Real Housewives of Melbourne… the drinking game
A table made from a recycled door – got that one from The Block. Chocolate mud cake – picked that up from Master Chef. Choosing white or yellow diamonds for my yoga workout – learned that from The Real Housewives of…. hold on, I don’t own diamonds and I don’t do yoga. And pretty much the only tidbit I’ve gotten from any of those “housewives” is that unless you’re 60% silicon with a BMI of 14% and a husband in the 2% club, you’re a varietal pariah.
When I’d heard that the Botox brides were being brought down-under, I cringed and imagined Dynasty: Australia.
For the uninitiated, The Real Housewives series delves into the personal and, sometimes professional lives of six moneyed-up women who to some degree or another move amongst the same social circles. Straightforward enough until… the housewives mischief maker arrives, stirring up a maniacal concoction of equal parts gossip, deceit, denigration, nepotism, vanity, and of course, champagne. Suddenly those circles of privilege become Dante’s circles of hell.
It’s a testament to the producers though that they are able to successfully reproduce the show in seven locations by essentially using the same formula; kind of making it the KFC of Catfight TV.
However, like tomato sauce and ketchup, they’re fundamentally the same but somehow different. Condiment comparisons aside, when I first caught the promo for the show, it was so polar to what I envisioned that I actually thought it was a comedy skit. After all, where were the long locks? The trout pouts? The wind-tunnel faces? The tandoori tans? The thigh gap and bony knees?
The women I saw were real, as in real compared to Beverly Botox. These ladies were at a healthy weight and – I know I’m breaking girl code here – some even had cute little potbellies. Most of them are independently wealthy – as opposed to marriage money and their homes are comfortable, not sterile echo chambers of their namesakes overseas.
But therein lies the problem. Do I like my reality shows to be outrageous and unattainable or realistic and relatable? When it’s flamboyant, it’s a spectacle but when it’s feasible, it’s confronting.
Before this becomes a diatribe on the ratio of hairspray to hedge funds, I’d like to introduce you to the real reason we’re here:
The Real Housewives of Melbourne Drinking Game
(Of course, if you’re under 18 opt out now, but if indeed you are that young, please, please, please, for the love of God, avert your eyes and go play outside. Make-up is the devil)
The rules are simple
Every time you hear a specific phrase from a specific character you take a shot of a specific drink. (And by “shot” I mean a thimble, otherwise it’ll get really messy. Like, long-lunch-in-Toorak messy.)
Lydia Schiavello, 45, Malvern
Married to Andrew, a renowned architect, she has (two boys, a girl and three step-sons) and is a self-proclaimed shopaholic studying interior design. Lydia and Andrew spend winter weekends skiing at their place in Thredbo, which they fly to, of course, in their private jet.
Take a drink… whenever Lydia says, “my jet.”
Yep, she said that:
- “I love fast cars. I love my fast jet and I love my fast husband.” (Reckon Andrew may be quick off the mark to clarify that statement.)
- “Either they catch up or they’re behind” (Is that a reference to Andrew again?)
Catty comment: For someone who spends oodles on her outfits and claims to be an interior designer, it’s a bit surprising to see their small and somewhat cluttered open-plan kitchen/dining/lounge area. Oh, and there’s what looks like a gold plated pistol mounted on the top of their bookshelf. Bizarre.
Gina Liano, 47, South Yarra
Gina is a divorced mother of two boys. She is a criminal barrister, property developer and art gallery curator whose brash style makes Brynne Edelsten look virginal.
Take a drink.….whenever Gina says, “I’m a barrister. I deal with facts.” (Bonus points if you’re drinking a wine cooler).
Yep, she said that:
- “I have often described myself as the ultimate drag queen” (After which I promptly googled, ‘is Gina a drag queen?’)
- Commenting on people who don’t believe she’s a barrister, “Wow, how am I presenting myself that this is so unbelievable?” (Um, see quote above. That might have something to do with it.)
Catty comment: I think the drag queen reference says it all.
Andrea Moss, 45, Toorak
Andrea is married to Chris, a successful plastic surgeon with a global reputation. Andrea runs her husband’s surgery practice and owns Liberty Belle Skin Centre. They spend weekends with their three children at there home on the Peninsula.
Take a drink.….whenever Andrea says, “Toorak.”
Yep, she said that:
- “Because I work full-time I have to delegate to competent people. I have five different nannies I can use any time of the day” (And Stephen Hawking on speed dial to help them with homework)
Catty comment: Writing a book on mothers re-entering the work force. Because, clearly, with five nannies, she knows all about single working mums.
*On a side note, as mistress of the miscellaneous, I love that Chris told her it was unsafe for their son to peel a pumpkin by saying, “Did you know that there are more injuries from pumpkins than any other vegetable?”
Janet Roach, 55, Red Hill and South Yarra
A recently divorced mother of two children and three stepchildren, Janet’s made a tidy sum in property development and is now on the prowl for a new man.
Take a drink .….whenever Janet looks surprised. Just kidding, she always looks surprised. So change that to whenever Janet says, “Botox.”
Yep, she said that:
- “I never wash my own hair.”
- “I don’t anyone that doesn’t have regular Botox. I say, ‘Botox me baby’”
Catty comment: Whatever happened to this gorgeous woman that makes her think she needs more Botox. Oh, wait; she’s besties with the owner of skin clinic.
Jackie Gillies, 33, Melbourne
Jackie is a psychic married to Silverchair drummer, Ben Gillies. They recently moved to Melbourne so her rock-star husband could work on his next album. Oh, and did I mention that she’s married to a rock star?
Take a drink….whenever Jackie says she’s “married to a rock star.”
Yep, she said that:
- “Me and Ben are very private people”
- “Ben looks like Johnny f*&$ing Depp. When we were in the Bahamas, people thought he was Johnny Depp. He is sooo hot”
- “Yes I have house cleaners, yes I have chefs, yes I go on luxury holidays, yes I have houses overseas, yes I have expensive jewellery, but that’s not what defines me”
Catty comment: “I’m young, I’m gorgeous, I’m fabulous and I’m married to a rock-star.” (Hmmm, let’s just agree to disagree on that one, ok.)
Chyka Keebaugh, 45
Chyka lives in Malvern with her husband Bruce and two teenage boys. She and her husband started a catering company over 20 years ago and have turned it into a very profitable business with over 1400 employees. She’s probably the most grounded in the group or smart enough keep her comments off camera.
Take a drink….whenever Chyka shows up with high hair
Catty Comment: I think she was channeling Brian Setzer with that bouffant, which also makes it Chyka’s drinking cue.
- Take a drink …..whenever someone says, “French Champagne”. Bonus points for having a full glass of generic sparkling wine. This one is a personal pet peeve/ hate: if they really were as highfalutin as they think they are they’d know that all Champagne is French. It’s from Champagne. In France.
- Take a drink...every time it is ridiculously obvious that edits have been used to manipulate a scene. (Case in point, Lydia saying “My feet are firmly on the ground” then cutting to her in a leather seat on her jet. *gag*)
The (not-so) clever attempts at irony and histrionics are so cringe worthy, they’re even making the North Korean photoshop propaganda department cry. But then again, that’s just reality.