Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Let Me Explain Housewives Culture to You

Promo still for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 4 reunion. Premiered yesterday.
I hate reality TV, and I mean with an adult pre-occupying hate. There is really nothing likable about it except for the schaudenfreude we all feel after finishing an episode of Couples Therapy or some show where someone's just the personification of the 'hot-mess express', which is basically every show. You look into my iTunes library, and it's seasons of cerebral shows like Sherlock, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, some Lost because you know, of course), and then a plethora; just a cornucopia of different episodes of different incarnations of the Real Housewives franchise. I have two favorites, the others, I really don't pay much attention to, but the 'classy' ladies from Beverly Hills and the nutbags from New Jersey have transfixed me, and I'm an Ivy League graduate. It's beyond a guilty pleasure it's more of a guilty obsession, to where I actually imagine myself on the cast. 

Frenemies Brandi Glanville and Lisa Vanderpump share a laugh on Watch What Happens Live.
Here's the irony, a lot of these women are not even housewives. They are not even wives some of them. Par example; Brandi Glanville a regular 'housewife' on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been divorced for 6 years. Another member of the cast; Lisa Vanderpump is certainly not what we think of as a housewife considering she's an entrepreneur and a working woman, with 2 high-end restaurants in Los Angeles to constantly manage. But apparently being the equivalent of a homemaker is not the criteria it takes anymore to be cast on this Bravo juggernaut. 

White house gate crashers Michaele Salahi and Tareq Salahi shake hands with President Obama. 
One incarnation of the franchise that I loved was The Real Housewives of DC, which was absolutely brilliant. When it ran for it's one and only season back in 2009-2010, DC was the 'it' city with everyone's fascination tuned into that city's culture. Obama had just become president, and it was a hub of culture and activity. It was like move over San Francisco, Portland, and New Orleans, there's cool shit going on in DC. Bravo was not about to let that pass them by, and decided to move their cameras to DC, and what was cool about those broads was that unlike most other housewives from basically every city that they pick, they actually had class, were 'old money', and spoke articulately, which is something you never expect from a Bravo syndicated show. There was just a tiny bomb on that train which happened to explode all over the network and they found themselves in some serious hot water and that bomb goes by the name Tareq and Michaele Salahi. Remember them? The White House Party crashers? Yeah they were on the show, and Michaele was a bona fied housewife, but believe me, it didn't take for the others long to figure out just how big of a phony she really was and when the gate crashing happened and the two were put on trial, the other housewives had a big laugh watching it together to bask in the glory that was Michaele's demise. Unfortunately, because of that little stunt, Bravo was disallowed from continuing the DC franchise and there were no more seasons filmed there. 
Table flipping, weave-pulling, and general screaming was a staple of the Jersey Housewives franchise. 
The Jersey housewives kill me because there is literally nothing stopping them from bad and tacky behavior. These are not 'ladies', these are Jersey girls, who all married rich and now they get to act like completely despicable morons, but it always comes back to the same thing 'family' a very Jersey notion. And also very ironic because most of them spend their free time which is all their time trying to sabotage one another considering that most of them are related, so I'm not sure how high 'family' actually exists in the totem pole of important things for them. I'd imagine somewhere between Louis Vuitton handbags, and cheap wine. 

A never-ending supply of booze was definitely a housewife unto itself. 
And then there's my favorite girls to see unravel with every blessed episode; The chicks from the hills, Beverly to be exact, so much irony in calling them that since most of them don't even LIVE in Beverly Hills. One lives in Malibu, two in Belaire, and I think one's even in the Valley. They switch up that cast the way a girl switches up her favorite pair of jeans to wear. Lately they've had two additions; British-born Wicca Carlton whom I love, and Puerto-Rican beauty queen Joyce, whom I can't stand...and let's face it, none of us can. Drunky Taylor, who's husband killed himself probably because the show was getting a bit too close for comfort on all of his embezzlements and fraudulent money deals, is off the show (fucking finally) as is heiress, gravely-voiced monster uberbitch, Adrienne Maloof. And that's all well and good, but I love how even in the face of the worst kind of estrogen motivated backstabbing and drunken arguments, they still manage to act like ladies...this includes Brandi by the way. For those not in the know, Brandi came on like a spitball on fire as Adrienne's then Lisa's BFF, who was cheated on by her husband B-movie actor, Eddie Cibrian with his co-star at the time, Leanne Rhymes. She drinks, she cusses, she wears clothes that are far too revealing but keep in mind she's a former model, that's just par for the course. She's kind of like the American Patsy Stone if Patsy Stone was a real person. She's had tiffs with basically everyone else on that show but still somehow manages to come out on top, and not because she's taller than everyone else. I think she's basically the main reason to watch it if you're going to get into it. At the reunion, which premiered its first half yesterday she had no problem telling Joyce that she looks like an Olympic figure skater in her dress, adding to that 'Sochi's calling bitch'. So I guess that's basically why. It's also the same reason women tend to 'hate their friends'...there's even a term for that; remember 'frenemies'? In Julie and Julia (2008) there's this great scene when Julie her husband and her friend are eating and Julie says 'what does it mean when you don't like your friends?' and her friend answers back 'it's totally normal', then her husband tries to add 'men like their friends!' and Julie says 'we're not talking about men, who's talking about men?'. So if you're a woman, you should get into it, the only season running now is The Real Housewives of NYC, which has been a snoozefest since Bethenny Frankel left, so punch those reruns into your iTunes and prepare to laugh your ass off if not find yourself totally relating to some completely inexcusable behavior, because you know what ladies? It's all within us, these broads just have the balls to show it off, in front of cameras. Once a week. On Bravo...in 8 inch Louboutin stilettos. 

RHOBH Season 2 intro, with some old faces, that look like new faces thanks Botox! Damn these girls are smart...no sassy, sassy's the word I'm looking for :P

RHODC intro. They just have the 1. Sorry for inability to find clips Bravo runs a tight ship. 

And finally the new seasons of Jersey intro. You can just smell the animosity.

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