Before Selling Sunset
I have been a Selling Sunset devotee since the Los Angeles real estate reality show began streaming on Netflix in March 2019. Before the pandemic, I was a frequent traveller to West Hollywood. The Oppenheim Group office is on Sunset Boulevard, right across from a prime celebrity-spotting location that I frequent. I remember looking at the building over the years and having the same ridiculous fleeting thought that it must be an optometrist’s office. LMAO!!! I have no idea why! The picture above clearly says Real Estate!
My last trip to LA was around the same time as the premiere date of the first season of Selling Sunset, but I didn’t know anything about it until I got home. If I had looked more closely, I might have seen twin brothers and Cofounders of the Oppenheim Group, Jason and Brett Oppenheim, going in and out of the office. I would have crossed the street and shamelessly pressed my nose against the window to see if the OG Selling Sunset “girls”1, Mary, Davina, Heather, Maya, and Christine, and the new girl Chrishell Stause really did work in the office or if it was just staged for filming. I would have investigated to see if any male realtors (other than the twins) worked there. I would have stood at the side of the building, my ear to the wall, hoping to catch a bit of the gossip.
But most of my trips were the before times; before Chrishell Stause was hired as the new girl, before we knew what Burgers and Botox meant, before Romain’s every word was relegated to subtitles, before all the girls wore Chanel as regular business attire, and before Christine blew it all up. 🔥
Fast forward nearly three years, and Selling Sunset is the 2nd highest viewed Netflix show in America and the 3rd highest viewed globally. Now way too many of us know way too much about the mostly blonde, mostly white, privileged girls, their partners, their pets, their closets, their real estate sales and their recycled, neverending feuds. Selling Sunset sells us Hollywood glam on the shaky foundation of greed, pettiness, and lies, and we are buying every bit of it.
If Christine Quinn’s Name Isn’t In Your Mouth, It Will Be Soon
Christine Quinn was cast as the villain of Selling Sunset from the get-go. From the beginning, viewers talked about Christine during office lunch breaks and via text while bingeing the show from home. With Seasons 2 and 3 dropping during the initial stages of the pandemic, the show garnered more fans in 2020. Following the sudden divorce from This Is Us star Justin Hartley, Crishell Stause was the most talked-about cast member at the time. Now, with the release of Season 4, Christine Quinn has suddenly become a reality tv phenomenon with an exploding fandom.
Forget Sunset. Christine Quinn is selling it all - fashion, beauty products, books, drama, Netflix ratings, and (sometimes) real estate. But, while the other Selling Sunset girls are ringing the hell out of that bell, Christine is tuned to a tone that the rest of them can’t hear. It’s the thundering approach of superstardom well beyond Sunset Boulevard. Christine is a girl on the rise, and she knows it.
Since Season 1, viewers have loved to hate the mean girl who bats at other women, coworkers and friends like a cat at a dead mouse. With the recent release of Season 4, Selling Sunset fans have found more reasons to hate Christine — she bounced back from her pregnancy in a shocking and suspicious short period of time, she continued to start drama with her coworkers/friends old and new and she reportedly lied about a previous engagement.
The reality show drama sparked real-life drama when, over the American Thanksgiving weekend, Selling Sunset fans took to social media to accuse Christine of using a surrogate and faking her pregnancy by using a moonbump. The online chatter became so bad that the moderators of the Selling Sunset Reddit community had to post an “Offical Sub Stance on Moonbump Accusations” urging fans to stop harassing the reality tv star. In response, Christine used her Instagram account to express her hurt feelings and refute these claims. A second headline about Christine’s feud with the newest cast member, Emma Herna, over the timeline of breakups with a shared ex, sprang up on top entertainment media outlets.
While there might be some real life hurt from these negative headlines, my guess is that Christine will choke it all down as long as her name is in people‘s mouths. Press equals sales, and this mean girl has things to sell. She has a shoe collab with @shoedazzle and a clothing line called Christine Quinn’s Closet. She has developed beauty products in collaboration with Ciate London, including the Villain Pump Plump Lip Gloss, and her book, How To Be A Boss Bitch will be published in May 2022. The other Selling Sunset girls and fans might have a low opinion of her, but I predict that Christine Quinn will keep rising to the top.
5 Reasons Why Fans Love Christine Quinn
I not-so-secretly love Christine, and in a world of Christine-haters, I felt compelled to connect with others, so I reached out to followers, readers and the Selling Sunset Reddit community to curate a list of reasons for our fandom.
She Is Extra. Christine is a living, breathing spectacle, and we love her for it. Her blond extensions keep getting longer, the heels keep getting higher, and the fashion keeps getting wilder. Her planned events are legendary. Her Jungle Chic baby shower that featured a live baby sloth and a cameo from Jesse Tyler Ferguson was one of the highlights of Season 4. Christine’s gothic winter wonderland wedding, complete with indoor snow and a bleeding wedding cake, was one of the best things I have ever seen on reality tv. But the adornment of the now-infamous “chair purse” pushed Christine into the next stratosphere. The chair purse is Christine in dazzling form - sparkly, ornamental, expensive and completely unnecessary.
She Brings The Drama Christine knows her role on Selling Sunset, and her role is to bring the drama singlehandedly. From Season 1, Episode 1, it was clear that she was cast to stir up some trouble. And stir it up she has! The entire show is now framed around her real life feud with Crishell (which admittedly has gone too far at times) and her fallout with Mary and Heather. The show sets up moments for the girls to share their grievances with each other about Christine just as much as it sets up moments for Christine to deliver the shock and awe (the dog birthday party is a great example). The seemingly needless resurrection of a confrontation between Christine and Emma over a past shared boyfriend was the fuel Season 4 needed for good, trashy reality television. Christine recently told Page Six that she brought up that old drama “to try to make a good season out of it.” And, indeed she did.
