The Real Housewives have an unlikely fan in… Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!
The basketball legend and public figure posted an article on the Huffington Post Monday, and declared his love for the Bravo TV crew. Titled “How the Real Housewives Have Made America Better,” Kareem declared the “place where art and reality collide is where the Real Housewives live.”
But even though he claims to be a huge fan, Kareem didn’t hold back with the analysis. He compared the Housewives phenomenon to a Shakespearean tragedy, saying “the fabulous homes, clothes, shoes, servants, and opulent parties at first make the viewers admire the housewife and wish to be like her. But soon we see the 'real' person, whose hubris reveals a deep unhappiness that they, being unreliable narrators, deny. However, the rampant drinking (which is often disguised as being "classy"), the numerous divorces, and the desperate need to show themselves better (as parents, as businesspersons, as friends) than the others prove the point. All the fancy trips to Africa or Tahiti or Paris don't hide the churning insecurity and baseline misery. So, as with a tragedy, the show warns us not to follow in their arrogant footsteps, least we also are destroyed by pride.”
That’s some heavy stuff! But despite his serious consideration of the show, Jabbar confirmed that he thinks some of the ladies are straight-up “Gone with the Wind Fabulous.”
“It should be noted that this characterization is not true of all the women. Some, like singer-songwriter Kandi Burruss from Atlanta, have achieved success through sheer talent and discipline. Others, like Lisa Vanderpump, designer and restaurateur, embody feminist ideals of balancing career and family with wit and intelligence,” Kareem wrote.
Sounds like someone always gets a good table at SUR and Villa Blanca, huh?
Lastly, Kareem has nothing but love for the WWHL Clubhouse crew, declaring that “Andy Cohen is the Andy Warhol of the 21st Century. His giddy appreciation for all things pop culture on his talk show, Watch What Happens Live! is infectious. And he's created shows that rise above soapish melodrama to an art form.”
And even though some of his comments are a bit harsh, the NBA legend sustains that his feelings about the show are simply a form of social commentary.
“I'm not criticizing them,” Kareem wrote. “The villain in this piece isn't the women or the show. They are mere reflections of some dysfunctional aspects of our society that the show allows us to see more clearly. For most of them, I have the same affection as I would a beloved character in a novel. And, like any wonderful novel, I never want it to end.”
Neither do we, Kareem! Neither do we…
Good read and interesting assessment of the franchises. I seriously doubt there was any intention on Bravo's part to have people reflect on their own behaviors through the mean-spirited behavior of the women who participate in these casts. Real women do not treat their friends and associates with such open hostility and disdain. This franchise has not made America better and for a good share of the viewers it is giving them permission to be hateful and cruel just like Kyle, Kim, Adrienne, Faye, Camille, Aviva, Ramona, etc - because that horrid behavior seems to have increased their financial status considerably.
Brilliant- love his analysis and the way he justifies his opinion with literary references.