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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: series premiere

RHOAKL Season 1 Premiere Recap - Model Behavior

Glenn Rowley

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In the latest installment of international Housewives, Bravo is bringing The Real Housewives of Auckland stateside! After causing quite a splash in their native New Zealand late last year, the network will be airing the inaugural season with the Kiwi ladies every Saturday at 12 p.m./11 a.m. central. In the series premiere we meet the six 'Wives at the top of Auckland's elite and the drama that follows them. Read on for a full recap of the tears shed, gossip spilled and personalities that are sure to clash...

Opening taglines are the first way for these new Housewives to make an impression, so let's see what they have to say, shall we? My vote for best tagline far and away goes to Louise Wallace with "I made my money the old-fashioned way...I inherited it." I honestly can't remember the last time a tagline made me laugh so hard. It's cheeky, witty and instantly establishes that Louise is old money in Auckland's high society. Amazing. Quick thoughts on the others: Julia Sloane's "If people are talking behind your back, then you're the one in front" comes across as nothing short of idiotic. While it implies that Julia may be the topic of gossip this season, the tagline misses the mark by making a blatantly obvious point. Maybe the humor is lost on me. Michelle Blanchard has lifted the model archetype straight from Joanna Krupa's lips while I had to do a double take when Angela Stone's first name was not, in fact, "Stone." Gilda Kirkpatrick's stone-cold face and "I never start a fight I can't win" announces she's clearly not one to mess with and Anne Batley Burton is giving me some serious LVP-meets Heather Dubrow-meets Jody Claman of RHOV vibes. The woman clearly loves champagne.

First up, we're introduced to Louise Wallace, who seems to be the actual Lisa Vanderpump of Auckland (sorry Anne). Apparently Louise is famous for hosting New Zealand's version of The Weakest Link, having spent years delivering the line "you are the weakest link, goodbye" that was pervasive in the early 2000s. Now, the former TV host runs her own theater company and lives on the most prestigious street in all of Auckland. It immediately becomes clear that Louise is the 'Wife who will connect the rest of the women - she knows everyone in society and hand out invites for three of the other ladies to attend the prestigious TK Fashion Show with her.

Gilda Kirkpatrick is Louise's neighbor and the Persian princess at the heart of Auckland's social scene. Apparently, Gilda earned her place in society by marrying one of the richest - and oldest - men in Auckland when she was in her early 20s. She eventually divorced her 70-something-year-old husband and has been a socialite ever since. Gilda is also an architect and runs her own advertising/marketing agency, Us&Co, and comes with a serious - though welcome - case of resting bitch face. Do not mess with this Iranian ex-pat. 

Also invited to the fashion show is Julia Sloane, a newly married former model and art collector who unabashedly loves being the center of attention. She was Miss Universe New Zealand back in the 80s but nowadays claims to fill her time with "appointments" for waxing, getting her hair done and getting mani/pedis and Botox. You know, regular appointments like that. At first impression, Julia is coming across as an unexpected combination of RHONY's Alex McCord and RHOM's Adriana de Moura of RHOM. Jury's out on what that may mean, though.

Last to arrive is fashion stylist Angela Stone. Louise describes her to be "like a ship in full sail" when she walks into a room, which I can't decide whether that's a compliment or a brilliant insult. Angela comes bearing gifts for the women in the form of a style guide/coffee table book she wrote, which seems to be a visible turn-off for Gilda. Right away, Angela comes across as a talker; she provides running commentary during the fashion show and talks about herself and her career non-stop as the other ladies look on in bewilderment. The incessant chattering is a second red flag for Gilda, who bluntly advises Angela to talk less about herself when meeting new people if she really wants to become the Oprah of New Zealand. 

The next day, Gilda meets her best friend Michelle Blanchard to rehash the fashion show from the night before. British-born Michelle is a stunning former model-turned-housewife who lives on a country estate filled with horses, chickens, a dog and two kids. Venting to Michelle, Gilda tells her bestie all about Angela and it's clear she's not a fan of the aspiring multi-hyphenate. Hmm...do I sense the first feud of the season brewing?

