In the twisted pantheon of Bravo’s Real Housewives, some seasons—and cities—are definitely better than others. Atlanta and New York are inherently watchable, thanks to the no nonsense craziness of Nene Leakes and Jill Zarin, respectively. New Jersey’s housewives are so over the top ridiculous that you can’t look away. Beverly Hills was depressingly interesting, as in, “Huh, so that’s what the girl from Escape To Witch Mountain’s doing now,” and the grandmother of them all, Orange County, well, I think it’s still on?
Which brings us to a whole new set of Restylane-d out broken dolls. Bienvenidos a Miami, bitches. Bravo’s taken its talents to South Beach.
As with any show that takes place in Miami, the whole thing kicks off with gratuitous shots of butts in bikinis and immediate statements that “Miami is a very hot city,” and “The vibe is very sexual.” Right away, these new housewives say their lives are, “No work, just fun,” and that they “party all day,” which doesn’t bode well for this season. Any good reality TV fan knows that you have to at least have the pretense of some sort of job or some tasks to accomplish, or else things get boring and faux-dramatic real fast. And, of course, that’s what happened within half an hour on Real Housewives Of Miami.
As always, you have the wacky cast of characters this season. There are two basketball wives—or exes, in one case. Larsa is married to Scottie Pippen. Her good friend is Cristy, who is Cuban-American and was married to NBA player Glenn Rice. We meet her psychic nearly immediately. Another housewife, Marysol, is also Cuban-American, and has this mom, Elsa, who defies description. Remember that socialite who wanted to be turned into a lion in the face? Yeah, that’s what her mom looks like. Combined with a gravel voice and the fact that she believes she’s a witch and can read energy, she may be the highpoint of this season. It really is a shame she’s not a regular.
Lea is the older figure with the absolutely beautiful house. She’s friends with Natalie Cole, Dennis Rodman, and, inexplicably, Rick Ross. (She hugs him and says, “Rapper, baby! You are the best,” which I’m sure he takes to heart.) She met her husband when she was a juror in the William Kennedy Smith trial, and he was the winning attorney. Alexia calls herself “Cuban Barbie” and owns a Spanish-language magazine with her husband. When we meet her, she’s hanging out with her teen sons. She’ll later explain that she’s okay with her 17-year-old being out all night at clubs and paying $600 for bottle service, which it’s totally okay for him to drink, because it’s okay on special occasions, like during Winter Music Conference.
The group’s wild card this season is Adriana, who is from Brazil and who both studied at the Sorbonne and has a law degree. In Miami, she says, she can feel sexy and confident, and she doesn’t “feel lesser” because she’s “not blonde with blue eyes.” And you know that’s true because she never wears more, really, than micro-shorts and a tube top. She has a fiancé, but she’s incredibly flirty with all the male models at Miami’s illustrious Fashion Week and even sneaks onto the catwalk herself after the show. We later learn that she’s (gasp!) kind of a runaway bride and can’t trust men because her last husband left her in Miami during Hurricane Katrina to go to Brazil where (gasp!) he had another wife! And that wife (gasp!) was a 17-year-old escort! And Adriana was in Miami with the newborn she’d just had with her husband!
I have to say, Real Housewives Of Miami is a total stinker. You get what Bravo’s doing here, appealing to Latin American women, and Miami’s a huge money market and all that, but, it’s just intolerable. These women, moreso than the vast majority of all the other Real Housewives, are just horrible. I have an extreme tolerance for bad TV—I review Jersey Shore, for crying out loud—but I sat through this whole episode with a permanent cringe on my face. These women know they’re getting paid to be flighty, fake, and fabulous, and they’re more than willing to play the part. From the season preview, it looks like there are battles, drama, a lot of wine being drunk out of comically oversized goblets, and tons of gratuitous bathing suit wearing, which is all to be expected, but this time, it just feels like too much. I won’t begrudge anyone from their bathing suits and bad TV, but I won’t be watching it, either. Every bad TV junkie has a limit, and mine’s Real Housewives Of Miami. Sorry, lion-faced psychic old lady. I’ll just have to catch you on The Soup.