This blog is my random ramblings about Bravo's The Real Housewives franchise. I am a huge fan of every incarnation of the Real Housewives and decided I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions on the shows and the Housewives. This is by no means a "hate blog" but it's not a fan blog either. I will share my honest opinions which at times will be critical of the Housewives and at times praising them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last Night's #RHONY

Ok, so I'm dusting off this blog to give some "quick hits" on my thoughts on last night's RHONYC "Pop of Crazy" because it's a bit more than I can fit in a Twitter post.

One thing I have seen throughout the season is that it seems like all of the ladies are jostling to get screen time with Bethenny.  Anyone who follows blogs or commentary on reality TV but especially The Real Housewives knows that it all comes down to screen time and storyline.  There's always discussions of ladies manufacturing storylines to stay relevant on the show and who will film with who, etc.. If you ever followed Alex McCord's YouTube recaps of the shows (the names changed, I think it was last called The Real Deal), she talks about how important screentime is and how they set up special lunches or will talk about "fights/issues" to get screentime.  It's why there is a lot of "stirring the pot" on the show and why women set up one on one lunches, walks, shopping, etc...--for screentime!

I think that with Bethenny coming back and how heavily marketed it was, all the ladies knew that Bethenny was going to get a lot of screentime.  (She certainly was paid enough that I'm sure it was practically guaranteed.)  Bethenny doesn't need the show--ok, her brands probably wouldn't do as well without it--but the point is, the other ladies need it more.  Bethenny can likely pick and choose whether she will come back next season whereas the other ladies are eager to secure their spots on the roster.  That is why I think a lot of them want to engage with Bethenny as much as possible.

I see these attempts to get screentime with Bethenny happening in two ways--either forced friendship or fights.  I think with both Heather & Kristen they attempted the forced friendship and when that didn't wok they went for fighting.  I think Heather is a bit more skilled than Kristen and never really wanted the friendship but instead is trying to come across like she's trying to be nice and really pick fights with Bethenny and try to make Bethenny look like the bad guy.  Unfortunately for Heather, Bethenny is more skilled at the reality show game and despite losing a lot of fans, she still has more than Heather (and is regaining her fanbase through the show) and fans are taking Bethenny's side. Heather will keep engaging with Bethenny with either faux friendship or digs/fights in order to keep herself relevant and have a "frenemies" storyline with Bethenny.  I think Bethenny started to see through this and that is why staring at the dinner and further at AOA decided to shut it down, stop any feud and make amends with Heather.  We'll see how long this lasts or if Heather will keep trying to "poke the bear" to get more screentime.

Kristen I think tried to take a different route.  I think she legitimately wanted to be buddy, buddy with Bethenny but when Bethenny didn't click with her, she whined about being "left out" or "boxed out" and tried to play the "whoa is me, why doesn't Bethenny like me" card.  With attempts and friendship and sympathy not getting her time with Bethenny, she went the route of trying to confront her and fight her.  You see that Bethenny doesn't buy into this when she makes the comment "ok, so you're going to attack me for no reason, " she sees that Kristen pulled her aside  (to get screentime) and that she's going to try to pick a fight for screentime.  Bethenny knows she's getting screentime no matter what and doesn't want to play, so she walks away.  Kristen is baffled and doesn't know what to do.  That's why you see her stuttering and chasing after Bethenny.

Similarly, another example of why I think this is true is when LuAnn comes over to Bethenny to further rehash the Berkshires dinner at AOA with Bethenny.  When you hear Bethenny talking about how LuAnn is inserting herself for no reason and rehashing, I think it's partially her code for saying "she's getting into this which has nothing to do with her just to have a storyline."  LuAnn has been accused of not having much of a storyline and was demoted last season in part because of it. While I think that LuAnn has been really enjoyable this year and done a good job this season (although I do think the Adam feud with LuAnn & Carole has been blown out of proportion by both of them for screentime/storyline), I do think this was a clear attempt to get screentime with B.  You notice her a lot this season talking to Bethenny, talking about how the new girls feel "left out", etc...

P.S. Anytime that someone complains about feeling "left out" or that Bethenny doesn't want to "get to know them" it's really code for "doesn't want to film with us." They're not annoyed that Bethenny isn't coming to their events because they want to get to know her, they are annoyed because they're worried that if Bethenny doesn't show up to an event it will end up on the cutting room floor and won't air.  This is a TV show and a business and everyone is out for themselves.  Start inserting "wont' film with me" for "won't get to know me" or "won't make time to come to..." and you'll see what I mean.

