Open Thread: Real Housewives (and More!)

By Jennie

We’ve been meaning to open a thread for discussion of the various shows in the “Real Housewives” franchise – versions currently running are Real Housewives of New York, Real Housewives of Orange County, and, as of tonight (squee!) Real Housewives of New Jersey. Fans (or non-fans!) of the various shows and their stars – please weigh in! Which is your favorite version? Who do you love? Who do you love to hate?

We also thought we’d use this thread for a catch-all discussion of reality shows not covered elsewhere. Several shows are just ending or soon to end (The Apprentice, Survivor, The Amazing Race, America’s Next Top Model, Dancing with the Stars), but if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that, like weeds and bills, one no sooner sees the end of one reality show but that another one pops up in its place. I believe The Bachelorette is soon to start, and while I don’t generally watch that series, I’ve been eyeing the already-begun Mob Wives and am intrigued by the soon-to-begin show following Ice-T and Coco. What about you? Any particular shows you can’t stand to miss? Any shows you’re embarrassed to admit you watch? Share your thoughts below!


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Comments

  1. stxmom says

    It was very hard to watch RHONJ last night, heartbreaking to see them fighting at a christening. I hope by now they have worked out their differences.

    P.S. I’ve never been to a christening where alcohol is served

  2. Mary Rose says

    Oh boy, do I have a lot to say as I am sure everyone does!!
    RHNJ: I was disgusted watching last nights episode for SO many reasons. The way Joe Gorga spoke to his parents made me sick. I understand being hurt by them, but I would NEVER speak to my parents the way he did. I am also so very lucky that in my relationship my partner doesn’t expect me to do all the cooking, cleaning, etc and my job is to serve him in the house and in the bedroom, even though he works and I do not. She may have been joking….but I did not find that one funny at all. I find it so funny how the Gorga’s act like they are so rich and have no money problems, cause they DO. Pretty hypocritical of them, if you ask me.
    Stxmom, I just became a godmother again in February and we had alcholo at the christening. Everyone I have been to has had it. I don’t see a problem with it. What I saw a problem with, was the shots and excessive drinking.

    RHOC:
    Gretchen….met her, can’t stand her. She is a fake, mean person and a cheater and a liar. These are all based on facts.
    Alexis….Think Tamra and Vicki are mean spirited but has no problem being friends with Gretchen. Hypocritical if you ask me. I could go on and on and on and on about her……
    Vicki…..I want to give her the biggest hug!
    Tamra…..I want to give her the biggest hug, too! I am glad she found Eddie. I really wish her the best. I wish she would have chosen to take this year off of the show for her children and herself.
    Peggy….Like her a lot!

    RHNY….I watch, but compared to the other two it is quite boring and catty.

    Bethenny Ever After….LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

    Bachelorette/Bachelor….I have watched in the past but the last two seasons kinda ruined it for me. I thought they were kinda boring.

    Amazing Race and Big Brother….my favorites

    This is all I will say I watch for now because it is a lot and I am a wee bit embarressed. I am going to hide under a rock right now…Bye!

  3. Serp. says

    I find most of the women involved in the Real Housewives franchise despicable characters. I stopped watching long ago.

  4. Mary Rose says

    Theresa, I totally agree. I about cried.
    Serp, the said thing is they are not characters. They are real people and this is how they really are, which is quite sad and disturbing.

  5. Serp. says

    Mary Rose, I know, and it is sad. I used the word “character” in the context of its informal usage, as for person(s).

  6. says

    Theresa, I was disappointed that Brothers & Sisters was cancelled too. I had quit tuning in regularly, but I still cared about the Walkers! Loved Kevin particularly.
    .
    Mary Rose, we think a lot alike on the RH franchise. I’m SO glad. I was afraid I’d run into a bunch of Gretchen fans here!
    .
    First, RHONJ. Wow is all I can say. The Gorgas are a piece of work. I am sure Teresa has her faults. Actually, they are on display for everyone to see, but I pity her being stuck with this brother and SIL. I read Melissa’s blog entry at BRAVO.com and she did nothing to improve my opinion of her. Typically when family is involved, I always want the participants to work it out. I felt so bad watching Kyle and Kim fight last season on RHOBH, but I’m thinking Teresa is smart to keep her distance from Melissa. Thank goodness for Caroline and Jacquelyn. My heart broke for Jacquelyn dealing with Ashlee. Been there with my daughter….
    .
    I kept an open mind on Gretchen at first, but last season really changed my perception of her. I was so pissed at her interfering with Lynn’s daughter. Lynn may not be mother of the year, but I don’t think Gretchen’s interference was needed. Just wanted to make herself look good. Also, while I don’t like making accusations without concrete proof, there is something very fishy with Gretchen’s business relationship with Slade. I think she is helping him to avoid paying his child support. And as much as I don’t care for Slade, Gretchen sure loves to mock and belittle him. I haven’t always liked everything I have seen of Tamra’s behavior, but I was so happy when she got away from Simon. She hit the jackpot with Eddie. Good for her! And I like Peggy too. And Fernanda seems fine. I like having Alexis there to laugh at. Her modeling shoot was a hoot!

