Real Housewives 101: A How To Guide

Real Housewives 101 How Guide

If there's one thing Bravo has mastered, it's how to cast the Real Housewives franchise. We keep thinking we'll get tired of the premise as more of them pop up all over the country, but instead, we find ourselves salivating at the thought of Real Housewives of D.C., , which revealed its cast this week.

Bravo's tried-and-true casting formula never disappoints. While each woman is unique, it takes general personality types to make things pop off properly. And heck, if one person can serve as the drama queen and the wannabe recording artist? That's just an added bonus.

Here's what (or who) you need to build a successful Housewives series. We've included predictions of which DC Housewife will fit each role, based on their short bios:


Housewives or not, no reality show is complete or interesting without the requisite lunatic. She might become painful or annoying to watch, but she's also the same thing that compels fans to flock to their TVs each week. People love to see crazies behave badly and make fools of themselves. It makes them feel sane.

Examples: Danielle (NJ); Kelly (NYC)

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Most likely DC Housewife: Catherine. The British mother has written a racy book about her escapades as a single woman in London, and she's billed as someone who 'tells it like it is.' That's got over-sharing, and possibly unstable temperament, written all over it.


Successful reality shows are built upon characters that thrive on making mountains out of molehills (or holemills, if you speak Ramona). On Housewives , she's the kind of person that takes a smart-alecky comment and turns it into a huge insult (Jill of NYC), or creates a terroristic threat out of a teenager's rant (Danielle of NJ), or in general, makes a ridiculously huge scene wherever she goes (NeNe of Atlanta; Vicki of O.C.).

Most likely DC Housewife: Micheale, the former model and White House gatecrasher who clearly thrives on making a big entrance.


There's always one woman on every show who thinks she's better than everyone else, and that the world revolves around her. She's condescending and gives backhanded compliments, but if you even hint that she's done something wrong? You'll hear about it for 10 episodes straight. With the narcissist, the producers have no need to come up with new story lines -- they've got one built in to drag out the whole season.

Examples: Sheree (ATL); Danielle (NJ)

Most likely DC Housewife: This might be Catherine, too. It takes a special kind of person to think the whole world cares about your 15-year-old sexcapades.


We admit it: We can't get enough of aging women who use this reality platform to show the world their immense vocal talent. And by immense talent, we mean who the hell let these people in the studio? And why are there people encouraging them? Seeing the other Housewives pretend to like their efforts is just icing on the cake.

Example: LuAnn (NYC), Kim (ATL).

Most likely DC Housewife: Mary. She's got five kids, no job and 20 years of marriage under her belt. It's a prime time for a midlife crisis.


When you've got all these extreme personalities coming together, you need one sane person to put it all in perspective. Otherwise, it's just a show full of wackos spouting off at the mouth. The voice of reason will attempt (usually in vain) to quell, or at least call out, outlandish situations. But they are usually at their best during their one-on-one interviews and can share their observations without interruption.

Examples: Bethenny (NYC); Sonja (NYC); Kandi (ATL)

Most likely DC Housewife: Stacie. With a Harvard MBA, real estate business, children and numerous philanthropic endeavors, she won't have the patience for all the drama.


The Mother Hen is different than the Voice of Reason, but they are both necessities. Mother Hen is usually a little more, um, mature, thereby possessing more wisdom than some of her younger counterparts. She also feels the need to protect her flock, unlike the VOR who is happy to just write them all off and forge out on her own. The MH is often the glue that holds the show together.

Example: Caroline (NJ); Jeana (OC -- we miss you!)

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Most likely DC Housewife: Lynda. Mostly because she's billed as the 'mother hen' in her bio.