This season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was basically sponsored by the tragic chronicles of Erika Jayne. From the embezzlement allegations against her (estranged) husband Tom Girardi to the scrutiny of her suspiciously well-timed divorce filing and everything in between (rolling cars, snowstorms, cheating, emergency surgeries, burglaries) there was no shortage of content to cover. In the words of Scheana Shay, it most literally was all happening to the untouchable ice queen Erika Jayne.
But a scandal can’t stand on its own. As Meghan King so graciously set the precedent with CancerGate, and the Potomac ladies exercised with Michael Darby, you truly need someone to both recognize the potential of a Bravo God-gifted scenario, and to take a firm stance and ask the hard questions. And in this season of RHOBH, both Lisa Rinna and Sutton Stracke understood the assignment.
Erika may have brought the tangential legal woes, surprise details about her and Tom’s pretty mess-y marriage, and more, but Rinna and Sutton were the vehicles who made that content a conversation about the cast’s stance on the matter(s), rather than a full-blown Erika pity party.
Hear me out.
If it were up to Kyle or Dorit (sans PK), the season most definitely would have steadily chugged along. Shocking news about Erika would drop and they would run to comfort her. They’d patiently listen to her confusing explanations, partially because they didn’t want to cause waves and partially because they couldn’t be bothered to read a 4,000 word article in the LA Times.
Which sure, would still be semi-interesting, because we’d see Erika’s response to the news in real time, and may have even gotten a shady comment or two from Dorit during a confessional. But overall, it’s safe to assume that even though the cast may have *gently* alluded to their suspicions behind closed doors, they likely would have never confronted Erika IRL.
But what we got this season was so much more entertaining than the above. Sutton gave us ruthless investigative journalism, while Rinna presented us an unwavering, court-worthy defense of Erika. Despite their differing positions on the matter—actually, because of their differing positions on the matter—Sutton and Rinna’s strong opinions shifted the storyline beats away from just a regurgitation of the headlines, and made it about the cast’s dynamic in relation to how they felt about snow in Pasadena and rolling cars.
And that’s what makes a strong Housewife and memorable season. The glamorous houses and cute family moments are nice additions, but the real tea is hearing the ladies voice their stance on matters that the viewers and Bravo fandom sure as hell are tweeting about and taking sides on.
Because Rinna and Sutton took the risk of sharing their perspectives, it paved the way for the others, including an initially timid Kyle and fence-sitting Dorit, to throw shade at Erika’s ever-changing stories, discuss what Erika knew/didn’t know, and even speculate about whether Tom was of sound mind.
And because Sutton was on one end of the spectrum, Rinna’s 180-degree POV complimented the stance by showing another side. Even though Rinna is generally getting heat for her actions this season (and last…), we can’t forget that her over-the-top opinions and pot stirring nature are why she’s a good housewife—she’s an exaggerated character with strong opinions, and that gives the viewers something to talk about and the cast something to fight about. Without someone like Rinna (or Sutton) initiating conflict, we’d be watching a season where everyone’s hunky dory… yawn.
And bless Rinna for giving us a B-storyline between Garcelle and herself (ICYMI: Garcelle questioned why Rinna didn’t take that same gumption to defend Denise Richards the season before as she did with Erika). Rinna’s stance—which yes, is not the side most Bravo fans agree with taking—gave Erika a
partner in crime blindly loyal friend, reminiscent of vintage Kyle & LVP.
Rinna and Sutton aside, the closest we got to confrontation was Garcelle saying “that’s not what you said the other night” to Dorit, after Dorit said to Erika that she didn’t want to pry into the legal situation. I hardly can imagine Garcelle stepping up to initiate that dialogue without Sutton, just given Garcelle’s later commentary on how she felt she didn’t fit in. And need I remind you, SUTTON was the one who called the everyone-but-Erika is-my-reputation-affected meeting at Dorit’s house, that so nicely gave Garcelle a Dorit soundbite to reference.
