Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

Real Housewives Get Personal is reminiscent of MTV’s ’90s Real World books

If there was any doubt in my mind that The Real Housewives is the new Real World–or at least, The Real World for people who’ve outgrown the MTV show–it was erased when I read the new book about the Bravo franchise.

The Real Housewives Get Personal is a beautifully designed, full-color encyclopedia, basically, of all things Housewives, profiling the women from the first four seasons: O.C., New York City, Atlanta, and New Jersey.

And it is almost exactly like a book I still own: The Real World: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide. I remember buying it at Barnes & Noble in 1997, and burying myself in its pages. MTV released a few of these books, and they even included applications for the next season. It had some mild behind-the-scenes stuff, like Q&As with the cast and a timeline of a day of production in Boston. Just looking through it now reminds me of those early seasons that I loved so much. Of course, since it was an MTV book, it wasn’t exactly a critical examination, but it was totally a great way to look back at the seasons and get some new information in the days before the Internet fueled our need for this kind of information every moment.

The new Bravo book, published by Chronicle Books, is similar: It’s lightweight but fun, and while there’s nothing here a die-hard fan wouldn’t already know, nor is there anything that’d make Bravo look bad, it’s still a good overview of the cast and the seasons. Like the MTV book, has amusing infographic-like spreads (check out page 88; search for “maintenance”, like a list of parties thrown by the Atlanta cast members, and a chart asking “Who’s the highest maintenance?” among the New York women, illustrated with a syringe for Jill because of her Botox treatments. And there’s lots of great photos, including some of Kelly Killoren Bensimon that are truly odd. In 2010, I’m not quite sure who the market is for a book like this, but I know my pre-Internet self would appreciate it.

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

More from reality blurred

About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!