#RHOBH, Bravo TV, Psychology, public figures, Real Housewives, Television

#RHOBH Twitter is Crazy: Engage At Your Own Risk

Dave Quinn of People stated it earlier today. It’s getting vicious on Twitter when it comes to the on-camera dynamics between the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, I had a really horrific experience surrounding another Bravo show and its fanatical Twitter following. It began with me blogging about a show and then I found out things I wasn’t supposed to know about an individual….and it all went downhill. To make a long story short and to keep this post short too: it’s perfectly OK to stop interacting with someone who takes a reality show far from on-TV-reality, attacks your character or brings up personal details about you. Someone who cites your family members names when you have never mentioned their names on social media? Uncool. No, not just uncool, really psychotic.

Hitting the “Block” button is what started all the trouble for me personally last year. It is far easier to “mute” Twitter users instead. They won’t know they are muted, but by employing this option, you will not see their tweets…even when they are tagging you. This move will protect you, making it easier to resist writing back. After they are muted, don’t even glance at their timeline. Television is to be enjoyed, to form opinions adn not be viciously attacked for them. People go for the jugular and the deeply personal. I honestly don’t know how the reality stars do it. As Margaret Josephs and Emily Simpson have told me, you must have extremely tough skin to be on television. I and many others I know are way too sensitive and we would fail. I am candid about my sensitivity too, which makes me all the more vulnerable. But I digress…

There are unstable personalities out there and when we choose to get into it with them (especially about a silly show — sorry Bravo!), there is no telling where it may lead.

I realize that I’m being somewhat cryptic about how bad it can get, but some of you are familiar. To the others, you will just have to trust me on this one!

On a totally different note, what are your thoughts on the drama with Dorit not returning her puppy to Vanderpump Dogs? Do you think Lisa Vanderpump is carrying her grudge too far, or that she is absolutely justified in her treatment of Dorit?

Lisa has admitted that she probably should not have filmed the current season due to the personal stress of losing her brother to suicide. I think that next year, she should focus on the dogs and not the bitches (I’m paraphrasing LVP herself) and enjoy her matriarchal role on Vanderpump Rules. She’ll still be a power player on Bravo with a successful show that has her last name in it.

(Photo Source: Star Magazine)

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#RHOBH, Psychology, Reality TV

#RHOBH OPINION: Is Denise Richards “Off-Brand”?

If you’re wondering why I capitalized “opinion,” it is because I’ve dealt with many a livid reality tv fan in my day. So if you are one to get more passionate about “Real Housewives” than you do about politics, please note this disclaimer before reading on: Below are simply some thoughts and my mind is subject to change as I watch the upcoming season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Now that that divulgence is out of the way, I’m about to belatedly weigh in on the announcement about actress Denise Richards joining RHOBH.

I will tune in, of course, because I become captivated by drama and even, more simply (or more “accurately” considering last season’s lack of drama), by the glamorous designer duds and luxury looks of the ladies. To skewer an old tagline of RHONY’s Sonja Morgan: I have a taste for luxury, but luxury doesn’t have a taste for me.

I joke with friends that I cannot even begin to consider between-the-brow-Botox due to how wrinkly my wallet is. (It helps to have the excuse of 4 children and four tuitions to fret about. When I didn’t have that excuse – two years ago when they were in public schools, for instance – it was a tad more humbling.) I make no bones about the fact that I’m not rich with a candor that Bethenny Frankel (RHONY) would be forced to admire. In fact, one Twitter user joked that I’m a “wannabe Housewife” (due to the fact that I’ve written about these ladies) and aside from never wanting to expose my embarrassing faults on TV…EVER (!) and deal with the after-effects of that public mortification, I’m content admitting I don’t have the requisite “aspirational” lifestyle to make the cut.

For me, these curious creatures on our TV screens make for a captivating collective anthropological case. While I have my husband rifling through my bag for car keys, stumbling upon CVS receipts and saying “we can’t afford for you to keep buying these face masks!”, the RHOBH are known for their over the top gifts. Take, for example. the five thousand dollar toilet Erika Jayne Girardi gifted her husband Tom.

