Arts Desk

Real Housewives of D.C.: A Requiem

On the eve of a possible government shutdown, Bravo has announced that it is shutting down the Real Housewives of D.C. Not for nothing, either: RHDC was the worst show in the franchise, and Washington, D.C., is where reality TV comes to die.

What Bravo producers have managed to conjure up in cities across the country—Kathy Hilton’s sisters and a slew of sassy B-listers in Beverly Hills; Scotty Pippin’s wife and a gaggle of Hispanic hotties in Miami; socialites in New York; psychopaths in Jersey; pop-psychologising helicopter parents in Orange County; hellcats in Hotlanta—they could not find in D.C.’s swampy atmosphere.

The producers thought they would find something better. In lieu of women who were smoking hot or filthy rich, Bravo would elect a cast of first ladies, then subpoena their social lives and FOIA their family secrets. The results would be sexy and interesting, even if the women were not.

If you watched the show, you know that Bravo failed to entice a single power player in front of its cameras, and instead, settled for women who live near power players, as does basically every resident of D.C. and Northern Virginia. The ensuing season was boring and sad and completely unspectacular.

Real Housewives of D.C. wouldn't have been much better if its wives were married to senators, agency heads, and high-powered lobbyists—it probably would have been worse. Not only are those titles not particularly interesting in and of themselves (there are 535 members of Congress, and most of them are boring!), but also, D.C. is inherently conservative, and the best Real Housewives episodes involve people getting shit-faced and screaming at each other.

Bravo was duped. The show's producers approached D.C. with the naiveté befitting recent college grads chasing fumes of hope and change when they should have been skeptical of the city's sense of its own importance.

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