There’s nothing more painful than watching a Real Housewives trailer or mid-season teaser and realizing it’s packed with groan-inducing storylines. You know the ones—the vow renewals, drinking interventions that are totally cringy, straight-up boring, and so overdone that they’re more tired than me after attempting to run a mile.
So here are some scenes where I wish someone yelled “Bravo, Bravo, f***ing Bravo!”, so that production would have trashed the footage rather than making us suffer through it. These are the Bravo storylines that need to stop.
Their Kid’s Driving Test
Four words, 17 letters: Where’s the value add?
There’s no reasonable explanation for why precious on-air time is used on a storyline that advances zero actual plot. If you really want to announce that your kid is practicing for their driving test, that can be done via a single tweet or Instagram story (that’s right, it doesn’t even deserve a static post).
And besides, watching a 16-year-old learn to drive triggers the trauma I developed from taking my own test, while simultaneously making me jealous AF that they’re learning using their own Mercedes, and not a passed-down 2004 Honda.
What makes it even more boring is that the story is always the same, no matter the franchise and no matter the season. The Housewife/Househusband is nervous for the kid to drive, the kid does something “cute” like hit the curb, the kid takes their test. End of story.
And I’m not against seeing the kids on screen, but in order for me to care, it needs to be something ridiculous, like Luann and Ramona planning Victoria and Avery’s over-the-top sweet sixteens (I’m reminiscing about vintage RHONY, sue me).
A vow renewal is a glorified “look at me!” party that’s undeservingly given a multi-episode buildup. Like seriously, despite how much party planning they do, it somehow always ends up looking like a cookie-cutter ceremony inspired by a 2013 Pinterest board.
So, Housewives, stop trying to make vow renewals work. Viewer entertainment (or lack thereof) aside, renewing vows during a season has a success rate of about 3% (my math sucks, but according to my calculations, it’s only worked for Whitney Rose… so far).
And I get that the Housewives are trying to be respectful to the institution of love during the ceremonies… blah, blah, blah… BUT, I’d prefer a boozy party where the ladies feel open and free to be dramatic (versus at a buttoned-up ceremony). Think more Kyle’s White Party or Heather Dubrow’s Hoedown, and less Vicki/Don re-tie the knot.
The Cast Doing Outdoor Athletic Activities
A good Housewives scene either: is dramatic AF, includes new info, advances the plot, and/or shows the ladies doing something aspirational.
Watching them do outdoor activities like bocce or an adventure course is none of the above. Let’s be honest, if I wanted to watch someone zipline or hula hoop, I’d start viewing my friends’ Instagram stories.
And I get that these outdoor activities are usually filler footage. But honey, there’s so many other options that would be so much more fascinating to watch… like the ladies shopping with the dollar amount spent flashing on the screen, or even ordering at a restaurant. That’s right, I want to sit in my thrift store college hoodie and judge how XXpen$ive it is to be them.
The only exception to this is if it’s RHONY. Because let’s face it, no matter what they’re doing, Sonja and Luann find a way to flirt with the hot instructor—and as a single gal, that’s something I take notes on as I watch.
Finding Long-Lost Family
I’m not saying cast members shouldn’t find their long lost family, I’m just saying I don’t want to see it on my screen. Not only is it an extremely isolating storyline because it pulls the cast member away from the group, it’s also overdone and never really results in anything positive.
It’s the classic “expectation vs. reality” meme. Producers expect that this will pull on viewers’ heartstrings, but what really happens is that we end up watching boring one-on-one convos between the cast member and whatever family member/detective/family-finding-specialist they’re consulting for episodes on end.
And I hate to make this comparison, but it’s like RHONY this season. You tell yourself to keep watching because maybe something good will happen this episode! but you’re disappointed every time. Mainly because it leads to a dead end (Melissa Gorga and her “sister”) or a situation where the long-lost family member clearly doesn’t want to be found (Ashley Darby and her dad).
All which begs the point: what’s the purpose of this?
The only thing more uncomfortable than accidentally watching an episode of Sex/Life with your parents is a Housewives drinking intervention.
There’s something undeniably depressing and hypocritical about a group of drunk women confronting another drunk woman about how much she’s drinking, and speculating that she may have an issue (while being one sip away from slurring their words as they do so).
Besides being extremely cringey, it usually results in the group inevitably feeding fuel to the tabloids to speculate about that person’s drinking/substance abuse habits, which is so not fair, especially if the cast member has kids and businesses that’ll be affected by the rumors.
What happened to the days of lighthearted (but juicy!!) storylines like Adrienne Maloof’s chef Bernie versus Lisa Vanderpump? Bring back more of that, and stop trying to force these overdone plotlines down our throats.
