Finding The Crazy on Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’
November 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
I am an unabashed fan of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. I think I watch all of them, with the exception of New Jersey, which I’ve given up on for reasons I’ll cover later. I realize the shows are mindless, reality dreck, but I can’t resist them. There are a number of reasons why:
— I enjoy gawking at trainwrecks as much as the next person. Maybe a little more.
–I like watching rich people spend money in ridiculous ways on extravagant things and getting all judge-y about it.
— I love watching a good catfight, as I’m naturally predisposed to avoid them in real life.
— I adore the honest, real moments on the show where the women connect in ways true-life friends would (I’ve written about this on Twitter before, there was one very sweet moment like this between Bethenny Frankel and Alex McCord during the Scary Island boat trip this past season).
— Perhaps most important, it’s fun spotting, and then watching the workings of The Crazy.
There’s no denying it: The Crazy is in every city, in every season.
Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out which one is The Crazy, and The Crazy isn’t always the same housewife every season. I’ve (of course) been watching Beverly Hills, and it’s been a little boring, because where is The Crazy?
For a little while, it looked like Kim Richards (who is about two eyeblinks away from being a real-life Kristin Wiig character) was going to take the title, but then, FINALLY, this past week, Camille Grammer stepped up and exposed herself as The Crazy, twisting words, accepting apologies only to throw them in faces later, chatting cozily with her best friends (a.k.a. hired help), quoting from The Art of War, lovingly touching her best friend’s husband, and making the should-be-patented crazy-eyes-face that The Crazy has always mastered.
And finally — all was right in the Housewives universe. (Each season also has an MVP, too — the voice of reason amid all the excess, the woman you could see joining you for cocktail hour — in Beverly Hills, it’s Kyle Richards, though Lisa Vanderpump is a close second given that she’d bring Giggy, and would likely let you hold him. But I digress.)
Next Up: A guide to the rest of The Crazy, in chronological order. One word of warning: Whatever you do, if you ever come in contact with The Crazy in real life, DO NOT CALL IT crazy to its face. Nothing makes The Crazy go more batshit crazier than being called crazy.
While not a member of the original cast, or even (reportedly) still a current cast member, The Crazy is Lynne Curtin. Proof: Not knowing the extent of her debts, hiring a “teen expert” to talk to her children, and seeming all-around high at all times. (The MVP: There isn’t one. I’m positive that The Slackmistress will agree with me here.)
There’s a lot of people in N.Y.C., which means there’s a lot of possibility for crazy to ferment in the sewer system. A lot of the women vied for The Crazy — Jill Zarin grabbed it in her jaws and shook it violently here and there but ended up dropping it by season’s end, Alex McCord held it in her grasp briefly when playing “The Messenger,” and in any other city, Ramona Singer would take it hands down. But Kelly Bensimon, a.k.a “Satchels of Gold,” lives in N.Y.C., in a condo in the sky filled with horses made of white glass, and she is The Crazy. Sorry, Ramona. (The MVP: Bethenny Frankel. Duh.)
This one’s easy: Sheree Whitfield. All you have to do is fast forward to the second half of this video and you’ll see The Crazy = “Who gon’ check me, Boo?” (The MVP: Lisa Wu-Hartnell — it’s a shame she left. In her absence, it’s hard not to like Kandi Burruss.)
In the land of New Jersey, not so far outside N.Y.C., lives The Mother of The Crazy — Danielle Staub, who seems to have a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder, at least according to my freshman-year Psych 101 textbook. The fact that she has left the cast means it is no longer watchable, sadly. New Jersey’s underlying family-first theme makes it all just a shade too boring for me. (The MVP: matriarch Caroline Manzo. Also, her son Albie is utterly sweet and handsome in a way you wouldn’t expect a Jersey boy to be.)
Too easy: The Salahis. Both Michaele and Tareq are The Crazy. It’s so obvious, it’s boring. (The MVP: Mary Amons. Love her. We shop at the same mall!)