The new Bravo show looks at life in the Maryland suburb.
By Erica Moody
The unlikely locale of Potomac, MD made its television debut last Sunday with the premiere of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” Although locals were excited to have cameras rolling in their backyard, many outside the region weren’t quite sure where the latest Housewives installment was set with #WheresPotomac becoming a trending hashtag on Twitter. The tony Maryland suburb is no secret to us, but is apparently a “hidden gem” according to the show’s taglines. The setting for Bravo’s latest ‘Housewives’ franchise is a bold move for the network; if you remember, “The Real Housewives of DC” from 2010 only lasted one season and was tainted by a federal investigation into White House party-crashing cast members.
The latest show hopes to redeem the region for reality TV viewers, and from the first episode, it seems promising that it will succeed. Ratings were high and the five ‘Housewives’- Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon, Katie Rost, Karen Huger, Charrisse Jackson-Jordan and Ashley Darby -are certainly entertaining with their heated arguments over proper etiquette. It’s fun to spot places you recognize, and the housewives tell us the show will take us to hot spots across the DMV. In episode one, housewife Katie goes to Mix Bar and Grille in Potomac for lunch and all the women hit cabaret-themed lounge SAX in DC for a birthday dinner.
In fact, the premiere party at SAX last Sunday is where I went to chat with a few of the ladies on the red carpet.
Washington Life: What can viewers expect from the Potomac housewives? Will it be like the DC show which is kind of quiet or will there be a lot of drama?
Robyn: It is a lot of drama but it’s not. When you say drama, people think table flipping and wine throwing. We have drama, we have conflict, we address each other with our words but we’re respectful. We have respect for one another at all times.
Gizelle: We’re nice nasty. We’re very nasty with a smile on your face.
WL: Was filming the show anything like you expected going into it?
Ashley: I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself. You’re opening yourself up to America and you never know what that’s going to be like.
Gizelle: This was naive of me, but I really expected that it was going to be one camera, a couple of people. No, it is a team and they take over.
Robyn: The production team is fantastic but we definitely didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into and I’m not saying that in a bad way. We actually enjoyed it.
WL: Did you have any reservations being on the show?
Gizelle: I did just from the perspective of my kids. I just didn’t know how it was going to affect them but they loved it and they were happy so I was fine.
Ashley: I’m in an age gap relationship where my husband is almost thirty years older than me so of course having people see my situation they’re going to have their own assumptions. They’re going to judge me, so I had to be willing and ask myself – Am I ready for that? Am I open to that? That was the biggest thing.
Robyn: For me, I just said, ‘You know what, you only live once.’ I don’t take life too seriously. Nobody’s perfect, and how many people get this opportunity. I thought it was a great opportunity and when I’m old I’ll have a lot of fun stories to tell.
WL: Did you watch any of the other Housewives shows? Do you have a favorite housewife?
Robyn: Of course. I definitely watched them all. I like Kandi a lot from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Ashley: I love Lisa Vanderpump. She’s just got her stuff together.
Gizelle: I used to love Kyle and I still love Kyle. And the new Erika on Beverly Hills. She is the best. I think she’s my new favorite.
WL: You’re all involved with philanthropic organizations in DC. Are there any particular events coming up that you’re looking forward to, or favorite events of the year?
Ashley: I’m actually hosting something called “People of Philanthropy.” It’s a coat drive that I’m hosting with Guy Lambert.
Gizelle: I love the Imagination Stage gala every year, and Washington Ballet where my kids take class, they have their big thing every year. I love that. Those are my two.
Robyn: I plan on supporting Make a Wish this year, to go to some of their functions as well.
“The Real Housewives of Potomac” airs Sunday nights on Bravo at 9/8c.