'Real Housewives of D.C.' season opener live chat

Aug 05, 2010

Need a place to share your reactions while you watch "Real Housewives of D.C."? Whether you are shocked, amused, delighted or disgusted, The Post's Ned Martel is there for you.

MORE: Real Housewives Full Coverage



GROUP DYNAMICS: From left, Catherine Ommanney, Stacie Scott Turner, Mary Amons, Lynda Erkiletian and Michaele Salahi. (Adam Olszweski/bravo)

I am sending this a few hours prior to the show's airing. I read the Post every day and on this topic, I find that the posters and some of the writers on staff are a humorless bunch. Is it as though y'all think the rest of the county doesn't see the show for what it is. The world didn't end when Orange County, New York, New Jersey or Atlanta high society was aired. It won't end when D.C. (or Virginia or whatever) is aired either.

Hello, Atlanta and all our fellow chatters. I hear your point on how the Real Housewives have made locals grumpy. I doubt this series will be as world-ending, era-defining, or even locality-capturing as the hype might suggest. But certain characterrrrssss have done some REMARKABLE things, no? And caused some deliberate sense of upset. They get to define themselves further--in word and deed tonight.

Why? Seriously, why should we watch this? Not enough car wrecks to follow? At least when I watch Shark Week I find the stars entertaining and of some societal value...

My colleague Hank Stuever talks extensively about the Real Housewives franchise and how it at first seemed to document dysfunction but now seems to have veered into something nastier. He sees mysogyny in the production and how it tips toward catfight. I wonder who else agrees...

Thanks for the chat! I've heard a lot of differing opinions on this...are the DC Housewives A-list, B-list, C-list, or D-list in their "real" lives? I don't live in DC so I don't know the word around town.

The Style section is an arbiter on many topics high and low, but I really don'tknow how to be authority on their perceived social rank in town, if such a thing exists anymore. I'd say each of the women cast is not quite as powerful or proximal to power as she self-presents. The word around town is often surprise that they were chosen to "represent" housewives or socialite or even D.C. notables... The whole thing is a little confusing when you try to define it. See, again, Hank Stuever on same!

Does anyone really care?

For a while now, this question has come our way from just about every direction: from family, from colleagues, from our bosses! But we do have ways of seeing and measuring reader interest, and we know these stories about the Salahis are read by many far and wide. And the fact that the name Salahi is even known is a testament to eagle-eyed Reliable Source columnists who saw something worth discussing when the red sari first floated past White House reporters last November.

Do you think that talking politics will be in yours?Also, gossiping about politcians?

The political discussion appears to veer more toward name-dropping than policy-wonking. That's cool though, and largely true to the local vibe. Stacie just claimed early adopter status on Barack admiration. Mary, as a kid, was thisclose to the Kennedys. And Cat will purr about many many contacts in the Executive Branch that her husband documents. He's a photog, and a good one, and truly a favorite of the big playahs.  I wonder if this affects his access, a persistent local worry for many.

Is she inebriated or am I just imagining things?

Good question! How do we know? How many "I-love-you's" gets one cut off at a "goat rodeo"? How many faux-street uses of "boo" when cozying up to Cool Fashion Friend are permitted before the waiters swipe your stemware?

and watching. But I cannot turn away. But ugh, can't they run some sort of disclaimer that the Salahis are full of it? They go into DC from "Virginia Wine Country" EVERY DAY - REALLY?

Why is it compelling? To me, it's oddly transfixing to see them in social set-ups instead of more interview formats. They can squabble and stumble and clink glasses with abandon. I think the Washington Post Style section has offered all the public service announcements necessary about the Salahis and their various claims.

Bravo has conditioned me to watch the RH series at 10:00 p.m. so I missed the first 24 minutes of D.C. (and I LIVE here!!!!) Can you catch me up please????? (Not that they won't show it 80 times over the weekend!)

