Do you share the same inexplicable love for the show?
I’m a reality show junkie. “American Idol,” “Intervention,” “Millionaire Matchmaker,” “Dancing With The Stars,” “Hoarders,” “Cops,” “48 Hours, ″ “Survivor,” “HBO’s Hard Knocks,” “Keeping Up With The Kardashians…” (Actually I watch ALL the Kardashian shows) love ‘em! And oh yeah, I could name ten more with ease.
For most folks, simply admitting that you throw away hours of your life on these programs is grounds for an IQ check. The intellectual elites think of TV as junk food for the brain. If you buy that analogy, then think of reality television as a 5-pound stick of butter melting over a bag of Ding Dongs or sprinkling a pound of sugar on a Big Mac.
But there’s one show — actually, one show franchise that makes even yours truly think that maybe this isn’t the best use of my free time. I’m talking about the deplorable, shameful, awful yet delicious, “Real Housewives” franchise on the BRAVO television network. The locations change — Orange County, New Jersey, New York, Beverly Hills, Miami, Washington DC, Atlanta… dear God, the train wreck that is Atlanta! — but the awfulness remains the same. It’s all just so. Damn. BAD.
These women are about as vapid, shallow and self-centered as any trust fund baby girl has ever been reputed to be…. and I love them. And therein lies my not-so-secret shame. This franchise is a hot mess at a magnitude TV viewers have never witnessed. The ultimate in “train-wreck-itis.”
I simply can’t…. look…. away.
Of note: The drama queen-ness of the New York women. Like Jill Zarin, who (to her credit), is constantly trying to better herself by not gossiping and judging the other women… yet continues to gossip about and judge the other women! How about the Countess De Lesseps? The former model who addresses everyone as “daaah-ling.” It’s the height of self-importance for this woman to proclaim her “classiness and elegance” at every opportunity. Doesn’t that self-congratulatory stance make you anything but? I could go on about the cartoonish, weirdo, self-righteousness of New York’s, Ramona and her Orange County spiritual twin, Vicki. Wow!
Then there’s the wannabe fabulousness of the Atlanta Housewives. This crew is the one that put this franchise on the map. NeNe, the brash and overbearing one who thinks “telling it like it is” and “keepin’ it real” are excuses to be a… word that starts with a “b.” No not THAT word…. I was thinking about the word “bully!”
I can’t forget Kim, the wannabe singer — who won’t ever be. This wig-wearing blond was for years, seeing a married guy referred to only as, “Big Poppa.” By the way, her song, “Tardy For The Party” was at once an eardrum assault and battery and the most fun piece of trashy music you’ll ever hear.
Don’t get me started on the nuttiness of the New Jersey Housewives…stereotypes anyone? A woman who pays for $100,000 worth of furniture in cash… in hundred dollar bills no less? And her husband is in “construction?” I’m not saying there’s a mob connection… because I don’t want to wake up next to a horse head.
But the franchise reached its tawdry apex with the tragic death of one the wives’ husbands. A man, who, upon his death, was reported to be violently abusive to his high rent Beverly Hills wife.
That particular housewife of course, has written a book about her life with this man. And maybe it’ll do some one in a similar situation some good… but I find it unlikely.
But what do I love most? The reunion shows! They. Are. AWESOME. Just epic shout fests, f-bombs dropping, rumor and innuendo rules the day, and each and every one of these women would swear to you that they were nothing less than the epitome of class… just seconds after ripping one of their adversary’s wigs off their heads.
But this formula isn’t new for reality television, so why am I drawn to these women on these shows? Because unlike all the others, I truly believe that these women are REALLY what they seem. I don’t believe they’re playing for the cameras at all. And I have to admit; the guy in me kind of enjoys a good catfight between a bunch of crazy women.
This column was originally going to be about all the things I could learn about women from watching the “Real Housewives” franchises. I can thankfully declare that the answer is….
Other than the fact that I’m a little bit twisted.
God, this is all so embarrassing. It’s all such trash.
And it’s taking up all the memory on my DVR. So….
…”Housewives” marathon!! Who’s with me?
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