When we say reality TV, the first image we think of is the stereotypical 90’s talent game shows – and if we stretch it, the concurrent stream of documentary-style reality shows. The definitive reality TV up till 2005 was indubitable shows with fierce competition, its ultimate form seen in the Dutch show ‘Big Brother‘ and its many spinoffs. However, with the success of the hit 2000’s show ‘The O.C.’, documentary-style reality TV underwent a gradual evolution, and today we see even shows like ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County‘ from Bravo (or its predecessor ‘Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County’). These are essentially reality shows about real people in it, but they nevertheless attempt to build it on the framework and structure of a soap opera – many critics dubbing this new combo ‘docusoap’.
The most famous of these docusoaps have invariably been those centering around the life of celebrities and social elites, the privileged aristocratic circles and the intrigue of romance and friendship in it. ‘Southern Charm‘ would be an excellent example of this. VH1’s ‘Basketball Wives’ falls in the same slot of shows, but its twist is the fact that it also piques the interest of impassioned basketball enthusiasts and the fans of star athletes like Antoine Walker and Kenny Anderson, because the show concerns the wives and girlfriends of these NBA stars (as the title clarifies).
‘Basketball Wives’ has been created and co-executive produced by Shaunie O’Neal, the ex-wife of Shaquille O’Neal. It has also spawned a spin-off titled ‘Basketball Wives LA’. Women sticking together and helping each other out through times of trouble, while also stirring up their fair share of drama is nothing new on television. There are always shows like ‘Army Wives’ that explore the bond between women and how they come together to deal with the fact that their male counterparts are away on some job or the other. In basketball, the males are busy trying to reach the pinnacle of their careers and always enjoy the spotlight. ‘Basketball Wives’ on the other hand, turns the spotlight on the women in their lives and we are given a chance to see how it is being the amour of a celebrity. The series airs on VH1 and first premiered on April 11, 2010. After its revival, it premiered on April 17, 2017.
Basketball Wives Cast: Who is in it?
‘Basketball Wives’ is about – obviously enough – the wives of star basketball players and many of them are celebs and major TV personalities on their own right. When the show first premiered way back in 2010, its original cast consisted of star dancer Royce Reed, Suzie Ketcham (the then girlfriend of Michael Olowokandi), Gloria Govan (fiancée of Matt Barnes), Jennifer Williams, and tv personality and spokesperson Evelyn Lozada, ex-fiancee of Antoine Walker, and Shaunie O’ Neal. Over the years, other than Royce and Gloria, all of them remained till the show was taken off air in 2013. In the revived seasons, as the canceled show merged its cast with the spinoff, ‘Basketball Wives LA’, two additions were made in 2017: Jackie Christie and Malaysia Pargo – both of them silver screen celebrities, and both of them romantically involved with NBA stars.
Unlike the talent shows or such, the docusoaps are not prone to erratic casting changes. In the upcoming season, the show welcomes back longtime cast members Shaunie O’Neal, Tami Roman, Malaysia Pargo, Evelyn Lozada, Jackie Christie, and Jennifer Williams. Cece Gutierrez, Kristen Scott, and Ogum Chijindu return for a second year. Feby Torres is going to be the newest addition and she is bound to shake things up.
Basketball Wives Plot: What is it about?
‘Basketball Wives’ follows a group of women who are romantically involved with NBA stars, or had been at some point in their lives, and the dynamics of friendship and animosity between them, chronicling their lavish lifestyles and their attempts to cope with their many struggles throughout the show. It is filmed in various locations, chiefly in Miami, but the post-hiatus seasons have also featured a handful of scenes in New York as well. Although the people on the show appear to be best friends, not everything is as glamorous as it seems.