They're Baaaack! The cure for my fourteen-month-long yuppie flu, and the reason to become a mouse potato again; The Real Housewives from Melbourne are back on Bravo TV. It's been a year and two months since season two aired in the U.S., and although I haven't quite lived in the gall of bitterness, I've missed my favorite Aussie women.
The third season of the popular reality show aired in Australia February through May 2016, and U.S. fans assumed it was a foregone conclusion that the show would air here soon after . . . But, you know what they say about assuming. Fans began to get nervous as weeks went by with no airdate announcement. Week-after-week American fans were getting tidbits about episodes on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. However, websites such as YouTube blocked season three videos, leaving U.S. fans in the dark. A number of angry folks voiced their frustrations on Twitter and other social media outlets asking Bravo to air the third season. The fans were elated when the cable network announced the show would premiere in the U.S. on July 22, 2016.
The entire season-two cast is back, plus one. Susie McLean is a twice married and twice divorced mother of two boys ("Monty and Rupert"—don't you just love those names?). She grew up in the country and says she's "a country girl at heart." She is also "passionate about the joys of baking." So, if any of the women want to butter her up, I suggest they use unsalted butter.
It appears that Susie subscribes to the same type of therapy as the rest of the group—retail. She is always, as they say, 'dressed to the nines.' I find it an anomaly that the woman loves to bake (no pinch cakes for her) and is fit as a fiddle. She credits exercise for her toned figure, but I suspect it's probably more than crunches. I think little Ms. Susie Homemaker is filling up on rabbit food instead of baked goods.
The petite baker claims to be "quite well-known in Melbourne," and, in fact, many of the housewives admit to knowing her. The newest reality TV 'wife' is introduced to the audience at the beginning of the show when she attends Chyka Keebaugh's book-club meeting. She confides to the women (all salivating for gossip) that she has an issue with one of the housewives, Lydia Schiavello, whom she's known since the age of 15, and who she claims was the source of rumors regarding her second divorce.
It's difficult to judge by one episode whether Susie will be a mealy-mouthed shrinking violet who will take a back seat to the stronger personalities or whether she'll be a force to be reckoned with. I guess the proof will be in the pudding, and I'm sure Susie will make the pudding.
Real Housewives of Melbourne
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Book Clubs Aren't Just For Books
Janet Roach and Jackie Gillies joined Susie and two non-cast members at Chyka's book club; Gina Liano skipped the event, saying, "I couldn’t think of anything more boring." I guess the idea of a book club does sound like a get together between Mrs. Grundy and Mrs. Crabtree, but Chyka's meeting was not stuffy. In fact, she began with Champaign, six bottles to be exact (one for each person); now how boring can that be?
Spirits were bountiful, and the women christened their gathering with clinking crystal flute glasses and idle talk (in vino veritas). But what about the book? Book? We don't need no stinkin' book.
Fearless: My Life My Way by Gina Liano
The buzz du jour of the babble club, I mean book club, was Lydia (who is married) and the accusations of a dirty weekend with Australian celebrity cricketer, and hunk, Shane Warne.
Innuendoes about Schiavello and Warne were fueled when Janet, who apparently failed to learn her lesson after verbal diarrhea got her into trouble in seasons one and two, shared with the group that Shane asked her out on a date (a "booty call," technically), and Lydia was upset about it. Janet claimed Lydia attacked her on Twitter calling her, among other things, Grandma. While I wouldn't go that far, Janet does remind me of a long-in-the-tooth Mae West. She looks good, but you have to add for her age to the sentence. Oh, and if anyone has an issue with whether Janet's story is true: a handsome, athletic, and relatively young man calls an older woman for a booty call, remember, all cats are gray in the dark.
Janet went after the low-hanging fruit and accelerated the online war by tweeting a term she coined: "Lydiot"; a combination of Lydia and idiot. Oh, snap!
There's No Foe Like an Old Foe
Season two newbies Pettifleur Berenger and Gamble Breaux spent most of their premier season verbally brawling, and there’s still no love lost. Pettifleur, who struck me as a bit of a prima Donna in season two, is still as pious as a house cat. She met with Lydia over coffee and complained about Gamble spreading rumors regarding some nip-and-tuck work she allegedly had done. Pettifleur was also upset at having to spend a large sum of money dealing with the threat of plagiarism litigation for a book she wrote and promoted heavily in season two. She blamed Gamble for publicly suggesting the book or title might be plagiarized.
Note; If you go back to season two (thanks, On Demand TV), you will discover that during their trip to Manila, it was actually Chyka who first brought up the subject, and Gina initially said the "P" word. Chyka was out with Gina and Gamble when she told the women Pettifleur asked her to read the book, and after she had read it she Googled the title and found that a similar title existed in America. Chyka then asked Gina, "Legally, is there any problem with something like that?" "Probably," was Gina’s initial reply, but then she said, "are you sure she’s not plagiarizing someone? Is the content similar?" Later that evening, the entire group got together for dinner, and when Pettifleur asked Chyka what she thought of her book, Chyka told her (and the group) about the Google search and similar titles. (Note: the word plagiarism did not come up during dinner but the idea of it was certainly debated.) Weeks later, at Pettifleur’s book-launch party, Gamble asked whether she was afraid of a plagiarism lawsuit, to which Pettifleur answered no. So, that's the Gamble bee in Pettifleur's bonnet.
Season two chatter aside, Pettifleur blames Gamble solely for her intellectual property legal woes, and she has an ax to grind. She told Lydia she heard some gossip about Gamble. Lydia, bless her heart, had a bit of a pickle-herring moment when she attempted to take the high road by trying to utter the phrase two wrongs don't make a right. Unfortunately, the words got mangled, and Lydia said, "two rights don't make a right." Pettifleur ‘corrected’ her with another pseudo-phrase, "two rights don't make a wrong." Lydia continued to no avail trying to put the words in the correct order.
Rights and wrongs aside, Pettifleur pushed the envelope and opened a Pandora’s box by alleging that Gamble met her soon-to-be husband on the infamous website Sugar Daddy (dot com). To add insult to injury, she also called Gamble a "black widow." Lydia's eyes opened wide, and she looked like a doe caught in headlights while Pettifleur was speaking. I wonder, though, was she shocked or was she mentally planning her next move?
Season Three Trailer
Switch the B!#$& by Pettifleur Berenger
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After having coffee with her "good friend" Pettifleur, Ms. Lydia decided it was time to meet with Gamble, with whom she has a "gorgeous friendship." She began by bringing up Janet and the issue she has with the term Lydiot (no mention of Shane Warne). Both women trashed Janet, saying things like she has some "loose screws," and at "her age" the way she's acting is a "sign of Alzheimer's," etc.
After the Janet bashing, it was time for Lydia to stoke the fire. She told Gamble everything Pettifleur said about her, and Ms. G was none too pleased. "I'm letting you know right now; you don't mess with my Wolf-Pup!" Gamble continued speaking with high words, "She wants to start a mud fight? Be careful how you wake the dragon!"
The entire group reunited at a bring your own apron baking party hosted by, who else, Susie. The scene was set for bloviating and blueberry muffins, and some of the women's tempers rose quicker than the dough. Lydia and Janet argued over their Twitter war of words, while Gamble gave Pettifleur the hairy-eyeball in the midst of reading her the riot act. Sub-arguments arose between Pettifleur and Lydia (for spilling the beans to Gamble), and Susie proved to be more than a museum piece when she poked the bear by directly addressing Lydia about the infidelity rumors.
I was hoping to see a food fight with flour flying back and forth, but the only things flying were insults and language pollution (too many F-bombs). Watching the women go round and round, and round again was like moving deck chairs on the Titanic. Susie called Pettifleur and Gamble "perimenopausal twins," while Gina likened the arguments to cats in the street in the middle of the night.
Speaking of Gina, one of the most surprising revelations was that she and Pettifleur have mended fences and are now friends — didn’t see that one coming, but good for them. Pettifleur said, in this group, it's survival of the fittest, but at this baking party, with all the women stuffing their faces with scones, it seemed more like survival of the fattest.
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The Girls are Back in Town
They come from a land down under, and it's a dog-eat-dog world for the women of Oz. Some of the ladies exhibit grace under pressure, while others run amok. Together, they create one of the best reality housewives’ shows on television.
So, here's to Pettifleur Berenger, Gamble Breaux-Wolf, Jackie Gillies, Chyka Keebaugh, Gina Liano, Susie McLean, Janet Roach, and Lydia Schiavello. It's not easy living a part of your life in front of the camera. It's even harder when several other women with differing opinions are clashing with you, and when folks from the peanut gallery, like me, are scrutinizing every move. But, you know what, these gals make it look easy.
American fans waited and waited, and finally got their wish; The Real Housewives of Melbourne Season 3 is on Bravo. But, you know what they say . . . Be careful what you wish for.
The Real Housewives of Melbourne
Season Three-Episode One
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