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|Index||23 reviews in total|
Theme 1: Extreme materialism is normal.
Theme 2: Wanting something for nothing.
Theme 3: Wanting something in exchange for something other than hard work.
Theme 4: "We have morals."
Theme 5: "I behave like X, but tell my children not to behave like X."
Theme 6: I work hard, so I deserve to play hard.
Theme 7: Knowledge is valuable if it helps you make money.
Theme 8: Wealth = achievement.
Theme 9: My family means everything to me--10 minutes a week.
Theme 10: Responsibility is cultivated through having something, not through doing something.
I didn't expect much from this alleged program - and when looking at
it, not only was I right on - it was worse. Besides Desperate
Housewives, this is one of THE worst shows for women...and men.
Maybe this is playing well in some part of the United States and the World that finds this a guilty pleasure. Let me get one thing straight: The shows 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' are a guilty pleasures - this is just plain sad.
I guess this is a program to show you what happens when little girls who have no exemplary role models in their lives except for plastic dolls like "Barbie" grow up and have to maintain a job and/or household. This actually takes place is a crappy suburb that tries desperately to raise itself up to be like Beverly Hills, Chicago, The Hamptons and Miami .. but does nothing but make you wish that a big wave would come and wipe the whole County out so it could start all over again.
These children's lives are sad and meaningless. The households are gutless. The women are very competitive with jewelery, fake boobs, shrieking "Bride of Frankenstein" voices, and dried out leathery skin that even makes George Hamilton blush. It's like watching the "walking dead" trying to stay alive by any means necessary - and that means finding "Ken dolls" with the appearance of lots of money.
And the men...for goodness sake, who would WANT these self-centered whiners? These women are falling all over them because of..THE MONEY! And the men are perfectly fine with that. What a trophy!! I was waiting for a few of the guys in the series to bronze the women they have and stick them on the dashboard of their leased cars! But they wont do that because that means they'll have to KEEP them. These are men that would trade their women in quicker than their coveted cars once their butt starts to sag.
Oh, but the children connected with these 'super-elastic bubble plastic' families. God help them. They may just go back to Orange county and wait until the next generation of vacuous self-designed "Barbies" or "Kens" come along that they can manipulate and support.
It's Orange County, for goodness sake. Orange County is a nice place, a great place, many kids grow up there just fine. All the folks in this series are picked are squeezed (forgive the puns) into a "certain section" for entertainment value only.
Be forewarned: This show will show you the incredibly debt ridden existence of pretentiousness. My guess after watching this show: These folks are lower middle to Middle-Middle class trying to show an Upper-Upper Class existence. Posers.
Nothing but a show about whiny posers who think life is much better because they can now charge their boob jobs instead of being seen buying Jacqueline Smith fashions from K-Mart.
I tried to like this show. This is supposed to be about five women
living in Coto de Caza, an exclusive community near Mission Viejo,CA.
Jeana, Kimberly, Vicki, Lauri and Jo.
Lauri is divorced, has three children and cannot figure out why her two oldest children have no sense. Lauri goes to juvenile court (son Josh is in trouble) looking like she's about to hit a bar. Lauri once lived in Coto and now she is out of the net living on the perimeter. Lauri seems pathetic to me. Her daughter Ashley is a ding dong and is apathetic. Josh seemed to exude almost a sad persona. His life isn't great and trouble follows him everywhere. Even so, you feel sympathy for him. No air time was given to the youngest child. Lauri has a penchant for hooking up with losers and doesn't grasp that this behavior has an adverse affect on her children.
Jo, from Peru (she speaks with no accent and is very California girl)is engaged to Slade. He has children from previous relationships and Jo just doesn't want to be a mother yet. She likes to drink and party which is a bone of contention between her and Slade. You know from the beginning that Jo has no business being anyone's fiancée at this point in her life. Jo is twenty-four and Slade somewhere in his thirties. Slade wants things a certain way and Jo cannot conform herself to be a housewife and mother. There is a put-up flirt scene between her and Jeana's son in one episode when he comes over to shoot bunnies out of Jo's flower beds. Slade walks in and quickly goes into caveman mode. You know that something is wrong with this picture. People who love each other don't act this way. Credibility of this couple went out the window in this episode.
Jeana and Kimberly are the true real housewives. They love their families dearly and even though I was disappointed in one scene where Kimberly and her friends are having a luncheon and one of her "friends" makes a derogatory remark about flirting with Puerto Ricans or considering them a step above other undesirables was, very off putting. I would have loved Jo to have been there because I'm sure that statement would not have been uttered. Kimberly and her husband are a nice couple with children. They have good children. The only cloud in the sunny picture is that Kimberly keeps getting melanomas. She has survived and doesn't want to leave her children and husband because "no one will love them as much as I do".