Images: Heidi Gutman, Paul Morigi/Bravo; Myles Aronowitz/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images
Presented by SkinnyPop
Summer has arrived, and that means you’re probably in the process of planning numerous exciting parties and gatherings. A friend’s birthday park hang? A long weekend at a family lakehouse? A beach day that will require leaving the house at 8am? So many fun things to do, but wtf are you supposed to drink? I always struggle with the rosé vs. seltzer vs. liquor conundrum, so I decided to make a fun little guide to steer your beverage choice in the right direction.
If you’re planning a day of drinking, just choose which Bravo show’s vibe you want to emulate, and then go with the corresponding drink. This is a totally scientific list, so make sure to choose carefully… or just say f*ck it and drink four different things in one day—what could go wrong with that choice?
‘The Real Housewives of New York City’ – Overpriced Vodka Soda
Nature is, as they say, healing, and that means it’s time to get back out there and spend $14 on a barely drinkable vodka soda. Now that you can finally return to the bar scene, you’ll need all the bottom-shelf liquor you can get to suffer through small talk with finance bros and guys who think their stories about their cryptocurrency investments are a little too interesting. Pro tip: if you want your vodka soda in a wine glass, just ask for The Ramona!
‘Southern Charm’ – A Beer That’s Been In The Sun A Little Too Long
Patricia has long made fun of Austen for his startup beer company, but if TropHop isn’t available near you this summer, any beer will do. Grab a six-pack, a 30-rack, whatever—just make sure it doesn’t get too cold. Your warm can of whatever your boyfriend has lying around the house will go down nice and mediocre, just like this franchise that’s several years past its prime. It’s not fresh, but it’ll get the job done, I guess.
‘Summer House’ – Anything In A Can
If your local liquor store carries Loverboy, that’s obviously ideal, but any alcoholic beverage that comes in a can (excluding beer) will automatically make you feel like a Summer House tenant whose main objective is to cause drama. An ideal day-drinking choice, these drinks go down like water, because they sort of are, and you’ll definitely arrive at dinner sunburnt, tired, and ready to eat everything in sight. Just save a sandwich for Lindsay, we don’t need to get her activated.
‘Vanderpump Rules’ – Cheap Tequila
Nothing says “I wish I was still 23” like choking down a sh*tty tequila shot in your friend’s kitchen, and that’s the exact vibe that the Vanderpump Rules cast has given off for the last few seasons. Just be careful to pace yourself and drink water, because you don’t want Hot Girl Summer to turn into Tequila Katie Summer. No one wants to deal with your rage texts, I promise.
‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ – Expensive Tequila
What’s it like to invest in liquor that you can actually sip without wanting to die? I’d love to know one day, but if you’re already there, congratulations. I still think about Denise’s classic Casamigos reposado order on a daily basis, and you know these women don’t touch anything that’s not top-shelf. Goals.
‘Top Chef’ – Red Wine
Ok, I see you Miss Adult! While your less-mature peers are still pounding tequila shots, you’re having a chill night at home, cooking dinner with a luxurious glass of wine in hand. And not just any wine—you’ve probably assessed which red will pair best with whatever you’re making for dinner, and Padma Lakshmi would be impressed. Congratulations on having your sh*t together this summer.
‘The Real Housewives of Potomac’ – Champagne
We all have that one friend whose entire personality is built around “popping bottles,” and honestly I respect the dedication. If I have too many bubbles, I get a headache that lasts approximately 3-5 business days, but you might be the one who’s over there chugging Veuve like it’s nothing. A nice champagne buzz always inspires 1) fun times and 2) messiness, and the women of RHOP are constantly bringing both. Cheers!
Images: Heidi Gutman/Bravo; Giphy (7)
Whether we know it or not, stan culture is a big part of our lives. In every area of pop culture, from TV shows, to music, to movies, there are collective groups of stans who not only fan out about their favs, but go to bat for them online, and sometimes even hold them accountable for their less-than-perfect actions. Whether you think of yourself as a “stan” or not, we all fan out about something. Some people are obsessed with sports, others are obsessed with music. One thing that I am obsessed with and will always stan forever is reality TV. There are so many layers to it, and honestly, it’s intriguing to follow the real lives of people who are completely different from me. This year, many of our favorite reality shows have undergone a shift, and the thing that I love about this new wave of reality TV is how important issues and current events are being discussed on these shows.
I felt even more inclined to talk about this because of Sunday night’s reunion episode of the iconic Real Housewives of Potomac. I let out a gasp when the topic of colorism came up, simply because I never thought this conversation would be had on a show like this. Colorism is a topic that is often ignored, especially in BIPOC spaces. The conversation can be uncomfortable, especially for people who have not experienced it. I mean, we are talking about people being treated unfairly simply because of their skin tone—it’s disheartening. The general consensus of the conservation was that the women felt like colorism was not necessarily an issue on the show, but rather the actions of certain castmates warranted buzzwords such as “aggressive”. This conversation soon turned to the blatant elitism on the cast (which is also very real).