This theory is further supported by the fact that there were rumors going around before the season premiered that lots of the ladies were annoyed that Bethenny wouldn't film with them and that she would only film with the established ladies (Ramona, LuAnn, and Sonja) and Carole (who she developed a fast friendship with).  The more I look at the season, the more that seems to be true.

There are two ways of looking at it--maybe Bethenny is this "demanding bitch" who only wants to film with who she wants to film with or maybe she only wants to spend time with the people who she genuinely likes/has a friendship with and doesn't want to get to know new people or have manufactured drama with people she doesn't know with everything else going on.  She does have limited time with her daughter & I see nothing wrong with only wanting to film when she doesn't have parenting time.

I kind of see both sides--on one hand it is a show and there is a cast and everyone should work/film together.  On the other hand, it is a reality show that is supposed to depict some semblance of reality.  The show is supposed to be on the premise that these are people who actually know each other and have real relationships.  The show has never felt more forced that in the first episode where everyone is talking about Bethenny and it is clear they don't know her (except for her fame) and that it's a cast and not a real group of friends.  Bethenny may be of the opinion that the show is better when going to it's routes and focuses on people that have at least some tangential connection/relationship--I know Andy Cohen says that is when the show is at it's best.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jill Did Not Make Up Bankruptcy Rumor for Publicity

Last night, I published a post about whether Zarin Fabrics was filing for bankruptcy after noticing a spike in searches related to a Zarin Fabrics bankruptcy were leading to one of my webpages.  In order to get to the truth on the searches, I tweeted  Jill herself to ask whether their was any truth to the rumor of a potential bankruptcy.  Jill immediately tweeted that there was no truth to the rumor.  Since then the story has apparently taken off and has led to the following blog posts:

All of the articles point out that there was nothing on the internet regarding the alleged bankruptcy--I guess they couldn't find my blog post and suggest that Jill made up the rumor herself for publicity--she did not! I asked her about it and she offered an answer.  I just wanted to clear the air.

Anyway, I just wanted to clear the air that Jill did not make up the rumor about the potential Zarin Fabrics bankruptcy, I noticed a trend in search queries and asked Jill to clear things up.  While Jill has been accused of being a bit of a "publicity whore" in the past, I hate for her to be accused of something that she did not do.  I also apologize to her and her family and the Zarin Fabrics family if they suffer any negative consequences as a result of my question which truly had no mal-intent.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zarin Fabrics Bankruptcy?

So in addition to writing this blog on my thoughts of The Real Housewives..., I have created several pages dedicated to The Real Housewives on Squidoo.  One of the features on Squidoo is that you can see what search terms people have entered to get to your page and this week, many people have searched "Zarin Fabrics Bankruptcy" and found my page about The Real Housewives of New York City News.  This of course lead me to wonder whether Zarin Fabrics, the family owned and run business of former New York Housewife, Jill Zarin's husband, Bobby Zarin, had filed for bankruptcy.  My own personal search has not revealed any information about a pending Zarin Fabrics bankruptcy, so the question becomes---did Zarin Fabrics file for bankruptcy or is this a bubbling internet rumor?  Or did a bunch of random people happen to search "Zarin Fabrics Bankruptcy" on the same day?

Jill had a bad rap the last few seasons she was on The Real Housewives of New York City as her portrayal went from "queen bee" to "mean girl."  Regardless of your opinion of Jill as a person, I certainly hope that Zarin Fabrics is not filing for bankruptcy.  Zarin Fabrics has been a mainstay in New York's lower east side since 1936 and is a third generation family owned and operated business.  Jill has proudly shared how her husband, Bobby, has expanded the store and its success by leaps and bounds.  She is also an integral part of the Zarin Fabrics business.  Unfortunately, as well all know, the economy has been rough for all businesses in the past few years and Jill's ouster from TV and perceived bad image may have taken away from their customer base.  (Although, I doubt the majority of Zarin Fabrics' business was Real Housewives fans checking out the store because it was featured on the show and they may see Jill.) Zarin Fabrics was around and very successful long before Jill became a housewife.

I guess time will tell whether this is just an odd budding rumor or whether Zarin Fabrics is headed for bankruptcy.  Perhaps Jill will shed some light on whether this is a rumor or not.  Also, remember that bankruptcy does not necessarily mean the end for a business.  Many businesses enter bankruptcy, restructure, and come out of bankruptcy to become successful businesses once again.  Either way, best of luck to Zarin Fabrics in the future and continued success!

