OK. Perhaps I’m learning what the rest of the general public already knows about Bravo’s reality shows. Or perhaps they’ve finally gone too far with Bethenney Getting Married.
But I watched the premiere last night, and instead of getting caught up in the whimsy and drama of Bravo, I felt creeped out.
The show follows Bethenny Frenkel, the newest Bravolebrity from the Real Housewives of New York, as she plans her wedding and runs her business. Oh, and did I mention she’s 7.5 months pregnant? Now, I like Bethenny. She’s one of the less-crazy New York housewives (take this observation with a grain of salt, please), runs her own business, and is a trained chef.
The premiere didn’t have anything out of the ordinary for Bravo. Bethenny got to walk in a special fashion show for New York fashion week, she interviewed assistants for her business, picked out wedding rings with her fiancee, and she threw a housewarming party only to have Jason get stuck in that huge snowstorm and not be able to attend.
However, we also got to see her go to therapy. Bethenny struggles with commitment due to her parents own turbulent divorce and her lack-of relationship with her dad, who died during the last season of the Real Housewives. She teared up as she talked about her family, and admitted to having been engaged three times in the past. And instead of getting off on other people’s pain, I felt weird. This woman was in THERAPY. Creating a relationship with a doctor who she was telling her deepest feelings. And I got to watch it on TV? Too much. How is that therapeutic? Now, admittedly, I’m not sure that Bethenny told the shrink anything we haven’t heard on the Real Housewives. But it felt voyeuristic on my part to be watching. And not in a good way. I like the Real Housewives because I get to see awesome houses, cars, and clothes. And because I get to see grown women acting like children flipping tables over on each other at five star restaurants. (Oh, what? That was the New Jersey housewives? My bad. I’m sure the New York ones would NEVER do that.) For some reason interpersonal conflict seems more OK to watch than intrapersonal conflict.
Also, it made me further question the sanity of those that agree to be on these shows. How is having a national public present in your therapy session going to help at all? And if her marriage does fall apart, I’m sure having a television camera present at every step of the way will be part of the reason. Why would you do that to yourself?
But this is probably just me. And to be honest, I’ll probably watch some more episodes since Bravo replays everything 50 times.
But this show was a reminder to me that sometimes, the reality can go too far. And it made me feel better about myself, because it seems even I have limits to what I’ll watch. I want to watch mindless quibbles between blonde women. Not massive inner turmoil from the disturbed. But perhaps they’re one and the same.