Time to restore that loving feeling. It would be too boring to highlight the genuinely good partners on Real Housewives, not to mention difficult to summon to mind more than a handful. It’s much more fun to revisit the best of the worst. The sleazebags who manage to make their douchebaggery more entertaining than assaulting to the senses. The following men might be pieces of shit, but I sure enjoyed what they brought to their franchises.
8. Mark Deuber (Dallas)
Mark Deuber is borderline terrifying. He’s a controlling creep who gives off real sociopath vibes. I could picture him dressing up the corpse of Cary in Cavalli just as easily as he does her living self now. I don’t care for either Cary or Mark as people, but I can’t deny that they are a huge part of why Dallas was so amazing this past season. Mark falls into the camp of spouses who seem to be more into the limelight than the housewife themselves so he’s received a good chunk of airtime from the start. He’s rude and dismissive to Cary about her desire to stop working and indifferent towards their daughter which you think would maybe have put him in yesterday’s ranking, but damnit if the Round Up isn’t one of the greatest housewife scandals in recent years. I hate how the Deubers have broken Leeanne down but I think Dallas would lose its spark without them as such a force of evil.
7. Slade Smiley (Orange County)
I loathe Slade Smiley but his rollercoaster arc’s entertainment value cannot be denied. One of the OGs of the OC, seasons 1 and 2 depicted him attempting to force young, wild Jo into the role of Coto housewife and stepmother to his kids. These were the days of successful Slade where he had the money to woo ladies and maintain the upper hand. Of course nobody can control Jo and it’s a hilarious parade of Jo both clowning and cucking him at every opportunity. The post-recession Slade who returns in season 5 with Gretchen is a different story. He’s still the smarmy douchebag we remembered but without any of the money or success to back it up. Seeing him completely emasculated and reliant on Gretchen while being brutally and directly mocked and humiliated by Vicki and Tamra at every opportunity will never not be hilarious. Most of Gretchen’s conflicts are a direct result of defending him. We’ll always have his Miss Piggy comedy routine to thank for the creation of both bacon flavoured Vicki vodka and Vicki’s terrifying post-surgery face in season 7. Still behind on that child support, though.
6. PK Kemsley (Beverly Hills)
I remember first taking in the PK experience last season on Beverly Hills and barely being able to stomach him. A sweaty, crude, and misogynistic man best known for leering at Erika’s genitals and then speaking about it at length, there isn’t much to like. He’s so aesthetically unappealing to me I assume he looks like Balthazar in the nude. And yet, at some point it all became amusing to me. The constant pantomime of being rich despite shady bankruptcy shenanigans, trotting out his star client Boy George at all opportunities, and his and Dorit’s general ineptitude at the strategy behind real housewifing made me eventually grow to like him. Sadly he’s taken a backseat this season but Dorit is still in there doing the most, presumably at his coaching so I’m still team PK.
5. Apollo Nida (Atlanta)
Phaedra always took shit for marrying ex-con Apollo but it took a few seasons for the extent of his shortcomings to really become apparent. He has a temper and often defaults to violence in conflict. He committed extensive fraud even after serving time for the same crime in the recent past. He was likely abusive to Phaedra. He lied about Kenya offering to blow him. That scene of him stalking Phaedra with a drill in the garage was truly menacing. And yet, I still consider him a net positive. Apollo is a babe, easily the hottest househusband in a field with zero competition. He plays the perfect mostly silent beta to Phaedra. She’s got the money and power and he mostly goes along with whatever scheme she bullies him into. Hope things are going well for him in the clink.
4. John Mahdessian (New York)
A big component of Dorinda’s magnificence is her sleazy boyfriend and dry-cleaning superstar John. He’s a sweaty, ugly man with seemingly no redeeming qualities until you realize he’s got the plug for really good blow. Him and Dorinda just high out of their minds in early S8 truly was something to behold. I love the scene at the lingerie party referenced in the screenshot above where he shows up fucked out of his gourd and picks a fight with Bethenny about how she stole her brand’s name from Skinny Cow ice cream. I love when he dusts up with Ramona at that event where Rey showed up only to get ditched by Dorinda right after. I vividly remember him feeling up Kristen in S7 so he ticks off lecherous perv. I assume he lays down the good pipe though, and haven’t we all been dickmatized at one time in our lives? Sadly he took more of a backseat role in S9 but my hopes are high that we’ll be seeing more of him in RHONY to come.
3. Jim Bellino (Orange County)
I have a documented obsession with Jim Bellino. He’s the perfect greasy villain househusband. I recall his original occupation just being vaguely listed as an “entrepreneur” without any further details and the assumption is he was some sort of conman and not a very good one considering how broke they were. He’s controlling of Alexis but you can’t even feel too upset about it because Alexis is well…Alexis. She needs the guidance. The only time she really shows any resistance is when he wants her to stop working for Fox 5 but I just can’t be concerned with these two cartoon characters involved. He’s even convinced her that her dedication to things in life are as follows: 1) God, 2) her husband, and 3) her kids. He looks and dresses like a Las Vegas magician at the worst hotel off the strip. Remember his spiked mohawk look? Anyway seems like his trampoline park success is building into an empire but knowing Jim he’ll probably be unable to resist laundering money through them if he isn’t already.
2. Tom D’Agostino (New York)
RHONY trivia fact: Tom first appears in S01E04 smoothly hitting on Ramona by calling her lazy. Clearly his pick-up artist techniques do work as they would later go on 1-8 dates together. Out of all the men in this ranking Tom probably spends the least time on screen. Tom himself isn’t particularly interesting. He’s your average UES slimeball who’s fucked his way through all of the divorcees hanging out at the Regency but lacks the charm of a Harry Dubin. Bland sleaze that he is, somehow he ends up the centrepiece of the greatest RHONY storyline (putting it out there) ever. “It’s about Tom” is legendary. Watching the entire cast get sucked into the cheating saga while Ramona and Sonja lament their past relationships with him and trolling Luann is primo viewing. Then to top it off Luann actually goes ahead and marries him only to
slowly rapidly march their way to divorce seven months in, which gave us one of the best housewife news cycles of all time. Tom might not have actively done much but his incessant need to hook up with the same incestuous group of women at the same hotel bar provided two seasons of gripping entertainment.
1. Brooks Ayers (Orange County)
I am unabashedly Brooks Ayers’s biggest fan. I think the saga of Vicki and Brooks is some of the best television this series has produced. He skulks onto the scene after Vicki separates from Donn and immediately you can tell something is up. The kids want nothing to do with him, Tamra is watching him like a hawk, and he’s putting on the most over the top schmaltzy act. Brooks had watched RHOC and actually hunted Vicki down at an insurance convention to begin their whirlwind romance. There are so many reasons to love Brooks. He’s an absolutely irredeemable piece of shit conman, but my god he is so good at it. He doles out all the attention and compliments narcissist Vicki needs and turns her against her friends and family. He marble mouths out all sorts of Hallmark sentiments about loving Vicki but when pressed admits her vagina is the best part of her. The revelations about the things he said to Briana is one of the best reunion moments ever. And I haven’t even gotten to the cancer scam yet. Watching his cancer claims slowly unravel until finally it all falls apart in one fell swoop is brilliant. Next time steal your fake medical invoices from at least page three of google image search results, Brooks. You could still be siphoning off Vicki’s money if you put in the effort.