UPDATE: I tweeted Jill Zarin to get an answer regarding this whole Zarin Fabrics bankruptcy thing and she quickly tweeted that it was not true and seemingly angered, wanted to know who started this rumor.  I hope she doesn't consider me to have started it as I clearly stated that I could find no evidence that Zarin Fabrics was filing for bankruptcy but was perplexed that a significant number of people in a short period of time had been searching "Zarin Fabrics Bankruptcy" and was wondering what the deal was.  Guess we'll probably never know what provoked the "googling" but for now it is safe to say that it is probably some weird coincidence or very undocumented rumor.  Glad to hear that Zarin Fabrics is NOT entering bankruptcy.

Don Cheated on Vicki for 20 Years?!

The latest clip released from Bravo in anticipation of Monday's Part 2 of the reunion show from Season 7 of The Real Housewives of Orange County includes a major reveal....Donn cheated on Vicki for 20 years!  A fact confirmed by both Vicki's daughter, Briana, and Vicki's BFF turned frenemy, Tamra.  As Briana is discussing her dislike of Vicki's boyfriend, Brooks, she shares that Brooks has been around long before Vicki and Donn separated.  Amidst her denial than anything was going on, Vicki shares that Donn had an affair for 20 years during their marriage.  Both Briana and Tamra share that they were aware of this.  Gretchen is shocked and maintains that Vicki is a hypocrite for her relationship with Brooks.  Not only is he a deadbeat when it comes to child support--a topic that has been a sore spot between Vicki and Gretchen as Vicki previously attacked Gretchen for dating Slade in spite of his inability to pay child support for his children--but Vicki has also attacked Gretchen for being allegedly unfaithful to her deceased fiance, Jeff.

Things got even uglier as Tamra accused Vicki of cheating on Donn while they were in Cabo filming for Season 6 of The Real Housewives of Orange County.  Apparently, after Tamra left Cabo, Vicki stayed and called her one morning to share that she woke up naked with some guy.  Vicki denied this on the lives of her children and her unborn grandchild.  To which, Tamra told Vicki she was going to hell.

Here are my thoughts on Vicki and all of these allegations.  Who knows whether every single allegation is true, but clearly some of them are.  My biggest issue with housewives of any of these shows is that they refuse to admit when they are wrong or make mistakes.  They continue to deny, deny, deny even when they're caught.  Further, even if they do admit to doing something wrong that they've previously maligned someone else for doing, they always have an excuse for how and why it's different and why they really weren't wrong.  If Vicki simply said to Gretchen and Slade earlier in the season You know what, I was wrong to attack you two for dating and the whole not paying child support thing.  While I don't condone not paying child support and I believe that Slade you should be doing everything in your power to pay every last cent of child support owed to the mothers of your children, it's none of my business and your relationship is none of my business.   Yes, Brooks got into a situation where he couldn't pay his child support and even had to go to jail for it.  I don't condone him not paying his child support, but he is doing everything he can now to pay it and I believe he's better off out of jail so he can work and provide his kids with money than in jail unable to support his kids.  I'm sorry for attacking you in the past, I was wrong, and I won't do it again."  Simple, easy and she won't be called a hypocrite.  Everyone can change and realize that they do not know every detail.

While personally, I have some of my skepticism of the whether Slade is doing everything for his children, I don't know every detail so it's not for me to judge.  It is clear he doesn't make the same amount of money he made when we watched him in Season 1 and Season 2 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, so how could he afford the same child support? Also, one of his sons is severely ill and has extensive medical bills.  It's also possible that a significant portion of Slade's money is going towards his son's medical care than his child support. whole rambling is basically to say that I think where housewives get in trouble is where they are not honest with the viewers and try to provide a cover up by just yelling louder and louder to deny allegations against them.  It's when you hide who you really are, that the viewers begin to dislike you, just like with Alexis--but that is a discussion for another time.  If Vicki just admitted that her marriage to Donn was not what it seemed, that he had affairs and yes, she met Brooks when she was still with Donn and started a relationship during the marriage, viewers would appreciate Vicki's honesty over her deception.  Instead, Vicki insists on denying the accusations and insisting that she was 100% faithful to Donn both emotionally and physically.  On another note, anyone finding the whole vow renewal/my love tank is now full that took place during Season 5 may have been just for the cameras and at Bravo's insistance not Vicki and Donn's?  What do you think of the revelations from Bravo's latest clip, which can be found here, and Vicki's changes this year? Share below!