  7. JennieIW says

    Anya (that evil vixen) lured me into watching the RH franchise, starting with last season’s RHONJ. I kind of loved it, though I had to mute the tv frequently when Danielle was on; she was so awful. I know a lot of people don’t like Teresa, and I get why, but to me she’s just kind of a cartoon character, and I don’t take her seriously. I was definitely on her side with the family conflict. Her sister in law seems like a touchy bitch, and her brother seems to have serious rage issues (looking at his muscles, I couldn’t help but think of ‘roid rage). I like Jacquelyn a lot, and liked Dina when she was on. Caroline strikes me as too smug and condescending. I don’t care for her. I’m glad the show is back but agree that too much family drama gets hard to watch. It’s different when there’s blood involved. You can walk away from other people, but when it’s family, it’s just different.
    .
    I haven’t found that I like any of the other iterations quite as much as NJ, with the exception of BH. I really liked RHOBH. I actually changed my opinion about several people from the beginning of the show to the end. I loved Kyle at first, but as the season wore on a lot of the stuff she did to Kim left a bad taste in my mouth. She just seems like she has a lot of power over Kim because Kim is so vulnerable, and she doesn’t always use it wisely or kindly. I like Lisa except when she gets too bitchy. I didn’t think I’d like Adrienne at first because she seemed sort of flashy and crass, but she’s really the most down-to-earth and sensible of the cast, and her relationship with her husband is fun to watch. Camille started out as “love to hate” but as the season wore on I really started to feel for her (I also began to see that maybe Kyle wasn’t totally innocent in their interactions). Now I actually kind of like her. As for Taylor, well, I feel sorry for her traumatic past and for being married to such a *&$!# as Russell, but she’s pretty hard to like. I think she’s definitely shady, both in her stirring up trouble in the group and possibly in the way she handles business (just from some of the rumors that have floated around).
    .
    Atlanta took a bit to get into but I ended up liking it pretty well. I love Kandi. Kim is hard to take – she’s so crude that it kind of offends my senses. But she can also be entertaining. Lisa is nice but boring. Nene I want to like, but I hate her bullying. Really hate it. Phaedra also took a little warming up to, but now I think she’s really funny. Sheree can also be annoyingly pretentious, but she’s also good for a laugh. In some ways, Atlanta is easier to watch, than, say, BH, because I’m not as invested in the players.
    .
    I just started watching Orange County this year. It’s a little hard for me because I don’t like *any* of these people very much. They all seem to talk so much crap about each other, and I had trouble sorting out Gretchen and Tamra and what their feud was about and who was on each of their sides for the longest time. Now I’m basically okay (with reservations) with Tamra, Alexis and Peggy (Alexis’ husband is such a creep, though!). Don’t like Gretchen or Vicki. They both just bug, and the way Vicki treats Don (who seems more likeable than the ladies all put together) is disgraceful. Am I forgetting someone?
    .
    I have the same problem – likeability – with the NY cast. I started watching with the reunion last year. I really like Bethenny (liked her show very much this season). Of the current cast, Cindy seems fine but I’m not invested in her at all. I know I’m supposed to hate Jill but since I haven’t seen past seasons, she doesn’t seem so bad to me. I liked Sonia on the reunion but really am not liking her now. Alex bugs me. Ramona flip flops between being okay and bugging me. Luann is okay when she’s not putting on airs. NY and Orange County seem particularly bad for people going out of their way to act like snobs in the mistaken impression that it’s somehow impressive. Yuck.
    .
    Still, I can’t stop watching, and I was ridiculously happy to have NJ back on. Can’t wait for BH to start again!

  8. Joy says

    Talk about a shocking start to the season. How awful that such a display of behavior happened at the child’s christianing. What a shame that a day that should be filled with joy and spiritually enrichening had to be spoiled by such outlandish behavior on all their parts. If this is how it starts the season it may be quite an interesting adventure. Yes I do feel it’s trash TV but sometimes it’s a way of escaping for just an hour and laughing at how ridiculous these people can be.

