Is Dublin Housewives as good as the U.S. version? That really depends on what you consider entertaining.
The new reality series on Ireland’s TV3 provides opening shots of TV3’s much-hyped all new Dublin Housewives (Monday-Thursday) featuring the familiar setup of five women in shiny, tight, low-cut evening dresses wiggling like they’ve ants in their pants and pouting like porn stars, so from the off this series was never going to be about dragging the vacuum around the house, thinking what to do for the tea and doing washing. Now that would be more like reality TV.
This version of the hit US reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County features five women who aren’t close friends but know each other, in a mwah-mwah air-kiss sort of way, from Dublin’s “glamorous social scene”. Except it doesn’t look all that glamorous: there’s a lot of standing around in high heels at PR events and fantastically dull-looking parties, screeching “you look amaaazzzing” and meeting up for bitchy lunches.
The newly famous five are Virginia Macari, a new mum and swimwear designer; Lisa Murphy, a beauty-salon owner who is also known for being engaged to the solicitor Gerard Kean; Danielle Meagher, a Botox specialist; and the socialites Roz Flanagan and Jo Jordan. Meagher likes to think of herself as different from the others as a self-described businesswoman.
She’s also the only single one, on the lookout for a man, “a Nirp” – non-Irish international rugby player – and she says all this while straight-faced. Although, what with her fondness for Botox, it must be hard for her to say anything any other way.
As the week progressed it all got a bit Mean Girls, with potty-mouth catfights and fallings-out. “Jo called and told me you called me a knacker,” sniped Macari to Meagher. There’s really nothing classy about any of this but it is par for the course in a “Housewives” reality series.
It’s not obvious why we should be interested in following these women – except maybe to marvel at their make-up routines. (They’re so camouflaged by layers of slap that they could be any age from 40 to 60.) Above all, though, Dublin Housewives seems old-fashioned, like an episode of Ireland’s public television program Reeling in the Years. Which is actually a much better show since you’re getting a good history lesson from past news reals. But it just might make you want to tap one of the housewives on their shoulder pads and tell them it’s not 2006 any more.