One of my wonderfully opinionated friends, Mizz JLSandler, has officially joined the blogosphere. You can find her at http://jlsandler.wordpress.com/. In the meantime, I want to bring attention to one of the articles my now fellow online scribe wrote a bit ago about the resurgence of Bravo TV entitled, ”Bravo is Art.”
Anyone who watched Bravo prior to 2000 knows that it was pretty much the channel for television shows to find a second wind (or die) and movies. They didn’t really have any original content – rather, original content that was buzz-worthy and worthwhile – and did not have any sort of idea of what its brand’s potential was.
Somewhere around 2005 the clouds parted, the sunlight shown through and Bravo brought on Andrew “Andy” Cohen on as it’s Vice President of Programming and Production after it taking over his previous employer, Trio. (Info which I learned here).
Mr. Cohen, currently owner to a slew of Executive Producer credits to the majority (all?) of Bravo’s programs, is not only a genius at bringing on buzzworthy (read: addicting) programming for the network, but is also one of it’s brightest stars through his hosting gig on “Watch What Happens: Live”, now renewed for a fifth season on the channel. Admittedly, Mr. Cohen has turned a non-Jew into a constant praiser of people’s actions through offering them what are deemed never-appropriate “Mazel’s” – a recent congratulations was sent to a friend for not regressing after a seemingly questionable weekend. Catchphrases aside, WWHL also offers incredibly entertaining interviews, performances (Danielle Staub’s “Close to You” scarred me for life), and games – anyone remember when Anderson Cooper tried to guess NeNe Leakes’ quips?
Any article about Bravo and Mr. Cohen would be remiss to not include the Housewives series, or as Mizz S affectionately calls, “Really Rich Housewives of insert selected city here.” This franchise, the most successful and longest running of all Bravo’s programs, is now the cornerstone of the channel’s non-competitive based reality programs and is apparently trying to expand north to Toronto. Housewives of DC aside, viewers can always rely on the series to provide constant entertainment by following around a number of well-to-do women in their daily lives. While the feuds between all of the “Bravo-lebrities” help fuel the show (Camille v. Kyle, Danielle v. the state of New Jersey, NeNe v Kim, etc) it’s the interaction of all these women as well as their flock of gays, which helped to propel the Housewives series into upper echelon of reality television.
I have to disagree with my friend on one thought though. Bravo has not reinvented reality television – it has now set the standard for what reality based entertainment should achieve to be.