Anyone who regularly watches will tell you that The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills is one of the best reality shows out there, if not #1. You may believe, as I once did, that you are too smart for reality shows, or the Housewives franchise, or that they’re trashy. I mean, they are, but also, you’re wrong.

Why punish yourself trying to keep your eyes open through an HBO crime drama that’ll never live up to True Detective season 1 anyway? Especially when instead, you can be actually entertained with dinner parties gone wrong, luxurious vacations gone wrong, and “backyard BBQs” attended by women in gowns…that also go wrong?

However, as anyone who’s seen the show can attest, not all housewives are created equal—which is why I’ve created this handy and completely subjective guide.

The Cream Of The Crop

In this group, I would include Taylor Armstrong, Camille Grammer, Kim Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Brandi Glanville, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, and Dorit Kemsley. Without these women and their utterly deranged behavior, the show simply would not exist. You know, they say that not many people got to see the Velvet Underground back in the day, but those who did all went on to start their own bands. I like to think the same thing about Taylor Armstrong.

Taylor seemed like the nicest cast member, but always ended up in the center of the drama, and without her, we wouldn’t have the “Dinner Party From Hell,” nor the “Malibu Beach Party From Hell” (and its attendant meme, “Woman Yelling At Cat”). Her tears, points, and screams in those episodes set the tone for all of the iconic moments that followed…with some exceptions.

Erika’s dry, dead-voiced revelation that her estranged husband had confronted a burglar—a situation that somehow escalated into her son rolling his car five times—is sure to become a cultural reset of its own. Not everyone in this bracket is likable, but there’s one thing that unites them: They’ve been behind many of the show’s most entertaining moments, and for that, I salute them.

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