As it turns out the Lady Cocotte is the only one that could grasp the concept of brevity. For that reason, her list is my favorite. My novella is at the end of this post.
The Lady Cocotte’s List
We all know the Teresa Guidices, the Ramona Singers and the Nene Leakes of the housewives worlds but they’re not the reasons I tune in. So instead of listing the biggest personalities (or names), I decided to go with my personal favorites. Let me specify that there are only a few women on this list I actually like. My choices are based on who I find entertaining (and crazy entertains me).
Kelly Bensimon (RHONY) Because, batshit crazy (see Danielle Staub).
Erika Girardi (RHOBH) Erika made it on the list because her new video rocks. How many fucks do I give? None!
Adriana de Moura (RHOM) The delusion is strong with this one.
Heather Thomson (RHONY) She should annoy me (holla anyone?) but I enjoy her NY moxie.
Jill Zarin (RHONY) Reminds me of my mother’s family. Don’t judge.
Claudia Jordan (RHOA) She read Nene to filth.
Caroline Manzo (RHONJ) She’s a mama bear who loves her fambly. Plus, the ham game.
Lisa Vanderpump (RHOBH) Diamonds & rosé with a healthy dose of manipulation.
Lydia Schiavello (RHOMel) Hands down the dumbest housewife ever but I can’t help it, I love her. Plus, she flies to buy cheese.
Danielle Staub (RHONJ) Because, batshit crazy (see Kristen Doute).
Honorable mentions: I have a few non-housewives that deserve recognition (I can’t explain why they’re all from New Jersey). Number 3 Kim G (RHONJ) The batshit crazy in her sees the batshit crazy in Danielle Staub. Number 2 Rosie Pieri (RHONJ) Because, Rosie! And she makes Joe Guidice watchable. Number 1 Greg Bennett (RHONJ) Because, Greggy!
Some of my favorite housewives are one season housewives like Claudia Jordan, Lizzie Rovsek, and Joyce Giraud de Ohoven. I had a hard time deciding on the criteria for my list and decided to go with housewives who made for interesting storylines. I tried to pick people I have both liked and disliked over the seasons. For that reason the one season housewives I really liked did not make the top ten. I included Erika Girardi in the one season list as she has only done one but she would be up there on my list based simply on housewives I like. I also tried to limit myself to no more than two housewives per franchise. But I had put three RHOA on the list, because they have home team advantage with me.
Alexia Echevarria (RHOM) Perhaps it is like looking back at an old relationship and only remembering the good things, but I think RHOM was my favorite franchise. I really liked a lot of people on the show. They had the coolest transgender woman, Lauren Foster, before transgender became the new black. And she was amazing. I chose Alexia because she had lots of happy times, a huge tragedy, a son who created a scandal online and all sorts of difficulties in her past and she never covered any of her problems up. She spent a lot of time in Atlanta with her husband during her son’s recovery at Shepard Spinal and I reached out to her as if I knew her and it was my business. She was extremely kind and genuine and gave me updates as if I were a family friend. Her husband was equally kind. I continue to wish the best on this family. And her house, her sunglasses, her clothes, her Miami lifestyle was the reason I began watching the housewives.
Kenya Moore (RHOA) I put a lot of emphasis on longevity when making my selections and Kenya doesn’t have the seniority of those above her. She makes my top ten because I absolutely DESPISED her on her first season and if Andy Cohen had asked my opinion, I would have fired her after her first season. Thankfully, no one listens to me, and she is nw one of my favorite housewives of all time!
Nene Leakes (RHOA) Nene Leakes brings the drama, and got a lot of seniority points but those of us in Atlanta knew she and Greg were in trouble with the law and were basically con artists when she was cast on the show. It was even on the local news. As Nene hustled her way to some really great accomplishments, like “Braway” and “DWTS” and her two scripted shows with Ryan Murphy, I kept trying to pull for her, and she ultimately made it hard for me to stay on her side. She’s a very insecure woman who is constantly seeking affirmation by declaring herself to be rich and important when she is neither. That said, she does at times bring interesting drama to the show.