Jeana, former Playboy Playmate is now a middle aged wife and mother of three. Jeana is very likable and I would have liked for the show to have been about her and her family. Jeana works hard, loves her family. The only cloud here is the strange behavior of her husband Matt. He was injured in his baseball days and seems to wander in and out of scenes. Son Shane is trying to keep the Keough name firmly in baseball. Not much on this family other than the barbecue scene Jeana hosts for the neighbors and she and son Shane figure Slade and Jo's relationship dynamics out.
Vicki is the least likable. She is frenetic, and very A.D.D. She is into every aspect of her family's life. She is successful in the insurance business and Lauri works for her. She is a self described M.I.L.F. (as none of her son's friends ever mention the fact that they think that she is) and brags that she tries to keep her self fit. Vicki has a son and daughter. Her son doesn't seem to know the value of earning a dollar. Daughter Briana on the other hand, seems to have her head together. At least her mother taught her to be self sufficient.
The problem with this show is that even though these privileged people live in Coto, their houses look just like any other ordinary house in any city's upscale neighborhood. In one scene, when Jo and Slade break up, the cameras zoom in on Jo's canary yellow diamond engagement ring sitting in a large square box from Tiffany. Are they trying to suggest that the ring came from Tiffany? That box is just like the one where my Tiffany heart tag bracelet came in. Notice that Jo is wearing hers in the episode where she gets a job. Another scene of just plain manipulation of the show, is when Kimberly and her husband go shopping for another car. They show us a price tag of a vehicle that costs $152,000.00. They buy a Lexus but the price of that is never shown because hey...normal people can afford that too. I also disliked the flirt scene between Shane and Jo. That was just not needed and had no merit.
Jeana and Jo need to get themselves to a hair dresser and get their hair styled and updated. Kimberly, Vicki and Lauri need to get to a professional colorist and get their hair done in a natural shade of blond. Seems to me if you live in Coto, you should attempt to look and dress like you have money. I think that Lauri dresses like she's in her early twenties and her bosoms are always exposed. She is a sad commentary on an older woman trying to look younger. I do have to say that I hope that I can look half as good as Kimberly does in her tennis skirt when I'm her age.
All in all, I think this show could have been much better had it focused on Jeana, Kimberly and Lauri. These three had potential in having their home situations become more acceptable by a sympathetic viewing audience. You just can't muster up enough tears for Jo and Vicki's lives. They leave you cold.
This is the worst reality show ever, because it is not reality, but a somewhat planned/scripted insult to the intelligence of the viewer. The people on this show are either actors (Jo/Slade) trying to get to the big screen without any talent or other wannabes who forgot that they have skeletons in their closet which inevitably would come out. No one actually is ever shown living normally and the participants seem to have their friends come onto the show just to get them air time. Notice, if you can bear to watch, the unemotional face of Lauri, who is so Botoxed/surgeried to show any type of reaction to anything. Notice the children who are abused over and over again. (Where is CPS??) But then these are wealthy families who want to be envied and are beyond rules and the law. (We're rich; we don't have to be good) Everything is so planned and semi-scripted that calling this reality TV is a joke to the viewer whose IQ is above 10. Don't waste your time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first season of this show was a view of completely vacuous women
and their children in the 'Coto' Estates of Orange County, California.
For many watching, (including myself) the actions and decisions of
these women were hard to stomach because it all seemed very plastic and
cash-oriented. The women appeared as refurbished sun drenched street
walkers and the men appeared as over-extended Banks of America. Very
over the top, and entertaining to many. So, a second season was
This second season happens to be better, because it is actually diving into why these women are appearing as they do and why they are as desperate as hell to keep what they have - at any costs. In this season, you should get past the "gold digging" aspect. That's a given. This season looks more towards the human aspects.
For example: One woman is battling her 'Coto' world with her enjoyment for her unpretentious friends down by the river - if you watch carefully, you'll see that she HAS to go and hang out with these others "ever so often", just to be herself. After a weekend with these folks, she's ready to go back pretending at 'Coto'. In inviting other women from 'Coto' to join her, they decline for they know - they don't want to be or see where they may actually belong.
