As a dedicated Bravo fan, I can’t help but feel that over the past few years, Bravo’s decisions have become as questionable as Scheana Shay’s (previous) choices in men, and its content as boring as Teddi Mellencamp on screen. It’s no secret that the network’s come under fire for multiple problematic cast members and its lack of diverse representation… also, after confusing viewers’ requests for juicy content with Lucy Lucy Apple Juice content. And what has this resulted in? Low ratings for even the network cornerstones like RHONY and RHOBH. No bueno, Bravo. But I’m not here to sh*t on the network. After all, Bravo’s given me endless laughs over Sonja’s shenanigans, defined “real friendship” for me via the Witches of WeHo, scared me sh*tless into never committing a crime thanks to Teresa/Jen/Erika, and has taught me everything I know about fashion through Dorit’s confessional looks. So instead of jumping on the boycott Bravo wagon, I’m here instead to use my PhD in reality TV to offer guidance and recommendations on how to reinvent the network and bring in a bigger, better, more engaged audience.
Promote The Hidden Gems
As a die-hard Bravo fan who chooses to watch TV over having a social life, reading books, or generally bettering myself, I don’t sleep on any content. And because of that, I know Bravo has hidden gems that the average viewer is completely oblivious to, like Shahs of Sunset, Family Karma, and Married to Medicine. These shows bring it all: diversity in race, religion, and sexuality; messy drama; and heroes and villains that you both want to be and love to hate. But I can’t blame the viewers for not knowing what they don’t know. So my recommendation for Bravo is to promote the sh*t out of this content. Viewers are begging you for diversity, reckless casts, and something fresh to pass the time with. It’s not like you have to start from scratch to build this… literally, all you have to do is reallocate your advertising budget.
Pick A Star and Build Around Them
In the early days of Bravo, the network would often pick a star and build a show around their personality, friend group, and/or vocation. Exhibit A: The Millionaire Matchmaker with Patti Stanger. Exhibit B: Vanderpump Rules with Lisa Vanderpump. Exhibit C: The Rachel Zoe Project with Rachel Zoe. This formula completely put Bravo on the map in the ’00s—by finding someone who had either the glam, aspiration, knack for confrontation, or chaotic family/workplace dynamic, the network was able to build an empire around stars like the Manzos and Bethenny Frankel. Now, don’t get me wrong: as a dedicated Housewives fan, I’d never be able to live without my ensemble casts that bring together a bunch of messy, middle-aged women who take lavish trips, get dressed up for game night, and live by the motto “everyone is jealous of me.” But my suggestion to bring back this old formula, pick a star and build around them, would be a fun alternative to punch up the current ensemble staples.
Copy The ‘VPR’ Formula
Vanderpump Rules was the sh*t in its early days. The concept of filming a broke, IRL friend group that had zero expectations for the show created the perfect hurricane of messy AF drama that you seriously couldn’t dream up. Need I remind you about Jax sleeping with Kristen, Laura Leigh (no elaboration required), and “suck a d*ck Diana”? Using early VPR as a case study, my expert recommendation is this: find an unknown group of friends who happen to work at the same establishment and who have less than 1,000 Instagram followers each. Let them be their petty, scrappy, desperate, and jealous selves and the show will write itself. Make note that this cast doesn’t have to work at a bar/restaurant (although the element of late nights and alcohol definitely helps fuel the fire). Whether they’re at a retail location like Very Cavallari or a real estate firm like Selling Sunset, the most important thing is to cast the right people—the location/industry is simply a backdrop to the drama. So what’s next? Bravo has announced a show featuring Kandi Burruss’ Old Lady Gang restaurant is in the works, but why stop there? How about building a show around Southern Charm star Leva Bonaparte’s new restaurant/bar… I mean, the crossover opportunity is built in.
Stop Leaking Sh*t To The Press
You used to be able to expect the unexpected when it came to storylines and conflict. Think Kim Richards v. Lisa Rinna in Amsterdam, Scary Island, Brooks faking cancer, or Manzo v. Manzo v. Manzo. There was a sense of intrigue and anticipation for a new season or episode to premiere, because besides the season trailer, you literally had no idea what madness was about to ensue. But now, thanks to social media, leaked news stories, and cast members spilling tea on podcasts, the element of intrigue that made (nay, forced) you to tune in in real time to watch an episode has been minimized. For example, before RHOA premiered, we already knew that someone allegedly hooked up with a stripper on a cast trip. And, before last year’s RHOP, we already knew the main conflict was going to be Monique and Candiace’s fight, and that it ended in police reports and the group being ripped apart. Sure, having some idea of the conflict can get viewers excited, but it also dulls the element of surprise. So this leads me to my next recommendation: lock down the content. And I know this seems like an impossible task in today’s current media landscape, but hear me out. There’s stuff that fans generally don’t care is “leaked”, like reunion outfits or where the cast goes on their annual filming trip. So continue not giving AF if the ladies post or podcast about that. BUT, when it comes to major feuds and main storylines, I’ll stand firm on (a) stopping the cast and crew from leaking information (The Bachelor franchise’s tight NDAs prove you can prevent people from spilling the tea); and (b) having the cast and their family/friends refrain from engaging in social media back-and-forth that gives away who is pissed at whom, and from speaking on podcasts that give away details before the season airs. And trust me, if fans can’t can’t get their content from social media or the gossip headlines, they’ll put down TikTok on a Tuesday night to tune into RHONY for 43 minutes with no questions asked.
Retire—Or Replace—The Sh*tty Franchises
It’s time to retire the sh*tty franchises. I’m looking at you, Dallas and Orange County. Why? Well, we’ve reached a new level of Housewives saturation because Bravo’s failed to trim the fat—AKA, get rid of the boring/problematic franchises – and some viewers are suffering from Housewives fatigue. And sure, I get it, if you’re a diehard Housewives fan you’ll take PuppyGate and the RHOD crew road-tripping to Oklahoma over no content at all. BUT, this is about Bravo upping its ratings and engaging the casual viewer… which can only happen if the content isn’t a dumpster fire of controversial cast members, repetitive plotlines, and the same old tropes over and over again. Let me take a step back. You know how each friend in your crew has a role? For example, there’s the one who can do makeup, the one who has the hot guy friends, the one who acts like the mom of the group, and so on. I use this friend group analogy as my litmus test to see if a franchise is worth keeping or not. IMO, each franchise should bring its own unique twist to the network… like how RHONY brings fast-paced entertainment, RHOBH brings aspiration, RHOP brings spicy drama, etc. etc. But others, like RHOD and RHOC, bring less to the table than Teddi Mellencamp did in season 10… so retire them quicker than Rinna turned on Denise. Now that Heather Dubrow is coming back to Orange County, they get one more season to turn the ship around, but that’s it. And even if Bravo does retire a couple franchises, they have Miami and Nashville (allegedly) in the pipeline. So, fingers crossed that these new groups of ladies bring the same unfiltered theatrics and enjoyably out-of-touch ego that the early New York and Beverly Hills ensembles did, before self-producing became a thing.
