Monday, August 30, 2010
A 'Real' Red Hot Mess
I’ll admit, from time to time, I sit down in front of the television, flip through the channels and stop upon the train wreck that is the “Real Housewives” series on Bravo. I’m always left wondering why these people would put their lives on display and submit themselves, and their families, to this odd fishbowl lifestyle, knowing all along that the producers are going to set up certain situations that portray them as caricatures (although, often it’s not far from the truth, if not all of the truth). And, rarely is the cast portrayed in a favorable light.
I would imagine the women, or couples, who sign up for this type of program are fame seekers, looking for yet another way to make a buck. And while these people are supposedly wealthy in the first place -- because the focus of the show is lifestyles of the rich and self-centered -- often times they are living in high debt and need the income from Bravo to supplement their lifestyles. (Case in point: I read that one of the New Jersey housewives filed for bankruptcy, the bank has seized her house and is auctioning off her furniture. I hang my head in shame that I even know this type of information.)
As you may be aware, the latest installment of the series takes place in Washington, D.C. The show received a great deal of pre-launch press when the gate-crasher Salahis attended the president’s State Dinner, uninvited. It became a big brouhaha. And, from what little I’ve seen of the show, this couple seems to have a habit of doing such things. The terms “social climbers” and “opportunists” fit these folks to a T. But, I became even more intrigued with the series after reading an article yesterday in the New York Times Style section that featured RHODC couple Cat and Charles Ommanney. She’s the ruder-than-rude Brit and he is (or was) her photojournalist husband.
Charles Ommanney truly is an insider in Washington (as opposed to the rest of the cast), having worked for Newsweek, traveling with presidents and dignitaries, covering their every move. And to do so, he flies under the radar, remaining in the background as he documents their lives. Now, though, he’s known as the husband of one of the nasty housewives and his street cred is ruined. He signed up for this circus, supposedly, because he loved his new wife and wanted to please her. But they are now going through a divorce and he’s beyond embarrassed for having been a part of such a sideshow.
So, should we feel sorry for Charles because he joined in the name of love, yet was burned in the end? Not sure. It certainly makes for good drama. And, of course, it leaves the execs at Bravo with big smiles and fat wallets.
Photo from The New York Times