I’ve always viewed the Real Housewives as an aspirational window into the excess of others, but as we now know — most of the marriages have ended, the wealth is questionable, and the friendships are forced. I wouldn’t mind a show — warts and all — but that’s not what we are getting from this franchise, especially with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
The season one premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills felt like a tired attempt to generate drama, especially since the most interesting part of the season is likely the alleged affair between Denise Richards and Brandi Glanville. I say this because instead of a linear approach, Bravo choose to offer viewers a glimpse into what’s to come, which entails the ladies lecturing Denise Richards on being “dishonest” about her personal life. Because most of the ladies are involved lawsuits they have failed to discuss, I find the demand for “honesty” to be laughable.
Mauricio (Kyle’s husband) for example, is accused of selling a home to a man for $32.5 million, but the seller alleges that Mauricio received more lucrative side offers that he failed to disclose to the seller. According to the seller, Mauricio failed to disclose that he partnered with the buyer to purchase the property. Mauricio then allegedly sold the home for $69.9 million just one year later, generating a profit of $37 million.
Kyle has said time and time again that her husband did not sign up for the show and there is therefore no reason to discuss him being sued. But true fans are well aware that Mauricio has featured his business on the show and gained significant free publicity as a result. So he did sign up for the show — just only the good stuff.
As for Dorit Kemsley, her and her husband’s legal woes involve Dorit’s personal bathing suit brand (“Beverly Beach”), which also gained free advertising on the Bravo television platform. According to The Blast, Dorit’s former business partner fronted money to her and her husband and was never paid back. On the season premiere, she casually addressed the allegations, claiming it was settled out of court. She has long claimed that she was unable to talk about the lawsuit while on camera. But as a viewer and a lawyer, I can safely say that the fans never asked for a play-by-play of the lawsuit, they simply wanted on-camera honesty that the lawsuit did in fact exist. Unlike Shannon Beador of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Dorit continued to pretend that her luxurious life was infallible. She finally mentioned it on the premiere, but it’s too little too late.
Erika Jayne’s husband was also sued, but I will leave that one alone because I actually believe— unlike Kyle and Dorit — he did not sign up for the show. He is never featured, and I therefore do not believe a woman should have to answer for her husband’s job/decisions/way of life.
We are in a trying time right now with the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am fully aware that this was taped prior to our current state. But RHOBH was going downhill even before we were hauled up in our houses. With the loss of Lisa Vanderpump, the rising intolerance for women-v-women verbal sparring, and our shrinking middle class, excess is off-putting — especially when it’s fake.