Last but not least, we meet Anne Batley Burton, an old friend of Julia's known to Auckland as the Champagne Lady. The pint-sized champs importer loves to dance, has been engaged seven times and is clearly giving Heather Dubrow and Charrisse Jackson Jordan a run for their money in the bubbly department. Also, Anne is to cats as LVP is to dogs, complete with a custom-built "pussycat sanctuary" on her property for innumerable stray felines. The Champagne Lady seems quite quirky and over-the-top - in fact, she wastes no time launching into a lecture to Julia about how to properly hold a champagne flute. (But does she know the appropriate temperature at which to store red wine? Actually, probably yes...) The two 'Wives also spend time gossiping about both Angela, whose grating behavior didn't go unnoticed by Julia at the fashion show, and Gilda, whom Anne claims has the reputation of being a gold-digger because of the 40+-year age difference with her ex-husband. 

To get all the 'Wives together for the first time, Julia hosts a birthday luncheon for herself in a private dining room at Ostro. Angela is wary of seeing Gilda again after their dust-up at the fashion show, but Michelle is eager to meet the stylist her best friend has complained about. (Strangely, Michelle has never met Julia before either, but comes to the luncheon as Gilda's plus-one anyway.) However, when Angela reveals that she's still modeling in her 40s, Michelle insults her by asking if she's plus-size. Yikes...talk about getting off on the wrong foot. Former Calvin Klein model Michelle insists she didn't mean to offend, but soon enough Angela bursts into tears (after yet another dig from Gilda) and excuses herself from the table.

Both Gilda and Michelle feign ignorance as to why Angela might be crying, but when she comes back to the table and tells them point blank that the "plus-size model" dig offended her, they refuse to apologize. Naturally, an argument ensues with Angela calling the pair's comments "disgusting" and Michelle firing back "sweetie, with tits like that you're not a normal-size model, get over it." Michelle angrily reveals that Gilda already warned her about Angela, and accuses her of putting on a performance for sympathy with the tears. 

Angela then turns her attention to Gilda, calling her out for her rude behavior and icy demeanor at the TK Fashion Show. When Michelle steps in to defend her friend, Angela tells her point blank to mind her own business, reminding the former model that she wasn't even invited to the fashion show. Gilda, who claims not to be a "very judgmental person," goes off on Angela and her constant, full-toothed smile, and calls her new nemesis "delusional" at the table. The entire exchange is positively dizzying but all Julia wants to know is why no one is paying attention to her at her own birthday party. The premiere ends with Julia blowing out the candles on her cake as side eye is thrown across the table by the bickering 'Wives. As Anne says in her confessional, "who would want a birthday party like that?"

What did you think of the RHOAKL premiere? Are you Team Gilda/Michelle or Team Angela? And why wasn't anyone paying attention to Julia?? Leave your thoughts and opinions - as well as your votes for favorite tagline - in the comments below!

RHOD Season 1 Premiere - Everything's Bigger in Dallas

Glenn Rowley

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After months of waiting, the newest addition to the Real Housewives franchise is finally here! As promised, the ladies of The Real Housewives of Dallas are bold, brash and far from your stereotypical cowgirls. Personally, I think heading to Texas for the latest expansion was the right move, as it's a location that is bound to be completely unique and different from every city we've seen come before it. And as we quickly learn in the premiere episode, it's best not to mess with Texas, y'all.

