Jen Shah was made for
jail reality television. The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premiered last year and served mountain views with blender co-dependency. We also got some pretty interesting characters, and Jen provided a little bit of everything. She had the paid team of friends, expensive wardrobe, and now fraud charges. Welcome to the world of Real Housewives, Jen darling.
Season 2 of RHOSLC is heavily anticipated as Jen found herself busted by the Feds for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Her arrest is now content for a storyline and fodder for anyone she’s ever screamed at, which would be most people she knows. Back in April, Jen plead not guilty to the allegations lodged against her and it appears she wants all of the charges dropped as well. While Jen’s smile might be a thin disguise, she is now trying to hide her blurry
In March of this year, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah was on the receiving end of some new bracelets. These shiny, fitted, steel cuffs featured an automatic locking device and an exhausted Federal agent. As the Bravo gods silently thanked their lucky stars for choosing yet another criminal to make famous, Jen’s theatrical arrest went down after a brief manhunt and cameras were up filming Season 2.
Jen and her assistant Stuart Smith were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They allegedly ran a sketchy telemarketing biz and reportedly stole money from vulnerable clientele. Because greed and lack of shame are a thing, Jen continues to film RHOSLC’s sophomore run. It’s a good thing Jenny from the Cell Block craves attention, because she’s gonna get it. Now we’ve learned, not only will Jen’s crimes unfold on camera, so will her Zillow results.
We’ve arrived at the final hour of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Season 1. The third and final act of a historic three-part reunion. And you guys. I’m not ready for it to be over! Like really, really not. It’s been inarguably the best debut season of a new Housewives franchise since Beverly Hills back in 2010. And I’m saying that as a huge fan and ardent defender of the Potomac’s first season. (My original Bravo claim to fame was being behind one of the very first viewer-submitted reunion questions in RHOP history.)
But these SLC ladies delivered in every single way imaginable. They brought something new and completely different to the table, and added a fresh and unique POV to the Housewives universe. RHOSLC reinvigorated the franchise as a whole while some long-running tentpole cities are starting to feel stale and, ahem, long in the tooth. And that’s not just my bias talking as a born-and-bred former Mormon/Utah native. So indulge me while I savor this last recap before closing the door on Season 1 in Salt Lake City. K?
How do you solve a problem like Mary Cosby? That was the main question running through my mind after Part 2 of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City reunion. Honestly though, has any Housewife in history ever made such blatantly problematic statements as Mary did in this episode? I almost don’t even know where to start digging in, to be honest. Nothing about any of it was OK or, frankly, made very much sense at all.
And that’s not all! During Part 2, there were jaw-dropping revelations, new nicknames, an epic walk-off, and even a surprise cameo by Lisa Rinna via text. (Turns out, like the rest of the Housewives universe, she’s a major fan of the RHOSLC ladies. That’s called having taste. Just ask Rihanna. As Mary pointed out repeatedly during the episode, we have a lot of cards to get through, so let’s jump in, shall we?
It’s reunion time for the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! And considering this will be the first three-part reunion for a debut season in Housewives history, it’s sure to be historic. The elaborate, winter wonderland-themed set certainly fits that bill. It’s gorgeous. With Andy Cohen as their trusty guide, it feels like the ladies were dropped into a fairytale Utah ski village in the middle of New York City. Which brings up a small point in production. At one point in an Instagram Live, Andy revealed he had his ticket to SLC booked for the reunion…but they filmed it in New York. I assume that changed because of COVID. But I can’t help but wonder how it was easier to fly all six ‘Wives and some of their husbands to NYC…
Speaking of the ‘Wives, let’s talk reunion fashion! Apparently the ladies’ silver, red and gold color scheme was chosen as a nod to Utah’s long mining history. But as a Utah native, I certainly didn’t catch the reference. It’s mostly just looked like an oddly-chosen color palette. Of all the dresses, Lisa Barlow‘s liquid copper look is my far-and-away favorite. It’s minimalist, which is her style, and not overdone like some of her co-stars. Whitney Rose is stunning in her ruby red gown, though it leans a bit holiday decor for my personal taste. In fact, it’s the perfect complement to Teresa Giudice‘s iconic green “Christmas pageant dress” at the RHONJ Season 4 reunion so many years ago.
Can you believe it’s time for the finale of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City? For the past 12 weeks, we’ve been #blessed as Bravo has brought us into the misunderstood world of Utah society and introduced us to the six stunning Housewives at its core. We got feuds about hospital smell and being a BYU good time girl. There was Sundance, fashion shows and Brooks Marks tracksuits. Mary Cosby spent five full episodes FaceTiming people from her closet. And the cast trip to Vegas brought all the conflict surrounding Jen Shah to an explosive, unforgettable head.
And now, the (supersized) season finale kicks off with all the ‘Wives back in Salt Lake City. Haunted by the memories of what they said and did in the city of sin. (Seriously, the montage of echoing flashbacks was both hilarious and startlingly effective…) Heather Gay is busy prepping for her grand re-opening of Beauty Lab + Laser. And learning the definition of the word “stanchions” along with the rest of us. Meredith Marks is showing off her culinary prowess by cutting up bananas for Seth Marks. And Lisa Barlow has had a change of heart because she’s invited Jen for a drink.
Well, the ladies on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City had quite a first season. Even though some of us are still coming to terms that Lisa Barlow is not Meredith Marks, most of the cast stood out on their own merit. While Utah definitely had some moments, there was something else that made this franchise different from the rest.
This is the first time we have seen religion featured so heavily on Bravo. In a largely Mormon environment, Mary Cosby came in as a Pentecostal pastor married to her step-grandfather. On that alone, Mary could have stayed seated and still had a storyline better than anyone on Real Housewives of Orange County this year. Viewers gained some insight into running a
scam church, fears of 7-11, and the dreaded scent of hospitals. Now it’s time for the reunion! Most of the ladies were there to resolve conflict, but Mary was there for a snooze.
Is it just me or did the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City just deliver one of the best first-season episodes in Housewives history? From start to finish, it was a masterclass in interpersonal conflict, shifting loyalties and cast dynamics. There were lies revealed, rumors confronted and trust broken. There was even a hypnotist! Probably the strongest episode of an already-great season. And that’s saying a lot.
The latest Real Housewives of Salt Lake City episode kicks off in the wake of last week’s race car peace summit with the ladies getting ready for dinner. Whitney Rose shows up at Heather Gay‘s room to fill her in on everything she missed. She’s feeling great about making up with Lisa Barlow and Meredith Marks. Now everyone can finally have a fun night together! Poor, poor Whitney. She has no idea the tornado of crazy that’s about to come her way.