Be sure to keep up to date with all the latest news about The Real Housewives of Orange County here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vicki Wants Donn Back

The latest news from The Real Housewives of Orange County is that original OC housewife, Vicki Gunvalson, wants her ex-husband Donn back.  Previews for tonight's episode shows Vicki crying and sharing that if Donn wanted her back she would go back to him.  This revelation is in strict contrast to the fact that Vicki filed for divorce and how happy she is with her new boyfriend, Brooks Ayers.  So the question is does Vicki really want Donn back?  I find myself thinking that it is not so much that Vicki wants Donn back, but that she was met with a lot of backlash for leaving Donn and even more for dating Brooks.  Rumors have circulated that Vicki cheated on Donn with Brooks, that Brooks went to jail for failing to pay child support (revealed to be true), and that Brooks is only with Vicki for her money.  Overall, fans hate Brooks and while Vicki's fans are happy to see Vicki happy, they do not trust Brooks and preferred her when she was with Donn.  Vicki's declaration that she would go back to Donn may simply be her attempt to make fans believe they are separated because that is what Donn wants and that Donn is the reason they are not together.  Another possibility is that Vicki, who has previously said that God hates divorce may feel deeply conflicted about her second divorce and truly wish that she and Donn would have made it work.

I tend to be a bit cynical and believe that at this point, the housewives are well aware that everything they say and do on camera will be strictly scrutinized by fans and they know their fans are the key to their success.  Vicki is a very smart woman who understands this, I believe at least part of this declaration is to get fans on her side and to make Donn seem like the bad guy.  As a person who was sad to see Vicki and Donn separate (but certainly understood it), I would love to see Donn and Vicki reconcile (especially because I do not trust Brooks and think he's with Vicki for her money).  Time will tell what the real story is and we will all have to turn in tonight to see whether we believe that Vicki wants Donn back.

What do you think? Does Vicki want Donn back?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Introducing the New Housewives...

The 5th season of The Real Housewives of New York City premiered on June 4, 2012 and introduces us to three new housewives after last summer's great housewife massacre.  The new housewives are Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill, and Heather Thomson.

We are first introduced to Aviva, whose ex-husband has dated both LuAnn and Sonja and the housewives waste no time pointing this out.  I think at her party, Sonja was a bit passive aggressive as she pointed out to Aviva that Harry, her ex, had called, reassured Aviva he was not showing up, but made a point to say that Harry is SO comfortable around her (Sonja) that even if he was at the party, he would be fine.  Never mind that we have already learned that Aviva and Harry get along without any problems.  Sonja claims she stirs the drink, not the pot, but there was a bit of pot stirring in her slight digs about Harry.

A bit later LuAnn tries to get into it with Ramona about the accusations Ramona made about her parenting during season 4 and at the reunion. Sonja interrupts the confrontation and reminds the ladies that they agreed to "rise above."  Clearly the remaining ladies are well aware that the great housewife massacre occurred because fans were frustrated by the catiness and excessively harsh fighting.  Sonja, LuAnn, and Ramona clearly made a deal to pull back on the fighting so that they don't end up like Jill, Alex, and Kelly.

Ramona tries to bond with new housewife, Heather over the fact that they are business women in fashion, Heather has her own line of shapewear called Yummy Tummie.  Heather feels as though she and Ramona do not bond and Ramona feels the opposite. Heather is further critical of Ramona for over sharing.  Even though Heather is happy to share the story of her son needing a liver transplant after his birth at the drop of a hat, she feels it is inappropriate for Ramona to thereafter share her difficulties with child birth.  Things get a little more tense as Mario and Ramona both criticize Heather for being a bad conversationalist--interrupting people and not listening to others.  Ironically, as Ramona is criticizing Heather for talking over others, interrupting, and not giving others a chance to speak, Ramona is doing the same thing.  These two may be a bit too alike which will definitely lead to them bumping heads.  Heather's inappropriate cocktail party etiquette and over sharing is also drawn into question as she repeatedly points out that "her father just died" in a casual manner as if sharing she just got her hair done.  Then again, we all grieve in our own way, who am I to judge?

Finally, the last new housewife is Carole Radizill, a widow who wrote a memoir about losing her husband to cancer.  However, it is five years later and she is trying to move on, but "people constantly want to talk about her book" and bring her back to the place of being a recent widow.  Did I mention Carole is a princess (clearly going to cause conflict with the Countess) and she has ties to the Kennedys.  Unlike the other housewives, Carole has some blue blood cred. However, overall thus far she has not left much of an impression.

At the end of the episode, LuAnn meets with all of the "newbies" to discuss the housewives recent time in the Hamptons and drops the bombshell that Ramona is blackmailing her with damning information about her daughter and then leaves.  Clearly, LuAnn who lost all of team brunette to the great housewife massacre is trying to recruit the new ladies to her side for the inevitable feuds that will occur.

