I am a huge fan of Bravo's various Real Housewives series, and in watching the three different strains of the show--New York, Atlanta, and the OC--I often find myself mentally comparing the ladies with each other. Today I plotted them all on the graph below, which charts them against two axes: likability and ambition level. I also labeled each woman with an apple, orange, or peach to make it easier to identify them by their respective cities. (Click to enlarge and view the full-size version.)
- Unsurprisingly, the Shiftless/Unlikeable quadrant is the most heavily populated. In fact, only four housewives received "Likeable" rankings at all: Jill, Bethenny, NeNe, and Lynne. I realize that even those four could be controversial, particularly Lynne and NeNe. But I liked poor, dumb, sweet Lynne and delighted in NeNe's slightly-evil-but-usually-funny attitude, so they received the coveted "Likeable" rating.
- DeShawn is at absolute zero: neither likeable nor unlikeable; not particularly hardworking, but (thanks to her charrrrrrrrrity), also not particularly shiftless. Although this made her the blandest, most boring housewife of all, it also made her extremely useful to me in terms of graphing the other housewives. If I was having trouble deciding which side of the line to put a certain housewife on, I could ask myself, "Do I like her more or less than DeShawn? Does she work harder than DeShawn, or not as hard?"
- According to my system, Kim Zolciak (Atlanta) is the most shiftless housewife in all the land. This sounds about right.
- Kelly Bensimon (New York) is the most unlikeable housewife of all, followed closely by Ramona. Being the most unlikeable person in this group is quite a coup--especially for someone new to the show. Way to go, Kelly. You are a truly unpleasant person.
Feel free to provide your own analysis. I know I am not the only person who watches this show.