Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



'Real Housewives' expert Brian Moylan keeps it real in new tell-all book
by Tony Peregrin

This article shared 1070 times since Fri May 21, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Bravo's Real Housewives franchise, which has been stirring the pot for more than 15 years, has launched 31 books and a cocktail line; featured two jail sentences and a couple of supermodel daughters; made Andy Cohen a household name; and resulted in 36 divorces, 14 albums and countless memes.

The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives offers superfans of the pop culture juggernaut an inside peek into the inner workings of the franchise with both on and off-the-record interviews with current and former housewives as well as members of the production crew.

Written by Brian Moylan, the immensely popular Real Housewives recapper for Vulture, the book gives fans the inside scoop on every classic throwdown and reveals what the housewives are really like off-camera.

"I decided to write this book mostly for selfish reasons, to answer all of the questions that keep me awake at night," writes Moylan in the introduction to The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives.

Windy City Times: Your obsession with the Real Housewives started with the glimpse of a hot, topless guy.

Brian Moylan: Listen, I am shallow and vain so I will watch just about anything with hot, shirtless guys in it. However, that is not enough to get me to stick around. After I got past the gorgeousness of Shane Keough [son of The Real Housewives of Orange County alum Jeana Keough], it was the ladies' stories I found captivating. I loved trying to figure out what was real and what the show revealed about them that they didn't want the audience to know but we sensed anyway. I think that is at the core of my deep and undying love of the Real Housewives.

WCT: You interviewed "real soldiers-on-the-ground" for the book, including producers, editors, sound techs and so on. What is your big take-away from these interviews?

BM: I think they are really proud of their jobs and mostly love the work that they do, even as crazy as the women and Bravo can be sometimes. But I think my big takeaway is that the shows are a lot more real than a lot of fans think they are. They see producer manipulation in everything and, really, all of those who work behind the scenes that I talked to say that if anyone is manipulating a storyline or trying to script things it's the women themselves.

WCT: How does Real Housewives casting work?

BM: So, casting usually starts with the current cast's friends or people who run in the same circles as they do because the best cast members are those with organic connections to those already on the show. Everyone I talked to in casting says the best Housewife is one who will, as Bethenny Frankel says, "Mention it all." Someone who will let her full life be on camera and is willing to live her truth for the masses. But to find those people they pass through many rounds of vetting, screen tests and, yes, background checks. But how good can those checks be when we end up with a Jen Shah situation.

WCT: How much do the Housewives make?

BM: Everyone wants to know the Housewives salaries and it does vary, especially for those like Denise Richards who come to the show with some fame already attached. However, for those who go from obscurity to the Housewives, they usually make $60,000 the first season, $120,000 the second season, and then somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 for the rest of her tenure.

WCT: Does Andy Cohen really have as much power as we all think he does?

BM: I will always love Andy Cohen for his contributions to making the Real Housewives what it is today, but ever since he stopped working for Bravo in 2013 and is just an executive producer on the shows and host of Watch What Happens Live and the reunion specials, he is less of the omniscient Svengali that fans think he is. Yes, he's in all the meetings and does have a say in how casting and production go, but he's just one of many other voices in the room with others, including Bravo honchos like Shari Levin and Francis Berwick who carry more power than he does.

WCT: Talk about the evolving landscape of reality TV as it relates to LGBTQ+ identities and how they are portrayed (or not) on these shows.

BM: As for the Housewives specifically, I find it interesting that in the early years we met a lot of "gay sidekicks" on the shows, like Dwight Eubanks on Real Housewives of Atlanta and Cedric Martinez on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Those have mostly disappeared (with a few exceptions) so there are almost no queer representations on the shows even though it is on a network that is considered very gay. We also have never had a full-time LGBTQ+ Housewife and I think it's well past time. Now that the shows are diversifying more in terms of race, I think we'll see someone who flies the rainbow flag sometime soon.

I think the state of queer people on reality TV is the same as it is in scripted drama. We're seeing a lot more representations in lots of different genres, but it's surprising to me that there are very few reality shows about queer lives. While it's great that we get to be a part of the big world of reality TV, it would be nice if there was something that was by and about LGBTQ+ people for LGBTQ+ people.

WCT: What's your secret to writing engaging reality TV recaps?

BM: I always assume that people who are reading the recap have seen the episode already (though sometimes that may not be the case) so I try to avoid a "this happened, then this happened, then this happened," format and take the episode more thematically as a whole.