So TYSM, Sutton and Rinna. Even though Erika brought the headlines, you arguably made this the best season of RHOBH since PantyGate.
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)
Just weeks ago, a grown woman was caught on film having a meltdown while on the job. She yelled at her boss, suggested that she was the reason for his success, and publicly shamed a coworker with same-sex proclivities, saying, “We don’t do that” and “Turn it down!” In any other functional workplace, this behavior would get a person immediately fired, but in Real Housewives land it gets you ratings and a promotion. Of course, this isn’t the first time Vicki Gunvalson has gone off the rails, but it is the first time it has felt like a palpable line had been crossed. After her entitled and delusional outbursts at The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 reunion, it became clear that she had fallen prey to some classic Real Housewife pre-retirement symptoms, suffered by many fellow Housewives, past and present. Read on for the signs a Real Housewife should leave the party.
1. Not Fully Participating in Filming and Reunions
There are always going to be parts of our jobs that we don’t like, for example, having to interact with other human beings partnering with coworkers on group projects. However, we’re paid to fully execute our responsibilities, and a Housewife’s duties are no different. This means showing up to all filming obligations, regardless of whether you feel like it or are getting along with your fellow castmates. Unfortunately, Lisa Vanderpump didn’t seem to understand this concept throughout season 9 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when she just decided to stop filming midway through and chicken out on the reunion because she wasn’t getting along with the other women. It’s no wonder she was fired won’t return for the upcoming season. NeNe Leakes is also currently suffering from a similar delusion on this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s barely been a presence and is leaving the heavy lifting to “friends of” like Marlo Hampton. It’s like asking an intern to bear your entire workload. Aspirational, but not how it actually works. If the Bravo execs have any sense, they’ll give Ms. Leakes her walking papers.
2. Forgetting The Show Is An Ensemble Effort
It’s natural that in any season there are going to be fan favorites and breakout stars. But Housewives get into trouble when they start believing their own hype and convincing themselves that they are the stars of their shows and their fellow castmates are merely supporting players. Vicki demonstrated this over and over again on the season 14 reunion, constantly making references to “my show” and saying “Get her off my show!” in reference to Braunwyn. Teresa Giudice is also guilty of using similar language on multiple occasions. What both Vicki and Teresa fail to realize is that they are on a show that thrives—nay, depends—on the interactions between cast members. Unless you’re Bethenny Frankel, you’re not compelling enough to carry your own show. Suck it up and know your role before you find yourself out of a job.
3. Crossing Moral And/Or Legal Boundaries
As Housewife fans, we live for drama, but when that drama derives from behavior that is immoral or downright illegal, it becomes hard to stand by the Housewife in question. We can never forget Vicki’s entanglement with real-life Dirty John Brooks Ayers, who spent the bulk of season 10 perpetrating a cancer scam, and although she was fully aware of this claimed to know nothing about it, she lost a lot of her luster with fans and the storyline was widely considered a low point for the series. Behavior that goes even further and ventures into criminal territory will get you fired, as Phaedra Parks learned after the revelation during the season 9 Atlanta reunion that Phaedra spread defamatory rumors claiming Kandi and Todd wanted to drug Porsha in order to take advantage of her. Attorney Phaedra should have known better than anyone that no one wants to deal with lawyers.
4. Being Inauthentic
We’ve all deduced by now that “reality” television is hardly real in the way, say, documentary footage or live news reporting is real. Plots need to be fleshed out, and at times that leads to storylines that can come off a bit contrived. However, when a Housewife herself is inauthentic, it’s a deal-breaker, and a telltale sign that she has no business being on the show. Tamra Judge on Orange County is a perfect current example. A woman who was once a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off is now, over a decade later, a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off. Only now it’s no longer novel and comes off as a desperate attempt to stay relevant on a show that is evolving without her. Another party guilty of inauthenticity of a different type is Dorit Kemsley on Beverly Hills. Forgetting about her put-on accent, Dorit’s refusal to air any of her real-life controversies makes her one of the phoniest Housewives we’ve ever had. It’s unclear what she brings to the show, other than a piggish husband and a penchant for over-the-top, label-displaying fashion she can’t actually afford. Yawn.
