The Real Housewives franchise is home to some of the coolest women on reality TV. Whether it’s their luxurious homes, gorgeous outfits, or sassy one-liners, viewers have been hooked ever since The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered in 2006.
In total there have been ten Real Housewives series in the U.S. Each one is set in a different city and follows the lives of a unique group of women. Every Housewives series lives or dies by the coolness or lameness of its original cast; one star can be enough to propel the show for 15 seasons, while another can singlehandedly cancel her entire series.
10 The Real Housewives of Orange County
Orange County is where it all began, but while later seasons would introduce fan favorites like Heather Dubrow and Tamra Judge, the original cast wasn’t too popular. Jo De La Rosa was dragged down by her controlling fiance; whereas Kimberly Bryant only stuck around for one season before completely disappearing.
As a single mother, Lauri Waring had it a lot tougher than the other women, but fans took issue with her parenting style. On the flip side, Jeana Keough was treated terribly by her family, which made for uninspiring viewing. Vicki Gunvalson was the breakout star of this cast. While these ladies paved the way for every other franchise, looking back they were very lackluster.
9 The Real Housewives of D.C.
The ladies of The Real Housewives of D.C. only had one season to make an impression, and it wasn’t a great one. While it was a nice change to see a group of women who were politically focused, the show missed the mark. Stacie Scott Turner and Lynda Erikilestian were far too normal for reality TV. Mary Amons at least had nice style, whereas Cat Ommanney was catty from the jump.
Love her or hate her, Michaele Salahi was seen by many as the highlight of the show, and the whole reason it was canceled. Infamously, Michaele and her husband gatecrashed a white house dinner, even meeting President Barack Obama. The story spread nationwide, legal action was almost brought against the Salahis, and the show was canceled.
8 The Real Housewives Of New Jersey
Every Housewives fan will remember Teresa Giudice’s iconic table flip, but it’s easy to forget how goofy and likable Teresa initially was. While in recent seasons viewers have turned against Teresa for her family drama and criminal activities, originally she was a fun and cool cast member.
Caroline Manzo’s family mob boss routine got old very quickly, but her sister Dina was an undervalued gem. Jacqueline Laurita was a loveable sweetheart, but the show eventually brought out her anger and anxieties. While most of the original RHONJ cast lacked, Danielle Staub was straight-up terrifying; but for the rollercoaster ride that she was, at least she wasn’t boring.
7 The Real Housewives of Dallas
Initially, RHOD was a show about the Dallas charity circuit, before being retooled to join the Real Housewives. Therefore, the first season isn’t quite the Real Housewives fans know and love. Tiffany Hendra never brought any real drama; whereas Leeann Locken brought way too much drama with her narcissistic antics.
Fans agree that Cary Deuber deserves a comeback! While at times her quirkiness felt a bit try-hard, Cary genuinely seemed like a good person and would be cool to hang out with. BFFs Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman brought so much life to season one, their friendship started long before the show premiered and it was a joy to watch.
6 The Real Housewives of Miami
Although it was originally canceled after three seasons, this year Bravo announced that The Real Housewives of Miami will be returning. The new cast will allegedly have a mix of OG cast members and brand new housewives. While the show didn’t get good until Season 2, the season 1 ladies were fairly cool.
Adriana de Moura was a fantastic villain: rich, gorgeous and so so shady, whereas Marysol Patton and her mother were fan-favorites. Cristy Rice and Ex-Kim Kardashian bestie Larsa Pippen left the show after season one. While it’s not known who will return for the reboot, matriarch Lea Black is definitely out.
5 The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Nene Leakes is a living icon. No other housewife has inspired as many memes, quotes, and iconic moments as the original Atlanta peach herself. However, Sheree Whitfield is an underrated gem, bringing so much hilarity to the show from episode one. Whilst fans are still waiting for She by Sheree to hit the shelves, they’re guaranteed to be the coolest “athletic, but lifestyle” joggers the world has ever seen.
Sadly the rest of the cast fell behind. Lisa Wu brought nothing to the show, whereas Deshawn Snow was endearingly confused, but very out of place. Thoughts on Kim Zolciak herself may vary, but one thing is for sure, it’s never cool to be “Tardy For The Party”.
4 The Real Housewives of Potomac
Most viewers had never heard of Potomac when RHOP was announced, but while no one is entirely sure where it is, season one brought a whole host of cool ladies. Robyn Dixon was dope, whereas Karen Huger is still serving sass, style, and luxurious fashion as fans get ready for the season 6 premiere.
Although Ashley Darby was the youngest cast member, she certainly wasn’t the coolest, considering her questionable taste in fashion, and in men. Robbed goddess Katie Rost was a rollercoaster of drama, but Charrisse Jackson Jordan was not cool, and Cha-Cha was booted after two seasons of meh. Gizelle Bryant should be sweating from all the drama she’s stirred up over five seasons, but this queen-of-the-read stayed ice-cool, even if her looks were a little sloppy.
3 The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City
RHOSLC is the new kid on the block, premiering in 2020. But in just one season the ladies of Salt Lake City have proved themselves to be the ultimate contenders of cool. Meredith Marks and Heather Gay both ran hugely successful businesses, but still found the time for some stunning fashion. Meredith even served up a diamante mask in the season finale, potentially prophesizing the global pandemic.
Although Lisa Barlow was a savvy entrepreneur, her ego rubbed fans up the wrong way. While Mary Cosby was the designer wearing church leader from hell, Whitney Rose was a beacon of light: gorgeous, sassy, and loveable. Jen Shah, on the other hand, dazzled with some killer looks, but recently she was arrested for running a US-wide fraud scheme. Fashion isn’t quite as enjoyable when it’s been funded by alleged money laundering
2 The Real Housewives of New York City
New York City is one of the coolest places on earth, so it’s only fitting that the ladies who run it would be just as cool. Bethenny Frankel was a fantastic underdog, overcoming tragedy to become one of the most successful businesswomen in New York. While Alex McCord was certifiably uncool, fans grew to love her and her Herman Munster shoes. On the flip side, Jill Zarin started as a fan favorite, but her nasal “Hiiiii” quickly dragged on viewers.
Ramona Singer and Luann de Lesseps are the only OG’s still on the show and they are just as iconic today. Ramona may be seen as a monster, but she’s beloved by fans for never failing to bring the drama. With Luann’s immortal words: “Be cool, don’t be all like uncool,” she basically invented the idea. From sleeping with pirates to releasing hit after hit after hit, The Countess is effortlessly cool.
1 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Underneath the glamour of Beverly Hills is a world of secrets and lies, and it’s this intrigue that makes the RHOBH ladies so entrancing. Adrienne Maloof practically invented lifestyle porn with her extravagant parties and huge mansion. Whereas Camille Grammer was one of the original reality TV villains, oozing ice-cold wickedness, but behind the mask was a fragile woman coping with the breakdown of her marriage.
Kyle Richards was funny and relatable but was never afraid to call others out, even if they were her own sister. The infamous limo fight was shocking, but as much as Kim Richards struggled with her vices, she was a fantastic character and the show declined after she left. Taylor Armstrong had a tragic arc on the show, but her strength throughout was inspiring. Finally, there’s the icon herself, Lisa Vanderpump. Maybe it’s the fact that she’s British; maybe it’s her extravagant tea parties, or maybe it’s her iconic pomeranian Giggy. LVP will forever be the queen of cool.
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