It’s no secret that the reality television train (wreck) gains speed at an astronomical rate every single television season. From its best known genesis in the 1990’s with MTV’s The Real World, that told the unfiltered story of what happens when seven strangers from completely different walks of life move in together and live under the watchful eye of multiple cameras, to the multiple reality game show competitions to find America’s Next Top Model, singer, actress, dancer, cheerleader, candidate for a job, chef, artist, hairstylist and even villainous mastermind, and even down to documenting the reality of teenage motherhood and C-list celebrity status, reality TV has since become a staple in pop culture, even setting the trend for what’s hot and hot to talk about in society.
So with this now reality takeover of all television, one show has recently broken out as the obvious superstar of them all, gripping us media masochists who are into what most people consider trash television (but I consider gold) at least once a week to watch Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. The Bravo series, which has been in circulation for almost six years, follows the lives and personal dramas of groups of women, most of which are either unmarried, divorced, or actually work (isn’t the housewife’s role to work at home?) in various locales all over the United States for the entertainment of the nation. From its beginnings in California’s Orange County area, to the streets of upscale Manhattan, travelling to the very Sopranos inspired parts of New Jersey, and even down to its most polarizing installment of the series, based right here out of Atlanta, Georgia, the Real Housewives series has never failed to give us the laughs, tears, catchphrases and catfights needed to keep us glued to the television screen every week, but why? Why are we so drawn to this three-ring circus of opulent (but tacky) fashion, and even tackier jewelry?
Ask anyone who has ever done any sort of work in television, especially reality television, knows that to even be cast, much less become the standout character on any of these shows is a dash of megalomania. You have to believe that everything you’re doing is the greatest thing known to man, and not understanding that is stupidity on YOUR end. As a viewer, whether you want to admit it or not, watching these egomaniacs interact with each other is highly entertaining and worthy of unstoppable laughs. How can you not sit through an evening and watch Sheree Whitfield buy Aston Martins and Porsches, yet complain about child support from a man she divorced four years ago? In its simplest form, it is very saddening yes, but nonetheless hilarious. Teresa Giudice has her home practically plated in gold and marble, yet is in millions of dollars of debt. Only a megalomaniac would subject themselves to such embarrassment. Is it wrong that I enjoy it? Probably not. I’m not judging Nene Leakes for proclaiming that she’s “very rich” during a confrontation with Sheree Whitfield, while writing a Suntrust starter check with her nickname on it for $13,000 to pay for a car she said she was paying for in cash. (Uhhh.) Linnethia Leakes even took it as far as to say that she was a baller for talking the used car salesman down about $1,000. I talked my car down about twice that amount, but that’s beside the point. It’s all entertainment and all ridiculous at the same time.