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Before we jump into the actual premiere, let's break down the intro and taglines! I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but the show's aesthetic is surprisingly more...blue than I thought it would be. The color scheme actually goes so far as to remind me a little of the now-canceled Real Housewives of Vancouver. If there are any readers out there from Texas, do you feel this intro reflects the look and feel of your home state? My vote for best tagline 100% goes to LeeAnne Locken for "I grew up a carny kid; play games with me and you're gonna pay." Not only is it ultra-specific to her, it's hilariously funny and promises some Texas-sized drama from her. Quick thoughts on the others: Cary's would be my runner-up for best tagline, I'm not sure how someone in the franchise hasn't used "I'm not a trophy wife, I'm a lifetime achievement award!" any sooner. It's classic Housewives 101. Kudos to Brandi for being a Cowboys cheerleader, but she seems a little too sweetly soft-spoken for my taste. Ditto for Stephanie - the girl next door vibes don't mesh well with bragging about your mansion. And I'm all about Tiffany shining her light, but shouldn't she know that fighting is kind of inevitable in the Housewives universe? Overall, it's a solid bunch of taglines that feel both on-brand for the franchise and uniquely Dallas. 

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The first Housewife we meet is Brandi Redmond, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and stay-at-home mom to easily the most redheaded family in Bravo history. Brandi cheered with "America's Sweethearts" for five years, and is awfully proud of her time with the squad. She's married to Bryan Redmond, her middle school sweetheart - also a redhead - who's out of town almost all the time on business. (Strangely, Brandi never mentions what her husband actually does for work, just that he wants to be a multimillionaire by 40...) Based on my first impression, Brandi comes off as sweet, if a little ditzy, and I can't be the only one thinking that it's going to be difficult to come into the franchise as the other Brandi...

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Next we're introduced to LeeAnne Locken, who's out shopping at Vintage Martini with her best friend of 25 years, fellow 'Wife Tiffany Hendra. Nicknamed the "Mouth of the South," LeeAnne is inarguably the queen bee of the ladies, and has made an indelible mark on the Dallas philanthropic scene by using her voice to leverage connections with and raise money for countless charities. Now, I don't typically go for the queen bee archetype of the group, but as soon as she told Tiffany she looked like a "f---ing pink Christmas tree" I knew I would love her. LeAnne is loud, brash and comes to the franchise with a fascinating backstory. As her tagline states, she spent most of her childhood traveling on the carnival circuit, which is something completely new and unheard of in the Housewives universe. While the carny world exposed her to the dark side of life, as LeeAnne explains in her confessional, it certainly prepared her to thrive in the competitive Dallas social scene (as well as the cutthroat world of Housewives).

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Next up is Cary Deuber, who appears to be the Dallas franchise's resident voice of reason. Down to earth and witty, Cary works as a registered nurse, assisting her husband Mark, who's one of the top plastic surgeons in Dallas. Hmm...are the Deubers the Dallas version of Heather and Terry Dubrow? In the middle of a procedure, Cary explains to another surgical assistant that she's throwing a small trunk show to kick off the spring charity season. The event's proceeds will go to the Doris Daniely Outreach, a charity organization that helps fund breast reconstruction for breast cancer survivors. Mark is Cary's third husband, and their marriage has caused quite a stir in Dallas society. It turns out that Cary was actually very close with Mark's family before marrying him - so close that they all attended her wedding to her second husband. Gossip around Dallas claimed that Cary and Mark had an affair, with the 'Wife laughs off as nothing more than idle rumors and lies. Scandal!

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And finally, we meet Stephanie Hollman, Brandi's blonde BFF and fellow stay-at-home mom. The two have been best friends for the last seven years, and Bryan and Stephanie's husband Travis are also best buds. As she says in her tagline, Stephanie lives in a "big ol' mansion" right on the golf course at the Four Seasons. The basis of the two 'Wives friendship seems to be drinking lots of "Jesus Juice" (their name for wine) and a grating mix of immature potty humor. Apparently, Stephanie's husband leaves her a list of chores to accomplish every time he leaves as a way for her to "earn" her money in the marriage, and their relationship is already sounding eerily like the Dallas version of Alexis and Jim Bellino. That's not a compliment. First on today's list is reprogramming the garage door opener, which the two women attempt to do while collapsing in a giggly mess. After trying for roughly five seconds, they decide they're rather play around on the kids' toys in the garage instead, and I've decided I find the pair on "Jesus Juice" rather grating. Don't even get me started on how many times Brandi said "farting" was part of their collective sense of humor...

