I need to confess something to my readers, friends, family and colleagues.
I watch a few different versions of Bravo’s Real Housewives. I think some of you may be surprised, just like you are when I’m not very good at Words With Friends. Before those of you who loathe the shows judge me, I am in the process of serious self analysis as to why I’m so enthralled with these very wealthy, very dysfunctional women.
And I am not alone. “Real Housewives of New Jersey” was the number one searched item on Yahoo on Sunday and Monday. It also was the highest rated t.v. show last Sunday.
So what is the appeal? I have not always been a reality t.v. junky. I’ve never really watched Dancing With the Stars or American Idol. I never watched Survivor or Big Brother. I did watch a couple seasons of the “Real World,” specifically the season with Puck and the one that was filmed in Chicago when I rooted for the Jewish girl on antidepressants.
But in the last year, I’ve been drawn to the Real Housewives. Why?
The answer, quite honestly, is the conflict. I have conflict envy. While I spend most of my life avoiding and preventing conflict, on these shows, the women are rewarded when they scream at each other, almost get violent, throw furniture, etc. If I acted the way that they do, and sometimes I would like to, I would have no family, no friends and no jobs. The louder they scream the more popular that they are.
Two of the screaming housewives.
Watching other people say whatever they like, whenever they want to, is somehow cathartic for all of the viewers who have to live in the real world and can’t (and probably shouldn’t) say what’s on their minds. If I were paid a few hundred thousand dollars to act like a maniac, I probably would do so, gladly. I don’t know that my mania would rise to the level of the Real Housewives, but write me a check, and I will tell you what I really think about you.
So I will continue to lose my brain cells every week to watch these nutty women, even though I’m not proud of it. If you plan to confront me about it, please have Andy Cohen on hand to facilitate.