Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Reality TV > Clothes > Family > Hairdressing > The Rachel Zoe Project: Season Four/The Real Housewives Of Orange County: Season Six/Tabatha’s Salon Takeover: Season Two (Bravo DVD Sets)

The Rachel Zoe Project: Season Four/The Real Housewives Of Orange County: Season Six/Tabatha’s Salon Takeover: Season Two (Bravo DVD Sets)


Picture: C/C/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C/C/C+     Episodes: C+/C/B-



Hard to believe, but “reality TV” which is hardly ever about reality at all has become a sad, even sick staple of television and the HDTV era has not changed that much, leaving the majority of the shows exploitive and out to make the audience feels dumb and participants look dumb.  This self-fulfilling prophecy has not helped public discourse much and has allowed political discourse to become so negative, though no one wants to address this.  But are there any upscale such shows?


The Bravo Network sells itself as a smarter, better (and is, even by default, more pro-woman than the idiotic stream of garbage coming from Hallmark or Lifetime, both of which are more like a ‘deathmark’ against women) and here are three of their shows in various stages of success that take the comparatively higher road.



The Rachel Zoe Project: Season Four was newest to me about the designer/stylist having a career and raising her family, which would be almost feminist if it were not for the heaping of money and glamour the show was flashing, sending the anti-woman message to just “have kids and money” while not worrying about the real life adjuncts to this like having a job, education and healthy relationships with men.  The latter seems to hold here, but I have not seen all four seasons, so I’ll skip that part.


As the show stands, she is responsible and even has talent at what she does (persons with their own shows on say, House & Garden or Food Networks are not necessarily good at what they do despite having shows; I am sometimes puzzled at some of the nitwits who do), yet this is still a somewhat flat, boring show and part of the tone (see it on the box art) is that the show plays in its editing and attitude as if she were a single woman without a man.  He is in the background or absent, while the title makes her life seem so mechanical.  I was only so impressed and the show is at its best when she juggles business because the personal life could be anyones.  It is no longer special and even bizarre to see people parading their family like this as if it is a zombie model to follow, though that is not the show’s intent.  There also seems to be a lack of happiness and joy despite the commercial success.


Either way, it is for fans only and extended scenes are the only extras.



Much worse is The Real Housewives Of Orange County: Season Six which has a group of women with money think they are looking good, but coming across terribly, sadly and even pathetically as they do what they can to live it up with their money, yet they seem even more miserable and the show is amazingly over-staged, even for this cycle.  For all their fallouts, they seem to always get back together in the most toxic, dysfunctional fashion, so it must be their profits from the show.  However, there is a darker side to the show that seems to hate men and that starts with the men being in the backgrounds holding babies where applicable while marginalizing them overall.

It offers an ideology of men as idiots, disposable and only good for breeding and serving them while they act like teens with no brains which imply abuse and disposability that permeates the show in ways that would get it kicked off the air if the gender roles were switched.  In real life, these women would have either stopped talking to each other or possibly engaged in more violence that at its extreme would lead to some one committing murder.  One can only take so much misery, no matter how much money one has.


Besides giving capitalism a bad name, telling these women apart (including similarities in attitudes, clothes, plastic surgery, etc.) is like naming the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…  you can only do it if you are a fan.  These women are not evil or anything, but they are not that interesting and certainly not enough to keep this zombie show going, but it did well enough to survive this long and there is sadly an audience for this junk.  Extras include “lost footage” which was likely never lost and if so, should have stayed that way and two reunion shows where no one kills each other, but shows that they are as unexciting as their younger competitors, all of whom would likely be sexier in this genre if they did not wear so much, try so hard and gave up on anything resembling a truly exciting life.



The exception to these shows are the few where either people find collectibles, restore them or help people.  Tabatha’s Salon Takeover: Season Two has our host (who would make a hilarious new host for The Weakest Link) going into hair cutting business on the brink of disaster and trying to save them from bad management, bad decisions and bad work.  Like its cooking/food counterparts, it offers an interesting series of looks inside what it takes for a salon to work and reminds us like all these shows that one of the biggest problems for small businesses involves not knowing what they are doing, general apathy, letting things go bad while denying so and/or not gaining anything from a learning curve.


We get ten hour-long shows and they are all very watchable, even to my surprise, plus we get multiple extras in the way of bonus clips and even advice from the host on how to handle the running such a business.  It is sad to see these shows in that, for the people that get help, you know that there are many who do not and deserve it.  If only this were the dominant for of these shows.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 on all three sets are softer than I could have ever expected, shot on the fly and not as well as they should be, save Salon which is just a more professional shoot all around for whatever reason (maybe the subject matter is more interesting?) and all three also have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is simple and fine.  In all cases, you get constant music and occasional location audio issues (Salon has the advantage of being confined to a few places, so this happens less often on that show) but a 5.1 mix on any of these shows would be pointless.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com