I love the fact that I had never heard of most of these women before and I’m seeing how insanely affluent and excessive (AKA “extra”) they are. I love the fact that despite how I watched Kim Richards in the movie Watcher in the Woods as a kid, many of you did not. Being Paris Hilton’s aunts, Kim and Kyle Richards made good “Real Housewives” because despite doing the acting thing, they were only somewhat known, but not terribly famous and known by all. They fell somewhere between C and D list.

Considering the cast of RHONY, on the other hand, I like how Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer were people the vast majority of us had never heard of until they appeared on our screens. It makes me wonder why they weren’t famous prior to the show just for being ridiculously rich and having bonkers, over-the-top personalities.

So now we have Denise, a pick who is the most well known “actress” of all actresses to ever be selected for a Housewives franchise. I should note here that RHOBH is the only one of the Housewives franchises to have somewhat known actresses in the first place.

We had Eileen Davidson, familiar to soap opera aficionados, but not to countless others who don’t watch soaps (moi). Then many of us had to adjust a bit when we were introduced to Lisa Rinna in her Bravo role. Wait, we thought, this is weird because we know her from Melrose Place and from her flop reality show alongside A-list actor- hubby Harry Hamlin. This “adjustment” wasn’t too huge ultimately because Rinna’s acting roles were few and far between, and she quickly established herself as the “hustler” hilariously down to do anything…with a financial incentive. Famously, that includes a Depends commercial that is in her reel.

Rinna’s reception has always been a mixed baggie…akin to that one with pills she carries. Overall though, she “owned it” baby, being candid about the things that would embarrass most, and having no qualms asking a castmate if she’d done coke in her bathroom.

Love her or hate her, Rinna earned the right to hold her diamond in the opening credits of RHOBH.

Now…we have to get our minds around an even more complicated choice for a Real Housewife, a former movie star (or do we call her a current one?). Denise Richards seems too famous to be a “Real Housewife” when we’re so accustomed to meeting new ladies. Consider how Dorit was a whole lot of brand new to get used to. But perhaps therein lies the problem: Dorit is the puzzle piece in a jigsaw challenge that viewers have been unable to jostle in. It is hard to take her business, her lifestyle and her storylines (or lack thereof) seriously for many. I’m of the mindset that Dorit makes great TV because she’s physically gorgeous and an absolute mental trip. I find her to be obnoxious and my annoyance with her fuels my desire to yell at her from the safe side of the TV screen. It works for me, but it’s not working for countless others who have deemed her “phony”, “showy”, “lacking substance” and “boring”.

Denise Richards, on the other hand, has not only been in the public eye for her dramatic struggles and moves, but also had a past reality show. She dealt with the death of her mother and helping her father with his own grief. She is known for having married and divorced Charlie Sheen, had an on-again and off-again dysfunctional deal with him subsequently, battled custody with him, and rode his manic roller coaster of drug addiction debacles.

She famously became romantically entangled with the rocker ex (Richie Sambora) of her former friend Heather Locklear, who has recently made news herself for arrests and her own serious substance issues.

The best thing about reality television is that stars now know it’s the arena for candid confessionals. Denise Richards will have to “bring it”, so that’s the major plus of her being newly anointed a Housewife. Also, because she “brought it” on reality tv in the past, I doubt she will hold back on RHOBH.

So while there’s a ton to tune in for, I have to wonder if there’s a better venue for Denise (a follow-up E! reality show perhaps) to answer all the questions fans have about her past, present and future. The Real Housewives seems off-brand for her, but then again, she’s not doing a lot of movie acting these days. Is a Bravo show the next logical step for Hollywood ladies of a certain cohort when the roles have run out? Perhaps it is, and perhaps what I’ve previously considered “off brand” no longer is.

