Money, sex, cat war: the ugly glimpse into the beautiful world of luxury brokers in Hollywood
The Netflix series “Selling Sunset” caused a hype. Viewers follow real estate agents and their bosses as they sell the most expensive homes Los Angeles has to offer. But in truth, the reality show is about something completely different.
Successful reality shows follow a fairly simple pattern: They piss the audience off – and are so well done in terms of dramaturgy that you can’t look the other way. Those who have internalized this can see that Netflix is broadcasting “Selling Sunset”, one of the best reality formats of recent years.
At its core, the plot of “Selling Sunset” is simple: the audience takes a look behind the scenes of the “Oppenheim Group”, one of the most important real estate companies in Los Angeles. Jason and Brett Oppenheim, identical twins, are the bosses and founders – and are supported by women. Exclusively by women. At least on TV. Because in reality the Oppenheims did employ male brokers, but they obviously didn’t fit into the concept of the show. And that’s where the problem begins.
The audience may begin to dream when they see the imposing mansions the luxury realtors sell in the hills of Hollywood. Homes that peak at up to $ 75 million. But as impressive as the pools, the views and the facilities are, something else attracts the audience in front of the screen: the catfight of women who always claim to be “best friends” and “like family”, the personal dramas, the treachery and teasing. Of, you have to admit, self-confident, strong and successful women who, in the end, also have to serve a cliché: They have to look good. If you think women look good when they have a lot of botox on their faces and a lot of silicone on their breasts. While their bosses are men, of course. And so do the vast majority of paying customers. Which image of women does this convey? Well, maybe just what unfortunately fits this part of the city on the American west coast. Welcome to Hollywood!
“Selling Sunset”: More and more viewers, more and more attention
For Chrishell Stause, Heather Rae Young, Christine Quinn, Maya Vander, Mary Fitzgerald, Amanza Smith and Davina Potratz, the plan still works: The perfectly staged show has meanwhile triggered a real hype, in the USA and also in Great Britain they are Ladies with their (also private) superficialities are an integral part of the tabloid press, while the number of viewers increases from season to season – currently number three is available on Netflix. Money, sex, cat war. The makers of “Selling Sunset” know at least as well as the realtors how to sell a product.
At the same time, they have created a show that can also be understood as an alternative to similar formats: no less well-off people are presented, no proletarians are dragged through the mud, there is no insight into the depths of our society. Instead, you only see people who are doing damn well – at least until the moment when the private dramas begin. Because, reality says hello, they cannot be solved with the horrendous sums that the realtors rake in when they have successfully brokered a luxury property.
Fake smiles, real people – and a supposedly dreamy life
Only the producers know how much of the divas’ fake smile is real. Of course the series is scripted, of course everyone involved knows that there are cameras everywhere, but it is also a fact that all the people involved exist in reality. “Selling Sunset” is not about the truth of the matter anyway. It’s about taking the audience into a world that most people can only dream of if they want to dream of it. Then to show them that the view into the beautiful, false world of Hollywood is pretty ugly.