Category Archives: Bravo TV

“Eat, Drink, and Remarry”: The World According to Ms. Patricia

When Bravo’s “Southern Charm” debuted last year, I tried so hard to hate it. I really did. But despite my best efforts, I’m now out and proud as a huge fan of (almost) everyone on the show. I mean, Shep’s adorable! Cameran seems genuinely nice! Thomas is a lovable doofus! Whitney should be named Wit-ney, am I right?! Landon is…pretty? Craig and Kathryn? Well, as we say down here, bless their hearts.

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But there is no one on this show – hell, no one on ANY show – who can compete with Ms. Patricia Altschul when it comes to wit, glamor, and bell-ringing, gin-scented gentility. She is the true star of the show. Whitney bugs sometimes, but I have to give him this: as executive producer of the show, he gave the world a gift when he introduced us to his mom.

Patricia’s over-the-top interior design sensibilities are matched only by the quickness of her wit. She lives an amazing life that she seems to truly enjoy. And she enjoys it with the effortlessness of someone who was born fabulous and has spent a lifetime cultivating good taste and good times.southern-charm-season-2-photo-diary-patricia-01

From this day forth, I intend to model my life on hers. I haven’t asked her for a list (yet) but from her appearances on the show and her activity on Twitter and Instagram, I imagine she would recommend the following as her guiding principles. Continue reading

Southern Charm: New Favorite Hatewatch?

If you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me. We need to talk about Bravo’s newest offering, Southern Charm.imgres

Last night the series premiered with an episode titled “Peter Pan Sin-Drome”. (I see what you did there, Andy Cohen.) As expected, the episode was little more than a “meet the cast” showcase, but it gave me some thoughts about what we might see on this show.

It’s hard for a reality show to find the perfect balance between genuine interest in the cast, and genuine interest in slapping the cast hard. I may be speaking way too soon here, but I think Southern Charm looks like a winner. So let’s meet the cast, shall we?

 

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Shep ::

Shep is basically a giant human puppy.  He takes leisure very seriously and spent 5 years at UGA because of course he did. I (grudgingly) give him credit for using the word “tomfoolery” in his bio. Shep is cute and seems 10 years younger than the 34 his bio says he is. I enjoy thinking about how his sixth generation South Carolinian family members feel about seeing him on the show, blowing the family fortune on trucker caps and fun socks. 

 

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Slut Shaming Kandi and Phaedra? Have A Seat, Chuck Smith

Heeeeeyy! Happy 2014, dolls.

It’s been awhile since I felt inspired to write something reality TV-related. I suppose there are lots of reasons for that. At least one reason is because – just like an actual housewife – the whole “housewives” concept is getting tired. The staged fights, the endless “let’s get all the girls together with no drama!” road trips, and the general fakery makes for boring and predictable TV. But last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta really got under my skin.

Let’s get into it.

The episode opened with Kenya Less (™ Awesomely Luvvie) meeting Ms. Lawrence for lunch to spill the tea on the “Sa-VAHN-nah” trip. Ok, really, Kenya? The talk in ATL is that Kenya doesn’t even live here. Given the fact that she has a new place every couple of episodes and can’t even pronounce Savannah, I’m thinking she does, in fact, just come here to pick up a check. (Also, why does she never have any furniture? At least Sheree had a blow up mattress for her kids.) Funky Dineva‘s theory is that Kenya and Ms. Lawrence are both just working together to cling to relevancy and that no one at Bravo cares about either one of their uninteresting asses. Seconded!

Me describing Kenya.

Me describing Kenya.

