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Selling Sunset’s Sole Sympathetic Character
Romain, the pastry chef turned model.
A disclaimer: I usually pride myself on suitably mixing both opinion and research when it comes to my work as a culture critic. Particularly the research — I have an upcoming piece for which I have watched and researched 25 movies. But sometimes you just need to vent, and Netflix reality shows make for the perfect vehicle. If you want to read some throughly researched articles, you can read this or this. If you like opinion pieces no one asked for and can’t get enough Selling Sunset, even in the off-season, read on.
A note on the disclaimer: I act like I’m some high art, Tarkovsky essayist or something. I have an article about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming soon. I just like to think my work is both more important than it is and better than it is. And I can’t believe anyone would want to hear my opinion without at least a little research and context sprinkled on top.
It took me awhile to be convinced, but I eventually gave in, sat in front of the tv, opened up Netflix, and hit play on Selling Sunset — the “reality” show about luxury real estate agents in Beverly Hills.
We devoured all three seasons currently available and yes — I will be eagerly anticipating Season 4.
But in all honestly, I’m not really sure why I like the show. I enjoy the occasional parts of each episode actually about real estate and I’ve heard the words “client” and “contacts” slip out of my mouth a few times now, but the rest of it is so painfully fake. Now, it is largely accepted that most reality shows are staged to a certain degree and tomes have been written about Selling Sunset’s fabrications, but this show seems so much faker than the rest.
This is largely due to the fact that every single character (yes, character) is portrayed as vindictive, intrusive, and hostile. (And for anyone about to defend Maya, maybe she’s not at the center of it all, but she always kicks off the debate!)
They all stir the pot, think it’s cute to “not have a filter”, and poke their heads into things that don’t affect them. Yes, I know that’s where the “drama” takes place, but no one actually acts like that.
The only person with their head screwed on right is Romain, office favorite Mary’s Season 1 boyfriend, Season 2 fiancée, and Season 3 husband. The handsome Frenchman whose moniker of “pastry chef” disappeared quickly.
Romain is at the center of so much drama, but he never starts it and in fact, much prefers to end it himself.
When wily Davina escalates the dramatics of how Romain doesn’t provide for himself or Mary (come on Davina, he’s a model! That pays the bills in L.A.! In fact, it pays a heck of a lot more than not selling $75 million dollar homes!), he refuses to allow Mary to invite Davina to their wedding.
Why not, Romain? Everyone else in the office is invited. Well, according to Romain…
“She’s always, always every single time there’s an argument every single time the snake show up”
This man knows what’s up. He didn’t back down and Davina was not invited.
He’s a gentle giant. He’s quiet, he nods his head a lot, and he smiles often (you can decide how much of that is the language barrier). He goes with the flow! He lets Mary do her thing and he’s along for the ride.
But he doesn’t take crap from anyone. And he doesn’t start it either. He’s just there, soaking it all in.
It also helps when a character that doesn’t speak that often is simultaneously ungodly handsome and incredibly easy to look at it.
And finally, he deserves his name to be pronounced correctly. He’s French, his name isn’t pronounced Romain”e” like the lettuce. There isn’t even an “e’!
If they can throw around term like “escrow” and “appraisal contingency”, then they can pronounce the poor, sweet man’s name correctly.
And I’m not the only one who loves him…