The appeal of The Real Houswives franchise may be something of a conundrum to those who judge the show for the decadent presentation of these brides-cum-shewolves. But lift up that thin veneer, and answers slowly reveal themselves.
Thought Catalog, home to some of the smarter writing out there these days, has a little piece called "Everything You Didn't Really Care To Know About The Real Housewives" that addresses some of the poignant verisimilitude broached in the series.The article articulates the realness of the problems the housewives face:
"Throughout the seasons, we've seen the housewives have financial difficulties, get cheated on by their husbands, watch a child succumb to drug addiction, and deal with infertility."
The point, obvious as it may be, brings into relief the appeal of watching this uxorious ant farm and perhaps the Schadenfreude or empathy we feel in seeing these ostensibly tasteless creatures struggle.
The analysis chronicles the racism addressed in the Atlanta off-shoot, the glance at feminism in all of the iterations may be fodder for an excellent doctoral dissertation.