A franchise that once fascinated us with folks who flaunted their fabulosity while we thought “…and you are…?” is adding the marque of familiarity. It is like a new line of $3M Pagani cars that Dorit and Erika must test drive.

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Bravo TV, Reality TV

#RHOBH recap: The Punishment Fits the Whine (And That Glass isn’t for THAT Wine!), Ep. 812

This week’s episode of “The Real Filler Scenes of Beverly Hills” was actually titled “Gag gift.” However, I decided to opt for something different above. What I wrote is a tribute to Dorit’s complaints about LVP’s treatment of her. Dorit believes in an excess of everything except moderation, as her tagline states, so it’s unsurprising that she ends up overdoing it in her efforts to get back in LVP’s good graces. But first we begin with Camille Grammer. Yes, again. Camille is not technically a “Housewife” this season because she again has been billed as a “friend of.” However, this is the second episode in a row to start with a scene featuring the formerly “most hated Housewife” and now beloved cast member. She might as well get to hold a diamond next to the other ladies.

We learn that Camille hasn’t been feeling too stellar about her body post cancer. She underwent a hysterectomy, has experienced other physical changes due to the treatment and although she looks enviably terrific, she just isn’t feeling it.

So Lisa Rinna takes Camille to a lingerie boutique and the two prance around in provocative and very uncomfortable looking garments only designed to entice before being tossed across the bedroom. Camille ends up spending over $1300, excited to show the loot to her new beau. These women do not have an ounce of cellulite and nothing jiggles. It’s very disconcerting to say the least, but I truly am happy and teary watching Camille who has not only survived cancer, but seems to have survived (or bypassed) the metabolic struggle that strikes women over the age of 44. She looks beautiful and it feels well-deserved.

We go to the restaurant Fig & Olive where Kyle is meeting up with Erika. Kyle has just gotten some positive press for the show she’s developed, Glass Houses, and Erika compliments her on the achievement. She fills Kyle in on her husband Tom’s condition following his car accident. He’s undergoing Physical Therapy and getting out there to do some legal speaking opportunities. They then segue as they always do so well to a completely unrelated subject, LVP’s upcoming birthday. Should they get her a pet flamingo? She could use something of that ilk for her ever-expanding house-zoo it seems.

And just like that, it’s “’Bubba??’…’Yes, Bubba’” time as we make our way over to La Casa Kemsley. The house may or may not actually belong to the couple. There we see that Dorit and PK have inanely stolen Tom Schwartz (of Vanderpump Rules) and Katie Maloney’s sole term of endearment for one another. And it turns out that while Dorit was away, PK decided to play….with her swimsuit business that is. He decided that the Hebrew name “Navah” was a crap one for the line. So it is now called “Beverly Beach.” There’s actually no such place as Beverly Beach, but in PK’s fantasies it’s their romantic getaway destination and therefore a proper (read the word “proper” in an English accent) name for a swimsuit company. PK has also concluded that the line should be more affordable to all and not so exclusive.

Should we expect to see a “Beverly Beach” line for Target? Well, I’m calling it right now. Keep an eye and ear out for an announcement in a few short months.

This was quite the Joe Gorga maneuver on PK’s part. If you watch Real Housewives of New Jersey, then you know that Joe bought a pizzeria without first consulting Melissa and filling her in on all the details…Including the fact that he wanted her to be working there! Well, in this case PK was just supposed to be a substitute and not entirely change his wife’s business, but now….”Name Change” (as the ole Danielle Staub quote famously goes). Dorit rolls her eyes and this is not the way she wanted it to go, but she is rolling with it (she ended up keeping the name PK chose) and prepping herself mentally for LVP’s birthday party. That quickly becomes the topic of this couple’s conversation. Dorit is trying to figure out how she’ll be able to kiss up to the RHOBH matriarch. LVP hasn’t been entirely pleased with Dorit and she can certainly hold a grudge. We see that from the snarky LVP barbs aimed at Dorit that are up ahead.