What did you think of New York's newest housewives?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The End of Season 2 of RHOBH & Looking Forward to Season 3

We are nearing the end of Season 2 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Monday marks the first part of the three part reunion of the controversial season. (The only other time there was a three part Real Housewives reunion was after Season 3 of The Real Housewives of New York City, so you know this reunion special will be juicy.)

After that, we look forward to Season 3 and after the "Great Housewives Massacre" that occurred between Season 4 and Season 5 of The Real Housewives of New York City, housewives across the nation are worried about their status on their respective shows. The latest news and gossip surrounding The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as we move towards Season 3 is who will be in and who will be out. Rumors are circulating that Taylor Armstrong, Kim Richards, and Camille Grammer will not be returning for Season 3, although it is all dependent upon which new housewives they can find to cast. Also, with rumors that the latest housewife to get a spin-off is Lisa Vanderpump, her time on Housewives may also be limited.  Here are my thoughts on who should and should not return for the third season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Lisa Vanderpump
Lisa is a fan favorite whose image took a bit of a knock this season (she was accused of becoming self centered and fame hungry), but she is still entertaining and adds to the show. Her friendship with Kyle is endearing and she and Taylor appear to be developing a stronger bond. There are rumors that Bravo has filmed a pilot with Lisa for her own spin-off which will include shi-shi-shi wedding planner, Kevin Lee. If Lisa's spin-off is picked up and proves successful she may fly the RHOBH coop, although I hope she sticks around.

Adrienne Maloof
I'm not sure that Adrienne adds too, too much to the show, but I want her to stay. She and Paul's bickering is entertaining and she often appears to be one of the calmer, more rational housewives (minus the whole getting on Lisa's case for Pandora's bachelorette party being at Planet Hollywood instead of The Palms). Adrienne certainly does not need the money or fame that RHOBH offers, but she appears to enjoy it and the fans enjoy her, so I hope Bravo keeps her.

Kyle Richards
Kyle is definitely another fan favorite and one who tends to bring the group together. There is typically one stand out housewife per series and Kyle is definitely the stand out of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. There's no doubt that she is going anywhere and I certainly agree that she should stay.

Kim Richards
During Season 1, there were hints about Kim's troubles but we certainly saw them more during Season 2 and heard about them in the press as Season 2 was airing. Kim just got out of rehab and it is most likely in her best interest that she not return for Season 3. She was barely present for Season 2, refused to participate in most of the events with the housewives, and really did not contribute to the season.  She obviously was going through a lot, but nothing will be lost if she does not return. I wish her the best and hope that she continues on the road to recovery.

Camille Grammer
Despite the difficult time Camille went through being left by Kelsey, she was the villain of Season 1 often going head to head with fan-favorite Kyle. This season, Camille came back with a softer edge and she and Kyle grew to become friends. I really like Camille and actually liked her during Season 1 as well. While rumors are circulating that Camille does not want to return for Season 3, something she has come out in the press and denied, she has confirmed that she has not yet been asked back. I hope Bravo comes to their senses and invites Camille back rather than casting a new housewife to replace Camille.

Taylor Armstrong
It is not secret that this was a very tough season for Taylor. Season 2 demonstrates her struggle in her marriage to Russell who not only beat her but also committed suicide a few weeks before Season 2 premiered. It has reported that Taylor will not be asked back due to her personal struggles and apparent substance abuse in response to all of her struggles. I can certainly understand not inviting Taylor back and she certainly went off the deep end during Season 2, but look at what she was going through. I don't think that now is the right time to take away a source of income and even some stability from Taylor. The show not only gives her a job but a platform to create new sources of income. She and Kennedy will need that with Russell's death and why it certainly is not Bravo's responsibility to keep someone on the show just because they need the money, I believe the fans would like to see how Taylor picks herself up and moves on after all she has been through.

Brandi Glanville
Brandi joined the cast in Season 2 not as an official housewife but as a friend of the housewives. Brandi started out as a bit a villain getting into a huge fight with the Richards sisters during the infamous game night. However, as the season progressed Brandi developed friendships with Kyle and the rest of the housewives (minus Kim). Brandi was truly entertaining and added some spark to the show. I suggest that Brandi return as a full time housewife next season.

Dana Wilkey
Dana is Taylor's friend and party planner who joined the cast as a friend of the housewives. Unlike Brandi, Dana did not really form bonds with the housewives and really did not add much to the show. It was good to have her there to be supportive of Taylor as she was going through her struggles, but otherwise Dana's presence was  unnecessary and her constant label/price dropping ($25,000) was obnoxious and screamed nuevo riche. I don't think Dana needs to return for Season 3.

