The formula seems infallible: Every year, Bravo churns out new seasons of the “Real Housewives,” revisiting our favorite flamboyantly wealthy women from familiar locales (Orange County, New York, et al.) and introducing us to new ones — most recently, the lackluster Miami.
I’ve seen “Housewives” fail before, namely when the series came to Washington, D.C. (that season’s only saving grace was the party-crashing Salahi duo). But Bravo has hit the jackpot in nearly every other city. The ladies of Orange County are six seasons strong since 2006; New York, Atlanta and New Jersey have followed suit, and I won’t be surprised when season two of Beverly Hills airs.
Miami, I thought, was primed for success. And not just because Larsa Pippen was on board (I grew up near Chicago at the peak of BullsMania, so I had high hopes for Scottie appearances on the show). Miami seemed like a breath of fresh southern air after so many Cali-centric seasons in the OC and Beverly Hills. The cast seemed bubbly and slightly less botox-y than their West-coast comrades, and certainly less snobby and mob-y than their neighbors to the north. It never occurred to me that “The Real Housewives of Miami” could suck.
And suck they did! I watched every episode of the short season, waiting for the plot to thicken, but instead it stayed watery. Diluted with blasé luncheons and an ongoing (yet so uninteresting) beef between Lea and Cristy over tickets to a charity ball. Alexis was the self-proclaimed “Cuban Barbie”; Marysol was relatively level-headed, with a hilarious mother to boot; Lea was The Old Crazy One; Adriana was the sassy Brazilian (is that an archetype?); and Larsa and Cristy were the resident mean girls. And nothing happened.
To add insult to “Housewives” injury, Bravo didn’t grant the ladies the typical reunion affair that’s hosted somewhere swanky and delivered over three consecutive weeks of two-hour specials. No-siree: The girls of Miami got a live, one-hour shot at a reunion by way of an extended episode of Andy Cohen’s lo-fi “Watch What Happens Live” talk show. And the ordeal is so boring that as it airs now, I’m typing this blog. Because guess what? Nothing’s happening. He should totally call this show “Watch What Doesn’t Happen Live” (……. I’m sorry).
For the past 54 minutes, the sapless sixsome has fought about god knows what. They talk over each other, Adriana drops an occasional F-bomb and Andy looks antsy and ready to ditch the women in favor of a gin martini. When even Andy Cohen can’t feign interest, it’s a true benchmark of Bravo failure.
Is there anyone out there who’s keeping the faith in Miami? Who thinks that this reality turd could be — just maybe — salvageable? I don’t have any more to add to the Miami conversation as of press (er, blog) time. This reunion special is so uninspiring that I think I’m going to re-watch my DVR’d episodes of Orange County and watch what happened, edited.