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Real Housewives

A Case for the Return of the Real Housewives of Miami

Glenn Rowley

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The third season of The Real Housewives of Miami premiered almost two years ago on August 12, 2013 and finished its run that November. Since then, Bravo lovers have been left wondering about the status of the show for almost a solid year and a half. Not mentioned at the subsequent Bravo upfronts, the show has remained on an indefinite hiatus - neither in production nor officially cancelled. Rumors of a fourth season swirled early last year when several cast members were seen out and about together at various events, including the Miami release party for The Andy Cohen Diaries, but to no avail. However, another season in the MIA has never been out of the question. Even the man himself Andy Cohen has maintained a "never say never" attitude in his statements about the show's return when fielding questions on his web show, Ask Andy. With the New Jersey ladies in limbo as Teresa finishes her prison sentence and plenty of new developments in the lives of the Miami 'Wives, I say it's a pretty perfect time for the spiciest city in the Housewives franchise to make a comeback. So for this week's feature, I'm breaking down the new chapters in the ladies' lives and giving you my best argument for the return of RHOM. Ready?

By the time the Season 3 finale aired, the Miami ladies had reached a tentative cease fire with what looked like fragile peace on the horizon. However, by the time the reunion rolled around months after wrapping, wounds had been reopened and completely new wars had been started between friends. The reunion provided the set-up for what would've been a widely intriguing season, as Joanna Krupa and Lisa Hochstein's tight friendship fell apart when the supermodel took shots at her former bridesmaid's inability to have children. However, Joanna announced last summer that she wouldn't be returning to the franchise, dashing hopes of seeing the pair's feud play out in front of the cameras. Since it's been so long since Season 3, a fourth season would serve as a bit reintroduction to the lives of the remaining Miami ladies as they each start exciting new chapters. To get back up to speed, let's look at where we left each of the remaining 'Wives and where they've been since filming.

Lisa Hochstein

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Much of Lisa's personal storyline over the course of her two seasons on RHOM centered around her struggles to conceive a child with her plastic surgeon husband, Lenny. While first underestimating her, Lisa quickly won me over after her introduction to the franchise in Season 2 and was always one of my favorites in Miami. For fans, her painful journey was emotional and difficult to watch as she shared that the thing she wanted most in life was to feel her own baby growing inside her. After years of watching other Housewives give birth - from Kim Zolciak in Atlanta to Teresa Giudice and Jacqueline Laurita in New Jersey - her struggle opened viewers' eyes to the complicated process of infertility and its potential strains on a marriage (over the course of her marriage, the Canadian Housewife suffered three separate miscarriages and four failed attempts at IVF.) During Joanna's wedding in the Season 3 finale, she shared with Lea Black that she and Lenny had found a surrogate, but the arrangement eventually fell through and the couple decided to continue pursing alternative fertility treatments. Lisa also regularly played the role of peacemaker among the Miami ladies, generally staying on good terms with all the other Housewives and bridging the divide between feuding parties.

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After years of fertility nightmares, Lisa and Lenny welcomed a baby boy, Logan Marc Hochstein on July 3, 2015 via surrogate. In the past month, the new mom has joyously shared photos of her bundle of joy on social media, even giving baby Logan his own Instagram account. For a new season of RHOM, Lisa's happy journey could be documented, opening up a whole new chapter in the budding philanthropist's life. Personally, I'm a big believer in the importance of viewer payoff: we spent two seasons emotionally invested in Lisa's journey to become a mom, and a new season showcasing her transition into motherhood after so many years of fighting to make it happen would be exactly what Housewives fans deserve to see. Support from her fellow 'Wives is also evident: as recently as a few weeks before the birth, much of the cast gathered together to celebrate Lisa's baby shower, with Alexia, Adriana and Marysol all in attendance.

