A reality show franchise that has captivated viewers for more than a decade, the Real Housewives‘ franchise brings all the glitz and glam many of us envy, while letting us keep a safe distance from the drama that keeps us hooked. From Kim Zolciak’s days with Big Poppa to Teresa Giudice’s table-flip, the cast members have always kept it interesting from city to city.
With a lot of work put into picking the most entertaining women for each season, Bravo and Andy Cohen require audition tapes for any new choice of housewife to make sure that they’re a good fit (via Women’s Health). Since the ladies interact quite frequently and real friendships tend to bring a better dynamic to the group, friends of existing cast members are often top choices for new wives. Then, with a little production and editing magic, we get the seasons that keep our eyes glued to the TV for weeks.
Over the years, a few seasons have stood out from the rest and kept us busy during quarantine. Here are our top five binge-able seasons of Real Housewives to keep you busy.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Season 2
Following the explosive antics of season one, the second season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills takes us back to a time where chunky necklaces and $25,000 sunglasses ruled the day. The cast included Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Adrienne Maloof, Taylor Armstrong, and Camille Grammer with the season centering on Armstrong’s marriage struggles. Along with the Richards’ sisterly schism, Brandi Glanville makes her way onto the scene to shake things up in the 90210.
Vanderpump’s daughter, Pandora gets engaged and viewers get the invite into the fabulous engagement parties and the wedding itself at the end of the season. Season two culminates with Kim and Kyle’s infamous fight over their Palm Springs home and Armstrong’s marriage collapsing. The reunion airs following Russell Armstrong’s tragic suicide with Taylor discussing how she and her daughter are coping (via E!). Between the season drama and the intense reunion, season two of RHOBH will keep you on your toes like it’s 2012 all over again.
You can catch up on all the action with your Hulu premium subscription or purchase to watch on Amazon.
The Real Housewives of New York City, Season 8
Bethenny Frankel’s infamous return to the show a season prior brought tears, makeups, and breakups with the entrepreneur’s recent divorce and ensuing custody battle. Jules Wainstein enters the scene for her first and only season as Dorinda Medley’s friend. Meanwhile, Ramona Singer is newly single and joins forces with her empty-nester friend, Sonja Morgan.
This season is where we meet Tom D’Agostino — Luann DeLesseps’ boyfriend-turned-husband-turned-ex (via E!). D’Agostino’s past with Singer is the talk of the group and Carole Radziwill’s relationship with her younger boyfriend, Adam, irks DeLesseps. The drama continues when Morgan attempts to start her liquor business, preemptively named TipsyGirl, to which Frankel takes issue. Tensions arise between the group and Medley’s boyfriend John while Wainstein and Frankel continue to clash. Wainstein eventually opens up to Frankel about her struggles with an eating disorder, after which they seemingly put their issues to rest — until the reunion.
Arguably one of the seasons that revived RHONY, Frankel’s humor along with the introduction of Jules Wainstein and the rest of the cast’s drama makes the perfect recipe for an exciting season. You can find season eight with your Hulu premium subscription or you can purchase the season through Amazon.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Season 3
While the early seasons of RHONJ make it hard to choose a favorite, season three kicks off the Gorga saga that would characterize the next five seasons of the show with Teresa Giudice’s cousin Kathy Wakile and her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga joining the cast. Combined with the comic relief from Caroline Manzo’s children and their antics with their friends, the season brings the camaraderie and the laughs.
Teresa’s family drama between her husband, Joe Giudice, and her brother, Joe Gorga, comes to a head multiple times with the Joes hurling physical threats. Teresa’s children, Gia, Gabriella, Melania, and Audriana miss their cousins, Melissa and Joe’s children. Meanwhile, Jacqueline Laurita struggles to discipline her 20-year-old daughter Ashlee.
The crew interact throughout various events in the garden state and take their show on the road with a trip to the Dominican Republic. Teresa and Wakile’s drama ignites with a fight on the beach, Melissa and Teresa battle over who’s the hottest couple on the trip and the Manzo children encourage drinking games on the yacht. If that isn’t the frivolity you need right now, we don’t know what is.
Catch up on the action through Amazon or your Hulu premium subscription.
The Real Housewives of Potomac, Season 3
A newcomer to the housewives scene, Potomac brings all the shade and style you could ask for. The season starts with the grand dame, Karen Huger, struggling to answer questions about her husband’s company’s financial issues which leads to tensions with Ashley Darby, Gizelle Bryant, and Robyn Dixon. The green-eyed bandit, Bryant, is dating a new man and brings him around her children as she begins writing her book. Candiace Dillard joins the cast for her first season and struggles to get out of her mother’s shadow.
Following her trial separation from husband, Michael, Darby argues with him over financially supporting her mother as they decide whether or not to have children. Monique Samuels starts rumors of a potential drinking problem following a car accident that has the rest of the ladies worried. Dixon continues to work through her problems with ex-husband, Juan, as she and Samuels aim to resolve their issues towards the end of the season.
The women of Potomac know how to bring the fun and the drama. Between the trips, the conflicts, and the storylines, season three is a binge-able watch that will keep you entranced all the way through the reunion. Watch on Hulu or through Amazon.
The Real Housewives of Orange County, Season 10
The original franchise that started it all, Real Housewives of Orange County, has kept us coming back for more than a decade. While the first few seasons are some of the best, season 10 brings us Meghan King Edmonds and the heated drama over Vicki Gunvalson’s boyfriend, Brooks Ayers. Plus, Heather Dubrow is still gracing the screen. The start of the season reveals that Shannon Beador’s husband, David, was having an affair and the couple is working to heal their relationship. This season also brings us another first — Tamra Judge becomes a grandma!
Gunvalson’s boyfriend moves in with her after finding out that he has cancer. Eventually, Gunvalson and Ayers’story doesn’t fully add up, leading to intense rifts in friendships as King Edmonds continues to get to the bottom of the story. The ladies finally confront Gunvlason at the end of the season, with the OG of the OC infamously likening herself to Jesus for doing nothing wrong.
Needless to say, season 10 brings us right back to a different time. Catch up on Hulu or on Amazon.
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