Images: John Tsiavis / Bravo
It would be an understatement to say that Galentine’s Day is a big deal in my friend group. It’s a day to celebrate friendships, new and old, without the overbearing presence of cis-heteroxual male energy. It’s a day to turn an absolute look, because you cannot spell “lifelong friendships’”without “photo shoot.” And it’s a day to drink prosecco. So much prosecco. Scholars and theorists alike might even say too much prosecco. Galentine’s Day is always one of my favorite days of the year, but when I think of Galentine’s Day 2020, it can be characterized by one defining moment: the day my friend Danny and I reached peaked anti-social status, and left mid-party to start watching The Real Housewives of Potomac. (Also, it’s the day I discovered what a ring light is, and that I firmly believe that access to free health care and an affordable ring light are basic human rights).
If you’re like me, The Real Housewives are your lifeblood: you breathe Herman Munster Louis Vuitton; you bleed SHE by Shereé Joggers (release date: tbd). You would never accept a stuffed bunny for your grandson unless it had the right energy. You meet the knowledge of someone being engaged 19 times with the flip of a table. You know every franchise inside and out, which means you also know there is currently an opening for the best Real Housewives franchise.
It’s an unfortunate, yet known fact that previous Real Housewives front runners are, frankly, losing their elite status. New York is currently in a transition period, still trying to find its footing without Bethenny, while our usual favorites (Dorinda, Ramona, Sonja) are growing less and less lovable. Beverly Hills is begging for plotlines—making an entire season not even about an actual threesome, but the mere discussion of hypothetical threesomes, and bringing back Brandi Glanville in what can only be described as an act of desperation. Atlanta is a close front runner, but current speculations of a future without NeNe Leakes create an air of uncertainty surrounding the strength of the franchise. This all leaves the perfect opening for The Real Housewives of Potomac to take its rightful spot as the supreme Real Housewives franchise.
As we watched in our too-much-prosecco hazed state in the aftermath of Galentine’s Day, my friend and I immediately realized that The Real Housewives of Potomac wasn’t like any other franchise—and that’s what made it so hard to look away. While all of the ladies of Potomac are Black women, their lives are diverse in ways that make for excellent TV. Of course you have the women who are uber rich, with mansions galore and glam-squads at the ready (Karen, Monique, Katie), but you also have women who are just, dare I say, middle class—they’re doing well, but also have to go to work to pay the mortgage, and in some cases, the rent (Robyn, Gizelle). You have women in happy marriages to lifelong sweethearts, and you have women who are divorced, dating, and thriving—and you have one woman who is divorced from, but still living and sharing a bed with, said lifelong sweetheart. The women of Potomac also widely vary in age, with Karen Huger, the self-proclaimed Grand Dame, who began her Housewives tenure at the age of 52, and Ashley Darby, who made Housewives history as the youngest Housewife at the age of 27.
Potomac is also different from any other franchise because it takes place in, well, Potomac. Andy Cohen is known for giving us inside looks into the lifestyles of the rich and famous with women reigning from notable, big-named cities like Beverly Hills, New York, and even Dallas. But, he took a sharp left turn in choosing to establish a franchise in a place like Potomac, a small town in Maryland that, while boasted as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the country, very few people could place on map. In short, I will boldly claim that The Real Housewives of Potomac reinvents the wheel and challenges what it means to be a Real Housewives franchise in new, exciting, and unique ways.
That’s not at all to say, however, that Potomac doesn’t know how to deliver classic, Housewives-defining elements that every franchise is required, by Bravo law, to possess. You have your overbearing mother (à la Atlanta’s Mama Joyce and New York’s Dale) in Candiace’s mom, Ms. Dorothy, who never provides a dull moment in being both a therapist but also someone who hits her daughter with her purse at social events. You have sightings from random celebrities you have not thought about in years (à la Fetty Wap in New Jersey) in Macy Gray, when she appears in season 4 to teach Karen’s daughter, Rayvin, how to sing. And of course, you cannot have real Real Housewives drama without the husbands getting involved. Much like PK and Ken in Beverly Hills, and the New Jersey Joes, the husbands of Potomac also reluctantly become roped into plotlines, most notably with “Did Michael Touch That Man’s Butt-gate”—a fascinatingly complicated plotline that transcends season lines.
One of my favorite Housewives tropes is the classic power struggle between the queens of the franchises: Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga, Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards, Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel. Potomac follows suit with the constant back-and-forth between Karen Huger and Gizelle Bryant. These women have a unique friendship, in that Gizelle’s achilles heel is not being able to recognize when she’s wrong, and Karen’s achilles heel is only being able to recognize when Gizelle is wrong. The women begin their tussle early on in season 1, and the cycle of “fight, no apology, fight, bad apology, fight, real apology” has, without fail, occurred every season since. However, what sets Karen and Gizelle’s friendship apart from other franchises is that it’s clear that there is genuine respect and love between them. We learn that the two have been friends for years, far preceding the Real Housewives cameras—and that is apparent. Yes, Gizelle hits below the belt when she wears a T-shirt that says “#FreeKarenHuger #TaxReform,” after Karen and her husband’s tax debts come to light, but she is also the first one to wipe away Karen’s tears when she breaks down at the season 3 reunion after the deaths of her parents. The ladies fight hard and love hard, a prime example of how Potomac gives you classic Housewives, while also pushing and redefining the Housewives narrative.
