According to Dictionary.com, a housewife is defined as a married woman who manages her own household, especially as her principal occupation.
In what was a reality-based spin-off of Desperate Housewives, Bravo decided to have a series of reality shows based on housewives located in different parts of the country. Much like an airborne disease, this show keeps spreading and there doesn’t seem to be an easy cure to make it go away.
The latest version of the series is based in my hometown of Washington DC. Now Washington isn’t exactly used to having Hollywood film crews and entertainment TV studios around. Washingtonians went crazy over MTV’s The Real World when it was here. Don’t these people understand they could have seen a prom queen, meathead, homosexual, closed-minded Republican, and tree-hugging liberal just by walking up and down M Street?
The paparazzi aren’t in town chasing down John Boehner or Harry Reid coming out of Capital Grille. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call has what amounts to a gossip section called Heard on the Hill. Read it and you can find juicy details like which Member of Congress wore a golf shirt on the House floor. Not exactly US Weekly. There’s a reason this town is called Hollywood for ugly people.
Several things bother me about the Real Housewives series. First, let’s examine how much of a misnomer the title of the show is. Real Housewives of wherever. If Bravo is going to put the word “real” in the title then the cast should be made up of real housewives. Not every housewife lives in a multi-million dollar house with five cars and live-in help. Not every housewife can try to become a singer and call that her job. Not every housewife looks at her kids and asks “who are you again?” Real housewives are women more like my mom and yours. Peg Bundy was more of a housewife than the people on this show are.
Secondly, the word “housewife” isn’t exactly a uniform description of the cast. On the DC cast two of the women aren’t even married, which by definition means they can’t be a housewife. It’s like calling yourself the real J. Peterman. Although that tour bus was a more accurate portrayal of J. Peterman’s life than this show is of real housewives.
As much as the show in general bothers me, this DC season irritates me even more. This is due to the presence of one cast member in particular. Michaele Salahi should be on probation or worse, not the lead of a TV show. She and her husband Tareq, better known as the White House Crashers, by all indications knowingly skirted security to get their camera-whoring faces attention. This is nothing new to people in Washington who know the couple. They have a long history of questionable business practices.
Evidently, the couple is pretty good at making things up. According to a local DC blogger who knows these kinds of things, the house in the show the Salahis present as their own is actually borrowed from someone else. They can’t even tell the truth about where they live. They must have spent some time at Costanza University.
In another example, Michaele Salahi claimed she was a Redskins cheerleader. Organized groups tend to keep records of these things. When it involves a team, like the Redskins cheerleaders, there’s usually a team photo accompanying the history of rosters, none of which include her. The amount of delusion involved in this person’s life makes John Edwards’s presidential campaign seem balanced and rational. And I’m just talking about the part where he thought he could win.
This couple is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the narcissistic, fame-whore, famous for nothing culture that reality TV has spawned. By Bravo not tossing them from the cast after the White House crashing, the channel is essentially condoning the trespassing of government property - the White House of all places - for ratings.
The Salahis are nothing more than a real-life Gepetto and Pinocchio. But instead of being made of sturdy and durable wood, they are nothing more than cheap fake plastic.