Though we can always expect a good relationship crisis from the gals, the “Housewife” series on Bravo in 2009 promised all sorts of insights into market crisis. There were short-sales on housewife houses in Atlanta and Orange County. The New York elite kvetched about the lack of luster on the donation party circuit. Even the New Jersey series was a strange comment on the economy, focusing on mostly members of one family, as if the state didn’t have enough millionaires to offer up to the masses.
So I’m excited in 2010 to see Tamra, Orange County’s self-proclaimed “hottest” housewife, lose it all week by week in the current season. First, she has to (shock) go back to work, in real estate of all things. Happily she chirps about the joys of selling others bargain basement mansions, while her marriage is suddenly falling apart. The pretext of the discord is Tamra’s friendship with the other women, but the juicy part is that her house, newly renovated in earlier season, is now going to be hocked for nothing to pay the bills and divorce. Husbands can be replaced apparently, but marble bathrooms! Tamra tears up just pondering leaving the expensive Coho residence.
Not to fear, however, because, on the housewife series, even crises can be good spending opportunities. The gals in Orange County are still riding in limos, getting plastic surgery, and going on shopping sprees. But this season does seem a little less opulent. The recent lavish event to bring together the couples featured on the show was a Tupperware party of all things.
For longtime viewers as (ahem) myself, you might notice that the price-tags that used to caption nearly everything they did are no longer there. Should we assume that the fancy trips and opulent objects were not as glamorous as in seasons past? Were they bought on sale? Or with a coupon discount? Worse yet, maybe they were product placements, donated luxury items for the now-poorer, little rich girls of Orange County.
If this keeps up, I’d like to pitch a new housewives twist, one that gives captions as to their real financial conditions. I’d like to know, for example, the ladies’ liquidity, their accumulated debt, and their credit scores as they squabble over the crumbs of the mortgage meltdowns that have affected every place Bravo seems to have chosen as the hometowns for the bourgeoisie.