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    Nov 10, 2014

    A Guide To All The Reality Show References On The "Comeback" Season Premiere

    "Well, reality TV has had quite the evolution." If you're a fan of The Comeback but not Bravo, here's what you might have missed in the long-awaited return of the HBO comedy.

    John P. Johnson / HBO

    Reality television has come a long way since the first (and, for years, only) season of The Comeback savagely satirized the genre in 2005. The Season 2 premiere, which aired Nov. 9, is about playing catch-up with Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow), but also with the type of series The Comeback mocks. For those who aren't as up on real reality shows, here's a guide to all the references in the first episode that you might have missed.

    Bethenny Frankel

    Bravo / Via

    Valerie is excited to show off her infomercial because it reflects her as an entrepreneur like Bethenny Frankel, once and future Real Housewives of New York cast member. (Frankel will be rejoining the series for its seventh season.) More to the point, Frankel is the brains behind Skinnygirl cocktails, which Valerie misidentifies as "Skinny Margarita Gal."

    Andy Cohen

    Bravo / Via

    "Who's Andy Cohen again?" Mark naively asks. "He's the Bravo guy," Val explains. Cohen is indeed "the Bravo guy": Specifically, he was head of programming until November 2013 and now serves as executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise. (And host of Watch What Happens: Live, of course.)

    Lisa Vanderpump

    Bravo / Via

    Valerie accidentally plays footage from her fateful lunch with Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Lisa Vanderpump.

    The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

    As it turns out, Val was going to be one of the Beverly Hills Housewives. There are a few subtler references you might not get if you don't watch any Housewives. When offered wine, Valerie says, "I'm not gonna drink. It's the middle of the day." This is a reference to the fact that Housewives are always drinking. Val and Lisa are meeting because Lisa believes Val has planted stories about her in the tabloids, which is one of the most common sources of Housewives drama. (Seriously.)

    At this point, Valerie accuses the Bravo producers of trying to make her the bad guy, a reference to the frequent reality villain defense of getting the "bitch edit" — that is, the claim that a reality star is being manipulated by writers and editors to look worse than she really is. Finally, Valerie snaps at Lisa with, "Not one of us even lives in Beverly Hills." It's true. Vanderpump aside, the Season 1 cast of RHOBH lived outside the borders of Beverly Hills.

    Kyle Richards

    Bravo / Via

    "It's gotta be someone" selling stories to the tabloids, Lisa tells Val. "It's either you or Kyle. Was it Kyle?" Kyle Richards is another Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. She and Lisa frequently spar, even though they're allegedly good friends.

    Camille Grammer

    Bravo / Via

    Lisa also namechecks former RHOBH cast member Camille Grammer.

    The Real Housewives of New York City

    Bravo / Via

    "I'm not putting myself through this again," Valerie declares before storming off. "Not for this show anyway, OK? To be frank, it’s not Housewives of New York. This isn’t gonna last. I’m sorry, but it’s not." The Real Housewives of New York City debuted in 2008 as the second Real Housewives series. RHOBH was the sixth in the franchise — but it has lasted, and is going into its fifth season.



    "Well, reality TV has had quite the evolution," Valerie explains. Reflecting back on her own 2005 reality show, she says, "Back then it was just me and people eating bugs on Survivor." Survivor debuted in 2000, and while the show has featured contestants gnawing on insects, there's a lot more to it than that. Survivor will air its 30th season in 2015.

    The People's Couch

    Bravo / Via bricesander

    After mentioning that there are reality shows about dancers (So You Think You Can Dance), duck hunters (Duck Dynasty), and designers (Project Runway), Val adds, "Just the other night, I saw a show where it was just real people sitting on a couch, watching a show, and I thought, Well it’s official, they’ve run out of ideas.” That would be The People's Couch, which currently airs on Bravo.

    Carla Hall

    Bravo / Via

    Valerie's publicist Billy (Dan Bucatinsky) now represents Carla Hall, the beloved Season 5 contestant of Top Chef. Hall returned for the all-star eighth season of Top Chef and now co-hosts The Chew. "Hootie hoo," which she shouts excitedly at Val from Billy's car, is her catchphrase of sorts.

    RuPaul's Drag Race

    Logo / Via

    When Andy Cohen introduces Valerie to RuPaul, Val says, "You've got that show!" Yes, Ru does: It's called RuPaul's Drag Race, and it's aired on Logo since 2009.

    Teresa Giudice

    Bravo / Via

    "Should've made more of a scene with the host," Val laments following an almost-altercation at the Chateau Marmont. "I was too nice. That's not TV." Mickey (Robert Michael Morris) suggests, "Should've flipped the host stand. Very Teresa Giudice." Valerie then corrects his pronunciation of "Giudice," though to be fair, Teresa herself has pronounced it multiple ways. Giudice is a Real Housewife of New Jersey. She infamously flipped a table at "prostitution whore" Danielle Staub during a particularly epic fight.

    Now that you're all caught up on reality television, you can get back to what really matters: Val.

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