Bravo’s Real Housewives were such a force of nature when they began, but what was once so highly entertaining has devolved into something unrecognizable.
Back when The Real Housewives of Orange County began on Bravo, it was so tacky. The gold everything, the sky tops, the overdone plastic surgery, the spray tans. 2006 was like the Wild Wild West of television. The way they discussed how much everything cost on screen. $25,000 sunglasses, $40,000 marble floors, a $200 bottle of wine. It was perfect. The women introduced their families and had them in the intro with them.
We spent time in their homes and watched how they lived their lives. It was fabulous at times, hilarious at others, but it was kind of real. The kids were always over it before it began. Avery Singer was on the first season of The Real Housewives of New York City back in 2008. She made fun of Ramona SInger’s clothing and brought her friends to the hair salon.
It was a different time! The ladies would get together at events and would film the interactions, but the focus wasn’t so much on the inter-cast-drama. It was more about the lives they were leading in whatever city they were in. It was so much more interesting! Watching Luann de Lesseps take her daughter Victoria to ride on horses and when they got a dog for her housekeeper to care for. Truly delusional and over the top, just the way we like our housewives.
But when you look at franchises like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the change is drastic. They spent an entire season harassing Denise Richards for an off-screen personal relationship that has nothing to do with anything. It could not have been any further from uninteresting. But is it because the rest of the women literally have nothing interesting going on in their lives? Is it because the production company is too involved in the situations?
Of course, not everyone wants to film their family and sometimes the kids don’t want to be a part of the show. But why can’t we go back to the golden days of Bravo where everyone showed their lives without it being a perfectly curated picture of perfection? Houses are dirty, kids are rude, sky tops are tacky. We love to see it.
What we don’t love to see is a group of women attacking someone who doesn’t necessarily fit in with the “perfect” images of what a housewife is. Looking at you, Kyle Richards, the leader of this movement.
How can we go back to the golden days of Bravo? Would it require a less hands-on production team, or are we too far gone? Of course, back in the day people were much less rehearsed on camera.
Now everyone seems hyper-aware of how they might come off to an audience which makes it less authentic right off the bat. But still…maybe we can try. We should try. Tell me how much your steak cost at dinner and how much your little family van was to rent. I need to know!
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion part 3 airs Wednesday, September 16.