September 6th, 2011
04:45 PM ET
Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” finally addressed Russell Armstrong's suicide on its season premiere Monday night.
The show’s producers scrambled to edit the premiere after Armstrong, the husband of cast member Taylor Armstrong, died in August. They wanted to find a tasteful way to address the tragedy while driving home the point that the show must go on.
At the beginning of the season premiere episode, the show takes on a group therapy vibe, with the "Housewives" sitting around in a parlor speaking candidly about the unexpected loss of Taylor’s husband.
Taylor’s castmastes expressed guilt and grief and concern for Taylor, who understandably was not involved in that part of the taping.
Bravo also snipped parts of the original show that it deemed too sensitive considering the circumstances. Some people really feel the season premiere of the show struck a chord of being respectful of Taylor Armstrong’s loss while also being entertaining. Others think the added conversation about Russell Armstrong’s suicide felt artificial and forced.
I think it’s really a no-win situation for the show because even what the producers added to the premiere could be perceived as exploitative. I think in the end, how they handled it is right for some people and wrong for others and if Bravo executives weren’t going to cancel the season, this was the best balance to strike.
What do you think? It’s our "Showbiz Tonight" Flashpoint: Did “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” handle the suicide the right way? Post your thoughts below and be sure to tune into "Showbiz Tonight," exclusively at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HLN tonight for our big debate on this.
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