50 best television shows set across the United States

21 of 52

Maryland: The Real Housewives of Potomac

The premise: A handful of middle-aged women day-drink, start fights with each other, and go to charity events. The women, as part of the entire premise of the show, actively seek out confrontation with each other so they can up their value to the show. The more they can backbite, snark, and double-cross the more we are likely to see them on our screens. But I’m pretty sure you know how the Housewives shows work.

The setting: Potomac is a small, monied community in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. and situated on the river of the same name. There are only about 45,000 people living in an approximately 25-mile radius. It is one of the most affluent communities in the country, and the fact that you’ve probably never heard of it before speaks to its exclusivity. The women are very proud of their zip code and their neighborhood, and it carries quite a bit of cache.

The most Potomac thing about it: The women’s pride in the fact that they hail from Potomac itself. It’s hard for those of us who don’t live near this place to understand how important it is to have a particular address. There’s a running storyline about a castmate who had to move and the scandal surrounds whether or not her house sits inside Potomac proper. It’s a big deal, apparently, to be from this area, and it carries a certain amount of swagger.