Lifestyles of the rich and boring

Tue Oct 7, 2008 9:16am EDT
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By Barry Garron

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" expands the Bravo reality brand that has already taken viewers to Orange County, Calif., and New York.

It also demonstrates, in a perverse way, real progress in racial equality. We have clear, incontrovertible evidence that newly rich black women in Atlanta can be every bit as shallow, self-centered and profligate as white women in similar circumstances.

One woman in this series calls Atlanta the "black Hollywood," a reference to the number of wealthy black families that have moved there. The five "real housewives" live in different sections of the metro area but share a desire to spend lavishly. They are linked to one another through past or current friendships.

Some of the women operate businesses, but, with one possible exception, their affluent lifestyles are the result of marrying well. So if you're looking for tips on how you, too, can become wealthy, the top suggestion would be to start dating professional athletes. Or, in the case of Kim, the lone white woman in the group, find yourself a semi-anonymous "Big Papa," which is her name for sugar daddy.

In the first episode, we are treated to seemingly limitless spending by DeShawn, who moves into a new 15,000-square-foot mansion after spending all of three hours with her designer, and Sheree, who hires security to keep the riffraff from her 38th birthday party. Says Sheree: "Budget. What's that?" Don't ask Kim. She buys a Cadillac for nearly $70,000 on the spur of the moment, with only a call for Big Papa's OK.

Good for her and good for the others. The Founding Fathers intended for us to be free to spend our money on any legal products. But why anyone would waste time watching others do little more than exercise their Visa cards is a puzzle. Sure, there's always been a certain fascination with the lives of the rich. However, these women are not just rich, they're self-indulgent to the point of boredom.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter