Americans will be proud to learn that our nation is now exporting one of our most precious commodities: The Real Housewives franchise. But Greeks haven't developed the same "love to hate them" relationship with their versions of Teresa Giudice and Jill Zarin. Last week's premiere episode had low, but not disastrous ratings, with around 600,000 people tuning in. However, critics are attacking the show for depiciting the six cast members lounging and bickering in luxury locations as many citizens are facing hard economic times due to the nation's debt crisis. "Only scandalous blindness...could consider that this series has anything to do with the harsh daily life of Greek women," said the newspaper Ta Nea. "With the economic crisis...a reality show on lavishness and consumerism seems unlikely to catch on." But isn't viewers feeling superior to rich ladies who behave like spoiled 13-year-olds what makes the series so popular?
"Feeling superior to rich ladies who behave like spoiled 13-year-olds" is a key part of enjoying the Housewives franchise, but there has to be a greater sense of schadenfreude to enjoy it. I argue that "The Real Housewives of Orange County" is the most fascinating of the franchise because it started with them pissing away their money and gradually showed them dealing with foreclosures, divorces and moving into apartments.