After a tepid opening season that included some uninspired casting choices, forgettable brawls, and plenty of party games, The ultimate journey of the real housewives (this time subtitled ex-wives club) is back with a tighter premise, a more dynamic all-star cast, and an iconic, historic setting in Dorinda Medley’s Blue Stone Manor – “You don’t touch Morgan’s lyrics!” – which makes for a compelling, sometimes shocking, but thoroughly entertaining tour of the main real housewives offers currently on Bravo.
Even before the inaugural season of The ultimate journey of the real housewives landed in Peacock last fall, news that Medley of Real New York Housewives fame and ex Real Housewives of Orange County Star Vicki Gunvalson got into a heated argument over COVID-19 vaccines while filming for season two had already overshadowed any rumors between Kenya Moore and Ramona Singer on a yacht in Turks and Caicos.
On June 23, Bravo fans can finally watch the two reality show legends play drunken proxies in our current culture war, with Medley taking the side of science and Gunvalson spewing baseless nonsense she’s read on Facebook or heard from her ex. mask skeptic. fiancee. Despite how mind-numbing these debates are in real life, it is fascinating and cathartic to watch Medley, a master of drunken slurring, challenge Gunvalson’s anti-vaccine theories with the strongest conviction as his peers observe them with his mouth. agape
Even before we get to that showdown, you can tell from the start that the show is, intentionally or unintentionally, a vehicle to boost Medley’s approval rating among Bravo fans after a difficult exit from its franchise after Season 12, where his hostility towards his colleague. stars cast a dark cloud over a mostly fun and frivolous show.
As hostess with the majority, Medley is arguably ex-wives club‘ makes a point of setting herself apart from the rest of her cast by announcing that she was “put on pause” rather than fired by Bravo. If viewers needed more convincing that she belongs RHONYis newly announced Legacy spin-off—she may have already been cast—ex-wives club is an excellent showcase of the aspects of the Medley we originally fell in love with, from her motherly warmth to her zero-to-100 temper and her eccentric home decors.
And yet, there are plenty of other contributions from the series’ remaining stars to laugh, gawk, and cringe. Aside from Medley and Gunvalson, the other ex-wives include Phaedra Parks and Eva Marcille de Real Atlanta Housewives; Brandi Glanville and Taylor Armstrong from Beverly Hills; Tamra Judge of orange county; and Jill Zarin from New York, whose private arrival at the Berkshires estate is a beautiful self-referential homage gone terribly wrong (or perhaps exactly right).
Parks’ confessionals provide about 70% of the series’ laugh-out-loud moments. I won’t spoil any of her colorful and dark comments, except to tell you that at one point she utters the phrase “Strawberry Shortcake Revival”, and it hasn’t left my brain since. The sheer bitterness radiating from Gunvalson and Judge over their termination of orange county two years ago is also funny and fascinating to watch. Judge, one of the most cunning and blatantly calculated Housewives in the show’s history, is clearly auditioning for a role in its franchise, which could honestly use its familiarity and agitation tendencies. Meanwhile, Gunvalson, who doesn’t have the means to keep her right-wing conspiracies to herself, is failing her arc of redemption at every opportunity. (Although, if you like her for the constantly frantic cartoon character she is, you’ll like her on this show.)
The same goes for Glanville, whose frankness Beverly Hills is constantly praised on Twitter. Likewise, she manages to casually annoy her co-stars on this series — and even some employees. However, her interactions with Armstrong, specifically the ignorance she demonstrates towards her former co-star’s abusive relationship with the late Russell Armstrong, soured her presence. Presumably, certain Bravo fans won’t like to see someone question the legitimacy of a woman’s abuse allegations and focus on her trauma. Also, flashbacks revealing how Armstrong’s allegations against her husband were handled poorly Beverly Hills are especially compelling to relive in our current cultural moment.
“Meanwhile, Gunvalson, who doesn’t have the means to keep her right-wing conspiracies to herself, is failing her arc of redemption at every opportunity.”
The season is mostly light, but the women are all hurt in one way or another, whether by Bravo or each other. It adds a rich layer to a show that could only be classified as a vanity project for Bravo. Not only does the context of unemployment (at least across the net) make this particular encounter feel more purposeful and add a nostalgic quality, it also introduces stakes that weren’t present in the first season of Girls ultimate trip.
Being cast in the inaugural season was mostly framed as a compliment and didn’t demand much from women other than repeating their greatest hits in front of the camera. But being invited on the day ex-wives club it’s both a reminder of failure and a second chance, adding a competitive edge and an air of desperation – crucial to a successful real housewives series — for the show. That formula ends up paying off in more rewarding ways, and it would be smart of Peacock to emulate it in season three.