Caroline Manzo (RHONJ) People often ask me who my favorite housewife is and I really don’t have one. I mean what is the criteria for that? If it is simply who I could see myself hanging out with, it’s Caroline Manzo. Her family is affluent and despite the editing of the show, her kids do not actually live at home with her with no jobs. I like her relationship with her husband. Sure there are a few skeletons, but she is smart and is one of the few women who left the show and the paycheck and managed to get her own show out of it.
Lisa Vanderpump (RHOBH) Oh LVP, what a relationship rollercoaster you are. I agree, life is not all diamonds and rosé but it should be. Two or three seasons ago when you were railroaded on the reunion I was infuriated. It wasn’t that I didn’t see your manipulations behind the scenes, I admired them. But once the curtain was pulled back on OZ in the courtrooms of LA and I was shown who you really are, that I could no longer enjoy all the swans and pretty closets or your husband who is a half step below Gregg Leakes. I’m over you, but I can’t discount our good years.
Kyle Richards (RHOBH) Kyle is like the good kind of relationship we should have with men. Kyle ticks off all the boxes but at first you sort of stick her in the friend zone. She is a bit too easy and there isn’t much danger with her. She has qualities you don’t like. But then one day, you realize she is driving the whole show. She has a secret power (wait, she’s production?) you didn’t know about. She has a lot of really hard stuff she is dealing with. She has a couple of beautiful homes and a beautiful family. She is exactly what we all say we want to watch the housewives to see. Then you fall in love. Unlike LVP, she gives a lot of her real life. She keeps the show going. She is the OG of RHOBH and she never mentions it.
Teresa Giudice (RHONJ) She’s the ultimate thug in a cocktail dress. In the beginning she was just an idiot who was at times loveable, and many times she was violent. She and her husband are just as homophobic as Nene Leakes. She’s the only housewife every to physically push Andy Cohen into his seat. And yet, she still has a job. Because it is fascinating to see a felon on a housewives show. She has amassed millions of fans who will buy her books and swill and contribute to her amoral activity. She has duped the trehuggers into believing it was all Juicy Joe’s fault her skinny butt landed in prison. I have to admit, I can’t wait to see her on the next season of RHONJ.
Bethenny Frankel (RHONY) She made a bajillion dollar business while being on the RHONY. She is one of the most real people on reality TV. She especially doesn’t have any fucks to give this season where she returns able to buy and sell the entire cast . She is part of Andy Cohen’s inner circle. She went from flat broke to the richest housewife of them all.
Vicki Gunvalson (RHOOC) Vicki is a flawed person, just like the other 86 housewives that complete the exclusive club. She is the longest standing housewife of all franchises. I apparently still follow Brooks Ayers online and I still feel like we don’t understand what really happened with the cancer thing. I do not believe that Vicki, who owns her own insurance company would be complicit in a fake cancer storyline. Vicki’s greatest accomplishment is her successful business. She would never accept a storyline that would damage her business. Was she aware at some point before the rest of us? Maybe. But I don’t think she had any intent. I feel a sorry for Vicki’s relationship with her daughter. She started out great in the beginning and her nursing career made me want to support her, but what is it that they say about glass houses? Vicki puts up with her douchebag husband but Brianna could never return the favor.
Kim Zoliak-Biermann (RHOA) Sometimes it is not about the money. That seems like a strange comment regarding Kim but financially Bethenny and probably Vicki both blow her out of the water. That said, she was the side chick of a rich man from the get go. And a single mother. Then she was cast on what would be Bravo’s most lucrative show. And she quit. Why? She had what she wanted. She got herself a hot husband, a free wedding by Bravo, her dream house and passel of beautiful babies. She did not have a spinoff when she left, she had an NFL husband who treats her like a queen and who didn’t want his pregnant wife brawling with idiots on reality TV. She got her own spinoff where she is paid much more than she made on RHOA, and she gets to stay home and film with just her family. Her beautiful family. She wins.