Secrets and Wives- Bravo Finally Nails Long Island

From Left: Liza Sandler, Amy Miller, Gail Greenberg,Susan Doneson,Cori Goldfarb, and Andi Black of Secrets and Wives Photo: Bravotv.com

From Left: Liza Sandler, Amy Miller, Gail Greenberg,Susan Doneson,Cori Goldfarb, and Andi Black of Secrets and Wives
Photo: Bravotv.com

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

Cori Goldfarb, Gail Greenberg, Andi Black, Amy Miller, Liza Sandler, and Susan Doneson. It may read like the roster from my childhood summer camp, but this is actually the cast from Bravo’s latest reality venture Secrets and WivesThis is Bravo’s second attempt to bring us catfights and crazy from Long Island, NY, and I think this time they may have gotten it right. Princesses Long Island was just too young, and the drama was too juvenile. Even myself, who is fluent in the language of the Jewish American Princess, couldn’t get into it. However, with SW, the princesses are all wearing their big girl panties, and dropping them for one another’s husbands. Throw in all the talk of blow jobs and it really is like my summer camp.

The cast of Secrets has all the makings of reality star success. The women are unapologetically raw with their language, they think out loud, and they live over the top in magnificent mansions…some floated by ex-husbands. There are lots of ex-husbands and ex-husband drama to boot. Liza Sandler (@TheLizaSandler) is the typical Long Island blonde tanorexic. She lives in a fabulous home that her ex is trying to sell out from under her. Episode one featured her crying in frustration into the steering wheel of her Mercedes after he pushes her buttons via phone.

No need to worry too much about Liza, as she’s never alone. She’s got her BFF Andi Black (@TheAndiBlack) to share her home and fart in her bed…yes this was really a conversation on the show. I’m still not sure exactly what Andi is doing at Liza’s. I often miss some of the details on the show because I’m trying to tell all these bottle blondes apart, hence why it’s taken me two episodes to review.Thank heavens for Susan Doneson.

Susan (@SusanDoneson) is the token brunette, and Italian (or wannabe Italian…is Doneson an Italian name?) on the show. Italians and Jews are like peanut butter and jelly. We all have the same values…food, family, loud talking, and food. Susan lives on the South Shore of Long Island, which means in comparison to her mansion dwelling North Shore counterparts, she’s slumming it a-la Antonia Gorga in a nice sized colonial. She also works, and doesn’t cease to remind the wealthy housewives around her of that fact. Susan is not only the resident Italian, she’s also the resident pot stirrer. She’s got a story and opinion about everybody and has outed Liza as the group slut. Susan’s husband is a Tony Soprano type who hung out with Liza in high school. Note most of these women have known each other since high school. These days Susan’s husband seems better suited to hang out with Dorinda Medley‘s boyfriend on The Real Housewives of New York City

Amy Miller (@amydmillerr) is the hopeless romantic of the group, in an equally hopeless relationship. She’s sweet and vulnerable, and is with a veritable jerk. Well, he’s only a jerk in front of other people and cameras. Like Snuffelupgas was to Big Bird, this is Amy’s boyfriend to everybody else. Nobody, not even her own son, has seen the supposed soft side of this man. The women all talk about Amy in worried whispers. To me she’s the most down to earth and I hope she gets her happy ending.

Gail Greenberg (@Gailygreenberg) is the group outcast. The second (or is it third) wife of the North Shore’s most prominent plastic surgeon, she shuffles around her palatial estate with her little dog and maid in tow. Whether packing for fabulous vacations, or being the star of Soul Cycle class, Gail is forever chasing the fountain of youth in pigtails…yes she wore pigtails in episode two, just ask Susan.

Cori Goldfarb (@Corigoldfarb) may just be my favorite. She’s an entrepreneur who traded in her Hamptons vacation home to open Truth and Beauty, a luxurious spa that appears to be bleeding money as she and her husband struggle to get it off the ground. Cori is no nonsense and blunt, but retains her class at the same time, which is more than I can say for the others. She raises her daughters with the right dose of love and sarcasm, the same sarcasm with which she nurtures her marriage.

If Secrets and Wives can retain its natural flow between the women of the cast this show could be the reality savior Bravo has been looking for. However, if history repeats itself and the women get caught up in faking drama we will end up with Real Housewives Of New Jersey with a side of Challah bread. For now however I give Secrets and Wives two tackily manicured thumbs up.