Though I do feel like colorism applies to the dynamics on the show, especially targeted at new housewife Dr. Wendy Osefo, I applaud Bravo and the cast, especially Dr. Osefo, for having this conversation in the first place. What triggered me, however, were the comments from non-Black people online, many of whom chimed in about colorism and ignorantly put their own opinions into a conversation centering around Black people. This made me uncomfortable, mainly because the discussion at hand is based on the experiences of Black people—Black women in particular—and yet many of the people commenting were not Black.
I get it, opinions are like assholes, we all have one. So you can save the comments about free speech and how I’m trying to “limit” that. But the commentary I’ve observed speaks to the hypocrisy present in stan culture, and how people online grant themselves this unwarranted comfortability to make comments about people and topics that they do not have any idea about.
First, let me just give you a little bit of background. Colorism has been around for hundreds of years. Dating back to slavery, those who had a fairer skin tone were usually placed to work in the homes of slave owners, while those who were of a darker skin tone were placed in the fields, where they were worked harder and seen by fewer people. This classification process still has an impact on our community, with colorism affecting dating, mental health, how we are perceived in the public eye, and how we perceive ourselves.
As a dark-skinned Black man, I have experienced colorism since I was a child. Kids would make fun of me because I was darker, and adults reinforced the idea that I was not meant to be this dark, and that I spent too much time outside and simply did not wear enough sunscreen. However, it is not just the comments about my skin tone, but rather what people associate it with. If I am upset at someone, I am labeled aggressive. If I am walking behind someone wearing a black hoodie minding my business, people are more inclined to walk on the other side of the street. This led me to hate my dark skin for years(seventeen years, to be exact)—not because I was ashamed to be dark-skinned, but because of these societal ramifications that came as a result of my dark skin.
However, though my experiences have been tough, they do not compare to the amount of colorism that Black women face in their daily lives. In particular, dark-skinned Black women, face some of the most severe discrimination. The comments about their skin tone, hair texture, and constant comparisons to others who might have more “conventional” (read: European) beauty types are consistent, blatant acts of colorism. All my experiences added up still aren’t even half of what dark-skinned Black women have had to deal with their entire lives. I will never feel comfortable trying to negate or undermine the experiences of a dark-skinned Black woman in particular, simply because it’s not my place and it’s wrong.
See what I did there? I acknowledged that I have gone through a difficult experience myself, but I realized my privilege as a man in a society where women (especially Black women) are treated far worse. Instead of trying to play oppression wars or negate someone else’s experience, I decided to shut up and listen, and only speak when it’s time to support the people whose experiences are important and relevant in that moment.
So why is it that people who have never gone through that experience feel the need to comment derogatory things, most of the time targeted at Black women expressing their anger? Why do their experiences bother you so much? I get it, you posted a Black screen on #blackouttuesday, you went to a protest, or sh*t, you might’ve pulled a Stassi Schroeder and hired a diversity coach. That’s fine and dandy, but that does not mean that you have the right to try to control Black voices and their experiences.
For example, last week we dealt with the horrific death of Brandon Bernard, who was wrongfully executed by the state of Indiana for something that occurred twenty years ago. Many people advocated for the President of the United States to pardon him, however those attempts were sadly unsuccessful. During that time of people fighting for this man’s life, there were a few Black celebrities, Kehlani and Victoria Monet in particular, who were tweeting and going about their day peacefully. Stan accounts started attacking the women, tweeting things like “Read the room” or “Are you dumb? This is not the time or the place”. Here’s the issue: Why are these accounts assuming these celebrities haven’t heard what’s going on? As Black people, we are always seeing our own being killed and treated unfairly, and there are times where we simply need a break. It’s honestly traumatizing to constantly view ourselves in such horrific circumstances, and sometimes we don’t want to be consumed with everything that’s working against us, because it’s draining and infuriating. And in addition to all that, why is it that anonymous accounts feel comfortable attacking these figures online, simply based on their own opinions?
Stan culture has given people platforms to give their unwarranted opinions on public figures who they do not know whatsoever. The worst part of this is many of them use AAVE (African American Vernacular English) in the wrong context, and start using it to attack Black people with platforms, be they singers, rappers, actors, influencers, or writers. Using our own culture to attack us is not only hypocritical, but also proves that many people leech off of our culture for their own personal gain and then try to throw it back in our faces. I’ve seen tweets like “It’s the ignorance for me sis” directed at Kehlani and Victoria. Little do people understand that the whole saying “It’s the (blank) for me” was started by Black people. We’ve used it for years, and it became a prominent saying after an Instagram live between rappers Yung Miami and Santana. However, like always, people found it and it soon catapulted into a phrase that “everyone” uses. We are never given our credit for trends and our lingo, but people want to hold us accountable when we aren’t engaging with traumatic material?
It’s wrong and downright disgusting how people who participate in stan culture feel so entitled to what we bring to the table, yet they want to belittle us in any and every way that they can. So please understand that no matter how many Black artists you may stan, or how many protests you’ve gone to, it doesn’t give you the right to call us ghetto, talk about our appearances, insert your opinions about our culture, or most importantly, ownership of our feelings. Stan culture is all about holding people accountable, so when are non-Black stans going to participate in holding themselves accountable?
