Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bravo's "Real" Housewives

I’ve been hooked on Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise ever since 2006 when it all started with the ladies of the OC {who remain my favorite because I feel they are the most authentic}.

Since then, the Housewives show has seem to gone astray from their original objective. Inadvertently perhaps? What once was a show that initially was supposed to center around affluent women - that viewers were to be intentionally envious of because of their lavish lifestyles - now sort of takes on a new direction as season after season, many of the “real housewives” now become a tad more relatable as we see their once overflowing money well, running dry. From just one season to the next, some of the women’s story lines are stark contrasts as we see them get bumped out of upper class status and witness how they adapt to their newfound lifestyle.

When these women {and their families} hit financial hardships, Bravo didn’t replace them with new affluent women/families. Instead, we were/are able to see their stories evolve and get to see how our favorite – or not so favorite - housewife adjusts to her new “reality”. These new realities consist of divorces, job losses, law suits, evictions, mortgage defaults, bankruptcy filings and other not so great details of their current happenings in life. There are many online sources that shed a bright light on the Real Housewives women and as a viewer you can become privy to all kinds of information that you will never come to know about by solely just watching the show {my go to source is here}.

Yet on the flip side, a few Housewives have greatly profited both personally and financially as a result of their exposure on the show…becoming authors, recording artists, earning income from public appearances and tv appearances, becoming the face of a product line, and in Bethenny Frankel’s case, getting a show that focuses solely on her. These Housewives are “gettin’ it while the gettin’ is good” – and I don’t blame them.

Many viewers tuned in to vicariously live through these once {and some are still} well-to-do women and momentarily indulge in their expensive taste. It’s what made us a repeat viewer. Now we tune in to see….DRAMA. Drama, drama, and more drama. Is this really how we like it?

This past season, The Real Housewives of New Jersey has mainly focused on the demented behavior of cast member Danielle Staub, who apparently thinks she can be subtle with her antagonistic behavior. Not so much. I thought it was hilarious that Bravo titled one of the recent shows “Staub Wounds”. No kidding.

Because nearly every show is centered around Danielle’s crazy antics - and how all the other housewives react to her outlandish ways - the viewers unfortunately don’t get to see much into the lives of the Jersey women. If things don’t change up next season, I won’t be tuning in to “The Danielle Show”.

The Housewives draws a mass appeal. With record breaking ratings each week, it’s likely the Housewives franchise will continue to expand to new cities and no doubt, audiences will continue to grow. Gossip is circulating that Bravo’s next “Real Housewives” may come from the cities of New Orleans, Dallas, and Boston. I think Chicago should be thrown in there {and maybe bring back former OC housewife Kimberly Bryant who relocated to Chicago after season 1}.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills began shooting this past March. Kim and Kyle Richards, who are Paris Hilton's aunts, will be in the show. Count me out. Even though I’m originally from California, I have zero desire to see The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. As appealing as Bravo presents these women to be….no thank you.

Another Real Housewives that I know I’ll be skipping the next season of is The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Because quite frankly, I can’t stomach watching the majority of these women be so pretentious. Also, I’ve had enough of the ridiculous behavior that these grown women display. Oh - and I’m over the phantom known as Big Poppa.

Bravo is getting ready to introduce us to The Real Housewives of DC and I’m really looking forward to tuning in for reasons noted here! Following tonight’s episode of Bethenny Getting Married? {Do you watch? Do you like?}, were going to get a sneak preview of what’s to come on the RHODC {which premiere’s August 5th!}. You can get to know the women here. In addition, you can read some "interesting" things about the DC housewives here, here, and here.

The Real Housewives series might go international. Several media sources say that Bravo is thinking about expanding their empire to Dubai. In Greece, The Real Housewives of Athens will begin airing on Antenna TV in October 2010. And in the United Kingdom, casting is underway for another version in the beach town of Sandbanks in England. Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to tune in to these shows!?!


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