An Ode To The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills

Catfights, crystal meth and sunglasses with gold lenses. Here's why California's most mental spouses are the best thing on TV...
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Hello, my name’s Lucy and I am a Real Housewives addict. Or to be more specific, I am addicted to the Beverley Hills instalment of the television franchise. If you do not know this programme, then I strongly suggest you get to know. It features alcoholics, a woman who spends $25,000 on a pair of sunglasses, shit loads of fake boobs and some serious fights. Indeed, if you wrote down all the ingredients you need for a good reality TV show, put them in a pot, and left them out in the Californian sun – this is what you’d get. Haters going to hate, but I for one think the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills are absolute dons, and I’m here to convince you that I’m right.

It first aired in 2010 on Bravo, and since then there have been six series with various cast members coming and going over the last four years, each one bringing their own special kind of crazy to our screens. And the great thing about these women, especially compared say to their slightly more restrained east coast counterparts in NY, is that they genuinely don’t seem to give a fuck.

Brandi Glanville, whose main claim is that her ex-husband cheated on her with LeAnn Rimes, is like an unfiltered rude girl on speed. Within her first few episodes she’d accused Kim Richards (Paris Hilton’s aunt no less) of “[doing] crystal meth in the bathroom all night long... bitch!" and in turn been called “a slut pig” by Kim. In the most recent season, she told a fellow housewife that she was “a big, fat pig” and then when the same woman refused to get in a swimming pool, Brandi helpfully explained to her that it was because: “You’re a black person”. Foot in mouth syndrome doesn’t even begin to cover it.

But it’s not just the catfights and absolute disregard for social norms that makes RHoBH such entertaining television. It’s also the staggering personal wealth of several of the women. Apart from Dana Wilkey who spent the aforementioned $25K on a pair of pretty hideous sunglasses (apparently they had gold lenses, enough said), the big dogs are Adrienne Maloof and Lisa VanderPump-Todd. Let’s start with the latter, primarily because her name is so hilariously posh.


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Lisa and her husband Ken own 26 restaurants are reportedly worth over $65m (although this doesn’t stop her from pocketing $350,000 per season, or from appearing on Dancing with the Stars, presumably for a healthy fee). They live in a $10 million, five-bedroom mansion, which is primarily made of glass and is decorated like a Barbie-doll threw up everywhere. Oh and she spent $1 million on her daughter’s wedding. The other high roller of the show was Adrienne Maloof, although she’s now bowed out of the series. She’s worth over $300 million and owns the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and the Sacramento Kings basketball team (among many other assets). These women make their New Jersey counterparts look like bloody paupers - I mean one of them is in $11 million in debt for God’s sake, and who wants to watch that?

I know I am beginning to sound like some crazed girl, voyeuristically perving on the outrageously rich and basically preaching from the Bible of capitalism, but trust me it’s a good show. Joyce Giraud, who joined the cast in the most reason season, introduces herself every episode with the catch phrase: “In Beverly Hills, they say you can never be too young, too thin, or too rich." Carlton Gebbia, another newbie, is a practising pagan witch and has called her children Destiny, Mysteri, and Cross. You can’t make this shit up.

Sure, when I watch the show I feel kind of dirty – but in the best possible way. Where else could I find someone willing to spend $1,000 on a chocolate Easter bunny, only for it to be demolished in 10 minutes by hungry kids? Or see an engagement party which comes complete with mermaids and a camel? These women may not deserve our respect, but you’ve got to admire their pure, unadulterated spending power.