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'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Season 2 Premiere: Did Bravo Do the Right Thing?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 6th 2011 9:36AM
'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills''The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons this summer due to the off-screen tragedy of Russell Armstrong's suicide.

As Bravo execs hastily re-edited the trailers and footage for the upcoming Season 2 to (perhaps) cast Russell in a less unfavorable light, his mother blasted them for not delaying last night's planned Season 2 premiere.

Despite the media furor, Bravo Media president Frances Berwick said last week that, "given that these episodes were filmed months ago," the premiere would air as planned, albeit with a new pre-taped interview with some cast members discussing the tragedy.

So what did happen on last night's premiere?

Bravo stood by its promise to air suicide prevention PSAs during 'Real Housewives' and the episode got off to a somber start with the pre-taped interview.

Taylor was noticeably absent and, although sympathy for Russell wasn't exactly abundant, the housewives agreed that perhaps they'd been so busy supporting Taylor that they hadn't noticed how bad things had gotten for him.

Just days before his death, Russell had said in an interview that "This show has literally pushed us to the limit."

However, even the dead don't get a free pass with these 'Housewives,' and Lisa Vanderpump confessed that "I had too much information to want to connect with him." Adrienne Maloof agreed, saying that: "The things we were told about their marriage was heartbreaking."

Kyle Richards offered the opinion that Russell was a victim of status-obsessed Beverly Hills. "That's all he ever wanted to be -- be successful ... when it all went down the tubes it was too much pressure."

Bravo editors then used her gift of the gab to segue into the re-edited episode: "As difficult as that is, life goes on ... it has to."

Although last night's premiere had been edited in light of recent events, critic Tom Gliatto of 'People' says it was not much different from a version he watched earlier this summer.

"The changes weren't drastic. Gone from the hour ... was a segment that had Taylor and friends in a sexy lingerie shop, discussing her relationship with Russell and saying she hoped to re-spark some intimacy between them."

He adds that "Also snipped were some thoughtless comments by Lisa and her husband Ken about what they thought was Taylor's ability to manufacture emotions."

No footage was shown of Russell, but there was a lot of talk about the Armstrongs' marital difficulties, and we saw a fragile Taylor breaking down during a dinner party attended by all the 'Housewives' at Adrienne's house.

She tearfully left the table when Ken took it upon himself to offer his opinions on marital therapy, culminating in his declaration that he'd feel "weak" if he had to resort to it. Insensitive? Undoubtedly, even before Russell's death, but did Bravo really need to emphasize it by airing his comments twice?

So, did Bravo do the right thing in going ahead with the Season 2 premiere as planned? Should they have delayed, or even cancelled it?

Will you be tuning in for the rest of Season 2? Or has this turned you off? Tell us what you think.

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' airs Mondays, 9PM ET on Bravo.

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Michele Tovey

does anyone know the date it;s on in the uk as were the last to find out and i don.t want to miss any episode

January 12 2012 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michele Tovey

i loved the series and just because someone decided to take there own life people should not feel they car.nt get on with there buiness oppurtunities and dont enjoy to do so so i say say GO FOR OT BRAVO THEY ALL KNEW WHAT THEY WERE SIGNING THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE DAMM RITE EVIL!!!!!!!!

January 12 2012 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kudos to you Bravo! Your programming is the only real drama that I have the opportunity to experience. I thank you for standing firm and continuing to air BHHw's.
I viewed and sensed a troubled Russell in prior episodes.
This was a very, very unfortunate choice that was made due to reasons that only those who suffer from, and have experienced mental illness/depression can ever understand. My deepest sorrow and sympathy is with those close to him affected by this tragedy..

September 06 2011 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These women aren't house wives they are gold digging money hungry bimbos. The man is barley cold in his grave and she airing negativity about him. What a dumb selfish bitch!

September 06 2011 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've never seen this show, but from the clip it looks like they gathered up a group of women who had plastic-surgery-gone-wrong. Their faces look distorted and just awful!!

September 06 2011 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
New Beginnings

It amazes me that people watch these types of show instead of watching something more real. This stuff is made for tv drama that is edited to create even more drama. focus on your own lives and families instead of taking joy in the problems of others.

September 06 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last night was the first time I watched this show. Like all the other houswives shows it is high drama from over the top wealthy gals. I would watch it again if, as like last night, there was nothing I would rather watch at the time.

September 06 2011 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bravo should have show but please ladies your from beverly hills have some "class"
Taylor and her children need you to be there for her
she has enuff guilt and pain without have to hear
how you were so busy look out for her you forgot about Russel
come on ladies grow up
i havent seen one act of kindness given to Taylor shame
why not do a party for her flower theme some thing
may God watch over her and her family
rest in peace Russel

September 06 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bravo did a great job with the show and I will continue to watch the the DRAMA QUEENS fighting for camera time.
Taylor is a fame seeking "Ho" that dumped Russell when his money ran out and drove him to suicide . I'm not sure why Kim or Taylor are on the show, neither has money and both have had too much plastic surgery. Taylor's mouth and cheeks look HORRIBLE ... She is a BIG FAKE!

September 06 2011 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ken thinks he is better than anyone and should think before he speaks. Taylor was trying her best to
save her marriage which could of work, if not for the downfall of Russel business. Russel had problems that
Taylor did not even know about. She will go on with her life and I will always watch the show to see how she
is doing. Dog drinking out of glass at the table at someone elses home is bad manners and rude. Even the rich have no sense

September 06 2011 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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