Apparently, some Utahns are excited about the news that “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” will debut on Bravo sometime next year. I am not among them. I made that rather clear in a column last weekend — a piece that one Tribune colleague termed “insta-rant,” and another referred to as me going “scorched earth” on the show.
And, yeah, I did use the word “toxic” five times. I will readily admit that part of my extreme reaction was purely selfish. I’m not a fan. “Real Housewives” is a guilty pleasure for many viewers, but I don’t see the entertainment value in privileged women backstabbing, backbiting and fighting. No more than I have any interest in any Kardashian.
I generally don’t respond to (or read) online comments, but I’ll make one exception. A reader asked, “Are you being forced to watch?” Yes. Yes, I am. My bosses have already made that clear. It is my job, you know.
And I love my job! Thanks, bosses, for letting me watch “RHOSLC”! (Note: The first sentence in this paragraph was sincere.)
I’m not pretending my disdain for “Real Housewives” lends me any moral superiority. I love good documentaries and fine dramas, but I have my own guilty pleasures. And some of them are pretty trashy. I mean, I’m still watching the “Dynasty” reboot.
But to follow up a bit, here are the answers to five questions about “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City”:
1. WILL THE WOMEN FIGHT? Is the sky blue? Is water wet? Of course they’ll fight. That’s what “Real Housewives” is all about.
A show about happy, friendly, supportive, enlightened women would be a screaming bore. There has to be conflict. That’s why people watch.
C’mon, all entertainment TV is built on conflict — dramas, comedies, reality shows, soap operas and reality shows and everything else. Of course they’ll fight.
2. WHY SALT LAKE CITY? I doubt that Bravo execs or the producers will admit this, but it’s because they think we’re … weird. Different, at least.
Producer Andy Cohen made that clear when he said, “In Utah, you’ve got the majesty of the mountains. You’ve got the majesty of the Mormon religion.”
What’s the difference between Salt Lake City and Denver? We’ve got Latter-day Saints. And “Mormons” have been a fixture — often a plot point — in reality shows like “The Real World,” “Amazing Race,” “Survivor,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “The Bachelor/Bachelorette,” “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars” and more.
3. WHO WILL BE IN THE CAST? There’s plenty of speculation out there, but don’t believe everything (anything?) you read.
I’m told that the official cast announcement won’t come until shortly before the show premieres. And that cast members are contractually obligated not to confirm they’re on the show until that official announcement.
But most of us shouldn’t suspect that our neighbors are going to be on the show. Here’s how Cohen described the Salt Lake City cast members: “You’ve got an exclusive community of people who have very successful businesses, who live in their own universe. They hobnob with Hollywood stars who come to Sundance.”
They aren’t buying bread at Harmons or pumping gas at the Holiday.
4. WILL THERE BE “MORMONS” IN THE CAST? Again, Cohen pretty much answered that. And it’s hard to imagine that the cast won’t include some Latter-day Saints.
It’s also impossible to imagine that the cast is going to feature only active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So much of “Real Housewives” has been fueled by alcohol that it seems utterly unlikely that no one will be drinking.
5. WHEN WILL IT PREMIERE? Bravo says sometime in 2020. No further details.
“Real Housewives of the Potomac” premiered in January 2016; “Atlanta” (2008) and “Beverly Hills” (2010) both debuted in October — so “SLC” could be on the air in two months or 11 months.
I’m hearing sooner rather than later, but that could change.