For this next “Let’s Discuss” piece, I have decided to tackle (no pun intended) a topic that has been a hot-button issue on The Real Housewives franchise for several years: VIOLENCE. In the wake of the RHOBH trailer being released, I felt compelled to write this piece. I thought to myself…we’ve seen Porsha Williams drag Kenya Moore at the reunion, we’ve seen Joanna Krupa get slapped/punched in the face by Adriana De Moura…when exactly will it come to a point where enough is enough?
Most viewers, not that unlike myself, tune into The Real Housewives for escapism. Sometimes it is to watch a train wreck that distracts us from what’s going on in the world, other times it is to simply get a laugh out of of the salacious things these women say. I like to think that the Housewives are, or at least were, several steps above other reality tv shows…sort of like a fine Rosé in a field of boxed wine. I’ve noticed a turn in the franchise though, particularly in recent seasons. In the RHOBH trailer alone, we see Brandi Glanville engaging in a physical altercation with Kyle Richards, throwing a glass of wine on Eileen Davidson, and even slapping Lisa Vanderpump across the face. We also see Lisa Rinna throw wine on Kim Richards, then smash the glass on the floor…and again, that’s just in the trailer.
Is violence now a requirement for each upcoming season of The Real Housewives? Think about it: on this season of RHONJ, Nicole Napolitano pulled and ripped out Amber Marchese’s hair. The new season of RHOA hints at violence, showing Phaedra lunging out of her seat, appearing to attack Kenya. The most recent season of RHONY featured Ramona Singer chucking a wine glass at Kristen Taekman, cutting her lip (and that was relatively tame in comparison to the others). I suppose what I am asking here is if you, the viewer, would continue to be as entertained by these shows if there was no violence. I know that I would, and frankly I would prefer it that way. I remember actually getting upset watching Kenya being assaulted at the reunion. It left me with an unsettling feeling to see how viewers were praising Porsha on social media for dragging Kenya by her hair. It made me realize how desensitized our culture was, and is, to violence.
To be fair, I think there is a line. For instance, the infamous table flip (which arguably changed the franchise permanently). One could argue that it was violent, but I disagree when compared to a Porsha or Brandi scenario. It was shocking and entertaining, but no one got hurt…physically. Another example: Queen Shannon Beador of Orange County screaming “you will all see the truth!” at Lizzie’s party last season…outrageous, yes…violent, no. I think a line has to be drawn. Do you agree? Where is the line?
Furthermore, there seems to be little consequence for violence on ‘Housewives’. Joanna and Adriana both returned for another season after their fight, and as much as I would like to think Porsha was demoted for her reunion attack, Andy Cohen publicly denied that to be the case. Should Housewives be rewarded for violence? Is it a way to guarantee a spot back on another season? Look at Tamra from RHOC, she threw wine in Jeana Keough’s face and then pushed her from behind. Brandi is another repeat offender. In your opinion, should Housewives be fired for this? How bad does bad behavior have to get before change needs to happen?
I am aware that this topic evokes strong reactions from viewers, but I think for any fan of the show, this is a great and important pop culture discussion to have. So Let’s Discuss!