A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Hotwives is a rude comedy that parodies Bravo-style reality shows that are themselves rather tasteless, so this satire is even more over the top. Different seasons are set in different cities (Orlando, Las Vegas), but the bad behavior remains the same. Female characters in skintight dresses happily admit to cheating on their spouses, caring only about money, despising their friends, and committing other moral transgressions. They also throw decadent parties with cocktails at which characters get drunk and act silly or violently. There are jokes about sex, scenes in which characters praise plastic surgery and Botox, and a character who is a struggling addict who talks frankly about her various chemical urges. Characters curse frequently and rudely, calling each other names such as "broken-ass bitch." The humor is absurd and ridiculous, but younger viewers probably won't get the satire and may take the messages at face value.
What's the story?
Move over Real Housewives: Hulu's half-hour scripted comedy series THE HOTWIVES has wives who are richer, messier, sexier, and even sillier than the sisters they're satirizing. In Orlando, Tawny St. John (Casey Wilson) divides her time between sessions with her trainer, coping with the decline of her (not really) dying husband, Phil (Stephen Tobolowsky), and raising funds for her charity, which provides high-heeled shoes for dogs. Crystal (Angela Kinsey) is a pious, even smug, Christian who despairs over her volatile addict of a sister, Amanda (Kristen Schaal). Also in the sisterhood: Jersey-ish shopping addict Shauna (Danielle Schneider), flirtatious Brit and dog lover Veronica (Andrea Savage), and Zumba instructor/cake artist/foot model/aspiring taxidermist Phe Phe (Tymberlee Hill). Nearly all the same crew return in Las Vegas, playing entirely different (except for Phe Phe) socialites and hangers-on.
Is it any good?
How you feel about The Hotwives will depend pretty strictly on how amusing you already find shows such as The Real Housewives of New Jersey, which, most people can agree, is already pretty ridiculous on its own, with its "spontaneous" dramatic confrontations staged in ridiculous places and behind-the-scenes interviews that are just thinly veiled excuses to get the cast to insult each other. If you already find these types of antics to be a potent guilty pleasure, Hotwives is another one, stuffed full of prostitution lessons, charitable events featuring Cirque du Soleil performers passing out apps, jokes about McMansions and Central Florida, and sly, goofy commentary on avarice, fame, and sex.
However, if you're not already a Bravo watcher, Hotwives likely will seem indistinguishable from the real thing and the jokes will miss you. "Hotwives Cooldown," a segment at the end of the show that summarizes what just happened, isn't nearly as funny if you haven't had a few go-rounds with Andy Cohen; the way one character tries to make "I gotta be Phe Phe" into a catchphrase doesn't even make much sense if you haven't seen The Real Housewives of Atlanta. This is funny stuff -- but only for the right audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the TV shows The Hotwives is based on. Is more than one show being spoofed? How?
What assumptions does the viewing public have about the locations where the show is set? Are Orlando and Las Vegas inherently funny places?
Have you seen any of the actors or actresses on Hotwives in other shows? How are the characters they're playing here similar to characters you've seen them play before? How are they different?
Our editors recommend
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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