5. Avoiding Drama
Just like part of the job is showing up to filming at the appointed times, another integral part of being a Housewife is getting into it with other Housewives. Yet, year after year, there are always several women who complain that they “don’t want any drama” and refuse to go toe-to-toe with the others. In fact, aside from Puppygate, the entire cast of Beverly Hills built a whole season around this ethos, leaving us with one of the most boring seasons of the show we’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). Even Namaste Teresa is a shell of the table-flipping, prostitution-whore-calling woman she once was, staying out of the fray and letting other people like Danielle Staub do her bidding. One might say this is growth and one might be right, but we all know dignity and maturity have no place on reality television. If I wanted to watch respectful and thoughtful people politely interact with one another, I’d put on The Great British Bake Off. Pick a lane, people!
It will be interesting to see what Bravo does with its OGs, who are some of the worst offenders when it comes to this list. While there’s something comforting about keeping around those who have been there from the beginning, getting rid of the women who aren’t pulling their weight keeps the others on their toes, especially those who lack the self-awareness to course-correct like Lisa Rinna, who does her best despite her drama-eschewing castmates. What other signs are there that a Housewife needs to go and who do you think needs to get off our screens? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Giphy (4); Tenor (1)
I don’t watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (or any of the Real Housewives shows, for that matter), but I still consider myself somewhat of an authority on all things LVP. Okay, not all things. Most things. Some things? Whatever. In any case, I know enough to feel like I can write about her with some degree of credibility. (I set a very high bar for myself.) If you read my Vanderpump Rules recaps, you’ll know that in the second part of the season 7 reunion, I came at Lisa for being a fake ally to the LGBTQ community, with an emphasis on the T. The reason? She all but strong-armed Billie Lee into admitting on camera that the Vanderpump Rules gang was supportive of her being trans. Sure, nobody openly made fun of her for being trans, but they did refuse to listen to her when she wanted to talk about her experience. And they still refuse to acknowledge that they have cis privilege. In fact, they’d rather rail about how “damaging” it is to be called transphobic than do some actual listening or understanding to figure out why their actions could be transphobic in the first place!
Me, in my best Killmonger voice: Are these your allies?
Well, adding fuel to the fire is a joke Lisa Vanderpump made on last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For some reason (again, don’t watch the show), Lisa was taking a lie detector test. And everything seemed to be going fine, until the confessional, when she said: “Just don’t ask me if Erika’s tucking or something like that because there are some things I can’t lie about,” and then she proceeded to laugh so hard she almost fell over in her chair. If you don’t believe me, watch the clip for yourself:
Oh come on @lisavanderpump joking about @erikajayne “tucking” Ugly Trans jokes marginalizing our community are not acceptable. Being an ally doesn’t give you a free pass
To make transphobic remarks. Do better pic.twitter.com/bkJoWxNkLO
— Candis Cayne (@candiscayne) May 22, 2019
Ugh, gross! Full disclosure, I’m a straight cis woman, but even I can acknowledge that this is a bad joke. Why? Any way you slice it, she’s basically saying that being trans is funny and/or deserving of ridicule. That’s not something an ally should or would say.
And I’m not the only one who thinks this. Enter, Queen Lisa Rinna, who is dragging LVP for this joke.
Who knew Lvp was transphobic? Well, we know NOW! #LBGTQ
— lisa rinna (@lisarinna) May 22, 2019
Do I think that Lisa Vanderpump hates trans people? No, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m not even necessarily calling her transphobic, but I’m just saying that this is a bad joke that reeks of transphobia. I feel like this is more of a case of “Oh, well I have friends, so I’m totally cool to say this.” When, in reality, you’re not. The thing is, even if your intentions are not to cause harm, it matters who is saying a joke. If it’s a joke within a marginalized community, that’s different than when it comes from someone outside that community, because the former is self-deprecation and the latter is a microaggression. At least, that’s how I see it. Especially when you’re doing something in the public eye—on camera, no less—it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.
