The First Real Housewife Sentenced to Prison!

It is a sad time for those of us who associate ourselves with the Real Housewives franchise (I’m talking to you, Dad!) Teresa Giudice, of Real Housewives of New Jersey–is headed off to federal prison for 15 months for lots of fraud. I won’t get into the details here (that’s our private housewife business, everyone–have some respect).

Real Housewives is probably one of the things I shouldn’t be watching on T.V. I refuse to watch it with other people who tell me how bad it is. I KNOW. I used to watch Days of our Lives every day in the summers as a kid, so I can only compare the melodrama on these “reality” shows to that. It is so much fun to watch, but I get it: it’s not for everyone. I personally find these women fascinating, hilarious & horrifying–all at the same time.

When you find a fellow housewife fan, you can tell a lot about the person when they tell you which Housewives they watch. Oh, you’re Atlanta? Wait, you like Beverly Hills? Oh, New York–really?!? As for me, it depends on the season, but I keep up with Orange County, New York, & Atlanta more than the rest.

It’s funny–every new Housewives series evolves in exactly the same way. The first season is always the most “real.” As the years go on, it becomes more and more about the fame. Arguments are no longer over what you did or didn’t say at the last dinner party. Nope, it’s about what you tweeted or wrote on your blog for the world to see. Or *horror* things that were leaked to the media. And at least half of them are trying to brand themselves, most likely after they saw Bethany create her Skinny Girl line and become a bazillionaire. I believe Sonja from New York even tried to have her own (failed) toaster oven line.

You would think this would spoil the whole show, and it does–but there are still golden moments of drama that you can’t find anywhere else. This year alone, we saw the epic REUNION BRAWL in Atlanta, where Andy Cohen declared, “Props are no longer allowed on reunion shows.” It’s a long, glorious story. And then the LEG THROWING moment on New York. Yes, I said leg throwing! One of the housewives is so mad, she removes her prosthetic leg & throws it on the dinner table. The editing of this episode is the best you’ll ever see. Close up shots of the leg (with a shoe on it, of course!) & other housewives gasping, laughing, & looking amazing.

If you don’t know Andy Cohen, he was head of development at Bravo for over 10 years & remains an executive producer of the Housewives series. And now, he’s host of Watch What Happens Live–a 30 minute nightly series that usually recaps & laughs about the latest housewives episode. He also hosts all of the (now Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) reunion shows. His interaction with the ladies as just as fascinating as any of the shows themselves. He will ask them anything and call them out on everything, demanding, “The fans want to know!”

So, last night, in his most “serious” show (none of the usual DJs and cocktails), he had Teresa and her husband Joe (also sentenced to prison) on for their first talk since sentencing. It was so sad watching this woman talk about being away from her kids, and then Andy would ask something inappropriate like, “Are you going to lose your temper in prison? Remember when you shoved me during that reunion show?” OR, “Your looks are always so important to you, are you worried about keeping that up in prison?” She answered solemnly, “I’ll just slick my hair back & that’s that.” You could tell she had already thought about what hairstyle would work best without all her products and stylists.

But the series will carry on–new women added, old women dropped–with the matriarch of the whole thing, Ms. Vicki Gunvalson of Orange County still somehow remaining an interesting character to watch after all these years. And I will keep watching, by myself, with a glass of wine if possible–enjoying the guiltiest of pleasures.