Here Are 17 New Shows That Are Going to Be on Bravo This Year
Some people make New Year’s resolutions to give themselves motivation to try new things, have new experiences, make positive changes to their lives. I’m the opposite; every year I choose something to give up. It started with diet soda, then all artificial sweeteners, and in 2013 I took a deep breath and decided to drastically cut back on my Bravo intake. This plan was somewhat compromised when I realized that it ultimately was going to fall on me to inform Grantland’s readership about the saddest show on television, but now that the Beverly Hills housewives have sealed their third season with champagne toasts and casual accusations of inter-sibling death wishes, I could finally begin my Bravo cleanse in earnest. No more housewives, no more matchmakers, no more watching what happens — be it live, on demand, or on DVR. Maybe I’d even start watching The Americans or something crazy like that.
But then, not 12 hours after the final credits ran on the RHOBH reunion, Bravo announced “their largest slate of original programming ever,” and I suddenly knew how Kim Richards felt clinking her plastic water bottle against the flutes of bubbly. This used to be my lifeblood, but now, like Bubba shipped off to ‘Nam, I’m forced to just sit and list all the countless varieties of delicious scripted reality, keeping myself sane by imagining them in all their mind-numbing, opiate glory.
Anyway, here are some shows I’m not watching this year.
Below Deck — Summer 2013
Bravo description: The upstairs and downstairs worlds collide when this young and single crew, known as “yachties,” live, love and work together onboard a privately owned extravagant yacht. Working and tending to the ever-changing needs of their demanding charter guests is not always smooth sailing.
Below Deck was announced last year and apparently didn’t get quite ready for prime time in the last 12 months, which boggles my mind, because YACHTIES. You can see how they’re angling for some of that Downton Abbey shine with the not-accidental use of the words “upstairs” and “downstairs,” and seeing as this was probably shot in 2011, it may actually qualify as a period piece by now.
City Sisters — Fall 2013
Bravo description: The series follows a group of single, up-and-coming movers and shakers in New York’s elite circles of real estate, fashion, and media. These ladies are aggressive in their pursuit of personal and career goals, but in this cutthroat world where egos are high and the drive to succeed is even higher, success can come at a steep cost.
I get chills when I think back to last year and the first time I ever read the words “Gallery Girls” on the Internet. When that show ended and only Molly Lambert, Juliet Litman, and I were still watching, I figured Bravo would have learned that their The Real Sex and the City of the City model was D.O.A. Maybe someone just pitched this to them as The Real Girls of the Sex and the City, but the red flag here is the word “elite” (seriously, a fun game would be to take a shot every time that word pops up in this press release), and one of the reasons I am taking a Bravo Break is because of an overload of idiot twentysomethings telling us why the curator/stylist/editor/DJ/cake designer/dog groomer they’re about to have a staged meeting with is “like, at the top of the industry right now.” (They never, ever, ever are.) Basically, unless Gallery Girls breakout star Chantal somehow finagled her way into this show, I’m not even watching clips on YouTube.
Courtney Loves Dallas
Bravo description: Breakout star Courtney Kerr of “Most Eligible Dallas” navigates the lively Texas social scene with her group of sassy, dynamic friends. She’s out to rope herself the perfect southern gentleman, while trying to make a name for herself in the fashion industry, but Courtney quickly finds that taking the bull by the horn isn’t as easy as it may sound.
So, this is clearly the worst thing on this list, and its lack of parenthetical release date/disclaimer is all the more depressing. Most Eligible Dallas was a skeevy, sad show made during Bravo’s brief, foolhardy “We’re over Housewives” phase (one of the cast members, Drew, smoked cigarettes in his talking-head interviews and shot himself up with female hormones on the regular to maintain his weight, to give you a taste of the skeevy sadness). Courtney was the least offensive of the show’s murderer’s row of offensive, racist, misogynist, unfunny, tasteless cast members, but that is not saying very much. Last we saw her I believe she worked at a Sunglass Hut — of course she’s trying to make a name for herself in the fashion industry.
Divorce Diva (working title)
Bravo description: When couples go from “I do” to “I don’t,” Vikki Ziegler is who they call to mediate, advise and divide their assets out of court. Why let a judge decide your fate when the Divorce Diva can cut through all the drama to determine who will get what?