Michaele is a chronic unilateral issuer of "I Love Yous." It's like a tic. Lynda and Mary seem to have know Michaele for a long time, and without saying why, they're kinda not having it, when it comes to her. Cat will launch a thousand feline wordplay descriptions. I just did one with purr but you know there are some meows to come. No hairballs, please!

Michaele and Tareq say that their polo event is the kickoff of Washington's social season. Sounds amazing! Have you ever been lucky enough to go to it?

Seems like a stretch to call it the opening of any season except Salahi season. The society invites that folks covet are centered around the major cultural institutions--opera, museums, theaters, the palatial Kennedy Center. As you hear from Linda, the polo gig is easy to take a pass on if you have something more important to do. Like watch TV.

I saw that Pentagon official at the goat rodeo!!! Did she really help the Salahis get into the White House? Does she still have her job?

Is this Jessica Fletcher? You have gotten to the essential question! One that Michaele said the show would help clarify but we now hear there's an upcoming book for such mysteries. More texts for Salahi-ologists! Michele Jones, the Pentagon official you just saw at the polo party, was the one who may or may not have offered help--or maybe just encouragement to the invite-seeking Salahis, back in November. We want answers like you do! The investigation cost someone (a uniformed guard) employment, but not Michele Jones.

Catherine. Is she awesome or terrible? I can't decide!

terribly, terribly awesome? awesomely terrible? hard to say, but watchable. i like how she slipped into animal print coat for ersatz photo shoot like she had found a second skin. She's definitely funny. But her Tyra impression is about as unfunny (and un-Tyra) as it could be.

Or is it terrible? I can't tell! I think I like it. The other Housewives shows are boring. But I'm from D.C. Will the rest of the country like this?

Past as prologue, DC-based shows don't do the same numbers as others in city-hopping franchises. See Lisa De Moraes, our city-hopping TV columnist, on Real World DC numbers. Then again: THE GOSSELINS! and the cupcake sisters on TLC!

I usually hate the word "cougar." But is it fair here? How old is she? How old is he?

I deem it fair. I think she is proud of her age differential with the stately Ebong. If sheweren't, she wouldn't be putting it all out there in the media thunderdome, I presume.

Stacie seems like the only normal one of the bunch (maybe too normal for a "Housewives" show.) How/why do you think she got involved with this??

By normal do you mean well-adjusted? Boring? Is she like Marilyn Munster was to the other ghastly clan? I don't know her motive for joining. But realtors are their own self-promoting category of pro, no?

Are they going to shoot any scenes at the Salahis' actual home? Are we supposed to buy that Michaele spends all her time in DC hotels?

It would be too odd for them never to show Michaele's residence if all the others get revealed.

How long can they possibly keep this show going?? Unlike the other Housewives shows, it seems like these women really hate each other, rather than just TV-hate each other.

They clearly don't like Michaele, as evidenced (if you needed any) by today's Today appearance. Enmity will keep it all going more than anything, I suspect.

I vote...terrible. At least from what I saw of them on the "Today" show this morning. (Yes. I watched.) She's just so...loud.

Majesterially terrible? It was surprising to see her weep in the end-of-show teaser montage. Feelings! Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Do you think we're seeing these women the way they really are? Or is it all editing? Are they watching this and just dying?

Is it so fake that reality seeps through? That's what I suspect. If you keep watching the act, you'll see the strain on the actors. And some glimpse in moments of chaos of who they are and what motivates them. Am I an optimist?

And no, you can't pick "goat rodeo."

My favorite moment is Mary's awkward toast about equality in tonsorial enterprises. Flatironing our way to social justice!

Obviously, you can come back every week during showtime. Either I or one of my colleagues will be here to walk you through it. Please explore our RHDC page for all the tremendous writing on this subject. I am proud of what we have put together, and I think you'll find it fun and often edifying. F'realsers. OK, thanks, all!

In This Chat
Ned Martel
Ned Martel is editor of The Post's Style section.
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