Monday, December 5, 2011
[Note: Before this post gets a lot of comments about how the women on the Real Housewives of Atlanta have set black women back 100 years, see my thoughts on buying into the idea that any one black person is a representative of all of us.]
So, I watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta last night...Yes. You heard me. I watch that mess on the regular, along with the other entries in the RHO franchise. (But I do watch with a critical eye.) Anyway, the day after I watch any show, it's a particular pleasure of mine to read recaps and show forums. As someone who spends time analyzing pop culture through a feminist and anti-racist lens, I'm always curious how the general public receives a program. And, on a less noble tip, I want to read nasty bon mots and find out if anybody else thinks, for example, Sookie Stackhouse is a huge pain in the rear or that the plot of American Horror Story is headed right off the rails. Sadly, I've found that two of my go-to sites for pop culture, snark and media analysis mysteriously neglect the Real Housewives of Atlanta, apart from its sister shows. And I wonder why.
Hotlanta's entry in Bravo's sordid Real Housewives franchise broke ratings records with its season premiere this fall, attracting 2.9 million viewers. It remains one of the most-watched of the RHO series. Surely, the TV recappers at New York magazine's Vulture and Nick Denton's Gawker would want to turn their razor-sharp wit on this show. Its cast is a snarker's dream. Come on--a self-proclaimed "traditional" Southern belle that does legal work for spectacularly-hung strippers and hip hop royalty and is itching to start a funeral business on the side offering blinged-out home-going services? The jokes write themselves. Besides the program being a hotbed of fuckery, there's the fact that both Vulture and Gawker recap the other big dogs of the franchise: New York, New Jersey, Beverly Hills and Orange County. So, where's the love for the Georgia peaches?
This exclusion seems to be an example of the way the Atlanta show is received a wee bit differently from other entries in the RHOverse. Take the criticisms leveled at the mostly-black cast.