Adele can’t watch ‘Real Housewife’ shows: ‘I can’t, my brain will die, I can’t’

An Audience With Adele, 21 November 2021

One of the things I really enjoy about Adele is that I’m pretty sure she’s a culture snob. She’s not the kind of person who “hate-watches” a dumb movie or a silly TV show, nor does she find tacky little pop songs “cute.” She indicated in previous interviews that she doesn’t care for reality dating shows or trashy “competition” programs. Given her list of A-list friends, I think she’s a musical omnivore who is friends with a lot of top-tier musicians and singers, and she prefers watching real movies and scripted, prestige TV shows. In a new video with NikkieTutorials (she was getting her makeup done), she chatted about how she can feel her brain dying when she tries to watch Real Housewife shows or Love Island:

Adele confessed that she’s not a “Real Housewives” fan, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

“I know a lot of people love it, but I can’t. My brain will die, I can’t,” Adele, 33, said while getting her makeup done on the YouTube channel NikkieTutorials on Thursday. The “Easy on Me” singer added, “I don’t know who any of them are, so I don’t feel like I can start from the beginning when it’s been on for so long.”

Host Nikkie de Jager assured Adele that the shows are binge-worthy, but the singer neglected the idea saying, “I’m not going to lie, it doesn’t work for me.

The “Hello” singer did say that she gave “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” a shot, but the arguments were a tad too intense for her liking.

“One time I did watch one episode of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ when they were all like literally killing each other, but it was too much, I was like I can’t, I can’t watch,” she said, while adding she would “rather watch a wildlife program.”

But Andy Cohen shouldn’t take the news too personally – Adele explained she’s not interested in reality TV in general and watches more “educational” programs. When asked about reality dating show “Love Island,” she quipped, “I can’t bear that show.”

Adele explained that her ex-husband and son’s dad, Simon Konecki, watches “Love Island,” so she tried watching it one summer, but she “couldn’t believe it.”

[From Page Six]

I kind of feel the same way about those shows, which is why I appreciate that Adele is saying this. When I need to zone out and turn my brain off, I watch tennis or cooking shows. I can’t deal with Real Housewife drama or those trashy dating shows, my brain just doesn’t work that way. I remember someone trying to get me into Real Housewives of Atlanta during one of Kim Zolciak’s big storylines and I was really f–king mad that my time was being wasted on that inane bullsh-t.

An Audience With Adele, 21 November 2021

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Vogue.

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71 Responses to “Adele can’t watch ‘Real Housewife’ shows: ‘I can’t, my brain will die, I can’t’”

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  1. drea says:

    I used to try and pretend I was better than all those shows. Turns out I’m not. Love me some Real Housewives trash! Potomac is a gem!

    • Commonwealthy sounded witty at first says:

      Potomac! So good (as in, terrible). I miss Monique.

    • Christina says:

      When the OC Housewives began, I watched because I’m from SoCal, and it was a window “Behind the Orange Curtain” of racist, Republican White people. One of the wives was a Latina whose fiancé was supposedly rich. After a season, I was done. It was boring. It was like being at a Beverly Hills party. It was more insecurity and preening than I could take. I wanted to enjoy how dumb they were, but their cruelty made them rich. I was trying to understand. It made me see more clearly how income inequality worked.

      The fights on the new ones don’t work for me. I get why it appeals to people, but it’s not for me.

      • Concern Fae says:

        I watched the first few seasons of OC, because I am from college town New England and these people were from MARS! Once it moved on from people who actually knew each other, I lost interest.

        I watched Bachelor/ette when I worked in an office where lots of other people did as well. I see these shows as like sports, not so much interesting in themselves, but fun to talk about. They are also good for folding laundry or paying bills or some other mundane tasks to.

  2. Twin falls says:

    I’m all for escapism but I watch re-runs of Downton Abbey or Gilmore Girls to unwind/zone out. Those reality shows make me stabby.

    • minx says:

      Yeah, I’m binging all 7 seasons of 30 Rock. THAT’S what escapism is to me, something witty and funny, not scripted “reality” BS.