Past seasons have been nail-bitingly thrilling, but season 5 is where I expect The Real Housewives of Potomac to really come into their own, and secure the currently empty slot of best Real Housewives franchise. The season 5 trailer gives us broken wine glasses, the introduction of a new Housewife, and wigs both good and bad. But, I’m most excited to see how the fifth season of Potomac will handle and discuss our current social climate as it pertains to race. It is true—we are living in unprecedented times, and the culture we consume, especially culture that is centered upon the lives of seven black women, should reflect that. Simply going based off Instagram posts, the women of most other franchises (except, you guessed it, Atlanta) have missed the mark incredibly when it comes to the anti-racism discussion. But the ladies of Potomac have never been strangers to the discussion of race on the show, from season 1 when Robyn and Gizelle cling tightly and proudly to their blackness, despite the lighter hues of their skin, to season 4 when Gizelle hosts a trip to New Orleans and the women emotionally tour a slave plantation. I’m excited and optimistic to see how the ladies of Potomac approach the current racial movement and show the women of other franchises that posting a black square to the grid, or simply ignoring the movement entirely, simply ain’t it.
I was asked the other day who my favorite housewife was on Potomac, and I didn’t have a clear answer. Not because there are not personalities with a capital P within the franchise, but because these women are all connected, a cohort of women who pristinely works off each other to serve the plotline. You can’t have Ashley without Monique and Karen; you can’t have Robyn without Gizelle; you can’t have Candiace without her mom paying half the mortgage. The Real Housewives of Potomac is storyline-driven, which I think is where their lasting power lies. I simply cannot wait to see these women sweep the #1 Real Housewives spot with the premiere of their fifth season.
If you love RHOP, check out our video with Ashley Darby:
Photo by: Sophy Holland/Bravo
There are a number of traits that all good Real Housewives have in common. An aspirational lifestyle, a highly suspect business venture, and a toxic husband are par for the course, but what really sets a Housewife apart from her castmates is the ability to deftly lob an insult, especially at another Housewife. This requires quick thinking and a way with the English language that few of us mere mortals possess, and when it’s done right, the results are simply magical. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best Real Housewives zingers in history and provided real life scenarios where you can use them, so you too can feel like a friend of seasoned Housewife. You’re welcome.
“Well, Even Louis Vuitton Makes Mistakes”
Whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Luann has had some of the most iconic lines in the history of The Real Housewives of New York. One of her absolute best came in season 4 when insulting castmate Alex McCord’s “Herman Munster shoes.” Alex immediately clapped back saying they were Louis Vuitton, and without missing a beat, Luann gave us this gem of a comeback, both winning the argument and proving she belongs in the Housewives Hall of Fame.
When To Use It: We’ve all known someone who never misses an opportunity to brag about the various labels they’re wearing. Next time Dorit that person pipes up, you can hit them with a variation of this epic line. For example:
Dorit: OMG could you die over this new purse?! It’s Gucci!
You: Well, even Gucci makes mistakes.
“, You Bald-Headed Scallywag”
OK, so Marlo may not technically be a Housewife, but she is putting in more work this season than many a cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (looking at you, NeNe). She’s long overdue for her peach, and no moment proved this more than in a recent episode on the cast trip to Toronto. As SnakeGate continued to unfold, the entire cast seemed to get into it with each other, with Marlo and Cynthia going head to head about the accusation that someone recorded Cynthia talking smack about NeNe. Cynthia loses it and goes off on Marlo, and out of the clear blue, Marlo refers to Cynthia as a “bald-headed scallywag.” The creativity in busting out a term not used in the mainstream lexicon since the wake of the Civil War leaves me no choice but to stan.
When To Use It: Although Marlo was referring to Cynthia, another woman, I think this jab would work perfectly for that f*ckboy in your life who you’re not quite ready to cut, but who continues to annoy you with his games. If he’s bald or balding, great. If not, then you can take a page out of his textbook with a neg that will surely have him considering a Rogaine purchase. The exchange could go something like this:
F*ckboy: Sry, forgot to press send. U comin over later?
You: Chad, you bald-headed scallywag
“Not Well, Bitch!”
Although Dorinda joined The Real Housewives of New York in season 7, it feels like she’s been there from the beginning. In just a few seasons she has become a fan favorite, and her incredible one-liners have everything to do with it. In season 9 she gave us this wonderfully versatile response when asked by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, of all people, how she was doing after a particularly heated argument with castmate Sonja Morgan. In turn, we were gifted this simple, yet incredibly effective phrase. Dorinda, we thank you for your service.
When To Use It: The beauty of this one is that it can be used in so many different scenarios to capture your mood. The “I’ll tell ya how I’m doing” preamble is optional, but when you use it, it hits so much harder. Either way, it’s a fantastic way to shut up that annoying co-worker Karen who cheerfully asks you how you’re doing at 9:03am on Monday before you’ve even had a sip of your iced coffee. Or it’s a perfect response to the group chat attempting to piece together a blackout girls’ night. Like so:
Jackie (to the group): Really hurting this morning. How are you guys doing?
You: I’ll tell ya how I’m doing: not well, bitch!
“I Don’t Know If She Wants To Be Me, Or Skin Me And Wear Me Like Last Year’s Versace.”
Dina Manzo only appeared on the first two seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (and randomly season 6), but she will always be remembered for her biting zingers, chief among them being her description of the one and only Beverly Ann Merrill Danielle Staub in season 1. After a bizarre encounter where Danielle hugged Dina over and over and awkwardly complimented her boobs, Dina delivered this perfect description of Danielle’s strange obsession with her. We miss you, Dina.
When To Use It: This line is best used when you want to highlight the Single White Female in your life who is seemingly always around and annoying the ever-loving shit out of you. Whether she keeps going after the guys you like, insincerely compliments you in a backhanded way, or is always showing up to frat parties in a sad variation of your outfit from last week, you can describe her as such:
Your Bestie: What’s up with Hannah? She’s basically wearing the same dress you wore last weekend.
You: I don’t know if she wants to be me, or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace.
“Is Your Ass Jealous Of The Sh*t That Comes Out Of Your Mouth?”
I can’t say I’m going to miss Tamra now that she’s gone, but she did leave us with some truly memorable jabs. Tamra does her best work when she’s angry (never forget Jesus Jugs) and she exploded during the season 6 reunion when she sensed that Gretchen was being less than truthful, giving us this truly excellent insult. RIP, Tammy Sue.
