Reality TV has become a core genre since Cops and The Real World premiered in the early ’90s. While reality shows aren’t usually 100% realistic, they provide entertainment in the form of escapism for fans. Bravo’s Real Housewives TV franchise is by far one of the most popular reality series. The network has launched 11 individual shows with a host of fascinating women at the heart of them all.
From Orange County to New Jersey, many longtime Real Housewives viewers believe they can spot the fake drama amongst the real conflict. Recently, fans took to Reddit to cast their votes for the worst storylines in Real Housewives history.
Every ‘Real Housewives’ cast member has a storyline each season
The Real Housewives of Orange County officially launched the Real Housewives franchise, debuting on Bravo in 2006. Since then, 10 more shows have premiered, introducing new housewives and friends in each successive series. Each show under the Real Housewives umbrella spotlights a group of privileged women who navigate the pressures of family and social life.
Every season, new storylines emerge. The women deal with blowback from scandals, struggle with new relationships, and discover how life changes as children get older. Still, a few storylines, in particular, have dominated Real Housewives headlines over the past few years.
One notable example is Teresa Giudice’s new relationship with her boyfriend Luis Ruelas. The two began dating in late 2020 after her now ex-husband was deported. Since then, Ruelas’ romance with Teresa has been the dominant focus on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
A more recent addition, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, has been a hot topic. For one, the story of Mary Cosby’s alleged “cult” has gained traction online. And, of course, fans can’t forget Jen Shah’s arrest in the parking lot of Beauty Lab + Laser for her alleged role in a long-running telemarketing scheme.
The worst storylines in ‘Real Housewives’ history according to fans
Although many fans are on board with the drama, some complain about particularly egregious storylines. In a recent Reddit discussion, fans debated the worst storylines in Real Housewives history. “Tinsley and Scott on and off again got boring real quick,” one fan wrote pertaining to The Real Housewives of New York City alum, Tinsley Mortimer, and her now-ex-fiancé.
Another detailed, “Everything with Teddi was awful.” This referenced Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave’s contributions to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for three seasons before Bravo chose not to renew her contract.
“[Not gonna lie], most storylines involving a couple opening up a business together and being SHOCKED that it’s taking a toll on their relationship/marriage get old really fast” stated one person on Reddit. They went on to list, “RHOP Ashley & Michael’s Australian restaurant, RHOA Cynthia and Peter with opening a bar, RHOC Tamra & Eddie with opening a fitness center.”
Multiple fans slammed any storyline involving Melissa Gorga. The RHONJ star often jumps into other cast members’ drama but struggles to create her own. One example: Gorga was filmed exploring options for having another baby. However, cast members and fans cited several reasons why she isn’t truly interested in having another child. She defended this during the Season 10 reunion. But it came across as disingenuous.
Several fans claimed that any “pregnancy storyline” is cringe and boring to watch. “SLC and the sister wife storyline. I feel like it was SO fake that it doesn’t deserve to be mentioned but absolutely the worst for me,” one fan posited as being one of the worst storylines. This references now-disgraced cast member Jennie Nguyen, whose husband wanted to have another baby despite Nguyen experiencing nine miscarriages and a stillbirth.
Cast members have begun breaking the fourth wall to accuse others of falsifying storylines
While many fans called out specific storylines they disliked, others slammed the Bravo franchise in general for producing “contrived” storylines. Certainly, recent years have seen a few of the housewives themselves break the fourth wall and call out co-stars for drumming up fake storylines just to get screentime.
Kathryn Edwards, who starred in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, claimed Lisa Vanderpump worked with producers in order to come up with more interesting storylines. Why would Vanderpump do this? She was desperate to stay on the series, according to Edwards.
In early 2021, Jennifer Aydin called out her Bravo co-stars for conjuring up drama to create storylines. In the past, Industry insiders have claimed that each housewife works closely with a special producer who helps them come up with interesting storylines. Certainly, there have always been some scripted elements on reality TV shows. But for the most part, fans don’t seem to care, as long as episodes remain interesting to watch.
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