  9. Anya@IW says

    Anyone watching RHONJ tonight? I still have OC to watch too. Yes, I need my “trash TV” sometimes. It IS a good escape!

  10. Theresa says

    Yay! Hines & Kym wins DWTS!! Whoo hoo!!

    Although, I was really hoping Chelsea would’ve gotten 2nd place. She was the better dancer between her an Kirstie. Kirstie, btw, looks fantastic. Props to her for doing the cartwheel last night.

  11. Pam@IW says

    Congratulations to Hines and his partner. I was pulling for Kirstie just because I liked her attitude in some of this.

  12. JennieIW says

    I was super-happy for Hines too. I did think Chelsea should’ve gotten second place, but I guess that’s where the popularity contest part of the show comes in.
    *
    I’m watching RHONY right now. They are in Morocco. Was Ramona always so snobby and bitchy? The RH ladies tend to annoy me especially when they are obviously going out of their way to appear privileged and spoiled and used to “only the best.”

  13. Judy says

    I’m late to the party, but I will admit that I am hooked on all of the RHW franchises. I thought the Kate haters were one of a kind, but I’ve recently found a site called “I Hate Jill Zarin” which is just as off the wall. I have to admit that I get Jill. I’m a Jewish mama, too, albeit a Southern one, but I’ve been around Long Island types for a long time and yes, while she can be rude and obnoxious, I do think Jill has a big heart. The two I cannot tolerate are Ramona, who seems to think she has carte blanche to say whatever she likes to whomever she likes and get away with it because she doesn’t even know when she is offensive, and Alex, who, IMO, is a pretentious social climber with no sense of humor. I like Cindy because she seems to be watching from outside and it’s interesting to get her perspective…

    When RHWONJ started, I didn’t want to like it, but couldn’t help but get hooked. I’m sorry, but I don’t blame the fight at the Christening on Theresa… Joe and Melissa were looking for a fight. Joe Gorgas’ behavior was so childish that he actually made Joe Guidice look not QUITE so boorish (if that is possible…) I don’t miss Danielle at all. I thought she sort of brought the whole group down.. (as if that was possible..)

    More about the other franchises later.. Gotta get back to work.

  14. JennieIW says

    So is everyone still watching? I found the RHOOC reunion shows to be super-entertaining. Alexis is ridiculous but she makes me laugh. I am usually on Tamra’s side (especially against the odious Jeana and the even more odious Slade), but I will agree that she and Vicki need to let it go about Gretchen’s fiance. I don’t like Gretchen, but all that happened quite a while ago at this point, and (I didn’t even realize this before), these women didn’t even KNOW Jeff, so it’s not like their judgment and outrage were based on personal feelings. I can see how and why it gave them an immediate distaste for Gretchen, but it’s just stupid to squabble about whether or not Gretchen was cheating way back then or whether she should have signed on for the show.
    *
    NJ is keeping me pretty entertained though I am not a fan of the majority of the folks on the show. I like Jacquelyn, and I like Teresa (I know, I know). Caroline is too smug and sanctimonious for me, and I do not care for the new additions, Melissa and Kathy. Teresa’s brother/Melissa’s husband Joe is – well, I’ll agree with Judy above – he makes Joe Giudice look good.
    *
    RHONY is a little boring and less juicy compared to the others. The women seem to take turn being unlikable – I generally like Luann and don’t like Alex, but Luann has been such a condescending beeyotch to Alex in the past couple of episodes, it’s actually made me feel sorry for Alex. Sonja has gone from being one of the more likable people on the show to completely unlikable and annoying. I know Jill is supposed to be the bad guy based on past incidents, but I find myself liking her the most of any of them. She seems realer somehow.
    *
    I’m still really looking forward to the BH premiere!

  15. Holly says

    If you watch the RHONJ or have seen them you have to read this!
    Every week Jay Mohr writes a review of the episode and he is so funny that I literally laugh till I cry. I truly dislike all the RH shows but I watch the RHONJ just so I can read his blog and laugh. Most of the things he talks about are too clever and intellectual for the Real Housewives but he is one clever guy! Love him and Andy Cohen!

  16. JennieIW says

    Holly, that’s awesome. I’m about 1/2 way through last night’s episode, and I definitely agree with Jay on Teresa v. Melissa. Geez, Teresa is at least trying; Melissa seems so sure that Teresa is going to be portrayed as the villain here that she doesn’t even seem willing to acknowledge that there is fault on both sides.

