It’s an ongoing debate among fans of Sellings Sunset: which “character” from The Oppenheim Group is your favourite?
Unlike other reality shows where there’s a clear hero and villain – not naming any names – the lines are a little more blurred on the Netflix series.
We’ve got to know The Oppenheim Group fairly well over two seasons (soon to be three on Friday 7th August) and I’m here to announce there’s only one true queen of the LA brokers and it’s Maya Vander.
The 32-year-old always manages to keep her cool while her colleagues spend more time talking about each other than the houses they’re selling. Maya on the other hand, makes some solid dollar bills, all while gaining more qualifications, splitting her time between LA and Miami and of course, being a fantastic mum. A true feminist icon!
If you need a recap just why Maya is the queen of all things, I’m here to serve the tea on the Selling Sunset cast. And it’s piping hot.
Season one: Maya keeps her cool and rises through the ranks
Remember a time you didn’t know about The Oppenheim Group? Me neither. Episode one introduces us to the team we now know and love. Fiery blonde Christine Quinn is best friends with quieter blonde Mary Fitzgerald, Heather Rae Young is sitting in the corner making money (when she’s not texting her boyfriend in Europe), we barely know Davina Potratz just yet (but by gosh, we will soon), Jason and Brett are probably making coffee and there, getting on with life, is our Maya.
But the peace and tranquility doesn’t last long as new starter Chrishell Stause arrives, ready to impress the team and armed with pet supplies for the resident pooches, Nico and Zelda. It’s safe to say a new lion in the den doesn’t go down well with the likes of protective and loyal Christine, but they all agree to give her a chance.
The first major revelation of the season comes from Maya, when she reveals she’s pregnant. It’s delightful news and she shares the happy moment of taking a pregnancy test with Chrishell, who she swears to secrecy. Chrishell of course agrees (remember this for later).
Meanwhile, Mary is going from strength-to-strength with her French lover, Romain Bonnet, and it seems like she’s got her sights set on a future together. While out for dinner, Mary quizzers her boyfriend over having kids and settling down. At 20-something, Romain is rather coy and Mary arrives at work the next day with her heart breaking at the thought they are at different stages in their lives (remember this, too).
Just one episode later, Mary and Romain are engaged. Yes, I was confused and suffering from slight whiplash too. Nevertheless, hurrah! A chance to celebrate. But, as we always find with Selling Sunset, no one can be happy for too long, as Davina, who we haven’t properly met yet, pipes up and throws shade at Mary’s non-diamond ring. The team explain to Davina how Romain didn’t have enough money for LA bling but he bought a sentimental ring as a placeholder.
Later on, Chrishell pins down Davina while on a house viewing to chat about Mary and Romain. Chrishell, who’s still getting to know the team and the way they work, quizzes her colleague about whether Mary and Romain should be getting married, how mature Romain is and whether or not Mary pays his way. Davina says she doesn’t really know, but offers that Mary does in fact spend a lot of her hard-earned cash on her boyfriend. Chrishell jokes that Mary should get a pre-nup. They laugh, blissfully unaware of the drama to come from that fateful conversation – of course within the space of five minutes and faster than 5G, Davina tells Maya about the chat, Maya tells Christine, and Christine tells Mary.
The Oppenheim girls go out for dinner and talk turns to Maya, and how she isn’t drinking. Without thinking, Chrishell offers her “cheers” to the unborn child and that’s that, the cat’s out of the bag. Queen Maya is naturally disappointed to have her secret blurted out in such a manner, but beams with every mother’s pride as she confirms it’s true. This is the first time we see Maya at the centre of the drama, and merely brush it off with all of the cool, calm and collective sass we’ve come to love.
As if Chrishell couldn’t be having a worse night, talk turns to Mary and Romain, and the previous conversation that happened on the house showing. Chrishell attempts to defend herself, saying she doesn’t remember what exactly was said, but Davina throws her pal under the bus and blurts it all out, conveniently forgetting her part in the debate. Chaos ensues and Chrishell learns the hard way she needs to have thick skin to thrive in this office.
