The only way that you can possibly not know about the Bravo Real Housewives is you’ve been living under a rock, a huge rock.
This morning, while browsing my favorite celebrity gossip sites, you know, catching up on important current events, I came across at least 5 articles about Bravo’s Real Housewives. To be honest, and this is a bit of a confession, I’ve been watching for so long, that sometimes I actually take sides in their bickering (yes, shameful, I know, I know, who cares [me]).
Any way, so I thought for fun, I’d present my Top 5 Housewives, please feel free to share yours too! So, in no particular order:
1. Jill Zarin: Yes people, the one you love to hate (or maybe just hate because you are obsessed with her former friend), but I love me some Jill. Jill means well, but sometimes she puts her foot in her mouth, sometimes she doesn’t pick the right moments to say things, and sometimes she does not know when to let stuff go (the whole dog with a bone syndrome). Jill can be passive-aggressive and talk a gang of you know what to the cameras, but not so much in person, so it’s always a bit of surprise to her cast mates when they see the actual interview footage. So the reason I love Jill is simple — she is just like everybody else. Yes, when watching reality tv, we all feel the need to take the hide road. But the reality (no pun intended) is we are all so flawed. No one has ever been a perfect friend, and if someone is proclaiming they have been, watch them closely, don’t leave your children unattended. Most importantly, despite the ‘flaws’ I just listed, Jill has a kindness to her, I actually wish she weren’t so apologetic (believe it or not).
2. Bethenny Frankel: Before you behead me, I said in no particular order. Yes, our Forbes magazine cover model is one of my absolute favorites. But probably not for the same reasons that everyone else loves her (don’t get me wrong, her witty banter and willingness to share every aspect of her life with the general public is absolutely commendable), but I love Bethenny because she is an Entrepreneur. She never rested on her ‘Real Housewife’ laurels and used the opportunity to appear on one of the most watched series on the Bravo network as a springboard. Bethenny inked one of the biggest deals in the history of the liquor business, and it all started with her wearing roller skates and a wig on national tv. I went to the liquor emporium in BK last week and picked up TWO bottles of Skinnygirl margarita. Not because it’s the best margarita I’ve ever had, but because, when I grow up, I want to be a Bethenny Frankel (minus the willingness to share every aspect of my life with the general public). So Mrs. Hoppy, cheers to you (suck the lime, lick the salt), I look forward to seeing your continued success and more proof that all a woman, with the right business sense about her, needs is a platform, then there are no limits to what she can achieve.
3. Teresa Giudice: What can I say? I can’t resist a woman who is willing to flip a table and throw out sprinkle cookies if you get on her bad side. Let’s face it, Teresa brought Jersey’s sexy back. As a fairly new-New Yorker (I’ve been here just under 5 years) I’ve heard the “New Jersey is the armpit of America” commentary. But Teresa taught us that ‘fabuliciousness’ lives in New Jersey and it definitely will go down if need be. I especially appreciate how unashamed this woman is — the truth is everyone has hard times (I’m speaking of those of the financial nature, especially a girl like me who just finished grad school). Teresa’s private financial matters have been subject to public scrutiny, yet she still walks with her head high and doesn’t allow the likes of Life&Style and US Weekly to drive her into the shadows. Most celebs and pseudo-celebs would run and hide if they had to deal with the headlines that have been written about her. I salute Teresa, her and the Cake Boss have convinced me that getting on the Path and enjoying the Jersey-life for a day may not be a bad idea.
4. Lynne Curtin: Now I know she is a ‘former’ Housewife, but no list of mine would be complete without this woman. Is it me, or did Lynne always appear slightly subdued (high) most of the time? You have got to love a housewife that knows how to dull the pain a bit. I mean, when you have a husband that hides your financial woes and daughters who are completely out of control, what else can a girl do but get a little… well you know…? The thing I loved the most about Lynne’s ability to stay calm (hehe) is the calmness she was able to achieve while being surrounded by extremely high strung women who are constantly bickering about something completely nonsensical. Vicky is an overworked crazy woman, Tamra and Gretchen are about to kill each other, Alexis is talking extremely fast, and Lynne is a placid sea. If I ever end up married in the OC, I will definitely have Lynne’s doctor/pharmacist on speed dial.
5. Phaedra Parks: As I add Phaedra to this list, I know some of you are rolling your eyes. But I don’t mean Fake-dra, the one who started season 3 of the RHOA. No, no, no. I don’t mean the woman who lied about her pregnancy term or claimed she wouldn’t marry a man with children because children from previous relationships are baggage (despite the fact that she married a man with a criminal record, and if that ain’t baggage, I don’t know what is). I mean Phaedra, per second half of the season. The woman who represents adult male entertainers and doesn’t allow the likes of Nene to ruffle her feathers. The fact of the matter is, Phaedra joined one of the most volatile casts known to the Bravo franchise at 6 months pregnant. Of course some foolishness was likely to fly out of her mouth — look at the foolishness she was surrounded by. If you watched the full season, you can really see how Phaedra’s personality (ahem, hormones) went down to normal sea levels towards the end of the season, and the woman you saw was actually a driven, hard working, entrepreneur who loved her family and career and was just trying to have her slice of the pie. Phaedra showed that black women can be entrepreneurial, can love a man despite his faults, and not yell and scream every time they get angry (ahem, Nene). I look forward to seeing more of Phaedra.