Do you love Bravo, but have a hard time keeping up with drama of the Real Housewives, London ladies, and the denizens of “Summer House”? We watch them all — so you don’t have to. Here are this week’s Bravo highlights.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Nearly every scene in “Harry’s Meat & Gatsby’s Fete” (Jan. 31) revolves around Eden Sassoon inappropriately (and awkwardly) projecting her relationship with her late sister onto Kim and Kyle Richards. It gets so bad that at one point, during Lisa Rinna’s barbecue, the other women make up increasingly flimsy reasons to flee from Eden’s umpteenth conversation with Kyle on the subject of Kim’s addiction.
Eden’s inability to let it go even persists during Kyle’s Gatsby-themed party. Luckily, Erika Jayne is, as ever, a bright spot. Fellow wonder Eileen Davidson has wrangled her an audition for “The Young & the Restless” — and while we know Erika is a gifted performer, her acting is pretty revelatory. She brings a subtlety and depth of emotion you might not necessarily expect from the recording artist behind “How Many F**ks”.
Ladies of London
On its surface, “Ladies of London” seems like it could just be called “Real Housewives of London” — but the more you watch, the more you see the subtle differences. While most Housewife drama can stem from one single incident, referenced for seasons and seasons after, the London crew is able to have heated emotional discussions that actually end in catharsis and genuine apologies. For example, in “Loose Lips Sink Friendships” (Jan. 31), we see Caroline Stanhope and Adela King, who have a friendship that’s lasted for two decades — and that’s not going to end just because of one fight. And while most of the Housewives hear yelling and immediately rush to insert themselves into the conversation, the Ladies hear an argument and hilariously agree to stay put and keep drinking? Those are our kind of women.
Real Housewives of Atlanta
Since Kenya Moore joined the “Atlanta” cast, she has definitely brought the drama — but the show’s done a surprisingly deft job in handling her volatile relationship with ex-boyfriend Matt, plainly showing his escalating abuse. He has sent her threatening texts, hit her driver in the face, and on multiple occasions has broken her home and car windows, even going so far as to spray paint over her security cameras. The show hasn’t glamorized that in any way, and has shown as Kenya realizes more and more that Matt Jordan’s menacing behavior is a serious problem on his part, not just the result of a tempestuous relationship. Abuse is often hard to recognize until you’re in the midst of it, and Kenya’s choked up interviews about loving Matt but being scared of his actions have been powerful and resonant — and relevant — throughout the season.
“Into the Woods” (Jan. 29) shows ever-helpful Cynthia Bailey trying to mediate, by having a conversation with Matt — and while she does condemn his actions, she also brings up Kenya’s past as a drama magnet. When she recounts this later, Kenya is rightfully upset, pointing out that introducing that into the narrative shifts the responsibility from Matt to her. It’s likely that this victim-blaming will crop up again during the season with the other women, given Kenya’s history with the show… But in the end, we hope to see Bravo’s sobering look at domestic violence, for which it should be applauded, keep going — without devolving into gaslighting. We love drama, but not as much as the occasions when these shows earnestly use their platform and access to take apart and humanize exactly the toxicity they’re so often blamed for glamorizing.
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” airs Tuesdays at 9, “Ladies of London” airs Tuesdays at 10, and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.