So. Chuck Smith – husband of boring Monique with a ‘y’ and retired NFL person – wants to meet Nene and Phaedra. N and P naturally assume this is some kind of fallout from the dustup in Savannah. Remember? When Monique with a ‘y’ learned that her hubs not only dated both Phaedra and Kandi, but also paid Kandi’s bills when her credit was busted and bought a Louis bag for Mama Joyce? But it turns out Chuck just wants his old Athens buddies to accompany him to speak at the Boys and Girls Club over in Clarke County. Ok, cool. (See this fakery I’m talking about? These supposedly “crazy busy” people meet for lunch and then take off for a spontaneous 5 to 6 hour day trip. Gettin’ sloppy, Bravo.) Continue reading

The Real Housewives of New Jersey :: This Week’s 5 Unanswered Questions

Let’s just get right to it.

I love my housewives, but when New York, New Jersey and Atlanta go dormant, I have none to watch! That’s because I had to completely stop watching O.C. – the shrieking finally hit the tipping point. It was one Tamra squeal too many. Thank ya, Jesus (© Melissa Gorga) Two Winey Bitches write such awesome recaps every week so I can keep up without having to actually watch them on my television. Because that gives me more time to exercise. HAHAHA JK LOL.

So I’m glad the Jersey girls are back. But as always, Bravo has left me scratching my head over a few moments from this week’s show.

1. Is Joe Giudice the worst person on television?

I am the actual worst.

I am the actual worst.

Because I’m pretty sure he is. He is just beyond. Based on his antics during the premiere, it looks like he is grosser than ever. I guess if you can get away with calling your wife a See You Next Tuesday in a phone call to your girlfriend, have it broadcast all over the country, and still have your wife sing your praises, you can pretty much write your own douchey ticket. Let’s see: he called Melissa “Horsey Face” to Milania (after describing Melissa as “4 going on 6” – what does that even mean?!), he used the word “drownded”, he got drunk at dinner with his wife and said she was lookin’ better every beer (my translation), and worst of all, he used the phrase “stank ass beeyotch.” Yes, Joe, you are a straight thug. Your cutting edge street vernacular reflects how gangsta you are. #thingsthatweretruein1999

2. Does Caroline have a crush on Joe Gorga?

It was a tiny bit strange when she invited him for coffee – which obviously Melissa noticed – but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I was gonna go ahead and buy her “I’m a big sister, just helping out” line. But that look she gave him as they were saying goodbye after the coffee date? Uh, hold up, Caroline. Get back in your lane. You don’t want it with Melissa.

3. Was this the only analogy Jacqueline could come up with? Continue reading

Things I’m Thankful For (Now with More Pinterest!)

Reduce, reuse, recycle, right? In the interest of conserving (my) energy, here is a post a wrote one year ago on my old blog. I’ve added a couple of things here and there, but since so much remains the same, I’m throwing it out there one more time. I couldn’t get the spacing to work correctly so I hope it’s not too much of a pain to read. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The “What I’m Thankful For” writing prompt is about as fresh as MySpace. Yes it’s corny, yes it’s played out, but there’s still something kind of wonderful about sitting down and reflecting on all the blessings in your life, especially when times are a little tough.
This is the type of writing piece I would typically approach well into a second glass of wine, to really get that overly emotional, weepy feeling flowing. But this time, let’s mix it up, shall we? Rather than write it with evening’s mellow glow and edit it with a coffee buzz, I’m gonna go at it right now, 7 a.m., and see what happens.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s take it as a given that I’m grateful for my whole extended family and their love and continued good health, etc. etc.
*deep breath*
I’m thankful, as I always am, for hot and cold indoor plumbing. This is no joke. It’s the first thing I think of every year when I start feeling grateful. Getting out of bed and walking just a couple steps to a hot, steamy shower is just about the best, isn’t it? Take a minute and marinate on that thought.
Ready? Okay, let’s move on.
I’m thankful for my incredible friends. I haven’t done everything just the way I’ve wanted to in life, but I have done a great job cultivating smart, interesting, hilarious people for friends. Yay me.
I’m thankful for the Interwebs. Nope, not the porn, weirdos. Seriously, life has been revolutionized – mostly for the better – by this amazing thing. As just the tiniest example, I love that at 5:30 I can open the fridge, see what I have, type it in to Google and have 50 options to make for dinner.I’m thankful I didn’t grow up in the age of sexting. Or, despite what I just wrote above, the Internet. Jesus, this is a tough time to be a teenager! As rough as it was for us, we weren’t expected to send pictures of our naughty bits to boys we had a passing crush on. Oh, and Pinterest!
I’m thankful to live in Atlanta. And specifically among the pack of weirdos and misfits in Grant Park. Just kidding, you guys. (No, I’m not.) I love how green it is, I love the seasons, I love that while people may not always be super friendly, they are a hell of a lot friendlier than people in other parts of the country. You may not love the interaction you have with the CVS cashier, but at least you will have one.

