The latest in the "Real Housewives" franchise starts tonight.
The "Real Housewives of Atlanta" premieres on Bravo tonight at 9/8c. It's the third take on the "Real Housewives" idea—Orange County and New York were the first and second respectively. The shows follow the lives of wealthy women and their families; according to Bravo, the Atlanta version will feature five "glamorous Southern belles" who "balance motherhood, demanding careers and a fast-paced social calendar."
The similarities between the three shows are myriad: all feature family drama, conspicuous consumption, class consciousness and aging women trying to preserve their youth through clothing and surgery. The way these narratives play out varies with the setting.
The original OC housewives lived in a gated community and showed off their wealth through fake boobs and orange (county) tans. In the series' first season only one woman worked, although more have entered the working world in the subsequent seasons.
The New York women were more professional than their OC counterparts—four out of five had jobs—and generally younger than the California wives. They spending focused on New York society—charities and vacationing in the Hamptons.
From the Bravo website the Atlanta ladies appear more involved in city life than the OCers, more obnoxious than the NYCers. But the main difference is that on tonight's show four of the five women are black (none of the women in the first two seasons were non-white) and the one white woman says she feels like "a black woman trapped in a white woman's body."
Love Buzz hasn't seen the new show so we can't give our opinion just yet, but here's what peopel are saying...
According to a review in the Los Angeles Times the women on this show are younger, less surgeried and possibly wealthier than the OC and NY women, evidenced by the personal chefs and at least one personal bowling alley.
Film.com points out that this is an inauspicious time to premiere a show that celebrates spending money: "Apparently, 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' didn't get the memo about the economy, or else they're single-handedly trying to revive it."
Reuters notes that "we have clear, incontrovertible evidence that newly rich black women in Atlanta can be every bit as shallow, self-centered and profligate as white women in similar circumstances."
And the Daily News sums it up thusly: "'Real Housewives of Atlanta' is as empty as the rest of the series. But this one at least brings back some of the fun."