When To Use It: This one comes in handy whenever you want to call bullsh*t on someone who is obviously lying. Of course, you can use it for more serious lies like Tamra did, but it also works when you want to joke around with someone close to you about a more harmless lie. Case in point:
You: Hey, just got here. What’s your ETA?
Friend (just got out of the shower): On my way!
You: Does your ass get jealous of the sh*t that comes out of your mouth?
Of course, there are far too many incredible Housewives insults and many of the very best had to be left off this list. What are some of your favorites and how would you use them in the real world? Sound off in the comments. Until then:
Images: Bravo; Tenor (2); Giphy (4)
Do you love Bravo? Of course you do, you’re reading this article. We just launched @bravobybetches, your new favorite account for Bravo memes, gossip, and behind-the-scenes sh*t. Follow @bravobybetches now!
Somebody tell Santa that he can cancel Christmas, because I’ve already gotten the perfect gift. Bravo just announced that Vanderpump Rules season 8 is scheduled to premiere on January 7, 2020 and I can’t imagine a better way to ring in a new decade than with an extra 10 pounds on my waistline and a middle-aged wait staff struggling to remember if they cheated on each other on my TV screen. And Bravo dropped the trailer on Friday! Andy Cohen, you’re too good to me. Based on what we know, it looks like this is going to be (to borrow a phrase from real life angel, Chris Harrison) the most dramatic season EVER. And I’m not basing this solely on the trailer—oh no, there has been sh*t going down during this off-season. We’re talking social media unfollows, vaguely negative comments, and people not showing up at parties. This is LEGIT. So, I’m going to gather up all this evidence, call myself Veronica Mars, and piece this season together for you.
The Witches Of WeHo Break Up
Rumors have been brewing (get it, because they’re witches? Sorry, I hate myself too) that Katie, Kristen, and Stassi have been having problems lately. Back in October, Stassi confirmed those rumors on her podcast by saying, “If taking a break from someone is a b*tch move and makes me nasty, then I don’t give a f*ck.” Wow. Way to sound like a passive-aggressive ex-girlfriend airing her grievances on Facebook, Stassi. Kristen also confirmed that they had a falling out, saying she doesn’t really know why it happened (classic Kristen, she was probably blacked out during the fight). Whatever happened, Kristen, I bet a hundred bucks you were chain smoking and calling someone the c-word when it went down!
In the trailer, we see a very brief snippet of a fight between the women. In it, Katie says that Kristen is being obnoxious. Fair. Kristen says Katie is being a b*tch. Also fair. To be honest, with personalities like that, it’s a miracle any of these people ever have friends.
It looks like some of the cast could be patching things up, though, because Brittany just posted an Insta story of a bunch of them on their way to the People’s Choice Awards, and Kristen was there.
It seems like Stassi may be the last holdout, because she wasn’t with them last night (she was in New York), and she hasn’t posted a picture with Kristen since July.
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And is it just me or does that picture appear coerced for the sake of their wine business? Which leads me to my most important question, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE WINE? I need answers, Andy. Mediocre Pinot Grigio is at stake!
Jax And Sandoval Are Also Feuding
Back in August, E! News reported that Jax unfollowed a number of his co-stars, including Sandoval, Ariana, Kristen, and Scheana. This must have happened after his wedding to Brittany, because the Toms were co-best men at the event. So what is up between the old (very old, Jax is 40! Don’t think I’d forget to bring that up) friends?
In the trailer, we see a fight between the two men, with Sandoval screaming, asking if Jax even knows him at all. He’s near tears, with nary a dog in sight to dry them. It’s rough.
According to, once again, E! News, the fight was over Lance Bass (!!!!) officiating Jax and Brittany’s wedding. Apparently Tom and Ariana claimed Jax only picked Lance because he is a celebrity, and for some reason are taking issue with that. Well, first of all, who wouldn’t want a celebrity officiating their wedding? Second of all, it’s 2019, not 2001, so I think that the word “celebrity” is a little generous for Lance Bass. And third of all, let’s not act like you all aren’t after fame, mmkay. I say they rip off their chunky cardigans, fight it out in a parking lot, and move on.
The New People Bring The Cheating Drama
Since a lot of our OGs are pretty solidly coupled up (except Kristen *insert evil laugh*), it’s up to the new cast members to bring the cheating drama. Based on the preview, it looks like Dayna has drama with Max. He says he’s interested in her, but she seems to think he is exclusively dating someone else. Later in the preview, Max accuses Brett of having feelings for Dayna. Am I getting these people right? If I’m mixing them up, my apologies, but also can Bravo apologize for casting two dudes that look identical? It makes me thankful for the days of Sandoval’s Flock of Seagulls hairdo, because at least he couldn’t be confused with anyone except a time traveler from 1982.
I attempted to do some Instagram digging for you all and get some answers, but Brett exclusively posts pictures of himself in varying states of undress, and Dayna and Max appear to have kept their love lives off the platform. Gotta stay tight-lipped about those storylines to get a contract renewal, I guess!
^^Max and Brett together, so I guess they’re not actually the same person
Scheana Continues To Try To Be The Bachelorette
People write in asking Reality Steve if Scheana is going to be the Bachelorette as often as I tell myself “the diet starts tomorrow.” His answer is always a variation on “Hell no, I just snorted Sprite out of my nostrils in response,” but that’s not for lack of trying. Last season we saw Scheana attempt to recreate her Bachelorette fantasy with human Ken doll Robbie Hayes, which had about as much chemistry as a dog on a date with a lamp. And back in September, Bustle reported that she was getting cozy with DeMario Jackson, although they are both claiming they’re just friends.
Stop trying to make The Bachelorette happen, Scheana, it’s never going to happen! What I don’t understand is that she’s on a reality show now that she gets to be on EVERY season. Why does she desperately want to be on a show with an expiration date? Although, she was basically non-existent in this trailer, so perhaps it is time for her to look for another job…
There Are Way Too Many People On This Show
Okay, so this is less of a prediction and more of a fact, but I feel like Vanderpump Rules season 8 is truly a challenge to the show’s video editors, to see how many people they can squeeze into one credit sequence. So many cast members and yet still no Peter. When will he get his due? Justice for Peter!!