Stock photos are fun.

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Camille Paglia on the “Electric Sexual Energy” of the Real Housewives

Ana, I think I love you.

Watch What Happens Live’s mix of high and low culture may have just hit its zenith. Camille Paglia and Ana Quincones discussing the no-need-to-feel-guilty pleasure of the Real Housewives? Sublime.

When Paglia wrote Sexual Personae in the early 1990s, it was an interesting moment in culture. A hard core academic treatment of feminism, art, and sexuality was inexplicably a best-seller. As a personality, they don’t come a whole lot more irritating than Camille Paglia. But I love what she makes us think about. She legitimizes popular culture (which I love) and she’s really, really smart!

One thing that really intrigued me was her answer to a viewer questioning if showing women bickering – and sometimes full-on fighting – was bad for women and encouraged misogynistic views. This is a question that’s dogged me, too. I consider myself an unapologetic feminist and I sometimes have a hard time articulating why I don’t think these shows are “bad for women.” Paglia’s response was that it is a “display of honest emotion in a time when emotion is so repressed.” That feels so true to me. When women display strong emotion that isn’t just about how much they love their kids, people freak the f**k out. It’s the same reason why the Twilight and 50 Shades of Gray series are trivialized, right? Twilight is “for girls” and 50 Shades is “mommy porn.” Although I haven’t read any of those books, I gather they’re not outstanding works of literature. But that’s hardly the point. They are denigrated in a way that other works are not because they deal with specifically female longings. And I guess it’s a lot easier to giggle at “mommy porn” than it is to confront the terrifying realization that millions of suburban women have extremely dark desires. Anyhoo. Moving on. Continue reading

New Jersey Reunion Parts 2, 3, Infinity . . .

I usually watch Bravo shows to feel better about life. There’s the schadenfreude (duh!), there’s the pretty clothes and shoes and hair, and there’s the faux Caribbean jazz that is the soundtrack of all Bravo shows. Pretty much always puts me in a good mood.

But the reunion of The Real Housewives of New Jersey made me feel nothing but down. I wish I could get back the three hours I spent watching it. Oof. THREE. HOURS.

Quite frankly, (I’m Aviva now!) the problem is Teresa and Joe Giudice and their outsize role in the storylines of the show. I’m a little afraid Teresa’s army of rabid fans will somehow crash this site if I say it, but I think the Giudices are some of the worst people I’ve ever seen on television. They are delusional, angry, vindictive, rage-y, and full of hate and envy. And my boyfriend Andy Cohen and his producers have allowed their shenanigans to hijack the show.

We keep hearing how close Teresa was to her brother Joe before he got married. She gets teary and agitated whenever she talks about how Joe changed when he met Melissa. From the beginning, I’ve thought Teresa’s attachment to her brother was way beyond just “close”, right on in to “not normal.” Her jealousy of his attention to Melissa is a little bizarre.

The single story this season, up to and including the reunion, was Teresa vs. Everyone Else. And it was just boring. Yes, the contrast between the charming Season One Teresa and the vindictive Season Four witch is pretty bleak. But that doesn’t make it interesting. These shows work when there are relationships of all kinds – some love, some hate, some indifference – and when the alliances shift around. Jersey had none of that this year and it was ultimately lifeless.

