|'Real Housewives' 101|
Can't keep up? Our series-by-series primer will have you feeling like one of the gang in no time!
By Sona Charaipotra
In 2006, with its "Desperate Housewives" meets "Laguna Beach" reality series "The Real Housewives of Orange County," Bravo introduced America to the lavish lives of five residents of the posh Coto de Caza gated community (see photos) in sunny Southern California. The hardly-humble ladies were the first in a bevy of bickering beauties who'd capture America's attention in the shockingly successful -- and seductively scandalous -- franchise that established the cable network as a force to be reckoned with in reality-land. Ironically, five years -- and six spin-offs -- later, the show frequently dismissed as bickering broads with too much time (and money) on their hands has actually come to reflect some of the harsher realities of the economic slump. Like many of us, these ladies who lunch deal with failed businesses and marriages, foreclosures and bankruptcies, just on a grander scale. But of course, we're really in it for the feuds.
With seven series in five years, we don't blame you for being a bit lost. But here's a quick guide to get you geared up for more cougars and cat fights. We've used Bing to help with all the details.