Sunday, May 31, 2009

Who Will The Real Housewives Of DC Be?

Bravo announced this week that it will bring its “Real Housewives” program to Washington and is hard at work “scouting the D.C. area to identify the city's alluring and discriminating residents ... women who have their pulse on the most important cultural events, political galas, gallery openings and fundraisers in Washington society."

We’re here to help – or at least handicap the search.

Despite the show’s title, “Real Housewives” doesn’t actually require women to be housewives — many of the “housewives” featured on other versions of the show are accomplished women with impressive jobs — or not even married. Still, being single is the exception to the rule and, for the sake of consistency of our list, we’re including married women only.

Sorry, MoDo.

And, yes, we’re being realistic here, so don’t look for, say, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton or Vicki Kennedy on our list. And many of Washington’s best-known socialites — the Catherine Reynoldses, Buffy Cafritzs, Beth Dozoretzes and Catherine Meyers of the world — aren’t likely to “stoop” to the tawdry world of reality TV.

So who might be a good fit – and a reasonable “get”? Here are some of our best guesses:

Michelle Fenty

Why they'd pick her: As the wife of Washington's mayor, she's a natural pick for any local show. Her family is cute (a 6-month-old girl and 8-year-old twin boys) and photogenic (the "Housewives" crew would love catching a sweaty mayor busting through the front door after his morning run). And, if the mayor’s mini-political controversies continue, a peak inside their household would make for must-see TV.

Why they wouldn't: The wives and husbands of politicians have learned to take a backseat to their hobnobbing spouses, and it's doubtful that an already private mayor would encourage his wife to pull back the curtains on their lives.

Sally Quinn

Why they'd pick her: As one of Georgetown's longtime hostesses, she brings an institutional knowledge of the city that some of the up-and-comers lack. She and husband Ben Bradlee (former executive editor of the Washington Post) can whip off stories about the days of Camelot and put the younger wives' Obama-mania in perspective.

Why they wouldn't: Since Quinn is one of the more obvious choices, she'd also be one of the more uninspired and most predictable. And on a show that encourages personality and characters, Quinn can frequently come off as detached and aloof. Perhaps a better choice would be yoga instructor Pary Williamson, who was recently engaged to Sally and Ben’s son, Quinn.

Tammy Haddad

Why they'd pick her: More and more, Haddad has become a symbol for social Washington and the nexus between power and parties. She and her husband, Ted Greenberg of the World Bank, would make for great television, since Greenberg frequently jokes with guests that he's just background music at some of their parties and adorably concedes that Haddad truly runs the house.

Why they wouldn't: If "Real Housewives" had any designs on someone besides Haddad dominating the show's narrative, they’d better not pick her, since Haddad's big personality won't be easy to hide.

Ana Marie Cox

Why they'd pick her: The Air America pundit, along with husband Chris Lehmann (of CQ), would present a nerdy, eyebrow-raised contrast to Georgetown's stiff upper lip. She'd be the one staring into the camera, asking America, "Can you believe these chicks?"

Why they wouldn't: Cox picks her friends carefully and might have a hard time pretending to be buddies with some women that she'd otherwise rather ridicule.

Bethenny Frankel Gets Something Off Her Chest

Real Housewives of New York City's Bethenney Frankel talks about her latest pet project: her boobs.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Danielle Staub: Former Stripper And Coke Fiend?!?

IF you thought the women on the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" were as hardcore as can be, you may soon be in for a bigger surprise.

In the weeks ahead, the show is apparently going to expose some blockbuster revelations about one of the cast members, Danielle Staub.

Staub has hinted on the show that she has some secrets. And now they seem to have been revealed in a out-of-print book about the life of a petty criminal and police informant.

The show's producers have not yet said what those revelations are. But the book, "Cop Without a Badge" contains some radioactive information.

It tells the story of ex-con and government informer Kevin Maher and his gal pal, Beverly Merrill -- who, in a mug shot in the book, bears a striking resemblance to Staub. According to the book, Merrill is described as a man-hungry hellion, who is busted with her boyfriend and winds up as a stripper.

Merrill becomes tangled up with Maher after her former boyfriend kidnaps a kid in a drug deal gone bad. Maher arranges a deal for Merrill, five years probation in exchange for pleading guilty to extortion, according to the book.

Merrill later marries Maher, but it doesn't last.

Afterward, according to the book, she changes her name to Danielle and takes a job as a stripper at the Satin Dolls club, the North Jersey club that subbed for The Bada Bing in "The Sopranos," A search by The Post indicated that a Beverly Merrill is connected to Staub though public records.

So far, 3 episodes in, "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" has revolved around Staub and this stuff will only add to the drama. "Beverly Merrill" is definitely Danielle and it looks like she's had a lot of work done on her face. But with a sordid past like that, who can blame her for the complete identity change? Danielle's dropping hints that Dina knows what's up, but I guess we'll all have to just wait and see.

Kelly Bensimon Interview With Obsessed TV's Samantha Ettus

Kelly Bensimon talks about being "infamous", her Real Housewives co-stars and says that she'll "absolutely" be back for another season. Great. As confused, disoriented and shallow as Kelly is, her addition to the show was a good choice by Bravo. Kelly added drama to the show and her feud with Bethenny will go down in infamy--and it showed us all that Ms. Frankel isn't as cute innocent as the media likes to portray her. Plus Kelly's hair needs its own show anyway.