Netflix’s ‘Selling Sunset’ became a sleeper hit upon its release in March 2019 because of its peppy soundtrack, glamorous outfits, grand production design, and, of course, the interpersonal drama between the cast members. The streaming network’s first English-language docu-soap chronicles the personal and professional lives of the stylish and sophisticated female real-estate agents of The Oppenheim Group.
Along with the business dealings and client meetings, the reality drama often packs up the tittle-tattle that sometimes goes over-the-top and makes us wonder: Is ‘Selling Sunset’ even real? If you have the same question, stay with us as we try to answer it below.
Is Selling Sunset Scripted and Fake?
First things first, The Oppenheim Group is actually a real estate brokerage firm that ranks among the top agencies in Los Angeles and has many high-profile clients like Kris Humphries, Chloë Grace Moretz, Orlando Bloom, Taye Diggs, Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Alba, and Dakota Johnson. It is led by Founder and President Jason Oppenheim, along with his twin brother Vice President Brett Oppenheim.
As far as the cast members of the show are concerned, here’s what we know. Yes, all the female realtors who feature on the show – Chrishell Stause, Christine Quinn, Mary Fitzgerald, Maya Vander, Heather Young, Davina Potratz, and Amanza Smith– are licensed real estate agents, making them qualified to deal with the clients on the show. You can check their bio on the firm’s official website. Creator Adam DiVello even confirmed the same in an interview with Variety. “She’s just a sweetheart to begin with, and she really is a Realtor and has a real estate license selling homes when we met her,” he said.
Now that we have established the fact the hot and talented agents have the goods to back up their positions, let us talk about the binge-worthy drama it generates. Remember when one of the clients got way too handsy with the no-nonsense realtor Maya Vander during a routine property tour? While talking to TMZ about the cringe-worthy moment that shocked everyone, Chrishell said, “Obviously, there are certain things that are a little amped up for the show… but honestly, I don’t really think that they asked him to do that. I mean, who would do that on purpose?”
Well, what we understand from this is while there is no script as to who would say or do what, there is definitely some motivation for setting up arcs, like asking the women to discuss an event that happened the other day. Or simply directing one of the members to talk to the other member and capturing their genuine reactions, which are then edited for hours to make it more palatable. DiVello confirmed to Variety, “I can’t tell you how many hours we would sit in an edit bay just working on one scene.”
Talking about the animosity between Christine and Chrishell, Buzzfeed News reported that Christine really dislikes Chrishell, and nobody seems to know why. Now coming back to our question: Is ‘Selling Sunset’ scripted? Well, it is safe to state that the ‘Selling Sunset’ is as real as DiVello’s other shows, ‘The Hills’ and ‘Laguna Beach.’ So, yes, the characters in the show are real-life personalities, but many moments in the show are probably staged to create a dramatic effect.