Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WWHL in Austin: Stereotypes Perpetuated and Locale Revealed!

So obviously I did not score tickets to see Watch What Happens Live from the Austin Roadhouse, as Andy Cohen has named the WWHL Austin clubhouse, otherwise I would have posted a plethora of photos of my pop culture idol. And so I've watched the last two episodes on DVR from my own living room and I must say, I am glad that I was not front row center on Sunday night. I am not saying this out of envy and jealousy of the horde of people in the audience, seriously, I was a bit disappointed with Andy and the WWHL crew on Sunday night and their Texas stereotypes of cowboys, flannel shirts and barbecue.

Firstly, Austin is not your stereotypical Austin town, if anything it's quite the opposite. It's far more California than Texas. While yes, it is the capital of our lone star state, it also holds a very large, liberal University. And then you have the massive tech industry that has migrated to Texas, so cowboys and bull riding are not exactly Austin's forte. While yes, there is a lot of barbecue here, it also holds a vast amount of vegetarian cuisine, much more than other cities in Texas.

 And so when I saw the intro of the caricature of Andy riding in a horse and all the cowboy comments, I was highly unimpressed and just flat out irritated. I didn't think it could get worse until the cliches moved from stereotypical rodeos to stereotypical strip clubs. Yes, apparently Texas has the most amount of strip clubs in the nation so Andy had to acknowledge this embarrassing fact by making the Monday night game about guessing stripper names at an Austin strip club, really? The demure Brooklyn Decker (wait, she was a Sports Illustrated model, wasn't she?) did not appear too amused by the game, probably because she lives in Austin and had the same sentiment.

Suffice it to say, to see all the cowboy paraphernalia and stripper talk far from represented Austin and SXSW. Is this how the rest of the country views Texans? Schooled by Hubby who is not a native Texan, the answer is yes. I expected more from Andy, I really did.

Thankfully, Cohen heavily redeemed himself on Tuesday night with Brandi Glanville as his guest. Perhaps Brandi just knows how to drink, tweet and work a crowd and the whole episode was more entertaining? I did enjoy her game of going out to downtown Austin, girlfriend can wear Louboutins and make a fool of herself simultaneously.  

The live audience questioning was a nice touch, we're normally alienated from the audience in the clubhouse, it's like a big mystery of how many people are actually there, if anyone! So by viewing the audience we also go to see the true meaning of the motto Keep Austin Weird. Did you see the Panda girl? And her inappropriate question to Brandi? I would say that is what represents Austin more so than cowboys. Although, that may not necessarily be something to be proud of, huh?

And did you catch Andy mention the location of the Austin Roadhouse? The bartender of the night, the man who Brandi was convinced was gay but uncomfortably denied the fact, was the owner of the venue! (I'm convinced that the audience question in the after show asking him what his type is in a woman was completely staged for his dating credibility ) I've never heard of the location, but it's called Vuka Coop, it's an interesting concept. Apparently at night it's a rental event space but during the day they hold yoga classes and community activities. Typical Austin.

Lastly, how amazing was the house band, the Mowgli's? Now they are truly representative of the live music scene in Austin. I love how they were singing Bravo songs like Tardy for the Party and Money Can't Buy you Class. I couldn't help but wonder, did they really know these songs or did Bravo give them the recordings? I love ya Bravo, but my guess is the latter. I wonder if they feel like they've sold out by singing songs sung by middle aged women who are capitalizing on Bravo fans buying their music out of mockery. 

So we'll see how the rest of the week pans out. Sunday night, not so good. Monday night, much better. I must say that the robust audience definitely negates the clubhouse feel. Far too many audience members and the stage was so huge! I miss the claustrophobic closet that leads to a habitual Andy Cohen hot flash. Perhaps Austin will hit one of it's inevitable heat waves and we'll get to witness Andy schvitzing under the bright lights, then it'll feel like home. 


1 comment:

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