Christine takes it upon herself to protect her Ride Or Die Mary and has a conversation with Chrishell, begging her to own up to her actions as she so often does. The message seems to get through, but tensions remain rife. What’s more, the quite frankly excellent Christine gets up to more mischief throughout the series, and does the unforgivable, like forgetting her keys to a showing with a very annoyed Heather – if the two didn’t see eye-to-eye before that, they certainly didn’t after – and she tells Mary in a roundabout way she’s moving too fast with Romain.
It’s safe to say tensions couldn’t have been higher with all the girls bickering throughout the rest of the series, but our hero Maya stays strong, stays out of the drama, and lets her blossoming bump grow as her bank account does at the same time.
And then comes the pool party. Only a show as glamorous as Selling Sunset would have its big finale showdown in the pool party setting. And boy, what an explosive episode it is. Chrishell still isn’t friends with Christine for the whole Mary debate but they seemed to be professional in work settings. However, a couple of champagnes later and Christine teams up with Davina to accuse Chrishell of being “two-faced”. The fight, which is watched on by bosses Brett and Jason, takes a huge turn when Mary offers her support to Chrishell, the woman who joked about pre-nups just a couple of paragraphs above. Christine naturally loses it and seeing her friend slipping through her fingers, lashes out at Chrishell until the latter storms out of the party.
It’s a better night for Maya, who finds out she’s having a baby boy. How sweet.
As the series comes to an end, the girls have never been more separate, more drama is clearly on the horizon, and Maya is living her best life awaiting the birth of her first-born.
Season two – Maya claims her crown
It’s all change as we return to The Oppenheim Group – Mary and Chrishell are seemingly best friends, Heather’s boyfriend is a long-lost memory and she’s now dating Tarek El Moussa (a reality star in the States for those of you not in the know), Christine has not been seen for months and Maya has had a beautiful baby boy, Aidan.
When Christine arrives back in LA, it turns out she’s bagged a man! She met Christian Richard when selling him a house and the pair hit it off. After a whirlwind tour around the globe, Christine comes back carrying some extra luggage – an enormous engagement ring. Everyone is shocked by the news, but no-one more so than Mary, who has to find out second-hand her Ride Or Die is engaged. It’s a huge blow for the friendship and the pair seem like they’re almost over.
However, no sooner can you catch up with the old gossip and a newbie arrives! Amanza Smith, a new Oppenheim recruit and a long-time friend of Jason and Mary. Amanza has just moved into the real estate game after working as an interior designer and home stager for the past couple of years. Remember Amanza’s name, for no other reason than she’s absolutely awesome.
Meanwhile, Chrishell sadly lost her father to cancer in the break between seasons one and two. Christine tried to reach out to her following the pool party clash and sent her flowers for her loss, but Chrishell wasn’t in a very forgiving mood – and Christine wasn’t happy about that. As the $40million listing finally opens to buyers, the girls have their highly-anticipated reunion – and it is every bit as toe-curling as I’d imagined.
Chrishell and Christine head for a chat on the sun loungers as if they’re auditioning for Love Island and it turns out the latter had some explaining to do – Christine held a house party and named a cocktail after Chrishell (A “Chrishell’s Two Faced Tonic” anyone?) and then to make matters worse, forgot why she sent flowers. After a tense clash, the pair agree to just be co-workers and it seems like a sensible decision has been made for once!
Davina’s role considerably picks up in season two as she decides to take on a $75million listing in Beverly Hills. Brett and Jason aren’t majorly pleased with the mansion, believing it to be worth a mere $50million. Davina says she knows best and insists she can sell it – and what’s more, says she can sell it within three months before the seller goes elsewhere. God loves a trier.
And we haven’t even mentioned Mary yet! She’s completely loved up and planning her wedding to Romain, but he’s still not majorly fussed about it, happy to let his wife-to-be do the planning. Charming. However, he decides to get involved when it comes to the guest list. Now, as we know by season two, The Oppenheim group do everything together, so they’d all be invited to the wedding, right? Wrong. Romain puts his foot down and tells Mary all of her work colleagues can come except for Davina, who was trash-talking him in season one. Gasp! And to make matters worse, the whole gang finds out at another pool party – can we stop having these please? – and it’s down to Christine “Loyal” Quinn to tell Davina the bad news; it’s her duty to stir the pot, after all.
