Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-0742
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0750



This study analyses eighteen in-depth interviews with adults in the Midwest who watch Bravo’s reality (RTV) docusoap franchise Real Housewives. Shifting the gaze away from RTV effects and towards the proliferation of RTV, RTV stars (celetoids) and what Graeme Turner calls the ‘demotic turn’, this study examines the show’s appeal and whether a latent desire for celetoid-type fame exists among the main viewer groups analysed here (straight women and gay men). A desire for fame appears to be present among the men in this study, and younger men tended to conceive celetoid-type fame as desirable. This study also finds that men and women gravitate towards different character types. Straight women appear less intensely drawn to Real Housewives than gay men, both in terms of buying Real Housewives products and attempting to connect with the women on the show via Twitter. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the profusion of RTV, the demotic turn and celetoids factor into new desires among regular people for celetoid-type fame. This study also adds to recent research that shows that a desire to be famous is now characteristic of younger generations.


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