The Real Housewives of New York City

Common Sense Media says

Voyeuristic reality series moves to the Big Apple.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Wealth, materialism, physical beauty, and social status are central themes.

Positive role models

All the women claim that "status is everything." Some of the children sometimes act spoiled. The housewives are educated, and most have professional careers.

Violence

Some arguing between the women and their partners, as well as some catty exchanges between the housewives. Some visible pushing and shoving, but it's more playful than violent.

Sex

Some strong sexual innuendo, including mild references to male genitalia. Some of the women wear bikinis (including a thong). A male tennis pro teaches with his shirt off. Also includes discussions about pole dancing, stripping, and promiscuity. Ramona enjoys dressing provocatively. One of the kids makes references to lesbianism.

Language

Audible language includes words like "hell" stronger cursing is bleeped out.

Consumerism

High-end brands like Ralph Lauren, Aston Martin, etc. are prominently featured and discussed at length. The women are very consumer-driven and care a lot about material signs of wealth and status.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent drinking (wine, champagne, mixed drinks).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this reality series focuses on five women who live within the privileged circles of New York City's social elite. Like their TV counterparts in Orange County, they place great importance on wealth and status, and as a result often come across as materialistic and superficial. There's plenty of catty behavior, some strong sexual innuendo, and plenty of drinking, and some of the kids act spoiled. The women must also cope with complicated issues like blended families and dealing with chronically ill children.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

A spin-off of The Real Housewives of Orange County, THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY offers an East Coast view of what it means to be a (credit) card-carrying member of society's elite upper crust. Cameras follow the lives of five Big Apple socialites -- Alex McCord, Bethenny Frankel, Jill Zarin, LuAnn de Lesseps, and Ramona Singer -- who live in a world where wealth and status are the ultimate goals and spending loads of money on designer clothes, luxurious homes, and endless parties is the way to get there. But, as in the original series, these women also have to cope with problems that money simply can't fix, such as balancing their careers with their home life, building and strengthening personal relationships, and raising happy, healthy children.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Unlike some of their Orange County counterparts, these non-traditional housewives aren't just Botox-injecting big spenders; they also wield some real professional and social power in Manhattan. Bethenny, for example, is a celebrity chef and was a runner up in The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, while LuAnn uses her position as Countess de Lesseps (thanks to her French aristocrat husband) to benefit multiple charities. And, like any loving partners and/or parents, they want to provide their loved ones with the best. But despite their hard work and good intentions, the greediness and self-important attitude these women often exhibit sometimes makes them difficult to like and usually hard to take seriously.

Though not particularly exciting, the series offers some voyeuristic pleasure -- especially for those who like looking at how "the other half" lives. But the show's emphasis on status and materialism doesn't send a great message to kids. Still, teens might connect with some of the parent-child dynamics and the exploration of other, more personal issues if they can see through the endless flaunting of wealth and the privileges that come with it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the lifestyles featured in this series are appealing (or unappealing). What would be the hardest part about living like these people? The easiest? Families can also discuss why so many reality shows feature rich and famous people. Is it because people really want to be like them? Or could it be because their lives just don't seem real?

TV details

Network:Bravo
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Real Housewives of New York City was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byWise girl April 28, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Absolutely couldn't stop watching

I thought the thing with Kelly vs. Bethenny was ridiculous. Kelly is an idiot and a child! She tells Bethenny how immature she thinks she is and how Bethenny is so much lower than her, wake up sister we know she's just jealous because Bethenny has a strong career, Kelly can't ride a horse to save your life, Bethenny's gorgeous and she is just some has-been model. Kelly treated her like dirt and Kelly treated Allison poorly at Allison's meeting for arthritis! Kelly called it "cute" when told that Allison had arthritis (Talk about wierd) which was a blatant insult in my opinion, besides the fact she shows up late for everything, she had a pillow fight at Jill Zarin's party, in the store! To me Kelly can't say Bethenny is below her or immature when she looks at the really immature and childish things she does. She is NOT teaching her kids a good lesson on how to live, disappointing on her part.
Adult Written bymascher April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Well Isn't That Rich?

The people aren't as snot-nosed arrogant as I anticipated. They live in great spaces. Eat at fancy places. Still they don't behave as arrogantly as we would have expected. There's one unfortunate gal (wish I could remember her name) who has some serious mental problems. Many will find such a poor, rich soul fun to watch. I find her painful to watch. Not a bad show, overall. As wealthy as these people are, with all of their make up, all of the favorable lighing, all the therapy that they can afford still isn't quite enough to erase from them their serious flaws. I suppose that the rich are just like you and me.

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