Who do you think should or should not return for Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Booted NYC Housewives Getting New Reality Shows?

May have referred to the firings of former NYC Housewives: Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bennsimon, and Cindy Barshop as the "Great Housewives Massacre," and it has purportedly lead to many housewives across the country being nervous about their status as housewives.  It has now been reported that some of the housewives that will not be returning for Season 5 of The Real Housewives of New York City will be returning to television in their own reality shows.

Former NYC Queen Bee, Jill Zarin, will be starring in a reality show on Fox titled "The Beverly Jillbillies" which is expected to portray Jill as a "fish out of water" after moving to Los Angeles.  Jill is reportedly currently looking for houses in LA.  Jill is certainly a born and bread New Yorker and there are differences between "New York society" and the upper echelon in LA (mainly the Hollywood crowd), but it's not like Jill is moving to Zimbabwe.  New York and Los Angeles are not that different. I don't know if this concept will be significant enough to spawn an entertaining reality show.  Yes, there will be the question of whether Jill will fit in Los Angeles and be accepted without all of her New York connections.  Of course Jill's BFF and fellow "bravolebrity" Patti Stanger (Millionaire Matchmaker) lives in LA, so I imagine the two will meet up and hang out.  But will Bravo let Patti appear on Jill's reality show?  I doubt it.  Bravo personalities sign strict contracts that provide that they not appear on networks that are not a part of the NBCUniversal family, the parent company that owns Bravo.  Fox is not a part of the NBCUniversal family and is a competitor, so I doubt we'll be seeing Patti anytime soon on Jill's show.  Time will tell how Jill's reality show will do, but I for one will not be turning in.  I used to be a fan of Jill but thought her true colors came through in Season 3 during her feud with Bethenny and showed her to be a phony.  (BTW, isn't it interesting that Season 3 of Bethenny Ever After was supposed to be about Bethenny & Jason's move to LA and now Jill is pursing a reality show about moving to LA?  First, the shapewear, now this.  What's next?  A low calorie cocktail?)  I continued to be disappointed with her during Season 4.  Jill refuses to acknowledge any of her faults or that she was wrong, she instead points the finger at anyone else (Alex, Ramona, etc...) and accuses them of being out of line when she herself is often out of line.  I truly believe that everything Jill does is for the cameras and publicity.  She is constantly trying to manipulate the situation to make herself come out in the best light and I am just not buying it anymore.

The next former NYC housewife who is set to get her own reality show is Kelly Bennsimon.  Kelly's reality show does not sound like the traditional type which will follow her around and capture her life, but instead a competition or self-help type show based upon her upcoming book I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet.  More details about Kelly's reality show have not been released nor is it known whether it has been picked up by a network or is just being shopped around.  I have never been a fan of Kelly, so I definitely will not be tuning in for this reality show, but I do wish her well--and that some of the income from her book and show go towards some mental health treatment.

Finally, Alex McCord and her husband, Simon Van Kempen, have been shopping around their own reality show called Based in Brooklyn.  The show would focus on Alex and Simon and similar thirty-something parents in Brownstone Brooklyn as they raise their families.  While shopping the show, Alex and Simon have apparently been bashing The Real Housewives of New York City calling it a "train wreck" and "faux reality show."  The irony being that while biting the hand that used to feed them they are also trying to court said hand.  Alex and Simon purportedly are pitching their new show to Bravo.  It will be interesting to see if Based in Brooklyn is picked up by a network.  I make no secret that I could not stand Alex and Simon during Season 1, but they did grow on me and in later seasons I found them a lot less cringe-worthy.  Alex had a rough season in Season 4, but I think that was much more about her being ganged up on by the "brunettes" than her being out of line.  She would try to be rational and reasonable and talk out conflicts only to be treated like she was crazy and consistently attacked.  When she finally fought back, she was further criticized for being dramatic, starting fights, etc...  If Based in Brooklyn is picked up, I believed I will tune in, mainly because I am a fellow resident of Brownstone Brooklyn and in part because I think Alex didn't get a fair shake on The Real Housewives of New York City.  But if I see Alex and Simon reverting to their pompous, social climbing ways of Season 1 or if Alex gets into fake drama without being provoked, I may be tuning out.  Guess we'll have to wait and watch what happens...

Will you be checking out any of the former NYC Housewives new reality shows?