I think this picture sums up the season: (after the jump) Continue reading

Don’t Make Room for Daddy: This Week’s Real Housewives of New York City

Ugh, George is back. Why didn’t he just stay gone? Gross. Here we go.

After the show opens on Aviva and Horny Goat Weed George buying $400 worth of crap in a health food store, we see Sonja returning from a meeting with her husband’s divorce lawyers. She thought she would be talking to him face-to-face but evidently, he just sent the lawyers in to tell her she’s not getting any money. Geez, what do you marry an rich old geezer for if not to get some money out of it? Sonja must have skipped some classes at Gold Digger School. I do feel badly for Sonja here – this whole situation seems sad and ugly and it’s definitely part of the reason for her unraveling. But I think the saddest part of all of it was her coming home and sharing a real sad moment in her life with these 2 interns or whatever the hell they are, and they obviously totally do not give a shit.

“Hey, when you’re done crying, could we maybe talk about me being paid?”

Moving on, we see Heather planning a fashion show to benefit an organization that funds pediatric liver donation. Good for Heather. Seriously. I love Heather and I love that she actually walks the walk. My favorite moment was when Heather asked Aviva to be in the fashion show and you can tell Luann’s all, “Um, hello! Model! Sitting right next to you!

“Oh, grrreat. I’m so happy for you, Aviva. Thanks for cutting in to my camera time.”

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Bravo’s Sneaky Editors Did It Again!

We frequently hear from people on reality shows – particularly the villains – that it’s the editing that makes them look bad. Sure, they may have said whatever horribly offensive thing they said, but they always claim it’s “out of context.”

We’ve been seeing Aviva’s “You’re both white trash, quite frankly” bit in endless Bravo teasers since before the season even began. When the episode aired, we saw Aviva haughtily calling out Ramonja. Reaction shots make it look like they are shocked and hurt by Aviva’s accusations. But was it really Sonja and Ramona that Aviva was addressing? Or did Bravo’s editors pull a fast one?

Now it can be revealed! In raw video my sources obtained, we finally see what really went down that night in St. Barths. Click through if you can handle the truth. Continue reading

It’s Time We Talked About the Real HouseHUSBANDS

On Sunday night’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, Rich Wakile, husband of Kathy Wakile, explained in a voiceover that his favorite dessert is Kathy. Why? Because “it tastes like fish, and always gets the job done.” Ugh. Barf. It almost broke Twitter, especially when Rich himself tweeted that he was talking about something else and Bravo edited it. Riiight. Side eye, Rich, side eye.

It got me thinking about how many of the husbands on these shows are either comical, revolting, or both. (Like always, I’m ignoring those tricks in Miami.They offer nothing except Mama Elsa. Snooze.) For the sake of brevity, I’ll only discuss the shows currently airing.

Let’s begin.

Rich Wakile :: The Embarrassment

The comment about tasting like fish was only the most recent of Rich’s antics. From using the phrase “cake blocker” in one of his wife’s business meetings, to asking for a tampon (“My wife just cut my balls awf!”) in another, to the blurred-out boner on the Napa trip, Rich is one gross-out after another. And I won’t even comment on the popped collars.

Joe Gorga :: The Meatball

Teresa’s wee musclebound brother was first introduced to us in the infamous Christening episode. He came off like a scary, drunk roid-rager. Calling his sister “garbage”, throwing punches, and howling in Italian to their father “I’m ya SON!”, he seemed pretty awful. Telling the viewers he needs sex every day to “release the poison” did nothing to increase his likability. But I have to admit that like a rare Jersey fungus, Joey G. has grown on me. I find his unflagging support for Melissa’s “singing career” and his seemingly genuine desire to make things right with his sister and her family to be endearing. Charming, even. I think under the excessive waxing and tanning, there beats a good heart. Continue reading