Lea Black

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The turban-wearing "Mayor of Miami" occupied a role among the Miami women similar to that of Lisa Vanderpump in Beverly Hills and Vicki Gunvalson in Orange County: the HBIC. Often drenched in diamonds and other jewels, Lea offered hilarious running commentary on the lives of the other ladies from way up in her ivory tower, serving as an untouchable authority on the way things are done in the MIA. A powerhouse philanthropist in the Miami social scene, her Black's Annual Gala (which celebrated its 20th anniversary last October) became a staple event of all three seasons of RHOM, all while raising millions of dollars for programs for at-risk youth. During Season 3, Lea's position of power among the group was called into question as her longtime friendship with Adriana de Moura came to an abrupt end over the revelation of Adriana's years-old marriage certificate to her "fiancé" Frederic. While Lea was busy building and maintaining her empire, several other Housewives turned against her, forming what she referred to as the "Lea Black Haters Club." 

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Since Season 3 wrapped, Lea added the title of "successful author" to her growing resume with the release of Red Carpets and White Lies, a scandalous tell-all novel about Miami's elite and veiled references to her castmates and recurring friends from the show. In an April appearance on WWHL to promote the book, Lea's queen bee status was on full display as she offered updates on each of her fellow 'Wives. At the time, she described her relationship with former bestie Adriana as "distant" at best, and didn't see much of former friend Alexia either. In a new season, Lea's dominance of the Miami social scene would remain intact and she would naturally be at odds with remaining members of the "Haters Club" -  a situation fraught with more storytelling potential. Viewers never got to see any type of closure between her and Adriana, which would be another nice payoff, and her annual gala would surely continue to serve as a yearly must-see event we could count on for glamour, celebrity and drama.

Alexia Echeverria

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The self-proclaimed "Cuban Barbie," Alexia's storyline over the course of three seasons was perhaps the most emotional and sensitive of all the ladies. An original Housewife from the first season, Alexia's life took an earth-shattering turn when her younger son suffered a life-threatening accident. Her life consumed with his medical treatment and progress, the blonde bombshell took a step back from filming and remained a Friend of the Housewives during Season 2. Re-upped to official Housewife status during the third season, Alexia's storyline continued to be all about family as she focused on Frankie's rehabilitation as well as the emotional trauma inflicted by the accident on her older son Peter. When it came to the group's interpersonal conflict, Alexia was often the one 'Wife who managed to stay calm and remain the level-headed one out of all the women. However, the end of her rope certainly had a limit and the fiery Cuban temperament was known to come out when push came to shove - particularly when directed at Lisa. Her longtime friendship with queen bee Lea also faltered as she found herself caught between the "Mayor of Miami" and her club of victims.

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In a surprising turn of events from what we saw on camera, news broke in May 2015 of Alexia and her husband Herman's separation after 15 years of marriage. Like many a Housewife before her, Alexia's new chapter has plenty of potential for storyline as the cameras document her transition into singledom while balancing business, social life and her two boys as a now-single mom. Adding a complicated layer to the separation, Alexia and her husband continue to run Miami publication Venue Magazine together as editors-in-chief and, while not their biological father, Herman has also raised Alexia's two sons as his own. The Cuban doll appears to be leaning on her friends for support following the split and remains tight with BFF and fellow 'Wife Marysol Patton, as well as many of the other 'Wives. Even as recently as a few weeks ago, Alexia and many of her castmates have been spotted together at various events around Miami, as well as in the Hamptons with NY Housewives Jill Zarin and Luann de Lesseps. 

Adriana de Moura

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During much of her three seasons on RHOM, I found Adriana to be an incredibly villainized figure. While I was a fan of many of her fellow 'Wives who called her a friend, I found much of the fiery brunette's behavior difficult to root for, whether she was slapping her Joanna in the face in a lingerie charity brawl, becoming the Brazilian bridezilla of our nightmares during her high maintenance Season 3 nuptials to Frenchman Frederic Marc or turning on her former bestie Lea during the scandal surrounding her secret marriage license. Even when she seemed to have calmed down during the tail end of Season 3, she dug herself a new hole with her infamous "limp penis" line directed at Joanna's husband Romain. Oftentimes, the show seemed to bring out the worst in her, shedding light on a vindictive and mean-spirited personality behind her dark eyes and wide smile. The Brazilian art dealer may speak five languages, but genuine kindness didn't seem to be among them. 

