In the past couple weeks, we have learned that we lost some of the longest running Housewives when Vicki and Tamra called it quits (or were fired or whatever). It’s an end of an era, and I think the vast majority of fans- or at least the mob that is twitter- were here for it. I, however, would like to make an impassioned defense of Tamra, and housewife villains in general. I would, however, like to make it very clear that I am not making a defense of them still remaining on the show, but rather, a “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happens” defense.
If you know me in person, you know I make it clear even when I root against a housewife, I do not hate her. In fact, I love them all (with one notable exception) even when I HATE them. We need someone to root against. We have nothing if we love them all and they all get along. We NEED villains. We NEED someone who is willing to ask Gretchen if she went to Bear Lake when her husband was dying of cancer. We NEED someone who is willing to fake a partner’s cancer (ok, that may have gone too far but still!). These are memorable moments. These are moments that we discuss. These are moments where we talk to our girlfriends about what a monster this housewife is. We need someone yelling, “you were supposed to be my sister”.
In fact, we have lost many an iconic housewife when she has refused to lean into being a villain. Bethenny left for a while when things were going against her, Nene, Vanderpump, Yolanda. The iconic housewives are the ones who leaned into it. Rinna asking Dorit if people were doing coke in their house, Theresa conspiring to out her sister-in-law as a stripper, Danielle being Danielle. I mean, the list goes on. We love a villain who can own it.
Much like wrestling the women who can live with their time as a villain, can survive to see another day. Jennifer, Dorinda, Rinna, Candiace will all live to see another day and I love them all the more for bringing me around.
Sure, all housewives strive to be early season Vanderpumps, Erika Jaynes, and Bethenny’s but we NEED the villains. Much like wrestling we need the heels.
All of this is to say that while Tamra may have worn her welcome, she was the first housewife to really understand the art of dirt. She pretended to drop bombs on accident, she screamed, she started fights, and she played innocent the whole time because it was her JOB, and she did it well. If you loved her or hated her, bringing out emotion was what she was supposed to do, and she did it well.
Her and Vicki started something which in undeniable, and for that we will always be thankful, even if you hated them.