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A “Real Housewives of Orange County” Rant

On Tuesday night, I watched the premiere of The Real Housewives of Orange County. I love those stupid Housewives shows, and especially this version because I often recognize the places they go, and have even had close encounters with some of them myself (just go to the South Coast Plaza and I guarantee, you’ll see at least one). But after last night, I might have to re-think my devotion. 

Now, as everyone knows, you have to take these “reality shows” with a grain of salt. The only way this show could be real is if a single cameraman frantically followed one housewife around, not knowing where she was going and who she was going to see. Instead, we know that producers establish where the women will meet, who gets invited to parties, etc. BUT, couldn’t they at least make things seem slightly plausible? Let me share some examples from the show that really left me shaking my head.

All of these Housewives shows have reunions at the end of the season, where everyone gets mad at everyone else because they all talked mad smack behind their backs. Some of the women hated each other before filming for the season began, so by the time the reunion rolls around, they are out for blood. Case in point: Tamra Barney and Gretchen Rossi. A lot of behind-the-scenes stuff happened between these two, and during the last reunion, Tamra went off on Gretchen’s boyfriend Slade for being a deadbeat dad, and Gretchen accused Tamra of cheating on her almost ex-husband with her new boyfriend, Eddie. Half of their conversation was bleeped out by the censors, and the last thing I could imagine was the two of them going out and getting drinks.

But, that’s what happened during the season premiere! Slade was none too thrilled by this, and for once I actually agreed with him (he’s pretty creepy otherwise). I cannot imagine going to break bread with a woman who called my boyfriend scum and told me I was a bitch who cheated on my fiancé while he was dying of cancer (if you haven’t watched the show, I assure you that I am not making this stuff up).

The two decide to bury the hatchet, but again, why? I can get being civil to each other and even making a truce, but to be friends? With someone who was so vile towards you, and someone who you hated so much you dug up as much dirt on them as you could? No. I can’t decide if this was set up by the producers or not; wouldn’t they want to keep the drama level high, and that is a guarantee if the two women loathe each other? On the other hand, viewers (like me) will be in disbelief that the two of them are actually working on a friendship, and will tune in to see what happens. Regardless of who set this up, I think it’s unbelievable.

Another thing that irritated me was when the new Housewife this season, Heather, was introduced. She is crazy rich, has a plastic surgeon husband, wears blinged out Chanel necklaces, whatever. She met Tamra while looking at a $5 million lot that she was interested in buying (yes, that’s just for a lot, with no house on it). Now, you know this was staged, because there’s no way some random woman is going to look at this lot and then magically become part of the show.

It gets worse, though, because Tamra stiffly asks Heather to coffee, and during coffee, Tamra invites Heather to Housewife Vicky’s party. Heather says sure, she’d love to go, and who all is going to be there? As she puts it, “Who is in your crew?” First of all, if you allegedly don’t know any of these people, why would you care who is there? Second, that point is actually moot because we know you know who is in her “crew.” You already signed up to be on the show! Even if you never watched it beforehand, once you sign your contract, you will find out who else is on this show! This is painful. Please, Bravo, don’t treat your viewers like morons who can’t put two and two together. I already feel bad enough for loving these shows; don’t make me feel any worse.

There are so many other reality shows cliches I’m sick of, especially the old “I don’t want [insert name] to know I did [insert action].” Never mind the fact that even if you somehow get away with them not knowing during filming, they will find out when the show airs! If, for some odd reason, a reality show producer is reading this, I beg of you, STOP DOING THIS.

None of these annoying occurrences are new, but I reached my limit during the show last night and had to go on a rant. I don’t want to have to give up my dumb shows, but I also don’t want to feel like a total fool while watching them. Maybe they need to come up with The Real Housewives of Harvard so I can feel a little more intelligent watching reality television.

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

3 replies on “A “Real Housewives of Orange County” Rant”

Alexis’s segment is so typical of local San Diego news. It’s so painful because it’s called local “news” and you expect some serious news and you get stuff like this.  I am one of those viewers too stupid to have noticed both of these examples. I guess I think these chicks are such slime balls that I am not surprised they “made up.” The producers are genius at reinventing all these characters each season otherwise we would get bored. Camille going from most hated to most loved RHOBH is a perfect example of this.

This is painful. Please, Bravo, don’t treat your viewers like morons who can’t put two and two together. I already feel bad enough for loving these shows; don’t make me feel any worse.

BAHAHAHAHA. Yes. I reacted the same way – for the love of cheese, if you’ve agreed to be on a show like this, and we know you have because you appeared in the opening credits, we know that you already know who else is on the show.

(Also, Alexis’s segment on that morning TV show cracked me the fuck up – that’s the kind of awkward reality TV I love.)

There are no words for how awesomely terrible Alexis’ segment was. Anyone would have looked like a fool reporting on Booty Awareness Month (I couldn’t type that without laughing!) but she was beyond terrible. But hey, she is going to be the next Katie Couric!

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