And that’s what’s going to happen on Season 8 based on the trailer, social media, and gossip! You’re welcome for my hard work, and I think we can all agree that if there’s one thing we know for SURE about this upcoming season, it’s that Brittany is my spirit animal.
Can’t wait for January!
Images: Giphy (2); issamaximillian, scheana/Instagram; Bravo
In the reality TV world, it doesn’t get much bigger than Andy Cohen and the Kardashians. They’ve both built up their own empires, albeit in different ways. Andy has spent years dealing with the nastiest of Housewives disagreements, while the Kardashians deal with…nothing? Idk, they’re all very successful businesswomen, so I won’t come for them. Except when it comes to Facetune and Photoshop. Recently, these two reality TV titans collided when Andy Cohen was hanging out with Khloé Kardashian, and they commemorated the occasion by posting a cute selfie. Or, I should say, Andy posted a cute selfie. Let me just show you what some kind soul at r/instagramreality saved for our viewing pleasure.
Andy is a real person and posts photos that look like a real person—imagine that! Even Khloé, who has had juuuuuust a tad bit of work done, looks like a beautiful human woman in this picture. I mean, a human that has a ton of makeup, fake eyelashes, extensions, etc. But a person, no less.
HOWEVER. Khloé then acts like the fact that Andy just posted the photo means we won’t somehow have receipts because then she posted her own version:
And claims it looks different because she “had to adjust the lighting”. The lighting. I’m sorry. Does she think we’re all stupid and don’t understand how Facetune works? Guys, did you know lighting erases every single line, blemish, wrinkle, and gives you scary plastic Barbie skin? DID YOU?
Sorry Khloé, literally no one is buying this. On my short list, she did change the lighting, but also airbrushed the shit out of her skin, erased her dark circles (and messed up her eyelashes in the process—the lashes looked way better in the before pic), smoothed out her lips, and got rid of any normal line in her neck that shows that the skin can move. She didn’t, however, have to get rid of forehead wrinkles, because that part of her face hasn’t moved in years. Which is more than what I can say for what she did to Andy.
Andy, being normal, does not try to pretend to look like a 20-year-old. Or, more accurately, like he’s really bad at using Facetune. She smoothed him out and bleached up his skin so badly, his eyes look like the dark pits straight to hell in his weird, plastic eye sockets. The f*ck, Khloé? He doesn’t look younger, he just looks creepy. Why would you do that to Andy?!
I mean, look at this sh*t:
Like, what are we supposed to believe the lighting is from, the Fountain of Youth? But honestly, much like Botox, doing this kind of thing to your photos really does not make you look younger. It makes you look like you had some work done. Badly. Put away the Facetune, people, especially when you’re on TV. We know what you actually look like and this sh*t is scary.
And leave Andy alone!
Do you think it makes celebs look younger when they airbrush out every little wrinkle? Can you tell when people Facetune their skin? Do you think the Kardashian Klan will ever have enough plastic surgery to feel comfortable posting their real faces and bodies? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; r/instagramreality; Giphy
It doesn’t get more iconic than Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Just from saying those two names together, I’m instantly transported back to a time of low-rise jeans, tragic hair extensions, and passed-out starlets in the back of cars. Things were simpler back then. While we’ve moved on from the era of Von Dutch trucker hats, not all of the drama has been left in the past. There’s clearly still some bad blood between Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and Paris has recently reignited their decade-long feud. I’m obsessed.
On Tuesday night, Paris Hilton was a guest on Watch What Happens Live, and lucky for us, Andy Cohen got her to play Plead the Fifth. If you’re unfamiliar, Andy asks three uncomfortable questions, and you only get to skip one of them. Like a true icon, Paris answered all three of her questions, and the first one nearly made me fall out of my chair. Noting that Paris Hilton recently said she never wants her name spoken in the same sentence as Lindsay Lohan’s (oops, I’ve already done it three times), Andy asked Paris to say three nice things about Lindsay.
Watch what she had to say:
Are you dead? Because I’m dead. In case you didn’t watch, Paris first says that Lindsay is “beyond,” which is probably actually a compliment coming from her. Like, if Paris Hilton tells you that your outfit is “beyond,” you wear that outfit every single day until you die. It’s just the rules. After her first (probably) nice thing, Paris is truly out of good things to say, so she just ditches the assignment and goes with “lame and embarrassing.” You guys! You guys. This is the kind of legendary shade that I live for.
It’s safe to say that things are still pretty rough between Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan (oops, I said their names together again). We were reminded of their feud last summer, when Comments By Celebs found another absolute shady gem from Paris. One of those accounts who posts stuff from 2000s pop culture found a video (most likely from 2006) of Lindsay Lohan speaking to the paparazzi. She first says that Paris just hit her and poured a drink on her at a party, but then she tells the reporters that it never happened, and calls Paris a friend. After that, Lindsay calls Paris a c*nt straight to the camera, and then again insists that she didn’t say it. Lindsay might have changed a lot of things about her life in the last decade, but she has always been delusional.
Paris, always ready to throw the shade, commented “#PathologicalLiar” on the video. Think about that. This account paris2000s resurfaced this video of Lindsay Lohan from more than 10 years prior, and Paris Hilton still made a point to talk sh*t about Lindsay. Honestly, her commitment is inspirational.
In response, Lindsay’s dad Michael Lohan tweeted that Paris should grow up, while also calling her “SAVAGE” and a liar. The Lohan family is so messy that honestly it’s just funny Michael feels he has any room to talk, but I will never turn down a good celebrity feud. Paris Hilton probably never even saw this tweet, because Michael Lohan hasn’t been relevant since…ever?
Please. Grow up. If anyone is a liar it's you Paris
The hotel heiress is SAVAGE. https://t.co/QrfVhwhk8Q via @HuffPostEnt
— Michael Lohan (@MichaelJLohan) July 18, 2018
There’s one more important instance of shade that Paris Hilton has thrown Lindsay’s way. In 2017, she explained to MTV Australia that iconic photos of her going out with Lindsay and Britney Spears aren’t exactly an accurate depiction of what happened. “Actually, it was just Brit and I out, and then Lindsay chased us to the car and got in. She wasn’t invited.” Paris Hilton is channeling the kind of pettiness that I aspire to, and it’s honestly beautiful.