She Is A Legit Business Woman We admire her drive. Christine is hyper-focused on her brand and her success. She knows exactly who she is and who she wants to be and she goes for it; she does not waver.
She Is a Fashionista
Christine’s wardrobe is eye-popping. Her looks might be over the top, but they are also legitimately high end fashion. It is a pleasure to watch a reality TV show that features high end looks for those who love fashion. It’s fun to play “spot the designers” like Balmain, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Gucci.
👗 👛👠 If you are viewing this on a smartphone or small screen and you would like a more readable version of Christine’s looks, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me @bex.sinden and I’ll send it to you.
She Is Ripe For A Redemption Arc If the producers of Selling Sunset decide they can move away from Christine-as-the-villain without losing viewers, they could shape a compelling redemption arc for Season 5. My guess is that Christine will be moving on from Sunset soon, and it would be nice to see the work that the Mindset Coach started in Season 4 be expanded on before Christine’s time on the show comes to an end. I’ve seen some vulnerability in Christine, and so have the fans who reached out to me. Please give us more! We will keep watching!
Faking It With Bieber’s Balls
Readers, I have a confession. I misrepresented myself and Timbiebs in an attempt to make a compelling Instagram Reel. Oh, the traps of a budding entertainment journalist!
I am a major Belieber, but I am not a Tim Hortons fan. When Tim Hortons and Justin Bieber announced their culinary collaboration with a new line of Timbits called “TimBiebs” many people reached out to me with the assumption that I would be thrilled. They were all surprised when I turned up my nose and said, “Ew. Tim Hortons? Why can’t it be a collab with Starbucks?” So, yes, coffee brand snob alert. 😬
The big Timbiebs release date, November 29, came and went, and I did not venture across the street to try out the new flavours. A follower messaged me and asked me why I hadn’t posted anything about the mini donut delights. I did not have the heart to tell her that I’m not too fond of Tim Hortons, and I started to feel guilty for betraying my fans and my Biebs. So, I walked over to my local Tim Hortons and got a 10-pack of the three Timbiebs flavours - Birthday Cake Waffle, Sour Cream Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate White Fudge.
I left Timmy’s with the little box in my hand and got set to film my Instagram Reel. Much to my horror, I discovered that my Timbiebs had been placed in a plain old Tim Hortons box instead of the limited-time-only Timbiebs box. 😱 My heart dropped to my toes because I knew what I had to do. So, not-limited-time-only plain Tim Hortons box in hand, I went back into Tim Hortons to tell the cashier about the abhorrent mistake. The cashier looked at me with such confusion, disbelief, and utter exasperation that I wanted to die. But, I was in too deep, so I asked her if she could please replace the box because I needed the Timbiebs box for social media purposes. This confession elicited an eye roll from the cashier that qualifies as a new official Canadian language. But, I did get the coveted Timbiebs box.
Next, it was time for some serious Reeling. I have tried to produce Reels before with generally disastrous results. However, this time I was on my game, and everything worked out well - the box's placement, the unboxing, the purposeful shot of the three Timbiebs flavours.
Then, it was time for the taste test. Dear Readers, I discovered that I do not have a palate that recognizes the subtle differences in Timbiebs flavours. Other reviewers noted the hints of maple-cinnamon glaze, extra sweetness, and extra crunchiness, but the little balls of dough all tasted exactly the same to me — sugary, sweet, dry and not much else. I couldn’t even finish an entire Timbieb. I summoned my best fake “yummy” looks (my niece later lovingly told me I was not that convincing) and finished up my Reel.
If Justin Bieber had shared my Reel, I might have relished in my identity as a champion of his Balls, and I might have taken my dislike for Timbiebs to my grave. But, since he did not, I will tell you this — Bieber’s Balls are not for me.
Timbiebs may not be tasty to me, but the Tim Hortons x Justin Bieber collaboration led to something invaluable — a hard look into what feels right and wrong to me and what I am willing and unwilling to do as a celebrity enthusiast. So from now on, I vow to myself and you not to promote something that I genuinely dislike. It just feels too yucky. 🤢
PS - I enjoyed the celeb collab and the novelty factor! The taste test experience was fun! I’m still a Belieber, just not a believer in Bieber’s Balls. 😜
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Amazing things have been happening as I continue to develop this newsletter, and something extra exciting is on the way!
In the meantime, I will leave you with the inspiring and optimistic lyrics of the late, great Broadway Musical lyricist, Stephen Sondheim. He passed away last week at the age of 91, just weeks before the premiere of the new film version of West Side Story.
There’s somethin’ due any day / I will know right away, soon as it shows / It may come cannonballin’ down through the sky / Gleam in its eye, bright as a rose / Who knows? It’s only just out of reach / Down the block, on a beach, under a tree / I got a feelin’ there’s a miracle due / Gonna come true, comin’ to me
Something’s Coming - music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
I hate using the word “girls”’ in place of grown-ass women, and it pains me to use it in my writing. BUT the Selling Sunset women refer to each other and themselves as girls the same way that Rupaul’s Drag Race contestants call themselves girls. If I can accept it for my queens I can accept it for my real estate besties.