Images: Sophy Holland/Bravo
When you think of The Real Housewives, you might think of exaggerated arguments, wine tossing, and wealthy lifestyles that sometimes seem (and are often proven to be) too good to be true. As a Sociology major, I am fascinated by groups of people and their interactions, and from its inception, The Real Housewives garnered attention from all over the world, due to the over-the-top dynamics that the women have with one another, and how, despite many fights (that sometimes get physical), they usually manage to get through it all. I know some of you might be thinking that The Real Housewives isn’t that deep and does not need a dissertation about women who sometimes fly off the handle and spout phrases such as “monkey’s asshole” or “you’re a slut pig”. But for me as a Black Queer kid growing up, watching these women broadcast their successes, vulnerabilities, and adversities molded me into the person I am today.
The first franchise I ever watched was The Real Housewives of Atlanta. As a Black kid, watching Black women being their authentic selves, while living the life of luxury, was amazing. The reason Atlanta has been the most popular franchise since it has aired is because of its multi-layered and dynamic cast. You have a powerhouse like NeNe Leakes, for example, who has given us amazing one-liners such as “Bloop” and “close your legs to married men”, which are hilarious and iconic. However, what has always stood out to me is NeNe’s ability to be unflinchingly open about her personal life. When her husband Gregg was diagnosed with colon cancer, NeNe was open about the impact it had on her and how it led to her going through depression, and seeking out mental health treatment in the form of a life coach. The reason this had such an impact on me is due to my own mental health struggles. I struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression, which is not often shown in the media. Dealing with this can lead to the deterioration of friendships, relationships, school life and work, along with the fact that within the Black community there is a huge stigma attached to mental health. As a viewer, to see NeNe, a Black woman, be so open about having to rebuild the relationship with her husband and her friends as a result of getting a life coach and wanting to improve her mental health was inspiring. It also taught me how to go about conversations with the people around me as it pertains to mental health. Having anxiety, I have my guard up most of the time, so it can be hard to be vulnerable and face the issues you have with other people. I truly credit NeNe with helping me through the times that I have struggled mentally.
Another area of my life that the Real Housewives have helped me navigate is my career. No, I don’t want to start my own line of low-calorie vodkas or anything, but watching the shows has helped me reimagine my own career path and realize my own potential. Growing up as a Black kid, there were conversations I would have about what I wanted to do with my life, and I was encouraged to try to pick something “safe”. “Safe” does not necessarily mean easy—as far as I was concerned, “safe” translated to a career that would make money and be in high demand. I mean, I don’t blame my elders for wanting to push me in this direction; it’s totally understandable. However, to be quite honest, I have never been one to excel in math or science, nor am I savvy/motivated enough to start my own business from the ground up. Anyone that has the ambition to do those things, I commend you a million times. But bitch, I just don’t have it in me.
On the other hand, I’ve always loved writing but was discouraged to do so. It’s kind of understandable—I was not born into a family of rich media personalities or writers, nor was I born into any type of privilege that would help me excel in any of those areas at a faster rate than everyone else. But watching The Real Housewives helped shake me out of those feelings of discouragement. No matter the franchise or season, you’ll pretty much never see a Housewife let someone who doesn’t believe in her get in the way of chasing her dreams. You have Bethenny Frankel, alumna of The Real Housewives of New York City, for example. I remember watching her in the early days of RHONY, and remarking to myself how much drive she had. She would promote her product any way she could, no matter how it was perceived. Whether it was driving a Skinnygirl-wrapped car to the Hamptons during one of the infamous cast trips while Luann looked on in disgust, sampling her products in grocery stores to disinterested customers, or fighting with Jill over Skinnygirl signage at a benefit, you can’t say the woman didn’t put herself and her brand out there. Bethenny showed me that if I wanted something, I needed to prove to myself that I was ready and willing to do anything for my dream to come to fruition, while also being ready to face rejection. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and she really instilled that concept in me during her days as a Housewife. (Bethenny, please come back for Season 13, and bring Heather “Holla” Thomson with you!)
Speaking of chasing your dreams, the last important thing that Housewives has taught me is the importance of representation. Diversity is often an oversight when casting television in general, and Housewives is no exception to the rule. People automatically assume that, when talking about representation, people are trying to make shows more “woke” and “politically correct” by casting women of color. But the reason representation is important is because it makes your audience feel seen. Recently, I have felt like Bravo has been listening to the viewers and our demand for more authentic representation. For example, Garcelle Beauvais recently joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For 10 years, the show did not have any Black women featured on the main cast. As a Los Angeles native, it furthered my questioning as to whether Black people were a prominent part of Beverly Hills society. To see such a dynamic and unapologetically Black woman as a part of this cast has really given me the confidence to not be scared to work in an area that I might be the minority in. Her presence on the show is also unmatched. She’s quick-witted, showcased her life as a working Black woman in Hollywood, and talked about how the infidelity she faced in her marriage was heartbreaking, but ultimately led to a healthy, copacetic co-parenting situation. She represents what so many people have had to go through. Also, to see Dr. Wendy Osefo, a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, political commentator, and a Black woman with FOUR degrees on The Real Housewives of Potomac has really been inspiring. As a college student, I often get super discouraged and have the urge to drop the f*ck out every other day, so to see her accomplish what she’s accomplished on top of being of a mother has really given me the boost to get the f*ck up and get this degree and push myself to do better.
