Real housewives surface in Vancouver -

Real housewives surface in Vancouver

The only work these housewives do is ordering their staff around and arranging glasses of white wine

Housewives surface in Vancouver


In 2004, a species known as “Real Housewives” arrived on TV. Female and fungible, the tribe is predominantly blond and tan, with long hair, taut skin, trout-pout lips, Barbie-like physical contours and rich husbands or exes. Prone to travel in packs, they delight in ostentatious display, dramatic outbursts, internecine sniping and drinking white wine. The show’s name is arch—their housework usually involves ordering staff around. First spotted in Orange County, the species has surfaced in New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Washington and Miami. They draw big audiences who enjoy watching rich women behaving badly. Advertisers flock to their glossy production values, celebration of acquisition and “We deserve it!” mantra.

Now “Real Housewives” have been identified north of the border, with next month’s arrival of The Real Housewives of Vancouver. And they’re five tall poppies: Jody Claman, a flamboyant, Hummer-driving “mom-preneur” in business with her 24-year-old daughter; Reiko MacKenzie, a married mother of two girls with a mania for luxury cars; Mary Zilba, a former pageant queen and Canadian “pop star” now well-divorced and raising teenagers; Ronnie Seterdahl Negus, a self-described “domestic goddess” and “jet-setter” who lives in a waterfront gated community with her husband and five children; and Christina Kiesel, who’s 29, single, childless and living large on two divorce settlements: “Vancouver is a gold mine and I love to go digging!” she proclaims shamelessly.

Finding Canada’s “Real Housewives” fell to Louise Clark and Erin Haskett of Vancouver-based Lark Productions; they were commissioned in February 2011 by Shaw Media, which owns Slice channel. The two, now the show’s executive producers, searched Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, zeroing in on spas, personal trainers and Hello Canada society pages for referrals, then made cold calls. They were deluged with unsolicited applications, Clark says. They targeted Vancouver and Toronto, which had the best social calendars, outdoor activities and “pools of talent,” says Haskett, who notes Calgary had the wealth but not the lifestyle: “They don’t wear their money in the same way.” The key was finding a circle of connected women. “You don’t want them too tight, but with room enough for growth in the dynamic.” Finalists were asked to reveal all in long, taped interviews—lifestyle, spending habits, plastic surgery, sex life. “It was important that they were willing to put everything out there,” says Haskett. If the two-hour premiere is indicative, the branch plant “Real Housewives” are as hypnotically watchable as their American compatriots. The ladies gather for a back-stabbing “girl’s weekend” at a luxe Whistler resort, Reiko buys a Ferrari 458 and Christina enjoys a Botox session with her gay BFF Kevin Chase before her drama-laden 30th birthday party. Vancouver, dubbed “Canada’s playground,” serves as a glam Lotusland backdrop. There are no earnest tree-huggers here; the women don’t even carpool to Whistler. And, true to the “Real Housewives” tribal rules, racial diversity is evident only in the help, with one twist: Reiko’s Japanese mother lives with the family.

The first episode lays out the dynamic: Jody’s the queen bee/bully; Mary’s the sweet doormat; Ronnie’s the smart “mean girl”; Reiko’s calm yet steely; Christina’s outrageous but sensitive. Christina explains the show’s anthropological appeal: “Women like to gang up on the wounded gazelle,” she says in her indeterminate British accent. “I guess I’m the wounded gazelle.” She’s also a good sport. When Ronnie gives her a “Golddigger: Like a Hooker, Only Smarter” T-shirt for her birthday, she strips to her panties and prances around in it.

Whether or not Canadians will want to watch the one per cent strut in a bad economy is a no-brainer, says Christine Shipton, vice-president of original content at Shaw. “People like fantasy,” she says, calling the show “aspirational.” Canadian versions of American franchises always do well. “Canadians love to see themselves reflected,” she says. Now we have a brand-new mirror. Just what or whom it reflects is up for grabs.


Real housewives surface in Vancouver

  1. Truly terrible media, keep this stuff south of the border. We have our own lives to live in Canada

    •  Oh please.  The “Real Housewives” franchise gets so many viewers up here in Canada, it was just a matter of time before one started up here.

      Complain all you want about the US and everything, but Canada is just the same.

    •  I so agree,if you want to watch this stuff watch the US channels

  2. and the difference between this type of women and non hypocritical prositutes? well i rather prostitutes… at least they are up front about their living.. 

  3. who cares? their not even canadian…

    •  Are you sure?  They’re from Vancouver.  Last I checked, Vancouver was still part of Canada.  Unless the US took it over?

  4. Human garbage

  5. Is this show about plastic surgery or something? My eyes…

  6. that chick in the middle is hot

  7. i love to tell each of these women their knees look disgusting and see what they do, probably curl up in disbelief.

    • LOL  First thing I saw too were all the knobby knees!

    • that’s because they are on their knees often to satisfy their rich men.

  8. I thought I smelled fish downtown the other day…

  9. As a real Canadian women I say Bimbo……..

  10. Absolutely the worst legs on TV. Thanks to this picture, I know am not missing this ‘program’.

  11. you want to read the G&M comment section! They drag this show truogh the dir

  12. It seems that they are neither “real” or “housewives”.  Watching stupid makes you stupid.

    • And even if 99,9 percent of us see it for what it is, there’s always that one in a thousand who falls for it.

  13. I couldn’t finish watching the 2-hr. premier of this show.  The worst thing to come out of Canada…ever!  Where on earth did you get these women?  I only hope they don’t reflect anything even vaguely Canadian.  They’re braggarts, mean-spirited, bullying, boastful, vapid females.  Real? Housewives?  I think not!

  14. This is what we should “aspire” to?! No thanks, I prefer to be a little more evolved myself.

  15. “The only work these housewives do is ordering their staff around and arranging glasses of white wine.” That covers it pretty effectively.
    That may be some peoples’ version of “reality,” but it isn’t something with which most of us can identify. 

  16. Cheeper to rent it.

  17. Why no comments allowed on Barbara Amiel’s story on dog breeding? (Chasing Perfection April 2 2012) So I post it here. Great story. Overall, people are dog’s best friends, and they peoples’. Barbara ia a world class journalist. However I would like to chat with her decorator. Floral carpet,
    floral wallpaper and in between a densely patterned sofa. At least the doggies were plain, and not Dalmations. Place the sofa elswhere, and move in  one with plain fabric. That will cut down on the too busy. What would Stephen and Chris say?  I forward all Barbara’s dog stories on to our local
    humane society.

  18. What i noticed is that all those bimbos are all married to men who are the ones who have made it. Only thing these women bring are clearly things that matter in the bed. Their husbands deserve all the credits.

    •  Why do you think they’re called bimbos?

  19. This is television after all. I did watch the premier however I don’t think I will continue watching it is all quite sad really. The plastic surgery gone wrong and these women think they look beautiful! Stop buying into this crap people. Age gracefully. 

  20. I love the show, as much as I loved all the U.S. editions. It’s almost a lesson that money doesn’t buy anything, just helps to put everything into perspective.

  21. My head… it hurts :(

  22. Where do they find these women?  That jody person is soooo ugly on the inside that reflects to the outside.  Its really quite embarrassing for her to be representing Canadian women.  Did we really need this show?

  23. Some people are just haters… why are you reading the article then? I think it’s a nice light show filled with pre-scripted drama that isn’t to be taken at all seriously. It’s like a comedy only better.