Here at Citrus, we write a lot. Content marketers have to become word-ninjas and use context in order to translate what our clients are trying to sell to people who are unfamiliar with any given industry’s technical jargon. Writing using context allows whatever it is our client is selling to be consumable by either the general public or the business’s target audience.
Similarly, we like to write pieces that put what we love in the context of what we do. In my blogs, I’ve compared Disney Movies to Marketing, Game of Thrones to the real world and today, I’d like to give my response to my colleague, Avery’s very quippy, “The Five Most Badass Bravolebrities.” This time, I want to put a marketing spin on it.
Prepping this list makes me think, what is it that makes real people marketable, likable and best of all lovable on reality TV? In this article, express which characters are my personal favorites and maintain their charisma and favorability despite their obvious flaws. Each of my choices have made their fair share of mistakes and faux pas, but their confidence, realness and resilience make them impossible to hate.
5. Shep Rose
Shep Rose is the star of the bar. The star from Southern Charm is incredibly, undeniably lovable and charming. He has faults: his inability to commit to anything – career, relationships, you name it, the guy seems utterly incapable taking life seriously.
He takes on a whimsical, dreamy, floater role 95% of the time, but when absolutely necessary, his intelligence, whit and empathy come out of the woodwork and you realize… oh, he’s smart, and can be serious, but he’d rather have fun instead.
And honestly, who wouldn’t? When I get caught up in all the twists and turns that life throws at me, I wish I had Shep’s calming, “it’s not the end of the world” disposition. While at first glance he may seem a little idealistic and naive, when you look deeply into his relationships and decisions, his actions prove otherwise. I think Shep’s ability to just deal with things, let go and move on is a trait many people want to believe they have, but can hardly master. Most people get in their own heads, stress, and overthink, affecting the way we live and make decisions. What makes Step so marketable is his authenticity, youthful energy, and happiness.
There is nothing I regret more than missing Vanderpump Rules Season 1 while it was on air. The show is a huge hit and cultural phenomenon. A reality TV version of our favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows of yore – From Soap Operas, to 90210 and Gossip Girl, The New York Times even covered how remarkably addicting the show is. And while the irreverent hit covers a group of aspiring actors/models who work, date and drink heavily together, I am going to go out on a whim and say at the center of it all is the blonde hair, blue eyed, damaged and defensive, Stassi Schroeder. Stassi is a polarizing character who’s curt one-liners could compete with Bethenny Frankel.
She’s not at all America’s sweet heart, but she’s never met a challenge she can’t talk her way out of. And while she is certainly one tough chick, she brings an aura of vulnerability to every encounter that makes it difficult to dislike her.
In fact, her directness, defiance and devotion to her friends makes her lovable. She, like Shep, also happens to be incredibly stunning – they would be one hell of a power couple. Of course, she could say things nicer, she could hold back, she could be coy and sweet and ladylike, but I prefer women like I prefer my coffee – strong. And Stassi is exactly that.
3. Heather DuBrow
Envy may be the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins and when you’re talking about someone like Heather Dubrow – there’s absolutely no point in being jealous. Let’s face it: Miss Fancy Pants is just, generally, better than everyone else.
Of all the housewives and all the houses, Heather just exudes luxury, top-notch style, and social intelligence that I’ve never seen on TV or in real life.
Heather holds every encounter, every decision, every relationship to a high standard. She has clear values and if a situation does not meets her needs, she swiftly and elegantly removes herself. All of this said and considering the circumstances, she really doesn’t come across as a snob at all. Yes, her husband is a world-famous plastic surgeon. Yes, she is building a new mansion designed by the architect of the Taj Mahal. Yes, she’s beautiful and skinny, and glamourous. But I don’t hate her for it. At the end of the day, she is kind, she gives back, and she has a realistic humbling and human way of interacting with others, especially her children. It’s almost like she deserves all the things because she’s so great. Heather’s ability to be so likable despite her perfection is a power many can never master.
2. Sonja Morgan
Of all of my choices, Sonja just may be the most flawed and the least obvious for this list. You may hate her. But hear me out. #RHONY packed with more personality that the rest of the Housewives shows – combined. In Orange County, Beverly Hills, Atlanta and New Jersey the ladies form groups, some lead, some follow, and they find themselves relying on others and the power of numbers. The ladies in New York, on the other hand, are out there – on their own. Aside from maybe Carole Radziwill, every character on RHONY would be the leader of the pack on any other Housewives’ series. They are strong, scary, and self-righteous. None of them are afraid to defend themselves, none of the rely on others as a crutch, they have no shame, little compassion, and fewer alliances than on other shows. Enter Sonja. Sonja Morgan is a character who is equally strong and incredibly hilarious without sacrificing her sensitivity and empathy. Dorinda, Bethenny, Ramona, and LuAnn are huge personalities but they lack humility. It’s hard for them to apologize, forgive, and care about each other.
Sonja adds the necessary humor, context and realness that the show needs.
Whether you like it or not, without Sonja, the RHONY ladies would be a group of competitive mean girls scheming their way an invisible finish line called, “winning.” Sonja just lives and looks beautiful doing it.
1. Josh Flagg
Similar to Heather Dubrow, if Josh Flagg wasn’t so damn lovable, I would probably hate him. He’s rich, smart and smug and he’s my all-time favorite Bravoleb. Unlike the other guys on the same show, Josh just does not need to try hard at all to be entertaining.
Whether he’s negotiating deals, dressing up, engaging clients or telling stories about his family, being the most interesting person in the room is part of Josh’s DNA.
In a world filled with opulence and luxury, it’s the simple things in life that matter the most to Josh – his family, his relationship with his grandmother and his rich history reflect some of the most interesting storylines Million Dollar Listing. He is confident, indulgent, and terribly proud – but if you ask me, he has every right to be. And that other Josh who we don’t talk about should pick his battles.
Looking back on my choices for this blog, I’d be remiss if I didn’t sneak in a runner’s up award to Reza Farahan from Shas of Sunset. At the end of the day, what stands out about each of these characters is their charisma, confidence and best of all – their resilience. I don’t see any of them failing any time soon.