The Surreal Housewives

Hank Stuever was a brilliant chronicler of social culture — the deadend shopping strip mall, the man who cleaned up roadkill deer carcasses, the cult of the white plastic chair — but could he bring the same insouciant clarvoyance (in the strict sense of clear sight) to TV coverage. Well, bien sur. Check out his wonderful critique of the new Real Housewives of Orange County season. It practically shimmies and shakes off the computer screen:

You have to read it all. Every paragraph — every one — has it’s delights and revelations, it’s word play and sly subext. But here’s a favorite:

“This is Bravo doing what Bravo does best — imparting, in the slyest and most intuitive of ways, a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. Much hubris (and many martini happy hours) brought us collectively to this point and now a new reality pervades the lifestyles that Bravo built its schedule exalting; the Great Recession has given its schedule more texture and human foible, and, in a way, it feels like the people at Bravo knew this would happen all along and set us on a path of social justice.”

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