By Emily Mitchell
“D.C. has a certain expectation of how you behave and treat people and argue. I think you are going to see a more refined edge to these women. It’s probably going to be a little classier,” says Mary Schmidt Amons, one of the stars of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of D.C.
In other words, the nation’s capital will be no place for wig-pulling and girl fights. With a dynamic cast, the network’s fifth Housewives series — which joins Orange County, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey — promises to add another facet of drama in its portrayal of American housewives.
The most recognized of the five women in D.C. is purported “White House crasher” Michaele Salahi, who is accused of sneaking into President Obama’s state dinner back in November. Bravo’s cameras were out that night following Salahi, who maintains that she was an invited guest. Also on the roster are Harvard graduate, real estate agent and mother of two Stacie Scott Turner; British import, wife of a Newsweek photographer and mother of two Catherine Ommanney; model agency owner and self-proclaimed cougar Lynda Erkiletian; and philanthropist and mother of five Schmidt Amons.
While, surprisingly, none of the housewives is a politician, or is even married to a politician, expect to see and hear plenty of political banter. “It’s hard not to have exposure to politicians and politics in D.C. if you’re socially active,” Schmidt Amons says. “Our town is a political town, and when you’re out in a social scene every conversation is going to have a political spin to it.”
Social life in D.C. is centered on charitable and philanthropic events, with many of the women working closely with or even having their own charities. Viewers will see the women attending galas and black-tie events galore, with the occasional polo match thrown into the mix. (Salahi and her husband, Tareq, founded the America’s Polo Cup.) Schmidt Amons says, “There are a variety of social circles. There’s the diplomatic-ambassador circle, there’s the political circle, there’s the philanthropic circle. And I think that the five women on our show are a great cross between exposing all of those circles.”
Unlike other Housewives series that focus heavily on social interaction between the women, D.C. is putting the spotlight more on each woman’s separate life. “I feel like this franchise has been produced a little differently, where we are being sort of featured as our independent characters,” Schmidt Amons says.
While four out of the five Housewives live in Virginia, the show is still centered around Washington, D.C. “Washington is about America. And [Bravo] is highlighting the diversity of D.C. It is the most powerful city with our politicians and lawmakers and ambassadors [from] all around the world, but Washington also has the true American family,” Salahi says.
Schmidt Amons agrees. “I felt that it was a real blessing and opportunity to share my family’s story. And it’s in a city that is so vibrant and changing and evolving — I just adore my city.”
The Real Housewives of D.C. airs Thursdays beginning tonight on Bravo.
© Bravo Credit: Adam Olszweski