For starters, concocted reality construct “Hollywood Exes” is something of a misnomer, bringing together a random assortment of former spouses to the rich and famous, if not necessarily “Hollywood.” Yet once you get past the title, these real (or not-so-real) ex-housewives don’t have much to say or do, which leads to staged activities, like going for vaginal-rejuvenation treatment. It’s an appropriate symbol, actually, for a show that aspires to little more than performing minor cosmetic surgery on Bravo’s fab-life format — although it’s a concept with no shortage of candidates for potential spinoffs and sequels.
Like a lot of reality shows, this one borrows heavily from scripted drama and movies — in the first case, by importing a non-Hollywood “character,” R. Kelly’s ex Andrea, to join a first wives club already assembled in L.A.
By reality-TV standards, Andrea proves something of a snooze, as she joins exes Nicole Murphy (Eddie Murphy), Sheree Fletcher (Will Smith), Jessica Canseco (Jose Canseco) and Mayte Garcia (Prince).
They are, not surprisingly, an attractive bunch (as one of them notes, the men formerly in their lives had their pick of women), but the premiere finds them with precious little to say, and not much in the way of group dynamics to hang even a string bikini on.
Sheree is now married to a preacher, and insists on saying grace before their introductory meal, irritating Jessica, whose ex Jose shows up with a proposition they move in together for the kids’ sake, while leading separate lives.
Barring more blunt dishing about their exes, though — which by itself would betray a certain level of desperation — there’s nothing initially to distinguish these women from the marauding bands of loosely plotted gal pals reenacting “Sex and the City” episodes all over the dial. And while there are hints of cattiness and discord in the season-highlights tease, the bar on intramural squabbling in such fare has already been set pretty low.
Since celebrities seem to experience a higher matrimonial failure rate than most, there’s something potentially intriguing about peeking behind the curtain, but “Hollywood Exes” offers less depth than a weekly tabloid.
Even if the famous names lure viewers in, after spending an hour with these exes, odds are that for many, it’ll be a very short honeymoon.