How Bravo Failed During Its ‘Real Housewives’ Premiere

I’ve always been a fan of Bravo and its multiple reality TV shows.

I can’t deny the fact that I am basically addicted to “The Real Housewives” series (all seasons) — that would be a gross lie.

However, despite how much I genunitely enjoy the programming the network has to offer, I am upset with how Bravo decided to handle the suicide of Russell Armstrong in the first episode of the season.

Think what you willl about the network’s decision to air the season of Beverly Hills after Armstrong had died — that’s something none of us can change at this point.

What genuinely irked me during the season’s hour premiere Monday was not the silly and immature behavior of the housewives and their beaus, but it was the way Bravo decided to address Armstrong’s death.

The  network decided to tactlessly reveal its dirty laundry by only choosing to show the girls (minus Taylor) discussing how they felt about his death in an extremely fake way — almost as if they’re putting on a show of concern. It was needlessly tacked on to the beginning of the episode. And then they made it even worse by showing a PSA at the end of the episode without any context.

A friend of mine compared it to how “a bad parent would handle giving the sex talk.”

Bravo logo

Yes, awareness is very important, do not mistake my words on this. But, to just show a suicide hotline’s information at the end of an epsiode without any explanation whatsoever was not only offensive but disrespectful to this deceased man’s life.

Bravo couldn’t even give him a one-second screeen with his name before showing this PSA? It made me sick to see.

This sets one ugly precdent for not only this network but for the entertainment industry’s connection to reality television as a whole.

Unfortunately, suicide and mental illness are issues that aren’t talked about enough in society. I had high hopes that Armstrong’s death would ignite constructive discussion about the topics in mainstream culture.

Sadly, this wasn’t the case. Shame on you, Bravo.


(Note: This blog has been updated with corrections)

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