When it comes to reality TV, it’s hard to know what is “real” anymore. MTV’s “The Hills” threw us through a loop earlier this year when its finale alluded to the fact that the show had been scripted all along. And now we have Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, a reality show in which several of the cast members are former actresses.
But the reality factor is not my real beef with “Real Housewives”. In fact I’m strangely addicted to this show, relishing in the rolling greens of the stars’ grounds and Lisa Vanderpump’s pinkness. It’s just that on “The Real Housewives”, some of the housewives seem more desperate than real.
Take Camille Grammer. It’s odd to watch this show, which was filmed earlier this year, knowing what we know now: that her highly touted husband, Kelsey, who Camille has reminded us over and over again that she’s kept alive all these years, is out cavorting with his new, twentysomething lady love. Yep, Kelsey ditched Camille, but don’t worry she’s not alone: she has 4 rotating nannies to help her with the kids.
But Camille’s incessant need to talk up Kelsey, calling him the greatest actor on earth, sheepishly asking for a little something-as in a hug- when the family reunites in New York to see his Broadway show, shows us a woman who is baby stepping around her husband. Oh, she talks a good game in the “Housewives” interviews, coming off as the one in charge. But when you see her around Kelsey (which is very little on this series since he’s living in New York for a year) you see a woman who is…. hesitant. Around him, anyway.
Meanwhile Taylor Armstrong threw a $50,000 birthday party for her 4 year old on last week’s episode. The kid looked bored to tears. She didn’t want to pose for photos for any snazzy photographer and she sure as heck didn’t want to listen to that crappy birthday theme song by the band. All 4 year old Kennedy wanted to do was sulk.
Mom and her friends sipped on champagne and enjoyed the beautiful day, but it didn’t cover up the fact that Taylor seemed to be trying to buy her daughter’s affection.
And anyone who describes their marriage as “80 percent business, 20 percent romance” can’t be experiencing marital bliss either. Hubby Russell even trumped Taylor’s gift of a diamond Barbie necklace by producing a puppy for the kid, a gift he didn’t consult Taylor about. Which gift- and which parent- won out? What do you think? And Russell didn’t even have to play Mad Hatter tea party planner.
Then there’s Kim Richards. The former Disney child star isn’t even technically a housewife (don’t you need a spouse to be a wife?) but she’s twice divorced single mom of four.
Kim is lonely. She’s said it on the show– she wishes she had a husband like younger sister Kyle. But she’s living vicariously through her kids, who are all just about grown now. She’ll likely be facing the empty nest syndrome in a few years, although the 46 year old made an off the cuff remark in the premiere episode that maybe she’d like to have another baby. Because a baby fixes everything, right?
But Kim wants to make sure we know that she was a star before her niece Paris Hilton was.
“I was there first!” she declared in the first episode.
Yes, but on this show who will be the last woman standing?
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” airs on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET on Bravo.