“Hollywood Exes” is the latest in the never-ending series of “wives” shows including “Basketball Wives” and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” In the new VH1 series, these ladies, at least, were actually once wives to rich and celebrated men.  “Hollywood Exes” stars Nicole Murphy, ex-wife to Eddie Murphy; Andrea Kelly, ex-wife of R. Kelly; Mayte Garcia, Prince’s ex-wife, Sheree Fletcher, Will Smith’s first wife and mother of his oldest son, Trey, and Jessica Canseco, ex-wife of disgraced former baseball star Jose Canseco.

The show debuted last week and so far has aired two episodes. What’s unique so far is that the women are wholly supportive of each other. Murphy comes across much friendlier and happier than her silent appearances on Murphy’s arm would have indicated, and the others are equally interesting outside of the shadow of their famous exes. (Fletcher, though seems a little out of place as Jada Pinkett Smith has now been married to Will Smith for 15 years and Fletcher has remarried.)While Canseco, Murphy and Sheree have moved on to other relationships or remarried since their famous exes, Kelly and Mayte are both still reeling over the end of their marriages to musical geniuses.

Kelly’s pain is freshest as she and R. Kelly are more recently divorced than anyone else and the two were married longer than anyone but Nicole and Eddie Murphy. Twelve years after her divorce from Prince (and his subsequent divorce from Manuela Testolini, now married to Eric Benet) Mayte is still single. Mayte is one of the few exes who doesn’t lead her memories of marriage with the amount of cars, designer clothes and firsthand access she had. She refers to Prince as her “first love” and for all the women who’ve wished to be in her shoes, it seems like they were pretty nice when she was still in them. So far, “Hollywood Exes’” most amazing revelation is that Mayte and Prince’s second ex-wife are good friends. Wow.

Kelly is the show’s most interesting wife so far. It’s impossible to consider that the bubbly, down to earth Andrea could have been married to someone as remote and reclusive as R.Kelly . She says that for most of the 13 years they were together, her husband kept their relationship a secret. The big elephant in the room is the multiple allegations of her husband’s infidelity as well as the trial which alleged that R. Kelly participated in a sex tape with an underage girl. The widely viewed tape shows a man that looks like Kelly having explicit sex with the girl, but he was acquitted of any wrongdoing.  We don’t know yet if Kelly will address any of that part of her marriage.

Though the lack of any participation from any of the exes makes the whole premise of the show a little lacking, so far the commonality of experiences and the various personalities involved make “Hollywood Exes” stand out in a crowded reality TV field. Only time will tell if the show gets better or worse as the season goes on. “Hollywood Exes”  airs – and re-airs – on VH1.  Check out full videos of Episode 1 and 2 HERE

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