Popdose at Kirkus Reviews: “The Real Housewives Tell It Like It Is”

Written by Books, Kirkus Reviews

For more than 75 years, Kirkus Reviews has served as the industry bible for bookstore buyers, librarians, and ordinary readers alike. Now Popdose has joined the Kirkus Book Bloggers Network, taking to the virtual pages of Kirkus Reviews Online to dish on the best — and sometimes the worst — in pop-culture and celebrity books.

This week is brought to you by the letter B: B for book, booze, bling, boob-job, and … Bravo?

So there are apparently seven TV shows comprising the Real Housewives franchise, which seems wrong to me. Not as a moral judgment, mind, but factually. Statistically unlikely, let’s say. Oh, certainly the series in one of its permutations seems always to be on whenever I’m flipping channels — there are enough showings in any given week to account for dozens of shows — but I attributed that to the basic-cable strategy of re-running any hit show as often as possible. I figured there were three, maybe four of the bloody things, and their ubiquity was an illusion created by incessant repeats. But nope: Seven. And that’s not counting the various Bethenny Frankel-related spin-offs. If that seems excessive to you, well, excess is what The Real Housewives brand is all about.

And now some bright spark at Chronicle Books has decided that the world is crying out for The Real Housewives Tell It Like It Is, a collection of quotes from all of the various shows, organized as a notional lifestyle guide and tricked out with glossy pictures of the various Housewives, Photoshopped so that they appear to be riding motorbikes, or wrapped around stripper poles, or hefting gigantic Botox needles and such. Frankly, the whole prospect makes me uneasy.

For those not in the know: The Real Housewives is a franchise of reality series that air on Bravo (a cable network that, when it debuted, specialized in running uncut Bertolucci movies and opera simulcasts from La Scala. Just sayin’). Each show focuses on a group of loosely-acquainted women, who are all varying degrees of filthy rich, in a different glamorous location — New York, Beverly Hills, Washington, Atlanta, Sheboygan, Reykjavik, Pyongyang (I think: I’m a little hazy on the details and also I may or may not have been drinking) — where the cameras follow them around as they tend their children, shop, make poor decisions (romantic and otherwise), get sloshed, schedule unnecessary surgery, and — mostly — bitch, backstab, and curse each other out.

 

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