The Fox Reality Channel is a cable network that I’ve been interested in checking out ever since they aired “Long Way Down,” which detailed the 18-country motorcycle journey undertaken by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. Unfortunately, however, Cox Communications has yet to see fit to offer up the network in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, so I’m still going without. This is unfortunate, as I’m at least a little intrigued by Fox Reality’s latest endeavor, “Househusbands of Hollywood,” but the good news is that the network is so behind the series that they’re making it available on Hulu, Video on Demand, and iTunes.
My reason for being interested in the series is simple: I’m a full-time work-at-home dad with a 4-year-old daughter. Granted, she doesn’t tend to spend her days with me, thanks to her wonderful nana as well as an awesome caregiver named Janice whom she visits a few days a week, but, hey, I’m still home all day. As such, I have to figure that I’m going to see a certain amount of myself in this show.
Here’s a quick roll call of the Househusbands:
* Billy Ashley (former outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox, married to makeup artist Lisa Ashley)
* Danny Barclay (aspiring actor, married to attorney Katherine Barclay)
* Darryl Bell (arguably best known for playing Ron on “A Different World,” dating Tempestt Bledsoe, late of “The Cosby Show”)
* Charlie Mattera (ex-convict turned actor / screenwriter, married to a psychologist)
* Grant Reynolds (former USMC sniper, married to Gillian Reynolds of “Good Day L.A.” and “Fox NFL Sunday”)
Basically, we get to see the respective home lives of these guys, then we see them all meet up together during what’s referred to as the “man cave” segment of the show. Yes, it’s obviously the flip-side of all of the “Housewives” shows that have been shoved down your throat, but, dammit, isn’t it about time we got to see the husband’s side of thing?
I’ll offer up a quote from each of the guys about their experiences on the show, so you can perhaps get an idea of what to expect:
Danny Barclay – “I think reality TV exposes the flaws in a relationship, but it also exposes what works. And I know, for Katherine and I, I almost feel like we have a stronger marriage after this first season has wrapped.”
Grant Reynolds – “Kids like routine. Every time I deviated from the routine, I saw sour results, but when I kept to it, I was, like, ‘Holy cow, this is a really happy little kid here I have here.’ So I kept the routine going, and then I would fight with my wife a little bit about it. Wives don’t like routines.”
Billy Ashley – “If (Lisa) decides to get up in the morning before I’ve gotten the whole regimen started and working, it’s just blown, because she becomes such a distraction to the kids. ‘You guys, get up, finish your food. Finish your food. Get upstairs. You’ve got to brush your teeth. Let’s go.’ And everything gets delayed and that just makes me in my head think, ‘You know what? I’m behind schedule. I’ve got to catch up. I’ve got to catch up!’ Heart palpitations!”
Darryl Bell – “Everyone has had the ability to laugh at themselves and be light-hearted, you overlook the seriousness of a man never stands taller than when he bends over to help a child. And for Grant and Charlie and Billy, raising their children with the epidemic of single-parent families where children don’t have men in their lives, where young boys don’t have people to mentor them and show them how to be men, these gentlemen are making sure, one, that their children aren’t in gangs or drugs, and, more importantly, as Chris Rock said, the daughter stays off the pole, you know. So that is taking responsibility for what you are supposed to do. Being a father to your child isn’t an option. It’s a requirement.”
Charlie Mattera – “This is a great country. It’s America. You can really put a foot to your life. You can destroy yourself in the worst possible way, but you can also come back from Hell. And I’ve worked very hard to get my life back on track, and I figured, after a criminal background, the only place to go would be Hollywood because there’s so many criminals in film and in the entertainment business, and I figured I’d be right at home. But I was very lucky and fortunate enough to meet a really nice girl. And my wife is a psychologist, so I have in-house counsel. And she’s a great girl, and she’s put up with me and dealt with me and given me a beautiful son. So, right now, I look at it like I’m batting a thousand.”
“Househusbands of Hollywood” premieres on August 15 on Fox Reality Channel…but, like I said, you can hunt it down on Hulu, iTunes, and elsewhere.