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Like any Housewife who gets the villain edit, Adriana could use a season of redemption. Now happily - and officially - married to Frederic and with Joanna off the show, we would hopefully see a different, lighter side to the brunette beauty - one without the barbs "hoe-anna" or "limp penis" coming out of her mouth come reunion time. Though not yet living on the yacht Frederic purchased for renovations during Season 3, Adriana is still clearly living the high life, partying with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson in the South of France and touring 19th century Italian villas. She even ran into RHONY's Sonja with a sexy J Morgan while on vacation in St. Tropez just last week! And as I mentioned above, fans never got to see any type of closure reached between Adriana and former bestie Lea, which they'd surely love to see after such a long hiatus.

Marysol Patton

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PR maven Marysol was an official Housewife during RHOM's first two seasons, known as much for her eccentric and lovable mother, Mama Elsa, as she was for her own life. In some ways, Marysol suffered from what I refer to as Kathy Wakile Syndrome: somewhat lacking in the drama department, but retaining your place on the show because fans (and Bravo) love the over-the-top supporting cast you bring to the show. Essentially, Mama Elsa is to Miami what Rosie Pierri is to New Jersey. Though much more introverted and quiet than some of her fellow 'Wives, Marysol did manage to stir up conflict with her castmates - particularly in her feud with Lea over her PR firm's work for the gala during Season 2. Sadly, fan favorite Mama Elsa suffered a stroke between Seasons 2 and 3, and Marysol was demoted to Friend status (effectively switching places with BFF Alexia) to concentrate on caring for her mother. Mama Elsa's health problems drove yet another wedge in Marysol's relationship with Lea, when she accused the "Mayor of Miami" of not reaching out to her mother in her time of need. Marysol only participated in the second part of the Season 3 reunion, coming armed with a video recording of her father in a hospital bed, backing up her claims that Lea had been a bad friend to Mama Elsa. 

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Marysol remains close to many of her castmates, as evidenced by her various social media snapshots. With bestie Alexia in tow, she most recently appeared on just-completed eighth season of Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker in January 2015, to be set up by friend and fellow Bravolebrity Patti Stanger. During the episode, Marysol offered a tearful update on Mama Elsa's continued struggle, explaining that she could barely talk anymore and was sadly uninvolved in much of Marysol's love life due to her declining health. In a new season, Marysol may function best as a Friend of the Housewives for another year, as she takes care of her mom. However, there's also plenty of potential in documenting her quest for love. Who knows, she and newly-single Alexia could even hit the town for double dates! The master of a quippy one-liner, Marysol's confessional interviews would also be a required element for a successful Season 4.

In addition to the veteran Housewives, there would surely need to be a new face or two added to the mix. And honestly, who knows what direction the drama would take once you got all the ladies together in front of the cameras again. However, all in all, the elements are there in the ladies' lives for a successful, reenergized Season 4 of the Real Housewives of Miami: babies, books, divorces and more. While producers may have pulled the plug because the ratings didn't quite compare to other cities in the franchise, if RHONY could earn a renewal after Season 6 with similar ratings, why can't RHOM get a second chance? Plus, the reality is that viewers watch television differently nowadays thanks to online streaming platforms and that's something that the industry was only beginning to understand in 2013. Additionally, there's adequate space in Bravo's programming lineup thanks to New Jersey being on hold, New York nearing the end of its current season and Beverly Hills and Atlanta each in the beginning stages of filming for their next seasons. I'd much rather see the return of the Miami Housewives than yet another attempt at a non-Housewives show based in Atlanta to add to Married to Medicine, The New Atlanta, Thicker Than Water and now Mother Funders. (Seriously, enough with the ATL Bravo.) So grab your mojitos and get to filming ladies, it would be lovely to see you back on our TV screens. After all, the Real Housewives of Miami deserves a shot at redemption itself, don't you think? Now here's to hoping Andy Cohen is out there listening somewhere.