RHOSLC: Are Jen Shah’s theatrics the future of housewives to come?

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY, Lisa Barlow, Mary Cosby, Heather Gay, Jen Shah, Whitney Rose, Meredith Marks -- (Photo by: Chad Kirkland/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY, Lisa Barlow, Mary Cosby, Heather Gay, Jen Shah, Whitney Rose, Meredith Marks -- (Photo by: Chad Kirkland/Bravo) /

Is Jen Shah what we should expect with our future Housewives after 10 plus years of Bravo’s Real Housewives being on television?

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Jen Shah is one of the most dramatic new housewives we have seen since LeeAnne Locken on The Real Housewives of Dallas. Jen has all the makings of a top tier housewife. She is unabashedly open about her personal life, her marriage, and her mental health. She is brazen and fiery with her emotions, not afraid of conflict, or making a scene.

Jen has a gang of people under her that run her “Businesses” out of a WeWork that she calls the Shah Squad. And lastly, she has impeccable glam and flamboyant designer fashions. Are these things organic? Or did they come from years of watching and studying more established housewives in other cities?

Jen learned from the best!

After a reality show is on the air for a while, the cast starts to shift. The cast becomes self-aware that they are on a reality show that they need to deliver buzzworthy ratings on. When this happens, the show begins to feel less organic as the housewives know they are cast members on Bravo’s The Real Housewives machine. This same cast dynamic is part of why Vanderpump Rules has lacked in recent seasons.

Newer Housewives studying established housewives is not unusual. LeeAnne Locken has said on multiple podcasts that she would study Bethenny Frankel and the New York City and Beverly Hills housewives to learn how to self-produce herself, creating an exciting season of The Real Housewives Dallas. Could Jen Shah have studied past housewives to deliver a stellar first season of Salt Lake City?

Practice makes perfect

The number one comment from the Bravo fandom has been that Jen feels very forced like she is performing for the cameras. Her over the top dramatics feel like she is acting and not natural. When you look back at memorable past housewives’ moments, we can see Jen Shah having similar moments, almost like she produced it that way.

We have come to expect our housewives to have flawless glam and a team that runs her businesses and glam, thanks to Erika Jayne from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We have gotten used to Teresa Giudice throwing wine glasses when angry on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. More recently, we have seen housewives get angry at production, breaking the fourth wall, such as Dorinda Medley and Ramona Singer on The Real Housewives of New York. All moments we have witnessed with Jen Shah this season in Salt Lake City.

All of this doesn’t make Jen Shah a lousy housewife, actually far from it. It means that she is smart and has invested stakes in the show. But the execution of her Real Housewife knowledge is what is the problem. Is she the new tread of housewives?

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It is still too early to tell if newcomer Dr. Tiffany Moon follows this tread on Dallas. But in the meantime, we can still enjoy Jen Shah as she flips out on Whitney Rose and throws water on production.

Jen Shah & The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is on Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on Bravo.