The Real Housewives has been my favorite show to watch since I was about nine years old. Not only because of the drama that is showcased, but because of the real life stories and lessons that the women have bravely shown to us for years. I’ve learned so much about business, friendships, navigating my mental health, and pushing myself to be better because of these women. Each franchise holds a special place in my heart and not to be all like, uncool, but I am eternally grateful to the Housewives for being so open and vulnerable to us over the years.
Images: Tommy Garcia / Bravo
It’s been nearly 15 years since the creation of the first Real Housewives show, and the concept has grown and changed into a reality TV empire with millions of devoted viewers across multiple continents. There are many things to love about Housewives, but there really is nothing like a reunion. Every time Andy Cohen sits down with these women, it feels like a must-see television event, and the level of glam has risen accordingly.
But while the Housewives have full teams prepping them to be camera-ready for a grueling day on the couches, not all reunion looks are slam dunks. From decent concepts that fell flat to looks that are just painfully outdated, these are the most tragic reunion looks of all time.
Danielle Staub – New Jersey, Season 2
Danielle Staub is tragic in many ways, but this iconically bad reunion look tops the list. Certainly, the reunion dress code was more casual back in the day, but while the other women wore cocktail dresses,
Beverly Danielle showed up in a white tank top and a sequined mini skirt that’s giving me strong Wet Seal vibes. She finished off the look with a statement necklace and some black peep-toe booties, which thankfully you can’t see in this picture, because they may have actually made the outfit worse.
Tamra Judge – Orange County, Season 7
The season seven RHOC reunion is like a time capsule, because it’s a jarring look at the brief time that Tamra didn’t hate Gretchen Rossi. For this reunion, Tamra was clearly taking style cues from Gretch, as evidenced by her massive pageant hair. The two sat next to each other wearing the exact same color dresses and similar hairstyles, like some Newport Beach Us tethers. In a technical sense, Tamra looked good at this reunion, but the Gretchen cosplay is just not for her, and soon enough, these two went back to being enemies.
Ashley Darby – Potomac, Season 4
For RHOP’s legendary fourth season, they went with an all-white reunion theme, to varying degrees of success. Ashley’s outfit was definitely the worst of the bunch. The fully-sheer lace bottom half was a choice, as was the large mesh boob panel, but my greatest issue is with the cape. First of all, why wear a cape in the first place? You’re sitting the whole time, so it’s just an extra piece of fabric that’s going to be bunched up on the couch under you. But also, the strip of fabric across her chest that held the cape in place made the actual dress look even worse. It’s a no from me.
Luann de Lesseps – New York, Season 7
Sometimes you can tell there’s a good idea somewhere within a look, but the execution just doesn’t work. For this reunion, I liked that the Countess was giving us more of a fun disco vibe, but this dress looks beyond cheap. Stretchy metallic fabrics are tough to get right, and while money can’t buy you class, it could have bought Luann something that looked a little more high-end. This was before her iconic partnership with Jovani, and it shows.
NeNe Leakes – Atlanta, Season 1
In more recent years, the Atlanta women have consistently turned out the best, most glamorous reunion looks of any franchise, but season one was… rough. No one came dressed to impress, but NeNe’s extra-long cowl-neck top paired with black pants is absolutely disastrous. Over the past 12 years, NeNe’s style transformation has been something to behold, and it’s wild to think that this was probably considered cute back in 2008. We have truly been through so much this these women.
Kim Zolciak – Atlanta, Season 1
NeNe’s first reunion look hasn’t aged well, but I’m pretty sure Kim Zolciak’s first reunion look is timelessly fugly. This was back in the Big Poppa era, and it’s absolutely shocking to realize that Kim was still in her 20s during RHOA‘s first season. Here, she wore a mustard-yellow silk blouse, topped with a black vest and paired with black slacks. Kim looked more like a blackjack dealer at a third-rate casino than a Real Housewife. This was also during the prime ~wig~ era, and that synthetic-looking blonde hair makes me itchy just from looking at it.
Denise Richards – Beverly Hills, Season 9
The cast of RHOBH doesn’t take their glam lightly, and though she’s the most famous person on the show, Denise was clearly unprepared for her first season. Aside from the fact that I don’t think this beige dress is particularly cute or flattering, the dress and ponytail combo is about seven notches of glam below everyone else’s looks. I mean, Dorit had 10 pounds of metal clips on her head, and Kyle Richards was in a floor-length neon gown. I love Denise as a housewife, but she’s never going to win any fashion awards around these ladies.