While I love a good petty moment, it’s actually starting to feel like this feud is a little one-sided. Like, Lindsay Lohan is just chilling in Dubai, and unless she’s doing something we don’t know about, like post a cryptic and weird Instagram, maybe Paris should give it a rest? It’s never a good look to be obsessed with your enemy, and Paris Hilton looks a little obsessed right now.
Images: Shutterstock; Watch What Happens Live / YouTube; @commentsbycelebs / Instagram; @michaeljlohan / Twitter
Last week, we ended the Vanderpump Rules season 7 reunion with Jax yelling at James about how his life is better than James’s, and Sandoval yelling to defend James, and Andy yelling at all of them to shut the f*ck up.
This week, we pick right back up with Brittany yelling at James for pretending like he cared about Jax and James admitting he doesn’t give a f*ck about Jax. Sandoval butts in to point out that Jax talks sh*t about Raquel, so obviously James is going to talk sh*t about Brittany.
After the infamous “guys, shut the f*ck up,” Lisa says “yay” (same, girl) and Jax walks off stage muttering that Tom isn’t in his wedding party anymore and Beau is taking his spot. I take that about as seriously as I take anything Jax has ever said, which is to say, not with a single degree of gravity. Lisa calls James over to tell him to chill out. James immediately starts crying. (Same, girl.) I get where James is coming from; I don’t think any of us would remain totally calm and collected with seven people yelling in our face for the past hour. James’ problem, though, is that he thinks saying sorry is a catch-all that undoes all the damage of saying something bad. That’s not how this works!
We come back with Andy asking Jax how he says he’s changed.
Jax: You know I’m not just attacking everybody.
Did any of us watch Jax like, ten minutes ago? If that’s not considered attacking everybody, then what is? No, that’s not a rhetorical question: I would seriously like to know.
Andy brings up how Sandoval called Jax a recovering sociopath. Jax tries to pull his, “well why can’t you just be happy for me at all times and baby me and treat me with kid gloves every time I refrain from doing something deplorable?” act, and Sandoval argues that calling Jax on his sh*t IS being a good friend. Yes, thank you. That IS how this works.
Lisa: I think Jax is fundamentally a good person
I find it funny how far people will go in their own cognitive dissonance/mental gymnastics to distance themselves from their sh*tty friends, because they know that you generally are the company you keep, and they don’t see themselves as sh*tty. *Gets up from armchair, where I have earned an honorary psychology degree* Jax, a fundamentally good person? Ok. I am sure OJ Simpson’s friends probably thought he was a pretty cool guy to have a beer with also. Where do we draw the line??
Speaking of things that have not changed, Jax still doesn’t want to talk about how he cheated with Faith! Sure, brush that under the rug. That will bode well for your marriage. Lisa calls him a victim (because he didn’t consent to have Faith recording him) and James mutters under his breath that Jax was a victim of sex. James may be horrible, but at least he has funny one-liners. I feel like Jax was chiefly a victim of his own poor decision-making, although California is a two-party consent state with regards to digital recordings, so fine, I’ll give him this.
We bring up Ariana and Lala’s hookup, which I forgot about until right this moment. The funny thing is that happened a year ago and it just got brought up on camera. Sandoval is a messy bitch. Schwartz is getting visibly turned on as they recount this. I need a shower.
Andy is like, “Brittany, this is a good time to admit you hooked up with Kristin.” Brittany is now going from “it didn’t happen” to “I don’t remember.” So we can close the book that this definitely happened. Kristen ate the Kentucky muffin. Case closed.
We revisit the history of Stassi and Ariana’s friendship. Truly I don’t care about this,even though it’s a feel-good moment. But that’s not why we are here, even if I do like this friendship!
Lol Andy asks Lisa why Kristen wasn’t invited to the Tom Tom party. Kristen is literally on the verge of tears as this happens. I guess she’s over it, huh?
Lisa: I’m not that close to Kristen.
Andy: You don’t say?
Lmfao I laughed out loud and, especially when Lisa said, “I do say.” Lisa, that is a common expression.
We interrupt the reunion for Sandoval to take Andy on a spin on the motorcycle. Cool, this could have easily been cut. But sure, I have nowhere else to be.
Andy, in his best Schwartz impression: I love gloves!
Hahah. Do you think they planned for the motorcycle to break down two feet out of the parking lot? Or did it actually break? This was a great use of $15,000.
We come back to this reunion to talk about Stassi’s #OOTD Day. Does anyone care? No. Moving on; I won’t bother recapping this.
Okay so now we are talking about Katie giving Lisa an ultimatum. We all remember when this happened; I’m not recounting it. Andy is basically like, “how come you demanded James be fired when you yelled at Lala at SUR?” Katie’s award-winning excuse? “That was two years ago.” Oh okay, good to know the statute of limitations on bad behavior is two years. Katie also says “that’s not who I am. I have a mean streak, I have a sharp tongue, but anyone who knows me knows that’s not me.” Ummm, yeah, idk, I think that very obviously is you, by your own admission.
Also Katie: I’m mean, I say terrible things, I make everything about me, I lob low blows at my loved ones every time someone calls me out on my sh*t, but everybody who knows me knows I’m not like that at all.
Next, we all jump on the “pile on James” bandwagon. Sandoval says James is too quick to apologize, and everybody starts sharpening their pitchforks because Sandoval dared to seemingly defend James. Ariana, visibly pissed, translates: Sandoval is saying that James should not apologize if he doesn’t mean it, because then his apologies don’t mean anything and nobody gets anywhere. That, truly, is the heart of why nobody is willing to forgive him this time around: because James always says sorry, he never means it, and he never rectifies his behavior. He’s the boy who cried apology, so now he has zero credibility. If he wants to get back in with this group, he’s going to have to (gasp) actually change.
Damn, Katie segues this into a larger conversation about how everyone is always sh*tting on her body, from James to people on social media. Ok sis, go off. James claims Katie called him anorexic and skinny, though. This group? Hypocritically body-shaming each other, and then using that body-shaming to conveniently attract sympathy? Never! Sandoval yells that Katie called Lala a whore and waited two years (and until a private jet was on the table—my addition, not his) to apologize. THEN we get another dogpile on Sandoval for “sticking up for James,” when really, as Sandoval yells, the problem is not that James is worth defending, but that they are all f*cking hypocrites. Claps for Sandoval. Sandoval wins the reunion.
