A Reality Headache

There is a new mental health problem out there. I call it The Real Housewives of Washington D.C. Stress Syndrome. It’s what can happen to you after watching just one episode of the much-anticipated, much-ballyhooed Bravo reality show which features not only the notorious Michaele Salahi and her husband Tareq but four other so-called D.C. women in proximity to power and status, which is all that counts in Washington, apparently.

I admit it: I watched the first episode. I don’t dare go further, because, well, God only knows what will happen. As it was, I dreamt about the episodes afterward, and they weren’t good dreams. After each commercial break I felt as if I were a runway model, needing to purge. This stuff will do things to you.

For the record, I am no longer quite so bothered about the Salahis. I see now why they wanted so desperately to appear on this show. Like needs like, and to them, the crowd on this show must have seemed like a vision of home. Problem is, the rest of the cast is not happy about being with them, as we found out, and no doubt will continue to find out. Lynda Erkiletian, founder of the T.H.E. Artist Agency, has already started a whispering campaign that Michaele is dangerously thin and an intervention might be required.

Why this show is called housewives of Washington, real or unreal, is beyond me. Much of it seems to be in Virginia, but then again, there was the 1.5 million ratings, big numbers for cable. Who knew there were that many people in McLean?

The Salahis almost feel like naifs in this group, which includes Stacie Scott Turner, a Sotheby’s realtor and the only black member of the housewives. Turner keeps looking agog at her racially insensitive friends, who say things like “I think hair salons should be integrated.” In fact, if you watch this show, you might get the impression that the most powerful people in Washington are not the president, politicians or lobbyists, but celebrity chefs and hair dressers.

Meanwhile, newly arrived Brit Catherine Ommanney (Cat for short, and appropriately so) is vying for the role of queen of mean and making her way in what she sees as the top social circles in Washington. Why anyone would talk to a woman who wrote a self-described “racy” tell-all memoir about living in London called “Inbox Full” is beyond me, but this a world full of “beyond me” moments.

It does make you think about the end of civilization as we know it, as do many things today. Sometimes it seems as if the only American contributions to world popular culture in the 21st century have been zombie movies and reality shows, and often its hard to tell the differences between “28 Days Later” and “The Rachel Zoe Project.”

Michaele complains on this episode that people don’t think she and her husband are people of substance and insists that they are. She feels, after all, that if people hugged more, the world would be a better place, which is hard to argue with since it’s such a jaw dropper. And she has, after all, gone toe to toe with Whoopee Goldberg.

In the world of reality shows, you don’t have to pick on one person, there’s so much to choose from, and that doesn’t even include Billy Bush. What we have here is the physical manifestation of absolute weightlessness, if such a thing is possible.

Remember, this report was written while under the influences of TRHOWDC Syndrome. I cannot be held responsible for my words.

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Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:02:56 -0400

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