[5 February 2007]
Bam Margera, the crazy, pain-inflicting, parent-abusing sweetheart of MTV, has a new show. This time, rather than focusing on Bam and his friends breaking their bodies, it takes up a much scarier topic: the man’s impending nuptials.
Bam’s Unholy Union chronicles the route of Margera and his wife-to-be Melissa Rothstein as they make their way toward matrimony. Or something like that. Mostly, it just follows the man-child around as he fights with his friends, destroys his hard-earned property, and generally pisses off both his parents and Rothstein.
In the first episode, Bam and his friend Novak—whom Margera woke up by breaking a lamp over his head—jumped in the pool, while April, Missy, and Phil watched in horror. “The pool isn’t fixed since the last time you ruined it,” Ap screamed as the tattooed twosome cannonballed into the water. How did he ruin it? By driving his SUV through a fence and into the water.
Bam, of course, got away with it, just like he gets away with everything else. He’s charming as hell and he knows it. Sure, his head’s bigger than it was before the CKY series, Jackass, and Viva La Bam made him a hero to millions of teenagers, but he’s actually toned it down his shtick. Perhaps that’s the lesson here: get married, get responsible. For the network that promotes True Life: I’m Dirt Poor, it’s a bold statement.
He’s not exactly emasculated, but he must do something he’s never had to do before: answer to someone else, namely Missy. If the first episode is any indication, she can’t control him, but she does make him think twice. He told her, “We’re going to do this wedding my way,” but the show reveals the many compromises that must be made. He and the future Mrs. Margera made a list. (Missy worried that three months isn’t enough time. No mention was made of the fact that she’s marrying a man who built a skate park in his house while his parents were out to dinner.) The list was written in soap on a mirror in the couple’s bedroom, but still, it’s a step towards maturity.
At some point, all this fun will lead somewhere else. Missy lamented the fact that she’s going to have to change her last name and thus inherit the “Margera curse… Nobody will deal with you. Nobody will book hotels or rent anything to you,” she said, half-kidding and half-I-can’t-believe-I’m-marrying-you. She shows that Bam’s actions do have penalties, a much-needed lesson for all the would-be Jackasses watching around the country. Through some combination of divine intervention and Jack Daniels, neither Margera nor his friends have been maimed or killed performing their stunts. But they can’t rent a hotel room. And in the world that exists outside Bam’s fantasy world, that sucks.
Then again, nothing in Bam’s world should make sense to people who aren’t living in it. In the first scene of the first episode, the skater was locked out of his house. Instead of getting his fiancée to let him in like a normal person would do, he decided to climb up a ladder to the second-story bathroom window. Conveniently, there was a 25-foot ladder nearby. Missy is one of the few women who isn’t someone’s mom to venture into this wacky world of pranks and TV-friendly designs. When he appeared at the bathroom window, she asked, “You can’t you just come in like a normal person?” He admitted his error right away, or at least submitted to his beloved’s will: “Yes, boss,” he said. His devotion to Missy is touching.
Before Newlyweds tore them apart, Nick and Jessica were the sweetest couple ever to grace reality TV. We like to believe that Missy and Bam deserve each other, and hope they’ll live happily ever after in the castle bought with funds paid for Bam’s self-indulgence. The first episode suggested they’ve found a balance. The catchphrase for Viva La Bam was “He’s Bam Margera. What will he do next?” At which point Bam pronounced, “Whatever the fuck I want.” The tag for Unholy should be “I’ll do whatever the fuck I want… just let me ask my wife.” Living hard and fast isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Settling down? Now that takes a real man.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/bams-unholy-union/