It’s been strange and sad to watch this year’s seasons of The Real Housewives. Divorce has been rampant on every location: Orange County’s Vicki & Tamara & Gina all went to dust, although Gina’s divorce is still pending. New York saw the end of Countess Luann’s marriage and hints at infidelity by Ramona’s husband Mario. Washington saw the demise of Brit Kat’s marriage. Atlanta showcased NeNe’s hatred of her husband Greg and its still not clear if they have made up or just delayed the inevitable. Forget divorce though, it’s average in comparison to the family feuds, fist fights and bankruptcy on New Jersey.
As I’ve said before when a huge fight broke out on the season premiere of Jersey, when is Bravo going to take some social responsibility for abused people? Or put up a phone number to call? Well, it took the recent suicide of Beverly Hill’s (first couple to crumble under the reality strain), of Russell Armstrong to get there. While Armstrong’s sad decaying marriage and evaporating bank account was enough to get a tag and cut from many of the scenes sending story editors back into edit bays and raw footage for alternate story lines to highlight, it wasn’t enough for Bravo to pull the entire series from airing.
How could it be? They spent money promoting it, caught nasty, painful scenes between Kim and Kyle Richards trying to mend from the scars of Kim calling Kyle out on the season finale last year for being an alcoholic. All of this is just too tempting to Bravo but what does it say about us, the viewing audience? Is this too much for us? Do we delight in seeing spoiled, rich people continue to defy the recession and throw it in our faces that it’s not enough for them to show respect for one another and not throw punches? I go in and out of phases where I turn away from these shows. Russell’s death was given all of five minutes of air time discussion and a tag at the end of the show. It might also be enough to finally cure me of a sick need to tune in for these mind-rotting shows.