I LIED, THIS IS THE WORST THING ON THE LIST.
Eat, Drink, Love — Summer 2013
Bravo description: Single, successful, beautiful and connected to the restaurant and food industry in Los Angeles, these ladies take on the traditionally male-dominated industry in their own way as they juggle a world where business always mixes with pleasure.
I will have to see the cast photos before I can assess how much I hate this show. If this were just a show about Brooke and Kristin from the last season of Top Chef, I might actually consider watching; they were about as close to relatable to me as any female reality-show characters/contestants, and I’m legitimately interested in their careers after the show (though the snoozy Life After Top Chef may be evidence that I’m actually not). But this description is carefully worded with the promise of walk-in-fridge sexy time, and no serious chef would compromise her career like that, so I’m assuming these are all ladies who couldn’t get jobs at SUR.
Extreme Guide to Parenting — Fall 2013
Bravo description: From spoiling and severe punishments to helicopter and new age methods, this is parenting at its most extreme. Each episode gives a candid look at two different households with very unique styles of raising their children — and each family strongly believes their methods are superior.
I don’t watch any of Bravo’s mommy programming, but the three-line description alone has convinced me that the word “guide” should probably be nixed from the title.
Bravo description: This topical, fashion-based talk show features two of Atlanta’s style elite, celebrity hairstylists Derek J and Miss Lawrence, and New York’s fashion maven and media socialite Bevy Smith. The trendy opinionated trio will cover anything and everything related to the world of fashion and beauty, from haute couture to celebrity style to unusual outfits from around the globe, giving their unique perspective on the trends, hits and misses.
If you just got excited about this show from that description, joke’s on you: Its three-episode run ends this weekend. The Soup pretty much boiled down its essence a couple weeks ago; there’s not much more for me to say. (Start at 0:56.)
The Kandi Factory — Premieres Tuesday, April 9
Bravo description: Grammy Award winner and multi-platinum songwriter Kandi Burruss of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” helps 16 aspiring artists jumpstart their dreams of stardom. Burruss gives two protégés with no industry experience the opportunity of a lifetime — a shot at an original song release and music video produced by The Kandi Factory.
This has the potential to be pretty fun; Kandi is an amiable television personality and you never know when she’s gonna show up in the studio with a basket of dildos. I sincerely miss Bravo’s one-season wonder Platinum Hit (PAINT! THIS! CLUB WITH AMAZING!), which convinced me that the songwriting process can translate as well to TV as fashion and cooking.
Newlyweds: The First Year — Premieres Monday, May 6
Bravo description: From the moment they say “I do” to their one-year anniversary, for the first time ever we see up close, the first year of marriage in “Newlyweds: The First Year.” This groundbreaking series follows four diverse couples coast-to-coast experiencing the daily trials and tribulations of their first 365 days of marriage captured by Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated documentarian Lauren Lazin.
Great idea for a reality show. And the promo actually makes it look as though Bravo’s taking a sincere stab at a slightly more grounded brand of documentary reality. It’s a long shot, but here’s hoping that none of these couples is in this to be famous, and that those geniuses in the programming department don’t pair this with Divorce Divas on Friday night.
Property Envy — Summer 2013
Bravo description: The world’s most exclusive, expensive houses are throwing open their doors to a panel of passionate property experts in this new panel talk show that explores the world of luxury real estate, cutting-edge home technology and trendsetting décor. Every week, our property and design-obsessed host and esteemed panelists will present the homes that give them “Property Envy.”
I can barely even read the title without wanting to sell all my belongings and move to a Buddhist monastery.
Bravo description: The notoriously closed society of Charleston, South Carolina unlocks the gates of their centuries-old plantation homes for a real-life look at how modern-day Southern aristocracy lives. Get charmed by the social scene which is bound by tradition and ostentation unlike any other culture in America, through a group of the city’s most charismatic gentlemen and their Southern belle equals.
As I mentioned, I watched that whole Most Eligible Dallas show, so let me decode this for y’all:
- “Notoriously closed society” = racist
- “Centuries-old plantation homes” = old and racist
- “Modern-day Southern aristocracy” = modern-day racists
- “Social scene” = Sad Charleston martini/sushi bars with water features
- “Bound by tradition” = racist, also probably a little misogynist
- “Charismatic gentlemen” = racist misogynist assholes
- “Southern belle equals” = The Bachelor rejects
Taking Atlanta (working title) — Summer 2013
Bravo description: Atlanta just got even hotter as this group of ambitious young go-getters on the cusp of realizing their dreams work hard, but play even harder. They are shaking up the city’s fashion, music, hospitality and real estate scenes.
