A Break From Reality

The cast of GG2D restored my faith in Bravo TV! photo: bravotv.com

The cast of GG2D restored my faith in Bravo TV!
photo: bravotv.com

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

I have a confession to make. Reality TV and I have separated, or at least, we were separated. After one too many seasons of forced drama and women tearing down other women, I had just had it. I packed my bags and said goodbye. We were officially on a break. We tried to work things out. Occasionally I would be lured back in with the promise of that old feeling I used to get when I watched The Real Housewives, via a good promo, or an interesting new addition, Lisa RinnaEileen Davidson, the anticipation of Bethenny Frankel returning to RHONY, but each time I tried to watch an episode I could only half pay attention. The attraction just wasn’t there like it used to be.

I feared my love affair with Bravo TV was over. How could I still be The Bravo Blonde if I no longer watched Bravo TV? However, those clever Bravo execs found the perfect solution. Whether it be a coincidence, or the reality that reality television may have already piqued, the programming department had the foresight to launch its first scripted series with a cast of characters and actors worthy of prime time on its mothership NBC.Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce had me from the very first episode. It was witty, fun,edgy, and real, as opposed to reality, television.

Every Tuesday night we conducted our affair. I poured the wine at 10pm and gave my undivided attention to all the drama, comedy, and romance that can only be done right when it is authentically faked! How I’d forgotten the joys of character and story development unfolding at the hands of gifted writers, directors, and professional actors. Watching people who graced my television simply because they loved their craft, and not necessarily the glare of the spotlight.

Between GG2D and American Horror Story (the only scripted show I had watched since Desperate Housewives went off the air in 2012) this was the season I went back in time. Back to a time when the small screen was reserved for those who made their profession solely to entertain. It was enjoyable and stress free. To turn off twitter and just watch, as old school as it is, felt fresh and new.

With both shows over for the season, and thankfully both renewed, I have returned to my regularly scheduled programming. My refreshed eyes have readjusted and have been watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills  and The Millionaire Matchmaker again. With the winter ending, hopefully, I plan to be ready to leave my self-imposed hibernation and get back to the circuit meeting the stars of Bravo and beyond.

Yes reality TV, I am watching again. I’m ready to see new seasons of NewlywedsReal Housewives of New York City, and Real Housewives of Orange County. Or at least I thought I was ready, until I saw the season premier of Shahs of Sunset.

What scripted shows do you like to watch? Do you think reality tv is on the decline? Share your thoughts below!

Reality Roundup

We love Joanna Krupa's transformation, even though it's not as drastic as Bruce (Jennerfer) Jenner's.

We love Joanna Krupa’s transformation, even though it’s not as drastic as Bruce (Jennerfer) Jenner’s.

By Tara Cushing and Jamie Bertolini

According to Andy Cohen via Twitter, the entire cast of Vanderpump Rulesall let Stassi [Shroeder] ‘have it’” during the reunion filming on Friday. At one point, Jax Taylor tweeted “I need a drink so bad this reunion could not be going any worse ….” The SUR staff posted photos after filming wrapped at PUMP and neither Stassi, nor Kristen Doute were present.

Our deepest condolences to Vicki Gunvalson. The Real Housewives of Orange County star lost her mother on Wednesday. The original OC Housewife posted the following tribute on her Instagram page:

“Tonight I received a phone call that is every person’s

worst nightmare. My amazing, beautiful and strong

mother passed on and is now with the love of her life

my father in heaven. I am who I am today because

of her. An amazing cook, organized, bold personality

and had a sense of style and fashion I adored. I miss you

so much mommy! My life will never be the same without

you to give me advice and your wisdom. You were so healthy

and so vibrant, and so beautiful. I still need you. I love you MOM.”


In other unfortunate RHOC news, Radar Online reports that one season wonder Peggy Tanous is not only divorced from husband Micah, but could also soon be homeless. According to Radar, Tanous has missed a whopping 75 mortgage payments on her $840K home, and that she filed for bankruptcy two years ago. Court documents show that Tanous is only bringing in an estimated $30K a year. Her only current income is $2500 per month in checks from her ex, although she has never publicly acknowledged their split. We have interviewed Peggy and she has always remained a friend of TBB ‘s Twitter. If the reports are true, we wish her the best during this trying time.