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Southern Charm: A Review

imageBy Lesley Rousso (@mommyrou)

Our favorite Charleston residents are back! Yep y’all Southern Charm is two episodes in already, airing Mondays at 10 on Bravo TV.  When we left the friends last season, Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Calhoun Dennis were breaking up. TRav was actually sobbing by the way, and flash to the next scene, there they are with their newborn daughter Kensington. Cameran Eubanks and Craig Conover were both working for a living and Shep Rose and Whitney Sudler-Smith were hanging around buying tuxedos and being served by butlers. This season, as we come to see, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thomas and Kathryn are living way outside of town on Thomas’ plantation. It’s here, she spends most days with just the baby and a nanny.  TRav announces he’s running for office as an independent and Whitney plans on doing a commercial for him. As we see in the previews, this was not the best decision on Thomas’ part. The two are still not married, and quite honestly, it may stay that way.  They are looking for a place closer to town though and are in a monogamous relationship. Kathryn is sweet and loves that baby but she’s young and clearly has a lot to learn. Her hostessing skills seem to be a big source of talk this season.  That baby though, could be the cutest baby ever.

Cameran has gotten married to an adorable doctor. She continues to work in Real Estate, using a spare office at her mom’s building. Gotta love Cam, she’s my type of girl. She can hang with both the girls and the boys and spends a lot of time counseling these boys on their various acts of debauchery.

Speaking of debauchery, Miss Patricia, Whitney’s mom is back.  Between her butler, her travel bar, and hilarious commentary; she is easily my favorite cast member. She pulls no punches and is totally my idol.

Craig is still working (I’ll use the word working loosely here) at a law firm but refuses to take the bar exam.  I think it’s because he’s too busy drinking everything that isn’t nailed down.

Shep has actually opened a restaurant, that he calls a dive bar and has plans to move to the beach with Whitney for the summer.  People, I don’t even think we’ve scratched the surface of the debauchery. Shep’s friend Landon is also back in town, rounding out the cast.  No more Jenna I guess. Landon, has returned to Charleston, where her sisters live after her recent divorce from her husband in LA

All in all, the first two weeks did not disappoint and from the previews, things just get better. Y’all know where to find me on Monday nights, if y’all need me. Just be aware that I’ll be speaking in a southern accent.

A Break From Reality

The cast of GG2D restored my faith in Bravo TV! photo: bravotv.com

The cast of GG2D restored my faith in Bravo TV!
photo: bravotv.com

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

I have a confession to make. Reality TV and I have separated, or at least, we were separated. After one too many seasons of forced drama and women tearing down other women, I had just had it. I packed my bags and said goodbye. We were officially on a break. We tried to work things out. Occasionally I would be lured back in with the promise of that old feeling I used to get when I watched The Real Housewives, via a good promo, or an interesting new addition, Lisa RinnaEileen Davidson, the anticipation of Bethenny Frankel returning to RHONY, but each time I tried to watch an episode I could only half pay attention. The attraction just wasn’t there like it used to be.

I feared my love affair with Bravo TV was over. How could I still be The Bravo Blonde if I no longer watched Bravo TV? However, those clever Bravo execs found the perfect solution. Whether it be a coincidence, or the reality that reality television may have already piqued, the programming department had the foresight to launch its first scripted series with a cast of characters and actors worthy of prime time on its mothership NBC.Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce had me from the very first episode. It was witty, fun,edgy, and real, as opposed to reality, television.

Every Tuesday night we conducted our affair. I poured the wine at 10pm and gave my undivided attention to all the drama, comedy, and romance that can only be done right when it is authentically faked! How I’d forgotten the joys of character and story development unfolding at the hands of gifted writers, directors, and professional actors. Watching people who graced my television simply because they loved their craft, and not necessarily the glare of the spotlight.

Between GG2D and American Horror Story (the only scripted show I had watched since Desperate Housewives went off the air in 2012) this was the season I went back in time. Back to a time when the small screen was reserved for those who made their profession solely to entertain. It was enjoyable and stress free. To turn off twitter and just watch, as old school as it is, felt fresh and new.

With both shows over for the season, and thankfully both renewed, I have returned to my regularly scheduled programming. My refreshed eyes have readjusted and have been watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills  and The Millionaire Matchmaker again. With the winter ending, hopefully, I plan to be ready to leave my self-imposed hibernation and get back to the circuit meeting the stars of Bravo and beyond.

Yes reality TV, I am watching again. I’m ready to see new seasons of NewlywedsReal Housewives of New York City, and Real Housewives of Orange County. Or at least I thought I was ready, until I saw the season premier of Shahs of Sunset.

What scripted shows do you like to watch? Do you think reality tv is on the decline? Share your thoughts below!