*Among numerous accolades, journalist and media personality Jacque Reid has done interviews with a US President and anchored the CNN news desk, but she will be doing a little talking of a different kind come tonight.
Reid will co-star alongside hip hop legend Sandy “Salt” Denton, of Salt-N-Pepa fame on the new VH1 reality series “Let’s Talk About Pep,” which premieres tonight (01-11-10) at 10:30 ET/PT.
“It’s not anything like ‘Flavor of Love’ or ‘I Love New York,’ Reid said of how the new series compares to other popular VH1 reality shows. “It’s about four women, single, and dating in New York City. I’d like to think it’s like an urban ‘Sex in the City.'”
The network describes the show, which takes its title from a new book by the raptress, as a comedy following Sandra “Pepa” Denton of Salt-n-Pepa fame as she emerges from several years of romantic and sexual dormancy, brought on by some seriously lousy relationships. Reid said that the show is simply a real take on the trials and triumphs of single women in the city and that she hasn’t had to worry about her credibility as a journalist. In addition to Reid, and series namesake Pep, the show stars sports journalist and model Joumana Kidd (ex-wife of NBA star Jason Kidd) and voice over talent Kali “Kittie” Troy.
“I play myself,” she said of the “role.” “I’m me so I don’t think that I carry myself in any kind of way that would hurt my career or my credibility as a journalist. I’m just trying something new as I’ve done with so many things that I’ve done in radio and TV.”
“VH1 is not HBO, but it’s still not CBS,” she continued. “I haven’t seen everything. I’ve only seen the parts that I’m involved in. (Reid’s comments were made in mid December, ’09.) There are four different women and all of us do our own thing and then we come together. I can’t speak for the show in its entirety, but from what I have seen, it’s very tastefully done.”
Explaining the series title, Reid said that the show is centered on rap star Pep although she and two other single gals round out the cast.
“If you’re familiar with ‘Sex in the City,’ you know that even though there are four women, it really revolves around the main character, Carrie,” Reid described. “Pep is like our Carrie. We all come together because of her and she is the main focus of the show. You’ll see her story more than anyone else’s, but you’ll see our stories as well.”
The four women are real life friends that directly and indirectly met through church.
“You’ll see us hanging out as girlfriends; you’ll see us going on dates and dealing with and resolving various issues in our lives. It really is interesting,” she said. “It’s like a girlfriend show. It’s about us being friends and being there and supporting each other through the trials and tribulation of dating and dealing with men.”
Reid, who attends bible study with the formerly celibate Pep, was approached by the rap star and the other half of the Salt-N-Pepa duo Cheryl “Salt” James Wray about doing the project.
“I talked to the producers because I was very concerned about my credibility and how I’d be portrayed, and about reality shows I had seen with women fighting and drama, drama, drama,” she said. “I didn’t want to be a part of that and they said that’s not the kind of show that they wanted to do. They wanted to deal with real life issues that women dealt with.”
Reid said that dealing with and sharing real issues for women was what really attracted her to the project.
“As a journalist, I like putting out information and telling stories, especially when it may be something that people can relate to especially when it can help them deal with something that they may be going through. That’s why I did it. I felt that I could connect with a lot of women out there,” she said.
“I don’t know if it can help me personally, but I guess it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I’m letting other women out there who might be struggling with dating, dealing with the things we’re dealing with the things that we all deal with as women that you’re not alone,” she continued. “I’m hoping that through this show women can connect with it and I get satisfaction of connecting with other women.”
“Let’s Talk About Pep” premieres tonight (01-11-10) on VH1 at 10:30 ET/PT. For more, go to the VH1 website at www.VH1.com.
“It’s not a beat-up-on-men show. There’s enough content that it doesn’t have to be high drama. I think guys will get a kick out of it, too. I think there’s something for everybody in there. It’s going to be fun and funny.”
Interview by Lee Bailey / Story written by Kenya Yarbrough