Bethenny 2.0

Bethenny Frankel Photo credit: deadline.com

Bethenny Frankel
Photo credit: deadline.com

By Tara Cushing (TheBravoBlonde)

“Get the chopstick out of your ass!” “I’m eating my feelings right now.” Only one person can say these things and sound entertaining, intelligent, and authentic. Yes folks, the original Skinnygirl is baa-aack, and from the previews of Real Housewives of New York City Season 7, she’s as brash and sassy as ever.

It’s been a while since I can say I’ve been excited about a new season of Housewives. What used to be a strangely entertaining spy session into the lives of a clique of women, morphed into a long hour of petty overacted, and overreacted, drama. The last couple of seasons of The Real Housewives of wherever, had become background noise that I desperately tried to stay interested in. Each hour ended with me questioning if I had undiagnosed ADD. I just could not stay focused. However, if anybody can bring me back to Housewife fandom, it surely will be Bethenny Frankel.

After a stint on daytime TV with her talk show, Bethenny, a very public divorce, and a muted presence in the public eye,we now have Bethenny the RHONY version 2.0. Though she may feel that coming back to Bravo is in someway eating her own words, from the looks of it this is right where she belongs..and they need her. Bethenny is the perfect fit for Housewives.

How is she the perfect fit? She’s a single mother with a growing company, a far cry from some of the women on the neighboring New Jersey franchise who are more traditionally suited to have such a title, but it’s the absence of this traditional Housewife definition, combined with her unique personality that make her the quintessential Real Housewife. Her life is interesting which means she has enough going on that there’s no need for her to manufacture a story to be on the show. Add to that her witty sarcasm, unapologetic neuroticism, and nitty gritty take no prisoners approach to catfighting, and you’ve got a woman who knows how to be nothing but real. This is why fans love her, it never feels like she is faking it. This is why she excels at reality tv, and was the square peg as a talk show host.

With a major return to the show that made her a household name, a new dating advice book, and two new Skinnygirl Cocktails flavors, I think the world is certainly ready for Bethenny 2.0! PS: I recently received the new Skinnygirl Pinot Noir and Spicy Lime Margarita flavors. I haven’t even drank red wine in eons due to migraines, but I bit the bullet with the Pinot Noir. I have to say, it was delicious and I fought the urge to have a second glass. The next day I was fine, no headache. Perhaps it’s the reduced sugar, but whatever it is, I’ve finally been able to enjoy red wine for the first time in ages. Just like I’ll be able to enjoy Housewives when it premieres April 7th. I’m saving my Spicy Lime Margarita for that special occasion. Check out the trailer below and tell us, are you excited for the return of the glamorous girls of the Big Apple?

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The Bachelor: Season 19 Finale/After The Final Rose

