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The Real Housewives of Vancouver pose for a photograph in the penthouse at the Loden Hotel in Vancouver.

DARRYL DYCK

Even if you've never seen one of the Real Housewives shows (Orange County, New York, Beverly Hills, etc., and now Vancouver!), you probably have a vague idea of the premise: Five very thin and wealthy women cat-fight and back-stab in between shopping and going to the spa.

It's one thing to understand why anyone would watch such a "reality" series. (One friend of mine, normally an intelligent woman, says she watches because it's comforting to know that even rich women encounter tension in their relationships.)

Signing onto the cast, however, is a whole other matter. Why air your dirty (Prada) laundry for all to see? Even if fame is something you're after, is this how you'd want it: to be famous for your Botox injections and shopping sprees? Does that make the perfect candidate a pathological narcissist with a gigantic bank account – or a desperate desire for one?

Story continues below advertisement

The franchise has, in fact, granted some of the U.S. "housewives" professional opportunities. They've re-booted tired recording and acting careers, published self-improvement and diet books, launched jewellery lines and other entrepreneurial ventures, made it to the cover of Playboy magazine, gotten their own spinoff shows – and publicized pet charities. All because they're Real Housewives.

And the Vancouver Housewives appear to be keenly aware of the spinoff potential to embarrassing yourself on national TV, as we found when we met with them ahead of Wednesday night's premiere – and walked away wondering: Are they for real?

Click here to find out why the cast members joined the show.

The Real Housewives of Vancouver makes its debut on April 4 at 9 p.m. on Slice.

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