After the break, Billie Lee comes to the stage. This is uncomfortable because nobody wants her there. Apparently Billie had a thing with Max. Max claimed they made out but Billie told Lisa they were having sex. YIKES. Why would you tell THE GUY’S MOM THAT YOU BANGED? I’m cringing into myself like that episode of Ren & Stimpy where Stimpy goes inside his own belly button. Get Billie off the stage; this is only the beginning and I can’t take it anymore.
Oh jesus f*cking Christ, we are revisiting the Girls Night saga again. I’m not mentally prepared to go through this a millionth time. (But like, of course I knew we would do this.) Katie claims not inviting Billie was an oversight. Billie is still on the “I never said transphobic” train. Girl, that is splitting hairs if I’ve ever seen it.
Ummm Lisa claims it’s “devastating” for Billie to insinuate that they’re not all 100% supportive of the LGBTQ community. She SPECIFICALLY calls out all the girls for being supportive. Lisa, are you on drugs? Or did you not witness when Billie tried to explain her perspective, AS A TRANS WOMAN, to Lala, and Lala told her to sit down because she’s dismissed? Did you also miss when none of them acknowledged they have cis privilege, because they refused to believe that is even a real concept? Lisa is just upset that Billie is daring to say something publicly that could impact her business. This is seriously f*cking gross.
Stassi now is talking about how being called transphobic is “damning”, especially when this group “has been so supportive”. What kind of Lena Dunham-ass white woman sh*t is this? Oh ya, being called transphobic is totally the worst thing that can happen to you, except for, ya know, the disproportionate rates of violence trans people actually experience.
Katie is like, “I have a husband, I have sh*t going on, I can’t just take the time to be like, ‘is Billie going to be offended by this?’” So you admit it then: you’re not a real ally! You can’t have it both ways. If you’re not going to take the time to consider how your public actions may affect marginalized people’s feelings then you really are not a true ally. Come on. These people are gross. Let’s just have them drink and do Adderall and not even try to tackle bigger issues, because it’s making me upset.
I do not really have the time today to revisit all of Lala’s crazy actions at SUR this week, but I signed up for this. *Deep sighs* let’s go.
I’ll tell you what I do have time for, though: QUEEN ARIANA coming for every single one of these people who actively made fun of her when her dad died. JAX HIMSELF said Ariana “played the Dad card.” Woooooooooooooooooo
Me, 2,000 years later: ooooooooowwwwwwwww.
And this is, in a word, why I don’t want to watch this show anymore. It’s truly astounding. Do these people all lack basic memory processing, or are they that deep in denial? Or do they simply pretend and lie to themselves that they’ve never done the very same terrible things they are icing other people out for doing, as a method of self-preservation and staying on the show? Whatever the reason, I’m not sure it’s enough to willingly subject myself to this stress and spike in blood pressure, week after week. Don’t come for me in the comments. I need a long break from this hypocritical flaming diaper filled with gas station sushi. Good thing this sh*t will be off the air until December.
Apparently Billie called Lala the Donald Trump of Sur because she projects nonstop. Lol. I don’t think that’s the biggest criticism you could have of Trump, or even the most accurate one. Lala defends calling Billie trash by saying she acted like trash that day. Billie, in turn, says that Lala acts like a high-class prostitute all the time. I mean, true, but at least she’s high-class. Surprisingly, Lala doesn’t even take the bait at that.
Is that actually growth? I don’t really know.
We revisit Lala yelling at Raquel and Billie during the bruch. Lala says she would do it again. I mean, I guess I can admire that Lala stands by her actions. Lisa says she was acting aggressive, and her argument against that claim is, “I didn’t actually draw blood so I wasn’t aggressive.” Yes, good job Lala! Good job on not copping an assault charge. We’re making a medal for you as we speak—just gotta wait on the engraving.
Billie says what we’re all thinking and asks if Lala was on something that day. Kristen then jumps in, again, for nO REASON AT ALL, to try to defend Lala, who keeps saying “I got this babe” over her. Kristen. YOU DON’T EVEN GO HERE. Stop inserting yourself into every narrative. Your presence is completely unnecessary here.
On a lighter note that quickly gets darker, Tom and Ariana bought a house, which we all knew because we follow them on social media. Apparently they all bought houses next to each other, doing their best efforts to secure that this show will continue on for years. God help us all.
Andy brings up what we’re all thinking, but none of us want to become reality: They’re all going to start having babies soon. Lord Jesus, fix it. Brittany says she can’t wait to be a mom, and “as soon as it feels right, it’s going to happen.” Full yikes. Imagine what Jax is going to do when Brittany can’t have sex on command because she is carrying a child. Wait, actually… maybe I don’t want this show to end. Hmmm…
Andy asks Ariana why she hates why she gets so sick of people asking when she is going to have kids. I’ll take this one for her. BECAUSE WOMEN ARE WORTH MORE THAN THEIR WOMBS.
Lala talks about her sobriety, saying that what really did it was she went to Disneyworld and was drunk for four days straight (same girl x 3), and then got on the plane and was face-chugging from a bottle. Seems like a productive step; will she stop pointing and yelling in people’s faces like she’s on an episode of Bad Girls Club now? Time will tell.
This obviously segues into talking about James’s sobriety. James claims he’s not drinking and partying because he’s been DJing a lot and working a lot. First of all, those things are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I would argue that you probably need to be on something in order to be a DJ in earnest. Kristen says “I’m so f*cking tired of this narrative.” Okay Kristen, I am thoroughly exhausted by YOUR narrative. Sandoval tries to
not-so- subtly imply that James’s downfall is mixing coke and drinking. He says, “yeah but your problem is when you mix alcohol and other things,” to which James replies, “I smoke weed,” to which Sandoval clarifies, “no I mean uppers”.
Me, when Sandoval finally admits what we in the secret Facebook groups and on Reddit have known for years, that they are all on coke:
I can’t believe they didn’t edit that out!! James tells Sandoval to shut his mouth. Lisa jumps in to be like, “don’t talk to him like that, he’s had your back this whole time.” Yeah, Lisa, but he just outed James as a cokehead! I’d tell whoever did that to shut their mouth also.
