Fashion magazine

Does the sun set on “Sell sunset”?

Chelsea Lazkani and Christine Quinn in “Selling Sunset”. Photograph courtesy of Mitchell Haaseth/Netflix

Botox, kickbacks and the melodrama of Everything.

I started watching sell sunset the year after its first creation, when a colleague promised me to fall in love with “the bad girl in the black wedding dress”. She was right, because after only a few episodes, I was thrilled by the cinematic presence of Christine Quinn and the Short Kings (Jason and Brett Oppenheim) leading the Oppenheim band.

The reality series follows Quinn and the other real estate agents working in luxury brokerage. In those early seasons, what it lacked in intrigue and diversity, it made up for by being incredibly easy to consume. The insane musical choices and free entry sequences, for example, stunned and horrified me in equal measure. And, according to TikTok, I wasn’t alone.

@nicholas_flannery We stan @Christine Quinn in this house #SellingSunset #sellingsunsetseason5 #christinequinn #realtor @netflix ♬ original sound – HRH Nicholas Flannery

After sleazy cocktails, $75 million listings, and gentrified empanadas, I don’t know what I expected from season five, which premiered last month. Whatever it is, I didn’t understand it. Instead of (to paraphrase Riverdale‘s Archie Andrews) the epic ups and downs of Los Angeles real estate, we really got nothing. Like, “Come on girl, don’t give us anything!” nothing. I couldn’t understand how this addictive drama show got so painfully boring that I had to watch it at 1.5 playback speed just to finish.

It all became clear a week ago when Netflix released the reunion episode. As the cast (minus Christine and Amanza, the latter appearing via host Tan France’s iPhone) sat around denying PR dealings and fake accents, I realized the stakes were no longer low, but they weren’t high either – they were just average. The season’s fatal flaw was what I call soap opera fiction, where nothing is resolved, but nothing of significance ever really happens.

Let me break it down.

The “Big Bad” Christine Quinn

In soap operas, there is always a “Big Bad” who serves as the human personification of evil. By Stefano Dimera (days of our lives) to Alistair Crane (Passions), these wealthy and powerful patriarchs were perpetually pulling cigars and ruining lives. On sell sunset, that honor (and burden) goes to Christine Quinn, our cheeky Botox blonde and the only interesting person on the show. Her absence from the reunion made her unbearably boring, and TikTok agrees, so it must be true.

@max_balegde WHAT’S THE POINT #sellingsunset #christine ♬ original sound – Max_Balegde

When she’s not in a scene, they talk about her. When she is, they freeze her (then gossip in the confessionals). They all insist she’s hurt them time and time again, but the thing is, at most she – *checks notes* – said mean things to the press. That’s it. Yet everyone demonizes her for the same gossip they indulge on screen. In the end, it’s hard to sympathize, especially when the grievances are contradictory (yes, Mary Fitzgerald, you were timed forgetting Christine’s birthday while complaining about the quality of her friendship).

Show, don’t tell, people

The soap operas revolve around a dozen pivotal events that shape the series for years to come. In Passions — the iconic soap opera starring Chrishell Stause’s ex-husband and ex-wife — it was Sheridan’s kidnapped baby and Ethan’s paternity test. Very high stakes. In the last season of sell sunset, however, all of those pivotal moments happen off-screen and we’re left to catch up. But they show us a lot of confusing passive aggressive responses like this:

@nicholas_flannery Yep… #oreos #sellingsunset #sellingsunsetseason5 #realty ♬ original sound – HRH Nicholas Flannery

It betrays the promise of reality TV that if I tune in, you Pin up something cool, not just talking about something cool. In the first season of sell sunset, we got to see Moissanite Gate playing in 4K with the final eruption. This season, the drama was limited to conversations on texting, phone calls and dating apps. Share your screen with the whole class or save it for your memories. It’s giving college.

Overproduced scenarios

Soap operas are infamous for their bad writing, but so is reality TV. I won’t detail the production logistics, but I will say this: not everyone is made to be on television. It’s hard to be interesting in front of the camera, even if you’re beautiful. The production needs to weed out the bad and amplify the good, because this season was beyond cringe. Emma Hernan’s Pool Walk, for example, was described to me by a friend as a “brutal viewing experience”. Dare to disagree? :

@njb1510 🥴🥴🥴 #sellingsunset #fyp #chrishellstause ♬ original sound – Nat🖤

Even though she gave us a lot of fashion food, a lot of Hernan’s scenes felt inauthentic. From the Olympics to Ben Affleck to Micah, it comes across as a rigid plot. So, producers, stop forcing these mid-level plot points on us. The $5,000 bribe, for example, was explained at the meeting as common real estate practice. Newcomer Chelsea Lazkani said other agents often poach clients by saying things like, “I’m going to take a point off my commission in order to get the list.” So why did they portray this as something far more malicious? The production leads you astray, girls.

All in all, season five made one thing clear: the sun goes down. sell sunset, at least for me. The delightful vibe the show cultivated in the early seasons is gone, and no amount of glittery blazers or bad hip hop parodies can satiate my appetite for what once was. But hey, there’s always Sell ​​CO.