missed opportunities

There Could’ve Been a Married Lesbian on The Real Housewives of D.C.

The Real Housewives of D.C. is the Bravo serial’s fifth incarnation, and its first set in a place where same-sex marriage is legal. New York, Atlanta, and New Jersey don’t permit gay marriage, and residents of California’s Orange County had but a few months to get gay married; if they didn’t, they already missed out. And while the show has always played fast and loose with the definition of “housewife” (see: New York‘s Bethenny, who started the series without even a boyfriend), we finally had an opportunity for Bravo — which makes no secret of its catering to the gays — to line up a lesbian pair of housewives.

They didn’t take the bait.

Instead we’ve got four married straight gals (Mary Schmidt Amons, Catherine Ommanney, Stacie Scott Turner, Michaele Salahi … yes, her) and one divorced straight gal (Lynda Erkiletian). And in a city where forty percent of residents are white, producers opted to cast 80 percent of it as such.

Not that Bravo or the series’ producers (D.C. is manufactured by Half Yard Productions) have ever claimed to offer authentic representations of the places these women live. Which means our interest in seeing a married lesbian housewife has little to do with “what’s right” and almost everything to do with “what’s interesting.” Casting a wealthy, sapphic social butterfly in the nation’s capital doesn’t mean the show has to zero in on the gay marriage debate, but if previous seasons are any indication, Housewives flourishes when cast members don’t see eye-to-eye.

Bravo asks us to Watch What Happens. For now, we’ll just have to Imagine What Could’ve Happened.

[WaPo; NBC press release]