Stars Earn Stripes, the new reality series that premiered last week on NBC, seems to be leaving audiences with a bad taste in their mouths. That’s why I’m planning to pitch a new and improved version to the execs at NBC, one that won’t be accused of sanitizing war or make us all roll our eyes at the absurdity of the mock missions. What am I proposing? Stars Earn Stripes: MilSpouse Edition.
Similar to the original, celebrities will be teamed up with experienced MilSpouses who will guide them through their missions and teach them what it takes to serve on the home front.
But unlike the current version, celebrities will be thrown into their operations with no training whatsoever. Real MilSpouses learn everything through on-the-job-training. We aren’t given any formal training to prepare us, so the celebrities won’t get it either.
Each celebrity, will be assigned a different mission. Throughout these missions, participants will also have to overcome impromptu complications sponsored by Murphy’s Law, such as toilets overflowing, cars breaking down, and toddlers puking during important conference calls.
Whoever is still standing at the end of the series will undergo intense psychiatric evaluations. The winner will be the celebrity who walks away with the highest level of sanity (that is, if anyone’s sanity remains intact).
I’m confident the chosen celebrities will gain a new perspective of military life and appreciate the pure awesomeness of the military spouse. The following is a list of the celebrities being recruited for the show and the missions they will be assigned:
Celebrity #1: Drew Barrymore
Mission: Drew, who is currently at the end of her pregnancy, will be delivering her baby alone. Her husband recently deployed after PCS’ing the family to another state, where she has no close friends and no family. She has 2 other young children to care for, and the only child care she can afford has a 4-month waiting list. (Cue the contractions.)
Celebrity #2: Jennifer Lopez
Mission: Jennifer is an elementary school teacher living on the west coast. Her son is a rising high school senior who has been working hard to earn a college football scholarship. Her husband announces the family will be PCS’ing to the east coast in less than a month. That means coping with her son’s anger at having to move before his senior year, the difficulties the move will create for his scholarship aspirations, and the intricate process of transferring her teacher certification and finding a job. (Start studying and saving for those re-cert exams JLo!)
Celebrity #3: Lindsay Lohan
Mission: Lindsay is a 21-year-old year newlywed. A week after finding out she’s pregnant, her husband announces he’s leaving in 2 weeks for his first deployment. He thinks it’s best that she move in with her parents while he’s gone because she has no friends, no job, and knows absolutely nothing about military life. That means life with her parents. For an entire year. While she’s missing her husband. And she’s hormonal. (PS: Lindsay, I know we’re only pretending you’re pregnant, but no, you cannot raid your parents’ liquor cabinet.)
Celebrity #4: Roseanne Barr
Mission: Roseanne is a savvy businesswoman/artist who owns a highly successful accessories and clothing boutique. She put off her dreams of opening the store for years as her husband’s career moved them all over the country, but once he assured her that this would be their final duty station before he retired, she went for it. Suddenly, her husband is offered an overseas command and decides to take it instead of retiring. He now has 3 year orders to Italy. (Sorry, Roseanne, but the move might put a halt on your presidential campaign too. See the sacrifices we MilSpouses make?)
Celebrity #5: Simon Cowell
Mission: Simon is a retired Marine married to a Soldier. He now works from home as a freelance writer and is a stay-at-home dad to 2-year-old twin girls and a 14-year-old stepdaughter who is obsessed with Twilight and older boys. His wife is halfway into a year-long deployment, and just returned to Afghanistan after a somewhat stressful 2 weeks at home for R & R. (Go ahead, Simon, say something snarky. We can take it.)
Celebrity #6: Kim Kardashian
Mission: Kim’s husband is in the Navy and has orders to Japan. Her husband has to report to the ship ASAP, but she stays in the states for a few more weeks so her 2 school-aged children could close out the school year. Her 2 other children are still in diapers. She then has to organize the entire PCS herself, including overseas medical screenings, 3 separate pack outs, and required paperwork for the dog. Finally, she will fly to Japan with her 4 children and her old, ailing dog, arriving at an airport where her husband will not be waiting for her. (Better start brushing up on your Japanese, Kim.)
Celebrity #7: Tina Fey
Mission: It’s finally homecoming! Tina’s husband has been deployed for a year, and she can’t wait to see him and spend some quality time alone with him. But a week before the big day, her husband’s entire family, including parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles, arrives unexpectedly in town to prepare for and share the homecoming experience. Her in-laws invited themselves to stay at her house for the week prior to and the week following homecoming. (Tina, you know you're dying to end your Saturday Night Live retirement just so you can write a skit about this.)
Good luck celebrities! Let’s see if you're tough enough to earn your stripes as MilSpouses.