By Drew Schwendiman
When I saw the commercial for another new Bravo TV show, I “UGH”-ed and groaned in every direction. The past few programs have actually disappointed me. They all lacked… something. Of course, curiosity never killed me, so I recorded the show and finally watched it Monday morning.
Bravo TV finally got it right. They brought the “reality” back to reality television. Eat, Drink, Love is a show about five female friends, all of whom work, just trying to rise in their careers. This show has a purpose, what every other new program lacked. This show features women in the LA food industry, a small and under-appreciated minority, who are good at what they do and are active in their climb to the top. They value friendships, networking, and talent above drama, money, and fame. In my opinion, this is one of the best premieres I have ever seen.
Kat Odell (@kat_odell) is the critic of the clique. She’s an editor of Eater LA, basically writing the “Page 6” of Los Angeles. As her friend Brenda says, she can make or break a restaurant with just a few words. She has such a cute smile and personality but she also has a shy side, one which I barely saw in the premiere. Apparently, her shy side only crawls out when she’s with a guy she likes, and this Christa B. Allen (Revenge, 13 Going on 30) lookalike has quite an active dating life… According to Brenda, she is notorious for sleeping with the men she writes about and writing about the men she sleeps with. It looks like that rumor will get cleared up in a later episode and I’m hoping it’s just an exaggeration! I like Kat! You can’t always hate on the pretty girl!
Brenda Urban (@msbrendaurban) needs a proper introduction now. She’s a publicist at a big firm in LA and represents a bunch of restaurants in the area. She’s been married before and wants to find a guy, but can she trust her friends to set her up with Mr. Perfect? Her previous marriage did end badly and one of her friends did set her up with the “perfect” chef… who weighed over 300 pounds. Nothing wrong with being overweight, but he was absolutely not her type. She has a complicated relationship with Kat. She relies on Kat for positive reviews and Kat needs Brenda for inside scoop. Now, I don’t hate Brenda, but there’s something off-putting about her. It might have just been the incident at her own birthday party where, in a game of Truth or Dare, she drunkenly asked Kat if she was not dating 4 or 5 guys at the moment… while Kat was sitting with a new DATE! A little uncomfortable for everyone, and Brenda was drunk, but come on! You can’t do that to anyone.
Jessica Miller (@JustJessLA). This girl is FIERCE! She’s tiny, lightweight, and female, but she knows how to run all the big boys in town. As a marketing director and Harry Morton‘s righthand woman, she needs to keep all his restaurants in check. If she catches a chef slacking off while she’s watching the video cameras on her phone, she has no problem going from 0-crazy. I like that. Jessica is a very smart girl. She knows some men will try not to take her seriously, but that doesn’t work for Jessica. Her affirmative personality really draws me to her. She KNOWS what she’s doing. The girl also likes to have fun, whether she’s out with her friends or planning themed parties. I’m hesitant to say she’s my favorite on the show because I don’t want to pick favorites right away, but I can say with certainty that I prefer to hang out with smart, professional, and fun people who know how to take control. Jessica is all that! P.S. I checked out her website and I am kind of obsessed with the layout and so proud of her career.
Nina Clemente (@CookingClemente) is an Italian artist who’s medium is food. Having been raised by an artist father and surrounded by some of the most iconic artists of our time, she realized she could still be artistic as a chef. After Vanity Fair published an article about this “Bright Young Thing”, she began getting more clients and gained exposure. Now, she dreams of owning her own restaurant but needs to brush up on a few skills in a high-paced restaurant. She’s fresh, confident, has amazing hair (I truly love it), and is very mature. She is very respectful to her senior chefs, but I don’t know if that’s just typical in the food industry. I wish the best for this feisty chef!
Waylynn Lucas (@waylynnlucas). Love that name. She is WONDERFUL. Her hair, her face, her endearing personality…I just want to hug her! I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way for a TV personality before… She once made a lot of money as a corporate chef, but now, Waylynn owns Fonuts, a bakery that specializes in donuts that are baked/steamed and never fried. That’ll give cronuts a run. She was a runaway bride but who wouldn’t want to marry her? In just the first episode she received like half-a-dozen gifts from anonymous lovers. Why can’t that happen to me? She’s not sure if she wants to date again, but it looks like she’s going to find a guy in later episodes. EEK! I’m actually wiggling my toes because I’m excited to see what happens to her.
Here is a show that doesn’t revolve around drama. It doesn’t need drama for ratings. Any genuine person would love to watch a show about real friendships. The only friendship that seems a little iffy is the one between Kat and Brenda, so let’s see where that goes. I’m glad the previews didn’t show fist fights, screaming matches, or wine glasses being thrown (although that would be appropriate for this show) because I am kind of over that; even though it is entertaining. I’m just excited to watch reality again, the real lives of interesting people who obviously didn’t want a reality show for fame, but to share a message that they are just as talented as the men in their male-dominated market. This show looks like it has heart, character, and laughter- the perfect recipe for a reality show. Take note, producers, because the best ingredients are good food, good wine, and good friends. WIN
Speaking of good friends, the TBBReality team has been great to me. Since last November I have written for Tara and then in January helped her transition to what is now TBBReality.com. I still remember those late nights setting up the tabs and tagging a few articles (Brent took over that job and really helped our SEO) until we finally launched. Since then, I set up and attended a few events with Tara, reviewed the new shows, and even lightly conversed with a few Bravolebs over Twitter (shoutout to Heather Dubrow for always keeping it real). Now, however, a different wind is blowing in my direction. A few opportunities have been presented to me and after much thought, I’ve decided to pursue them. I am sad to say that this is my last post for TBBReality, but I don’t regret anything that I’ve done. There are some incredible fans of the website and Bravo shows out there who were extremely supportive of me and this site and I thank you for that. I also would like to thank Jaime and Lesley for helping this site grow and making me laugh in our group texts. It’s been a pleasure working with this team and I know that this site will continue to succeed. Bravo!