After a lukewarm inaugural season, which included uninspired casting choices, forgettable jams, and too many board games, The Real Housewives Girls’ Ultimate Journey (this time, subtitled ex-wives club) returns with a tighter premise, a more energizing all-star cast, and an iconic, historic setting at Dorinda Medley’s Blue Stone Manor – “You Don’t Touch the Letters Morgan!” , but a very fun excursion from the main real housewives offers currently on Bravo.
Even before the inaugural season of The Real Housewives Girls’ Ultimate Journey landed on Peacock last fall, news that Medley of The Real Housewives of New York celebrity and former Real Housewives of Orange County Star Vicki Gunvalson had a heated row over COVID-19 vaccines as filming for Season 2 had already eclipsed any rumors of a beef between Kenya Moore and Ramona Singer on a yacht in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
On June 23, Bravo fans can finally watch the two reality TV legends play drunken proxies in our current culture war, with Medley taking the side of science and Gunvalson spitting out unsubstantiated nonsense she’s read about. Facebook or heard from his ex-mask-skeptic. fiance. Despite how numbing these debates are in real life, it’s both thrilling and cathartic to watch Medley, a drunken and scrambled master of spiel, challenge Gunvalson’s anti-vax theories with the strongest conviction as their co -stars stare at them with their mouths agape.
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Before you even get to this showdown, you realize early on that the show is, intentionally or not, a way to boost Medley’s approval rating among Bravo fans after his franchise’s abrupt exit after season 12. , where his hostility towards his co-stars casts a dark cloud over a mostly fun and frivolous show.
As the hostess with the most, Medley is unmistakably ex-wives cluband makes sure to differentiate herself from the rest of her cast by announcing that she was “put on hiatus” rather than fired by Bravo. If viewers needed more convincing that she belongs in RHONYjust announced Legacy spin-off – she may have already been cast –ex-wives club is a master showcase of the aspects of Medley we originally fell in love with, from her motherly warmth to her zero-to-100 temperament to her quirky house decorations.
And yet, there are plenty of other contributions from the show’s remaining stars to laugh, gawk at, and cringe at. Besides Medley and Gunvalson, other ex-wives include Phaedra Parks and Eva Marcille of Real Housewives of Atlanta; Brandi Glanville and Taylor Armstrong of beverly hills; Judge Tamra of Orange County; and Jill Zarin of New York, whose particular arrival on the Berkshires’ estate is a beautiful self-referential homage gone terribly wrong (or perhaps quite right).
Parks’ confessionals provide about 70% of the show’s laugh moments. I won’t spoil any of her colorful and sleazy remarks except to tell you that at one point she uttered the phrase “Revival Strawberry Shortcake,” and it hasn’t left my brain since. The sheer bitterness emanating from Gunvalson and Judge following their dismissal from Orange County two years ago is also funny and fascinating to watch. Judge, one of the most cunning and shamelessly calculated Housewives in the show’s history, is clearly auditioning for a role in his franchise, which honestly could use his familiarity and fidgety tendencies. Meanwhile, Gunvalson, who can’t afford to keep her right-wing conspiracies to herself, fails at every opportunity in her redemption arc. (Although, if you appreciate her for the constantly frantic cartoon character that she is, you’ll appreciate her on this show.)
The same goes for Glanville, whose outspokenness about beverly hills is constantly hailed on Twitter. Likewise, she manages to casually piss off her co-stars on this show, and even some of the service staff. However, her interactions with Armstrong, particularly the ignorance she displays regarding her former co-star’s abusive relationship with the late Russell Armstrong, sours her presence. Presumably, some Bravo fans won’t appreciate seeing someone question the legitimacy of a woman’s abuse allegations and focus on their trauma. Plus, flashbacks revealing how Armstrong’s allegations against her husband were mishandled on beverly hills are particularly worthy of reviving in our current cultural moment.
The season is mostly lighthearted, but the women are all hurt in some way, whether by Bravo or each other. It adds a rich layer to a show that could only be classified as a vanity project for Bravo. Not only does the unemployment backdrop (at least by the network) make this particular gathering more useful and add a nostalgic quality, but it also introduces issues that weren’t present in the first season of Ultimate girls trip.
Being chosen for the inaugural season was mostly presented as an accolade and didn’t ask much of the women besides rehashing their greatest hits in front of the camera. But being invited on the ex-wives club is both a reminder of failure and a second chance, adding a competitive edge and an air of desperation—crucial to success real housewives series – to the show. This formula ultimately pays off in more rewarding ways, and it would be smart for Peacock to emulate it in Season 3.
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