Retired NBA player and current Splash contestant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written an incredibly smart and eloquent defense of Bravo’s trashy reality soap opera franchise The Real Housewives, and a defense of documentary-style reality TV as art that has great value. He also argues that the housewives are undermining feminism and equality for women.
His Huffington Post essay How the Real Housewives Have Made America Better sounds like a joke but he is completely serious, and makes a compelling case:
“Those who refuse to watch, based on some misguided cultural snobbery, aren’t just missing great entertainment, they are overlooking the best social insight into the American psyche since Huck Finn and Jim explored the soul of America on a raft of lost innocence.
…Real Housewives reigns as the Grand Poobah of reality series. It is a glitzy window into mainstream values, if not mainstream lifestyle. It offers more insight into American consciousness than most TV scripted dramas. We just have to be willing to see ourselves in it.”