The last time I spoke with Bethenny Frankel, she admitted that being on a reality show and a celebrity chef and author was never something she imagined when she was a little girl. And furthermore, being on a reality show was something that all of her friends and even her publicist had advised against. "It doesn't matter what your plan is, as long as you're going forward," she told My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture in April 2009. And for Frankel, working for Bravo has not only helped her propel her brand forward, but also her life.
Frankel is the "tell it like it is" Real Housewife of NYC that always seemed just a bit more down-to-Earth than the rest, even though she lived as lavishly as they all did. She has a quick wit and even sharper sense of humor, and she isn't afraid to let loose. But that franchise is known for its drama, and after having a falling out with her closest ally in the cast and with a baby on the way (she gave birth to baby Bryn on May 8th), Frankel figured it was time to branch out. Cut to this summer (Thursdays at 10 pm on Bravo) when her own show, Bethenny Getting Married, fills the void of The Real Housewives franchise.
"I would do the show just to get to go to therapy!" Frankel laughed during a phone interview with My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture. "I don't have time to go to therapy, but...the guy was amazing, and I can't wait to go back."
But just because Frankel has some very serious, very emotional moments on the couch in her new show doesn't mean her usual brand of humor isn't deeply integrated within it as well. In fact, one of the reasons she said she wanted to do her own show in the first place was to be able to show off who she really is, and whether it's grilling prospective employees on what they know about her or having her significant other wax her pregnant belly, that is one funny woman.
"The Real Housewives...doesn't really show me in my true life," Frankel explained. "I mean, you see bits and pieces, and you can kind of get a sense of me, but really I'm not a woman who hangs out with a lot of women. I really focus mostly on work and when I'm in a relationship, on that relationship. So [Bethenny Getting Married] really just gets more micro and into the real details of my life."
Needless to say, then, Bethenny Getting Married is an equal blend of Frankel's successful professional life as an author and chef, as well as her new-found success in her love life. "[The show] is more dedicated to the struggles I go through being thirty-nine, getting engaged, getting pregnant, doing everything backwards. Being pregnant at my bridal shower and now having the baby at my baby shower. Nothing I do is sort-of right-side up, it seems," Frankel joked.
"I didn't want this to be like let's shill all my products or anything. [They're] doing very well, and I'm very lucky, but it's more about planning the wedding or that I was the runaway bride and getting engaged, and what it's like to shop for a wedding dress when I'm six months pregnant.
"There [won't be] big blow-outs at cocktails or charity events," Frankel continued. "I don't really go out that much. I'm pretty much home in my pajamas most of the time, unless I have to go somewhere for work. Like, right now I'm home in my pajamas, feeding the baby, with the dog, editing my book in bed...That's kind of more what my life is like."
But rest assured, Housewives fans, Frankel's friends from that series will turn up from time to time on her new show. Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen turn up at a dinner party Frankel hosts in the series premiere, for example, but Frankel assured that any time someone does cross over, it will only be because it's real. No one has been hired to appear and no events were orchestrated just to create a mini-reunion.
"I invited Alex to my bridal shower and she came; I invited Ramona, and she was out of town. You know, the same thing: Ramona came over yesterday to see the baby, but this Sunday she can't go to the baby shower. Ramona was in Africa when I had the baby, but Alex came to the hospital because she was in town. It's nothing orchestrated. There's no drama, there's no fighting with those two!"
And though Bravo seems to be promoting a reconciliation during the season finale of The Real Housewives of NYC, Jill Zarin will not be appearing on Bethenny Getting Married because "Jill isn't in my life," Frankel stated simply.
Fair enough. It's time we all took a break from the overgrown drama anyway!
Madison and I will surely be tuning in on June 10th, and you should, too! We watched the first episode on a screener and Madison was enthralled by Frankel's dog Cookie. Every time she barked (which was actually quite a lot), Mad would look up at the screen and then around the apartment, trying to find her. It's a show that's fun for our whole family!