Bams Unholy Union

Noah Davis

The show follows the man-child around as he fights with his friends, destroys his hard-earned property, and generally pisses off both his parents and fiancée.

Bam's Unholy Union

Airtime: Tuesdays, 9:30pm ET
Cast: Bam Margera, April Margera, Melissa Rothstein, Phil Margera, Brandon DiCamillo
Network: MTV
US release date: 2007-01-30

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.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

Guitarist and band leader Gary Lucas and veteran vocalist Nona Hendryx pay tribute to one of rock's originals in this interview with PopMatters.

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.