What's Worth Watching: The Hotwives of Las Vegas on Hulu for Tuesday, August 18

Matt Roush
0059 – Andrea Savage, Casey Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Dannah Phirman, and Lisa Rinna in Hulu's The Hotwives of Las Vegas. Photo credit: Doug Hyun
Doug Hyun/Hulu

The Hotwives of Las Vegas, "What Happens in Vegas … Seriously, What Happens There?" (Tuesday, Aug. 18, Hulu)

Until someone produces an UnReal-like exposé of the Real Housewives brand of reality TV, I suppose we'll have to settle for the parody of a parody that is The Hotwives of Las Vegas. Season 1 of this broad (sorry) spoof was set in Orlando, but the brighter and tackier neon of Vegas seems a more fitting backdrop for this gleefully vulgar send-up of some of TV's most unreal archetypes.

The cast includes several inspired comic scene-stealers, including Happy Endings' Casey Wilson as tipsy Southern-belle drama queen Jenfer, and The Office's Angela Kinsey as "self-proclaimed Vegas royalty" First Lady, so named because her husband was "mayor" of a strip mall. Ironically, all are upstaged by Key & Peele's ubiquitous Keegan-Michael Key—also recurring in USA Network's even funnier Playing House—as Ace, Jenfer's narcissistic fiancé (and First Lady's ex), a "fame chaser" constantly angling for his close-up. Sidling up to Jenfer while consciously seeking his best angle, he declares, "I just did not want to be separated from you—or any camera that might want to capture me." (In a flashback, we witness his break-up with First Lady because, "I just feel our storyline has petered out.")

The one carry-over character from Orlando is Tymberlee Hill as Phe Phe, the requisite sassy black oracle of truth, who concedes she left friends and family behind to go "where the show ratings are higher." Vegas is at its best in those moments when Hotwives gets to the core of what truly drives these shows: the pursuit of cheapened celebrity through self-consciously outrageous behavior and overhyped overexposure. Nothing really funny about that, but Hotwives does its best.

 

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