To say nothing of the quality of their programming, Bravo has completely figured out the business of reality TV in a way the other networks are still struggling to comprehend. Take a show -- Real Housewives, Top Chef, Million Dollar Listing -- that isn't that expensive to produce in the first place, offers a potentially recyclable cast with an endless array of storylines to explore. Could it theoretically be discussed drunk in Andy Cohen's living room? Great! Now, take one of the people/characters you've profiled in that first iteration and spin them off into their own series. Maybe that becomes its own regular program. If it doesn't, hey -- miniseries. Spin it off again. Keep spinning. Spinning, spinning...
None of these spin-offs are exactly Frasier to Real Housewives' Cheers (which is already too complicated and completely inaccurate an analogy), but there's always a certain charm that keeps them from being completely worthless. Bravo's latest draw from the RH pile is a four-episode miniseries chronicling Tamra Judge's wedding to boyfriend Eddie, and all the drama that entails. Worth a look?
Tonight, Tamra and Eddie decided that it was probably time for their families, who had never met before, to finally get to know each other at a BBQ. And what a time it was -- for US, watching this trainwreck at home!
From the get-go, you just knew that Tamra's brother Kenny would start shit. Being named "Kenny" was obviously strike number one, followed quickly by the way he greeted his mom ("so where is my lovely mother?"). One look at the guy made it obvious he'd mouth off, and probably under the guise of "honesty" or whatever brothers on reality shows like to claim. Remember Bachelorette Desireee Hartsock's brother, the one with the gross tattoos and grin that doubled as a sex crime? Shave some of the menace away and put a glass of moonshine in his hand, and you've got Kenny Judge.
Because he and Tamra were "sarcastic" to each other growing up (that's just their way!), Kenny quickly threw out a lot of great material on Tamra's emotional baggage and history of bad marriages. Far and away his BRIGHTEST gem: "You have two ex-husbands and they both had reasons for their anger issues. Because you were a dick!" Tamra couldn't even respond before Kenny had already locked on to their disapproving dad to yell "you should know, you spawned it!"
Things got weirder when Tamra's mom, who apparently never once told Tamra she loved her, entered the fray to...defend Kenny? "Were we that bad as parents?!" she cry-yelled to her daughter, who to the best of my knowledge never actually insinuated this at the party. "We had you at 16! We did the best we could!" At this point I stopped following the logic of the conversation and just concentrated on volume and pitch.
Dad: "I'm not getting in the middle of this."
Mom: "What did I do to deserve this?"
Kenny: "Look what you did to Mom, Tamra!"
Tamra: "Eddie, why are you laughing."
As with all great family gatherings, the Judge BBQ built to a "f**k you" with a "go to hell, you assholes" retort, and the matriarch crying to a put-upon group of in-laws they'd never met before. As all this happened, the caterers looked on forlornly in the background, wishing for all the world that they could have wound up on another Bravo wedding special.
NEXT WEEK: Dredging a wedding out of the mud-filled waters that are Tamra's OC life