Caroline Manzo’s son, Christopher Manzo of the Real Housewives of New Jersey had a second chance on Millionaire Matchmaker this week. According to his interview on Bravotv.com, he is still single but has dated since appearing on the show.

Real Housewives of Miami gone Beverly Hills Joanna Krupa took to Instagram to show off a new bob this week. The model had her hair cut by dry cut specialist and stylist to the stars, Mika Fowler. The new do is a sophisticated look for Krupa. We love the upgrade! To see more of Mika’s work you can follow her @mikafowler on twitter and @mikafowlerxx on Instagram.

In Million Dollar Listing New York news, Fredrik Eklund and his husband Derek Kaplan have once again listed their Manhattan apartment for sale. The recently renovated, West 27th Street home is on the market for $2,995,000. Fredrik and Luis D. Ortiz also announced that they’ve co-listed a Chelsea Penthouse to the tune of $6 million. We are wondering if this will be seen on the net season of MDLNY.

Good news for GG2D fans: Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce has been renewed for a second season and production is set to begin filming this summer. Bravo‘s first big foray into scripted television has been a big hit.

It appears that Kristen Taekman and Bethenny Frankel are not hitting it off as filming continues for The Real Housewives of New York City. According to Kristen’s interview on Bravotv.com. Kristen states, “I feel like I was really looking forward to getting to know her,” she tells the New York Daily News, “and at this point I feel like that hasn’t really happened yet in a way that I wanted to.” Will Kristen have a glass of Skinnygirl tossed at her next season? We will have to wait and see.

Southern Charm fans, T. Rav returns to our TVs on March 16. Being a South Carolina resident (Jamie) and quite a fan of Charleston, I love this show and the drama that it brings! Also, I can’t wait to see the rise and fall of Ravenel’s campaign if we’re being totally honest here.

Outside of Bravo TV, network news heavyweight Brian Williams is involved in a scandal that’s becoming sleazier than one of his daughter’s scenes on Girls. The Nightly News anchor and managing editor is stepping away from the news desk at NBC for an undisclosed period of time, following allegations that he lied about his personal experiences and eyewitness accounts. NBC is investigating while Lester Holt will be filling in for Williams.

Last we bring you more news about Bruce Jenner, here on in referred to as Jennerfer. Jennerfer has been a huge topic of conversation over the last few weeks with the reveal that he/she is indeed undergoing a gender metamorphosis. After months of speculation following surgery to remove his Adam’s Apple, the former Olympic athlete and Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has finally come out, or his family pushed him out, of  the gender reassignment closet. Rumored to be filming a docu-series for E!, and revealing his/her process in an exclusive Diane Sawyer interview, Jennerfer already had enough emotional stress. Sadly Jennerfer was involved in a fatal car accident in Malibu, along the Pacific Coast Highway Saturday morning. While he/she walked away without a scratch, the Lexus Jennerfer rear-ended was struck by a Hummer when it was pushed into oncoming traffic, killing the driver. According to TMZ police are obtaining a search warrant for Jennerfer’s cellphone to determine if the accident is a result of texting while driving, which is illegal in the state of California. If it is determined that Jennerfer was texting at the time of the accident, he/she could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.


I’m A Bea-lie-dor

Don't mess with Shannon's (or mine, for that matter) lemons! Photo credit: BravoTV

Don’t mess with Shannon’s (or mine, for that matter) lemons!
Photo credit: BravoTV

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

Dr. Moon? Nine lemons at all times? Last season when The Real Housewives of Orange County ‘s Shannon Beador entered our living rooms via her non-toxic dream home, our cooky meters all buzzed a bit. From her visits to a healer who detected anger and resentment around her navel, to dentists who fill teeth with precious stones, I’m sure she made more than a few viewers’ eyes roll. In the real world world there’s no time (or money) to worry about such shenanigans. I confess my first impression of Shannon was that she was a neurotic princess with too much time on her hands. I found myself growling “get a job and some real problems” at my TV. However, as the season went on, Beador, in contrast to the penchant for pricey Feng Shui advisors and tacky holiday decorating, appeared rather down to earth. She began to appear…well… real, even if she did snap at her husband for disturbing her Feng Shui lemons.

