The Hotwives

2 out of 5

Created by: Dannah Phirman and Danielle Schneider

covers ‘…of Orlando’ and ‘…of Vegas.’

If you squint, and half-listen, it’s hilarious.  But, like, actually watching it… it’s a series of missed opportunities.  The concept would seem perfect: parodying reality TV from its fever pitch in the late 00s / early 10s: the slews of Bravo shows with seasons and seasons of continually more self-obsessed (and more camera- / media-aware) people that audiences would tune in to to, likely, laugh at or judge in some fashion.  (Go ahead, give me the “it’s interesting from a psychological perspective…” explanation, and I thank christ that, while youtube and the like have sort of taken reality TVs position, that… well, wait, I was going to say I was thankful that we were out of the reality TV era, but the ‘youtube and the like’ I just cited have equal evils.  Man, HUMANITY IS ETERNALLY DOOMED!  BUT IT PROBABLY ALWAYS HAS BEEN SO OH WELL NO NEED TO VOTE (he said, self-mocking of his non-voter status, some kind of full-circle acknowledgement that he can’t poke fun at people for watching reality TV because all of this excusing behavior is kinda related…))

Unfortunately, the concept is maybe a little too perfect in the sense that what’s being made fun of is already a parody; a heightened, purposefully semi-fake form of reality, and as we got deeper and deeper into that scene, that faux nature became worse and worse, and The Hotwives’ humor – brought to us some years after the fact – falls pretty flat as a result.

You have some great actresses who are absolutely committed to their various characters, and they get up to some (theoretically) hilarious shenanigans, but again, the obnoxiousness is mired by it being pretty close to the truth.  It’s a very ‘modern’ sense of humor that has trouble with being a bit too self-aware, and then playing extra dumb to counter that.

When the episodes allow for the players to dip a little bit deeper into any given plotline (like a bankruptcy plotline in the Orlando season), the jokes can also develop a bit more – building off of a story instead of just winking at a concept – but the seasons don’t key into that strategy often enough.

Tune in for the performances, yes, but any single episode will likely offer you the whole package.