Oof. Making transphobic jokes is soooo not cool, even if you are someone who does a lot for the LGBTQ+ community. Know better. Be better. #RHOBH
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) May 22, 2019
Lisa Vanderpump hasn’t responded to the controversy, and I kind of doubt she will, because as much as people are coming for her over this, there are just as many LVP stans who are defending her. (And also, because Lisa Vanderpump seems to almost exclusively post about Vanderpump Dogs on her Twitter account, and also because she barely knows how to use Twitter in the first place.) We’ll just have to see how and if this plays out on camera. If Lisa comes back. Is she coming back??
Images: Bravo Media; lisarinna, NineDaves, candiscayne / Twitter
One week after the baby shower heard ’round the world, Andy Cohen is officially a father. He announced that his son had arrived late Monday night with a sweet selfie on Instagram, which may or may not have made me cry. The baby is named Benjamin Allen Cohen, which a good, normal name that I can’t even try to make fun of. Good job, Andy! I’m mostly thankful that he announced the baby’s birth right away, so we don’t have to sit around and speculate about this for months. I have no doubt Andy will be a great dad, but I do have more questions about this baby’s 100+ thirsty aunts. Once Andy posted his photo, all the Real Housewives came out of the woodwork to out-congratulate each other. With the birth of Andy’s baby, we enter a new era of Real Housewife desperation. You know damn well that every single one of these ladies wants to be this baby’s godmother, even though Kelly Ripa probably already has that job locked up. But who had the best response? I’m not here to judge. Okay, you got me, that’s exactly what I’m here to do.
I think we can already assume that the Housewives who missed the baby shower won’t get to meet the baby anytime soon. Except maybe Bethenny, who has probably already made Benjamin a custom pair of Skinnygirl Jeans. She also posted an adorable photo of Andy with his dog, telling them to make room for one more.
And with that, Bethenny is back in the competition. As for who probably isn’t? Well, I doubt Lisa Vanderpump will be getting an invite to the Sip & See, seeing as she’s currently the only member of the Beverly Hills cast who hasn’t posted anything about the baby’s birth. I’m also particularly curious about what’s up with Tinsley Mortimer, who skipped the shower and hasn’t posted anything about the baby either. She’s the only current RHONY lady who hasn’t mentioned Benjamin. I’m going to keep an eye on this, because something doesn’t seem quite right.
But let’s get to who is in the running to be America’s next top auntie. Realistically, I think it’s going to be one of the OGs. Andy has always had a soft spot for his longest-running Housewives, and they all put in the work to throw that baby shower. I have a feeling Andy gets along best with NeNe Leakes and Kyle Richards. Think about it. Vicki is a Republican, Ramona is insane, and Teresa is…also insane. NeNe is definitely fun to have around, and she reposted Andy’s photo with a very sweet caption about how much joy she feels for him.
How weird, because reading this, I am also shaking and crying tears of joy?? How did she know?
Kyle also seems normal enough that I would trust her around my child, and she also reposted Andy’s photo with a cute caption. I will spare you guys from having to see the same picture a third time, but Kyle’s caption read, “How beautiful is this ? I’m so happy for you @bravoandy ?❤️ #babycohen #andysbaby” and then she reposted Andy’s entire caption, which is sort of an unnecessary move, but ok. Nene’s caption is definitely more emotional than Kyle’s, but one could also argue that it’s a little over-the-top.
The wild card in this equation, in my eyes, is Lisa Rinna. Lisa loooooves Andy, and no one could accuse her of not having a good time at his baby shower. She would be a hilarious, fun aunt, and I’m kind of bitter she’s not related to me. She’s not an OG like Kyle, but maybe if she gets Benjamin an awesome gift like one of these onesies, she’ll be allowed to hang out with them.