Ah lemons, here’s where I begin to morph from a practical no-nonsense real middle-class housewife, to a superstitious nut. After some events that seemed a bit unlucky, I decided that it might not hurt to try to invite in a little good fortune. I was intrigued by Shannon’s lemons, they seemed so important to her, that the fate of her entire existence rested on the need of nine lemons in a bowl in her magnificent kitchen. A little bit ashamed of myself, I started googling lemons and Feng Shui.

Always trying to watch my wallet, I realized keeping my house stocked with lemons was going to increase my grocery bills. I said goodbye to weekly fresh flowers and dragged my faux ones back out. My lemons would now be taking over the decor portion of my shopping. I got my lemons in late September. I also smudged my house at this time for a little extra luck. Our house was on the market and the traffic of buyers over the summer had been a little disappointing. I needed all the luck I can get.

Almost immediately I got a call for a showing, then another. Since I incorporated the lemons into my kitchen decor there’s been a steady flow of buyers coming, sometimes up to four showings a week. Each time the requests slowed, I’d notice my lemons were rotting. I’d switch them for fresh ones and the calls would start coming again that day. (I’ll let you know how that is going later on.)

Around this time I also got a tip that somebody I knew needed some social media help. I was referred by a friend because of my experience promoting TBB. Always up for a challenge I jumped in with both feet. The result of that leap of faith has been amazing. I have enjoyed working for my client immensely and the supplemental income has been a blessing. Late in December my client decided to let me go. I was sad, but understood the need for him to do so. Long story short, three days later I noticed my lemons had turned dull. I bought 9 new ones at the grocery store and while TRANSPORTING them home my phone rang. It was my client, out of the blue, telling me he changed his mind and wanted to keep my services. His business is as busy as ever, I’ve got my second client starting in a few days, and have had two other inquiries for hire in the past two weeks. I should also mention that my husband also got a raise around the time my client called me back. Powerful money magnets these lemons are, I tell you all. No wonder Shannon is so wealthy.

Realizing Shannon’s lemons may not just be a figment of her imagination I wondered how her other methods might work. An acquaintance of mine has been doing healing, Dr. Moon territory, as a side business. She offered to do a session on me. “You have a lot of resentment,” she said. It’s true, I don’t forgive easily, and a lot of time the anger builds within me when people have done me wrong. She worked over points inhaling and exhaling as she went. In the weeks following I noticed I was feeling lighter, more positive, and able to let go of some of the bitterness I was feeling over past events with family and friends.

January began, a new year. Determined to make it the BEST ever, I smudged my house again, my lemons from December still spreading sunshine in my kitchen. By the second week of the month I’d had a steady stream of buyers. Then I got a second showing request followed by an offer a few days later. Could 2015 be off to a better start? (In my best Chandler Bing voice). With an offer acceptance it was time to start looking for a home.

We saw that a house we had liked in the fall was still on the market, we went back and fell in love. After an intense three day bidding war we came out on top. I placed the folded listing of the home under my lemons for extra luck. A few days later I also put a lottery ticket under them. I wondered if that might conflict with the energy on my dream home.  The next day I won $2 on the ticket, but was knocked out by the competition on the house again. I removed the ticket and by the end of the day the seller came back to me. Post inspection things didn’t look in our favor again, I noticed the listing sheet had been moved out from under the lemon bowl. I put it back under and the next morning, like magic, things were looking up again.

Now, is there any science to this? Probably not. Could it all be coincidence? Maybe, but hey, a little luck never hurts. If just believing in something makes a difference then why not? I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not leaving it up to chance. As far as my kitchen goes…whether it be this one, or the new one I move into…in the words of Shannon Beador, “There must be 9 lemons in that bowl at all times.”

Take Tara’s 9 Lemon Challenge!

Place 9 lemons in a bowl in your kitchen and tell us here at TBB what happens! Leave a comment in the comment section letting us know if your lemons are lucky or just…lemons!