Okay, there really needs to be a Housewives reckoning.
At its start, Housewives was everything amusing: silly little quips, fun, and fashions. As it progressed, major cast members, in fact, I'll go so far as to say ONE cast member defined how all reunion shows would go: Nene Leakes. Like her or not, she defined reads.
Yes, it was really because of Nene Leakes that the concept of "reading" and "reading for filth" started to take hold, and others began to practice their "reads," because they saw how her one-liners were giving the show a little lift.
Next thing you know, reads began to get over-produced, and cast members from all the franchises began to hit below the belt, just to get some shock value.
Even worse than these formerly FUN reads that have now become toxic abuse, more and more LIES seem to have taken over the Housewives franchise. How is this newfound energy affecting your mental health?
Is it healthy for you to constantly watch the lies, gaslighting, and mind-bending genre that newer (ehem "starless") versions of the Housewives we once loved, are bringing to the table? The "starless" term is a joke/reference to Nene's interview in which she complained that the new shows are "starless." Nene is a riot.
Sure, she may have gotten into some tough issues and maybe disappointed some who felt that she was checking out of the show mentally--and literally. However, maybe it's time for the entire franchise to do some soul-searching and figure out what Housewives stardom and "reading" SHOULD mean.
Here's what we know "reading," Housewives, and entertainment in this genre shouldn't mean:
doling out hate speech
falsely accusing people
causing mental health crises for viewing audiences
It seems like certain specific franchises, for example, RHOP, are in major need of a recasting. Everyone's becoming a bit caustic.
I do recall when Phaedra Parks was admonished indefinitely for potentially injurious speech. Now, there are no consequences.
Also, where's all the personality? To be fair, Phaedra Parks had/has all the personality on the planet, and is never a dull gal. You can watch Phaedra on a loop: she is too hilarious for her own good.
Why is there so little emphasis on cast personality now, beyond how much they can read?
Who cares about reading and fighting 24/7? What about fashion, love, style, glamour, one-of-a-kind personalities that you can't delete without something missing from the show?
What about the cast's star power: the spaces they can get the viewers into, the quirkiness and humor that only they can deliver, the slapstick energy that only THEY can bring to the screen, so much so that we can't stop watching? Why do we watch scene after scene (with cute editorializing, I'll credit the producers there, but producers are not cast members), with less emphasis on personality and more emphasis on combative conversations? What is going ON?!
To be quite frank these days, I just don't know what I'm watching.