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Blog, Fun, Philosophy or Ethics, Readings

Drama in Beverly Hills


One of my guilty pleasures is watching trashy, reality TV. One of my favorite shows is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo. Over winter break I got to catch up on the season and even got my dad into it! The show’s cast involves elite housewives in Beverly Hills who are in the same circle of friends. They all have very strong personalities and therefore there is a lot of drama that occurs on the show. The six major housewives include Taylor Armstrong, Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Camille Grammer, and Adrienne Maloof as well as one of their common “friends” Brandi Glanville.

In the episode, Uninvited of season 2, a lot of drama unfolded at Kyle’s annual White Party. The party is held at Kyle’s house and includes all white decor and the guests have a dress code of white. All of the housewives were invited but of course there was bound to be an issue between at least two of the housewives. Camille, who was already at the party, didn’t feel comfortable with Taylor’s husband, Russell, coming to the party. Camille had repeated some of things that Taylor had told her about her abusive relationship with Russell. Russell didn’t like that and threaten Camille via e-mail that he was going to sue her for her erroneous statements. This made all the other housewives nervous as well since they didn’t want to be next on Russell’s list. Talk about dramatic.

Kyle, Liza, Adrienne, and Adrienne's husband Paul discussing how to handle the situation

When Taylor and Russell showed up to the party, Kyle had to go out and uninvited them to her party. Kyle felt so bad since she is friends with Taylor and it was Russell’s fault that she couldn’t come in. Russell and Taylor ended up leaving and it overall created a damper on the party.

According to Robert Nozick, was Taylor and Russell entitled to be allowed into the party?

Taylor getting the news that she is uninvited.

According to Nozick’s entitlement theory there are three main rules including:
1. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled   to that holding.
2. A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to holding.
3. No one is entitled to a holding except by (repeated) applications of 1 and 2.

Based on these rules, I think that Taylor and Russell were entitled to be allowed into the party. In this case, the holding is the invitation. Kyle was originally the holder of the invitation since she had the power to give that holding to someone else. Kyle then transferred her invitation to the Armstrongs who accepted and shown up at the party. The Armstrongs received their invitation by legitimate means and were therefore entitled to the holding. The fact that Kyle and the rest of the housewives took away the Armstrong’s holding was an injustice.

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About Amanda Skonezney

I am a senior accounting major and anthropology minor at Bucknell University. I am also apart of the division I women's water polo team. I currently live in Harrisburg, PA. After graduation, I plan on going into tax and earning my CPA.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Drama in Beverly Hills

  1. I am so glad that you chose to write about a Housewives series because I watch them all the time. No matter how many times my Dad yells at me and my mom that the shows are making us dumber, I just cant get enough. I would never have thought to apply Nozick to a reality TV episode, especially a show so mindless and trashy.

    Posted by Dana Silverstein | March 5, 2012, 9:55 pm
  2. While I have never seen Housewives, I think that your application of Nozick’s theory seems really relevant to that particular episode. Well done making that connection – it is really clever! I would never have come up with that idea, but it just proves that Business, Government, and Society concepts are everywhere – even where we least expect them.

    Posted by Lauren McGuiggan | March 6, 2012, 8:52 am
  3. I always hear girls (eh hem WOMEN) talking about this show and I admit, I’ve seen it a few times. And truthfully, I’ve always thought the show was stupid and embarrassing for the idiots in the show. However, reading your post really made me chuckle because of how you related Nozick to the show – I was impressed! Imagine if you personally explained to Kyle the error of his ways, and how Russell and Taylor were entitled to be at the party according to Nozick. Because of this, I think that applying these types of theories to real life situations is dicey. They don’t account for some important things. But the way you related it here was funny, and interesting. Next time I might think about my own actions and what Nozick, or another scholar might say about them.

    Posted by Ben K. | March 6, 2012, 4:43 pm
  4. Drama, drama, drama. I knew someone would write about the real housewives of whichever city! I loved this because I would have never thought about Nozick’s entitlement theory in relation to these ridiculous women. Ben brings up a good point- imagine trying to explain the entitlement theory to these crazy people- I can only imagine…

    Posted by alyssakinell | March 6, 2012, 6:04 pm
  5. I, as many others, would have never thought to use Nozick’s principles could apply to such a frivolous and drama-filled show. I must admit, I love my trashy TV time, particularly Jersey Shore. I’ve never been into the housewives, but after reading your post maybe I’ll watch this episode to see how the running mascara goes. Joey makes a valid point in that it is Kim’s house, so it would make sense for her to have say in this situation. Also, I feel that Nozick’s rules are very concrete and don’t provide much breathing room for circumstances.

    Posted by Danielle Marquette | March 6, 2012, 9:02 pm
  6. Wow- housewives and Nozick. Quite a stretch.

    Posted by Jordi | March 7, 2012, 1:12 pm

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