It’s no secret from my many articles on the subject that I’m a Bravoholic with an affinity for all things Real Housewives. And while I didn’t think my appreciation for these women could get any deeper, I’ve been especially thankful for them while battling bouts of boredom and anxiety in self-quarantine. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, it’s only right that we pay tribute to the amazing women that not only gave life to our Housewives, but who have made a lasting impression in their own right while appearing onscreen.
10. Ms. Diane, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Ms. Diane is an angel. She ranks this high on the list because she’s one of the most normal and seemingly sane mothers this franchise has ever seen. Her calm demeanor and unwavering support of Porsha through everything from the divorce from Kordell to the infidelities of The Hot Dog King is truly heartwarming. Porsha is one of the few lucky ones.
9. Judy Stirling, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Lydia’s mom, Judy, made an immediate impression when she breezed her way into the OC from what seemed like another planet entirely. She sprinkled fairy dust on her grown daughter, smoked a ton of pot, and even managed to get into it with Vicki’s aggro son-in-law over having her feet on Vicki’s couch. In short, she was a lot more interesting memorable than Lydia.
8. Dr. Deb, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Dr. Deb is what you would get if you swapped out Judy’s weed for acid and proceeded to have a really bad trip at Burning Man. When she first appeared on the show, Dr. Deb intrigued viewers with her multicolored dreadlocks and general IDGAF attitude. She really got into the mix last season at “OC Fashion Week” (I refuse to believe that’s a thing) by fighting with another attendant and allegedly using a racial slur. Clearly used to chaos, it’s no wonder Braunwyn decided to have seven kids.
7. Ms. Dorothy, ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’
Ms. Dorothy made an impression from the moment we met her in season 3. Between her monthly stays at the house she bought for with Candiace and Chris and her attempts to control every aspect of their wedding, this therapist seems to have a blind spot when it comes to respecting boundaries with her daughter. Last season she took this to another level by slapping Candiace upside the head with a purse. It be ya own mother.
6. Lois Rinna, ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
When we first met Lois, she charmed us with her happy-go-lucky attitude and positive energy. Little did we know that this ray of sunshine nearly died after surviving an attack by a literal serial killer. And not only did she survive that, she also managed to sit through dinner while Camille defended Brett Kavanaugh and served us some epic facial expressions like this in the process:
5. Marge Sr., ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’
As if Marge Jr. weren’t enough of a gift to the show when she was cast in season 8, we got the added bonus of Marge Sr. Dating well into her seventies and even admitting that she’s had sex in a cemetery, Marge Sr. is the Hungarian Samantha Jones. We have no choice but to stan.
4. Mama Elsa, ‘Real Housewives of Miami’
Almost exactly one year ago, the world lost a legend. Mama Elsa was the indisputable star of the otherwise lackluster Real Housewives of Miami. With her strong Cuban accent, flair for drama, and witchy sensibilities, she stole every scene and gave us so many hilarious moments. The world was a wonder while she was here.
3. Dale Mercer, ‘Real Housewives of New York’
Regardless of whether Tinsley decides to return to RHONY, her mother Dale would be a welcome addition to the show. She never misses an opportunity to shade her own daughter, whether it’s pointing out to Tinsley that she’s wearing shoes designed by Tinsley’s ex-husband’s new wife, or implying that her relationship with Scott is doomed. And, of course, we can never forget her indulging Tinsley’s crazy and crying with her over Tinsley’s frozen eggs “babies” while Tinsley tries on wedding dresses despite not actually being engaged.
2. Mama Dee, ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’
Speaking of women that take pleasure in shading the hell out of their spawn, no one does it like Mama Dee. Watching D’Andra squirm while asking her mom for more money to let her take over the business and Dee revel in the power dynamic is truly captivating television. Is this a healthy mother-daughter dynamic? No, but I really don’t give a dog’s rip.
