Monday, November 23, 2015

Why Bravo Picked Potomac for the Newest 'Real Housewives
Much like a photoshopped Tinder profile pic, America’s introduction to Potomac, Md., might have been just a tad misleading.

Viewers watching the promotional trailer for Bravo’s upcoming “Real Housewives of Potomac” could be forgiven for assuming that the Washington suburb was packed with nightclubs and other hotspots.
That’s not exactly the Potomac that residents would recognize.

So what’s it really like? Residents describe it as a quiet little hamlet, a bedroom community for Washington’s downtown bigshots who favor having a little land to spread out compared to the denser, close-in ‘burbs. It’s got a small cluster of mom-and-pop shops and offices, but not much nightlife to speak of. Once a rural retreat, the area saw a rush of development in the 1980s and 1990s.

“People who come from other bedroom communities, like Greenwich, are surprised — they might expect something older,” says Bill Moody, a co-founding partner of  Washington Fine Properties. “It’s a quaint village that doesn’t try to compete with city amenities — it’s never going to have its own Kennedy Center, because it’s part of that community already.”

Potomac has one element, though, that makes it prime territory for some Real Housewifery: it’s suuuper-wealthy. It regularly makes lists of wealthiest zip codes, and according to Forbes, the median home price is just under $1.2 million. The trailer for the show at least captures area’s country-clubby, equestrian flavor, with its shots of sprawling green.

Setting the show in the close-in suburbs was seen as a way for Bravo to have a second shot at the D.C. market. The network’s first effort at setting the show in Washington proper, 2010’s one-and-done “Real Housewives of D.C.,” was an unquestioned failure. The constraints of official Washington — clients, constituents, etc. — kept the onscreen behavior just a tad too proper to achieve Maximum Housewife.

As “Real Housewives” exec producer Andy Cohen promised during a recent visit to Washington, this cast will be all Bravo and no CNN. “Unlike the DC Housewives, this series is staying far away from the political drama,” he said.

Another reason to set the show in the relatively unknown ‘burb: even to those viewers unfamiliar with Maryland geography and culture,  “Real Housewives of Potomac” just sounds ritzier than “Real Housewives of Silver Spring.”

Potomac Chamber of Commerce president Adam Greenberg says neighbors have had mixed reactions to the news that their community’s national name recognition is about to soar higher than a Housewife’s stiletto. “I’ve heard everything from ‘I’m moving’ to ‘Bring it on — it will be fun,'” he says.
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