If you watch Real Housewives with the expectation of viewing women with money AND decorum, skip the group from Dallas. Unless you consider Kameron Westcott’s artificial social graces. They are present as facade management, but when questioned or challenged, not quite as polished. The intelligent and accomplished Tiffany Moon definitely brought it during her time on the show, but its not clear whether she is returning to Real Housewives of Dallas Season Six.
So we are left with the likes of Stephanie Hollman and bestie Brandi Redmond. Their antics are any mix of vulgar, sloppy, and immature. It was entertaining for a season or two, but living in multi-million dollar homes while engaging in sorority style antics gets old after a while. Like, give us something new girls.
Bravo recently changed the direction of the Real Housewives franchise. What started as mindless entertainment about luxury lifestyles shifted towards addressing societal ills in America. Of course, producers won’t give up on the irresistible formula that turned Real Housewives into the success story that it is. There’s still plenty of bickering, fights, drunken antics, and the lifestyle in general. But taking a cue from the Black Lives Matter movement, these ladies are now discussing race relations and white privilege. It’s ruffling some feathers within the cast and viewers.
It started with the addition of Tiffany Moon to the Real Housewives of Dallas cast. Tiffany shared her culture and experience of being Asian in America. Then Crystal Kung Minkoff joined Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with the same premise in mind. Real Housewives of New York was an all white group until Eboni K. Williams and Bershan Shaw were added for Season 13. Even Southern Charm took on race relations. Leva Bonaparte confronted Charleston’s dark history, and Kathryn Dennis’ ancestry.
Is it safe to say that the Real Housewives of Dallas is finally getting into the groove? Season 5 of Dallas covered every style of hot mess available. Mother-daughter drama, the pandemic, cheating rumors, on and on. That said, the real contention didn’t come out until filming had wrapped. Let’s not forget how this cast dragged LeeAnne Locken into things with mere minutes left at the reunion. That’s called a franchise Hail Mary, folks.
Then there was Kameron Westcott getting her husband and brother-in-law into the post-air Twitter drama! Never thought I’d see Miss Priss stoop to RHONJ levels, but here we are.
Let’s discuss the Real Housewives of Dallas it’s precarious status after a frustrating season. Kary Brittingham dumped salsa on beds and spent the majority of the time with her new BFF tequila. Stephanie Hollman blinked a lot and defended her buddy after making a video mocking Asians, and a social media exercise in how to be a complete dick courtesy of Kameron Westcott’s family went down after the reunion. The whole thing was a mess.
Losing LeeAnne Locken to asshole comments about Kary’s heritage taught no lessons in sensitivity or owning mistakes and Season 5 fell apart after recently-tapped Tiffany Moon arrived as the first Asian cast member. Fans were appalled at how Tiffany was treated and Brandi Redmond’s self-imposed victimization of a tone deaf video no one forced her to make didn’t help. Viewers called for firings or cancelling the show completely and now rumors are swirling some ladies are out. If one door closes, another one opens, and Cary Deuber might be behind door number one.
We could all use some kindness, but the last place you expect to see it is on Bravo. But damn it, call your friends and family because this story managed to melt even my hardened, dark, barely beating heart. Go ahead and grab a tissue because the sun might get in your eyes or you could be at risk of suffering a spontaneous allergy attack after this one. Bravo and the shows on Bravo are many things to many people, but sometimes it’s everything to one person. Today we meet Miss Bella Pape.
Bella loves reality television and all that it implies, her favorites are the Real Housewives and she’s quite familiar with the franchise. But Bella isn’t binge-watching shows on a rainy day, she was born with a disorder that has kept her in long-term care for most of her life. In 2020 Bella was hoping to attend BravoCon, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. The event has returned in 2021, but Bella’s health is deteriorating and traveling is no longer an option. So the troops rallied and brought BravoCon to Bella, thanks to Real Housewives of D.C. alum, Mary Amons.
The current season of the Real Housewives of New York is truly unlike any other. The smaller gang of five women take on the coronavirus pandemic (namely, Ramona Singer’s maskless antics) and a racial reckoning across the country that truly impacted NYC in a significant way. The show FINALLY added its first Black cast member Eboni K. Williams, a friend of Leah McSweeney and a totally badass career woman.
It’s clear as Bravo has started to diversify Real Housewives casts from many cities that the burden is being put on the woman of color who are responsible for educating and correcting the behavior of upper-class white women of privilege. Just look at Tiffany Moon’s first season on the Real Housewives of Dallas or Crystal Kung Minkoff’s first few episodes on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And honestly, it’s not their job to be the moral compass of the group. Just show me their massive houses and fabulous lifestyles, and let the ladies who can’t get with the program read a book to deal with their own issues.
Last week’s RHONY episode was especially hard to watch. Luann de Lesseps called Eboni “angry” and kicked her out of her house for correctly saying she has more education than her fellow co-stars. The Countess needs a chill pill. I’d understand the outrage if Eboni was trying to be the queen of cabaret or a spokesmodel for Jovani, but that’s not the case.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 11 premiered this week and it’s drawn viewers in already. The leftover drama between Garcelle Beauvais, Kyle Richards, and Lisa Rinna has yet to be resolved. Erika Girardi is on the cusp of a bitter divorce, and new cast members offer potential for more drama.
Of course Kathy Hilton will be well known to fans and the other RHOBH ladies. As Kyle’s sister, the other cast members have had indirect contact with her via Kyle and Kathy’s tabloid presence. But Crystal Kung Minkoff is relatively unknown. She was invited to join the cast because of her close friendship with Kathy. But Crystal will bring a lot to the show in her own right, and we can expect that some of that material will include her own Chinese heritage.
Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Potomac prominently feature Black women’s stories. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Bravo has kept Housewives series divided by race. This whole separate but equal idea was supposed to die after 1954, but it’s lived on in Bravo-land for over a decade.
On Real Housewives of Orange County diversity means casting brunettes. Real Housewives of New Jersey rarely casts non-Italians. Don’t get me started on how Real Housewives of Dallasjustthrew Tiffany Moon, their first Asian cast member, into a sea of ignorant white women because this racist video of Brandi Redmond surfaced last year. Real Housewives of New York takes place in the most diverse city in the United States, but it took 13 seasons to get Eboni K. Williams on screen. Then, after 10 seasons of mainly white women, Garcelle Beauvais was cast on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Rightfully, Garcelle wants to know why it took so long.