Thursday, April 23, 2009

Defining Moments: Bravo's The Real Housewives...

Though the current season of The Real Housewives (Bravo, Tuesdays at 10) is winding down, in just about three weeks, it will pick back up again with a brand new installment: The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The Real Housewives series appears to set the bar just a little higher each season-- and each incarnation-- when it comes to "charity," claws, and verbal altercations. In honor of this third spin-off (the "original" was ...Orange County, but fan favorite ...Atlanta recently wrapped its second season and is due back on air after ...Jersey finishes), I am looking back at the best (and by that, I of course mean most drama-filled) moments of seasons past.

In the first season of The Real Housewives of New York City, the girls already had some pretty big shoes to fill, and they got right to work in attempting to do so by henpecking at one of the women in the group's relationship. Alex and her husband Simon were seemingly inseparable; in fact, out of all of the versions of this series, he is the only male counterpart to be granted his own interviews with the producers, making him the "honorary sixth housewife" (well, seven now that the allegedly abusive Kelly has joined the crew). When Alex asked Jill if she could bring Simon to a "girl's night" at Jill's house, Jill and Bethenny rolled their eyes. But when Simon actually showed up trailing Alex that night, the "good Christian" Ramona went off on him, telling him he made her uncomfortable, that he threw off the dynamic, and later flat-out called him "creepy." A bit tactless? Sure, but the girl was just saying what the viewers had already been thinking for weeks!

The "words" that were had between Ramona and Jill or Ramona and Simon or Bethenny and Kelly on The Real Housewives of New York City were all entertaining, but being that these are strong, straight-shooting women, they said what they needed to once-- and to the person's face-- and then it was out of their system. The "behind the back" gossiping of the overgrown seventh grade girls down in ...Atlanta, though, did not let up all season long. Nene made fun of Sheree; Kim made fun of Nene; and apparently, as we learned on their reunion special, Lisa was making fun of everyone in her own holier than thou way. Things really came to a head, though, after the cast had the chance to watch the episode and see the two-faced-ness that had been going on. At the aforementioned reunion special, Nene finally called Kim out to her face, accusing her of breaking up a marriage and wearing a wig; Kim babbled on about pretending to have cancer; and Lisa, who pretty much stayed out of it all season, had to be physically restrained as she threatened to climb over a slightly giddy Andy Cohen to attack the "fake b*tches." It is damn near impossible to pick just one moment from that ridiculous hour!

Shane's outburst toward his mother Jeana, who flew across the country to watch him play minor league baseball on The Real Housewives of Orange County was shocking and disheartening to witness for the sheer anger behind his violent words. Shane may have been a boy raised in a house where his father was disrespectful (due to a head injury that "changed" his behavior), but he is now a man with some very serious and severe issues. For once, the audience found themselves in agreement with Vicki over the situation but also found themselves sympathizing with the millionairess they previously saw as "out of their reach."

Shane doesn't fill the "spoiled, ungrateful children" quota all by himself, though-- far from it! Tamra (also ...Orange County)'s Jack O'Lantern looking son, Ryan's antics surely took the 24kt leaf decorated cake, not when he decided that he no longer wanted to become a cop because he was bitter over being pulled over and cited for blowing through a stop sign, though, but when he flirted with his mother's friends. His bug eyes would get even bigger than normal, and he would lick his lips creepily, all while hitting on women who looked exactly like, and were just as old as, his own mother. Can you say Oedipal complex? The most dramatic was when he cornered a very inebriated and just as engaged Gretchen in the bathroom and tried to convince her to "make out with him a little." Classy dude; classy with a K!

And the number one defining moment of The Real Housewives just had to be Kim (...Atlanta) trying to become a country artist!

Here's the thing: just about every woman who has a lot of cash and even more free time on her hands (ie the trophies wives and stay-at-home wives of producers-- which may be one and the same) wants to either be a clothing designer, a jewelry designer, an actress, or a singer. Sheree tried to do it with clothes on ...Atlanta; Lynn tried to do it with jewelry on ...O.C.; and Jo tried to do it with both acting and singing on ...O.C., as well. It never seems to matter to them what kind of talent or experience they have in that arena; they figure that since they have the money, they can obtain the connections, and therefore they can do it. It is the epitome of the stereotypical wealthy, so-called "elite" housewife!

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