In the early days of Bravo (when reunion sets looked like the DMV and Andy Cohen didn’t refer to himself as ‘Daddy’ yet) Housewives got hired and stayed around a long time. Somewhere circa New York Season 3 it became okay to Fire and Hire faster than Karen Walker downs a martini. We became complacent with the New Girl concept and perhaps, even in places we don’t share at upscale Sip and See’s, enjoyed seeing the New Girl earn her voice Hunger Games style…only the Hunger Games are all-day drinking games.
Recent New Girl Casts include Kelly of House Dodd, D’Andra the Porcelain, Brienne of Tarth… errr I mean Cameron, Peggy Protector of the Armenias and Margaret, Wearer of Pigtails, second of her name.
For the purpose of this excercise, I’m going to compare and contrast Kelly and Peggy…mostly because I haven’t watched much NJ and because D’Andra’s site was jacked when I tried to order my Hard Night Good Morning Serum so I’m still chapped.
Let me put this mildly. Kelly was a GOOD cast and Peggy needs to be flung back to Armenia to live out her days planning her kids’ arranged marriages. NO, I’m not making fun of her culture or anyone foreign-ish. I’m ALL for it… but if the culture-gap makes them a poor Housewife, as Bon Qui Qui says, “NEED TO GO.” Kelly showed her Yul Brenner husband, her flaws, her spoiled kid and caused enough ruckus for us to hate her or love her. That’s ratings, people. You were tuning in to hope she got thrown under the (actual) bus (in Ireland) OR you were impressed she could hang with Vicki and stick up to TAHHHMRA (say it in your best Gretchen growl).
Someone fell asleep on the casting couch when they cast Peggy. (Bad time to be making Casting Couch jokes in America, I realize). A day at Evolution Media: “Sigh, Doug and Alex are already multimillionaires and they are out of town…. I need to get this Season 12 casting piece done for OC today.” Millienial intern then glances at phone. “OH MY GOD! Starbucks is having a BOGO on Ventis today. Need to bounce. Oh casting—- meh the pretty lady from Atlantis or Argentina or wherever will be fine.” Sends contract and presto- here she comes onto our screens in her Seinfeldian black and white cookie car.
The Housewife recipe matters. It needs to be perfectly mixed with exact amounts of pretty, interesting, tough, rich-ish, authenticity and FUN. RHOBH Kathryn was missing FUN. Lydia was and still is missing interesting. Heather and Gretchen probably finally got fired for lack of authenticity. I sometimes feel like casting is getting caught up in the wealthy aspect thinking if someone lives super-opulent, that is enough. It’s not. We’d rather see Tamra’s nice yet not mansion-y condo than a million Chez Dubrow (ya’all, DID we ever see that?). Tamra was a smart cast in that she brings us herself and gives good show.
Peggy looks the part of a housewife. Pretty, rich, decent sounding story-line, kids to film with (always a plus), married, ethnic. “Yay we’ll show her making dolmas”. I’d rather watch Gretchen wrap and ship purses.
She just didn’t get it on ANY level. First scene: “stop talking about drama,” she says. Ummmm then WHAT are we going to film the other 18.5 episodes of this season? Cuz it’s not the edgy, sizzling insurance industry. She doses’t know how to debate. She doesn’t know how to play the game at all. Did she not watch the show? I honestly think the producers thought we’d all hear ‘Armenia’, think “Kardashian” and give her a Reality TV hall pass.
She’s probably already gone. Off to an old tent where dried up Housewife Khaleesi’s go to relive their glory days (Jill Zarin presiding over ceremonies of course). “MEGHAN, your baby was crying for ten minutes.” I do. I say it outloud around my house in my best Amy Phillips doing Peggy voice. Mine sounds more Jersey than Armenian/Russian tho. But at least Peggy gave SOMETHING to season 12; the perfect non-sensical filler-sentence to throw your detractors off. Husband: “You tailgate.” Me:”Meghan your baby was crying for ten minutes”. Use it! It’s fun. It’s baffling, ridiculous and completely doesn’t fit. Just like Peggy.
Photo Credit: Bravo