Photo: Bravo/NBC

Reality has interfered with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. While my cable is unfortunately on the fritz despite two appointments in three days from Time Warner, reporters on the TV beat watched the season premiere of the show to see how it would handle the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, a cast member’s husband.

Bravo had already announced that the show would continue with certain edits, a new segment featuring a conversation with the cast (all except for Taylor, Russell’s estranged wife) had been added to the premiere, and a suicide prevention PSA was planned. But even with these tweaks, the tragic realness of Armstrong’s death is making the usual tawdry drama of the show hard to swallow. Media reporters are, for the most part, not responding well.

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