Kameron Westcott – Dallas, Season 4
If you don’t watch RHOD, Kameron is basically a Barbie doll come to life, so suffice it to say that her sense of style doesn’t appeal to everyone. I think a lot of her head-to-toe pink looks are actually really cute on her, but this red dress from the most recent reunion just wasn’t it. From the floor up to the chest it’s pretty! But then you get to the shoulder region, where two pieces of tulle come together into giant puff-balls that literally touch her ears. Considering we mostly see the women from the waist up, it was incredibly distracting to constantly see Kam’s earrings get caught in her dress. This whole reunion was a mess, and this look wasn’t helping.
Gretchen Rossi – Orange County, Season 8
Gretchen has an interesting sense of style (see Tamra’s pageant look above), but I really can’t with the glorified figure skating costume she wore to the season eight reunion. Turquoise is a hard color to pull off, and the weird one sleeve/neck choker silhouette combined with the bedazzled waist adornment is just too much. This would’ve looked great on Tonya Harding, but it’s not a dress that should be worn anywhere other than an ice rink. Also, with all of her hair bunched on the same side as the dress’s fabric, this whole look feels imbalanced.
There have been many other reunion misses over the years, but these were the ones that I just couldn’t ignore. Let me know in the comments what your (least) favorite looks of all time are, because I could talk about this for days.
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Images: Charles Sykes, Heidi Gutman/Bravo; Andrei Jackamets, Vivian Zink, John Crooms (2) /NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images; Charles Sykes, Nicole Weingart (2), Evans Vestal Ward /Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
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)
During this quarantine, I’ve been watching a lot of Bravo. Okay, I’m always watching a lot of Bravo, but with no meaningful plans for the last two months, my streaming habits have been off the charts. From Real Housewives to Vanderpump Rules to the million other Bravo shows that always bring the drama, there’s just so much good material. Whether you’re discovering these shows for the first time or watching for the millionth, there are certain moments that never get old.
I’m a messy bitch who lives for drama, and luckily, so are all the cast members on these shows. In case you need ideas about what to watch, here are some of the most dramatic feuds that we’ve watched over the years. From drawn-out messiness to explosive reunions, these feuds always deliver.
Bethenny Frankel vs. Jill Zarin
In the first two seasons of RHONY, Bethenny and Jill were the first iconic Real Housewives BFFs. Jill was like a mentor to Bethenny, who was kind of a scrappy underdog at the time. But the dynamic changed before season 3, when Bethenny’s business took off, and Jill felt threatened. After Bethenny left Jill a voicemail telling her to “get a hobby,” things were never the same. Despite the rest of the cast trying to bring them together, they fought constantly during season three, and then Bethenny left the show. They didn’t reunite until years later, when Bethenny set aside the drama to attend the funeral for Jill’s husband. It was a tender moment, but they’re still not close, and I doubt they ever will be.
Kristen Doute vs. Stassi Schroeder
If you’re up to date on Vanderpump Rules, you know that Kristen and Stassi have recently fallen out over Kristen’s never-ending breakup with Carter. But way before Carter ever came in the picture, Kristen and Stassi were already in an epic feud. The best friends butted heads in season two, over rumors that Kristen banged Jax, who used to date Stassi. Kristen denied the rumors for months, even after Jax admitted it happened, but she finally came clean to Stassi. As you can see in the above GIF, it didn’t go well for Kristen. Somehow, these two made up and remained friends for years after this incident, but now, in season 8, things have taken a turn for the worse. Stassi has said Kristen isn’t invited to her wedding, and I don’t really know how you come back from that.
Phaedra Parks vs. Kandi Burruss
There have been hundreds of petty arguments on Bravo shows over the years, but the RHOA feud between Kandi and Phaedra got a little too deep. These two were best friends for years, but after hitting a rough patch, sh*t hit the fan in season nine. Throughout the season, the cast dealt with the fallout surround a rumor that Kandi and her husband tried to drug and sexually assault fellow housewife Porsha Williams. Porsha brought the rumor to the table, but during the season, she never revealed the source. But at the reunion, she exposed Phaedra for making up the story, and it was one of the most shocking moments in Real Housewives history. Phaedra was fired from the show for this, and obviously Kandi isn’t friends with her anymore.
Kim Richards vs. Lisa Rinna
From the moment Lisa Rinna joined the RHOBH cast in season five, she and Kim Richards didn’t click. Things got off to a rough start when Lisa questioned Kim’s sobriety, and they didn’t get better from there. That season, they got into it on the Amsterdam trip, in what is one of the more iconic fights in Bravo history. Kim threatened to spill tea about Lisa’s husband, and in turn, Lisa smashed a wine glass on the table. Ugh, it never gets old.
