How do we feel about the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s first season? The snow-topped mountains, meeting a fresh cast of women, and developing a new appreciation for blenders. It was nice to gain insight on what it’s like to live in a community where the Mormon majority is high but the moral majority is questionable.
Jen Shah was labeled a break out star. She has the attitude, the drama, and the shoes. Jen did relatively well in her first season. She didn’t shy away from detailing family issues. She definitely didn’t shy away from confrontation. And she wasn’t afraid of showing a vulnerable side to her often brash personality. But according to Jen, not all of the women were as authentic. Now Jen shares her thoughts on who wasn’t sharing their truths, and who might be a different person when cameras are down.
This! This is the episode I’ve been waiting to see on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. After weeks of personal storylines and lots of behind-the-back gossiping, the drama finally erupted in the 801. And it was all thanks to Whitney Rose. The youngest Housewife of the bunch certainly earned her snowflake this week, putting everything on the table and getting multiple storylines moving. She truly did the Lord’s work. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Jen Shah is throwing a party! More specifically, it’s a surprise birthday party for her husband, Sharrieff Shah, who hates surprises. On the contrary, Jen seems to really love surprises, doesn’t she? Or at least birthday parties, considering this is the second one she’s thrown this season. I wonder if her plans for Coach Shah will match the tens of thousands of dollars she spent on the premiere soiree for Meredith Marks. Considering she’s throwing this Shah-mazing party at a TopGolf, I’d say probably not?
What do you get when you combine snowmobiling, hot tubbing and no Mary Cosby? The final episode of 2020 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! But seriously, Mary factored into about 30 seconds of this entire week. And it was just a short pick-up scene at the top of the hour. Which basically just involved her showing off her jealousy over her son’s girlfriend…which is yet another slightly cringe-y and deeply uncomfortable dynamic in the Cosby family tree. But alas…
For everyone wondering about Mary‘s glaring absence from the last two episodes, you’ll have to get used to it. Here’s the tea: Back when the show’s original production company was in charge of filming, Mary was only ever expected to be a Friend of the Housewives. However, once Bravo fired that production company and Shed Media took over, Mary was given a snowflake and a full-time role. (Most likely because her feud with Jen Shah became one of the primary storylines of the first half of the season.) However, Mary didn’t film much during the back half of the season as a result. Therefore, you won’t see her at many group events or parties from here on out. So expect lots more random solo Mary scenes like the one we got tonight.
Welcome back to the inaugural Park City Fashion Week — bringing high fashion for the very first time to Utah! After seeing the set-up in last week’s episode, I’m starting to wonder if this fashion show was specifically put on for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. I mean, Whitney Rose is walking in the show. Meredith Marks is showcasing her jewelry line. And the runway is so short that the front row is essentially just Heather Gay, Jen Shah, Mary Cosby and a few other people. Not to mention the entire thing seems to culminate in Brooks Marks debuting his eponymous “fashion line” of name-branded athleisure wear. (And after seeing the show, I’m using that term loosely.)
The best part of the fashion show is that many elements are giving me vintage RHONY vibes. Watching Jen‘s icy stare as Mary tries to small talk her way through being seated directly next to her nemesis is the purest recreation of Bethenny Frankel and Kelly Bensimon doing the exact same thing more than a decade ago at New York Fashion Week. (And if you don’t know who’s who in this comparison, go back and watch Season 3 in the Big Apple STAT.)
Once a year, something exciting happens in Utah. As January wraps its icy hand around the state, celebrities descend on Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. For two weeks, the state most known for religion becomes the epicenter of the entertainment industry, with A-list stars and indie up-and-comers converging for an endless parade of premieres, parties and Park City moments. And this week, we get to experience it all through the fabulous lens of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
As a native Utahn, Sundance truly was the most fun I had all year. Every year of college, my friends and I would make a staycation out of it, renting a hotel suite in Park City and spending the weekend strolling Main Street and meeting celebs and Bravolebrities alike. In fact, Sundance was the very first time I ever encountered a Housewife in real life. Over the years, my BFFs and I met everyone from Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley to the Shahs of Sunset and the Vanderpump Rules gang. In fact, my most epic Sundance stories involve both Harry Styles and one particular A-list actor who shall remain nameless. But those are stories for another day. Let’s get into the recap, shall we?
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City came in like a lion and will go out like a bat out of hell, apparently. If you haven’t watched, then you need to, and if you have then you already know. They have snow. They have blenders. And they have Jen Shah. Jen has the whole Housewife thing down to a formula and her formula is basically read, rinse, and repeat.
Jen is not one to stay quiet, which is preferred, because, MENTION IT ALL. She isn’t shy about sharing her opinion on fellow cast mates and now Jen is branching out to share her thoughts about other Bravo ladies. During a recent interview, Jen was asked who her least favorite Housewife is overall. And if you thought Jen would avoid this question in the name of keeping the peace, you might want to think again.
Believe it or not, there’s one steadfast rule when it comes to Bravolebrities. Hands off the spawn. Kids can be running around like spoiled demonic entities on a booze cruise, and no unsavory comments will be made. But once “the children” reach a certain age, the line can become muddy. If a Housewife has an offspring who is a whole ass adult and that whole ass adult knowingly throws themselves into a storyline, all bets could be off.
That brings us to Brooks Marks, son of Meredith Marks, who is not Lisa Barlow, on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. Meredith has two children, who apparently attend college when no cameras are in Mom’s living room. Brooks has been “taking a semester off” to support Meredith during a personal struggle. Translation, boo boo wants to be on tv. Well, ‘ol Brooksy got his wish and has fully inserted himself into some drama, Jen Shah style.
Well darlings, if The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City started out with a snowstorm, it’s safe to say it’s quickly becoming a pop culture avalanche. At the every least, the (snow)ball is rolling down the hill, and gaining momentum with each passing week. After last week’s ski day showdown, the Housewives are supposed to be starting over with a clean slate. But like generations of Bravolebrities before them, when has that ever successfully happened. In Utah society, only God forgives, after all. And rarely does a Housewife forget…
It also appears that battle lines are starting to be drawn. And I could not be more here to see it, even if some of those lines seem poorly etched for the time being. I mean, did you ever expect to see Jen Shah pit herself against Meredith Marks? I mean, calm, cool and collected Meredith? The cast’s voice of reason? Of all people? And so quickly into the season too! But now I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up and start from the beginning, shall we?