  17. Holly says

    Jennie,
    I was hoping you would read his blog. He literally has me crying from laughing so hard. You will appreciate his references to old TV shows,current events, and how clever he is. Last week he wrote about Ashley, Jacqueline’s spoiled daughter:
    “In her interview, Ashley says, ‘I just want to be Carrie Bradshaw.’ You mean have awesome friends, drink your way across Manhattan and have sex with Chris Noth? Hell, so do I! Carrie Bradshaw had a job, Ashley. Another thing (judging by your interview) that Carrie Bradshaw had that you don’t is conditioner. I think Ashley is more like Terry Bradshaw.”
    I loved when he called Teresa’s friend “an Italian Faye Resnick”. I was thinking the same thing although alot of people won’t know who Faye Resnick was (from the OJ trial). Enjoy

  18. says

    Judy, I came across that Jill Zarin site too and ran in the other direction! I already interact with haters more than I like! :-) … Seriously, Jill doesn’t bother me, but I know she has been accused of some shady behavior. Like running to Page Six with her version of events. I just don’t care that much! I basically agree with your other assesments about the RHONY cast.
    .
    Joe Gorgas’ behavior was so childish that he actually made Joe Guidice look not QUITE so boorish (if that is possible…)
    .
    Totally agree with you on this too. I think there is blame on both sides, but JoeGo was drunk and was 90% responsible for what went down at the christening. I actually don’t dislike Melissa, but not sure I trust her. Kathy…hmm, I think she is trying a little too hard to fit in…I am over Caroline. Did you hear that she and Dina supposedly aren’t speaking? What about family first? I still love Jacqueline – by far the most sane, I think.

  19. says

    Holly, thank you! :-) I just read the latest one. I am actually an eppy behind on my DVR so it’s fun to get a preview. I will have to go back and read the archive. Hilarious and spot on. I loved the description of Melissa’s sister, Lysa. Those sisters are something else and they are definitely out to make the most of their camera time. Which in a way I can’t blame them for, but I think in Real Life, Melissa’s relationship with Teresa would be better without her sisters interference. Yep, they are kind of Italian Julie Brown’s! (Some of you will get that reference!).
    .
    Poor Ashley. I think she had a moment where she was a little too honest. I have hope for her. She is still 19 or 20. It must be hard to be on a reality show and have everything about you critiqued. Hopefully she is making some good money to pay Chris back for that car!
    .
    Ugh, unfortunately I DO recognize the name Faye Resnick and I’m praying she won’t be on RHOBH in season 2. Or at least not an official cast member.

  20. Holly says

    I have watched the RH of NY,NJ, and OC but have vowed to stop watching them altogether because the women are truly a vapid, petty, spoiled group of women who seem to have no redeeming qualities. Their lives are filled with nothing but self promotion and most of them became rich because of their husband’s money. Coming from the Insurance Industry, I feel Vicki Gunvalson is an absolute embarassment to the profession. People trust her with their Life Insurance and their Retirement Accts and she is a rude, drunk, unstable person. It’s amazing she still has an Insurance Lic! Her website promotes insurance,clothing, her books, and eyelash treatment,talk about pimping yourself out! I feel sorry for all of these women’s children. These are pathetic examples of parenting. I think the one exception might be Caroline Manzo. These families are a Child Therapist dream!

  21. Holly says

    I just saw this on Twitter! “Countess” LuAnn from the RHONY and her new video video.aol.com/aolvideo/aol-music/chic-cest-la-vie/1030785700001

    I am just about speechless! These women have “no shame” and obviously “no talent”! Her poor children must be mortfied. I was!

  22. stxmom says

    I’ve never been a fan of Teresa’s but my heart aches for her this season. She really seems to be trying to make things right with her brother, Melissa seems to be getting in the way of their relationship. I think Joe Guidice is smart to just stay out of it. I’ve seen it printed that Melissa was a gold digger, not sure about that but she is definitely a fame whore

  23. Holly says

    stxmom,
    I think both Teresa and Melissa are “fame whores”. They both seem ignorant,classless, and embarassing! (I know, tell me how you really feel!) I am truly amazed at the lifestyle those two have considering that neither of them work,they have very expensive taste, and both of their husbands seem “questionable in their ability to explain their “careers”! Joe Gorga seems very unstable and creepy. These families remind me of people who get rich from the lottery and end up broke in a matter of years!

  24. stxmom says

    yes, Holly you are correct they are both fame whores, seems like every housewife ends up trying to sell something – books, purses, make up, music (if you can even call it that).

    When I see these women living their ultra expensive lifestyles it doesn’t even seem like reality. I always wish I had as much money as they all pretend to have. I worked in a bank or almost 10 yrs, I learned pretty quick that those who flaunt their money usually do not have any money.

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