The Real Housewives of Culture: Bravo’s Impact on Society

It is a pretty easy thing to see when you look at the Real Housewives franchise. From countless spin-offs (It started as just The Real Housewives of New York and has spawned into shows in Atlanta, Miami, Orange County, New Jersey, Beverly Hills and countless others) to singing careers for some of their stars, the shows have always been there to help us procrastinate.

So what is the most recently delve into society that has forced my hand into writing this article? Well, that would be the lovely Saturday Night Live sketch that featured an Erika Jayne song. Lucky for me, I was in the audience for this particular episode and was super excited that not only was this sketch talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race and starring Chris Pine, but it also featured a song from one of the housewives on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

This sketch featured a bunch of straight auto-shop workers sitting around and talking about a show they’re all pretending they don’t watch. Chris Pine comes in talking about letting a man go without paying because he felt bad, then starts the conversation about a queen on the current season of RuPaul named Trinity “The Tuck” Taylor.

Watch the sketch below:

So once they get into the sketch, they have to “lip sync for their life”. For those who don’t watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, it is when the bottom two contestants lip sync battle each other and one remains in the competition when the loser has to “sashay away”.

The great part about this sketch is that the song “XXpen$ive” by Erika Jayne was featured. She is one of the newer housewives on Beverly Hills and is slowly becoming a fan favorite. And you can see that in the way people reacted to the song.

Now here is the lovely thing about The Real Housewives: they’re mindless. When you’re sitting on your couch and you don’t really want to pay attention to whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing, they can help you along your way to nothingness.

For me, when I’m sitting and trying to write, I don’t want a show distracting me. I want to put on something I’ve seen a million times or something that is so insane I don’t have to give it my complete attention.

The cast of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Image courtesy of BravoTV

So I can sit and listen as Kyle Richards and her sister Kim fight over and over again while still working on articles without being completely distracted. I can watch Teresa Giudice flip over a table for no reason and write 300 words without breaking my rhythm. And it’s not to say these shows are not entertaining or that they don’t have any cultural importance. Clearly, they do. But it is interesting so many of us turn to these women and their meaningless problems as a way to pass time.

And if you’re worried about which series to watch, don’t worry. I’m going to let you know which holds the most reference to pop culture so you can be on top of your tweet game, as well as up with the lingo when people start talking about Lisa Vanderpump’s new restaurant or what Carole Radziwill is doing.

If you’re going to start from scratch, I suggest turning to The Real Housewives of New York City. It is, after all, the first and gave us iconic women such as Bethenny Frankel and the Countess (LuAnn De Lesseps, if you must know).

Bethenny Frankel

From there, I’d go to my personal favorite: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. With women like Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards, this series is filled with drama many of us didn’t see if coming. Especially in those first two seasons with Taylor and Russell and Camille and her eventual divorce with Kelsey Grammer.

Now, it is a toss up between two very important Real Housewives series. We have The Real Housewives of Atlanta versus The Real Housewives of New Jersey. If you’re going to watch every season, then it doesn’t really matter, but if you are just picking and choosing, I say Atlanta has more relevance. From Nene Leakes to Kim Zolciak, Atlanta continues to bring the drama, laughs, and moments when we’re all asking ourselves “what just happened?”.

So while many look at these shows with distaste, that the 2008 Writers Strike gave us this terrible thing, they cannot deny the importance these shows have to pop culture. We sing those terrible songs some of the housewives create. We talk about Vanderpump and all her restaurants and want to go to them when we visit Los Angeles. On Twitter, most people respond and react using GIFs from these series. For example, here is one complaining about a Harry Styles song:

That’s Kandi Burruss from The Real Housewives of Atlanta if you didn’t know. So see, it’s important we at least acknowledge how these shows have impacted our society. I mean, even Saturday Night Live has made many references to them! Including the sketch about Disney princesses:

So whether or not you actually go out and watch these series, whether you know Yolanda Hadid (mother to Gigi and Bella) was on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or not, is up to you. I’m just saying, you’ll be tardy for the party and miss out on some sweet internet jokes if you don’t.

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