Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



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

This article shared 1324 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 1324 times since Fri May 21, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Billy Masters: Colton Underwood, Golden Globes and more
"I was not prepared to receive death threats over a fictional character's fictional relationship choices that are fictional which means not real."—A writer on the Sex and the City sequel And Just Like That describes feedback ...

Gay News

POLITICS Laura Ricketts co-chairing Valencia's finance committee
Laura Ricketts—a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, along with her family, and a leader in the LGBTQ+ community—is co-chairing the finance committee of Illinois secretary of state candidate Anna Valencia, according to the Politico Illinois Playbook. ...

Gay News

NBJC celebrates Mj Rodriguez on Golden Globes win
—From a press release - The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) congratulates Michaela Jae "Mj" Rodriguez on earning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama during the 2022 Golden Globe Awards. Rodriguez won for her role as Blanca ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12
Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...

Gay News

VIEWS Hoarders
One TV program that I alternately love and hate is Hoarders. The producers send a team of psychologists, organizers and laborers into a person's home and they all work (and argue) about cleaning the place up ...

Gay News

Billy Masters: Andy Cohen, SJP and more
The virus hit us both like a freight train. Thankfully, we were both triple vaccinated and the vaccinations did their job, which kept us out of real danger and out of the hospital… [We're] still isolating and waiting to see until we test ...

Gay News

Trans actress Rodriguez makes history at quiet Golden Globes
On Jan. 9, Michaela Jae "Mj" Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV drama for her role as Blanca on the FX show Pose, according to media reports. The awards were announced on social media, as the Globes were not broadcast or live-streamed ...

Gay News

Jason Lee talks Kevin Hart, Jussie Smollett and 'Hollywood Unlocked'
In just a few years, LGBTQ+ media personality Jason Lee's star has shone brightly in Hollywood. In 2015, Lee started appearing on the reality show Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood as well as the MTV improv ...

Gay News

Conversion therapy now illegal in Canada
The conversion therapy ban has taken effect in Canada, reported. After parliamentarians came together to unanimously pass legislation to eradicate the harmful practice in late 2021, the Criminal Code sanctions came into force on Jan. ...

Gay News

Transgender 'Jeopardy!' contestant passes $1-million mark
Transgender Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider passed the $1-million mark on an episode that aired Jan. 7, becoming the first woman (cis or trans) to do so, The New York Times noted. Schneider—who's from Oakland, California—marked he ...

Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23
The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Jeopardy! champ, director dies, Frank Ocean
TikTok fans of LGBTQ entertainer Jojo Siwa said her new teenage girlfriend, Katie Mills, is a supporter of anti-LGBTQ Republican former President Donald Trump, per LGBTQ Nation. Mills also once questioned if transgender women are "actually" ...

Gay News

Beloved icon Betty White dies at 99
Betty White—a beloved TV icon whose career spanned decades—has died at age 99. White was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on Jan. 17, 1922. "Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would ...

Gay News

WORLD Croatia MP, missing student, French president's wife, Senegal bill
The boyfriend of Croatian MP Domagoj Hajdukovic shared a picture of the pair kissing, according to PinkNews. Matija Stainer shared a picture of himself with Hajdukovic to Facebook, thanking followers for their support. In June 2020, ...

Gay News

'Real Housewife' Julia Lemigova talks about Miami Housewives, miniature cattle
The Real Housewives of Miami finally has an out and proud member of the LGBTQ+ in the main cast with Julia Lemigova. (She's the franchise's second such cast member, following The Real Housewives of Orange County's ...


Copyright © 2022 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.