Nine Reactions to the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Pilot Episode

Why was I blessed with the love of trashy reality TV?

November 12, 2020 was very special to me for three reasons:
1. It was my best friend Sian’s birthday (happy birthday girl!);
2. I received my PS5 which, as of writing the day after, is still on installing all of my games and updates, and;
3. The pilot episode of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City debuted!

A bunch of Utah queens… Jen and Heather are also pictured.

I have been looking forward to this particular installment of the Real Housewives franchise for several reasons. For starters, my granddad lives in Salt Lake City and I’ve been there a few times to see him, so I’m quite familiar with the city itself. Furthermore, all my immediate family are Mormon (I’m not, but that’s irrelevant) so I have a good understanding of the Mormon church and culture and wanted to see if the housewives who identify as Mormon fit that understanding (spoiler alert: they didn’t).

So while my PS5 was installing game updates, I booted up my Chromecast and began watching the first episode of RHOSLC. I was pleasantly surprised, troubled, but most importantly amused by the episode.

Here are some of my first reactions to this episode:

SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

1. Jen Shah is an actual moron
I’m well aware that the Real Housewives franchise are full of larger than life characters, and I really like some of them (Erika Jayne, NeNe Leakes etc.) Jen Shah is a larger than life character, however she is an obnoxious, self-centered larger than life “character” who planned a “birthday party” for her “friend” but made it all about herself, and not in the funny way either. At no point did I find myself liking her, and I’m already looking forward to the day where she’s dropped from the show. In saying that, I don’t think she will be, as her type of personality is what makes these shows so iconic, so unfortunately she’s probably here for the long run.

2. Meredith’s son Brooks made an iconic decision
We’re introduced to Meredith, her husband, and her son Brooks. Brooks apparently decided to take a semester off uni/college/whatever they call it in the US to spend more time with his family. Translation: he took a semester off uni to be featured on RHOSLC because he found out his mother was cast as a housewife. Iconic.

3. Whitney is a skinny hilarious Queen
Look. I’m not gonna lie about it. Watching the preview videos and especially the taglines for this show, I was not impressed with Whitney at all. She’s proud of having an affair with a married man 18 years older than her, and her voice makes me want to bang frying pans together to drown out the noise. Watching this episode, however, changed my mind completely. She’s gorgeous, she’s true to herself, and is so adorably ditsy that I see myself in her. Come on Bravo… let’s give this Queen the more air time that she deserves!

4. This drama smells like a hospital
The major drama in this episode, which will apparently be continued in episode two, was that Mary told Jen that she smelled like a hospital. That was it. That was the drama. To make it even more strange, Mary has a long back story about why she’s traumatised about the smell of hospital, and Jen believes that Mary shouldn’t have said it because Jen was taking care of her aunt who had both legs amputated at the hospital. The Rinna/Kim restaurant fight in Amsterdam is embarrassed by this hospital smell shit.

5. Heather is a loser an acquired taste
The name Heather is synonymous with beautiful, popular girls due to Heather Chandler’s revolutionary impact. Heather from RHOSLC apparently missed that memo, as not only is she unbearably deluded, but her emotional attachment to getting acknowledgement from Lisa is actually pathetic. If someone claimed they didn’t know me even if they did, I’d shrug my shoulders and move on. Heather is apparently going to start drama about it. Grow up, Heather.

6. Lisa is a bad bitch
You know when you look at someone and you can just tell they’re a bad mf bitch? Enter Lisa Barlow. Not only does she appear to be so unapologetically herself, but I’m also lowkey a fan of the way she disregarded Heather’s petty ass (refer to above). When starting a Real Housewives show, you quickly pick your favourites, and Lisa Barlow is clearly going to be my favourite.

7. Why is it a chalet and not just a house?
The first housewife we’re introduced to is (unfortunately) Jen. You’ll quickly see that the lower third states that you’re in “Jen’s Chalet”. No. Not her house, or her home, or even her mansion. It’s specifically a chalet. I don’t know if this is just because I can’t stand Jen, but how f’ing pretentious.

8. Mary = style icon
Our first glimpse of Mary is when she’s meeting up with Skinny Queen Whitney for drinks. Mary is seen wearing a very eccentric outfit, which others have slammed as bad fashion. I, on the other hand, love it. I always appreciate out there bold fashion choices, and while I personally wouldn’t wear Mary’s outfit, she rocked it like a boss. But on the other hand…

9. Who forces their granddaughter to marry their husband?
Mary’s grandmother died, and in her will, it was instructed that ‘one of her girls’ has to marry her husband to inherit her legacy. As it is, Mary ended up marrying her step grandfather, and it’s made out as if it was completely against her will but she did it anyway. Wtf.

