Reality Bites: Ice Loves Coco
I should point out I started writing this before I learned of the "scandal" involving pictures of Ice-T's wife Nicole "Coco Marie" Austin getting snuggly with rapper AP.9, who in turn claimed to have nude photos of her. I have mostly ignored this tawdry imbroglio and tried to judge Ice Loves Coco on its own merits as a tasteful, understated look at the relationship between two not-quite "A" level celebrities.
One of whom, it must be mentioned, is built like a brick outbuilding of some kind.
Tracy "Ice-T" Marrow is one of hip-hop's most venerable figures. If you're like me, you first became aware of him through his role as "Rap Talker" in Breakin'. If you're like normal people, you may have picked up O.G. Original Gangster or , or caught him in New Jack City or any of dozens of films he made throughout the '90s and '00s. If you're my mom, you know him as Detective "Fin" Tutuola on Law and Order: SVU.
But he's also a husband, having been married to former swimsuit model and current showgirl "Coco" Austin since 2001. I knew of the marriage, if peripherally, thanks to sites like TMZ and Huffington Post infrequently posting Coco's latest Twitter pics (the woman is not shy about "backing that thing up," as they say). But with the exception of this recent incident, the couple has done an admirable job staying out of the spotlight for negative reasons.
Their reward? A reality show. And not a show on some cheesy network like Bravo or TruTVm, but one on that most venerable of entertainment channels, E! itself. You know, the channel that gave post-J. Howard Marshall/pre-death Anna Nicole Smith a show.
For starters, I have a hard time getting past the singer of "Cop Killer" doing the Taylor Swift 'hand heart' in the opening credits of his own show, but whatever. I was also surprised to learn Coco has "world offices." Maybe that plays into Ice-T describing how wife's derrière has its own gravitational pull.
In the show I caught ("Baby Got Super Powers"), Coco is approached by a comic book artist to be a character in one of his books. A brief discussion takes place about her potential identities and superpowers. Ice-T tastefully suggests "Thunderbutt."
In case you hadn't figured it out, Coco has a sizable posterior.
The artist -- Craig Weich from Beyond Comics -- meets with Coco (her "flamboyant" publicist "Soulgee" in tow) to discuss "the process." This involves her going down to his studio so he can "immortalize her" in comic book form. If it seems like I'm using a lot of quotes here, it's because the show is best appreciated ironically.
And Coco pretty much is the living embodiment of mainstream superheroine ideals: nice bone structure, statuesque, and proportioned like a Vargas girl on steroids. Weich gets some sketches, then invites Coco to the New York Comic-Con to do an autograph signing for the new book. That might qualify as a romantic overture if she wasn't married and he wasn't a dorkus malorkus, as they say in Latin.
Of course she has to get with her stylist for the costume, and of course the person whose most recognizable feature is her posterior wants to deemphasize same. That is until she actually gets to Comic-Con, where for some reason she likes getting attention for posing in next to no clothing. Classic irony.
But not everything is butt cheeks and fanboys, for Ice-T's son Little Ice is having some difficulty with the law. Dad wants to get him back on the straight and narrow, which of course involves taking him shopping for sports cars. And also introducing him to Mario and Marco Andretti, the better to teach him the meaning of dedication, I guess. I hope junior's transgressions didn't involve speeding or reckless driving.
Naturally, that doesn't work. So Ice-T takes Little Ice to Sing Sing (he's judging inmate debates, don't ask). His "scared straight" strategy falls kind of flat, since he's only exposed to the "debate team" inmates and not the "pound me in the ass" inmates. It's too bad he couldn't be witness to a prison yard shivving. That scene in To Live and Die In L.A. put me on the straight and narrow for sure.
Similarly laughable is Ice-T talking about how he likes to show his son what a "long, hard day's work" is like on SVU. Yeah, those long hours sitting in your trailer waiting to try and avoid staring at Mariska Hargitay's chest must be excruciating.
Ice-T's son isn't stupid. He just seems like he's made a few bad decisions. Having made the choice to watch Ice Loves Coco, I can certainly relate.