Home > #3, Media grammar > The Not so Glamourous Life of a Beverly Hills Housewife

The Not so Glamourous Life of a Beverly Hills Housewife

The idea of older botexed women on the prowl for fame, money, and youth has become quite the new age phenomena. The Bravo producers of Desperate Housewives  have taken this obscure lifestyle to TV by exploiting women’s social lifestyles from different cities around the US. The current season right now is the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The show features six Beverly Hills socialites lavish lifestyles and the drama that goes along with living such a lifestyle.

Conspicuous consumption is on the rise, as more and more people fantasize about multi-million dollar homes, Bentleys, and big diamonds, which is exactly what the women on the show flaunt. Bravo brings light to all the drama, family hardship, and hurt feelings that go along with this ostentatious lifestyle.  Camille Grammer, Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, has been the center of the majority of the drama on the show, but whose to blame her; she doesn’t live a very happy life. With her husband on set for several months at a time, Camille occupies her time with several different male friends. Bravo frames her by filming her interactions with these men which leads viewers to believe she may be cheating on her husband. The reality of the matter is that Kelsey has been cheating on her and has recently filed for divorce.  Another one of the characters Taylor Armstong, is also having marriage troubles. Apparently her husband isn’t so keen on her ‘party-girl’ lifestyle and $60,000 birthday parties she hosts for her 4 year old daughter. Many viewers are just as blind as the women themselves to the downsides that money and fame can bring. The cast is all over gossip rags; “Beverly Hills Housewife Taylor Armstrong Talks $60K Kids’ Party, Domestic Violence and Marital Struggles”-E.Online “Adrienne Maloof Plastic Surgery List” -Starcasm.net, “Camille Grammer’s Porn Past surfaces Thanks to Castmates”-popeater.com, and the list goes on and on! So is Bravo really glamorizing how wonderful this lifestyle is, or are they simply showing viewers that these women live a life of pain and suffering?

The subtext of the show is quite unsettling. Bravo flaunts the lavish lifestyle of these women, suggesting that money can buy you friends and happiness. Two of the women on the show are independently wealthily, however the take full advantage of their husbands pocketbooks. The show encourages young attractive women to chase older wealthier men in order to live the way the Real Housewives do. The show also suggests that the relationship between women and their husbands is more about money than love. They display this by showing the women’s dysfunctional relationships with their husbands.

There really isn’t much music in the show, other than the shows snappy background music between the scenes. The show is a part of the reality tv genre and is filed in the characters first person point of view. In watching the show, the audience expects to be able to vicariously live in a world of money and status. Bravo has created several other media outputs for the fans of the Real Housewives. Most of the characters are on Twitter and Facebook, so viewers can follow their tweets and posts. On the Bravo website, fans can read bios, play games, watch episodes, and more.

The Real Housewives has been a huge hit for Bravo TV, and the show continues to bring in more viewers as they add more and more cities.

Read more: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b215495_beverly_hills_housewife_taylor.html#ixzz1AtNbCMHE

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  1. tessdoez
    January 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

    This is a good start with regard to discussing subtext. You point out that these women whose social status is enviable actually lead rather miserable lives. This may be more surface level than subtextual, though. Perhaps you could point out something regarding what the show says about marriage, consumer culture etc.? You are on the right track but try to dig a little deeper. Some sentences also need a bit of grammatical attention. Please proofread your blog and rewrite some of the subtext analysis and resubmit it for credit.

    • mtl1690
      February 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      tess, i have updated blog #3. Thanks for your feedback!

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