Ben and Ashton review The Real Housewives of Orange County and Atlanta

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It’s 2006. The world is reeling from the news that Pluto is no longer a planet; teens everywhere are finally ‘Breaking Free’ from social expectations thanks to Troy and Gabriella’s burgeoning romance; and a media franchise is about to launch that will become a sprawling epic, lasting over 12 years and spawning eight U.S. spin-offs and another 10 internationally from New Zealand to Hungary.

The Real Housewives were upon us.

“Pshhh, what trite nonsense,” my 19-year-old self probably said because I was 19, “What a waste of screen time. What a sad excuse for programming.”

I’ll admit, my bias against watching rich people rich-it-up all over the place meant that I had never seen a single moment of any Real Housewives series before the offer came through – “Ben, do you want to review the first seasons of The Real Housewives of Orange County and Atlanta?”

Maybe I had misjudged the series? Maybe there was a reason this show was so popular despite seeming to have exactly zero merit in any way? There was only one way to find out.

I knew I would need someone with excellent taste and a depth of critical expertise to help analyse and dissect this cultural touchstone.

But that felt like a lot of effort so I just called my mate Ashton.

– Ben Moore

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