Updated: Aug 31, 2021
BravoTV is the franchise king or queen of reality television. The Real Housewives of Orange County was expanded to New Jersey, New York, Potomac, Miami, Dallas, and Beverly Hills. Below Deck expanded to Below Deck Mediterranean. Million Dollar Listing has casts in both New York City and Los Angeles. Even Southern Charm was franchised out to New Orleans and Savannah for awhile. One could argue about how scripted these shows are but the winning formula is whether the cast themselves are entertaining.
While the main cast members get a lot of attention, several friends, family, or revolving characters can add spice and help create and keep fans. They are often scene stealers and viewers watch for them to appear. Essentially, their time is limited but their moments are extremely entertaining. Time to give them some attention.
The Top 3
Patricia Altschul from Southern Charm is the queen of the South. Viewers were first introduced to her as the mother of an original main cast member, Whitney Sudler-Smith. Whitey is a film-maker, musician and TV producer who sees far less time on the show over the years; however, Patricia's early scenes were so iconic that they keep finding places for her to pop up in the show. Between the caftans, many dogs, and quips like "In my day, if you got knocked up, you went to a home for unwed mothers, your parents changed their name and moved to Missoula," she has set the tone for great TV moments.
Kathy Hilton from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOBH) is the queen of privilege but everyone loves her anyway. When housewife Kyle's sister Kathy joined RHOBH this season in a limited role, it was a great surprise to see such a naturally funny character. She is the only real housewife (and wealthiest) to dress appropriately for events - no need to impress anyone when she goes on a girls weekend. She is often distracted by things and has an almost juvenile innocence to her. While not demanding, she assumes someone is there to carry her bags at all times, doesn't know how to clean up broken glass, and refuses to wear glasses to the point that she doesn't recognize that an African American (Garcelle) woman is not her sister. Her quips are not judgmental but rather come from this confused innocence. "Who is this Honky Dory?" is now iconic.
Dee Simmons from The Real Housewives of Dallas is just plain spicy. Best known as Mama Dee, she is hard and fiery to her daughter but peaches and cream to her daughter's friends. Her housewife daughter, D'Andra, once said "everyone wants my mother to be their mother until they are in my place". Another southern woman, her short blonde hair (wig) and makeup are perfect for any outing and she is always willing to dish out advice. The fighting between mother and daughter, especially when Dee was holding over the transfer of power for her company, is constant but they always come back together.
While these are the most recent scene stealers, there is another reoccurring character that set the stage for these.
Edith Flagg (Million Dollar Listing - Los Angeles) was an early BravoTV scene stealing limited role cast member. Edith was the grandmother of real estate agent and cast member, Josh Flagg. In early seasons, prior to her passing, she quickly became very popular. There was such love between the two of them. She would tell stories about her childhood growing up as a Jewish girl in Nazi occupied Romania. As she would tell these stories with detail, she would also offer advice and would switch on a dime to bluntly correct Josh. Edith was wise, funny, a great story teller, and a memorable addition to the show.