Monday, January 9, 2012

The 7th Season of The Real Housewives of Orange County

The 7th Season of The Real Housewives of Orange County is set to premiere on February 7, 2012 and the internet is already a buzz about the upcoming season.  First of all, can you believe that the RHOC is already in its 7th season?!  I guess if you look at where the show started and where it is now, it's easier to believe.  When the show started out in Season 1, although it was all about the glamorous lives behind the gates in Coto de Caza, it was a lot less polished.  The women perhaps had the money, the boob jobs, and the Botox, but they still felt real.  As the show has progressed, the women who have been added to the cast (and those that have stuck around) have learned the ins and outs of reality TV.  Everything is flashier and more polished (and I'm not just talking about the massive amounts of airbrushing Bravo does on promotional pictures!).  All you have to do is look at the wardrobe choices from the promotional photos for the show throughout the seasons.  The wardrobe progresses from blouses and pants to cocktail dresses.  That being said, the original of The Real Housewives franchise is still one of my favorites.

The question as the show becomes more polished and the wives become more akin to the ways of reality TV is, is it still real?  According to Bravo and the show's producers, yes.  But that doesn't mean that some of the show isn't manufactured.  Peggy Tanous, who joined the show in Season 6 and will not be returning for Season 7, although clips from the upcoming season implies she will at least be making the occasional appearance, has reported in interviews that she left in part because she felt the show was too manufactured as the cast and production got together to discuss story lines.

Regardless of whether or not it is manufactured, the only remaining original OC housewife, Vicki Gunvalson, has gone on record that Season 7 is the most shocking season of The Real Housewives of Orange County to date.  Bravo has already shocked some viewers in sharing that during the upcoming 7th season, Tamra Barney and Gretchen Rossi are actually friends! Gretchen joined the show in Season 4 and she and Tamra have been sworn rivals/enemies ever since.  However, the apparently kiss and make-up sometime during Season 7 which sends shockwaves throughout the entire cast.  Tamra's new friendship with Gretchen affects her friendship with BFF Vicki and Gretchen's new friendship with Tamra not only affects her friendship with friend and ally, Alexis Bellino, but also hurts her relationship with boyfriend, Slade Smiley.  Tamra and Gretchen have been fighting for over 3 years now, so I question the reality of their friendship and how close they truly have become after saying such horrible things about each other for years.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and if we really buy their friendship.

With Tamra and Gretchen buddy-buddy, that leaves everyone to wonder where the big drama for the season will come from--and you know there will be drama! Well that's where a new housewife comes into the mix.  Heather Dubrow, a former actress and now mother of four, joins the cast this year.  Internet rumors are swirling that Heather will brew up some conflict this year.

Other conflict includes Vicki introducing the cast and her family to her new boyfriend, Brook Ayers.  OC fans were devastated when at the end of Season 6, Vicki filed for divorce from her longtime husband and fan favorite, Don.  Vicki and Don had renewed their vows in Season 5 with a commitment to work and focus on their marriage after Vicki proclaimed in Season 4 that Don no longer filled her love tank.  Apparently that renewal was short lived and her love tank depleted within a year.  Vicki is now boasting that Brook fills her love tank, but everyone else does not seem so sure.  Bravo has already revealed that Vicki's daughter, Briana, does not approve of Brook which will cause some drama.  Causing more drama is that Briana runs off to Vegas and elopes!  After Briana's marriage hit the news, the blogs became a twitter that Vicki did not know that Briana was planning to elope in Vegas.  In fact, Briana was married on October 23, 2011 and Vicki announced on November 3, 2011 that she was engaged--1 1/2 weeks after she was married!  We'll have to stay tuned for Season 7 to see how that all plays out.

Sounds like there is a lot in store for the OC Housewives this season.  If you want a sneak peak, check out Bravo's sneak peak of Season 7 below:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"The Great Housewives Massacre"--Alex, Jill, Kelly and Cindy Fired from Real Housewives of New York City

After months of rumors circling around regarding who will and who won't be returning for Season 5 of The Real Housewives of New York City, it was finally confirmed that Alex McCord, Jill Zarin, Kelly Bennsimon, and Cindy Barshop were not asked to return for the fifth season of the popular Bravo series in what can only be referred to as "The Great Housewives Massacre."   Below are my thoughts on the departure if each lady who will be leaving the show. It has been said that Bravo has picked three new ladies to join the cast, but information about them has not been released.

