The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan
Published by Flatiron Books
Publication date: May 25, 2021
Genres: Non-fiction, History, Lifestyle, Pop culture, Vacation Reading
After the heavier posts earlier this week I’m happy to be back with a lighthearted review. If you’re not already aware, I’m a big fan of a lot of trashy reality TV shows. One of my favorites is the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo. So, imagine how happy I was to see Brian Moylan’s book, The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives. An entire book about the TV show that went from one location (Orange County) in 2006 to ten by 2020? Sign me up! Moylan wrote a recap column about Housewife episodes for years so he’s as steeped in the culture as the wives are in spray tan.
Moylan wastes no time before diving into the details Housewives fans want. A first season cast member earns $60,000. Who knew? If they want to see the episode before it airs, they must write blog posts for Bravo’s website. Otherwise, they’re left as surprised as the audience. And as for friendship between the wives? Not so much. A few do actually hang around with each other in the off season, but most walk into filming cold. Meaning they’ve done nothing but read social media about what their ‘friends’ have been saying about them. Hence the feuds. While individual interviews on the book are limited, Moylan does a great job covering the history of the franchise as well as giving a bit of background and insight into Andy Cohen’s role in its conception.
I have only two caveats about The Housewives and they shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. One, these women have been airing their dirty laundry and bickering on television for a decade so to expect some kind of fantastical gossip is unrealistic. Two, even if they were in the mood to spill the tea, Bravo has them under some kind of serious contractual lockdown so even if they’re not on the show anymore, if they ever want to have the slimmest chance of being on the show again they have to keep their mouth shut. Meaning Moylan was limited in who would talk to him. Does it lessen the fun a bit? Yes, but this behind-the-scenes look at Housewives history is still dishy reading packed with the kind of trivia Housewives fans care about. Grab a glass of wine and hit the couch!
If reading isn’t your thing right now and you’re looking for escapist television I’ve loved all of these Netflix reality series.
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*I received a free copy of this book from Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review.*