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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Million Dollar Listing

Illustration for article titled iMillion Dollar Listing/i
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Like its Bravo siblings, Million Dollar Listing has carved out a comfy niche for itself by showcasing opulent wealth contrasted against oversized, sometimes grating personalities. Just take a peek at Millionaire Matchmaker or any of the Real Housewives franchises for the various ways the formula can be tweaked, based on the target demographic. In the case of Listing, the characters are far less immediately entertaining than, say, your Nene Leakes or Patti Stangers of the world. While the three real estate agents picked by the network do have their own charms, it's really the heart-stopping property and prickly sellers that have made the show an unlikely success over its four seasons.


For the finale, nearly all the loose ends connecting agents Madison Hildebrand, Josh Flagg, and season newcomer Josh Altman were neatly tied up in almost cartoonish fashion. Each closed a massive sale of a multi-million dollar house and certified their status as a top agent in the coveted Southern California hot spots they work in. Surprisingly, though, the catty bickering between them managed to stay venomous through the episode's close.

After the surprising exit of Bieber-coiffed agent Chad Rogers at the end of season three and the fact that Bravo casting sites were hunting for New York agents, fans speculated the show might be going the way of Housewives with a New York City-based spin-off. So far, there's been no word on whether Rogers is starring in such a show, but a quick glance at his polished Web site makes it clear he's hardly hurting for business off-air and continuing to serve elite clientele on their terms: "Upholding the motto 'Give clients what they want, whenever they want.'"


His replacement, Altman, had enough top dog gusto to make up for Rogers' absence, even bringing in a romance over the course of the season—and not just with any random, aspiring reality TV starlet but with rival Madison's assistant of over two years. The show did a nice job setting up escalating tension over whether his new flame, Heather, would take her new boyfriend's advice and ditch her boss to strike out on her own. Of course, that hardly sat well with Madison, who smelled Altman's tracks all over the move. And by season's end, it's the only major ball left up in the air. The question of whether she will or won't leave her hunky, actor-faced boss for greener pastures is easily answered, though, by checking on Madison's Bravo blog, which notes that, "Heather and I have made arrangements, and she is currently working two days out of the Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North office, handling our in-town business. We have expanded the office and have a new employee, Matt." Sounds like a bit of a compromise on both parts?

The last episode showcased a variety of high-end, Southern California property, from a Mullholland Drive mega-bachelor pad to a cavernous Beverly Hills fixer-upper to a purportedly haunted Malibu beach house. The highlight might have been the actor or whomever was brought in to play "Rick," the independent producer looking to unload his souped-up Mulholland home, who used each millisecond of screen time to pout his lips whilst attempting to bust Altman's balls over every shred of the deal. Acting like he'd just come from watching Alec Baldwin's in Glengarry Glen Ross, he started things off with a sideways scowl and the memorable line, "I'm Rick… and you're late."


The seance forced on Madison and his seller at the Malibu house seemed far less creepy than it should've, maybe because it was conducted on the floor of a bright, sunny beachhouse in Malibu? In any case, it conveniently extricated the lingering ghost of the previous owner who had died inside the house. If you're hesitant it worked, don't worry. The psychic brought in said she had a vision of the dead man giving a thumbs up on his way out. Phew!

Unfortunately, there wasn't nearly enough of Flagg's delightful, fascinating grandmother in the last episode. Fans of the show have rallied around the 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, so much so that season three showed a trip to Europe with her and Flagg where she revisited her roots. At her birthday party in the episode's final moments, his voice-over reminder that he's had quite a wild ride of a career in his 25 years is jarring and a stark reminder that he made record sales upward of $25 million within a few years of being handed his high school diploma.


The Heather cliffhanger ultimately ranks pretty low on the totem pole as far as reasons to continue watching Million Dollar Listing, though its ability to ensnare all three of the show's leads (Flagg ultimately became involved for having notified Madison that she was out interviewing at his office) worked out nicely. The real question—just as with the network's other wealth-based shows—will be how to continue topping the eye-popping extravagance on display and whack-a-doodle personalities that oftentimes come with it. Anyone who has tracked the Housewives from coast to coast over the years, though, knows that where Bravo has a will, Bravo has a way.

Stray observations

  • The construction party Josh Flagg threw to spark interest in his construction-filled property seemed a little poorly attended, no? Strange that the girls forced to dress in "hot" construction girl outfits didn't work.
  • Rick's bonkers bachelor pad came with a lot of perks, but how 'bout that heated toilet, ladies!
  • Josh F. and Josh A.'s tiff at the Mulholland private showing had to be one of the quietest fights in history.
  • Poor Colton. Who cares what your boyfriend says. A road trip in an RV sounds fun and civilized!
  • Josh A.'s "assistant" Mikey sure found a nice way to spotlight his real-life attempt at a music career by shoehorning in a mini-plot of him serenading prospective brokers at the Mulholland house.
  • Fun fact: California law requires all parties involved in the sale of a house must be notified if someone has died within the property in the last three years. Learning!

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