Jewish Journal

Bethenny Frankel Blows Her Shot At Redemption

by Ilana Angel

July 30, 2010 | 8:22 am

Bethenny Frankel

I write a very honest look at this show.  I do not get sucked in to all the silliness of thinking that this woman is somehow my friend, just because I’ve seen her pee.  I watch her on television because in the beginning, she was a breathe of fresh air, and very entertaining.

Each week, as we watch Bethenny’s dreams come true, I am hopeful she will return to being the person she was.  The girl who made us fall in love with her by simply being herself.  She was bold, honest, funny, and vulnerable.  We were routing for her to succeed in business and love.

You’ve got to give it her for trying.  She had a difficult childhood, and although the reality of her upbringing is questioned by many, and may not be as bad as she would like us to believe, it was difficult for her.  Her memories are her own, and for her it was horrible, so let’s give her that.

I have a reputation of not liking Bethenny, and that is simply not the case.  My opinion of her has nothing to do with whether I like her or not.  I don’t know her.  What I know, is that with each episode, my opinion is not gauged by how much I like her, but by how much I believe her.

This week was all about bringing her baby home.  Within the first five minutes it became clear that while I may like her, I don’t trust her.  That feeling of distrust translates into her being a hot mess of insincerity.  She managed to make an episode I was looking forward to, rather unappealing.

She’s in the hospital, just having had the baby, and her in-laws, who drove immediately to be with her and see their first grandchild, arrive.  They walk in the room, and before they even turn the corner, she is telling them to be careful because she has stitches.  Seriously bitchy I think.

Before she makes her big announcement about having a girl and calling her Bryn, after the son they lost, she is telling them to close the door.  Really?  You have a camera crew in your hospital room, but you need to shut the door for privacy?  Bethenny seems to think she is Lady Diana.

She announces the baby like it’s all for television, and not for these people who have dreamed of this day for longer than she did.  Then that’s it.  We never see Jason’s parents again.  She won.  She chose the baby nurse over the grandparents, and that speaks volumes about Bethenny.

She talks about how traumatized she is by her childhood, and lack of love from her mother, yet, when given the opportunity to have Jason’s mom there, loving her and the baby, she opts to have a baby nurse.  Bethenny is a diva, and the whoring of Bryn Hoppy has begun.

This could have been Bethenny’s moment of redemption.  All her lies, mean spirited comments, exaggerations, and missteps, would have been forgiven is she had embraced Jason’s parents, and had them for a week, and then the baby nurse.  She was so close, and in the end, she blew it.

They walk out of the hospital and you see a flash of disappointment as Bethenny realizes there are no paparazzi.  It’s a sad moment, and I found myself feeling sad for her.  I wish she had thought it out better and had Carol with her for a couple of weeks.  It would have healed her.

On the ride home, Jason realizes of how hard it was for his parents to lose a child.  When you have your own children, you see your parents differently, and it was touching.  It would have been the perfect time for Bethenny to say his parents could stay and help with the baby.

Bethenny is obsessed with the baby nurse.  She talks about how the woman is family, and she should treat the home like it’s her own, yet she has never called her by her name, only “Baby Nurse”.  Her name is Gina.  It’s moments like this that make Bethenny gross, which is a shame.

The stamping of footprints is charming.  They are cute and when we see them as new parents, it’s a flashback to Bethenny from the beginning of RHONYC.  Bethenny is neurotic, and it’s as if she forgot about the cameras, and was real. She was fabulous during this scene.

As quickly as I found myself loving her, it was gone.  Shawn came over to work on the baby shower and Bethenny, the fame monger, was back in full swing.  She is abrasive, and controlling, and it’s not cute.  In the end you can’t trust her.  Is she being real, or working it for the camera?

We then waste 5 minutes watching Max get a number from a woman who clearly has no interest in going out with him.  Whatever.  We are then in therapy, and Bethenny makes sure to let us know parenthood is scarier for her than for Jason.  Dear Lord.  Is she kidding right now?

We then get to watch her go through a night of breastfeeding, then watch her complain about how busy she is.  Bethenny seems to think that she is the first woman to ever have a baby.  We are also reminded, that the thing Bethenny cares about most, is Bethenny.

She complains to Julie that Jason has friends coming to see the abby.  God forbid a new father, whose parents were banished, would want to share his baby with his friends.  I just don’t get it.  Does she not see how the things she says could be perceived as ugly and selfish?

We are out shopping now with Max, Bethenny and Robert Verdi, the stylist.  Robert is an ass, Max is useless, and that Bethenny is unable to go buy a dress without a stylist, shows us exactly what we are dealing with.  Bethenny has become all the things she says she hated about Jill.

At the end of the day, Bethenny Frankel started out as my favorite housewife, and her husband started out as Prince Charming.  Try as I may to get on board the Bethenny love train, it’s hard.  I’ve tried, really hard, but it’s not happening.  With only one episode left, I’m not sure it will.

Bethenny got married to a wonderful guy and had a baby, which is what she wanted.  She got her own show, and the career success she dreamed of.  If she can relax and work on going back to being real, she will have it all.  I’m not convinced she can do it, but I’m keeping the faith.



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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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