This blog is my random ramblings about Bravo's The Real Housewives franchise. I am a huge fan of every incarnation of the Real Housewives and decided I wanted to share my thoughts and opinions on the shows and the Housewives. This is by no means a "hate blog" but it's not a fan blog either. I will share my honest opinions which at times will be critical of the Housewives and at times praising them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last Night's #RHONY

Ok, so I'm dusting off this blog to give some "quick hits" on my thoughts on last night's RHONYC "Pop of Crazy" because it's a bit more than I can fit in a Twitter post.

One thing I have seen throughout the season is that it seems like all of the ladies are jostling to get screen time with Bethenny.  Anyone who follows blogs or commentary on reality TV but especially The Real Housewives knows that it all comes down to screen time and storyline.  There's always discussions of ladies manufacturing storylines to stay relevant on the show and who will film with who, etc.. If you ever followed Alex McCord's YouTube recaps of the shows (the names changed, I think it was last called The Real Deal), she talks about how important screentime is and how they set up special lunches or will talk about "fights/issues" to get screentime.  It's why there is a lot of "stirring the pot" on the show and why women set up one on one lunches, walks, shopping, etc...--for screentime!

I think that with Bethenny coming back and how heavily marketed it was, all the ladies knew that Bethenny was going to get a lot of screentime.  (She certainly was paid enough that I'm sure it was practically guaranteed.)  Bethenny doesn't need the show--ok, her brands probably wouldn't do as well without it--but the point is, the other ladies need it more.  Bethenny can likely pick and choose whether she will come back next season whereas the other ladies are eager to secure their spots on the roster.  That is why I think a lot of them want to engage with Bethenny as much as possible.

I see these attempts to get screentime with Bethenny happening in two ways--either forced friendship or fights.  I think with both Heather & Kristen they attempted the forced friendship and when that didn't wok they went for fighting.  I think Heather is a bit more skilled than Kristen and never really wanted the friendship but instead is trying to come across like she's trying to be nice and really pick fights with Bethenny and try to make Bethenny look like the bad guy.  Unfortunately for Heather, Bethenny is more skilled at the reality show game and despite losing a lot of fans, she still has more than Heather (and is regaining her fanbase through the show) and fans are taking Bethenny's side. Heather will keep engaging with Bethenny with either faux friendship or digs/fights in order to keep herself relevant and have a "frenemies" storyline with Bethenny.  I think Bethenny started to see through this and that is why staring at the dinner and further at AOA decided to shut it down, stop any feud and make amends with Heather.  We'll see how long this lasts or if Heather will keep trying to "poke the bear" to get more screentime.

Kristen I think tried to take a different route.  I think she legitimately wanted to be buddy, buddy with Bethenny but when Bethenny didn't click with her, she whined about being "left out" or "boxed out" and tried to play the "whoa is me, why doesn't Bethenny like me" card.  With attempts and friendship and sympathy not getting her time with Bethenny, she went the route of trying to confront her and fight her.  You see that Bethenny doesn't buy into this when she makes the comment "ok, so you're going to attack me for no reason, " she sees that Kristen pulled her aside  (to get screentime) and that she's going to try to pick a fight for screentime.  Bethenny knows she's getting screentime no matter what and doesn't want to play, so she walks away.  Kristen is baffled and doesn't know what to do.  That's why you see her stuttering and chasing after Bethenny.

Similarly, another example of why I think this is true is when LuAnn comes over to Bethenny to further rehash the Berkshires dinner at AOA with Bethenny.  When you hear Bethenny talking about how LuAnn is inserting herself for no reason and rehashing, I think it's partially her code for saying "she's getting into this which has nothing to do with her just to have a storyline."  LuAnn has been accused of not having much of a storyline and was demoted last season in part because of it. While I think that LuAnn has been really enjoyable this year and done a good job this season (although I do think the Adam feud with LuAnn & Carole has been blown out of proportion by both of them for screentime/storyline), I do think this was a clear attempt to get screentime with B.  You notice her a lot this season talking to Bethenny, talking about how the new girls feel "left out", etc...

P.S. Anytime that someone complains about feeling "left out" or that Bethenny doesn't want to "get to know them" it's really code for "doesn't want to film with us." They're not annoyed that Bethenny isn't coming to their events because they want to get to know her, they are annoyed because they're worried that if Bethenny doesn't show up to an event it will end up on the cutting room floor and won't air.  This is a TV show and a business and everyone is out for themselves.  Start inserting "wont' film with me" for "won't get to know me" or "won't make time to come to..." and you'll see what I mean.

This theory is further supported by the fact that there were rumors going around before the season premiered that lots of the ladies were annoyed that Bethenny wouldn't film with them and that she would only film with the established ladies (Ramona, LuAnn, and Sonja) and Carole (who she developed a fast friendship with).  The more I look at the season, the more that seems to be true.

There are two ways of looking at it--maybe Bethenny is this "demanding bitch" who only wants to film with who she wants to film with or maybe she only wants to spend time with the people who she genuinely likes/has a friendship with and doesn't want to get to know new people or have manufactured drama with people she doesn't know with everything else going on.  She does have limited time with her daughter & I see nothing wrong with only wanting to film when she doesn't have parenting time.

I kind of see both sides--on one hand it is a show and there is a cast and everyone should work/film together.  On the other hand, it is a reality show that is supposed to depict some semblance of reality.  The show is supposed to be on the premise that these are people who actually know each other and have real relationships.  The show has never felt more forced that in the first episode where everyone is talking about Bethenny and it is clear they don't know her (except for her fame) and that it's a cast and not a real group of friends.  Bethenny may be of the opinion that the show is better when going to it's routes and focuses on people that have at least some tangential connection/relationship--I know Andy Cohen says that is when the show is at it's best.

What are your thoughts?

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