The housewives are going back in time, but will their fame and fortune translate once they're in another time period? On Monday, The Wrap reported that Bravo's latest entry in the franchise will be The Real Housewives of the 1960s, which is currently in development. You may be wondering: How will that work? Will existing housewives be on the show? Will their families join them in the TV time capsule? When does it come out? Only a few details have been revealed so far, and some will definitely turn heads.
According to Bravo, Housewives of the 1960s is a working title for the upcoming show. The project is described as an "imaginative docu-series" in which a cast of modern women will be sent back to the era of the traditional "American Housewife," according to The Wrap. The women and their families will live in a cul-de-sac of homes straight out of the '60s, and will have to navigate a world in which "men made the money, women made the home, and teenagers actually did as they were told."
Pause. They're going back to Pleasantville? A time when only men make money and women make the home? If you're turned off and doubting this whole thing, you're not alone. Especially because one description of the show, on The Wrap, suggests these dated, traditional roles could actually help improve family life for those involved. The synopsis reads:
"In living through the ‘golden age’ of Sixties family life, the cast will discover if more time spent together, traditional husband and wife roles, and no digital distractions might actually improve their chaotic lives and even fix their relationships."
Really, Bravo? This is such a historical, powerful moment for women right now, and even the women on Housewives are businesswomen, entrepreneurs, and total bosses. But perhaps Bravo is trying to make a point about how "traditional" gender roles won't work for these ladies after all.
Here's how Bravo pitches the new Housewives on its site:
"We now know and love Real Housewives to be fierce and fashionable females who have a taste for the expensive things and for drama. But 'real housewives' weren't always this way, and a new Bravo series in development could show us just how much the matriarchs of the family have evolved... Modern-day women will be sent back to live as if they were housewives of the 1960s to see if experiencing a time with traditional gender roles and no digital distractions will improve their current lives and relationships."
So maybe there is a message and purpose in the madness. Maybe the housewives involved will be unable to live life with such archaic and dated expectations and gender roles. Watching them try and get frustrated and roll their eyes at it all could prove how far things have come, and that we're clearly not in the '60s anymore.
As expected, though, people are skeptical about what this will be like. For example, Elle writer R. Eric Thomas also questioned the upcoming series and its intentions. "First of all, who wrote this, Don Draper? Literally none of this sounds good for anyone involved," he wrote. And he definitely has a point. Is there any value to taking women back to the '60s, even if it's just for a reality show? In Bravo's defense, there is a precedent for this format. PBS and Channel 4 teamed for The 1900 House, Colonial House, and Victorian Slum House. Channel 4 also took one family back to the '40s in The 1940s House. Although, it was pretty clear that these social experiments were more about showcasing how hard life in those eras was rather than glamorizing it.
There's so much that remains to be seen regarding this perplexing pitch. In the meantime, Bravo poses the thought: "Now we're just wondering what a reunion was like back then..." Let's see how this all unfolds before f-bombs are replaced with golly gees.