Kids and reality TV can be bad business. Shows like The Real Housewives, Bad Girls Club, and The Bachelor with their scripted cattiness and sexist tropes just affirm for kids some of the worst stereotypes of women. Specifically that they’re all narcissistic gold diggers unworthy of trust. At the same time, reality TV often plays to comfortable narratives that are familiar to pretty much anyone such as “happily ever after,” dream weddings, and ideal families. So really, it was only a matter of time until somebody crossed The Real Housewives franchise with that of Disney — kind of like how SNL did this weekend!
The Real Housewives of Disney may look like a hokey skit to showcase Lindsay Lohan‘s comeback. However, with those silly opening one-liners and green screen dress twirls — along with staged drama — there really isn’t much separating Cinderella’s slurring words from Kim Richards true life alcoholism. Her disease is by no means humorous. But in the context of reality TV, we’re often encouraged to laugh.
Still, the SNL’s usage of Disney Princesses highlights how phony the depiction of these women is — with producers crafting archetypal personas such as the obligatory “bitch” and the “nice girl” by which to drive the series. The Real Housewives takes princess culture with allegedly perfect story book endings and women in modern day glamorous castles to an adult audience every Monday night. And given Disney’s cradle to the grave approach to marketing, in which little girls get branded with the commercial (not organic) imperative to be a princess, The Real Housewives of Disney doesn’t at all seem that far-fetched. We already have Disney bridal couture thanks to disneybridal.com. With a show called The Real Housewives of Disney, consider the product placement possibilities! Disney bridal gowns on every episode. Disney beauty facial cremes by Belle. Disney jewelry accessories by Snow White. All sprinkled throughout narratives of Jasmine‘s marital problems with Aladdin, Cinderella‘s charity efforts, and Rapunzel‘s castle-warming.
It doesn’t at all seem that far away from the established the Bravo formula.