'RHOBH' Lisa Rinna & Harry Hamlin's 'Harry Loves Lisa' Prepared Them for the Reality TV Spotlight
Can I just say that I love that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills added Lisa Rinna to the cast this season? She has all the ingredients to make a wonderful reality TV treat: She's famous, she's kooky, and the former soap star knows all about what it takes to be a drama queen. But Lisa isn't just naturally talented at appearing on a reality show; she's had some practice with her short-lived TV Land docuseries Harry Loves Lisa .
Yes, folks. Surprise, surprise. RHOBH is not Lisa's first reality TV rodeo. Way, way back in 2010, Lisa and her husband Harry Hamlin, who also appears on RHOBH, had their own reality show for six glorious episodes on TV Land. As you can probably figure out from the show's title, the series followed Lisa and Harry as they tried to be successful in their careers, marriage, and family life with their two daughters Delilah and Amelia, all the while navigating the crazy world of Hollywood. Please tell me they were able to do it. Oh please oh please oh please.
Think of Harry Loves Lisa as Newlyweds, but with an established, married couple. The show really had two major themes throughout its short life. One was the idea that Harry and Lisa are "the exception" in Hollywood, a celebrity couple that has somehow been able to stay together for 17 years at the time of the series. This may have to do with the second major theme of the show, which is that Harry and Lisa are completely opposite people. We've already gotten a little taste of that on RHOBH this season, which shows Lisa as this loud and over-the-top matriarch, while Harry is stoic, cool, and aloof.
Of course, Harry Loves Lisa often played with this dynamic. In one episode of the series, the pair visited a couples counselor who suggested that they each try out an activity that the other partner enjoys. So Harry agreed to have a meeting with an eccentric psychic, and Lisa went camping, desperately seeking a cappuccino the entire time. Harry Loves Lisa continuously wanted you to think, "How could these two possibly stay together for so long when they have nothing in common?"
However, Harry and Lisa are obviously their own people as well, which the reality show illustrated by following their individual professional and personal endeavors. Harry Loves Lisa chronicled Harry's failed pilot auditions, Lisa's controversial comments about Heidi Montag's plastic surgery, and her corrective surgery on her famously large lips. You name it, and the show went there, at least as much as 22 minutes of an episode would allow.
Since we're talking about a celebrity couple here, you better bet your bottom dollar that their equally attention-seeking friends also made the cut to appear on Harry Loves Lisa. Denise Richards, Lara Spencer, and Ed Begley Jr. all nabbed some camera time during the series, and their guest spots were about as entertaining as you thought they would be.
The fact that this reality show only lasted six episodes should give you a hint that no one really loved it, despite the title. "After one heavily staged episode, it’s hard to imagine anyone being particularly wild about 'Harry,'" Brian Lowry wrote of the show in Variety . Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker asked in regards to Harry's future career aspirations on the show, "Would you hire this guy if you were a TV producer?" A headline for an article announcing the upcoming show on PerezHilton.com simply said, "Harry Loves Lisa, Nobody Cares."
Harry Loves Lisa may not have proven to be a success, but Harry and Lisa the couple are. If you've seen any of Season 5 of RHOBH so far, you know that Harry and Lisa are still happily married. Maybe they are "the exception" after all.
However, RHOBH isn't for the faint of heart. We've seen the show ruin many relationships over the years. Here's hoping Harry and Lisa won't be its next victims.