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 9.31.38 PMBy Denise Weiss
POPULATION OF ARLINGTON 424 + 1 + 1 COW
It’s been a long, boring season rose lovers. Over the past 10 weeks we have endured crying, drama, panic attacks and onions. There were two widows, two virgins, a stripper and a woman with tarantulas for eyelashes. And then, there was our Bachelor, Farmer Chris. A man who managed to kiss all the girls despite his large arm pit sweat stains and no upper lip. All I can say is that the real winner of tonight’s final rose will be the girl who doesn’t have to live in Arlington, Iowa.
The episode starts with Farmer Chris walking across his snow covered field in skinny jeans and loafers while he ponders whether to marry Whitney or Becca. He says he is falling in love with both, which everyone knows is the best way to start a marriage. Whitney is genuine and smart and tells him she loves him. Becca on the other hand doesn’t tell him that she loves him, but eh, he could still go either way. What to do, what to do? Looks like now is the time to do some Soules searching with the family.
Farmer Chris pulls up in his Chevy Silverado and his family runs out to greet him. His mother has never heard of lipstick or hair dye and is in desperate need of a makeover. His sisters could also use a little sprucing up.
Whitney
Whitney arrives in Arlington and the limo drops her 50 feet away from Farmer Chris so we can watch her run through the snow covered fields in heels. Speaking of heels, what in the hell is Whitney wearing? She admits that being in Arlington makes her feel like the happiest girl in the world but “gosh darn it” she is nervous. Good thing you wore your best flannel.
Whitney barges into the house as if she owns the place and greets Farmer Chris’ family like she has known them all her life. Within minutes of her arrival, she tells the family her entire life story. She talks incessantly the entire visit and somehow her voice never gets hoarse. She repeats these five points:
  1. she loves Farmer Chris;
  2. she wants to marry Farmer Chris;
  3. she wants to have lots of babies with Farmer Chris;
  4. she wants to move to Arlington;
  5. she wants to be a farmer’s wife.
Not one person in the Soules family thinks this is strange, desperate or pathetic.
As they sit down to dinner, Whitney is so amped up with happiness that she launches into a non-stop rambling toast in her helium sucking voice. She starts out by saying that she doesn’t have parents and can’t wait to call Farmer Chris’ parents “Mom and Dad.” She then reminds everyone that she wants to marry Farmer Chris and have babies. She cries. Papa Soules cries. I cry and wonder why no one else finds Whitney’s level of desperation alarming.
After dinner, Whitney wins over the sisters by telling them that she wants to marry Farmer Chris and move to Arlington to have babies. To hell with my career, she says, “I can be a nurse anywhere.”  Um, anywhere except ARLINGTON where you can’t even get a cup of coffee or a box of tampons (which she apparently won’t need because she plans on being knocked up for the rest of her life).
Farmer Chris sits with his sisters and they are genuinely impressed with Whitney’s desire to throw her entire life away and move to Arlington (a place where they no longer live BTW). These are the same sisters who used their best judgement and picked a stripper for a Cinderella date.
Ah, if only things were so clear for Farmer Chris. He assures his sisters that he has no “reservations” about Whitney, but admits that he has “the kind of chemistry that’s hard to find” with Becca. We all know that is code for “the kind of chemistry I don’t have with Whitney.”  He tells them that Becca is “athletic and grounded and cool” and hey wait a minute, when did this conversation turn into “the many attributes of Becca?”  Isn’t he supposed to be talking about how wonderful Whitney is and how much he loves her? One sister reminds him that he is looking for a wife, not a girlfriend, and that Whitney loves him so he should pick her. They point out that his inability to articulate his feelings for Becca is a red flag. If that’s the case, then this whole season has been on huge, red flag because Farmer Chris can’t articulate his way out of a wet paper bag.
Momma Soules is up next and she practically sits in Whitney’s lap and asks “Why do you think you are in love with my son.”  Once again, Whitney professes her deep love for Farmer Chris, tells Momma that she has raised a wonderful man and that she can’t wait to call her Mom. What a suck up. Momma is so freaking excited and says they would be “dog gone lucky” to have Whitney in their family. Whitney is confident that she will be the next Mrs. Soules. Whitney girl, you better take a good look at Momma Soules because that’s pretty much what you are going to look like in 30 years.
Farmer Chris kisses Whitney goodbye and sends her off so he can spend some time with the men folk out in the tool shed. They talk about Becca. Brother-in-law Jason astutely points out that Becca is the hot girl at the bar that no one can talk to and that Farmer Chris wants because she is hard to get. Thanks for the insight Jason.
Becca
Before the Soules family can put the stamps on the wedding invitations, they have to meet the woman Farmer Chris really loves. Becca arrives with windblown hair, a denim shirt, a black bra and a tray of cookies. The family looks at her suspiciously but eventually warm up to her, and even laugh as Becca talks about “downtown Arlington” (is there such thing)?
When laugh time is over Becca meets with the sisters. She is honest with them about her lack of feelings for their brother and tells them that Whitney really loves him. She tells them that she will not pick up and move until she is 100% sure that she is in love. In other words, she describes a healthy, normal relationship. The sisters call her “another California girl” and are not impressed, so they continue painting Whitney’s name on the mailbox.
Momma Soules takes Becca to the “serious talk alcove” and doesn’t waste any time asking her if she will move to Arlington. Again, Becca answers honestly and says that although she has feelings for Farmer Chris, she is not exactly sure what her feelings mean. Momma Soules creepily runs her hand through Becca’s hair and assures her that what she feels towards her son is in fact love. Becca is so freaked out by Momma’s large man hands on her face that she says something along the lines of “You know, Whitney really, really wants to get married and move to Arlington.” Momma wants Becca to commit to marrying her son, but Becca stands her ground and says  “What if I’m willing to commit to relationship?”  Momma is not happy with that response and tells Becca that she has to take a chance. Becca cries not because she is in love, but because Momma Soules is very pushy.
