Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What is Bravo Trying to Tell Us About Our LifeStyle?

Brandi Glanville joined the cast of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after 3 seasons and enjoys her time as resident trouble maker, binge-drinker, and wine-thrower. She's the classic Bravo celebrity.
To preface, Jennifer Lawrence is a self-proclaimed reality TV junkie, ergo there's no shame in it. Whatever J-Law does is cool mmmkay? There's no greater cesspool of reality bacteria than that on the Bravo Network. Spearheaded by the indelible Andy Cohen who rescued the network from reruns of 'Inside the Actor's Studio' and the lowest ratings in TV history into the most watched channel across the continental US, Cohen keeps coming out with franchise after franchise, none of which has seen more success than 'The Real Housewives of...'
Now, even a junkie like me has to cherry pick. I have pride. I only religiously tune in to New Jersey, Orange County, and my beloved ladies of Beverly Hills. Out of the ashes of Beverly Hills, when post-menopausal women doing yoga and going to botox parties became less and less interesting, came the irreverent 'Vanderpump Rules'. Let me explain. Lisa Vanderpump is a 'housewife' which is ironic because she's a working woman, and a Beverly Hills transplant from England. Anyway! She has two (now three) restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. Villa Blanca in Beverly know, who cares? the newly opened gay bar Pump (which I heard is abysmal, also being next door to West Hollywood's Abbey Food & Bar, a landmark in the gay community) suffice it to say, it's not getting much business despite the pretentious and overpriced drinks. The third is a bar and lounge that I used to frequent back in my LA days called SUR also in the heart of West Hollywood. It's kind of like Abercrombie & Fitch for drinkers. She only hires young hot actor/model wannabe's filled with righteous indignation, body glitter, and draaaaaama with a capital F. 

This season of 'Vanderpump Rules' saw a goddamn wedding. Backstory: that girl in the ridiculous crop-top wedding dress is Scheana Marie whom we were introduced to in Real Housewives of Bev-Hills because she cheated on the husband of one of the cast members, and now like every girl pushing 35, she decided to settle for some boring nothing. I don't have to tell you anything about him, the picture says it all. 
Juxtaposing these two shows together it's actually quite surprising considering the ladies of 'Vanderpump Rules' seem to have it more together and more of a clear head on their shoulders being in their late 20's early 30's than the parakeets in their 50's of the Real Housewives cast. 
Let's talk marriage. It's very ironic calling the franchise 'Real Housewives of' anything. Most are divorced or going to be, usually for the dumbest reasons, while the ladies of Vanderpump though all aboard the hot mess express on a regular basis at least have their men in check. Example: 'Tequila' Katie from the Vanderpump cast finally sat her slacker boyfriend down and said; 'listen bitch, you have six months to propose to me or I'm moving on'. You go girl. I'm not saying that this is an agist thing. Yes a lot of the housewives look like melted barbies (especially in Orange County) but their god complexes get in the way of actual happiness, this is all considering that optimal happiness for them means more than 5 pairs of Louboutins. 

Kim Richards; the hot mess. Was anyone really surprised that she fell off the wagon and lied about it through an entire season of Real Housewives? Not I. 
Now, on to lifestyle choices. Let's branch out. Bravo seems to be very hypocritical and also a bit exploitive of people's drinking issues. They tend to cast people right on the cusp and push them over the edge. With all of the open bar parties they stage for the cameras, they could be considered one giant enabler. Hell, Andy Cohen will sit down at a reunion show with you or inside his 'clubhouse' and make a margarita in your mouth right after an episode airs which brings up your 'drinking problem'. The last season of the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' centered around Kim Richards (former child star extraordinaire and general psycho) and the giant question mark regarding her 'sobriety' since she admitted on live television that she had gone to rehab for her alcoholism, and this season it's apparent to everyone with eyes that she's not exactly following through. The last episode was 45 minutes of the six cast members arguing about whether or not the word 'intervention' was actually used in conversation regarding her. Talk about stretching content. And then it comes out that she got wasted at the Beverly Hilton and kicked a cop, were any of us surprised? No. Is Andy Cohen secretly happy because he gets to have a 1 on 1 special with her now? Yes. 
The new show 'Southern Charm' is a bit of a sleeper hit. Small cast, cute city (Charleston), and though the cast like everyone else on Bravo, is loaded, they are very self-aware of that and how obnoxious they can be. Just like on basically every other Bravo show, there is a character whom we can already see going to the dark side. Previews of his intervention are in the works. Now, Andy is not stupid, when someone busts out with their alcoholism, that makes for excellent TV. Though no Emmy in sight for him in the near future. 

The cast of the 2nd season of 'Southern Charm' behind the million dollar smiles and designer dresses, there is drama-a-brewing.
Now that Bravo has decided to (gasp) go scripted with shows like 'Odd Mom Out' and 'Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce' the well of vodka-soaked divorce-ridden drama has clearly run dry. But I'm sure the great and powerful Andy Cohen still has a couple tricks up his sleeve. And alas, against everyone's better judgement the Real Housewives franchise is still going strong. The first one was 10 years ago if you can believe it, and as long as they keep up the formula of pure schadenfreude they'll be ok. There is always going to be an endless stream of cutaways to people taking copious shots, girls crying, and guys fighting. On that alone, Bravo has built one of the most successful TV empires known to man. As far as guilty pleasures go, it's one of the best. As Cameran (cast member on 'Southern Charm' and the definitive 'voice of reason' of the show) ever so cleverly quipped; All aboard the hot mess express. Toot, toot!

Intros to some of these shows below. Because, why not?

No comments: