Miami's Real Housewives, Uncut
Reporting by Suzy Buckley; Produced by Jose Ortiz
And half of the Miami Housewives have more in common than oversize hoop earrings, glittery platform Louboutins and tight, jewel-toned satin dresses: The Miami Herald’s Jay Weaver recently reported that in the ’90s, Lea, Marysol and Alexia all had connections to cocaine smugglers Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta. Lea’s husband earned a handsome sum defending Magluta. Alexia’s ex-husband alerted prosecutors that Magluta was holed up in his La Gorce mansion, and later served time in prison. And Marysol’s ex-boyfriend was Frank Garcia, a former Magluta associate now in the Federal Witness Protection Program, who testified against the drug smugglers at a 1996 trial.
Heels, High Jinks and Hoopla
On the show, the girls find themselves in many RHO scenarios we’ve seen time and time again in other cities: taking cooking lessons and stripper-pole dance classes, shooting targets at a gun range, attending charity galas, shopping at pricey multilabel boutiques and, of course, arguing and cocktailing aplenty. Like RHOBH’s Alison Dubois, RHOM even has its share of psychics: Cristy visits one in the first episode, and Marysol’s mother, Elsa, is a self-professed “seer” who, incidentally, predicted last summer that “the program will air much, much sooner than anybody expects.”
Throughout the shows, the city of Miami is showcased as nothing short of spectacular, with dazzling aerial shots that almost feel brighter and more colorful than they do in real life. Ratings were 1.2 million for the season’s debut, a healthy number for any Bravo show—just under the numbers for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ premiere, and higher than the average audiences for The Rachel Zoe Project and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. They were also nearly double those of Miami Social’s highest-rated episode.
“People might dismiss this show as frivolous, but [the RHO] franchise is meant to show a slice of life. The Real Housewives of Miami is very indigenous to this city. You will not find this group of women anywhere else—there is not an Adriana De Moura in Dubuque, Iowa,” Maroufkhani laughs. And, as Alexia adds, “There are always going to be haters, there’s always going to be negative energy. We’re not candy that everybody likes. It bothers some that you can do so many things successfully, and that’s unfortunately the human character.” Indeed: The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
Photographs by Navid