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In defense of ‘The Real Friends Of WeHo’

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The Real Friends of WeHo, clunky and derivative title notwithstanding, efforts to sweat the representation conversation took a back seat.

Rather, the show—produced by an army of people from Truly Original and MTV—was cannily self-conscious about situating itself in a landscape of gay pop culture where, as the accusation goes, gay people are more inclined to support the efforts of straight creatives that either play queer or tap (knowingly or otherwise) into some queer sensibility.

As celebrity stylist Brad Goreski intoned in the pilot’s opening lines, “You put six gay guys together with cameras around them, there’s going to be laughter, there’s going to be tears, there’s going to be some shade— so much is going to happen!” A camera then pans around a party where we see a cameraman and a boom mic hovering over a small circle of people, as if to underscore that this is a manufactured scene in a television series.

If the Real Housewives shows urge their viewers to suspend the disbelief that any of its cast members are friends, that any of the situations are something besides contrived, or that any of it is “real,” the Real Friends seem to announce up top that some of the fakery of it all is why we watch.

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