“Taylor Armstrong’s situation in Beverly Hills was so incredibly grim,” recalls Cohen. “But it also betrayed the reality that sometimes when things seem like they all come in pretty packages, the truth of the matter is that life is really tough and it’s not what it seems.”
In recent seasons, even wives have been involved in high-stakes legal drama. In the Beverly Hills series, Erika Girardi, a former waitress who married a wealthy lawyer 32 years her senior, got into trouble after her husband was sued for embezzling funds from plane crash victims. His license was eventually revoked and he was ordered to pay millions in reparation. The following year, Salt Lake City resident Jen Shah narrowly escaped arrest on camera for conspiracy to wire fraud; She entered a plea deal and recently served a six-and-a-half-year sentence. Cohen thinks it’s important to keep filming, even when the going gets tough.
“We didn’t shoot any of these women when they were in any legal danger,” he says. “So I think the Jen Shah thing caught everyone by surprise, but you’re not going to stop telling the story because she did something wrong. This is someone that people are investing in now and you will want to see how it plays out, how it affects the friendship group and how it affects their family.
What really pisses fans off is the big moments are not seen on camera. In Beverly Hills, part-time actress Kathy Hilton (yes, mother of Paris – housewives moving in high-flying circles) had a drunken meltdown that allegedly included a derogatory slur. Some viewers have speculated that the production was hit by a lawsuit that prevented the airing of unflattering footage. Cohen says that’s not the case.
“If it happens on camera, you can’t put anything back in the bottle. And there were times that go back to the limo fight in Beverly Hills season one” — Cohen is referring to a scene where housewife Kyle Richards came out as an alcoholic to her sister Kim during an explosive fight, a moment when their relationship ended in real life recovered from — “it was their lowest moment and none of them wanted it to air and it was like, ‘Well, it happened and it’s not fair to the other women if one thing is not shown and another.’”
Cohen insists the incident happened late at night, after the crew had already wrapped filming – and the wives continued to party. “I mean, they were up until four or five in the morning. So at some point you have to tell the crew, okay, you can go home,” he says. “If the footage existed, believe me, we would show it.”
Being able to capture your worst moments on camera is part of what housewives sign up for. As Cohen puts it, “The show gives them so much, but it can also be an incredible emotional challenge for them to be a part of.”
So over almost two decades of actual soap operas housewives Ever come across something that felt too dark to air?
“There was a scene where Lenny and Lisa Hochstein [from The Real Housewives of Miami] had to say goodbye to their dog before they put him down and we said “we can’t show that”. It was devastating,” says Cohen.
Even the most confrontational reality show on TV has to draw a line somewhere.
What Happens Live with Andy Cohen will only air on Hayu.
https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/real-housewives-mastermind-opens-up-about-the-show-s-devastating-moments-20230308-p5cqi8.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Real Housewives mastermind Andy Cohen opens up about the show’s ‘devastating’ moments