      • Anners says:

        Agreed! I like my shows to have plot and character development. Reality TV just seems like it takes forever and never gets anywhere – I like scripted dialogue and witty banter, I guess. I do remember watching and enjoying the first season of Survivor (because nothing like it had ever been done before) and I watched a season of Jersey Shore for the pure trainwreck pleasure of watching people be horrible on camera, but honestly I just can’t get into any other reality tv. And I have friends (intelligent, cultured, kind women) who just can’t get enough of the real housewives, etc. My brain just isn’t wired like that. Occasionally I wish it was.

      • Anne Call says:

        I’ve rewatched 30 Rock three times. Just so great. I’m rewatching Bojack Horseman right now and appreciating it anew. Short term memory is fading so watching some of this stuff is like watching it for the first time! Hah.

  3. girl_ninja says:

    I feel the same way. I cannot watch the Housewives shows, The Bachelor/Bachelorette or any of that stuff. I haven’t really watched “reality” TV since The Real World and I stopped that after maybe season 6 or 7? And I barely got past Road Rules season 1.

    I just cannot with the fakeness of the shows. None of these women really have any money or even live in the homes that are presented. It’s all such bull-s**t.

    • Anne Call says:

      It’s all made up bs for the cameras and for these women to make money. The more outrageous they are the more attention they get and that increases money making opportunities. I really think these shows have greatly contributed to the (even more) dumbing down of America. I’m sure more people can tell you about the kardashians than Biden’s plan for America and their disinterest is reflected in our pathetic voting numbers.

  4. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Same Adele. Same.

    • North of Boston says:

      I was just going to post this exact same thing.

      The only thing I’ll add is that I firmly believe Andy Cohen is a vampire who is sole sustenance is other people’s ridiculous drama.

    • BeanieBean says:

      My thought was yeah, that’s what happened to mine. I stopped during the pandemic, though, & I’m never going back. My brain (and my soul) have thanked me. The Food Network is great to have on in the background, plus I just love the creativity.

  5. Ann says:

    The shows are made by morons, starring morons for morons.

  6. Annaloo. says:

    Different strokes for different folks…

  7. Osty says:

    I too prefer watching food network because I love food and Guy Fiery a lot ( although people hate him , dont know why though he is amazing ) or even TLC because I love watching people embarrassing themselves and doing stupid things

    • girl_ninja says:

      I like Guy Fiery. He seems like a great dude and helps his community too. I think it’s the hair color and cheesiness. But I like that for him, it suits him.

  8. lunchcoma says:

    I’m not a fan, either. When the first one debuted, my reaction was that I went out of my way to avoid women like the ones featured, so I’m not sure why I’d want to spend time with them via a TV show.

    • Eurydice says:

      Exactly. A billion years ago there was a book that talked about the differences between television and film. One of the main differences was that TV was like inviting people into your home – and episodic TV was inviting people into your home every week. And, with film, you could leave characters behind when you got home. Of course, it’s different now with cable and streaming, but I still don’t want those women in my house.

    • Meg says:

      wow thats exactly how i felt when they started when i was in high school. MTV ones where they followed around rich kids for seemingly no reason than to worship people with money?

    • Coco says:

      Yes 100%

  9. B Overland says:

    And yet her best friend Nicole Ritchie is sort of a C list former reality show pioneer.

    • Meg says:

      Yeah this surprised me too but you dont hear much about her anymore which says to me she can have a real life and not live for attention like that

    • kimmy says:

      JLAW is obsessed with Bravo Tv too. I wonder if they are still tight?

    • Gigi LaMoore says:

      “The Simple Life” was nothing like what is going on today in reality tv. Plus, that is long in Nicole Ritchie’s past. She seems very unproblematic these days.

    • teecee says:

      I don’t think this deserves an “and yet”. Based on her description, she doesn’t want to watch people fighting. There was no fighting in the Ritchie’s show.

