drama kings

A Guide to Selling Sunset’s Terrible Men

Look, there’s a lot going on with Christine, but suffice it to say, her husband Christian doesn’t help. Photo: ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX

I’m not sure that Selling Sunset was supposed to be like this. It works well as a show about selling real estate in Los Angeles — we get to look at fancy homes, sit in on negotiations, and analyze property values — and according to Jason Oppenheim, one of the co-owners of the Oppenheim Group brokerage, they didn’t anticipate the show focusing so much on their personal lives, so it’s possible that’s all it was ever meant to be. But now, four seasons in, the houses are barely a concern and everyone is demanding accountability from each other at cocktail parties.

Here’s the thing, though: All of the women on Selling Sunset are awesome. Every single one of them is a fucking beast who does multimillion-dollar deals in stilettos and without the luxury of a single carb. These women have girlbossed themselves into the sun’s core. And despite all the soapy drama, there’s a real sense that these are very successful women who know they are good at their job. All this petty rivalry just feels like a waste of their very expensive time, but when you look at the facts, it becomes obvious that the real villain is neither Christine nor the soulless capitalism sandwich of reality TV and real estate in which they’ve found themselves: It’s the men. Every single man in this show is responsible for stirring the shit the women of Selling Sunset have been swimming through these past four seasons. And I am here to call them the fuck out, one by one.

Romain is probably the most outwardly messy boy on the show. He makes Mary cry by being completely unsure about whether he wants kids — a bigger deal given their ten-year age difference — and then proposes to her shortly thereafter. Christine (rightfully) questions the wisdom of this union, which kicks off her feud with Mary in earnest. Chrishell even has to apologize to Mary when Davina reveals she’d also questioned their dynamic. Romain also refuses to allow Mary to invite Davina to their wedding, an aggressive act which I believe caused a foundational rift in the group at large. He also spends a lot of time high-fiving people for saying mean things, which makes me think that maybe he is the one who is mean.

Season three ended with Chrishell still reeling from her sudden divorce, which Justin Hartley sprung on her via text, because he’s such a swell dude. This briefly brought everyone together, like a national tragedy in the ’90s, but the tabloid storm that ensued can be blamed for a major rift between Chrishell and Christine this season. This may have destroyed any chance of them ever being friends, as Chrishell’s repeated declaration that Christine “tried to ruin her life” seems to reference a behind-the-scenes battle over a story Christine was allegedly trying to plant in the media related to her split with Justin.

Jason is either an evil genius or has the IQ of a wooden spoon. At the beginning of season four, he unilaterally decides to fill Christine’s seat while she’s out on maternity leave with Emma. Emma is the woman Christine caught her former boyfriend cheating with in the parking lot of a fitness center. She also has her own frozen-vegan-empanada empire, and clearly doesn’t need to be selling real estate, but I guess he thought Christine could use the extra conflict. Jason breaks this news to her while they’re sitting on a bed at an open house and insists he “didn’t know it was this sensitive,” while she, a pregnant woman, cries. Because when someone cheats on you with the queen of frozen vegan empanadas, it’s normal to be sensitive about it! This is the most normal emotion Christine has ever had! Jason later plays dumb when Mary confronts him about inviting Christine to the dog birthday party, seemingly surprised to learn that a dog birthday party on a reality TV show could escalate into some kind of conflict. Like I said, he’s either masterminding all this drama himself or he’s just a bag of hams being puppetized by a Jim Henson–trained Muppeteer.

We don’t see Brett do much, but since he’s Jason’s identical twin brother, we can legally hold him 50 percent responsible for everything Jason does.

Christine and Heather barely, if ever, fought before Tarek El Moussa, Heather’s new husband, came on the scene last season. Christine made some jokes and comments about how they as a couple interact with the media — as she is wont to do! It wasn’t a huge deal until Tarek decided he wanted to get involved, telling a podcast, “Listen, just because she’s never been famous before and she doesn’t know how it works, she doesn’t have to talk. It just makes her look stupid.” As a reminder, Tarek is famous for being on an HGTV show called Flip or Flop. He’s also a problem because he’s friends with Rob From the Boat (see below).

Rob From the Boat
Rob is a friend of Tarek’s who comes with them on a boat, and Heather attempts to set him up with Chrishell. While the women all dance on the stern of the boat, Rob suddenly decides he’s allowed to pull Chrishell away from her friends, pick her up like a sack of potatoes, and carry her back to his seat on the boat, where he asks, “Do you wanna dance, or do you wanna get to know me?” “I want to dance!” Chrishell replies, because when grown women are dancing, they mean it. In Rob’s defense, the only clue he had that Chrishell wouldn’t find this gesture romantic was the way she kept screaming, “Wait, why??” as he did it. Anyway, Rob’s actions don’t necessarily have any long-term consequences for the group, I just wanted to modestly propose that we throw him into the sea.

Emma and Christine’s (and Heather’s) Very Bad Ex, a.k.a. Peter Cornell
Emma and Christine’s conflict this season centers on a man the show refuses to name, but who “Page Six” recently confirmed is Peter Cornell, a fellow realtor at the Oppenheim Group. He may or may not have proposed to Christine during their relationship, then allegedly cheated on her with Emma, which sparked a confrontation at a fitness center, and two months later, he and Emma were engaged. We don’t really hear how that engagement ended, but it wasn’t with a wedding, so while Emma’s team insists there was “no drama,” that feels hard to believe. Yet somehow in all this, it’s Christine who is painted as a villain, and not, you know, a victim of a man who allegedly treated these women very poorly. He also dated Heather, which she was very upset to have revealed because she was worried about her husband’s reaction, even though, as she lets everyone know, it was seven years ago. Watching the show, her concerns seem almost like nonsense. But now that we know this guy is still their co-worker, everything about this feels a lot worse.

Aiden (Maya’s Baby)
When he was first born, he threw up on Heather but not on Chrishell. Seems a little early to be taking sides, kid!

Christine’s Husband Christian
Look, there’s a lot going on with Christine, but she can absolutely be read as a Machiavellian schemer who positioned herself as the show’s villain in an early bid at becoming the show’s star. Whether she intended to take it this far or not, I doubt she expected to be as alone as she finds herself at the end of season four. Suffice it to say, her husband doesn’t help. In season two, the question of whether he was dating someone else when he met Christine caused the rift between the Christine/Davina and the Chrishell/Mary camps to deepen. By season four, he’s looking Christine in the eyes and telling her that the other women are only mad at her because they’re jealous of her husband and baby. Let’s set aside the factual inaccuracies there and appreciate how messed up it is to try and comfort someone by telling them the people they care about resent them for being happy. It also defines the conflict between Christine and the other women as something innate, an unavoidable consequence of her joy. If she believes this, it means that Christine can never have a good relationship with these women — or, in fact, most women — only her husband, but I kind of think that’s why he said it. Also, he didn’t help sell Davina’s compound, which is the one thing I thought he’d be good for.

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A Guide to Selling Sunset’s Terrible Men