all for a lady insisting on a proposal, it's a sign the lady is not afraid to make her needs known to her partner and generally that's best for any relationship. I'm not saying any of you young things should start physically twisting your beaux's arms, but if the choice is between sitting around whistling "Single Ladies" for five years vs. looking across the table after 18 months and saying "Let's get married or let's move on," I think you'll ultimately be happier with option B.

Christy ultimately got the proposal she needed, Todd found a super romantic location, they had a very romantic moment. Let's just hope Christy + the editors do not turn this engagement into a full-on bridezilla war between her and Traci, because bridezillas are just another toxic way we culturally demonize women for trying to reach the same standards we drill into their heads night and day, day and night, all their lives. This "Race to the altar" business might as well be a race to choke some toilets with your money, just saying.

REGARDLESS. The few real bits of our heroines that made it through the filter of manufactured storylines in "Little Women, Big Drama" were phenomenal. I just hope it's more little women and less "big drama" next week.

[Images via Lifetime]

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