Friday, August 6, 2010

New Guilty Pleasure: Bethenny Getting Married?

I have successfully avoided watching any episodes of the Real Housewives series on Bravo television.  As far as I can tell from the commercials, there are like 5 or 6 variations of this show now and they all look horrible to me--screaming, yelling, fancy dresses, women with big hair talking about how stressed they are.  Not my kind of show at all. 

Last week, as I was waiting for another show to start, I caught the last 15 minutes of a rerun of Bethenny Getting Married.  It was the episode when she gets married at the Four Seasons while 7 months pregnant.  As I watched her squeeze into a tight, strapless dress, snap at her wedding planner and pee in a bucket before the ceremony, I was captivated.  I didn't know much about Bethenny but she was honest, funny and obviously at a very exciting time in her life.  I was surprised that I didn't hate the show.

Skip forward to yesterday.  I was home sick with the worst migraine and I just couldn't fall asleep.  With the blinds closed and a pillow over my head, the hum of the air conditioner was really bothering me so I turned on the television and turned the volume down.  As I slipped in and out of sleep, I kept hearing bits and pieces of the programming, which just happened to be set to Bravo.  When I finally felt a little better around 2pm, I got up, made some tea and for some reason (obviously laziness), I never looked for the remote, resulting in an entire afternoon of watching Bethenny Getting Married?

In 6 hours, I watched the entire series and really loved it.  Bethenny Frankel is hysterical, even when she is being unreasonable.  It's funny to watch her interactions with others, and her constant pop culture references are great.  And her wedding planner, Shawn, is someone I recognize from my other guilty pleasure, Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? on the Style Channel.  Without sounding ridiculous, I kind of understood this woman and her new husband, Jason.  She's always been on her own and now she is becoming part of this unbelievably warm and loving family.  She's a first-time mother dealing with work and the overwhelming love that she is feeling for her new family.  Bethenny demands a lot of herself and a lot of the people in her life, but can make fun of herself too.  Of course, I haven't forgotten that despite her complaining, she has a hired car and a live-in nanny to help ease the burden. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of the show for me is Bethenny herself.  She's a chef and a well-known Manhattanite.   She's written several books that are New York Times Bestsellers.  The city really plays an important role in the show too, always shown in the background.  And it was particularly touching to see her bonding with Jason's parents, her new in-laws.  She has problems letting people get close to her but she invited her future mother-in-law with her to shop for wedding dresses, and really connected with this woman.  Another part that actually made me tear up was when Bethenny and Jason introduced their new daughter to his parents, naming her Bryn after Jason's brother, who died years ago.  The reaction of all four adults is heart-warming and as real as any moment on any reality show.

So I hopped on the bandwagon just in time for the season finale last night.  Maybe there will be another season and I'll get to check out Bethenny and her life again.  I may have given in to this Bravo show but I won't be tuning in to the Real Housewives of New York any time soon.

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