  10. Jess says:

    Eh, to each their own. It drives my husband crazy that I can go from watching educational space or earth shows to trashy housewives or vanderpump rules. Sometimes I want mindless drama to escape my reality, other times I want to be mentally stimulated. Nothing wrong with either. I also laugh at my husband for scoffing at me because he mocks me then sits down to watch 18 hours of men throwing a football around every weekend.

    • SVP says:


    • BlinkB says:

      I love me some Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I’m not ashamed to say it. Sometimes you need fluff, and everyone’s fluff is different. I find people who harp on too much about hating this sort of thing, are actually quite insecure about their perceived intelligence…

  11. Nope says:

    My observation is that the people who loudly and confidently like to tell people that they think reality TV makes you stupid are never the people I’d consider stunningly intelligent. Not the people who say it’s just not their thing or they don’t really understand the point of it, specifically those who look down on it because they think it makes you dumb.

    • Christina says:

      I agree. Watching paint dry isn’t a bad thing to do if you need to relax. Watching people fake fight is like that. Or it’s like watching cartoons. It’s relaxing because it isn’t your life, you know? It’s entertainment. And discounting it is discounting current American culture. Reality shows aren’t real, but they are in a sense.

      Shakespeare’s plays were considered soap operas and shallow entertainment for the masses. The plays happen to be full of allusions to the world he lived in. Just like reality TV. And these shows demonstrate how a lot of people think.

      To dismiss them misses the point. They may be “fake”, but this is who a lot of us are in this snapshot in time.

  12. Becks1 says:

    I dont watch any of those shows either – how is andy cohen involved? Does he produce them? I know NOTHING lol. I don’t really watch any reality or competition shows besides Great British Bake Off and that’s a very different style, lol. does that even count as reality tv?

    • MaryContrary says:

      I’m with you. GBBO and a few other cooking shows are my relaxation tv. I find those Real Housewives shows and Bachelor shows anxiety producing. I don’t want to watch people yelling at each other.

    • Anne Call says:

      I love Great British Bake off and have watched most of the Top Chef and Project Runway seasons. That’s all the reality show content I want in my life. No interest in sad over the top women yelling at each other for an hour.

    • JanetDR says:

      Same on GBBO! I have gone back to the beginning when I need to. The only ‘fake’ quality is the time shortage to finish complicated bakes, and we never see a camera person in someone’s face, although they are obviously everywhere, but it has a relaxing vibe overall. At least they don’t have someone in their earpiece telling them what to say/do to gin up more drama!
      I’ve never actually watched Real Housewives but just hearing about it makes my stomach hurt. I did get sucked into the first season of Survivor but had to stop – just too upsetting. Like a soap opera, but pretending it is real.

  13. els says:

    Oh I sooo agree. I always think it’s just rich old women arguing and that’s it. There’s no value in watching those trash shows. And dating shows are just cringe…


    I can’t get into them but not because of some sense of superiority (Adele comes off kind of judgy with the whole ‘my brain will die’ thing). I’m just not that invested in the “people”/characters. But do I watch old comic con footage of the cast of The Vampire Diaries on Instagram? Absolutely. We all have our guilty pleasures!

  15. Lena says:

    Way back, I watched the first season of OC (the first franchise) and enjoyed it enough to keep going for awhile. Soon it just fell apart with the fighting and screeching so I never tried any more of them. Then after the bachelor thing became so big I tried watching that, got invested then disappointed when one of the couples I thought was so in love split up within a year. That’s why I never ship celebrity couples like brangelina- they have about the same success rate so why get invested in them as a couple?

  16. tamsin says:

    I fine the very concept of some of these shows repugnant, expecially The Bachelor.

  17. NotSoSocialB says:

    As Andy Cohen’s vampiristic misogyny took center stage, those shows have lost any amusement I used to get from watching the often batshit insanity.

    Never take my Top Chef from me, though. And Runway used to be good back in the seasons prior to when Gretchen won.