Becca leaves and Papa Soules sums up the whole thing in one sentence – “Whitney is a sure thing but Becca is the one he wants.” How does that make you feel Whitney?
Last Dates
Farmer Chris heads to Becca’s hotel room to ask some hard hitting questions and give her one last chance at committing to a horrible, boring, lonely life with him in Arlington. He questions her feelings for him and she replies “I don’t know.”  He asks her how she feels about moving to Arlington. She says “I don’t think so.” He asks when she will be ready to move to Arlington. She says “I don’t know.” He asks when do you want to get married and have kids. Her response? You guessed it – “I don’t know.”
Farmer Chris gets frustrated but doesn’t give up. “Why don’t you feel like you are in love with me” he asks. “Because I don’t even know you” would have been the appropriate response, but instead she tells him there are unknown steps that she has to take. Seriously Farmer Chris, get yourself a copy of “She’s Just Not That Into You” and read it on the plane.
After 30 minutes of Farmer Chris not finishing a sentence and Becca not answering one, she finally commits to “I want to date you but not marry you right now.”  He hugs her and cries. He doesn’t finish his sentence. He sighs and sniffles and cries and rubs his eyes. Sigh.
“Oh well” Farmer Chris thinks to himself, “there’s always what’s her name.”
Whitney
The next day Farmer Chris stands in the field and waves like a goober as Whitney arrives for their date. She greets him with the obligatory jump leg wrap straddle.
Farmer Chris shows her around his farm and she is excited when she finds out they are going to spend the day harvesting corn. Papa Soules comes out of the combine to greet Whitney. She does not perform the jump leg wrap straddle on him.
Whitney asks a lot of questions about harvesting corn to which the answers are: the machine picks the corn and puts it in the back of the truck. She spends the day counting her acres, thinking about her future children, and mentally redecorating the house. She talks non-stop about how much she loves him and wants to get married and have babies. She does not know how to stop talking. How long before Farmer Chris runs Whitney over with the combine just to get her to shut up?
Later that night he visits her hotel room and she talks and talks and talks for a change. She again tells him how much she loves him, just in case he forgot. He says the words all women long to hear, “I reciprocate your feelings.”  She pulls him in for a kiss and he kisses her with his eyes open. That is not a good sign.
Farmer Chris meets with Neil Lane and picks out rings despite not knowing who he wants to marry. He arrives at the barn where he raised his first pig and can’t wait to propose to his future wife there because nothing says love like raising livestock. But even as the limos arrive, he is unsure because he can see a future with both of them, and knows he will be “devastated” either way.
The first limo arrives and who is it, who is it, who is it???  The door opens and out comes BECCA in a beautiful deep red velvet dress. She climbs to the loft where Farmer Chris is waiting. He holds her hands and tells her that he never had doubts about them having a life together and he could see her as his wife. Farmer Chris then lets out a big sigh and adds “but you’re not really ready.” He goes on to tell her “I have to go with my heart and my gut. I’m so thankful (tears start flowing) and you will make someone happy one day, but I’m not the guy who can give you what you need.” Is it me or did Becca look extremely relieved? She gives him a hug, says, “See ya” and gets in the limo and the hell out of Dodge.
Now for the moment we have all been waiting for. Whitney arrives in a long, navy gown and manages to navigate the steps up the loft without stepping in manure. When she arrives at the top, her mouth takes over and she talks, talks, talks. Even though she is about to hyperventilate (someone pass a paper bag please) she manages to squeak out one more speech about how much she loves him and how she can’t wait to move to Arlington and have babies. Farmer Chris tells her that he loves her too, gets on one knee, pulls out ring and asks Whitney to marry him. Of course she says YES and they celebrate by sitting in the loft window and lovingly looking at corn. Holy Cow!
Some notable moments from After the Final Rose:
  1. When asked by Chris Harrison if he regretted not choosing Becca, Farmer Chris said he is “excited” about his choice and is not looking back. I think he and Whitney should put that on their engagement announcements.
  2. Becca does not seem too broken up AT ALL about being sent home. I am fairly confident that we will never see Becca again.
  3. When asked what he loves about Whitney, Farmer Chris responded “She reminds me of my sisters.”
  4. Whitney admits that she has not watched footage from the show other than her dates with Farmer Chris. This explains why she is still engaged to a man who clearly loved another woman.
  5. Momma and Papa Soules joined Farmer Chris and Whitney shortly after the proposal and start talking about grandchildren. Whitney was ready to jump in the nearest hay bale and get things started.
  6. Ashley Onion agreed to be on Bachelor in Paradise. At least I think she did.
  7. Jimmy Kimmel pretty much tells Whitney that she was second choice, but he brought them a cow named Juan Pablo as an engagement gift.
  8. Chris Harrison announces that Bachelor Nation had a hard time choosing between Britt and Kaitlyn (the audience’s reaction was clearly pro Kaitlyn) and for the first time in Bachelorette history there will be 2 Bachelorettes. The MEN will choose which woman will remain after the first night. Great idea to let men choose a show that is watched primarily by women.
  9. Britt hams it up a bit, but Kaitlyn is less than happy about sharing the Bachelorette spotlight with Britt. Neither am I.
Well rose lovers, our journey has come to an end. I would like to say that if Britt is chosen as the next Bachelorette, I will not watch this show anymore. I would like to say that, but I would be lying. Of course I am going to watch regardless of who is chosen, because no one can turn away from this train wreck.

