Bravo has revealed its new slate of programming and, among things, announced that Manzo’d with Children has inexplicably been renewed. That questionable decision aside, Bravo is hitting us hard with some enticing programming—by Bravo standards.
It’s an exciting time when Bravo unveils a new crop of reality television offerings because with each year, they must push the Bravo brand to even higher heights and deeper depths.
What makes a Bravo Television show great? Well, it must start, first and foremost, with a strong base of shamelessness. Then, you mix in a healthy cup of insanity and social skill problems. You must make sure that it features a lifestyle that is particularly unique or absurd. And, perhaps most importantly, an excellent Bravo show must contain that special quality: the one where you know you should look away, but you keep getting drawn back in.
Below I’ve ranked all of Bravo’s upcoming series based on their Bravo-ness, which directly correlates to my likelihood of watching. We start from the least Bravo-like and work our way up.
Fit Club (working title)
It’s survival of the fittest for New York City’s hottest trainers who are competing for the same wealthy Manhattanites and famous celebrity clients. If they can’t keep their romances, feuds and professional jealousies in check, things could get physical.
Real fans/those who lack a consistent, exciting social life will remember that Bravo tried this exact same show a few years ago—Work Out. It’s the one that starred that blonde lesbian with the trendy haircut who looked like she had been chiseled out of bronze.
Work Out taught me that watching other people work out isn’t that fun. Had this been a good idea in the first place, the original show would probably still be around. Also, actual celebrities are not going to appear on a reality show that films them working out—so what’s the point?
Recipe for Deception
It is a battle of secrets and knives in this fast-paced and innovative self-contained cooking competition series where a chef’s cunning is almost as important as their culinary skill. In each stand-alone episode host Max Silvestri guides four new chefs through head-to-head elimination rounds in which they are tasked with creating a stunning dish featuring a main ingredient. The twist is that they have no idea what that ingredient is while cooking. Based on the popular parlor game ‘Two Truths and a Lie,’ competing chefs ask each other three “yes or no” questions to determine what their mystery ingredient is, and their opponent answers strategically with two truthful answers and one outright lie. If you can’t stand deceit, get out of the kitchen.
Ok, so this is Bravo’s version of Chopped? To be fair, Bravo did change the cooking show game with Top Chef so I guess technically this is in their lane. I’ll probably won’t watch this all season and then will marathon all the episodes one Sunday afternoon while nursing a hangover.
Après Ski (working title)
When the rich and famous want the ultimate winter ski vacation, the hottest place to go is Whistler, British Columbia where breathtaking mountain adventures are only rivaled by off slope après ski extravagance. In a town where the stakes are as high as the slopes, meet the well-groomed staff at this luxurious concierge company who are the behind-the-scenes magic-makers orchestrating once in a lifetime vacations for their upscale and demanding clients.
Growing up, my family and I went to Whistler with some frequency, because we lived in Seattle and would just drive up for the weekend. I don’t remember it being quite the rich people’s playground that Bravo is trying to sell it as. Also, let’s not exaggerate: The stakes are not “as high as the slopes.” Vacation is literally never a high-stakes operation. I don’t care about this.
Below Deck Mediterranean
The “Below Deck” franchise is heading to the world’s oldest cruising grounds, the Mediterranean Sea, for its next super-yacht charter season. The new European setting not only provides spectacular scenery, culture and nightlife, but a whole new level of service standards and charter guest demands.
I wonder how they’re going to improve on the current Below Deck, because that show has been solidly mediocre for two seasons now. This is going to sound terrible, but watching “the help” wait on ridiculous rich people is not as fun as just watching ridiculous rich people be stupid. Plus, I relate too much to the employees working on the ship, and I don’t go to Bravo for relatability. I feel cautious about this one.
Tour Group (working title)
A diverse and vibrant group set out on a mind-blowing vacation through the most stunning, eclectic and exclusive destinations around the globe. With varied personalities forced together in foreign environments, will this two month dream journey become too much adventure for these jetsetters, or will they make it a permanent vacation?
What? I barely understand what this show is supposed to be about, which could either be a terrible sign or a fantastic sign. I’m willing to give this show the benefit of the doubt only because everyone knows that the best and most absurd drama on a Bravo show happens during international travel.
Meet the ambitious suburban ladies of Locust Grove, Georgia’s Parent-Teacher Organization. These moms are a real class act, parlaying their executive room experience to run the local PTO and raise thousands of dollars for the town’s local elementary school. Full of teachable moments, they give new meaning to “getting schooled.”
D MINUS FOR THAT TERRIBLE PUN.
But this could be interesting. I think Bravo is making this sound way less unhinged that it has the potential to be. Ideally, it follows a group of Alicia Florrick-types who are always kind of drunk on white wine and are helicopter parenting their way through life.
Married to Medicine Houston
The popular franchise heads to the largest medical community in the country for “Married to Medicine Houston.” These diverse and driven young doctors and wives of physicians look like they have it all—educated, sexy and at the top of their game. But peel back the layers and you will see that new obstacles might threaten their momentum. After punishing years of sacrifice and putting life on hold, how they navigate marriage, children, family and social pressure will either derail their promising careers or prove that they can have it all.
The original Married to Medicine is set in Atlanta and has been a bit of a snoozefest, minus the first season where two adult woman got in an absolutely insane physical altercation that was frankly more pathetic than it was entertaining.
But Real Housewives of Atlanta is Bravo’s highest-rated Real Housewives franchise, and it seemed like Married to Medicine was just an attempt to duplicate that success. So they’re trying again with this one. Also, you know the cast is going to be black, so there’s that.
My Fab 40th
Delve into the world of extravagant 40th birthday parties where people put some serious “happy” into a righteous rite of passage. From unlimited budgets to lavish delicacies and over-the-top entertainment, fans will see why turning 40 is such a gift.
Into this. Sounds like it’s basically My Super Sweet 16 featuring rich adults struggling with arrested development. I’m about it.
NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches (working title)
Atlanta’s “most driven” housewives— NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann— drive out of their comfort zones and across the country to discover America on a one-of-a-kind adventure. The road to LA may be paved with good intentions, but that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally drive each other crazy.
Did we really need this? No, we don’t. Still, there’s nothing more Bravo than two people made famous by Bravo getting their second spin-off show on Bravo.
Maybe I’m just a little bitter because I believe strongly that Bravo should immediately recast this with Kate and myself doing our own version of Oprah and Gayle’s Road Trip Adventure. (I’m Oprah because I have a valid driver’s license.)
If nothing else, the wig budget for this show is going to be bananas.
Ladies of Dallas (working title)
From glamorous galas to scintillating scandals, and supersized spending habits, life in the elite tier of the Dallas social scene is hard to crack, and even harder to maintain. Whether driven by vanity, personal validation, or career advancement, these Lone Star ladies all share the same goal- to climb the social ladder and stay on top.
Interestingly, Bravo isn’t airing this under the Real Housewives brand, although honestly, they might end up doing just that. Rich ladies living in a state whose primary ethos is being an over-the-top caricature of itself? Yes please. This is will be worth tuning in to for for the hair, makeup and outfits alone.
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