1. Mama Joyce, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Love her or hate her, Mama Joyce is the G.O.A.T. of outrageous Real Housewives moms. She never misses an opportunity to harass her son-in-law, whether it’s butchering the lyrics to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to make a threat, or recounting a childhood trauma about a lunchbox to allude to her distrust of him. The thirst doesn’t stop there. She tried using a shoe as a weapon against Carmon during Kandi’s wedding dress shopping trip, and put on an actual trench coat to dig up dirt on Phaedra, giving us this iconic moment:
She may be a monster hellbent on destroying anyone that gets too close to her daughter’s money, but she’s given us some incredible moments in the process.
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the moms on this list make for great TV. Which Real Housewives mom is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Bravo (2); Tenor (5); Trash Talk TV; 1drdeb / Instagram; Giphy (2)
The first season for any show can be difficult, especially when you have the fanbase Bravo has. We are passionate, outspoken veterans of reality television, so it’s hard to watch new shows try to find their way. We have grown accustomed to the Bethennys, the Nenes, and the Teresas, who know the game and play it well. So when Bravo announced Potomac and Dallas were going to be added under the Real Housewives umbrella in 2016, I was hesitant. But I did what any devoted fan does, and watched both franchises when they first aired. And I wasn’t impressed. Dallas was all about the charity scene, and Potomac was constantly talking about etiquette. I just didn’t connect with either city, because there wasn’t anything I could sink my teeth into.
But for the past year or so, my best friend Steve who runs the Instagram account @FacesbyBravo (follow him, he’s hilarious) has been begging me to start The Real Housewives of Potomac. Since I was jaded by the first season, I kept pushing it off. And guys, I WAS A DAMN FOOL. Giving Potomac a second chance was the best decision I have made in a long time. That, and deciding to get eyelash extensions.
The fourth season is airing currently, so I started by dipping my toe into the third season. This is what I recommend for anyone who wants to give this franchise a chance. Season three gives you a lot of flashbacks into the second season, so you’re caught up fairly quickly. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint.
First, let me break down the women of Potomac. Karen and Gizelle are already Bravo royalty. They are some of the most iconic housewives I have ever seen, and have done so much in such a short amount of time. Truly, everything that makes you a great housewife. Monique is an amazing addition, she gave us the umbrella moment in season three, and she is one of the most beautiful people to ever be on television. Ashley is one of the messiest housewives I have ever seen, while simultaneously getting her yoga certification. I love a contradiction. We get introduced to Candiace in season three, but wait till you get to season four, because Candiace really shines. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say one thing: butter knife. And to finish out the cast, we have Robyn. Some may say “oh she is boring”, or “what does she bring to the show?” And sure, on the surface Robyn might seem boring, but she is the glue that grounds these women in reality, and she is BEYOND gorgeous. Also, America is always rooting for her and Juan to get back together.
These women offer us something so many cities have failed to do in recent years, and that is giving us vulnerability while having fun. That is it. They are having fun. They don’t feel tired, or played out. They aren’t afraid of confrontation, and are always ready to meet for lunch and have a sit down to “work it out”. Their families play a large role in the show as well: Candiace has an emotionally abusive, codependent relationship with her mother, Ashley confronts her father, who abandoned her at a young age, this season, and Gizelle tries to balance being a single mother to three teenage daughters. It is a lot, and they do it flawlessly. OH, and did I mention they are hilarious? Ashley has some of the best one-liners, and you can always look to Karen to give a GIF worthy reaction.
The Real Housewives of Potomac has quietly become the second-best city in the Real Housewives franchise. Obviously, RHONY is forever my number one (and if anyone from Bravo is reading this, let me tell you, if you so much as touch a hair on Ramona Singer’s head, there will be a riot in these streets. We already lost Bethenny, so this isn’t up for discussion). The women of Potomac deliver in ways we haven’t seen in a long time from a lot of our OG cities. They are breathing new life into the franchise, and the other cities should be taking notes.
As someone who has been watching The Real Housewives and all of their spinoffs since 2008, I will admit it is hard to welcome the new girl. We have tried over the years with DC or Miami, which both flopped (don’t get me started, DC was iconic and deserved a second season). These women are hilarious and snarky. They are messy, but also very forgiving. I give The Real Housewives of Potomac five stars, and urge all of you to begin watching ASAP.
Images: Bravo; Giphy (2)