This article examines Bravo's Real Housewives franchise (2006–) to theorize the aesthetic, affective, and performance qualities of docusoap televisuality. It argues that the franchise functions through a financial and affective economy of “money shots,” or moments of predictably unpredictable antisocial affective engagement among cast members. These scenes generate a thrilling anxiety that encourages serialized watching and potentially endless interpretation by viewers, creating a ratings economy out of an affective one. Through a reading of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (2008–), this article demonstrates how the program's interest in staging the excess of racialized gender is structured through a white racial imaginary, which is contested by cast members in each season's reunion episode. The article ends with a consideration of the way in which queer of color camp affectively reimagines the thrilling anxiety of these money shots through humor.
“I'm Very Rich, Bitch!”: The Melodramatic Money Shot and the Excess of Racialized Gendered Affect in the Real Housewives Docusoaps
Alessa Dominguez is a doctoral candidate in American studies at Brown University. Her dissertation, “The Melodramatics of Queer Race: Affective Economies in Contemporary Media Cultures,” examines the performance and mediation of racialized, gendered, and queered affects in a variety of contemporary cultural forms.
Alessa Dominguez; “I'm Very Rich, Bitch!”: The Melodramatic Money Shot and the Excess of Racialized Gendered Affect in the Real Housewives Docusoaps. Camera Obscura 1 May 2015; 30 (1 (88)): 155–183. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-2885486
Download citation file: