MEGHAN MCCAIN: Dorinda Medley welcomed us back to Blue Stone Manor and messy escapism

Everyone knows I have been the ultimate Real Housewives fan for far too many years.

I can quote the one-liners, I have my favorite women that I’m rooting for, and then there are the women that I love to hate-watch.

No matter the Housewife, I love it all.

Yet the shows recently just weren’t doing it for me like they used to.

Over the years, women have come and gone from the Housewives as Bravo and Andy Cohen aren’t afraid to show a cast member the door regardless of their popularity.

The final straw came when Dorinda Medley was put ‘on pause’ from The Real Housewives of New York City.

I attempted to watch the show without her and I quickly realized it just wasn’t what it used to be.

The fans of the show felt the same way and ratings slipped, as we just couldn’t go on without Dorinda.

A piece was missing.

So, when I saw that my favorite housewife was opening the doors to her beloved home Blue Stone Manor in the Berkshires, Massachusetts to a cohort of fan favorites for ‘The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club,’ I decided to do something no other show has made me do . . .

I signed up for Peacock!

No matter the Housewife, I love it all. Yet the shows recently just weren't doing it for me like they used to. (Left to right) Jill Zarin, Taylor Armstrong, Tamra Judge, Vicki Gunvalson, Phaedra Parks, Brandi Glanville and Dorinda Medley

No matter the Housewife, I love it all. Yet the shows recently just weren’t doing it for me like they used to. (Left to right) Jill Zarin, Taylor Armstrong, Tamra Judge, Vicki Gunvalson, Phaedra Parks, Brandi Glanville and Dorinda Medley

I saw that my favorite housewife was opening the doors to her beloved home Blue Stone Manor in the Berkshires, Massachusetts (above) to a cohort of fan favorites for 'The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club'

I saw that my favorite housewife was opening the doors to her beloved home Blue Stone Manor in the Berkshires, Massachusetts (above) to a cohort of fan favorites for ‘The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club’

Not just regular Peacock, but I am now paying $9.99 a month for Peacock Premium Plus. No commercials, just my favorite Housewives.

So, with my in-and-out Wi-Fi service in rural Arizona (where I am currently at home visiting my family), I typed in my credit card information hoping for the best.

To give a little context to the non-reality television watchers, the Bravo universe and all things Real Housewives are a pop culture phenomenon that has been engulfing American culture for almost two decades.

There is no one who can possibly deny the insane influence that both Bravo and their creator and maestro Andy Cohen have had over the way we consume reality entertainment.

We are entertained by a cornucopia of problematic, wealthy, messy, nuanced, genuine, over the top and — more often than not — wonderful women who choose to share their lives with us on this medium.

But like all things that have been around for over a decade, they run their course and lose their shock and entertainment value.

I am far from the first person to offer healthy criticism of some of the older series in the franchise.

The Real Housewives of Orange County is the perfect example of this.

The final straw came when Dorinda Medley (above) was put 'on pause' from The Real Housewives of New York City

The final straw came when Dorinda Medley (above) was put ‘on pause’ from The Real Housewives of New York City

One scene in last week's episode saw the women eating lasagna at dinner in their pajamas. (Left to right)) Brandi Glanville, Vicki Gunvalson, Phaedra Parks, Taylor Armstrong

One scene in last week’s episode saw the women eating lasagna at dinner in their pajamas. (Left to right)) Brandi Glanville, Vicki Gunvalson, Phaedra Parks, Taylor Armstrong

Bringing back former actress Heather Dubrow seemed like a great idea at the time.

Yet when the show aired, it just didn’t work.

The entire season was like QVC-on-steroids for whatever product Heather was promoting.

She was always acutely aware of the cameras and used them to her extreme benefit.

It was exhausting and not the authentic, messy escapism that I’m looking for.

I do not blame Heather – she is merely a symptom of a larger issue that has plagued many great Housewives franchises.