I think readers really want to hear a recapper's opinions, so I try to really take a stand and say who I like and who I don't at any given time (though that is always shifting) and I do try to be fair when assessing their conflicts and arguments. I try to put myself in the situation and think about how I would react.

Then I just try to really make it my own and add a lot of my personality into it. People are coming to recaps to prolong the enjoyment they get from watching the show, so I try to provide as much fun and extra value as I can in about 1,500 words.

WCT: What is your early take on the Housewives All-Stars concept?

BM: I'm excited for Housewives All-Stars, as we're calling it, just because fans have been speculating about it for so long. Someone who worked on filming told me it's amazing. But I will admit that my expectations are a little bit low. What makes the Housewives trips so explosive is that it puts these women that have issues with each other and long-standing relationships in a situation where they can't escape each other. While the All-Stars all know each other, they haven't had the months of build-up to really be in a situation where things will come to a head; but it will be fun to watch them all interact.

WCT: In writing this book, what did you learn about yourself as a fan of the Real Housewives that surprised you?

BM: I think that some of the best parts of the book are when I go to vacation with Vicki Gunvalson and when I travel to BravoCon. I thought I would love talking to the Housewives and the producers, which I did, but really the most fun I had was with the other fans, the people that love this same thing that I do. I really wanted to write this for them and I hope that they all love it as much as I loved writing it and getting to know them.

The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives, published by Flatiron Books, will be released May 25.

This article shared 1070 times since Fri May 21, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Lambda Literary to expand LGBTQ Writers in Schools Program in New York City schools
--From a press release - New York, NY — Today, Lambda Literary announced that New York City has quadrupled its investment in the organization's LGBTQ Writers in Schools program, increasing funding from $100,000 to $400,000 to reach 10,000 students and provide ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson on new book, 'Our Fair Share'
In Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson's new book, Our Fair Share: How One Small Change Can Create a More Equitable American Economy, he posits that receiving a Citizen Dividend will help all U.S. residents achieve ...

Gay News

Few LGBTQ nods from the Emmys even as RuPaul makes TV history
Netflix's The Crown and Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso were among the big winners as the Television Academy presented its 2021 Emmy Awards on Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. While the Academy had drawn praise for the ...

Gay News

FILM REVIEW Chastain mesmerizes in 'Tammy Faye,' but bio offers few surprises
Televangelists featured in some of the of the most spectacular falls from grace in the '80s. Television preachers who'd spent the better part of the '70s and the '80s insinuating themselves into pocketbooks, not to mention ...

Gay News

BOOKS 'Mission Possible' released before 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' anniversary
C. Dixon Osburn, co-founder and former CEO of the Servicmembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), has written Mission Possible: The Story of the Repealing 'Don't Ask Don't Tell. This is the inside story of SLDN, which was ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Genera+ion' axed, sports items, Wilson Cruz, k.d. lang, Lil Nas X
HBO Max did now renew Genera+ion, its OC-high-school-set dramedy, noted. "We will not be moving forward with a second season of Genera+ion," a spokesperson for HBO Max said in a statement. "We are very proud ...

Gay News

Stephen Amell, 'Outlander' star to be at Wizard World Chicago
Stephen Amell, known to millions as the crime-fighting vigilante lead in the hit TV series Arrow, will return to Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 16. Amell—who also starred in DC Universe vehicles such as DC's ...

Gay News

TELEVISION 'Drag Race,' 'Queer Eye,' 'Pose' among Creative Emmy winners
Three 2021 Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies took place Sept. 11-12—and Netflix's The Queen's Gambit led the way with nine wins going into next weekend's Primetime Emmys, Deadline reported. LGBTQ+ individuals and shows also scored se ...

Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs
The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA
Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...

Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29
Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...

Gay News

TV Rory O'Malley lands his second gay cartoon role with 'Chicago Party Aunt'
Inspired by a popular Twitter account, Netflix's latest adult cartoon, Chicago Party Aunt, takes the Windy City to a whole new level. Superstore star and Second City alumna Lauren Ash plays the titular character, Diane Dunbrowski. ...

Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Idol' alums, Zendaya, Gaga, 'Queer As Folk,' women rappers
American Idol alum David Archuleta said that God urged him to come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News noted. The Nashville resident told he wasn't sure if the community would embrace ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.