One woman has finally found the rich man of her dreams - the trips, the money, the THRILL...her new prison. Her independence - gone. Although she has been married before, she's stepped right back into the prison she's convinced herself she wanted to avoid. Her 'Prince of Rich' has bought and paid for his plastic OC doll baby, and she is at his beck and call to be all shiny-ed up when needed. Even with that, her children are not as responsible as she'd like them to be and she can't quite understand why. What can she do? What WILL she do?
One woman is in a relationship with an insecure man/child. She is a child/woman herself, and at this stage of that child/woman transition in her life she has no idea which way she wants to go. She loves the IDEA of being with this man, but when the man tries to rule her every move, she's confused. He belittles her, he makes fun of her, he slams her, he's her shadow ---But she WONT leave him. Why is that? She tried, but he called her right back in ...and she WENT. Why is that? This is a typical behavior of abused women (and abused women do not always need to be hit/struck as abused.) Will she ever get enough strength to leave? But if she does leave, WHO is she leaving him or "Coto'?
One woman who had everything in the "celebrity life": ex-Playboy Centerfold with star sports hubby, had to take on 'reality' because of a devastating injury to her hubby - and she makes a good living in her job. But she needs to control someone -- and it's her kids. They're lost, competitive, confused...and she doesn't listen 'to' them when they clearly open up and need her. What's going to happen?
And in this season, there is the new woman. This woman has had all the "regular" problems of many women her age: Divorce, act of god loss of home (flood) and raising children. She happens to love the 'Coto' area, and she should. She used to have the largest gated estate in 'Coto', but her husband lost his 380 Million Dollar Business and they got divorced. The divorce leaves her with two daughters: One, who obviously will do anything opposite of what her mother wants and the other, a 17 year old who is lost and trying to find her way. You can see that the 17 year old is even more affected by the divorce, and her father's re-marriage to an Asian woman - something she is really bitter about that seems to be the trend for older men like her father and his equally as old friends in Orange County (et al) nowadays.
These women have so much more going on that the Channel Sunglasses, The Botox, the Plastic Surgeries, the hair weaves and tans. These women are quite aware it will all be gone in a flash, and what we are watching in this "reality" series is these women preparing for the next phase - whatever that may be.
Not all women are like this in Orange County, California and for many watching this may be a fun, guilty pleasure. And that may be true for the first season. But in this season, I see it as a sad commentary on how some women see their place in the world and what some think they MUST do to survive. Sure it outwardly seems like its about the million dollar homes, the cars, the plastic surgery and houses - but look closer. The series is beginning to unveil itself similar to the movie "American Beauty", and I hope it continues on this trend and not fall back on the schlock it began with.
Remove the area of "Coto", remove the money and materialism and what you have are the stories of many women, men and children - anywhere at anytime.
Like most cable reality shows, this one draws you in like mangled wreck
on the side of the road. It's a world that most will never experience,
and many wouldn't want to anyway. It's wrong on so many levels but such
is life when it comes to entertainment I guess. I'm particularly drawn
to the value system of these people... 1.) Looks 2.) Clothes 3.) Home
4.) Cars 5.) Jewelry 6.) Self worth.
Overall, I think most of these women get it. I would hope so given their age and their role as parents. Unfortunately, they are unable to pass on their time-earned experience to their children so they are producing self-absorbed dependents for life. Nothing shocking here, just a bunch of spoiled rich people with everything they could ever buy and none of the appreciation that comes from working hard for it. (I'm talking about the kids, not the parents.)
Another interesting thing to note is that these people seem to be completely devoid of culture. Maybe that's SoCal or maybe that's just the way the show is shot. I guess I expect more from the filthy rich.
Am I jealous? Only of the weather I'm in NYC and it's freezing!
Once I'd seen the trailers for the show I knew it would be hard to
watch and hard not to!
As for the complete reality of the show - which is like the other shows, doubtful - I can only draw a distinction in themes: in reality TV, the " little guy'" is pitted against an adversary larger than life, the message being that the little guy can win against the odds, that we are all, in some ways, heroes. This show gives the opposite message: that we are all victims of forces beyond our control. The show is bittersweet because these women, their communities, their families, are incapable of rising above the clichés and traps of too much cash, too much free time...and too much high hair!!
It is hard to stomach so much tackiness without a trace of irony or humor ( Footballer's Wives deals with the same kind of characters, but better). These women are deadly dull, and marriage looks less like a sacred institution worth protecting, and more like a form of prostitution! Thank god for the gates which keep them inside, an effective quarantine for the rest of us. I chuckled when I heard one of these dames complain about downgrading to a 2500 sq. ft home!
