Ain’t Much Real With These Housewives

RHOA, we have a problem.

This is a post I’ve been wanting not to write, but I could resist the urge no longer. It goes against the very purpose of my blog, which is to be a place of inspiration for writers and breakfast food lovers. There isn’t anything writerly about reality TV. Besides, there are enough blogs out there that focus on reality TV. In any event, I’m suspending my writerly posts for this very special announcement.

I watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta on Bravo faithfully. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. Until recently, I was free-flowing with my RHOA commentary on Twitter. In fact, some of my wittiest tweets were borne out of some of the more ludicrous scenes on RHOA, Celebrity Apprentice and Top Chef (pea purée, anyone?).

I’ve long subscribed to the theory that reality TV is not totally 100% real. If anything, I think it’s 10% reality and 90% ratcheted-up drama. Let’s admit it. Most moments in our everyday lives are not TV-worthy. We wake up, send children off to school, drink coffee, sit through boring meetings at work. We eat. We tweet. We watch TV, talk on the phone, watch the caller ID. We go to the bank, the cleaners, the grocery store. We drive. We walk. Laugh. Cry. Yawn. Sleep. And then we get up the next day and do it all over again. Of course, there are moments that are sprinkled in those monotony of the day that are so incredible, drama-filled, or humorous that they would make for great TV. So to think that every week for eight or twelve or however many weeks that a Housewives season lasts, that there are so many of these incredible TV-worthy moments to fill an entire season. I’m sure there is a team of producers behind-the-scenes who look at these women’s lives and ratchet up the drama enough to make us want to tune in. I mean, who really would want to see one Housewife at a social event when you could actually watch all the Housewives at the same event bickering, shouting, cursing and shoving? Stuff like that is a ratings goldmine.

Watching this week’s special RHOA episode “Law By Sheree”, I was so irritated that I was talking back to the TV. For those of you not caught up on the latest RHOA drama, housewife (rather divorcee Sheree Whitfield) recently decided to take her ex-husband – former pro-footballer Bob Whitfield – to court for failing to pay child support. Leading up to the court date, we’ve seen Sheree driving fancy cars, carrying expensive designer bags, and sporting impeccable fashions. Her children, meanwhile, are sleeping on air mattresses on the floor of their Atlanta apartment. (The apartment arrangement are temporary, I presume, as Sheree has been seen on-camera talking to her contractor about plans for her Chateau Sheree…more on that later.) I can’t help but find it interesting that Sheree, who says in the RHOA open that “I like things that are elegant and sophisticated” just like me”, would be in such a predicament.

Intrigued about the Bravo producers’ fixation on this court case drama, I did a little digging for the real deal. Perusing the ATL blogs, I found a different account. It wasn’t Sheree that took Bob to court; he took her to court! (And for the record, Sheree’s attorney of record at the time of the hearing was not the one & only Phaedra Parks.)

What the ham sammich is wrong with people?

If you watch the show closely, you cannot believe everything that you see. Most of this foolishness is staged. Orchestrated. Choreographed. If you watched Tuesday’s ep of RHOA and believed that Sheree was the innocent lamb going up against Bob, the big, bad, evil ex-husband, then you need to change the brand of crack that you’re smoking. The Atlanta blogs (written by bloggers with a different insight into the RHOA ladies’ personal lives) paint a much different picture than the one that unfolded on the screen last night. Chances are, Bob really isn’t the deadbeat that Sheree has made him out to be. But Bob as a good father wouldn’t make for good TV. There has to be drama, conflict, tension, tears. What better way to show that than through court proceedings?

Yeah, so I know what you’re saying, if you have such a problem with RHOA, then why do you watch? You have your guilty pleasures, so let me have mine, okay?

Ennnnnnnd scene…

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