So...The Real Housewives Of New Jersey...

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We watched the first episode on Sunday. Kenyatta was thrilled, loved it more than the Atlanta ones. But I don't think I'll be watching any more.

All of these shows boil down to watching people make bad choices. It's generally unwise to hold an "exclusive" fundraiser at your house, and pass out fliers. It's generally unwise to put your financial fate, as well as the financial fate of your children, in the hands of the dude you happen to be dating. It's generally unwise to go and camera and accuse someone of being ghetto when your name is Ne-Ne.

RHoNJ generally displays the same sort of wisdom deficit, but for some reason, it's a lot harder to take. I think the breaking point came for me when the matriarch says something like, "Street smarts can get you a lot further than book smarts." On one level I hate that sentiment for its rank anti-intellectualism. On another level, I hate it because I've seen the results of it first hand.

From what I can tell, each Real Housewives iteration has gotten a little trashier, and the New Jersey one seems that way. I guess Negroes should be happy--at least on Bravo we beat out the Italians. Now if we can only get those "No dogs or Irish allowed" signs back...

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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