Though Kim left the show after that season, things got reignited in a major way at the season seven reunion. Earlier in the year, Lisa gave Kim a large stuffed bunny as a gift for her new grandson. At the reunion, Kim gave the bunny back to Rinna, saying she “didn’t feel like it had good energy.” Lisa Rinna’s single tear rolling down her cheek is a huge mood, and Kyle looks like she would rather crawl out of her skin than sit through this awkwardness. These two finally put their past behind them when Kim appeared on season nine, but I don’t think they’ll ever be best friends.
Thomas Ravenel vs. Kathryn Dennis
I wasn’t going to include exes on this list because that feels like a different category, but I had to make an exception. For the first five seasons of Southern Charm, we followed the saga of Thomas and Kathryn’s relationship, and watched as he f*cked her over time and time again. Kathryn’s erratic behavior didn’t help things, and it got to the point where you knew things were going to explode any time they were together. And in season five, Thomas’ new girlfriend Ashley (a living nightmare of a person) only made things worse. Ultimately, Thomas got fired from the show over disturbing sexual assault allegations, and Kathryn has gotten her sh*t together and gotten custody of their kids, so it’s safe to say that she won this war.
Monique Samuels vs. Candiace Dillard
I firmly believe that The Real Housewives of Potomac is the most underrated show on Bravo, and feuds like this are why everyone should be watching. As the two newer members of the cast, Monique and Candiace were friends at first, but that just wasn’t meant to last. Candiace got mad at Monique over her friendship with Ashley Darby, and they clashed at the hoedown party last season. Honestly, just put “DRAG ME, MONIQUE” on my grave. Season five has sadly been pushed back to later this summer, but during filming, these two got in an epic physical altercation that resulted in Monique getting charged with assault, so I can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Danielle Staub vs. Everyone
Danielle Staub is probably the most villainous figure in all of Real Housewives, so it makes sense that she’s had trouble keeping her friendships intact over the years. Throughout the second season, the whole cast couldn’t even be in the same room because everyone hated Danielle so much. She left the show after that, because you can’t really be in an ensemble cast if no one else in the ensemble will even film with you.
Danielle returned to the show in season eight, thanks to her friendship with Margaret (and her newfound friendship with Teresa), and she was quickly causing problems again. After pissing everyone off during her disastrous wedding weekend, and sending Margaret to the hospital after a physical altercation, her days on the show were numbered. After she ruined her one remaining friendship with Teresa at the end of season 10, she “retired” from the show, which is a nice way of saying she’ll never be asked back. It’s probably for the best.
Porsha Williams vs. Kenya Moore
In her time on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kenya Moore has feuded with pretty much everyone. She’s one of the messiest people on the planet, so drama tends to follow her. And we love her for it! When she and Porsha joined the show in season five, they clashed immediately. Porsha didn’t care about Kenya’s Miss USA title, and it bothered Kenya to no end. After two seasons of riveting back-and-forth (“bye ashy!”), things came to a head at the season six reunion, when Kenya’s megaphone-fueled provocations led Porsha to literally drag Kenya off the couch. As a result, Porsha was demoted for a season, props were banned from reunions, and we got a truly iconic TV moment.
James Kennedy vs. Katie Maloney
James Kennedy has always been a polarizing figure on Vanderpump Rules, and he’s feuded with pretty much everyone at one point or another. Kristen has hated him ever since their breakup, and Jax seems to hate him for no real reason, but his drama with Katie was really the final nail in the coffin for his chances with the core friend group. Last season, after he made body shaming comments about Katie, she got him fired from DJing at SUR, and he’s barely been a part of the group since then. James getting sober has definitely helped him make better choices this season, but I’m not sure Katie and her clique will ever give him the time of day again.
Tamra Judge vs. Alexis Bellino
The Real Housewives of Orange County is the show that started it all, and there have been countless fights, feuds, and arguments over the past 14 seasons. But one of my favorites—and I feel one of the most underrated—is the feud between Tamra and Alexis. Tamra’s “Jesus Jugs” line is an all-time winner, and she nearly got sued for it. The next season, their drama continued, when Tamra kicked Alexis out of her fitness studio, prompting Alexis to claim that she had to go on Xanax because of Tamra’s bullying. It’s like a soap opera, but better. Tamra also claimed that Alexis dropped her kids in the pool while they were strapped to a stroller, which I’m not sure we ever found out was true or not? I love mess.
Which Bravo feud do you think is the most iconic? There are so many good ones, and each of them is memorable for a different reason. I could talk about this forever, so please let me know in the comments.
Images: Giphy; Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com; Bravo / YouTube
If you’re a dedicated Real Housewives fan, then congrats, because we’ve made it through a lot in the last 10 years. There have been hundreds of episodes, dozens of over-the-top trips, and too many petty arguments to even count. But out of all the drama, there are certain scandals that stick out more than your average dinner party disagreement. As the 2010s come to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the craziest Real Housewives scandals this decade has brought us.