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The day of Cary's jewelry trunk show arrives, and we finally get to see all the 'Wives together in one room. LeeAnne explains in her confessional that she and Cary know each other by reputation in the Dallas charity scene, reputations which are developed by chairing events. We also meet Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes at the trunk show before the women start shopping. Brandi and Stephanie retreat to the kitchen with their Jesus Juice, where they start joking about vaginas, defecating during child labor and more farting. This inappropriate behavior certainly doesn't go unnoticed by LeeAnne, who declares the scene as "a little Plano" and is of the attitude that you either take charity seriously or you go home. 

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Next, we get some more insight into the lives of Tiffany and her rocker husband Aaron, who is a dead ringer for Keith Urban - all the way down to the Australian accent. The Hendras recently relocated back to Dallas after spending years pursuing their careers in Hollywood. As a model/actress/TV presenter, Tiffany fell hard for the glitz and glamour of LA life and eventually gave in to the temptations of its drug-fueled party scene. After a serious "come to Jesus" moment on the bathroom floor one night, Tiffany recognized something needed to change and convinced Aaron to move back to her home state of Texas. Now, she's ready for a clean slate and a fresh start with her best friend LeeAnne by her side and Bravo's cameras capturing every minute.

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After another introductory scene of LeeAnne joyfully "living in sin" with her police officer boyfriend Rich, Brandi and Stephanie meet up to lamenting how seriously the other women (read: LeeAnne) take the Dallas charity scene. There's definitely some tension going on between the queen bee and the two self-proclaimed "goofballs" - so much so that Brandi's developed a spot-on impersonation of how LeeAnne acts at charity events. Stephanie's informed Cary of this, and wants her bestie to put on a show at the dinner Marie is hosting that night, but Brandi's clearly hesitant to make fun of LeeAnne while she's in the room.

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The 'Wives all arrive at the No Tie Dinner, hosted by Marie and her husband Angel. Almost immediately, Cary makes a beeline for Brandi and asks her to do her LeeAnne impersonation, but Stephanie warns her that the queen bee could overhear. However, LeeAnne has already caught wind of the mimicking, and she and Tiffany corner Brandi to show them her impressions. Upon being confronted, Brandi freezes up and refuses to put on a show. LeeAnne throws an impressive amount of shade, reminding a speechless Brandi that she "[doesn't] miss a beat" and calling her "sweet as pie," which is Texas-style shade at its finest. What's interesting is that the other 'Wives seem to be hesitant to engage with LeeAnne, as all of them have clammed up and are saying all of two words. That is, until Brandi musters up the courage to pull the queen bee aside for a chat. In her confessional, Brandi admits that plenty of people in Dallas are intimidated by LeeAnne Locken, and she's suddenly taken it upon herself to go head-to-head with the Mouth of the South.

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At first, the conversation is almost positive, with LeeAnne telling Brandi she sees her as a sweetheart and accepts her, imitations and all. However, Brandi has something different to say, and brings up LeeAnne's behavior at a charity event for HIV awareness the week before where LeeAnne - as the honorary chair - stood up and shared her life story. After hearing stories of women battling HIV, Brandi found this to be an insensitive power play for LeeAnne to get the spotlight back on her, but considering that it happened off-camera we can't know what actually happened. Then, Brandi starts digging her grave by telling LeeAnne "I feel sorry for you," "you need help" and that she sees the social maven's loud and brash personality as a cover for her insecurity. 

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LeeAnne starts firing back, pointing out (rightfully) that if Brandi mimicked her right that second, it would likely be more mean-spirited than good-natured. LeeAnne informs Brandi and Stephanie that the only time she goes on the offensive is when she feels attacked and yes, right now is one of those times. Eventually, the women walk away angry from the conversation and it's clear that within the very first episode, battle lines have been drawn with LeeAnne on one side and Brandi and Stephanie on the other. Now the question is...who's side will you be on?

What did you think of the RHOD premiere? Were your first impressions of the 'Wives more love or love-to-hate? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!