Friday, August 7, 2009

I Want Nene to Read Me a Bedtime Story

In one of those moments of Reality TV Intertextuality, Nene from Real Housewives Atlanta reads aloud from "Cop Without a Badge" the scandalous account of Columbian drug lords, murderers, kidnappers, addicts, and the prostitutes who love them. This book featured prominently in Real Housewives of New Jersey when Caroline and Dina were alerted to the fact that another housewife, Danielle (really called Beverly, she changed her name in an attempt to start a new life undercover after she copped a plea to avoid prison, clearly she wanted to fade into obscurity or else she would not have signed up for a Bravo TV show) appeared in the book as the a coke addicted "prostitution-whore" and girlfriend of the head of a Columbian drug cartel.

Allegedly un-staged as a backstage "bonus" video, Nene is shown in some kind of an office casually reading aloud, as if the camera is not trained on her, but she also works it for the camera, winking to her audience.

It seems fitting that the intertextual moment should be figured literally as a book. The book signals the intersection between "real" life and "reality TV life" acting to reinforce the "realness" of the "reality TV life we are seeing." (In the case of the video above, I love how Nene mentions offhandedly that she hangs out with Danielle sometimes, as if they'd casually met at the beauty parlor or mall.) I also find it fascinating to know that these women know how to read. (just kidding)

Here is the moment when the book had its literal star appearance on RHNJ:

And the grisly aftermath, when Teresa is more inarticulate than usual in her rage:

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