Everything in television is about being real, particularly on the Housewives shows.

We want our Housewives to show up, be themselves, open their homes, share their lifestyles and problems and, of course, cause some drama.

Give us – the viewer – the highs and the lows and we’ll be there for you, week after week.

What we don’t want is endless product promotion, woke lectures, fake storylines or too much glam.

Each of these women are legends in the Bravo universe and their antics send Bravoholics (the ultimate Bravo fans) like myself absolutely wild. (Left to right) Brandi Glanville, Vicki Gunvalson, Jill Zarin, Phaedra Parks, Dorinda Medley, Tamra Judge, Eva Marcille, Taylor Armstrong

Each of these women are legends in the Bravo universe and their antics send Bravoholics (the ultimate Bravo fans) like myself absolutely wild. (Left to right) Brandi Glanville, Vicki Gunvalson, Jill Zarin, Phaedra Parks, Dorinda Medley, Tamra Judge, Eva Marcille, Taylor Armstrong

Real Housewives of New York City alum Dorinda Medley opened the doors to her Berkshires estate, Blue Stone Manor

Real Housewives of New York City alum Dorinda Medley opened the doors to her Berkshires estate, Blue Stone Manor

Be real and be messy.

Which brings me back to why I love ‘The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club.’ It’s so wonderful and delicious to watch as the ‘ex-wives’ who have been fired by Bravo are back.

Each of these women are legends in the Bravo universe and their antics send Bravoholics (the ultimate Bravo fans) like myself absolutely wild.

The cast led by the legendary Dorinda is real, funny, irreverent and flawed in the way that good reality TV stars are.

In fact, this show is giving me everything the Real Housewives of Dubai has failed to deliver.

I had really high hopes for Dubai, but a few episodes in, there is both a lack of chemistry between the women and confusion about why we should care about their stories.

Of course, I’ll continue watching, but so far it isn’t what I’d hoped for as a housewives connoisseur.

On the other hand, ‘The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club’ will give you everything, and I mean everything, you are looking for in quality reality television entertainment.

The ex-housewives who join Dorinda at her house in The Berkshires, Massachusetts deliver.

They are raw and up for a fight.

If they’re not screaming, they’re crying, or laughing . . . while getting pedicures outside by Dorinda’s pool.

Quite frankly, I wish I had been invited to join.

One scene in last week’s episode saw the women eating lasagna at dinner in their pajamas.

Perfection.

These women are classic, reality legends for a reason and as the kids say, they understood the assignment. (Left to right) Eva Marcille, Taylor Armstrong, Jill Zarin, Brandi Glanville and Dorinda Medley

These women are classic, reality legends for a reason and as the kids say, they understood the assignment. (Left to right) Eva Marcille, Taylor Armstrong, Jill Zarin, Brandi Glanville and Dorinda Medley

It has made me miss these women on my television much more than I anticipated.

These women are classic, reality legends for a reason and as the kids say, they understood the assignment.

There is so much happening in every scene that will make you laugh and cringe, I couldn’t even begin to recap every episode so far as there is just so much fun and drama to consume.

The ex-wives are legends for a reason.

They just know how to deliver the drama and emotions while still making you root for them as people.

Phaedra Parks in particular is a standout from The Atlanta Housewives.

A lawyer and mother of two, Phaedra is truly one of the funniest women ever featured on any reality show in the history of television.

Bravo and Andy Cohen would be insane not to bring her back onto the Atlanta franchise where she is dearly missed.

However, she has to profusely apologize and make it right with Kandi first (Atlanta super fan’s know what I am talking about!)

Finally, while I am more than happy to pay for Peacock and stream at my leisure, ‘The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club’ deserves a marquee timeslot on Bravo’s cable channel ASAP.

And to Dorinda Medley, thank you so much for ‘making it nice’, you’ve made television fun again.

When can I join you at Blue Stone Manor?

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