Million Dollar Listing Miami Premiere: A Butt, a Bloodhound, and a 'Bot
The laws of supply and demand apply equally to real estate and reality television. In a marketplace saturated with options -- Kardashians, Real Housewives of Anyplace, etc. -- the value of each individual property is diminished.
Bravo Media/Alex Martinez
So how can Million Dollar Listing Miami, Bravo's spin-off of its similar series in Los Angeles and New York that premiered last night, gain a devoted audience in the ever expanding, increasingly exploitative reality TV landscape?
Two words: naked ass.
You wouldn't expect a reality show about real estate agents to show off the goods. But Chris Leavitt is not your average suit-and-tie agent, and he wants you to know it. Like, a lot. So much so that he strips down to take a bath -- one of 16 he takes daily, he drawls -- right there in front of the Bravo cameras. So yes, if you happen to catch the first five minutes of last night's premiere, you were treated to a hearty helping of white guy butt. That's roughly the same nudity ratio as Game of Thrones.
As Andy Cohen almost certainly squealed when he saw it, "Hell-o, moon over Miami!"
Is it a cheap ploy to keep viewers watching? Sure. But this is Bravo, and this is Miami; we are not above cheap nudity. We are going to do whatever it takes to keep your eyes on your TV screen, the MDL producers seem to have decided. And Chris is totally on board. Of the three "stars" in the Miami cast, he's the one who's trying the hardest to be memorable. In addition to his 16 baths a day -- a number he rattles off without irony as he sips some freaky green juice in the tub -- he has also nicknamed one of his clients "Madame," spends a lot of screen time flopping dramatically onto various lounge chairs, and quantifies his biggest success in terms of plastic surgery.
"I sold a $34 million condo, the most expensive in Florida history," he says. "Do you know how many lip injections that could pay for?" Before you can speculate, he does the work for you: "A lot." Based on Chris' face, that would've been your answer anyway.
Chris claims his affect isn't, well, affected: "A lot of people will say, 'Is that acting or is it real?' It's actually real," he told New Times this week. That's not how he comes off, but whatever. No matter whether his over-the-top, easy-to-love-to-hate personality is fake or not, Chris knows it's making for Bravolicious television. He's easily the best and worst character on the show.
The same cannot be said for his co-stars. Samantha DeBianchi should be a hero to Bravo's largely female audience; she's the first female realtor in the Million Dollar Listing franchise. You would think this would make her a tough-as-nails glass ceiling-breaker who's not afraid of the word bitch. But you would be wrong.
Samantha is a relative newcomer to the Miami market, she admits in the episode. But we see she already has the little dog and the Louboutins, so she's clearly done her research. Still, she insists, "I'm not a cookie cutter realtor," as b-roll of her standing in an upscale home wearing a giant Finding Nemo cartoon head plays. There is absolutely no context given for the weird cartoon cosplay. "I can't be in a box," she continues, and you believe her, because that giant fish head would never fit in your average box.