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The Fantasy of Reality

Critical Essays on «The Real Housewives»

Edited By Rachel E. Silverman

With over twenty different casts, multiple spin-off series, and five international locations, The Real Housewives franchise is a television phenomenon. The women on these shows have reinvented the soap opera diva and in doing so, have offered television viewers a new opportunity to embrace a loved, yet waning, genre. As the popularity and prevalence of the docu-drama genre of reality TV continues to increase, the time is ripe for a collection of this sort. The Fantasy of Reality: Critical Essays on ‘The Real Housewives’ explores the series and the women of The Real Housewives through the lens of race, class, gender, sexuality, and place. The contributing authors use an expansive and impressive array of methodological approaches to examine particular aspects of the series, offering rich analysis and insight along the way. This collection takes seriously what some may mock and others adore. Chapters are both fun and informative, lending themselves well to Housewives fans and media scholars alike.
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7. Hate-Watching the Housewives: Gender, Power, and the Pleasure of Judgment

Extract



RACHAEL LIBERMAN

Clearly, there should/could be better shows on TV that depict women in a more positive light. I feel that about half of the time these women are doing positive things—raising a family, focusing on their careers, etc. But the other half, the part most [people] actually want to watch, they are fighting, bickering, talking about one another, etc. It’s the latter that makes people tune in, unfortunately.

(Anonymous, online survey, 2013)

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