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Why Real Housewives of Melbourne Is the Franchise's Best Right Now

The Real Housewives of Melbourne Bravo

Chances are you haven't seen one of Bravo's best shows...because it's on at 12 p.m. on Sundays. Yes, we're talking The Real Housewives of Melbourne. The reality show from Down Under could restore your faith in the aging Real Housewives franchise.

An import from Australia (duh), Real Housewives of Melbourne stays true to Bravo's proven reality hit formula and follows six fabulous ladies.

There's Gina, the lawyer who refers to herself as "the ultimate drag queen"; Jackie, the psychic married to a rock star (she doesn't let you forget that her husband is famous); Andrea, the proper mother (she's writing a book about it!) and wife to a plastic surgeon; Chyka, the owner of a successful catering company and chain of stores; Lydia, a woman who loves to take her plane to go buy cheese, tell you about her wealth and shop for art; and Janet, the thrice-divorced property developer.

Basically, they have all the archetypes down pat and it makes for addicting reality TV.

MORE: Meet The Real Housewives of Melbourne

What makes The Real Housewives of Melbourne different from the current crop of American-based Real Housewives franchises? Besides the great accents, most of the women on Melbourne are not afraid to speak their mind about each other—the quips are sharp and so entertaining. And about 80 percent of them don't seem to be trying to be something they're not. Gina knows her hair is big and her makeup extreme, but that's what she likes. She knew how she's going to look when she rolls up to Andrea's tennis court in a fuchsia dress with matching heels and proceeded to play tennis in the shoes. It was comedy gold, and she knew that. She told producers in the confessional that's what she wanted to accomplish.

Each season of a Real Housewives series seems to have one or two drama-inducing moments that are the catalyst for the season of catty comments and eventual shouting matches. On Melbourne, Jackie made a splash when she met the ladies and they started quizzing her on her psychic gifts. When talk of an affair came up, Gina asked Jackie if her guy has another woman on the side—he moved to the US recently—and Jackie refused. When she asked Gina what she thought and Gina said yes, Jackie said, "There you go." That's the spark that drives much of the first glorious season. From there, Andrea had a problem with Gina after Jackie's housewarming party, Janet had a problem with Gina after the tennis day…but then Jackie and Gina made up!

Come for the accents, stay for the entertainment. It's Real Housewives at its best.

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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