But as I considered it- or tried to consider it seriously - I decided that for women such as these that would be a calamity, which is disgusting if it weren't so pathetic. Conspicous consumption? how about contemptuous consumption! And where is CPS? Shouldn't they be alerted to the abused children in these gilded cages? But all this said I do think the show should be watched if only for its shock value: evidently hair hoppers and 80's has been skeezers do win out, even if no one else does. I hope this show does not see broadcast outside of America. We don't need another 5 reasons for the world to despise us
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I would watch this show in passing when my wife would DV-R/ TiVO it,
watching it all wide-eyed and transfixed. I don't know what makes me
more sick- watching these shallow bimbo and himbos, or watching my wife
watch it and wonder if she secretly admires these people and their
lifestyles. Their kids are all spoiled and disrespectful to the point
where I want to slap the taste from their mouths; the women, the men
and "children" are narcissistic and I cannot relate to them. They have
no values and this just tells me that when one acquires that much
wealth, this is the result. These exclusive and sheltered people who
think that Coto de Caza is the center of the world have no qualms about
being rich and spoiled. They never address how they would like to help
out or donate to charities out the goodness of their steel-cold hearts.
I never see the parents or grandparents of these families on this show.
I would hear sound-bytes from them saying, "...I think that the country
will definitely learn from us and see how families really are over
here..." It's so arrogant for one thing (I think that she takes notes
whenever watching our president make his self-righteous speeches), and
for another, people in other parts of the world think that this is how
American families live, act and operate (shows like "Wifeswap,"
"Supernanny" are the other dark horses in the running when it comes to
I gave this two stars because of the multiple characters and that they switch families quickly and just in time before I get a chance to get bored of hearing how bored upon bored this woman is, or that woman is. Or how this married woman "needs a boyfriend" But believe me, what is already there is plentiful and too much. I have no sympathy or empathy for these self-centered people no matter how dysfunctional they are. I just shrug my shoulders and apathetically say "that's too f*$king bad."
During Season One, Slade Smiley was portrayed as a wealthy businessman--lavish home, expensive watch collection, American Express Black Card which gave him private access to a furniture store, deluxe vehicles, etc. Now, during Season Two, the house seems empty, the job is barely mentioned, and he seems to be pursuing a career for himself and Jo de la Rosa in show business. Is he really an actor playing a part? If true, that would be deceitful even for a "reality" show. The others are, more or less, "real"--whether one likes their behavior or not, but it's pushing the concept of a reality show too far if he and his "fiancee" are actors playing a role.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a prime example of a "reality" TV show that seems to have
nothing to do with reality. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
My room-mate dotes on this show, and I've got no problem with a viewer having a few "guilty pleasures". I used to watch "Braniac" when it was on G4TV a year or so ago, so I have no room to criticize other people's viewing habits, or what it might say about them. So I ended up watching several episodes of this show by default (and after a certain point, out of curiosity).
As an aside, it is obvious that the show's producers were pretty ruthless about compressing sequences, omitting contextual details and (probably) manipulating things so that the subjects came out looking as bad as possible. So I tried to take that into account while watching the events unfold on screen.
Still, even allowing for the bias thrown in by the series' scripters and editors, what you see on the screen here is simply appalling. It almost makes you think that maybe the Taliban is right, and that the way these people live is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. It's as if they all watched "Beverly Hills 90210" when they were growing up and took notes.
I'm not saying that these people are evil. They aren't. They are just extraordinarily irritating in their narcissism and lack of anything resembling awareness, intelligence, taste, or even (in most cases) a work ethic. One exception may be the Playboy model-turned-Realtor, but even she doesn't seem to have all that much on the ball - the series makes it look as though a chimp could do her job if it could wear eye-liner. And the lady with the family and the cancer scare showed a bit of depth and humanity that I liked. She seemed to more motivated by genuine love of her husband and family than everyone else. She could be salvaged if she got out of that milieu; she might even turn into a real human being.
Pretty much all the rest of the "cast" is "shallow to the core." And this isn't a sexist thing, either - most of the men in the series are just as bad (or worse) in their way, and most of the kids seem to be completely out of it - lazy, whiny, and spoiled. If nothing else, "OC" seems to show that you aren't doing your children any favors if you make things too easy for them.
It's obvious that the best thing that could happen to most of these people would be to get tossed out of their little paradise/enclave and to have to rub shoulders with people with real problems and real jobs and real commitments. It would help restore their sense of proportion. But of course, with all the money they make by being narcissistic, pampered idiots on camera, that's not going to happen.
Really weird. As a friend of mine would say, "These people will be the first up against the wall when the Revolution comes."
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