There is a “hospitality scene” in Atlanta? Here is a theory I have about contemporary Bravo programming: Everything can be traced back to Queer Eye. And while the main takeaway from that show was that mainstream audiences did want to watch charismatic gay men on prime-time television (shocking for 2003), the secret second takeaway was that people were really interested in “careers” — and not tax specialists and Starbucks managers. Queer Eye opened up a whole world of “fashion consultants,” “interior stylists,” and “event overseers” for the network to riff on for the next 10 years. We were still burning through the Clinton surplus, and it seemed totally feasible that all these well-heeled urbanites could be so successful and famous at their made-up party jobs. But it’s 2013, and Bravo is still pushing this burned-out dream, throwing a “work hard, play hard” element into every show without stopping to think about how relevant it is to its audience anymore. This show sounds like Bravo Mad Libs (oh my god, Andy Cohen, please make Bravo Mad Libs).
Thicker Than Water: The Tankards — Fall 2013
Bravo description: This docu-series follows former professional basketball player turned popular gospel singer/recording artist and minister Ben Tankard, his blended family and their journey in expanding the family fortune. From music-producing to NBA life coaching and motivational speaking, this business-oriented family strives to keep on top of their game, but finds their true passion lies in ministry.
Is that title a play on the word “tank”? Cool, Bravo’s key demo loves its plumbing puns.
Two Fit Girls
Bravo description: It’s crunch time for best friends and business partners Katrina and Karena, the fearless duo behind Toneitup.com. While some entrepreneurs have a business plan, these girls use their “street smarts, not book smarts” to push themselves and their brand to wild extremes.
BRAVO. ARE YOU ACTUALLY ASKING ANYONE “WOULD YOU WATCH A SHOW ABOUT FITNESS PEOPLE?” BEFORE YOU GREEN-LIGHT THESE SHOWS? Fitness people make the worst reality stars because unless they’re shouty, tough-lovey monsters like Jillian Michaels, they are usually in the profession they are in because they decided to cultivate their physical skills over their verbal/catchphrase-generating skills, and they didn’t care about getting intoxicated every night. Also, I just went to Toneitup.com and that website should definitely come with a trigger warning.
Ladies of London (working title)
Bravo description: Set in the glittering, class-conscious city of London, this new series follows a group of elite British socialites and American expats enjoying the upper crust of the high society world. And while these Brits and Americans all live in the same city, have been married to rock stars, dated royalty, are darlings of the paparazzi and enjoy wealth beyond belief, they are still culturally, worlds apart.
This is a BBC production, which is great, because we as a culture can finally dispel the persistent notion that everything the BBC does is smart and classy.
(Those of you playing our “elite” drinking game — how are you doing? Need some water?)
Bravo description: Meet members of the “boomerang generation” — six young women from Great Neck, Long Island who return to their pampered lifestyles in the comfort of their parents’ estates and at the expense of their fathers’ bank accounts. This new docu-series offers a window into their unique family dynamics and personal lives filled with labels, luxury, and love trials.
Basically: My Super Sweet 26. And don’t worry, I’m already lobbying to get Jacoby to add this to the Reality Fantasy League.
100 Days of Summer
Bravo description: This young, successful Chicago “it” crowd are working the boardrooms and the bedrooms, eager to make a name for themselves, find love and succeed at any price. With a social circle made up of best friends, former lovers, and current lusts, things are bound to get interesting.
“Working the bedrooms”? Gross! The implication that this is set in Chicago in the summertime doesn’t make that sound any more appealing. Other than that, see everything I said about Taking Atlanta.
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“Actually, the last thing we shot with Matthew [McConaughey], which was really great because we got to surprise him, was from episode seven when Marty’s watching the video tape Rust stole from the Tuttle house and Matthew has his back to Woody. We start rolling and I keep it going and we gather the entire crew right outside the storage unit. We slammed the doors open, which kind of shocked him for a second, and then the whole crew was there to clap for him. It was pretty awesome.”