I Just Watched Real Housewives For The First Time & I Have Things To Say

Photo: Richie Knapp/Bravo
What I’m about to say might seem completely unfathomable, but it’s true. I, a pop culture writer in 2016, had never seen a single episode of any of the Real Housewives franchise series. Sure, I’d caught bits and pieces of episodes with friends and family who were watching the show around me. But I was usually on my phone and not paying attention. I recognise some of the cast on Real Housewives of Atlanta because once upon a time many of those women were black pop culture figures in other genres. But I probably couldn’t identify a single person on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or any other city. That all changed tonight. I decided to dive headfirst into RHOBH with the season 7 premiere. I didn’t bother to catch up on previous episodes (that would have taken forever) and instead decided to share my experience as a completely newbie into this foreign land. This is what it looked like to me.

I love ogling at wealthy people. It’s the reason I read Vogue and follow the Kardashians. Seeing clips of the Beverly Hills women on yachts and horsebacks made me regret not tuning in sooner. Coming from a Love & Hip Hop background, where everyone is only aspiring to be rich and famous, I was floored when Erika’s husband Tom casually gifted her a £60,000 Cartier ring. I completely get why the peaches in the RHOA intro were replaced with diamonds for RHOBH.

These women are luxurious. I’m not. Erika receives a painting from an artist whose pieces sell for over a million dollars and it looked to me like an angsty 13 year old created it. But perhaps that’s my lowbrow upbringing clouding my judgement. There seemed to be a lot of that during the episode. I was mind-blown when Mauricio and Tom casually talked about purchasing aircrafts as though they were debating Uber vs. Lyft. Dorit has four nannies for two kids, three housekeepers for one house, and a personal assistant. Meanwhile it took two of my friends weeks to finally convince me to shell out an extra £10 for pick up/drop off laundry service. And do people really vacation in Vietnam like Eileen suggested? Am I too broke for this show?

But enough about me. Here’s what I learned about the characters.

All the blondes look exactly the same. By the end of the episode I still couldn’t tell Dorit, Eileen, and Erika apart. Bravo would do a service to us all by requiring them to wear “Hi my name is…” stickers on their designer dresses. Perhaps they should diversify their wig collections, or plastic surgeons. Seriously, they look like clones of one another.

There are two Lisa’s and they hate each other. Lisa Vanderpump is clearly Public Enemy No. 1 and I’m still not 100% sure why. I know that she owns Pump restaurant, and because I wrote about the spin off last week, I know Pump is the setting for Vanderpump Rules. Although I’m sure having her dog, Harrison, in the establishment is against some sort of health code violation. Ew. Lisa Rena lost her father but got a new car and isn’t quite ready to forgive Vanderpump for her indiscretion. She’s trying to keep up with her daughter’s piercings and her wig at Erika’s party.

Eileen is an actress on The Young & The Restless. Do people still watch soap operas? She also hates Lisa Vanderpump.

Erika is my favourite so far. She’s a 45-year-old pop star and former video vixen with a wealthy husband. She’s proof that dreams really do come true. My favourite LHH stars can only pray to reach such heights. Her Studio 54 themed birthday bash is the main event of the season premiere and she’s so surprised to see her mother there that I wondered if they’d ever actually met before. She also plays her own music at the party and I respect that.

Dorit is friends with Vanderpump and new to the group. I think she used to be married to Guy Ritchie but is now the wife of a rich guy named PK. They travel the world for work but I’m not entirely sure what they do. That’s usually how it goes on reality shows. Dorit thinks that Beverly Hills has “a little too much carrot juice and a little too much botox.” After just one episode, I agree.

Kyle has a new pair of Birkenstocks and used to hang out at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol when she was 10-years-old (which is probably why the creators of Shameless want to make a show about her life). I’m not sure I need to know anything else about her. But I was grateful that she wasn’t another blonde clone.

Naturally, I still have a ton of questions. I’ll start with these: Who is Yolanda and what happened to her? Why does Boy George live with Dorit and her husband? How does he still look the same? Is Vanderpump really the villain here? Did I spot the Hollywood Medium guy at Erika’s party? What the hell is munchausen syndrome? I have to fill in these gaps.


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