As anticipation has been building for season two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, no one could have predicted the real-life twist that occurred when Russell Armstrong, ex-husband of Taylor Armstrong, took his own life Monday night. Shocking and heartbreaking, particularly for the children he leaves behind, but it also presents an interesting challenge to Bravo: Can they really air season two in light of this tragedy?
The previews we've seen to date that have us so psyched for this second season have been focused heavily on the tumultuous relationship the Armstrongs had. Even Taylor's recent revelation that Russell had abused her seemed timed to promote the couple's discord accordingly. Just last week Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards discussed the couple's rocky relationship and how it would be featured on season two.
Even that feels wrong in light of the current events. Bravo has now banned the Housewives from talking about the suicide, according to TMZ, but filming is supposedly going to continue tomorrow. That seems a little quick, but perhaps they're scrambling because I don't see how they can show what they've already filmed with any sensitivity.
Not because reality television is somehow to blame for his death, as some believe. With or without cameras, he seemed to be battling demons for much of his adult life with restraining orders filed against him by at least two other women. The show may have compounded things, but it can't be held responsible for his actions. It can, however, choose to proceed in a respectful manner instead of a ratings-hungry one.
In the previews (which currently seem to be down), we saw Taylor crying and complaining about her relationship, and you can just imagine how the other Housewives would likely bolster her, tell her she's better off without him, or all those things women say to each other and about the man when one is in a wrong relationship. They all may be true, but I can't imagine watching that knowing what we know now. Yes, it's supposed to be reality TV, but this might be a little too real.
At the very least, it seems Bravo is going to have a hell of an editing job to do over the next couple of weeks if the series is to debut as scheduled on September 5. This doesn't seem to be a case in which a few words of type offering condolences is going to be enough. As much as it pains me to say it -- because I was really looking forward to this season -- this may be a case in which the show just shouldn't go on.
Do you think Bravo should cancel season two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?
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