In the premiere episode, Heather Gay certainly seemed like the most traditionally Mormon cast member of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. But looks can be deceiving. In her tagline, Heather states, “Just like my pioneer ancestors, I’m trying to blaze a new trail.”
That is because Heather was once married to “Mormon royalty,” whose family allegedly received a large inheritance from Howard Hughes. In fact, his family is worth a cool billion dollars.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is the gift that keeps on giving. Bravo has bestowed upon us some interesting personalities, a fresh locale, and one cast member who married her step-grandfather. (Shout out to Mary Cosby!)
In the RHOSLC premiere, we met Meredith Marks, who is a successful jewelry designer. Her husband, Seth Marks, spends most of his time in Chicago for his job. The couple has three adult children: Reid, Chloe, and Brooks Marks.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City certainly has some interesting cast members. One of the most interesting is Mary Cosby. So, what do we know about Mary so far?
In the most recent episode of RHOSLC, the ladies hit the ski slopes, but Mary was more interested in making snow angels. Well, to each their own. She was late because she was waiting for a package containing a new coat for the outing.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is here, and it doesn’t disappoint. During the premiere episode, we met a diverse group of women with different ethnicities, religions, and varying degrees of being “extra.”
The RHOSLC star who is the most extra is Jen Shah. She threw an extravagant birthday party for Meredith Marks, but it was really all about Jen. Jen wasted no time wading into controversy by telling her teenage son that if you kiss a girl, “Guess what, you can contract herpes, probably AIDS.” Obviously, that isn’t true, but why should the truth get in Jen’s way?
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is off to a promising start. I might be a little bit obsessed with this franchise already.
It is obvious from the jump that Jen Shah is the “HBIC.” While Jen may have grown-up Mormon, Jen is converting to Islam to stand behind her Black husband, Sharrieff Shah, and their two sons. The Mormon Church denied Black members equal treatment until 1978, and that isn’t acceptable to Jen.
I’m still reeling from the awesome premiere of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. It had everything a Housewives series should have, and then some! Money, insane fashion looks, a vow renewal, a marriage contract based in seeming incest, diversity, Mormons, party crashers and strippers, Botox. The. List. Goes. On.
Bravo has had a stupidly hard time understanding how diversity and inclusion works on their shows. From the beginning series have been segregated by race. Finally, they are casting women of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds to coexist on the same show! I guess the reckoning from Vanderpump Rules made them re-direct positively. Either way, RHOSLC is what Real Housewives should look like in 2020. Lisa Barlow, Mary Cosby, Heather Gay, Whitney Rose, and Meredith Marks all left me wanting more. But Jen Shah is the one who truly impressed me by speaking so openly about real life social issues right out of the gate.
Real Housewives of Salt Lake City started out its first episode with Jen Shah’s husband Sharrieff Shah sweetly making her breakfast and talking about how beautiful she is. Then, their two sons Sharrieff Jr. and Omar joined them for breakfast.
That’s when Jen turned to her youngest son and asked, “Have you kissed a girl yet?” Then, she warned, “If you kiss a girl, you might be like ‘Oh, she’s cute.’ Guess what, you can contract herpes, probably AIDS.” Her oldest son chimed in to tell Jen, “No, I don’t think that’s true.” It felt like that sex-ed scene in Mean Girls, except that was a scripted movie with dialogue written for comedic effect. This is supposed to be real life and RHOSLC fans weren’t happy about Jen’s remark.
Welcome to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City! Over a year since it was first announced at BravoCon, the newest Housewives franchise is finally here, and let me tell you, dear readers. The wait was worth it. In the famous words of the Mormon prophet Brigham Young, who settled the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, “This is the place.”
I feel confident in saying the premiere episode was pretty well near perfect. (Which makes sense because, as one of the ‘Wives says of life in Salt Lake City, “Perfection is attainable!”) The last time we were graced with a first episode this good was back when Real Housewives of Potomac premiered in 2016. (Though the hype surrounding RHOP was comparatively much smaller at the time. Bravo even leaned into a full slate of ads asking “Where is Potomac?” ahead of the premiere. And it took seasons of under-the-radar perfection for the show to finally be respected today as the top-tier Housewives franchise it is.)