Christine on the other hand does invite everyone to her engagement party – which is lavish, luscious, and absolutely ludicrous – and Romain sits down for a chat with Davina. It doesn’t go well, Davina’s still not invited to the big day. Ouch.
In Heather’s world, she’s finding life as a step-parent quite tiring and decides to have a little moan to Maya, who of course is juggling her son, her work, and her travel. In what’s potentially the best scene of the series, Maya throws shade at her co-worker who seems to have completely missed the mark. And to top things off, Brett offers Maya a killer listing which is a real do-up project. Of course, it’s just another day in the office for our favourite, who says she will be able to shift it within a year and a half once the work was complete (she sells the property a couple of episodes later – heroic).
Back at wedding planning HQ – aka a house showing – Mary finally confronts Christine for telling Davina about her guest list. Christine as ever remains firm but fair, insisting that Davina should have found out first, before all her colleagues. Mary is naturally fuming and it seems the pair are more at odds than ever.
Meanwhile, Amanza offers Heather some help when she says she needs to go to her step-daughter’s birthday party, and takes a weekend showing off her hands. The kind gesture backfires and Amanza is late, tells the client Heather’s personal business, but does get an offer. Heather is fuming, and quite frankly at this point, everyone is fuming with everyone.
And before we know it, we’re at Mary’s hen do. It looks like everyone is getting on fine, Christine seems to have made amends with the bride-to-be and everyone is happy… for about a second. Heather chooses the middle of a burlesque performance as the perfect time to tell Christine someone had been calling out her relationship with Christian – and adds on it was season two nemeses Mary and Chrishell. Mary admits to Christine she had mentioned there was an “overlap” in her former Ride Or Die’s relationship and it isn’t long before we’re back to that old cycle: Mary and Christine fight, Christine apologises, they’re friends again.
At Heather’s broker’s open (a work event, we should stress), Christine takes it upon herself to call Mary out once more – this time for a second bachelorette party they had without her, Heather and Davina. Mary and Christine are at odds once more, but the latter really gets the nail in, calling her former friend a “f***ing idiot” behind her back – though she argues she wasn’t calling her that, she was saying she looks like one. OK then. Approximately 10 seconds later, Amanza and Mary are at her final fitting and Christine arrives with flowers and yet another apology. All is well, but Amanza doesn’t trust Christine as far as she could throw her. And Mary doesn’t know Christine was calling her worse than muck.
Next, it’s the big day of Mary’s wedding, but work doesn’t stop there, with Mary showing a buyer around a house on Doheny she has, one she loves so much she decides to get married in it. The wedding goes ahead, Mary and Romain get hitched but it isn’t without drama. Christine and Chrishell have a little chat and talk turns to the second bachelorette – eagle-eyed Amanza spots the potential for an argument a mile away and shuts it down. Christine is positively furious with Amanza for acting like Mary’s anti-beef bodyguard and it looks like we’re going to have a big feud with them very shortly… And surely it won’t be long before Mary finds out Christine said she looked like a “f***ing idiot”, will it?
Once again, Maya proves herself to be the real spine of The Oppenheim Group, juggling her baby, her work and her relationship effortlessly and without drama. While the other girls tear each other apart, Maya keeps Selling Sunset’s real estate heart beating.
Season three – Bow down to queen Maya
Desperate to know what happens to the girls in season three? Well, let me promise you there will be lots to sink your teeth into.
Christine marries her man, Mary makes plans for the future and Heather dreams about an engagement. As for Chrishell, it’s a harder season as she splits from her husband Justin Hartley in a shock divorce, while Davina is back trying to sell that $75million house while causing a whole load of drama.
And as for Maya? There’s happy news…. and a potential change of heart for The Oppenheim Group.