Bravo's enormously successful "Real Housewives" shows are a juggernaut with no seeming end in sight. They've spawned spinoffs, knockoffs and 15-minute pop star castoffs. They're also like central casting, as each city features a variation on the same type of "character."
"The Real Housewives" are soapy in nature, so let's imagine what "The Real Housewives of Genoa City" would look like…
The Wallflower - Sharon Newman (see Taylor Armstrong from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and Alex McCord, formerly of "The Real Housewives of New York City.")
The Wallflower is the meek, sweet, unassuming Housewife who people like well enough, even though they aren't always sure what to make of her. Sharon (Sharon Case) is a co-dependent gal who just can't seem to cope without a man and tends to make shall we say, questionable choices in that pursuit. The Wallflower is also known for letting people walk all over her before she miraculously finds her "voice," usually at an inopportune time. Sharon waited until she was in jail courtesy of sociopath ex-husband, Adam (Michael Muhney) to wake up and get a clue about how he'd manipulated and used her.
The Troublemaker - Phyllis Newman (see Teresa Giudice of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," and NeNe Leakes of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta.")
The Troublemaker loves to stir the pot and thrives on the drama and destruction she leaves in her wake. God love Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) but the woman is her own worst enemy. Whether it's stealing photographs, spilling secrets online or luring psychopaths to town for her own gain, there's no such thing as a "line" in Phyllis' world. The Troublemaker is also a master at deflecting blame, will never accept responsibility for her role in creating catastrophe and can never quite understand why everybody hates her.
The Connecter - Katherine Chancellor (see Lisa Vanderpump of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and Lea Black, "The Real Housewives of Miami.")
The Connecter is usually older than her cohorts, knows everybody and revels in her position as Queen Bee of whatever city she's in. She can also be a bit of a manipulator. Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) has been playing some dangerous games as of late, what with keeping sourpuss son, Tucker (Stephen Nichols) in the dark about HIS son, Devon (Bryton McClure) not to mention her Jabot machinations. However, Katherine's heart is usually in the right place, even if it is for the wrong reasons at times. The Connecter is also known for opening her home to people for the night (or the length of the storyline), as evidenced by the weigh station the Chancellor Estate has become for all the stray characters floating around Genoa City as of late.
The Truth Teller - Abby Newman (see Bethenny Frankel, formerly of "The Real Housewives of New York City," and Tamra Barney of "The Real Housewives of Orange County.")
"Housewife, thou tongue art loosed" is the motto of these girls. They have no problem telling it like it is, either to the delight or horror of those around them (sometimes both). Abby (Marcy Rylan) would tell anyone who would listen what a slime she thought Tucker was. The main person she wanted to hear her truth was clueless mom, Ashley (Eileen Davidson) who'd hitched her wagon to the lying, cheating sleaze. Ashley, whose bad taste in men is legendary, turned blind ear and eye to Abby's monologues about what a lowlife Tucker was. Abby fixed his wagon by mowing him down with her car, though a sit-down at the Brass Monkey while wearing an evil eye would have sufficed.
The Other Woman - Jill Abbott Fenmore (see Kim Zolciak of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta.")
Jill (Jess Walton) has made being the other woman an art form. Her affair with Katherine's late husband spawned an heir and 50 percent ownership in the Chancellor Estate. She bedded the slimy Jeffrey, Gloria's (Judith Chapman's) husband just for kicks. She married Colin (Tristan Rogers) even though he already had a wife (to be fair, she didn't know he was otherwise engaged). Like so many women in Genoa City, Jill has horrific taste in men, but always finds a way to make it work to her advantage.
The Cuckoo Bird - Genevieve Atkinson (see Kim Richards of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and Kelly Bensimon, formerly of "The Real Housewives of New York City.)
Granted, Genevieve (Genie Francis) has toned down her act a bit in recent months, but like the weather, just wait. She blew into town to perpetrate some convoluted scheme to get back at her estranged husband, Colin, whom she later locked in a basement. She talks to her flowers and is prone to trashing her house, stalking moguls (watch out Jack and Victor) and generally getting under the skin of everyone else in town. Of course, now that her heretofore unseen housekeeper, Myrna, has been revealed as the unhinged Patty (Stacy Haiduk), Genevieve just might look like the poster child for sanity.
- Sharon Newman