The Real Housewives of Dubai, Bravo’s first overseas incarnation of the brand, premiered on Wednesday, marking the program’s official globalization.
Bravo’s ‘The Real Housewives Of Dubai’ Is A Snoozefest!!!
If you’re anticipating border provocative sex and a city 2-Train accident in style, 1) I don’t blame you, and 2) that’s not going to happen. The issue with The Real Women of Dubai isn’t that it’s problematic, whitewashed, or unmusical – at least not any more often than the other housewives.
No, the new reality show’s fault is that it’s utterly, devastatingly boring.
The cast is no doubt diverse, with each housewife stating her nationality, as well as her occupation and marital status, in her introduction.
Sara Al Madani, an Emirati software entrepreneur, defines herself as a passionate Muslim who also describes herself as a “merging” of her heritage with her rebellious spirit. Chanel Ayan, who was born and reared in Kenya before becoming Dubai’s first black supermodel, is another example.
Caroline Stanbury, a British reality TV veteran who previously participated in the Bravo series Ladies of London, has lived in Dubai for the last seven years. Nina Ali appears to be the group’s social head and is a Lebanese-American “mother influencer.” Caroline Brooks, a Massachusetts-born American ex-pat, and Lesa Milan, a Jamaican-born fashion designer, round out the cast.
If I could recall the storyline of the first episode, I’d tell you about it. ( Yes, I did double-check it out as soon as possible before writing this evaluation).
It starts with Al Madani saying in Arabic that she considers herself fortunate to have been brought up in Dubai and witnessed the city’s tremendous growth. Her commentary is backed by a time-lapse video depicting Dubai’s transformation from “simply dunes and some buildings” in 1966 to today’s skyscraper city.
Hearing the women’s perspectives on Dubai’s riches and culture is interesting, but it doesn’t appear to be directly related to the show’s plotlines so yet. Although Ali mentions that alcohol sales are prohibited at one point, champagne and rosé are present in practically every scene. Stanbury isn’t allowed to have penis-shaped straws for her bachelorette celebration, as the UAE’s draconian rules appear to imply in the premiere.
According to the first episode, The Real Housewives of Dubai is on the verge of becoming a one-woman show centered on Ayan, who is also the cast’s most obnoxious member. Jen Shah’s Guide to Being a Reality TV Star, which urges new housewives to be as expensive as possible and only talk in meme-ready slogans to maximize screen time, was certainly studied by her. Ayan, unlike Shah, is neither a comedian nor a white-collar criminal (that we know of).
Maybe the supermodel is as self-absorbed and belligerent in front of the camera as she appears to be, and she declares in four languages that she’s fabulous and a badass slut. Or maybe she was just scribbling notes on Lisa Vanderpump’s wonderfully inflated self-esteem and Kenya Moore’s flawlessly created love-hate relationship with her villain persona while watching Housewives Seasons for hours.
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