Alex McCord
I didn't like Alex the first season. I thought she and Simon came across as pretentious social climbers who were simple wannabes.  I really did not want Alex returning for Season 2. Obviously she did and amazingly she grew on me and I began to like Alex. As the seasons have gone by Alex has increasingly found her voice. Many think that was to her detriment in Season 4 and that she acted crazy. As Kelly threatened she would be "iced out" and some would say she has been. (However, the firing of Kelly and Jill implies that whatever they think clearly does not carry much weight with Bravo.) I also don't think Alex was crazy in Season 4, I think she was fed up with the other wives' drama and simply acted to hold a mirror up with their behavior. The problem? 1. Alex did not always have a strong enough voice and got easily frazzled as the other wives railroaded over her. 2. The other wives refuse to recognize or see their own faults and instead turn it on everyone else. Just once I would love for a housewife to have some self relection and say "You know what? I was out of line and really shouldn't have said/done that, it was wrong." Instead, they constantly turn the table and tell whomever is trying to call them out on their ridiculousness (often Alex) and call her rude, inappopriate or crazy. I personally am disappointed that Alex will not be returning as I've grown to respect her and believe she is actually quite fair, reasonable and mature. She still creates drama but I can respect her actions and intentions. Apparently Bravo did not want to bring Alex back because Simon causes too much trouble. Whatever your opinion of Simon may be, he is still her husband and I respect Alex's choice to stand by her husband and present a unified front with him.

Jill Zarin
Jill was probably one of my favorite NY housewives in the first two seasons.  During that time I believe she was a favorite amongst most of the Real Housewives fans. However, Season 3 and her feud with Bethenny changed all this. I will readily admit I am a huge Bethenny fan so many may think this colors my opinion of Jill. Maybe it does, but I don't believe that a feud between two housewives makes it impossible for a fan to be a fan of both housewives. (For example, Tamra and Gretchen from the OC have had a feud that has spanned seasons and I am a fan of them both.) That being said, the way Jill handled her fight with Bethenny and seemingly blew up a small fight between friends into a huge feud for tv did effect my perception of her.   Season 4 was supposed to be Jill's opportunity for redemption. She was going to show that she was the same person she was in Seasons 1 and 2, but she failed to do that. Instead, she was even worse. Jill was increasingly catty and petty. She continued to make snarky comments and helped to create the strong divide in the cast (brunettes v. blondes).  No one was ever 100% right in those fights but Jill would completely support anything a brunette did even if she was clearly being rude, mean, or inappropriate. It is also discouraging that Jill appears to increasingly modify her behavior for tv. Whether it is causing drama to get more screen time or trying to hurt the other housewives by conspiring with other wives to not film with certain castmates, it is clear that Jill is only out for Jill. Her inauthenticity continues with certain deceptive practices she allegedly engages in on Twitter, blogs, and Amazon reviews.  Despite my distaste for Jill's behavior the past two seasons, I am not happy to see her go. At one point, Jill was the "queen bee" and she has always been an integral part of the show. It also cannot be denied that she makes good tv. I wish Jill was brought back for at least one more season. Ideally, I would love to see Jill recognize some of her own flaws and admit when she's wrong. She seems to think she will have more fans if she convinces the world she is perfect and not mean. We are a society that loves redemption and apologies. All Jill needs to do is apologize for her bad behavior, admit she was trying to rile up drama for the show/get more screen tiime, and make an effort to go back to being the person she once was--the woman who brought people together. She'll get far more fans with honey than vinegar. Even with that the occasional fight and drama will come up and grant screentime. Jill just didn't get that.

Kelly Bennsimon
Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. Kelly is nuts and I never liked her. When she was introduced in Season 2, I just wanted her gone. The show was interesting enough without introducing Kelly and her psycho behavior. However, Bravo must have decided she added much needed drama (her clashing with Bethenny) and kept her on. In Season 3, Kelly showed just how out of touch with reality she really is--Scary Island anyone? After Season 3, I was convinced that both for her own sanity and the sanity of the viewers (I know watching Kelly always made me just a bit crazy as it drove me nuts that she was so out of touch with reality) Bravo would not bring her back. I clearly was wrong and Bravo decided Kelly made good tv and who cares about anything else? (After the suicide of Russel Armstrong, I think Bravo is a lot more concerned regarding the sanity and mental health of its castmembers.) I am happy that Kelly will not be returning for Season 5 and think that the show will be better without her.

Cindy Barshop
Cindy was a new addition to the cast in Season 4. She aligned herself with "Team Brunette" and tried to manufacture ridiculous drama. (Hangergate, the fight re: saving LuAnn's seat, etc...)   I never cared for Cindy and do not think she added anything to the show. Clearly Bravo agreed and didn't ask her to return. Don't think anyone out there (with the exception of maybe Cindy) will care.