Since I first started watching Watch What Happens Live! with the Bravo headmistresses, Andy Cohen, I've wanted to have a seat in the cozy clubhouse sipping on some Ramona Pinot Grigio with hopes that my nasal laughter would be heard for the masses. I imagine the clubhouse to be a small, warm crater where the Bravo obsessed conglomerate to participate in a cult following that ironically is far larger than the clubhouse can imagine. But isn't that the draw? For instance, take a musician that you love. Once they start playing in Madison Square Garden it's not as coveted of a concert to see, but play in a small, smoky bar and i'll be front row to have the sweat slung on to me!
From watching the hilarity ensue on the show, Jerry Seinfeld belittling Andy for making his talk show the small show after the massive franchise that is the Housewives instead of flipping it around and making his show the powerhouse show on Bravo and Housewives the 30 minute after show to lying scandals, Kim Zolciak blatantly stating she's not pregnant only for Life and Style magazine to come out the next day exposing that she is to the hard hitting issues of Jill Zarin being given 30 minutes to lament about her firing from Bravo, Andy has kept me hooked to the show.
When WWHL! first started filming once a week, I never watched. 11pm was far too late for me to be awake on a weeknight! And then when I had my Sweet Pea and going through sleepless nights of nursing and basically just holding her through the night my obsessive affinity to Bravo was nurtured and blossomed into a geeky teenager who is consumed with reality television and reality television blogs. It was then that I was hooked to the quirky show and watched it religiously. I mean, I was getting all sorts of Housewives drama beyond the show, it didn't get better!
And then the show moved to five nights a week. It was like watching Housewives every night. Schreeeech. Did you hear the tires screeching from me hitting the breaks? (So maybe my attempt at onomatopoeia didn't quite work.) Yeah, when it moved to five nights a week it wasn't completely about Housewives and sometimes they even had guests from some of the other shows I don't like, such as Patti Sanger or Curtis Stone. (Yes, I love me some Top Chef, but Top Chef Masters just doesn't have that jen ne sais quoi that TC has. Probably because they don't have the genius pairing of Padma and Tom.) So I would DVR every episode and nitpick which episodes to watch, only to find that celebrities are Housewives fans too, or should I say Housewives Super Fans? Yes, that's right. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos like to come on and imitate Housewives of Jersey characters. And Jay Mohr (wait, is he a celebrity?) even blogged about Housewives of Jersey! And then you find how many celebrities actually know these Housewives! Serious A and B list crossover to Housewife territory, and I loved it!
And can we talk about these games? Yes, the crazy, nothingness games. Sometimes I am angry with Cohen for wasting times with these games when I actually want more juicy questions answered. And when the nothingness games are so bad that the celebrities don't even understand them (Ahem, Khloe Kardashian-Odom) it makes for a waste of time and a bit of a chuckle. Occasionally there are hits, and I think they consider this the niche of their show, but often times I could do without.
And of course we can't forget the hodge podge bartenders. I recall when Shahs of Sunset characters appeared for their season premiere they picked out a random Persian person from the street and made her bartender. (So if you do a show on Indian Americans, please call me, I can pour Skinnygirl Margaritas for the audience!) The gay Sigmund Freud was the worst. Really, with the bare chest faux facial hair? Something tells me Cohen promises his conquests a spot on his show and a chance for stardom? Maybe?
So hearing about Bravo coming to my beloved town of Austin for SXSW initially brought me to much sadness. Why? Because I no longer live in this oasis of Texas, but do live three hours away. Mid week travel to see the show with two small children is not a menial task. And then I hear that SXSW is having a panel discussion regarding the show much like last years Top Chef panel! What? I need to go to that! I have such perplexing insight regarding the obsession with a talk show revolving around the lives of ego inflated middle aged women! Ahh! I'm so close, yet so far.
And then I emailed a girlfriend of mine who lives in Austin to sign up for tickets and she did telling me she requested two so I could join her if available. I called up hubby who willingly offered to watch the kids. Could it be true? Am I going to meet THE Andy Cohen? My pop culture idol? A dorky boy from a Midwestern town makes it big in New York city mingling with the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker? Could I be the next contender for such a position?
And so I did a little more research and requesting tickets is not as simple as when I saw the Jimmy Fallon show back in 2009. Oh no. Bravo is considering this a sweepstakes. For the five shows they are filming they will pick 100 people at random and they will get a total of three tickets. (I think, it sounds odd though.) If that day doesn't work for you then you get put back in the hat to be pulled for another day. So the more people who sign up, the less of a chance you have of winning. Oh. What happened to first come first serve? Apparently these tickets are that coveted. And so my hopes of actually meeting The Man have significantly fallen. Ok, so I'll put all my cards on the table. I have yet to leave Mr. Bambino for more than an hour so the likelihood that I can be away from him for an overnight trip is probably not going to happen for this controlling mother, so maybe its best that we don't get tickets.
I wonder where they'll film the show? If you go to bravotv.com/sxsw it says that they will provide transportation to the venue, and on their policy page, it says that you will meet at 500 E. Cesar Chavez St which is the Austin Convention Center. Please tell me that is just the pick up location, I expect more than a convention center to see Pinot Singer and Cloris Leachman discuss the reunion of Vanderpump Rules. I would assume they will commute you to a bar downtown and not in some massive place like the Erwin Center or Darryl K. Royal stadium. I mean Bravo has a big following, but nothing compared to the University of Texas football team. Right? But what bar? On the rooftop at Maggie Mae's? No, their website is filled with musical acts for SXSW. Or maybe out on the patio at Moonshine, it is right around the corner from the Austin Convention Ceneter? Or maybe at Sandy Bullock's restaurant, is he friends with that A-lister?Maybe Sandy would be a guest! The wheels are turning and me stating I'm bummed that I most likely won't go is like saying the Japan tsunami was just a big wave.
And so I will be watching the show from my living room, three hours away from the show and probably about 15 hours later since I don't stay up until 10pm. But if I see my Alma mater's tower in the background of wherever they film there will be tears in my eyes.