I’ll be frank: I don’t watch Real Housewives shows for some quality television because I’m well aware they are trash. But sometimes good trash is what you really need, and I cannot get enough of this good trash.

Very excited to see episode two now. It’d just be better without Jen and Heather soz not soz.

– by The Black Widow

#NKinNA16: Part 1 – Just Us Two

You knew another holiday post was coming… I couldn’t be contained to one continent.

Ever since my last trip to the US of A, I have been itching to get back onto those heinous, long plane trips to explore something different. Meeting her on my last trip on Contiki, Kate and I began planning our next holiday, having been bitten by the travel bug badly. One would think that after exploring the southern half of USA that we would head off to do something different, like Europe or South America. But as we looked into our European options, something told me that I had to do the rest of the USA that I didn’t touch with my previous trip.

A few discussions later, and Kate and I had decided that it was time for us to explore the northern half of USA. Squeezing in small visits to Salt Lake City (solely to visit my grandad and other family members) and Nashville (because it’s my damn favourite city in the world), Kate and I decided to do Contiki’s Grand Northern tour – the opposite of the Grand Southern that we did last year.

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What began as a discussion in early January of this year recently turned into reality, and on August 26, 2016, Kate and I flew out of Sydney and touched down in Los Angeles to begin our trip – #NKinNA16 (Nikki and Kate in North America).

On our plane trip, we were sat next to a handsome man returning home from an Australian trip to go back to work as a physical education teacher. We were quick to befriend the friendly chap, and this would set the tone for the next six weeks.

Our first stop in USA was Salt Lake City, Utah, which would serve as our jetlag stop after getting absolutely no sleep whatsoever on the plane. As mentioned in my travel posts from last year, I have family here which is the only reason why I would come back here because it’s the most boring city in the world, so it was nice to be back. We spent our first night napping, eating, and sleeping some more, all the while fighting the crippling jet lag that had hit us.

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On our second day, we were graciously shown around by my cousins Aidan and Elle, and her husband Nate. Our first stop of interest? Cheesecake Factory, of course. And while Salt Lake doesn’t have much to offer in the form of sightseeing attractions (unless you consider Temple Square a sight…), it does have some great shopping. However, this was our first stop, and I wasn’t about to blow all my money on my first city.

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After exploring this boring city – and catching some pretty damn cool Pokemon along the way – Kate and I bid farewell to my cousins and the next day, caught up with my uncle, aunt, grandad and his wife. As my sole surviving grandparent, I have a special bond with him, and was happy to sit there and listen to all of the stories in his life. With a lunch-time flight, we left Salt Lake and moved onto our next stop – Nashville, Tennessee.

This city is my favourite city in the world, and one of the reasons behind this would be Two Bit, a bar that encourages you to play free-to-play video games while you eat, drink, and be otherwise social with the people there. With friendly staff, good food, and Nintendo 64 on tap, this is probably my most favourite bar in the world, or at least in North America.

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A quick visit to the Johnny Cash Museum and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, it was night time, and I had the privilege of catching up with a long time friend Emma, whom I hadn’t seen in almost eight years. Isn’t it amazing how small the world is, and how great long-lasting friendships are? I can’t expand on how great both of the aforementioned museums are. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit the Johnny Cash Museum, I will cry every time. And I thoroughly enjoyed the new Blake Shelton exhibition at the Hall of Fame and Museum.

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The following day – after another mournful visit to Two Bit – we flew to our last destination as a duo before starting our Contiki tour… the infamous New York City, New York. Now, I had never been to NYC before, so this was my first time. As per usual, I was expecting great things from this city since everyone goes on about how bloody fantastic it is.

And boy it was.

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With three nights and two days in NYC, we had a lot of touristy stuff to accomplish. The first on everyone’s NYC list should obviously be Central Park, so with the help of a very informative hotel receptionist, we boarded a hop-on-hop-off and saw what NYC had to offer. After visiting a couple of museums and quite literally chucking a spreadie in front of someone’s tomb, Kate and I explored Central Park the only way one should: via horse carriage.

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The horse’s name was Snow White and she was a friendly girl, albeit a bit scary when her big chompers were out to play. The carriage rider showed us all the celebrity hot spots around Central Park, and where certain films were filmed throughout the park, and we sat in this carriage for a full 50 minutes looking around this beautiful landmark.

