I admit it, I like reality TV. For one hour at a time, I like to watch the antics, anguish and outlandish craziness of bachelors and bachelorettes, people getting wiped out and, more recently, Bravo TV’s “Real Housewives” series. It’s my mental junk food, after a tough day or week when I don’t want to stay up late losing sleep over extra work I’ve taken home or just to wind down. My absolute favorites are the two seasons set in Atlanta, and for the purpose of this blog, my favorite housewife is Lisa Wu Hartwell, pictured here with her father on her wedding day.
A bi-racial woman whose mom is black and dad is Chinese, I think she brings a great perspective to the group. She’s a regular bundle of energy, so it’s often interesting to see what business venture she’s got cooking next. I just hope for her sake that she can slow down and focus on one passion. It’s great to juggle a couple or even three business projects in related fields, but she seems to have so many one-off projects in vastly different areas, that it’s hard to tell where her true passion lies. I hope her passion is jewelry. Her first collection had some beautiful pieces, and I hope she has stuck with it for a second go-around. I am all for trying different things, but there is something to be said for honing a craft and having that feeling that you’ve outdone yourself. But other than that, it’s great to have different interests and hobbies. It shows that she has an open, active mind, and who could resent that? She also seems like a genuinely warm-hearted person, a great mom, wife, sister, friend and with her connections, a blast to hang out with.
Among the other houswives, the series offers plenty of wit, glamour and cheesy implausible melodrama to keep me watching—and downloading. When Sheree is onscreen, I make detailed notes of what she’s wearing and how her house is decked out. And I wish I were the first one to say: “Who gon’ check me, boo?” Kandi, with her open heart, maturity, subtleness and quiet (seeming) ways is the most admirable one of the bunch, in my mind. Nene is an absolute blast. There are times when I’m goofing around with Baby and project a southern woman’s persona. While watching her carry on, I realized to my utter shock that I’m projecting someone very much like Nene. How did that happen? I’m from the Northeast, and my family is Caribbean. It’s a mystery that I’m still trying to sort out. DaShawn is a great woman. With her foundation, she seems kind, generous and very ladylike. If more of the women were like her, the show would be less trashy, but equally entertaining for their glamourous lives and the goodness that they try to bring to others. She was not on Season 2, but I hope she, her husband and family are still thriving. I hope Kim has stopped being an adulteress and kept woman. That is so degrading.
If you’re wondering why I’m just getting around to talking about the Atlanta edition of “Real Housewives,” it’s because I don’t have cable. In some roundabout way, I heard about the series and since I have a Mac, realized I could purchase and watch whichever episodes I want. I wasted my money on the boring New Jersey edition. Aside from the way those awful gossips all (except for that nice girl from Las Vegas) dragged Danielle’s name through the mud in their town, the season was a waste of time.
I don’t read other blogs that have mentioned the Atlanta series. I like to take the show at face value and trust that these women, all of whom are mothers, are a lot more multi-dimensional and solid than the show makes them out to be. Let’s be honest: Neither Bravo TV nor any other network with a reality TV show is looking out for the best interest of the people who participate. They don’t care if the public assails them on cheap, mean-spirited blogs. And anyway, this ain’t that kinda party! We’re a family establishment, and we don’t call women certain names. Their children could read this one day!
Lisa Wu Hartwell’s parents are still together, which is fantastic for a couple of reasons. They’ve built an enduring marriage and what looks like a solid family, and they’ve weathered what must have been tests and trials from back when they were young and trying to make it. Sometimes I look around and wonder how some of my aunts and parents of my friends did it: stayed married for 30, 40 years. Hubby sometimes makes me so mad! But I guess I go back to that article I read years ago about the couple who were married for 75 years. Seventy-five years! They said it helps when you take the time to be considerate of your spouse’s feelings. To know that way back in the day a Chinese man loved a black woman enough to (presumably) show her that he cares for all those decades is heartwarming. To cross that cultural divide and devote yourself to someone and raise a family with them is just plain beautiful. More black women deserve that kind of love, whether it comes from within the culture and, if they are open, from outside of it.