This caption just cements my love for Lisa Rinna:
She is an icon we do not deserve. Another duo coming out of left field to win Papa Andy’s affection are Brandi and Steph from Real Housewives of Dallas. While they’re relatively new to the Bravo-verse, they’ve been playing up their friendship with their new podcast, and they could give baby Benjamin double the love. They’ve both reposted the photo of Andy with Benjamin, but not all of their fellow Dallas castmates have done the same, so they’re proving their loyalty.
Even though Real Housewives of Dallas is arguably one of the worst in the franchise (don’t @ me), Steph’s caption is one of the best out of all the Housewives’. It’s sweet without being overly dramatic, but it still has nothing on Rinna’s caption if you ask me.
I’m very happy for Andy, but also very happy that now we get a never-ending cycle of Housewife thirst all over social media. Who will post a selfie with the baby first? Who will bring Andy the most elaborate gift on Watch What Happens Live? The possibilities are seriously endless, and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold.
Images: @bethennyfrankel / Instagram; @lisarinna / Instagram
If you’re a follower of Comments by Celebs (and if you aren’t, then go fix that ASAP), you’ve probably seen a lot of Gary Janetti on your feed. His posts and comments are always funny, but you’ve probably been wondering, “who is this man and why/how is he best friends with Lisa Rinna?” Well, I did the Googling that you’re all too lazy to do, and now I have answers for you. Yeah, I work really hard, so you’re welcome. This is the story of Gary Janetti, and why he’s all over your Instagram feed.
Gary Janetti was born on March 22nd, 1966 in Queens, New Y0—JK, I’m not going to bore you with the actual story of his life. Let’s fast forward to the interesting stuff.
Basically, Gary is a TV writer and producer. His biggest successes were executive producing several seasons of Family Guy and Will & Grace, so he’s a big deal in the TV world. Will & Grace money is no joke. Recently, he also wrote and produced a British sitcom called Vicious, which I haven’t seen, but I’m sure it’s funny. All of this explains how Gary is involved in the entertainment industry, but to understand why he matters, you have to dive a little deeper than his producing resume.
First, it’s important to know that Gary is married to Brad Goreski. That’s right, he is officially one half of a gay power couple. If you don’t know who Brad is, here’s a quick summary. He got famous from being on The Rachel Zoe Project (lol #tbt) as Rachel’s style director, and then he got his own reality show called It’s a Brad, Brad World. For the past few years, he’s been one of the cohosts on Fashion Police. He is also a real stylist who has a long list of celebrity clients. He’s also um, very very hot. Gary is 12 years older than Brad, but they’ve been together for a long time and are really cute together.
Aside from his perfect husband (and adorable dogs), Gary’s best asset is his Instagram. He rarely ever posts pictures of himself or his actual life, but instead mostly posts about the British Royal family. It sounds weird, but it’s honestly hilarious. He started making these satirical posts where he imagines Prince George as this totally sassy betch who can’t stand Meghan Markle. He posts a lot, and I respect the commitment.
I’m starting an official petition for Prince George to join the cast of Lindsay Lohan’s new reality show.
A lot of celebrities are pretty lame on Instagram, but Gary is actually worth a follow for the content. While most famous people are basically just documenting their unattainable lives, Gary is consistently delivering comedy. I’m into it. You know who else is into it? Lisa Rinna. Lisa and Gary are basically best friends, and she does this thing where she comments “Gary.” on basically all of his photos. It’s like they have a secret language where she can communicate with him with just one word. I really want in on this friendship.
So in a nutshell, Gary Janetti is a successful TV writer and producer who’s currently relevant because he’s very devoted to his Instagram persona. As much as I tried to uncover annoying and/or shady things about him, he just seems like a pretty regular guy. At least now you won’t be confused when you see his comments on your favorite Real Housewives’ photos.
Lmk in the comments if there are other Instagram personalities that you need to know more about, because the internet is full of famous randos.
Images: @bradgoreski / Instagram; @garyjanetti / Instagram; @lisarinna / Instagram