The gold-burnished real reality

December 6, 2022

realityLike an anthropologist, I have watched the “Real” Housewives for insight into worlds I know very little about. And for a while, in the early days, that very strange culture really did fascinate me. The fashion! The glam! The homes!

Curiosity. Well, you know what they say about that.

But one by one, my interest in the shows waned. First, New Jersey. Even though most of these women are Italian-American, like me, they behave with FAR less class than women on any of the other franchises. And that’s a very low bar. I stopped watching years ago.

Then Orange County. Another bunch of women trying desperately to stretch their 15 minutes of fame.


That left me with New York and Beverly Hills. Until this season’s new franchise, The Real Housewives of…wait for it…the gold-burnished Real Housewives of DUBAI.

Given how the Saudi regime feels about women, I found it hard to believe that the government would approve of the revealing attire the women on these shows wear, the language, the behavior. It had rejected the Sex and the City film on moral grounds. And then I read that yes, Bravo did have to take care with this particular franchise. And there have been some human rights protests. But the show went forward and I tuned into the first couple episodes.

Research, you know. And then I learned that none of the women even knew each other before the show–and they were given explicit instruction: This is how the show will play out.

It didn’t take long for me to lose interest. Oh sure, the fashions are over the top. The desert is exotic. But, like every one of these franchises, the show devolves into screaming and fighting and bad behavior. So boring. So sexist. Bravo feeds the “housewives” (ha!) as much alcohol as they can drink in the interests of generating bad behavior. It’s a no-fail technique. And so misogynistic


What Bravo is doing with this entire franchise is anti-woman. They depend on the spectacle of women behaving badly and they do all they can to make it happen.

This is misogynistic to the extreme. Andy Cohen, I see you.

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6 comments on “The gold-burnished real reality
  1. Laurie Stone says:

    I’m like you. It was interesting 10 years ago. I only watch Beverly Hills now, but as soon as one of those loud, screechy fights start, I’m out. I find New York horrible, mainly because of Ramona and Betheney (are they on anymore?) Both are unwatchable Not sure how long I’ll last with Beverly Hills.

    • They are re-casting NY with a whole new group of younger women, so I won’t start it. They are putting some of the old girls in a legacy show. Not sure I would start that either.

  2. Diane says:

    People behaving badly.
    I don’t need to tune into any of the ‘Housewives’ franchises. I just tune into the news! 😉

  3. I watched the very first season of Orange County and that was enough for me.

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