After a successful 13-season run, the Real Housewives of New York (RHONY) franchise experienced a decline in ratings, prompting Bravo to put the show on pause. However, the network has now decided to breathe new life into the series by assembling a completely new cast for the upcoming season, set to premiere on July 16th. The six new cast members are Brynn Whitfield, Erin Dana Lichy, Jenna Lyons, Jessel Taank, Sai De Silva, and Ubah Hassan. An exclusive roundtable conversation with the stars provided insights into their motivations and what sets this reboot apart.
Knowing What They Signed Up For
Unlike the original cast members from 2008, who were unfamiliar with the show’s trajectory, the new cast members had a clear understanding of what the Real Housewives of New York entailed. Each cast member had their own reasons for joining. Jenna saw it as an opportunity to connect with people and bring LGBTQ+ representation to television. Brynn was unexpectedly predicted to be on the show by a psychic, leading her to take the plunge. The new season of the Real Housewives of New York also aims to diverge from the show’s origins, which primarily focused on the aspirational lifestyle of the Upper East Side. Instead, the reboot aims to capture the grittier and cooler essence of New York City. The cast members, all hardworking and ambitious women, emphasize supporting one another rather than tearing each other down, fostering a more positive dynamic.
First Impressions and Supportive Connections
While some cast members were acquainted before filming, others met for the first time during the process. Initial impressions were not always accurate. The women also received advice from other Housewives, including Ramona and Lisa Vanderpump, who encouraged them to stay true to themselves and enjoy the Real Housewives experience.
Anticipated Vulnerability and Emotional Moments
Filming the Real Housewives meant exposing personal aspects of their lives to the public, which led to some nervousness and anxiety among the cast members. Brynn opened up about her challenging childhood, which strengthened her relationships with her family. Sai, typically a private person, had to navigate a lack of control over her own portrayal.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
The Real Housewives of New York has faced criticism earlier for its lack of diversity and incidents of unacceptable behavior. The new cast members, however, bring a fresh perspective. They reflect the true diversity of their real-life circles and embrace it naturally. Brynn, being biracial, saw diversity in terms of not only color but also personal experiences and accomplishments.