  18. MrsRobinson says:

    I’m sure I’ve watched more mindless stuff, so it’s not condescension. I have enough conflict in my everyday life, need to escape that in shows!

  19. Natters says:

    I’m about to quit reality shows because there isn’t any reality in them and that is why I started watching them (I just quit the 90 Day Fiancé franchise). It was fun to have some brain dead escapism but these shows, especially the Real Housewives franchise pit women against each other while a certain gay man who pretends he loves women but really is a misogynistic in real life gets rich. Except for Married at First Sight I have not watched a dating show because I find them a travesty to real love. Even the Married at First Sight show has gone down that path. I now love watching channels on YouTube especially people renovating their French chateaux. It’s real life, it’s real fun and real entertaining. Lots of drama in real life without having to make it up and unlike reality shows on cable channels they actually show people getting along, having a good time and loving each other.

    • Twin falls says:

      I used to watch House Hunters back in the day. That’s about as close to a scripted reality tv show as I can get. Agree re the toxicity in many of the popular shows. A lot of it just seems mean and exploitative.

      • Natters says:

        I met a couple who had moved to Bogota, Colombia and someone from House Hunters International contacted them (I think their realtor had suggested them) AFTER they had chosen their apartment and had been living there for a few months. So they recreated looking for a home in Bogota. I was so bummed when I heard this as it one of my favorite shows, but I still watch it to get ideas on living abroad.

    • theotherViv says:

      90 day fiance has been my poison, too, but nothing tops MAFS Australia- it went from hilarious to downright shocking. I did draw the line and nixed the Kardashians and all Housewives to allow myself those other shows because I feared brain death, too.

  20. Justwastingtime says:

    I can’t watch them (or the K Klan shows) either.

    On the other hand, side eying Adele if Nicole Ritchie is truly her BFF. From the little I have seen of her in recent years, she is an entitled, ignorant, mean girl mess.

    • Driver8 says:

      I can’t stand Nicole Richie, I don’t care if she’s “grown” and become a family person. I would never purchase any of her products from her clothing line even though I like some of her items. I don’t watch reality shows either but I don’t consider myself special for avoiding them.

  21. Case says:

    “She’s not the kind of person who ‘hate-watches’ a dumb movie or a silly TV show” I think I might join Adele in being a proud culture snob then, because my friends insist it’s “fun” to hate-watch silly Christmas movies or mindless shows that we know we’ll hate…on purpose. While I sometimes agree to it in trying to spend time with them and respect their interests, I find the act of hate-watching to be the BIGGEST waste of time and it drives me up a wall. I LOVE watching movies and have so many on my to-watch list. Why would I spend time watching something I know I’m going to hate? I don’t understand the hate-watch phenomenon. I don’t look down on people who genuinely enjoy Hallmark movies or reality shows or whatever, but if I know I’ll hate it, I don’t understand what’s fun about watching it for the lolz.

    • Natters says:

      I never understood what a hate watch was until I started watching “Emily in Paris”. I love Paris, I love fashion, French food, French men but I also hate watching a young girl have the position someone would only get with years of work experience AND speak French. That said I will hate watch the second season.

    • teecee says:

      They don’t hate those shows, they love them, but they’re too embarrassed to admit it. Even if you’re watching to mock, you’re still loving the experience of mocking.

  22. Meg says:

    Totally feel the same way as adele here, this was well put by her

    ‘I was really f–king mad that my time was being wasted on that inane bullsh-t.’ Yep my thoughts exactly. Dumb immature fights stretched our foe an entire season

    • Margo says:

      Agree. I believe these reality shows have led to diminished civility – especially among women. The way people talk about each other and to each other is just disgusting. Watching those programs, you would think it was “normal” for women who call themselves ‘friends’ to be two-faced, mean, catty, and manipulative.

  23. Ann says:

    I will occasionally watch The Bachelor or Bachelorette, and every time I do I’m reminded of why I quit watching before. Never watched Real Housewives, it sounds kind of awful to me. I got enough of privileged grown women acting like high schoolers in the PTA days.

    I watch HGTV to unwind, or Antiques Road Show or American Pickers. Just if I want something on TV while I’m cooking or something.

  24. Kaykay says:

    I can not watch anything that is a reality show and I think it’s sad it’s so popular. I’m trying to think hard of a reality show that I do like. If any it would be like “I was adopted and now I am reuniting with my parents or other family!”, that and actual proper documentaries.

    Everything else wastes my brain cells. ….. let’s see what else in on celebitchy

  25. Margot says:

    Felt this way watching Selling Sunset recently. My braincells were just evaporating.

    • Lyds says:

      Omg came here to say that I felt like a culture snob UNTIL Selling Sunset (and following that, Bling Empire). I watched for the houses and got hooked on the drama…and my girlfriends and I have fun dissecting silly things about the agents. If there wasn’t the real estate angle I probably wouldn’t have tuned in…

      I guess I’m someone who sometimes enjoys the evaporation of brain cells, popping like bubbles in my champagne!

  26. Eurydice says:

    I don’t worry about my brain cells, but I do have a problem with watching embarrassing or angry situations. I don’t like arguments or people being bitchy toward one another, or watching people publicly degrade themselves in order to get attention. And I find it painful to watch people bully others and shout at them just for entertainment, which is why I stopped watching Gordon Ramsey in anything – people say he isn’t really like that, but that seems even worse to me.

  27. canichangemyname says:

    I’m not a culture snob at all, but yes, some are just not for me. I got into RHOBH for a minute. But I just couldn’t with the cattiness and bitchiness and a few seasons in, it was so obviously scripted. I’d just rather watch something *actually* scripted than watch fake friends have fake fights. Also, yes on the thing about having to start from the beginning. I can’t just get into the Real Housewives mid-run – I feel compelled to start from the beginning and I just can’t binge THAT much.

  28. Robyn Castellani says:

    I am bummed by your “kind of person” comment. Like Adele is the “kind of person” who is above trashy shows, like you? And I guess then I’m the “kind of” person who is trashy because I enjoy the housewives shows. But then I’m also the “kind of person” who supports everyone finding what works for them and not looking down on people who find comfort or pleasure in different ways. I wish more of us were THAT kind of person.

  29. jferber says:

    She’s absolutely right. I’ve never seen one, but just the reporting of the shit that goes down: throwing chairs and tables, accusing each other of smelly vaginas . . ., etc. I find nothing amusing about this and yes, it decreases your IQ points as you watch.

  30. WithTheAmerican says:

    It must be different temperaments, I can’t stand those shoes either. I don’t enjoy conflict and especially nasty personal low blow conflict.

    Give me the GBBO any day.

  31. Sam says:

    Same here, Adele, same. I hate all of those stupid “House Wife’s” of whatever. There neither house wife’s or “stars.” Just usually waste of space…

  32. Monica says:

    I appreciate that she wasn’t slamming people who do like those shows. I don’t watch them but I do read gossip blogs. 🙃

  33. Lissdogmom02 says:

    I’m with Adele & Kaiser, I just can’t with the reality shows. Then I see they’ve got these weird naked reality shows just in case they weren’t annoying enough. I do not understand what the participants get out of these shows. My sister watches the Hollywood housewives one & she tried to get me to watch I turned the tv off, we can agree on music lol

  34. Joanna says:

    Oh I love almost all of the trashy shows!

  35. Alison Cole says:

    I’m currently completing my Doctorate in Musical Arts (Composition at Conservatorium of Music/Sydney University) and I have just finished a commissioned composition for The Australian Ballet and I love watching Housewives. Adele’s music kinda sounds like a HW confessional … just kidding! An entertaining mental break comes in all shapes and sizes. Why would she think that saying this is of any importance?

  36. JennyF says:

    My brain is tired after work and I love mindless tv. The less plot the better so when I fall asleep half way through it doesn’t matter. This is like when people eye roll chick lit then secretly read it. Live and let live. Adele sounds stuck up to me with that comment but it also sounds like it was said in passing.