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Guilty Pleasures: The Real Housewives


Don't bother to judge me; I've heard it all. And I don't care.

Understand, I have rules regarding the Housewives. For one thing, I don't seek them out. I never check the Bravo schedule to see when they are on. However, if I happen to be channel surfing and they happen to be on, I watch them.

(Unless it's a marathon. Then I step away from the remote and run like crazy; otherwise, I won't move from the couch all day.)

Is it possible to be a modern, thinking woman and like the Real Housewives?

Of course.

Do I watch them with a critical, post-feminist eye in order to deconstruct their deleterious effect on the culture?

Hell, no.

I watch them just to hear what comes out of Ramona's mouth next, and because I have a sick fascination with Alex, Simon, and their awkwardly named offspring, Johann and Francois. I like to count how many times LuAnn refers to herself as "the countess" (a drinking game if there ever was one) and I get a kick out of Jill orchestrating everyone else's lives. I would watch it for the scrappy Bethenny alone, who pulls no punches and refers to LuAnn as the "Dis-Countess."

And let's face it, the clothes are amazing.

But there are some new housewives on the horizon. They're from New Jersey. And the moment I saw them on Bravo's website, my heart sank. The ad copy included a reference to big hair. Their names are Italian, and lots of "familial drama" is promised.

I can just imagine the reviews. There will be sly allusions to The Sopranos, veiled conjecture about what businesses their husbands are really in, and Jersey jokes that are about as fresh as yesterday's baked goods.

These women don't even get their own apple, orange or peach; instead there's a little state icon that looks like it came off a Parkway sign.

There is one consolation though-if those New York housewives ever decide the cross the river for a showdown, even the feisty Bethenny won't have a chance. My money's on the Jersey girls.