Real Housewives of New York City
Sunday, 9.30pm, Arena A decade back Jennifer Egan’s novel Me featured an alcoholic ex-model who lived her supposedly real, but in reality tightly scripted, life online 24/7. If it did not inspire the seven Real Housewives franchises it’s probably because TV producers don’t read much serious fiction. Sure, the women in them are all actual people, but it’s a stretch to suggest their lives of conspicuous consumption and contrived conflict are real, as in recognisably the way most women in their city live. This episode of the NYC edition is standard stuff, six interchangeably awful women argue with and about each other. Their men are equally appalling, ineffectually intervening and then baling. Tonight starts with the real housewives blueing at a party, then some of them consult a plastic surgeon, while others take a spin class for charity. And then they go off shopping for bikinis, ‘‘ which is like masturbating, something you should do on your own’’. Glad they cleared that up. Throughout it all they are rude to people who work for a living (the bit where one of the real housewives interrogates her driver on address and route is just awful). We’re all supposedly stuck with our families but get to pick our friends — if these are relationships the housewives willingly entered into, the relatives don’t bear thinking about. In one scene there’s a song audible underneath the bickering including the line, ‘‘ money can’t buy you class’’. They got that right.