Our Central Park visit was followed by the most important New York City attraction of all: visiting the Tiffany’s. So many floors of diamonds and jewelery and more diamonds and more silvery goodness. Urrrrrgh. With a quick visit to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, our first day in NYC was done.

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Next up: Times Square. In my sweet and humble opinion, Times Square is its own world in a world. Words cannot explain just how fascinating Times Square is, so I hope this expertly taken panoramic shot can do the trick.

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Another personal check off on my bucket list was to recreate the Sleepless in Seattle scene at the top of the Empire State Building, but when I got to the top, it looked a lot more different than I had expected… so I had no idea what I was doing. At least I go to stand at the same place as the legend himself Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan the uber babe.

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After some much needed sustenance, a random visit to the Museum of Sex ensued. Yes. You read that right. There is an actual thing called a Museum of Sex. I don’t really have to explain what was in the Museum of Sex, but I should say that if you’re expecting a watered-down version of a sex museum, then you would be wrong. The first thing you walk into is an old-school style painting of vaginal penetration. Yep.

It’s tradition that the day before your Contiki tour starts, you meet the night before for a “Kickstart” meeting. Basically the tour manager just gives you the 411 of what you’re doing, gets you to sign these emergency forms, and Bobsurbloodyuncle. Finishing our time in NYC off at the kickstart meeting, Kate and I bid farewell to the beautiful city of NYC with some mediocre af Thai food and bed.

This was just the beginning of my adventures, so stay tuned for more #NKinNA16 travel spam, as Nikki and Kate take North America.

– by The Black Widow

#NoahTakesAmerica2015 Part 1: Family Bonding

To my subscribers/loyal followers/social stalkers, you may be wondering why I haven’t posted in a while. Well for the past five weeks I have been travelling the good ole US of A and have been absolutely loving it! You may also notice that I am using my given Christian name and not the Black Widow moniker, and that’s because I left the Black Widow at home as I (Noah) went on a much needed vacation.

I made it a point to not blog about my travels while travelling, because how are you supposed to enjoy your travels if you’ve set yourself a deadline for that night? So now, regrettably, I am home in bed and am now going to write down every thought and memory I have of my five weeks abroad and why they qualify to be the greatest times of my life.

My online travel diary will be separated into three parts: Family BondingContiki Craziness and Black Widow Mourning, as my travel was separated. For the first portion of my holiday, I travelled with my two sisters (Toni and Stacie) and my maternal cousin Tayla.

If you weren’t already aware, this was my first time travelling outside of Australia, and going into this holiday, I was absolutely frightened of flying. Combine that with my younge naïvety, general gullibility in life and dough-eyed expression, and you have yourself a very new, inexperienced traveller. Luckily, Toni and Stacie were expert travellers and they basically hand-held me through flying, customs and all of that jazz.

After experiencing the WORST flight of my life from Sydney direct to LA, more waiting around and a pretty breezy flight, we were in San Francisco, California. I had very limited knowledge of San Fran: it was one of the gay capitals of USA, was home to Alcatraz and the Halliwell Manor from Charmed, and reminded me of the film The Sweetest Thing starring Cameron Diaz. Other than that, I was open to surprise. I was still blown away by the fact that I was standing in a different country.

Tayla went off and did her own thing as the siblings went on a guided tour with a bunch of old people who were very hard to please. We saw a few of the sights that San Francisco had to offer, one being the Golden Gate Bridge, of course, which was breathtaking (and also reminded me of that X-Men film). The tour guide was very wise in his old age, and his voice was soothing (so much that I fell asleep on the bus). He gave us some great insider points of what to do and how to do it.

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Later that day, we got to tour Alcatraz, which admittedly I wasn’t too impressed with. Like, it’s a prison on an island. It can’t be that great, right? WRONG. Alcatraz was probably the highest point in San Fran for me. It had so much history and darkness on the one island and the helpful audio tour clearly illustrated the stories for me as it felt like I was witnessing them first hand. It might be a bit dorky to say, but I like learning about different things in different places.

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Another exciting part of the San Francisco experience (other than their giant Victoria’s Secret which had me frothing) was the cool cable car that we got to ride. You know those cool ones you see in the movies where people are standing up, kind of awkwardly hanging outside, holding onto a pole as they grind their crotch into a stranger’s face? Yes. That one. Minus the crotch grinding.

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Oh, and it was like Fleet Week or something in San Fran at the time as well, so there were lots of different kinds of officers in town and their ship thingies were darting around the sky. (I’m aware ship thingy isn’t the technical term for it, but bear with me). It was exciting to watch. Hella loud, but still exciting.

