On any given evening, you’ll find me watching Bravo’s “Real Housewives” reality TV series. I like the Beverly Hills and Orange County franchises the best, but I’ll also watch those from New York, New Jersey and Atlanta. My fascination has made me wonder about a Delaware version. Like New Jersey, we’re small enough to warrant a whole state, even if most of the action takes place in the tonier zip codes.
One of Delaware’s five castmates should come from below the canal so she can challenge stereotypes. She’s allowed to say “Slower Lower Delaware,” but woe to the New Castle County native who tosses it out. Speaking of local stereotypes, we need a Greenville mom in a Cadillac Escalade. Chair of the Wilmington Flower Market, she can roll her eyes when the Southern housewife praises the Shrimp Feast in Georgetown. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, the Greenville housewife can’t understand why women and men eat separately. She’ll make snarky remarks about the Southerner’s stint as Miss Watermelon.
There’s usually at least one single housewife, which is an oxymoron but makes for fun TV. Her quest for love can include trips to Harry’s Seafood Grill and The Starboard because, of course, one or more of our ladies has a beach house. She can move from a high-powered job to spinning class at the Y.
One of our housewives can be an aggressive real estate agent specializing in million-dollar properties. We can have a banker and a boutique or spa owner. Another will need to start a jewelry or clothing line—because that’s par for the series’ course—and one—despite being tone deaf—will launch a singing career. She’ll convince Ben LeRoy to be her mentor, and she can debut at the Queen.
Conflict can ensue when housewives don’t take their Flower Market volunteer efforts seriously or when one gets toasted at pre-Hagley fireworks festivities. Two women can stew when they’re not invited to one housewife’s famous Point-to-Point tailgate. A kids’ birthday bash at the Delaware Children’s Museum can provide fodder for mothers who think their children have superior manners.
But while a Delaware-based series would draw awareness to the state, it’s not necessarily positive. In a state where there is one degree of separation, we don’t need to air five women’s dirty laundry on TV.
Maybe we should just leave the “reality star” status to cooks, bakers and soup kitchen administrators, who shed a positive light on the state. And long after their star wanes on the celebrity circuit, we will always have Joe.