When Total Bellas first began airing on the E! Network, Nikki and Brie Bella's lives were so intertwined and so complimentary, that there was something -- dare I say -- cute about the episodes.
But now, the two sisters couldn't be more diametrically opposed -- as Brie settles into a normal, healthy, adult relationship with her husband, Daniel Bryan, and they experience the joy of raising their daughter, baby Birdie, Nikki and John Cena are going through petty relationship drama that, as it turns out, is all a work to get the ratings up. It reeks of cheap publicity stunts and childish games, and it's soured the whole storyline about their "trials and travails." It's hard to feel bad for Nikki when she cries about John, for instance, because you don't know if she's trying to manipulate you or be sincere with her emotions.
And the fact that this episode made it officially official that the Bella-Cena (BelCena? LaNa? CeLa? Whatever...) wedding is back on makes the "work" all the more jarring.
That said, this leaves the episode ripe for the snarking, and snark I shall!
So, there's a secondary storyline throughout this episode that we should get out of the way before we revisit the Cena trauma, if only because it serves as a template for how grown-ass folks should be acting.
Brie and Daniel decide that, while hiring a nanny may be a good idea, in theory, the reality is, it's not THAT great of an idea. Besides, having a nanny around only makes one part of their lives -- the baby Birdie part -- a little bit easier, but it doesn't mean that their lives in total will be without outside influence (there's a cute sidebar about "goat yoga" that Daniel does while trying to reconnect with his wife on a romantic getaway, which only serves to reinforce how cute -- and in love -- they really are). And while the scene with them getting chased by fans looked a little too A Hard Day's Night to be anything but staged, it still showed that the duo handles their problems the way a true married couple in love should: together, with a sense of humor and purpose, and taking the time to enjoy each other in the process. I still maintain that these two are too normal and in love, while behaving like adults, to be featured on the E! Network, but here we are.
The same, however, cannot be said about Nikki Bella and her relationship with fellow WWE diva John Cena, who are officially back together (yawn) and the wedding is officially back on (wake me when we have a Total Bellas pregnancy scare). Cena, of course, can't help but be a total self-centered douche, as clearly their marriage is all about him and what he wants (he even weighs in on who should walk Nikki down the aisle -- Brie -- as if his opinion is the only opinion that matters).
The whole relationship between these two involves John Cena's whims, and Nikki catering to them, often at the expense of her own true happiness.
And there's no better evidence of this than when Nikki hosts a dinner party for her family and, of course, Mr. Wonderful is missing. Nikki wangsts, again, that her husband is always away working (making her situation TOTALLY different from her sister's, even though she too happens to be married to a professional wrestler), so she decides it's time to verbally plot out her Cena pregnancy timeline. When Nana Bella gently suggests an idea about who should walk her down the aisle, Nikki lashes out and gets downright rude, because how dare the womenfolk question The Cena and his infinite wisdom?
But later on, she gets so frustrated because her emotional reserve is on empty that she finally sighs and says she wishes she wasn't getting married.
Yeah, girl. Us too. US TOO.
Total Bellas airs every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. EST on E! Networks. Check your local listings for the channel.