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The second stop on my family holiday was Orlando, Florida: the home of Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. Admittedly, I’m not that much of a ride person because heights will be the death of me and I get motion sickness easily, so one can wonder why on earth did I choose to go to Orlando over New York, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed Orlando.

We spent two days at Universal Studios, which was easy to get to as the resort we were staying at (Cabana Bay Beach Resort, definitely recommend) is a Universal resort and provides free shuttles to and from. Universal is magical: from Harry Potter World to Simpsons Land and then Marvel Land, the place was phenomenal. Motion sickness got the better of me on day one but by day two, I was ready to take it. We had fast passes to the rides so I had no real choice but to go on them whether I wanted to or not and, with my eyes shut on most of them, I can say I enjoyed them. The highlight of Universal, for me, was definitely Simpsons Land.

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See? How can you not love that?

Three of our Orlando days were spent at Disney World, hopping between the four parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and… Epcot. I don’t understand what an epcot is but whatever. To each their own. In my opinion, Universal had an edge over Disney World because the latter is obviously tailored to the children in attendance, so there’s me eyeing toddlers jealously as the hippy turtle from Finding Nemo has a conversation with them and not me.

The rides in Disney World were largely entertaining although I found a heap of them, especially in Epcot, to be educational. Like, I’m all for learning about new things and experiences, but probably not when I’m sitting on a ride expecting to be thrilled.

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My favourite park of the four was definitely Animal Kingdom, mainly because I’m an animal lover. The highlight for me in Disney World was seeing a beautiful, proud lioness sitting on her perch just overlooking everyone and everything. Seeing her for the three seconds that I had was magical. Lionesses are some of my favourite animals because they are the epitome of a boss ass bitch. Did you know that contrary to popular belief, lionesses are the ones that hunt while their male counterparts just sit there and wait for their women to do all the work? Bitch you better work.

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Oh, and I dragged everyone to the Frozen sing-a-long show and knew every word to every song, along with all the other four year old boys and girls. Unfortunately I did not get a photo with Elsa or Anna or Kristof or even Olaf. Let the tears flow.

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The third stop on our family trip was Salt Lake City, Utah. This wouldn’t be a stop on our trip if our grandfather didn’t live there, but he does, so we spent a few days here. There’s nothing really to do in Salt Lake so it acted as a rest stop after the madness that is Orlando.

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So, get this right, I get off the shuttle from my Orlando resort to the airport and I look down and… hey! My bag is still in the van! Long story short, he brought it back an hour later and I missed my flight. But it was a blessing in disguise, as it taught me how to navigate the horror of an airport by myself. Something I so sorely needed later in my holiday.

What Salt Lake lacked in fun, it had in family. It was great to see my handsome grandfather again and to catch up with uncles, aunts and cousins.

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I also attended my first college football game, which was definitely an experience. Australian sport is very different to American sport in that the latter is very stop-start. I’ve watched some NFL games before (GO THE PATS!) so I knew that what SHOULD take like two hours usually goes for six, but to sit there and actually witness it was some next level shit. I mean, some girl casually won a car in a first quarter break. No, not even during halftime, just a random break in the first quarter.

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Not only was I reunited with my family but I was also reunited with my long distance BFFL! He spent the whole day taking me around to different malls so I could find my Julian Edelman jersey (which I did). He also took me to some other places that I care not to mention, but spending time with him was present enough for me.

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Our final stop was Las Vegas, Nevada, which was for one night, but I was going to be there again like a day later so it didn’t bother me. Tayla and I got to sample the nightlife in Vegas which was AMAZING: we went to the ice bar which was fun had there been more people there, played a few rounds of Blackjack where I lost $40, drank drank drank and then went to the Coyote Ugly Bar and Saloon which was fun. But it was a Tuesday. Lots of places were shut, so our night ended early unfortunately.

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So after almost three weeks travelling with the family, it was time for them to fly back home and for me to continue by myself. We flew back to LA and I bid farewell as I made my way to my hotel in downtown LA which was hella povvo to be honest, but it had to do.

My Contiki journey was about to start, and I was really excited for it.

Let’s not talk about the hundreds and hundreds of dollars I spent in this first portion of my trip due to the bad influence of my sisters and Brandon. Such terrible, terrible influences they are.

Part 2 of my travel journey will be posted quicker than you can say “Brutus is just as cute as Caesar.”

Until then.

– by The Black Widow