Long before our obsession with Basketball Wives began, Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta became one of the first reality shows to entertain us with smack-talking, back-stabbing drama between everyday women. We laughed, shook our heads and chomped away at our popcorn as frenemies Kim and Nene went from best buds to bickering enemies, Sheree went on a series of hilariously-bad dates and as Kim purportedly scammed Kandi on her one-hit wonder, “Don’t Be Tardy For The Party.”
Then, sometime during last season, the drama got a bit serious. Seeing Nene fall out of love with her husband of 13 years in front of the camera was heart-wrenching. And we couldn’t help but wince as Cynthia Bailey shed tears during her very public, and painful, challenges while marrying the controversial Peter. It seems Season 4 has more where that came from.
In the preview clip alone, we see Cynthia argue with her sister, in tears, about her husband coming between them and we watch Sheree confront her ex-husband, the father of her children, by pouring water on his face and we get a glimpse of them in court. While the silly arguments and gossip were entertaining, this kind of pain and family drama is too serious to laugh and joke about while watching with friends. It feels invasive and cruel to dissect and speculate on, especially given the public suicide of Taylor’s husband, Russell Armstrong, on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Is the drama on these reality shows becoming too personal and invasive? Do you ever feel uncomfortable peering into deeply painful parts of their lives this way? Is it just the nature of reality TV?