“Wives with Beehives” on TLC: Retro Fashion Meets Modern Day Drama

Retro Staff |  Comments

Shelby from Wives with BeehivesI watched, with much anticipation, TLC’s new show, Wives with Beehives. Tagged as a “living vintage” reality series, the show follows the lives of four women who say they’ve vowed to follow the fifties lifestyle – right down to gloved hands and vintage appliances. For an enthusiast, though, I have to wonder if these ladies are coming across as nothing more than costume wearing divas. And it seems I’m not alone.

At the Retro Planet Facebook page, retro fans are chiming in. Many have the same concerns. While the clothing, kitchens, home decor and cars are totally retro, we question the true spirit of some of the featured “characters”. They all say they’re living the ’50s, right down to family morals, yet the cattiness makes some of them look more like ’50s fashionistas whom are overly competitive and, sometimes, downright snotty.

In the first episode, housewives Dollie, Leslie and Amber meet newlywed Shelby. With her birthday just days away, the ladies decide throw a Tiki shindig. Amber is quite graceful about the entire event, while Leslie buys lots of store-bought food because she only “makes reservations” (Dollie and Amber have issues with this). Dollie opts to spend the afternoon complaining, and avoiding the guest of honor whilst talking behind her back.

We asked ’50s admirers what they thought, and they had plenty to say, such as:

  • “The fashion was great, but not enough that I could stand a whole episode; the wives’ attitudes was too much.”
  • “I liked looking at the decor, but they really gave people that are into vintage a bad name.”
  • “Love the idea, but their ‘attitudes need adjusting’, as my Mom would say.”

Will future episodes focus more on the wives as homemakers than just the social aspect? I sure hope so. I don’t think we need another overly-dramatic series. There’s plenty of truly interesting aspects of the ’50s lifestyle to keep people tuned in. I’ll be sure to tune in next week to find out.

Did you watch the premiere episode of Wives with Beehives? What did you think?


UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode that aired was a “special” and it may become a series. We’ll see.


Last updated: Dec 28, 2012
Filed under: Retro Memories Tagged with: 1950s fashion, retro TV