Revisiting the Newlyweds: Old and New

Out with the old and in with the new. Newlyweds Season 1 (top) and Season 2 (bottom). Photos: Bravotv.com

Out with the old and in with the new. Newlyweds Season 1 (top) and Season 2 (bottom).
Photos: Bravotv.com

By Lesley Rousso

In preparation for last night’s second season premiere of Newlyweds: The First Year, Bravo TV revisited the season one cast last week.  Not sure about you but I was a huge fan of this show so I was super excited to watch.  It definitely did not disappoint.  Tara (@TheBravoBlonde) and I discussed it and we both agreed it provided us with a pretty realistic view into the lives of these four couples post-show.

We meet up again, now two years later, with Blair and Jeff, Alaska and KimKathryn and John  and the infamous Tina and Tarz.  T and T  are stil

l having some of the same issues they did in their first year, especially with Tina’s father, who seems to despise Tarz even more, if that’s possible.  They have a (what feels staged) scene in a yogurt shop where Tina goes nuts smashing yogurt toppings on a table.  She did say she went back and cleaned it up. The pair have added a child, Tarzie, to their family. Tina takes him on a very bizarre (and also possibly staged) audition.  One thing Tina is never short of is the entertainment factor.  Without fail, this girl just makes me laugh.

Alaska and Kim seem to have forged a pretty strong bond over the past two years.  Kim has since moved to LA which has really improved their relationship. Take it from me, the California sun is some pretty good medicine.  Speaking of medicine, Alaska who has a very bad back, has acquired a medicinal marijuana prescription. It has definitely chilled him out.  In fact so much, he has sprouted ropes from the dead center of his head.  Sorry Alaska, I love you but your new do, not so much.

Kathryn and John are still in Long Island running their tanning salon and have also had a baby.  Kathryn is a sweet girl but John still irritates the crap out of me.  Mainly the way he deals with his son.  Dude, get over yourself and change a diaper, he’s your kid too! I can’t with him.

Sadly when we meet up again with Blair and Jeff, we find out the two have been living separately for the past seven months. Ultimately, the guys decide to end their domestic partnership.

And now onto Season Two, which  began last night at 10 and featured four new couples embarking on the adventure of marriage.  Introducing for the first time as…Bravolebs, Erik and Nadine Courtney, Kirk and Laura Knight, Rouvaun and Toi Troutman-Walker, and Samantha and Laura Leigh Abby.

The show began with the same catchy theme song we remember from last year.  I don’t know why, but I love it.  I wish it was a ringtone. We meet Kirk and Laura first,it is three days before their wedding.  The pair live in Bethesda, Maryland and met on a blind date.  Kirk is in commercial real estate investing and Laura owns an insurance brokerage company.  Kirk we come to find, is a bit of a control freak.  He has two teenage sons from a previous relationship and seems to be a good dad.  He also has two pre-school age siblings from his Dad’s current relationship.  The dad reminded me of Albert Brooks character in This is 40.  Think about it, you know I’m right.

Sam and Laura met seven years ago in their sorority with Laura being Sam’s big sister.  Laura says she never considered herself a lesbian until she met Sam and the rest is pretty much history.  The girls live in New York City where Laura is a freelance writer and Sam is independently wealthy.  Her mother, who passed away, left a multi million dollar trust to Sam and her brother.  Sam recently used some of her inheritance to start a production company.  Laura and Sam meet up with Sam’s close-knit Jewish family who reminds me somewhat of my own.  Very, let it all hang out.  Laura’s from a strict Catholic family who I am happy to report have embraced her wife to be.

Rouvaun and Toi have both previously been married. They met years before and went on a date and really hit it off.  Due to financial concerns and living far apart, he in Northern California and she is in LA, they let each other go for fourteen years.  Enter Facebook.  Both divorced, they got back together and Toi moved to be with Rouvan, a banker and mortgage broker, and develop her hair extension company.  Unfortunately Toi doesn’t have many of her own people at the wedding.  Her mom traveled from Ohio and wound up in the hospital, and because of Toi’s lupus she can’t risk getting sick by going to visit her. Rouvaun lovingly sets up an iPad so Toi’s mom can watch the nuptials via  Face Time.

Erik and Nadine live in my favorite of places, Santa Monica.  We meet them when Erik is on the way out to pick up his mom from the airport.  Erik’s mom is a nun.  Yes, a nun.  Erik tells us than when he was seventeen, his mom made the choice to become a nun.  Okey doke. Mom is actually really cute when we do meet her.  Erik is a computer consultant and met Nadine online and on their third date they went all the way to Tokyo.  No, not like Benihana Tokyo, like Tokyo, Japan.  This explains why after three months of dating the two went to Paris and got engaged.  Nadine is a beauty blogger who parlayed it into two books titled Beauty Confidential and Confessions of a Beauty Addict published by Harper Collins.

All four weddings go off mostly without a hitch and the couples begin their lives together.  The upcoming weeks look good.  Once again the newlyweds have sucked me in.  If anyone finds the theme song ringtone, hit me up.