I Hate Jill Zarin How Did They Make Us Watch That? RHOBH v. RHONJ
I miss Beverly Hills already, the series did a great job casting and shooting but…
Would you ever have imagined an entire season of a one-hour show being completely built around one comment made by one person one night in split second?
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was able to do that, and each week the ratings soared until they went through the roof for this series.
When Bravo cast six ladies to be featured on the show, I understand that they are encouraged to get together, get to know each other and invite one another to parties and functions that they’re hosting. In the case of Beverly Hills early on in one of those parties, somewhere in the dark with no cameras around Kyle Richards and Camille Grammer had a conversation. Both ladies agree that the conversation started out pleasant enough, Kyle asked Camille how she was spending her summer vacation and Camille told Kyle she would be spending a few weeks at her home in Hawaii. Both ladies agree as well that Kyle asked Camille if her husband Kelsey Grammer would be joining Camille in Hawaii and both agree Camille answered “no, Kelsey has to remain in New York to do his Broadway show”.
It is the next few seconds that come into question and throw this entire series on its hiney! Camille Grammer asked Kyle why she was so interested in this topic of her vacation and then according to Camille, Kyle’s next remark was “Why would anyone be interested in you without Kelsey?” Of course Kyle completely denies ever saying that or anything like that, in fact she denies even thinking that!
In Camille’s mind, Kyle was questioning why Bravo would film Camille alone without her husband as there would be little interest in anything going on featuring just Camille Grammer. Kyle insists she was simply making small talk and never said anything of the kind.
And so it began, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills aired episode after episode and this one incident was the center of the universe for these ladies for months. While other things did happen, this conversation between the two “leading” ladies of Bravo’s Beverly Hills franchise spun this series on its ear, weaved its way through almost every storyline, it created arguments, debates and discussions between all six housewives at one time or another.
This one seemingly harmless chat was able to carry an entire season of a show consisting of six women who live in Beverly Hills.
Probably even more unbelievable was the series in New Jersey that built an entire season around one housewife being hated by the other four housewives. Danielle Staub was elevated to star of the series not because of anything that she did but by the four women who vowed to hate her.
From the first episodes Jacqueline, Caroline, Teresa and Dina spent hours upon hours just talking about what Danielle said, what she had done, how much they hated her and what they were going to do about it. Almost three entire episodes were devoted to Dina making a decision and then following through with her decision to tell Danielle face to face that she wanted nothing to do with her. Then Dina promptly left the series.
Once Dina left there were meetings, dinner parties and plans discussed all surrounding one woman who had really done nothing of significance to these three ladies. Teresa and Jacqueline had play dates with their kids, Caroline had Jacqueline over to her home for dinner, all three ladies went to lunch and without fail the topic of discussion was Danielle Staub, how much they hate her, why they hate her, whether or not to attend any event that might include Danielle…and on it went for an entire season.
Jacqueline, Caroline and Teresa went on a trip to Italy with their husbands, children, parents and an entire film crew, the talk was not excitement at visiting Italy but rather the relief of getting away from Danielle, who by the way, they hadn’t even seen for weeks. Jacqueline and Teresa’s husbands on a cruise ship in Italy discussed, you guessed it, Danielle Staub.
While other housewives series have season ending parties and special events, the Real Housewives of New Jersey based their season finale on a meeting between Caroline Manzo and Danielle Staub. A meeting that Caroline set up to follow in her sister Dina’s footsteps, to tell Danielle Staub that she wants nothing more to do with her. This was after the admission from Caroline that she’d not seen Danielle since the previous season’s reunion. Danielle hadn’t done anything or said anything to any of these women all season, while Teresa baited her, Jacqueline screamed at her and Jacqueline’s daughter Ashley pulled Danielle’s hair out of her head, Danielle said and did nothing. Yes, she pressed criminal charges against Ashley and may have embellished on exactly what happened to police but in the end, had this stupid girl not pulled her hair, none of that wouldn’t have happened and Danielle‘s self-imposed distance from the other ladies would have remained in tact.
Danielle seemed perfectly comfortable living her life without the other housewives in it, she had moved on, she was involved in her daughter’s modeling career and youngest daughters’ singing career. Danielle threw a charity event/sweet 16 birthday party for her daughter, she began a search for her birth mother. While early on in the season, Danielle did invite Dina and Jacqueline to a luncheon she organized, this was simply because Dina had been texting Danielle with words of encouragement and kindness and Jacqueline had not been honest about her decision to cut Danielle out of her life.
While the Real Housewives of New Jersey was criticized widely for putting together an entire season with so little happening just hating Danielle Staub as the only topic of the show, still the ratings soared.
The major difference between The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the Real Housewives of New Jersey was that the Beverly Hills seemed more natural and the course of events really did just seem like the everyday lives of these six women. With New Jersey, everything seemed scripted, set up and pre-planned. All of these big “meetings” didn’t seem like something that these women would naturally do in their everyday lives. Who really does that? Who sets up a meeting with someone they don’t like to tell them they don’t like them and don’t want them in their lives? Even at casual dinners and the meetings, discussions seemed fake and an act for the cameras.
The good news is both of these series will return and will have to move past the one hit wonder disease. We already know that the New Jersey series has a big casting shake up. The main and only subject of the previous season, Danielle Staub will not be returning next season. The good news is that the two women who will replace Danielle Staub and Dina Manzo are both relatives of Teresa Giudice and reports are that she doesn’t get along with these two new housewives/relatives.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills seemed to have hashed out the Kyle comment on the show’s reunion. The two ladies detailed the entire conversation and while Camille did seem to finally admit that those exact words did not escape Kyle’s lips, she still seems to feel that Kyle’s attitude did reflect those feelings.
Let’s hope the Beverly Hills Housewives make a pact to move past this one incident that tore through the series and start with a whole new insult next season. The tension between Kyle and her sister Kim clearly has much more to be explored if these two women are willing to put it on camera. It is obvious that Taylor doesn’t like Kim yet wants to build a friendship with Kyle, this could continue to cause stress between these three women. Lisa has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to share them, her concern over Taylor’s agenda was evident and could certainly play a role next season.
Love her or hate her, Camille Grammer does lead an interesting life and if Bravo had any sense, they’d start filming her right now for next season. It could make for fascinating content as she is going through a court battle with Kelsey and she’s about to become a very rich divorcee. I wonder if Kelsey would let Bravo film his upcoming wedding, complete with the signing of a pre-nuptial agreement?
Finally Adrienne, a fascinating woman who may have avoided the majority of the drama this season, but she completes the circle and certainly holds it all together.
This franchise will only get more popular as these ladies have done what every good Housewives troop have done, made us angry, sad, laugh and cry with them, but most important we care about them and that is always the recipe for success.
Until Next Time….