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Has the “Real Housewives” franchise lost its way?

By Kim Palacios

hollywoodnews.com: Few of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” seem like homebodies anymore, which begs the question: has the series lost its way? Since the 2006 debut of “The Real Housewives of Orange County”, the show has strayed from its original focus—to reveal the lifestyles of wealthy wives who didn’t have to work.

Though early cast groupings featured one or two wives with their own careers, the majority of early housewives focused on personal pursuits. Yet, recent seasons feature cast members conspicuously engaged in business ventures, most of them using the show to promote their products and personal brands.

Luann deLesseps wrote a book and released a song; Kim Zolciak also did the latter; Bethenny Frankel used her spinoff, “Bethenny Getting Married” (also on Bravo TV) to promote Skinny Girl Cocktails, a business she started after “Housewives” and reportedly sold for $120M. NeNe Leakes, who was not employed prior to her run on “Housewives”, secured a spot as a broadcast journalist on an Atlanta morning show and went on to participate in “Celebrity Apprentice”. Co-cast member Sheree Whitfield started a fashion line, “She by Sheree” which she launched while the series was filming.

It doesn’t stop there. No fewer than 10 other wives have made business deals in the wake of initial “Housewives” fame. At this rate, Bravo might be wise to change the name of the show—the “Real Entrepreneurs” seems to fit.

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About Kim Palacios

Kim Palacios is a San Francisco Bay Area transplant whose epicurean tendencies are matched only by her wanderlust. While not covering food, wine, and luxury travel for her column on Examiner.com, she guest writes for Travel Writers Exchange and a number of other varied-topic blogs. She is quadrilingual and holds an M.B.A. in Finance (neither of which she uses much these days). While not mourning the death of free markets and grumbling about the tax treatment of Californians, she enjoys film, and all things Twilight.

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  • May 8, 2011 | Permalink |

    Indeed, the show has lost it’s way. It started out with the Housewives parading what they wanted people to believe how they, ” Had It All – Look At Me” agenda, but over time, the truth of their financial situations were exposed with foreclosures, bankruptcy, and even one of the wealthiest, George Peterson of Centra Realty, Lauri Waring’s husband from the Orange County franchise who, at first had the viewers believing he had it all. .

    Public records show George didn’t pay his property taxes on the home where the lavish wedding took place until the midnight hour just prior to losing it to a tax default. In all, between George’s home and Lauri’s condo, over $50,000 was lost in penalties and interest alone having gone unpaid for almost 4 years. Vacations, new cars, etc, too presidence in order to showboat purchases they could not afford. .

    It’s the kids of the Housewives that have lost their way the most as a result of their parents exploitation, and bogus assertions of the so-called “wealth” they portrayed. The Housewives shows have taken a toll on some of these kids, especially the Peterson Brady Family and the Curtin daughters where they have been put in positions of defending their parents after being ridiculed by school mates and even close friends.

    Why would any of these parents knowingly exploit the lives of their children, put them in the eye of the media, when the kids are going through their own devastating issues. For the Housewives to use Bravo’s platform to slander their ex spouses is beyond comprehension and should have been off limits. Now you have many of the ex spouses doing everything possible to defend themselves against fabricated slander. One former wife and her children that have been drug through the mud, prior to, and even today is speaking out. I hope more ex spouses follow in her footsteps since it’s unfair and biased.

    I hope this venue will allow the YouTube link, where one ex wife is sharing her personal pain of what was going on behind the scenes during the time her children were exploited.

    Where is George Peterson’s 14 y/o daughter, Bria?!

  • May 8, 2011 | Permalink |

    Simon Barney posted text messages between he and Tamra after she slandered him on S-6. Vicki Gunvalson’s ex husband, Mike, has a website where he is defending himself agains his ex’s slander. There are 10 youtube videos where George Peterson’s ex wife, Gina, is talking about her 20 year relationship with George and speaking out against Parental Alienation after Peterson’s daughter has not been heard from since Jan 7th 2011.

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