The Real Housewives of Orange County is part of a cluster of hit reality shows on Bravo. It is like a window into the lives of lavish, glamorous, wealthy housewives, their families and especially their drama filled social lives. The Real Housewives of Orange County is like a reality TV soap opera version of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
The appearing housewives have changed over the seasons but currently the Real Housewives of Orange County are Vicki Gunvalson
, Gretchen Rossi
, Alexis Bellino
, Tamra Vieth-Barney, and Peggy Tanous
, all of whom live in the gated community of Coto de Caza Orange County California.
The first season of The Real Housewives of Orange County (and of all of the "Real Housewives" shows for that matter) happened to coincide with the bursting of the economic bubble of America. This adds a dark cloud on the horizon of their already drama filled lives with foreclosures, debts and serious lifestyle adjustments looming on the horizon from the first season. We can see the current demise of the economy seriously affecting the housewives and their families throughout each season.
The driving force behind the show is the unique and unpredictable social chemistry between the housewives which comes out in their gossip, friendships, scandals, fighting, rivalries and enmities. The extra stress of the bursting economic bubble adds a tremendous amount of pressure to the housewives, and their relationships.
The unpredictable and volatile nature that is particular to the Real Housewives shows make for compelling TV.