After watching the premiere episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills–I wanted to commit suicide. It was a complete bore, Bravo put their eggs in one basket: the inevitable break of Taylor and her now deceased husband Russell. You don’t have to be a trained physiologist to deduce an attractive, well-kept, middle-aged, plastic-infused women would dump her schlub of a husband when he lost all his money.
Poor Russell was portrayed last season as a mentally abusive husband who showed little regard for his emotionally needy wife. It was quite insincere of the distinguished ladies of Beverly Hills to kick off the new season with a special taped segment discussing how heartsick they were over Russell’s suicide. The ladies probably didn’t want Russell dead, but the faux crocodile tears were a little much for a person they didn’t particularly care for.
The most honest housewife of the evening was Lisa who coldly indicated with hindsight she may of not have done anything differently. The most self-serving comment came from Kyle alleging the town they lived in put so much importance on wealth—not having it could lead to someone committing suicide. Shockingly, none of the ladies even gave the slightest suggestion that exposing selected parts of his life on reality TV could have contributed to his death. It’s quite disingenuous to discuss what might have caused Russell death and not mention the show could have played a factor.
In an attempt to justify airing a reality show after a cast member committed suicide, the Ladies went on The Today Show, claiming a reason the show must go on is to bring suicide to the “forefront.” How do you bring suicide to the forefront if you cut Russell out of the first episode?
Do you really think the RHOBH pulled in recorded ratings to see Taylor lament over whether she would talk to Lisa’s freeloading, penniless, leach, ex-houseguest Cedrick or ignore him to maintain her superficial relationship with her well off “friend” Lisa? I think we all know how that would turn out without even watching the show.
We are intrigued by Russell’s suicide. But hypocritical Bravo tries to make itself look altruistic by tastefully cutting out all of Russell scenes from the first episode, but leaves us innuendos that he might be in future episodes. It seem like Bravo is playing both sides of the fence.
How is airing the unedited RHOBH any different from the non-stop coverage of the Casey Anthony trail or releasing The Dark Knight after Heath Ledger’s drug overdose/suicide? It was alleged Ledger was so into his character it took him to a dark place he couldn’t get out of. Maybe Ledger’s scenes should have been edited out of The Dark Knight because his acting contributed to his death. It’s a bit mystifying how double standards are applied.
If Bravo and the ladies were truly remorseful for how Russell was portrayed, they would have cancelled the entire season— not try to wrap it in a pretty little bow conning us in some drivel about the need to tell the other ladies stories.
It might be refreshing if the Ladies were honest about their participation in the show. Is it really about highlighting the horrors of suicide or the portraying the lives of six “strong” women? Could it be about living in Beverly Hills, a city that values fame over money? In BH, it’s not just good enough to be ultra rich you need to be famous, too. If you notice the ultra rich in New York aren’t on the RHONY. The RHONY is made up of the upper middle class of Long Island. The rich in New York are living in penthouses overlooking Central Park, attending formal galas, summering in the Hamptons and shopping on 5th Avenue. By New York standards, it would be utterly gauche to displays ones person lives for the general public to see—a clear sign of commoner with new money; who isn’t a part of the stodgy upper crust of New York’s high society.
It might be refreshing if Bravo would say Russell suicide is a salacious story that will bring huge ratings. After all, its Bravo’s job to bring people what they will watch. It’s easy to always blame the networks for bad taste, but scandal around the show drew record ratings for the Housewives franchise. One might relate Bravo to a drug dealer and the audience to users. Who is more responsible for drug epidemic: the dealer or the user?
I’ll admit I’m a user—I watched it. And I’m not holding Bravo responsible for my fascination with Russell unfortunate demise or my interest in these ladies excessive vapid lifestyles. I don’t need Bravo to sugar coat why they are doing something socially unacceptable (capitalizing off someone’s death) to make me feel good for watching something I probably shouldn’t.
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