Over the course of 14 seasons, The Real Housewives of Orange County has seen it all, but no storyline was quite as shocking as the season 10 revelation that Vicki Gunvalson’s fiancé, Brooks Ayers, lied about having cancer. As the other ladies grew more and more suspicious, Vicki didn’t do a great job of making herself look innocent, even though she’s adamant to this day that she really thought he was sick.
What began—like all good Real Housewives storylines do—when a psychic raised questions, spiraled into a full-scale investigation, all led tirelessly by Meghan King Edmonds. Never forget when she went to the radiology center to see if the formatting of their results paperwork matched up with the ones that Brooks falsified. It’s for this reason that I’m excited by rumors of her return to RHOC, but either way, I’m thankful for her service against the evil that was Brooks Ayers.
Luann’s Legal Issues
At the beginning of the decade, Luann de Lesseps was still busy preaching to her fellow Housewives about etiquette, but that, uh, didn’t last. Everyone watched in dismay as she married and divorced Tom D’Agostino in less than a year—after he cheated on her, at the Regency, in front of everyone.
Luann’s divorce sent her on a downward spiral, culminating in her getting arrested in Palm Beach on Christmas Eve, 2017. The story of her kicking a police officer and slipping out of her handcuffs is a scene I picture in my head at times when I’m feeling down. Since then, the Countess has reinvented herself as a cabaret star, because why not. Life is not a cabaret, but these days, Luann’s life basically is.
Teresa & Joe’s Legal Issues
Even if you don’t really watch RHONJ, you’re most likely still aware of Teresa Giudice’s legal saga. We watched in real time as the fallout from Joe’s shady business dealings played out, ultimately leading to him and Teresa both spending significant amounts of time “at camp,” as Teresa likes to say. However you feel about Teresa, watching her reunite with her daughters after almost a year in prison was a seriously emotional moment.
Things didn’t go so great for Joe, though. After finishing his sentence and spending several months in ICE custody, Joe was finally deported to Italy this fall, where he’s still waiting on his immigration appeal. Just last week, he and Teresa announced their separation, which I’ve personally been waiting for ever since he called her the C-word on camera way back in 2012. Arrivederci!
Michael Darby’s Sexual Assault Case
If you still haven’t gotten into The Real Housewives of Potomac, let me just tell you that it is… f*cking insane in the best way. The ladies on RHOP always bring the drama, but the most shocking event of this past season had to do with one of the husbands. Ashley Darby’s husband Michael was charged with felony sexual assault after he allegedly touched a cameraman inappropriately.
The charges were eventually dropped, but we got to watch the whole thing play out on camera, and the Housewives’ reactions to hearing about the charges were truly priceless. The messy AF producers then dropped the bomb that there was audio of the incident, and the ~unseen production footage~ is legendary.
Phaedra Parks was a mainstay on RHOA for seven seasons, but on the season 9 reunion, we watched as it all got taken away in a matter of minutes. In seasons past, Phaedra and Kandi Burruss were close friends, but that changed, and their relationship got more and more toxic.
Throughout season 9, there were mysterious rumors that Kandi was a lesbian, and specifically that she and her husband had plotted to drug and sexually assault her castmate, Porsha Williams. The source of the rumors was unknown for the entire season, until the reunion, when Porsha revealed that Phaedra had told her they were true. Kandi’s iconic “YOU SAID THAT?” line was born, but Phaedra basically had nothing to say for herself, and she’s never been on Bravo again.
Taylor & Russell’s Marriage
From the moment The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered, it was obvious that things in Taylor Armstrong’s marriage weren’t great. As we watched her grapple with her abusive relationship, we could all tell things weren’t headed in a good direction, and just before season 2 premiered, the Housewives world was rocked with the news that her husband Russell had committed suicide.
The second season, which was filmed before Russell died, is honestly scary to watch, with a morbid sense of dramatic irony that most reality TV shows would never even want to deal with. Still, it made for one of the most interesting seasons of RHOBH, and none of us will ever forget the time that Taylor hid in a suitcase.
Sadly, the most recent seasons of RHOBH have lacked the hard-hitting drama of the first few seasons, but season 9’s Puppygate was still a pretty major scandal. It began when Dorit adopted a dog from Vanderpump Dogs, but later gave it away to someone else. What could have just been a personal issue between LVP and Dorit escalated to a war within the cast, complete with leaked stories to Radar Online and a lie detector test.
Ultimately, Lisa wasn’t willing to make it work with Kyle or Dorit, and she cut ties with the rest of the cast, essentially leaving the show in the middle of the season. Whether you’re an LVP fan or not, it was a messy way for an OG to go out.
What’s the Real Housewives scandal that’s made your jaw drop the furthest? Hopefully the 2020s will be full of many more unbelievable moments, because I can’t get enough of this sh*t.
Images: Giphy (7)