Real Housewives of New York City

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

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.

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