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“Single Ladies” returns to VH1 on Monday, May 28th at 1 p.m., minus Stacy Dash as Val. Dash reportedly left the show to focus on “family,” “other opportunities” or whatever platitude that you’d like to believe. Insider gossip, which hasn’t been totally denied by anyone involved, including LisaRaye who dished on Dash over at Jet magazine, is that Dash’s diva demands led to her departure.

Denise Vasi, best known for her role on “All My Children,” is taking over as a new character, Raquel, an old friend of LisaRaye’s character, Keisha.

While Dash may have had her off-putting ways, we’ll really miss Val. However, everyone else is returning including our personal favorite, the mysterious Malcolm, played by D.B. Woodside. Omar, the ladies’ gay sidekick, played by Travis Winfrey is also returning. And let us take a moment to give props to whomever it is that improved on both LisaRaye and Charity Shea’s wig/weave game. (LisaRaye, we really, really like you with your real hair.) Guest stars this season include “Single Ladies” producer Queen Latifah, “Dancing with the Stars’” Cuban hottie William Levy, Li’l Romeo, Chili, Paula Patton, Rick Fox, Eve, Big Boi, and more. We do have a few questions about Season 2 and we’ll bet so do you. Here are five things we’re wonder about this season on “Single Ladies.”


Out of all the storylines last season, we were most intrigued by Malcolm and Keisha’s relationship. It was hot, it was sexy and it was fun to see cynical Keisha meet her match with the wealthy entrepreneur. But it soon became clear that this relationship would have its road bumps. Malcolm came with a scheming father, an angry brother and an ex-wife he was still taking care of. At the end of season one, Keisha headed over to Malcolm’s mansion and found it being raided by the Feds with him nowhere to be found. This season, Malcolm’s back with what we hope will be a convincing explanation, because how do you come back from that? He must figure out a way, which ought to be interesting to watch. But can Keisha really trust him? And now that Malcolm has a rival – a light-skinned handsome cutie who is playing Keisha’s “lawyer” – we know this is gonna get good.


The biggest question in season two is how new girl Denise Vasi will fit into the mix. Vasi is a legit replacement – she’s cute in the same ethnically ambiguous way as Dash. But even if rumors are true that Dash was too much drama off-screen, viewers really enjoyed her in the role as Val. And she and LisaRaye were the same age – both women in their 40’s. Now that LisaRaye is surrounded by much younger women (Vasi and Charity Shea, who plays April, are both 31) the show’s balance does seem a little off. But it also gives LisaRaye a clear lane to be the show’s resident older diva, a role she’s born for.


Val’s clothing store was a great focal point for “Single Ladies,” a place where guest stars could easily fit into the show, a place where Omar could deliver his best one-liners and where the ladies could commiserate about relationships and occasionally even find a new one. You could say the store was like an extra character. This season, it looks like Raquel will buy it as Val is off in Italy and won’t be coming back (although presumably since she’s still alive that could mean that Stacy Dash could return in the future.) We hope that the writers find a way to keep the store in play without making it look like they just couldn’t figure out something more creative for the new girl to do. It’s all in the execution so I guess we’ll see.


Now that April’s divorced, it means that she now gets to choose from an array of gorgeous guest stars to have sex with. But we’re wondering if her sexual experimenting will get old – I mean how many ways can somebody get laid? (Well, on “Single Ladies,” there’ve been more than a few.) April’s career savvy helped her to advance in her job last season, but what’s going to happen with that this season? Will her artist do well? We’re hoping that the writers wring a bit more out of April this season so she doesn’t get dominated by the stronger alpha females.


“Single Ladies” isn’t that deep and that’s what makes it fun. But we’re hoping that it doesn’t “jump the shark” before it’s time – in TV lingo, that means when a show just does too much and ends up losing the credibility that’s made it popular. (See “The Game.”) “Single Ladies” is campy, escapist fun that isn’t as catty and petty as the “Housewives” shows from where it clearly takes its lead. There’s a whole lot of male eye candy too, and that’s for sure an improvement over most reality TV (with the sexy exception of Apollo on “RHOA”) shows. But there’s a fine line between camp and ridiculous, one which “Single Ladies” has been riding pretty well. This season we hope they keep it up, because with the news that Pooch Hall and Tia Mowry are leaving “The Game,” it might be one of the few Black scripted TV shows that we can count on for a watchable mix of humor and drama.

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