Picks and Pans Review: The Real Housewives of Orange County

updated 04/03/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/03/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Bravo (Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)

REALITY

Packaged as a sort of reality Desperate Housewives, this seven-week series is an anthropological study of a handful or so of women in a rich gated community in Southern California. Judging from the first few episodes, no one's got it too desperate. Wouldn't you like to be able to buy a second home (value: $780,000 plus) so you could install your son there and let him attend a different high school? The most touching character, so far, is Lauri Waring, a middle-aged blonde whose divorce has forced her to downsize into a tiny house outside the community. It's as if Nicollette Sheridan were banished from Wisteria Lane and made to live off locusts in the desert.

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