At Camille’s house, she is getting ready to host the ladies. Fragrances will be sold to benefit the Foundation for Women’s cancer. While the event begins with the noble cause of raising funds for charity, it quickly devolves into cattiness and minor chaos. Dorit expresses her displeasure with Teddi for relaying the events of arguments to Kyle who then passed the details along to LVP. It’s interesting to see how Dorit is now confiding in and venting to her former nemesis Erika Jayne. The two have forged some type of bond, while Erika certainly sleeps with one eye open these days.

Teddi now has to endure all of Dorit’s excessive harping as Lisa, always on the hunt for pretty young things to protectively take under her wing, sticks up for Teddi. Dorit actually straddles LVP on a couch begging for her undying friendship and professing her love to epic proportions. She needs to make everything right RIGHT NOW and LVP sees how terribly juvenile this is. Does Dorit realize she is not a cast member on Vanderpump Rules? All of Dorit’s asinine antics seem like overkill to LVP. She desperately plots her escape from this party, but still has to see Dorit soon at her birthday celebration.

It is at that event  (planned by “she she she” fat-shaming Kevin Lee) where LVP has some serious shenanigans in store for her younger friend – or should we say “frenemy” now?

While Dorit was able to dish it out all last season to Erika during the insufferably lengthy “Pantygate” debacle, she is unable to take it. First Lisa hands her champagne in an atrocious green cup and we know how particular Dorit is about her drinking glasses, but then Camille hands her a gift from the lingerie shop, a ball gag device of some sort (pardon me for my unfamiliarity. It can be argued that I need to spice it up in my own bedroom).

The gift is a clear dig at Dorit for her “strap on” comment about Camille at an earlier dinner.  Camille makes that known to both Dorit and PK. Erika has a good laugh in her testimonial about how Dorit should really be able to take this entirely as a joke because of what she subjected Erika to last season, even gifting Erika a pair panties (I positively loathe the word “panties,” for the record.)

As LVP is opening all her gifts, it’s clear that Teddi’s furry pink bare back pad for horse riding is the favorite. I was actually quite impressed by how clever this pick was! It’s also clear that Teddi – who Lisa refers to as “Teddi Bear”- is the new favorite. Dorit doesn’t seem too thrilled about this in light of Lisa’s ongoing digs sent her way.  Even PK seems a bit jealous when he says to Teddi: “You’re ‘Teddi Bear’ now but can be ‘Teddi Bitch’ in a nanosecond.” In all fairness, that IS how Housewives works and Teddi’s clever and quick response shows that she knows it too. I do believe PK is acting petty on his wife’s behalf.

The birthday lunch is awkward overall and Dorit decides she has had enough celebrating for one evening. It is high time for her to vamoose.

In the final scene, Lisa enters a photo shoot for her jewelry line that will appear in Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine. She assess the model sprawled on a couch and expresses how impressed she is. That’s when we discover that Dorit’s prior shoot with the same magazine was all for naught. Dorit was not pleased with how her pictures turned out and she made a stink, so the editor decided to put the kibosh on the project.

I couldn’t help but feel a smidgen of sympathy (just that minute amount before you rush to judgement) for Dorit here. I’ve had pictures of myself that I wasn’t pleased with. What do you do if you greatly dislike and feel self-conscious about your own photos? For me, it entailed years of begging my mother to take those childhood photos off the walls of my parents’ home. I hope she didn’t view me as a “diva” the way people regard Dorit. But readers, she did remove those atrocious photos and replaced them with more flattering ones.

 NEXT UP…

It will be interesting to see if LVP warms up to Dorit and goes easier on her in next week’s episode, or if she continues to take jabs and the tension and madness escalates. I heard before this season began airing that Erika and Teddi were not getting along at all and it seems from the previews that we’ll be getting insight into that “story-line” as well. My only hope is that the story-lines are a bit more fine tuned so that they seem authentic and not like filler scenes. The only thing we can do is tune in and see…

…which is how Bravo gets you hooked on vapid reality television!

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