Lessons from a reality TV housewife

What’s causing the global temperature to rise? Well, it has to be the ladies of Bravo’s most lucrative franchise! Fans of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives Of …” have been swimming in the drama this past year. From Joe and Teresa Guidice’s financial woes; and brother’s in-law Joe Gorga and Joe Guidice’s husky brawl on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” to the hair pull of the decade given to Kenya Moore by way of Porsha Stewart on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” this has been a violent year for the franchise. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” reunion, which aired this past Sunday, showed Kenya Moore, former Miss USA being pulled to the ground by Porsha Williams, ex-wife of football player Kordell Stewart. Network President Andy Cohen should be happy. “The Real Housewives Of…” brand has turned Bravo into a reality show heaven; but apparently even he wasn’t happy with what happened on Sunday’s “RHOA” Reunion: Pt. 1 (I still don’t understand two and three-part reunions, but whatever). Many fans of the show aren’t happy either. Here’s the short version of the melodrama:

For the better part of two years, Porsha and Kenya have been soap-like rivals. It had to do with a benefit that Porsha was throwing. She invited Kenya and called her (God forbid) Miss America. Kenya let her know that she was Miss USA. From there, there have been twirls in nightgowns, arguments in exotic locales, and the occasional truce that quickly reverts back to immortal hate between the two. They have constantly attacked each other, especially when it comes to their romantic relationships (Kenya says that Porsha married Kordell to help him hide his homosexuality, Porsha [and many of the other women on the set] believe that Kenya’s supposed African prince is just a figment of her pretty imagination…you get the picture).

At the reunion, Kenya, known for her theatrical props, upped the ante from last year when she opened up a fan whenever someone said something she didn’t like. This year, she had a scepter which was snatched by Porsha and thrown to the floor (but not before she Knighted Andy Cohen), when she had enough of Porsha’s babbling, she pulled out a megaphone, which wasn’t fully functional. **Note to self: Make sure all parts of a megaphone are put together before I use it to blow out someone’s eardrums** This is where the drama ensues: As Kenya is screaming through the megaphone, Porsha snatches it and stands up, Kenya stands up, they have words, and in the twinkling of an eye, former Miss USA is pulled to the ground by former Mrs. Stewart! Kenya surprisingly jumps back to her feet and threatens to leave the set if Porsha stays. Andy tells Porsha (who is clearly distraught that she was physical with Kenya) to take the rest of the reunion off. When season seven of RHOA begins, there may be no Porsha.

As a viewer, I was shocked, but not appalled by the situation. This is Bravo after all. This is the network that let brother’s in-law duke it out in front of family, friends, and trained family counselors (“Real Housewives of New Jersey”); it’s also the same network that allowed doctors’ wives to fight poolside at a birthday party (“Married to Medicine”). A part of me doesn’t get carried away with what’s right or wrong with reality television. I watch programs on PBS. I read novels. These shows are just for fun. Being college educated doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy reality TV and all the craziness that comes with it. It’s just another platform for aspiring actors and actresses. Just watch an interview with a reality “star”. When the interviewer asks what their long-term goals are, many will say that they want to act in film or television. What happened between Kenya and Porsha is nothing new. Fans of daytime can probably remember when Leslie slapped Monica on General Hospital, or when Alexis and Krystle fought in Alexis’ studio…then a lily pond…then down a hill…and also in a designer showroom, on Dynasty. Maybe some viewers feel that reality TV is actually a real depiction of life. If you want real life, spend some time with your neighbors or watch a documentary. Just remember, when you watch the Housewives of any city, “The Bad Girls Club,” or “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” that these people are getting paid to entertain you, should you want to watch. If you don’t want to see a former Miss USA dragged to the ground by a woman who had no idea that the Underground Railroad wasn’t actually a part of Amtrak, then you shouldn’t be watching reality TV.

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