Parody series Burning Love, by Ken Marino and Erica Oyama, with its perfect sendup of the Bacherlor/Bachelorette series, was somehow just as accurate as it was funny. Now Paul Scheer, who appeared on Burning Love, and writer/star Danielle Schneider have combined their reality TV love to make The Hotwives of Orlando, a parody of the Housewives franchise and the first good original series from Hulu (sorry, Deadbeat).
Hotwives is hilarious, mostly due to the talented sketch and improv pros that stack the cast — they've roped in Casey Wilson, Penny from Happy Endings to star as Tawny, the unofficial leader of the group and best frenemy to Schneider's Shauna.
But it's also a dream come true for Housewives fans. The worst part of every Housewives season is that with twenty hourlong episodes, it packs in so much boring filler between fights and vacations. But with Hotwives, you get a hyper condensed version of every franchise, all mixed together. It's like the UN of middle aged women fighting about dog fashion shows.
Here's a rundown of all the classic elements you're sure to remember from Housewives history that Hotwives manages to synthesize into twenty minutes:
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Constant Catchphrasery and Jobsss
It's admirable that they were able to work in one black housewife (PhePhe, inspiration obvious) without making it seem like she's a token. Instead, she's the proud owner of almost every business in town, can't go less than one sentence without saying her own name, and "keeps it real" by talking about every lady behind her back.
The Husbands All Get Along
Isn't this always how it goes on RHOA? While the women fight over catty nonsense in one room, the men always manage to get along next door (well, until Peter stirs the pot). Hotwives exaggerates this only slightly, by having the five men become best friends who get teary eyed with how much they care about one another. But in this series, the women are the ones who hang out at the strip club.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Lisa Vanderpump's Sense of Humor
I'm no Brandi Glanville apologist, but Lisa's rabid fan base can get a little out of control. It would have been easy for them to make "Veronica Von Vandervon" the not-that-crazy voice of exasperated reason, but instead they find something to make fun of — her love of often corny double entendres.
Kim Richards' "Journey"
Kristin Schaal is known for her loud, energetic performances, especially as Louise on Bob's Burgers. So it's an interesting move to cast her as the near-comatose "Amanda," a former commercial star who spends days in a alcohol and drug induced haze. Schaal gives a manic edge to Amanda's mumbling.
The Real Housewives of Miami
The Real Housewives of Miami didn't get much right in its two seasons, but Hotwives mined the best thing about it — the sweaty, humid Florida setting, and the entire cast's excitement and fulfillment at having midsize McMansions in Orlando.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Vague Threat of Violence
All of the women across all of the franchises have hot tempers, but there's something about New Jersey that takes a normal argument to a table flipping, hair pulling place. There's no doubt that Shauna, their impression of Theresa Guidice, will be swinging from chandeliers and throwing vases soon if people keep telling her to calm down.
Dressing Like a Prostitution Whore
No one can pair a leopard print skirt with a zebra print top like a cast member of RHONJ. Hotwives even added one of those ubiquitous shopping scenes, where all of the women show up to the same boutique to try on tiny bedazzled tank tops and compliment one another.
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Jim Bellino, Control Freak
Alexis Bellino got "boollied" for most of her time on RHOC, and had to rely on her husband for support. But Jim Bellino's devout Christianity only seemed to manifest itself as control over his wife's actions. UCB standby Seth Morris deadpans as the Hotwives version of Jim, who quotes scripture to motivate his wife to make him sandwiches and tells her she needs to text him from the driveway.
It Combines Tamra and Gretchen Into One Super-Housewife
Casey Wilson’s Tawny is a mixture of Gretchen Rossi and Tamra Barney, and adding Gretchen’s materialism with Tamra’s manipulation is a brilliant idea. Tawny is cheating on her older husband, Jeff, under the excuse that he's dying, when in reality he's just occasionally stuffed up with allergies. And Wilson does an excellent impression of Tamra's mannerisms and Gretchen's "singing" voice.
The only things Hotwives still hasn't delivered? A tough New York lady who makes her own alcohol, a la Ramona Singer or Bethanny Frankel, a blondes vs. brunettes feud (or, alternately, a "talls vs. smalls" one), and a music video shoot. The season is only seven episodes long, but I'm confident by the end The Hotwives of Orlando will deliver all that and more.