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The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

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VOL. 37 | NO. 50 | Friday, December 13, 2013

‘Real’ problems with show’s concept

By Brad Schmitt

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“Private Lives of Nashville Wives” is bringing some national attention to Music City. But several residents contacted by Nashville Ledger aren’t sure it’s the kind of attention they want.

Some fear that the catfights and confrontations included in the show’s promotional trailer are steps backward for a city that has tried hard to shake stereotypes about being home to ignorant rednecks and hillbillies.

“To the rest of the country, Nashville has finally broken out of the hick town label and (is) more of a great place to live, work and play without the fluff that those types of reality shows bring,” says former record label staffer and former Metro police officer Kimberly Stasiak Towers.

“Oh, AND the producers didn’t ask me!” Towers adds, laughing.

Others say we shouldn’t take any reality show too seriously, that similar Housewives shows haven’t sullied the reputations of their host cities.

“I don’t think less of Atlanta because of Real Housewives,’’ says Nashville Sports Council executive Amy Alder Smith.

“I think we all thought badly of Beverly Hills and Orange County before their shows aired,” she adds.

“If my DVR would let me record that far in advance, I would already have it set up for Private Lives.”

For many women, the whole idea of focusing on wives is sexist and demeaning.

“I’d rather see a profile on Nashville female CEOs,” says longtime Music Row exec Ruth Gonzalez, who owns 12South Entertainment.

Former News 2 weekend anchor Christine Maddela agrees.

“Why do wives have so many reality shows?!” asks Maddela, now a reporter/anchor for a Philadelphia TV station.

“I guess ‘Real Housewives’ is catchier than ‘Real career-minded single women making their own money’?”

It’s hard to find a guy who’s willing to talk about Private Lives, but we did find one, longtime Nashville journalist and corporate communications executive Phil Newman.

“Oh, I can’t wait until February,” he says, “to watch basketball instead of this drivel.”