Sunday, January 16

The year in bravo: the mashups, the setbacks and so many memes

What no Bravo gives us this year? That is the real question we should ask ourselves, because what the network made provide enough content, gossip, and general entertainment to keep us on our toes almost every day of the year.

The channel that once specialized in shows moms watched at the end of the day over a glass of wine became ubiquitous in all areas of life this year. We should have known what awaited us when the Southern charm The reunion (yes, it was this year in a way!) Essentially ended with a high-profile celebrity engagement and thus gave us the nostalgic celebrity couple of our 2002 dreams, the return of Bennifer. But that wasn’t the only mashup we were blessed with. We can also credit Austen Kroll for participating in the Southern charm/Summer house derived series Winter house along with fellow Charleston Craig Conover and a handful of New York City models. It was the series of alcohol-soaked hookups we needed after the heaviest year in reality TV history.

The network then combined reality television with actual crime, as all eyes (even Harry’s!) Were on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills This season, when women found out, they reacted and argued about Erika Jayne’s endless legal mess (and wearing non-waterproof mascara). It was compelling, it was gross, and it was unlike anything we’ve seen before in this capacity. Oh, and it’s not over yet, for Erika or for Bravo. Because once RHOBH finished, we rolled straight to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City where Jen Shah is also dealing with her own legal drama that is so outrageous it would never have been made into a scripted series. Watching the feds invade the Beauty Lab + Laser parking lot as women learn of their friends’ fate as they ride a luxury van to Vail is just… special. It was amazing, it was sad, it was exciting, and it was taking the franchise to a whole new place in real time.

In fact, 2021 was the year that Bravo embraced real-time reactions on social media and understood to turn them into the on-screen drama we’d see, often several months after the internet went berserk with each new headline, for the better. or for good. worse, like this piece in The cut Explain. Between receipts and memes, the only thing that both talent and viewers could do this year was lean on everything the Internet had to offer. “The blogs” became their own housewife, cast member, and storyline in various ways, on all shows. We are seeing it now in The Ultimate Girls’ Trip from Real Housewives on Peacock (the ultimate reminder of why we love these shows in the first place), how important social media can be, both to those who participate in the shows and to those who simply watch them from home. Watching Bravo now extends far beyond the couch – there’s a component on your phone with social media, in your ears in the form of podcasts, and when talking to all your friends that are just as hooked.

Hell, even Nicki Minaj’s obsession with The Real Housewives of Potomac He left her in the host’s chair during this year’s reunion, the first time Andy Cohen moved behind the camera to look. However, it helped make the transition smooth See what happens live Back to the iconic New York City studio, proving that the pandemic couldn’t beat the late-night show too much. Less fortunate was The Real Housewives of New York, perhaps the biggest failure of this year in the Bravo lineup (Vanderpump Rules it’s a close second, though). Except for that time, Sonja Morgan drank wine through her mask, of course.

In 2021 we welcomed the first Below deck baby courtesy of Jean-Luc and Dani on Sailing yacht below deck, in a Maury-style celebration, no less. It was that show that also brought us one of the most promising new personalities of all time in the main stew form Daisy Kelliher. We also reunited with old friends when Heather Dubrow made her triumphant return to The Real Housewives of Orange Countyand next week The Real Housewives of Miami it’s back on Peacock, so don’t cancel that subscription just yet. The network also tried an interesting experiment with Below the mediterranean deck this year, premiering episodes on the broadcast platform a week before they were broadcast on television. Was it mostly confusing? Yes. But are we ready for the next installment? Below deck below in 2022? Also if.

Being a fan of Bravo in 2021 required a lot of reading: legal documents (now we are all lawyers, I promise) yes, but also books. Not one but two books became required reading in the form of Brian Moylan Housewives and Dave Quinn Not all diamonds and rosés (the latter was published by Andy Cohen’s label). The content kept coming.

All of this is to say, Bravo was more relevant in mainstream pop culture than ever, and that’s not even in a year with a BravoCon, which sadly was canceled due to the rise of the Delta variant this summer (hahaha, remember?). These shows are the definition of zeitgeist as we work to call out the rich, do justice, and then at the end of the day and most importantly, do our best to get away from it all.

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