My guilty pleasure is something that might be viewed by others as not good for you or non-productive but it is anything but bad for me. My guilty pleasure is watching The Real Housewives Series on the Bravo network. It doesn’t matter which city it is, be it the Housewives of New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Miami or Orange County, I am addicted. It is a reality series that follows the lives of wealthy housewives. These women are shown being petty, angry and over the top. The series follow the wives through their relationships with their family and friends, reveals some pretty outrageous spending habits and showcases a lifestyle the average person has rarely if ever seen. There might be enough editing of the shows to set up the housewives to appear shallower than they seem.
I have been watching he Real Housewives Series for several years now. I used to change the channel when my husband came in the room as I know he has a low tolerance for behavior such as what the wives are shown exhibiting. But over the years he tolerates me watching it as long as he doesn’t have to watch it. I think I call it a “guilty” pleasure because I feel like most people would share his view and I should feel shamed or something. But I am here to say, I am not ashamed and I know they would not keep the show on just for me.
I love these shows. I never have been a witness to the opulence of the homes some of these women live in. Yes, I think the women spend a lot of money very frivolously and can be very wasteful when it comes to spending grandiose amounts of money on events such as a 2 year olds birthday party. But, it opened my eyes to this behavior, I knew it existed but I had never seen it. I sit at home in awe watching and in my head silently talk to them “how can you spend $3000 dollars on a handbag?” “Don’t you know that would provide income for a needy family or provide medical help for some struggling family?” Yes, I do gasp at the way money is wasted on material things. This is part of the guilt for liking the show.
Besides the fact that I am no longer completely ignorant on how far someone can be wasteful, there are benefits I receive from watching the show. It is like therapy for me. When I have had a stressful day, I turn on the television and watch the Housewives. It is like an escape from my reality. It is like a fiction book is to some people. Yes, I should be reading, and I do read but if I really want to relax and take my mind off of my troubles, I will watch an episode. Sometimes just taking my mind off of my troubles by watching these shows can help me to step back and see my problems more clearly and help me to make more wise decisions.
Something I have noticed over the years as I examine the human behavior of these housewives is that I have seen these women grow from viewing themselves. At the end of every season there is the infamous “Reunion” show where all of the wives are brought onto a stage with host Andy Cohen (whom I just love). Andy brings up the highlights of the season and also asks viewer questions to the ladies. There can be a lot of arguing and things can get very heated when the dust that barely settled is again stirred up. After a few years of being on the show a housewife can really show that she has evolved into a better listener and her behavior seems to have improved as they have been held accountable for their actions and words by being filmed. This is when it is time for the housewife to be replaced. It seems that whenever one of the housewives that had out of control behavior in the past is now maturing, you don’t see them again next season. I would have to bet that when there is very little drama it doesn’t make for very high ratings.
All in all, I don’t take any of it too seriously. I get some therapy learning about human behavior and get a mind vacation. It seems that the housewives go through therapy themselves and become slightly better human beings because of it. I have really noticed this in the last year especially. Maybe I am justifying my bad behavior by stating this. Whatever the case, I am sure Bravo network will keep the drama coming. Thank you Bravo network for my guilty pleasure!