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Team Bethenny Frankel vs. Team Jill Zarin

by Ilana Angel

July 25, 2010 | 1:43 am

Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel

I like to write about the Bravo reality TV series The Real Housewives.  I write about it because I love it.  Like millions of Americans, I’m hooked on the phenomenon, and find myself caring about these women and enjoy my front row seat to their lives.

The show has changed from a guilty pleasure, into a show that is increasingly uncomfortable to watch.  Fame has changed all the women from how they were when we met them, into people who are out of control, and unable to handle fame.

The women who have lost and gained the most are Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel of the New York City show.  These women have changed the most, and in the process, lost a friendship, lost credibility, and divided fans into two different camps.

Let me clarify at this point that I am not Jill Zarin.  I am also not Bethenny Frankel.  When I write something negative about Bethenny, her fans assume I’m Jill, and come after me.  If I say something derogatory about Jill, her fans accuse me of being Bethenny writing undercover.

I’m just a fan, who has watched these two women fall apart, and walk away from a friendship that was once a pleasure to watch.  I’m not on anyone’s side, and I have been vocal in both my support and criticism, towards both of these ladies.  I think what has happened to them is a shame.

Jill Zarin got too big for her britches and bought into her own fame.  She was this great Jewish lady who was funny and open.  She was over the top in terms of how she spent her money, parented her kid, and loved her husband.  She was classic New York, and compelling to watch.

Bethenny was charming when we met her.  She was uncensored, honest and real.  She saw the life she wanted in Jill, and we all wanted it for her.  She was working on her career, dealing with the demons of her childhood, and trying to get to a place where she could have it all.

After a couple seasons it all fell apart. Jill and Bethenny started to fight, and through a series of unfortunate miscommunications, based on assumptions, their friendship ended, and we all got to see it happen.  It was sad, and I found myself really hoping they would be ok and together.

My issue with Jill is that she started the last season thinking she was the star of the show.  She let her ego get the best of her.  She was obnoxious and rude.  She disrespected the other ladies and proved to be selfish, unkind, and mean.  She became a complete and total Diva.

My issue with Bethenny, is that she forgot where she came from, and began to act like she was entitled.  She found love, and in the process became all the things she hated about the other women.  She began to think she was a celebrity, not just a girl who made it big on reality TV.

Jill told so many lies, and was so mean to everyone, that when it all crumbled around her, she refused to take any responsibility for her actions.  Meanwhile, Bethenny accused Jill of being a celebrity whore, which is what she became herself.  They became the same, but could not see it.

I lost respect for Jill because she lied, knew she lied, knew we knew she lied, and then denied that she lied.  With Bethenny, she went from being the authentic one, to the one who was fake.  She ended her friendship with Jill and then became all the things she said she hated about Jill.

At the end of the day, these two women have divided their fans into two camps, and for that they should be ashamed of themselves.  We loved the show, loved them, and supported them making up and moving on.  They took our support of them, and treated it like it meant nothing.

I have said things about Bethenny that have inspired people to call me a dirty Jew.  I have said things about Jill that have inspired people to tell me that I am not a good Jew.  My blog is loved when people agree with me, and trashed when they don’t.  Fans of these women are serious.

It’s just a television show, and while I completely understand how we are all invested and care about them, we cannot turn on each other.  We are just Bravo fans and the war between the Jill and Bethenny should stay between the two of them, and not bleed out into the real world.

I don’t imagine Jill and Bethenny will ever be friends again, as there is too much water under the bridge for them to repair what was broken.  As for them respecting the fans enough to stop with their pettiness and move on, I’m not holding my breath, but I’m keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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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