Kristen says “the one person who’s had your back this entire time, and that’s how you speak to him.” I audibly said out loud, while my friend was sitting next to me grading papers, “Kristen, shut the f*ck up.” My friend was confused. I stood by my statement.
James tries to stick up for himself to Andy, and Stassi starts making fun of him, so James calls Stassi’s extensions ugly. I mean, they look great IMO. Also it’s crazy (and gross) how James’s first instinct is always to insult a woman’s appearance, when there is so much about these women’s choices and personalities that he could make fun of.
Andy asks James if he is still helping his family, and James says he’s helping them a lot. He says “I don’t want to go into detail about how much,” And Kristen says, in a terrible British accent. “Of course you don’t. Cause you want to act like you’re the only one who’s ever helped out your family like we haven’t all.” Andy says what I have been saying for two consecutive weeks, on repeat like the broken record I am: “Kristen, why are you chiming in every time someone opens their mouth?” Kristen says it’s because she’s f*cking sick of , because I guess she can’t say that she needs to cling to something to stay on the show.
Stassi, for some reason, is personally offended by this and says that she has done a lot for her family also. Cool, I’m sure she has, it’s not a zero-sum game! James helping his family doesn’t mean y’all don’t. These two things have nothing to do with each other. If each member of VPR helping out their families was part of a Venn diagram, each circle would be on a different page.
Kristen is saying that it’s not anyone’s business what they do for their families. I think the real issue at heart here is they don’t like that James is getting any sort of sympathetic edit or storyline. But of course they can’t say that, because this is a show.
Hahahah we bring up James’s train wreck of a mom. Lisa notes that James’s perception would be 100% negative if not for the parts we see about his family. And HERE is where Katie admits the truth. “Where’s my compassion?” she asks. “I’ve been going through a hell of a ride, Lisa,” she says, as if Lisa is in the editing room. As if Katie didn’t get a positive edit, like, all of last season. She brings up her brain injury (which happened before the show) and how it caused her to battle depression and PTSD. And, yes, Katie has been through a lot with her injury, but the only way I would feel sympathy for her is if somebody proved that her brain injury turned her into the mean, miserable person she’s been acting like on camera. Is that possible? Can we get a doctor in the house?
Kristen starts sh*tting on James’s family, calling them cheap bastards. She literally says that James was raised by a bunch of assholes. Unlike the f*cking princes and princesses Kristen Doute was raised by.
James walks out, saying “I’m not gonna let someone sh*t talk my family, if you don’t want me to rip their f*cking head off.”
Well, this sh*t has officially gone off the rails. I will see you all next week!
Images: Giphy (5)
It was only a matter of time. The relationships on this season of Vanderpump Rules all seemed a little too stable. No one cheated on anyone else in front of an elderly patient. No one got a stripper pregnant in Vegas. Sure, Ariana and Lala had a drunken “moment” in the back of a car, but Sandoval seemed more turned on by that than anything else. High fives all around for girl-on-girl action! It truly seemed like these nearly middle-aged degenerates may have gotten their act together. Enter Kristen and Carter.
On Monday night’s episode of Vanderpump Rules, we were treated to some Crazy Kristen moments, the likes of which we have rarely seen since she screamed at her boss to “walk the f*ck away, now.” Ah, the good old days. And this week we must have hopped in our DeLorean because Kristen got blackout drunk and had a meltdown, 2015 style. While on a girls trip to Solvang (P.S. I am officially accepting rides here on a PJ, rich dudes where you at?) Kristen got wasted at a wine tasting, tripped over a table, ran away, yada, yada, yada, you read the recap, you know the drill. The girls were convinced Kristen was acting this way because her relationship with Carter is circling the drain. And now there are rumors flying that Kristen and Carter have broken up, but she claims they’re working on it. SO WHAT IS THE TRUTH?! My spidey senses say they’ve broken up, but let’s take a look at the evidence.
Kristen appeared on Watch What Happens Live! after Monday night’s Vanderpump Rules, and a viewer doing the Lord’s work asked her about the status of her and Carter’s relationship. Kristen replied, “I bleed out for this show. I show every single second of everything for this show, so for this I’m just going to say we’re…figuring it out.” Yes, you do bleed for this show, Kristen. The audience thanks you for your donation. And for that blood you are rewarded with lucrative Instagram sponsorships and a T-shirt line that looks like it came from the Walmart bargain bin. You’re welcome! You may have also noticed that Kristen used her classic “poor me” routine to avoid giving an answer to the question.
Andy and I remain skeptical:
I’m convinced that by “figuring it out,” Kristen means that they’re figuring out how to lie about their breakup for the next few months until they are contractually permitted to reveal what we’ve all already known for a long time.
It’s also notable that Tuesday, February 19th was Kristen’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Kristen! I hope you finally receive the validation you’ve been searching for your entire life! Carter is still acting like they are together, posting this on her birthday:
Does anyone else get a “methinks the lady doth protest too much” vibe from this post? Like, c’mon Carter, you even love the crazy?! Like the crazy that punched James in the face at a wedding kind of crazy? I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. No one likes a black eye. And oh yeah, Kristen couldn’t even be bothered to like this post. Lolz Carter, looks like your last-ditch attempt to cling to relevancy is coming to an end. You might have to get a job like the rest of us peasants.
When I started writing this article, I thought that outlets were reporting that Kristen and Carter broke up because when I googled it, OK! Magazine popped up claiming “Kristen Doute & Brian Carter Call It Quits.” This is alarming for two reasons. First, if you click the link, the story is actually called “Have Kristen Doute & Brian Carter Called It Quits?” and literally just quotes Kristen’s WWHL appearance. Fake news! Second, Carter’s first name is Brian?! Did everyone else know this and I had no idea? It’s like that time I called a half-updo a zipback to my friends in college and they laughed in my face. My mom told me that was its name! The shame is still fresh.
So let’s be real. We all know that Kristen can take a relationship and beat it to within an inch of its life, so she and Carter very well could still be together. But based on her indifference to BRIAN and his gushy posts and the fact that she probably signed an NDA saying she couldn’t reveal major plot points on the show, I’m betting it’s over. Time to find a new sugar mama, Carter. I think I know someone, how fast can you hang a TV?
Images: NBCU; Giphy, Bravo, itsarealbeard/Instagram