"In an ordinary season, the exposed social climbing would make for some nice reality world schadenfreude, the stuff Real Housewives always trades in. But the problem for the D.C. version is that the reality humiliations wind up trashing the show’s basic promise. In that single, drunken hair-care exchange, [Mary Schmidt] Amons—neither a D.C. resident nor a friend of the Obamas nor a particularly powerful person—utterly undercuts the show's D.C.-centric opening monologue, in which a fellow housewife purrs, 'The currency here is proximity to power.'
By the time she's done, it's clear that the buskers in Farragut Square are closer to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. than is Amons.
Welcome to reality TV's Washington: Wealthy women with Newsweek-grade opinions waxing soporific on the existential significance of a black president on Real Housewives; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dicing things up on Top Chef; twentysomethings pining progressive on the Real World. And absolutely everyone—except maybe Tareq and Michaele Salahi [the White House crashers set to be on Real Housewives]—boring the pants off their viewers."
And while my pants might already be off for reasons other than boredom (exposed butt is natural air-conditioning!), I agree that if they weren't, the Real Housewives would certainly drive them to come off...
Wait. That doesn't sound right. In what backwards world did that overused saying "to bore the pants off someone" start? Because in my experience pants usually get removed when something really f*cking exciting is happening, not the other way around. When I'm bored, I actually put pants on, which is what I did at the beginning of last night's episode of Top Chef. However, when José Andrés came out I quickly removed them.
Bare ass = I likes it.
What I don't like, though, is exactly what Mike Riggs, the author of the above-quoted article, points out, and that is that for some reason television producers actually think government bureaucracy is the most interesting part of this city. He writes:
"Sometime in those heady days of fall, 2008, TV producers decided that the buzz surrounding the cool young president-elect meant our pokey old nation's capital was getting hipper and more cosmopolitan. There's some truth to that generalization, though the connection to Obama is tenuous at best. But now, two years and two high-profile reality flops later, it's clear that there's another local truth that the burgeoning population of D.C.-oriented reality producers have yet to figure out: Washington, D.C., is actually Washington and D.C. The latter features a lifestyle similar to that of other reality-worthy cities. But the former—with its white marble and its mysterious corridors of powers—is what these shows try to present.
It's a classic bait-and-switch. In reality D.C., everyone who steps into a Cadillac Escalade might wind up sharing canapés with Al Franken at a reception for the Finnish finance minister. In real D.C., even Kal Penn-caliber celebs find themselves balanced out by slack-jawed number crunchers, dumpy lobbyists, and disillusioned activists hustling opaque, fine-print agendas.
In other words, despite the establishing shots of the Capitol and the increasingly pathetic cameos from attention-seeking federal-city figures, what reality TV producers have chosen as their locale is not a nexus of power and celebrity, but a nest of normalcy. And as one reality TV producer recently told Esquire when asked about the increase in scripted reality TV shows, 'Normal people don’t make good television.'"
And neither do annoying people, as I accidently saw on TLC's dry-heave of the year, DC Cupcakes. Do you know how many pairs of pants I ended up having on at the end of that half-hour of "signature swirl" hell? Two-hundred and fifteen. It took 215 minutes of watching José Andrés talk about his sausage just to get all those boring pants off again...
And so I don't have much hope for The Real Housewives of
But actually, I'm kind of relieved that the sh*tshows on this sh*tshow don't live in DC or correctly represent it. If they did, we might really have something to be embarrassed about. As it stands now, the only people who should be hanging their heads in shame are the cast.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some proud streaking to do.