Where the rest of America leads, Washington, D.C. follows. That is the case, anyway, in the Real Housewives franchise, where the nation’s capital last night became the fifth branch (joining a D.C.-set edition of Top Chef). I’ll be curious to see the ratings for The Real Housewives of D.C. Bravo has seemingly turned the Real Housewives into a ratings ATM, adding edition after edition to ever-higher numbers, but I have to wonder at what point fatigue sets in: first, for the concept, second, for Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House party crashers and/or wrongfully maligned guests (depending if they’re telling the story) who are the show’s drawing card.
What might have surprised viewers catching the first episode is how relatively little the Salahis figured in to it; indeed, they may eventually have competition as breakout character from Cat, who spent the first episode blithely tossing off one cluelessly obnoxious remark after another. It’s been over half a year since the Salahis broke into notoriety, after all, and—confrontations with Whoopi Goldberg aside—people may just be losing interest.
Or do I have too much faith in America?
I’ll also be curious to see if the particularly Washington breed of Real Housewife is interesting enough to the franchise’s viewers. The other locations (Orange County, New York City, Atlanta and New Jersey) offered a version of privileged life that translates broadly and easily into reality TV: garish consumption, epic shouting matches and questionable fashion choices. I assume there was a big tune-in out of curiosity, but I wonder if this cast can sustain the numbers. So far, RHODC focuses on a more chilly, clubby kind of social climbing that—at least until it approaches the expected money shot of the Salahis slouching toward Pennsylvania Avenue—could seem a letdown after Teresa flipping over a table on RHONJ.
I’ll keep an eye peeled for ratings numbers, which may take a couple of days to get. In the meantime, did anyone here check out the sights in our nation’s capital?