Pop CultureSeptember 13, 2016

Please, tell me more about how you hate The Real Housewives


Columnist Martin Van Beynen got very angry about The Real Housewives of Auckland last week. Alex Casey tries to figure out why. 

Martin Van Beynen, the thought leader behind smash hit opinions like “Kiwi women swear too much” and “Dangerous times for older white males with opinions” has done it again. This time he’s steamed about The Real Housewives of Auckland, to the point where he’s unleashed this long death rattle from hell, wheezing out every single thesaurus entry under the word “bad” before disappearing back into the underworld with nothing but a loud fart noise.

Please, tell me more about how you don’t like reality TV

Just as The Housewives get their own intro credits, all teeth, sequins and catchphrases, I thought it would be a good idea to briefly introduce Martin Van Beynen and his technicolour coat of opinions. For example, where Julia Sloane might grin, spin around and say something pithy like “if people are talking behind your back, then you’re the one in front,” Martin would creak open his coffin and belch “young ladies have every right to take offence… but they should realise it makes them sound shrill, unreasonable and even a little ungrateful.” Similar. Here’s another.


And now he’s weighed in on how reality TV is ruining the world, because nobody has ever done that before. According to Marty, The Real Housewives of Auckland is not just a dead duck, but “virulent slime”, “utter garbage”, a “contagious disease” and “invasive trash” for people who are stupid dumb “idiots”.

There’s nothing invasive about The Real Housewives. What I find invasive is a self-proclaimed “public intellectual” aggressively grapevining in to scream about how me and many other women are a pile of dummies who he probably would nuke if he had the chance. Chilled out banter there. Let us unpick some more of his intricate musings before Nicole the healer arrives to take these daggers out of my back:

Any commentary on a dead duck such as the abysmal Real Housewives of Auckland invites condemnation every bit as deserved and vociferous as that levelled at the programme itself.

Great point, job done, should probably pack in the column then. As it is written in the Bible, there’s no point blogging a dead duck. Would hate to give any more oxygen to such a toxic, destructive poisonous entertainment blob with all its “swearing” and its “women” and its “success”. Also sorry for swearing but:


Indisputably, any commentary on this virulent slime gives it a little more credibility and unpaid for publicity.

Honestly, the rage with which Martin talks about The Real Housewives makes it sound like Anne the Champagne lady has been leaving a parcel of cat shit on his pillow every night for the past 10 years, and every time he looks in the mirror the spirit of Michelle Blanchard whispers “plussss ssssiiizzzze” in his ear. Someone should tell him he sounds shrill, unreasonable and even a little ungrateful. Here’s a message from one of the virulent slime merchant herself, no less.


Some of the most shameful behaviour is from media organisations like my own which bolster the programme by covering its every mutation and diseased growth as though they somehow represent legitimate entertainment news.

Just as a side note, if any of the housewives actually develop a diseased growth, rest assured that your good friends at The Spinoff will be there to power rank and podcast every moment of the process. Hashtag realpod.

Instead of arousing righteous scorn for the misshapen, garishly painted dolls it trots out as its characters, it prompts only sadness and pity. A more pathetic, artificial, hideous, wooden bunch of vampish wretches would be hard to find.


They make you despair not only for women in general – where are the feminists when you need them? – but for the entire human race.

I don’t despair for women when I watch The Real Housewives of Auckland, I despair for all the ageing white males so blinded with rage at a show about women, for women, that they must spew all over the internet like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. These feminists that your woke mind so desperately seeks? We are right here. Note how we aren’t referring to the housewives as misshapen, dolls or wretches? That’s how you can find us.

Dare you to call Michelle Blanchard a misshapen wretch IRL
Dare you to call Michelle Blanchard a misshapen wretch IRL

It could be argued that – and I’m not saying that every product enjoyed by feminists has to meet a feminist criteria, because then we would have to go and live in an oversized birds nest on a coast somewhere – that The Real Housewives has seriously progressive elements. Yes, it encourages women to berate each other’s size, argue endlessly and spend frivolously. But it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours, shines a light on a group of women all over the age of 35, and even shows them playing with SEX TOYS?!

I mean – and I apologise again for swearing Martin – but holy fuck, where else on New Zealand television would we ever see women like this in a million years? Women who barely talk about their husbands, women of colour and of age, who all don’t give a fuck about what an angry man on the internet has to say about them?

Angela having a big sip of IDGAF
Angela having a big sip of IDGAF

Had I been watching the other night with my finger on the trigger of a nuclear device to end human existence, I would have been sorely tempted.

Hear hear, nuke the entire human race and leave a VHS of The Fishing Show for the cockroaches to enjoy instead. That’s definitely better.

We welcome all idiots to enjoy our Real Podcast of Housewives and Alex Casey’s power rankings

Keep going!