"The Real Housewives of New York" begins its second season on Bravo tonight at 11pm and that got me thinking this article on Essence.com. In it, DeShawn Snow tells how she was dumped from the show because she didn't bring enough drama.
I'll just say it: On first read it made me feel like Bravo was going
for the stereotype. After all, the breakout star of the show is Nene, who is all attitude; she's the one who keeps it real by wielding truth like a blunt instrument, the one who wasn't too chichi to threaten to throw Kim over the couch.
That's not Deshawn. Sure, she's a bit much with that whole needing a staff to run her house thing, but she was the peace keeper, the one with a little class, a little Christian dignity. Can't there be one like her? Why, does the show about black women have to be "a circus show"? (That's how DeShawn quoted a Bravo producer.)
Don't roll your eyes. Bravo made race an issue first. It's pretty clear that as they were expanding the Housewives brand they went to Atlanta because it's a hub of black wealth and they knew showing this slice of African-American life would be interesting.
I know we don't watch shows like these for edification. They are what they are, fun brain candy. But they are produced, put together by editors, writers, a crew that shapes characters and images and stories.