Bethenny Ever After
Fans of Bravo’s reality shows admittedly find humor in its stars ridiculous behavior, which often includes lavish spending and entirely overly self-aware antics, so it’s no surprise that one of the more restrained personalities, Bethenny Frankel (don’t call her a cook!), has embarked on a new season of her solo reality project Bethenny Ever After, which premiered Monday night.
Her wit first burst on the scene in The Real Housewives of New York City, where she played the down to Earth, more sane straight woman to her manic fellow Housewives. Now with one solo project under her belt, and nearly nine months of pregnancy, wedding planning and juggling a growing career and reality TV stardom (a move to California may be on the horizon), Bethenny continues to let us in on her attempts at having it all. Her goal appears to be to prove that she can “do everything and do everything well” (or at least try), and she takes pride in being a role model to a younger generation. When approached for an autograph, she comments on how great it is that young girls connect with her and her brand (of low-cal alcohols?), yet doesn't ignore the compliment (“You look absolutely stunning!”) from her adoring fan.
Of course, viewer beware: she’s not your mother’s woman and don’t you forget it. In an era of popular and beloved representations of the modern woman, Carrie Bradshaw and Liz Lemon she is not, as her attempts at representing the working mother are often overpowered by her reliance on vulgarity and cutting sarcasm to get a quick laugh rather than allowing herself to be humbled and the butt of the joke.
But underneath the tough city girl exterior is a vulnerable new wife and mother, still healing from lingering emotional wounds. Followers from her past season know of her difficult childhood, yet a sneak at her therapy sessions—which still seems unethical—help to fill in any blanks. It’s these moments that make Bethenny the most relatable to her viewers, even if they feel fabricated at times.
She may not be as hormonal as last season, but her need to end every conversation with biting one-liner remains. While there are moments of real humor, three minutes on whether or not miniature pooch Cookie has relieved herself inside of the car wear thin, as does her disdain for her unlikely surroundings in Hazleton, Penn. (husband Jason Hoppy’s hometown, a mere two-hour drive from New York City). Sadly even admitted Real Housewives fans will find her increased self-absorption grating, as a prolonged bra shopping outing can only be viewed as an opportunity for viewers to covet her taut post-baby body, taking cues from the cooing saleswoman as she gushes over Bethenny's alleged “F” cup breasts. And with her growing business, notoriety and reality “fame,” (did you forget about her stint on Skating With The Stars?) it seems as if there's no end in sight.
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