Why everyone is so obsessed with The Traitors.
The Real Housewives of Miami continue to bring it.
Margot Robbie reacts to the Barbie Oscar snubs.
Remembering Chita Rivera.
I’m sorry, Demi Lovato did what?!
Grab Your Kleenex
There’s no dismissing the entertainment value of the Real Housewives franchises, whether it’s delighting in the cast’s feuds, Pulitzer-worthy line reads, drunken shenanigans, or spending an entire season lying about their identity until a co-star has the “Receipts! Proof! Timelines! Screenshots! Everything!” that proves they are, in fact, Instagram account owner Reality Von Tease.
The significance and importance of the shows present themselves in more subtle ways, which reality TV critics often ignore. Sometimes, though, the series unfurl moments that are impossible to dismiss and which really underline the profundity of Real Housewives. (Yes, I am saying that with a straight face!)
On this week’s The Real Housewives of Miami—I beg of all reality TV fans to stop sleeping on this franchise entry—the cast traveled to Mexico City. One of the excursions that Alexia Nepola planned for the group was a visit to a church to see the Virgin of Guadalupe, a bit of a swerve from the usual Housewives vacation plans of wine tasting, yacht riding, and shamelessly flirting with wait staff.
Guadalupe is the saint that Alexis prayed to when her son, Frankie, got in a serious car accident years ago. Not only was it important for her to visit the church, but she’s noticed how much pain so many of her co-stars have been in, and felt that it would be a worthy trip for them, too.
There’s a shocking lack of cattiness from the other women about the plan. Once there, every single one of them breaks down in tears, almost immediately commenting on how unexpectedly heavy and intense the experience is.
Lisa Hochstein is emotionally spiraling after her husband left her for another woman; Julia Lemigova hadn’t been in a church since her son’s funeral, but went to support her friends; and Guerdy Abraira was about to start chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer. As she starts sobbing while praying at the altar, Larsa Pippen, who she had just been fighting with, wraps her in a tight, supportive embrace. It’s a beautiful moment.
Kudos to Bravo for not only letting that sequence happen, but letting it breathe. There is a stunning shot that ends the segment of all the women standing arm and arm, tears streaking their cheeks, and looking at the altar together. It was gorgeously cinematic, meeting the moment at the level it deserved.
This Miami scene comes just weeks after The Real Housewives of Potomac aired its own emotionally charged segment that brought together its splintered, feuding cast in a rare moment of unity. Grand Dame Karen Huger is an ambassador for the rape victim advocacy organization PAVE, and hosted an event to collect donations and raise awareness. Each cast member who attended shelved their respective dramas and not only supported the event, but was admirably candid about their own experiences with sexual assault. Again, credit to the editors and the network for skirting the trap of a trauma dump and instead putting forth a segment that was cathartic, inspirational, and a call to arms.
I always remember to grab my wine when I sit down for Real Housewives. I’m going to have to start remembering a box of Kleenex too.
Hi, Gracious Barbie!
Time today is such that hours passed seem like years. So it’s surprising to learn that it was just one week ago, not several months, that when the Oscar nominations were announced, Barbie’s Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie did not receive directing and acting nods, and everyone’s brains short-circuited and exploded in response—as if someone added pop rocks to a bottle of Coke, but with our collective brain fluid.
This week, Robbie made her first comment about the so-called snub. “There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed,” she said at a SAG-AFTRA discussion of the film. “Obviously, I think Greta should be nominated as a director. What she did is a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing. What she pulled off, it really is. But it’s been an incredible year for all the films.
She said that she is “beyond ecstatic” about the film’s eight nods, and added, “We set out to do something that would shift culture, affect culture, just make some sort of impact. And it’s already done that and some, way more than we ever dreamed it would. And that is truly the biggest reward that could come out of all of this.”
Robbie’s comments are so gracious and reasonable, it’s almost shocking that they could have come from a Hollywood star. (Those adjectives are rarer than carbs in Tinseltown.) She did not engage in any pity, paid tribute to Gerwig and her directing work rather than her own situation, and brought the entire snub conversation back down to earth with the context of all that the film accomplished and meant. My level of Margot Robbie fandom just skyrocketed.
Chita Rivera Was All That Jazz
There are few redeeming qualities left when it comes to social media, but one that I value most is the flood of historical videos showcasing a performer’s talent that are posted following the sad news that the person has died. It’s a beautiful opportunity to escape and reminisce about the person’s accomplishments and contributions at a time that is, obviously, otherwise quite sad.
Here are two of my favorite videos that surfaced this week following the news that Broadway icon Chita Rivera passed away.
In this one, Rivera and Liza Minnelli are rehearsing the “Hot Honey Rag” number in Chicago, to prepare for Minnelli’s stint as a replacement Roxie Hart. (Rivera originated the role of Velma Kelly.) Watch it here.
And in this one, Rivera, Carol Channing, and Angela Lansbury are rehearsing their bit of “The Best of Times Are Now” for the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to composer and lyricist Jerry Herman. Her support and encouragement of Channing, who was 89 at the time, is incredibly touching. Watch it here.
What a Choice
There is, supposedly, a valid reason that Demi Lovato chose to perform her song “Heart Attack” at an event for women with cardiovascular issues. Sure. I will read more about it after I stop cackling in disbelief that Demi Lovato chose to perform her song “Heart Attack” at an event for women with cardiovascular issues.
What to see this week:
Tokyo Vice: The most underrated show on TV. And there are so many underrated shows on TV! (Now on Max)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith: The new series will make you say, “Brangelina, who?!” (Sorry, Angelina, I didn’t really mean that.) (Now on Prime Video)
Curb Your Enthusiasm: It’s more of the same, which sounds pritt-ay, pritt-ay good to me. (Sun. on HBO)
What to skip this week:
Argylle: I found out this movie was two hours and 20 minutes long and wanted to file a police report. (Now in theaters)
Vanderpump Rules: Is this show going to flatline without the Scandoval? (Now on Bravo)