Bethenny Frankel is known for her direct, even abrasive manner on The Real Housewives of New York.
But how exactly will her role as “uncredited producer” translate her loudly calculated presence, to the shifting reality landscape? The New York franchise has morphed from an ensemble executing amusing doses of turtle-timed drama, to a domineering shrew, swinging a Bravo bat every time that she enters a room. As reported, Bethenny has purportedly teamed with her best pal, Andy Cohen, and has been allowed to call her own shots this season. It only takes a few minutes to catch her drift, as the once fun urban antics mutate into a swaggering Skinnygirl sell, sprinkled with bleating, final opinions.
The agenda seems real, as the cast splits into clear sides, within just a few episodes. One captain is Bethenny — the other is the loser. Word on the street says that Heather Thomson vamoosed after Bethenny busted back onto the Bravo stage, allegedly not wanting to tangle her Yummie Tummie brand with Frankel’s booze to girdle empire. Sonja dared to poke Bethenny, and the cast whippersnapper was soundly spanked, and put in time-out. It looks like Luann is next, on Bethenny’s to-do list.
So who IS on Bethenny’s team? Carole Radziwill is a no-brainer. Carole and Bethenny’s mean-girl antics have already become a childish and boring pattern. Carole snarks when Bethenny snarks, giggling on cue as she struggles to keep up with her bestie’s frenetic energy. The pair is even filmed eating in unison, later tittering in harmony about the scandal of ingesting a full meal. Carole is so dull that she barely appears conscious, but with Bethenny hinged to her side, she will be named a reality winner. Dorinda has solidly sided with Bethenny, even though the skinny instigator coached Ramona into humiliating her in public.
Ramona is struggling in her new submissive role, but is towing the Bethenny line, like a champ. You can almost see Ramona winking, nodding, and tossing her extensions, just half a beat behind her unofficial boss. Reportedly, Ramona is making bank per scene — what better way to score, than to stay close to the dubbed star of the franchise? Jules has remained neutral, but appears to be an inconsequential presence, to Bethenny with a capitol ‘B.’
How will such a dynamic shape the franchise? Does anyone want to watch a show with Bethenny Frankel and her harmonizing chorus of sycophants? Will Bethenny’s head bitch in charge status, change the way the women relate to each other, thwarting any shot at organic reality? I believe that it already has — and that the Skinnygirl takeover, has just begun.