When I first heard about the existence of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I was pretty confused. I wondered why we needed another Real Housewives city in California. Real Housewives of Orange County , the original show in the franchise, had been consistently killing it, so I didn't see the need for another show set in the same state. Boy, was I wrong. Sure both series take place in California, but the two area codes have major distinctions. There are actually plenty of difference between Real Housewives of Orange County and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills .
From the way the women party to the industries they work in, there are many aspects that set these two California based shows apart. Sure, they both have that same Real Housewives essence that I can never resist in any city, but RHOC and RHOBH are very different shows in almost every way possible.
One show has a pretty volatile cast while the other has ladies who focus on keeping it classy, yet they both entertain me equally. One cast has remained pretty constant while the other is revolving door of fresh talent. I have the same level of love for both shows, but for very different reasons.
1. The Setting
RHOBH depicts a more specific location with the women living in the same zip code and many in the same neighborhoods. RHOC has cast members spread throughout a large area instead of one isolated community. The locations also have pretty different vibes with Beverly Hills emphasizing luxury while the OC is more of an accessibly wealthy area.
2. The Partying
The booze is flowing on both shows, but with two different styles. The RHOC cast really goes in. There have been plenty of shots, dancing, puking, and hangovers shown over the years. With the exceptions of Taylor Armstrong and Brandi Glanville, the Beverly Hills ladies have always been civilized sippers who keep it together when the liquor hits them.
3. The Style
The fashion in Beverly Hills is top of the line. The cast is always dressed to the nines with designer gowns and perfect grooming. The OC ladies always look great, but have no qualms being more casual sometimes.
4. The Consistency Of The Cast
RHOC only has Vicki Gunvalson left as a remaining original cast member. The lineup changes so much that "hazing the new girl" has become a consistent plot line. RHOBH has added some new faces, but no original cast members have truly disappeared from the show. They all show up for cameo appearances throughout the seasons, giving the show more continuity.
5. The Kids
With the exception of Vicki Gunvalson's daughter Briana Culberson — someone I consider to be an honorary Housewife at this point — the RHOC kids are not on camera much. The RHOBH women are shown interacting with their children on a far more regular basis.
6. The Friendships
The RHOBH ladies have long histories. No one has been randomly brought onto the cast. They all have genuine, pre-existing relationships with a current cast member and the new women are integrated more organically. The RHOC casting is a lot more random when it comes to adding new ladies.
7. The Cosmetic Enhancements
This is only a general observation that doesn't apply to every woman, but the OC ladies seem to be more experimental with their maintenance: Heather Dubrow taped leeches to her body for a beauty treatment and Shannon Beador gave herself an at-home colonic. The RHOBH ladies are more standard, sticking to fillers and and spa treatments.
8. The Careers
The RHOC women have more "relatable" careers. Vicki Gunvalson sells insurance, Tamra Judge does real estate and runs a gym, and Shannon Beador is a stay-at-home mom. The RHOBH crew is more focused on being celebrities with the Richards sisters, Lisa Rinna, Eileen Davidson, Yolanda Foster, and Erika Jayne all working as actors, models, or singers.
9. The Money
The Orange County ladies are always talking about money, thanks to discussions instigated by Vicki. The Beverly Hills group never talks about money, but their money speaks for itself. The women in the 90210 are extremely wealthy and clearly feel no need to talk about it.
10. The Pets
The pets have been a big part of the stories on RHOBH. Lisa Vanderpump's dog Giggy even has his own contract with Bravo. The Richards sisters actually had a major falling out when Kim's dog bit Kyle's daughter. I'm not even sure if the Orange County ladies have pets...
11. The Events
The women in Beverly Hills usually opt for major parties with themes and a large guest list. RHOC can throw down as well, but an episode is more likely to focus on a small game night rather than a major gala.
12. The Male Involvement
The Beverly Hills husbands are around for support and eye candy, but they usually stay out of the fray. In contrast, the Orange County men never hesitate to stand up for their ladies and have been at the center of many story lines themselves. *Cough cough* Brooks Ayers.
When you break it down, the two California shows could not be more different, but thankfully they are both full of drama and entertainment.