Fans of The Real Housewives of New York have been waiting with baited breath for season 7, and the return of original RHONY housewife, Bethenny Frankel. The premiere episode is even titled “The B is Back.” So, you can imagine my disappointment when Frankel barely made a blip on the radar. Bravo must not want to blow their wad right out of the gate which is why there was a definite shortage of Bethenny-centric moments. Even though Bravo is dragging out the foreplay, we still got just enough of a Bethenny fix to realize that she may be a bit battered but far from broken. Here are a few reasons why it’s great the “B” is back.
1. She Makes Us Laugh
The other ladies are a lot of things, but funny doesn’t rank in the top ten. She provides a non-stop, self-deprecating and witty narrative about her own life. Her sense of humor is as dry as a Skinny Girl martini. No matter what is thrown at her, Frankel is never at a loss for words. Whether it’s dishing about having sex with pigs, both literally and metaphorically, calling her real estate agent a spoiled queen or revealing her ass fetish. Frankel possesses that rare gift of making us laugh out loud.
2. She’s an Open Book
With Bethenny on the show, we get to hear a first-person account of the events in her life that have been tabloid fodder. She speaks out on the loss of her talk show, aspects of her very public split and how she’s been coping with the demise of a relationship that started like a dream but ended up a nightmare. She’s lost her home and is bouncing from hotel to hotel. She’ll have to tread somewhat lightly when it comes to ex, Jason Hoppy, but Bethenny will speak her truth, however ugly it may be. While Teresa Giudice tried to hide her skeletons in her overflowing closet, Bethenny’s remodeling the one in her new Soho apartment, so hers are out on full display.
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3. As Far as Role Models Go, You Could Do Worse
She is, by far, the most successful housewife. A few of the women enjoyed a thriving career prior to becoming part of the wildly popular franchise, but most of the women have capitalized on their notoriety and developed clothing, cosmetic and skin care lines. A few have gone into the wine business, others have written books. There are radio personalities, actresses, an ex journalist turned bestselling author, singers and a Grammy-award winning songwriter, a restauranteur and whatever the hell it is that Sonja Morgan does. But Bethenny leaves them all in her wake. She built a brand from scratch, turning herself into a household name, not just because of her TV notoriety, but her business accouterments.
Frankel is a jack of many trades and a master of them all, except maybe for ice skating and talk show hosting. She is self made, hard working, ambitious and shows no signs of slowing down. No mention of her possible foray into marijuana manufacturing just yet, but watching her in the trenches, building, although some might view it as saving, her empire, she’s an inspiration to career women everywhere.
4. She’s Can Dish it Out and Take It
Frankel just doesn’t give a shit what anybody thinks. She speaks her mind, makes no apologies and has very few regrets, if any. Fans have learned that many of the wives aren’t really who they try to portray themselves to be when the cameras are rolling, but Bethenny puts it all out there. After seeing a picture of herself grinding with Jamie Foxx on social media, Bethenny shrugs off the possibility of any criticism. We could all take a lesson from B on how to dismiss the haters.
She doesn’t seem to be going into The Real Housewives of New York City season 7 holding any grudges, but I expect she’ll soon discover some of the other ladies might find her abrasiveness disarming. But if she hurts someone’s feelings, she’ll own it, and if she’s going for the jugular, her victim will see it coming instead of getting stabbed in the back.
5. She’s Unpredictable
We can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. And it’s not just because Bravo promises that promises Bethenny will find herself in some emotionally explosive situations throughout the season. Bethenny isn’t all about conflict. Watching her navigate the choppy waters of single motherhood, a career and interpersonal relationships promises to be engaging, especially when she does so with her trademark wit. I expect she’ll infuse a much needed pragmatic perspective to the RHONYC group dynamic. When you think she’ll go left, she swerves right. Waiting for her to eviscerate Ramona, expect that she’ll embrace her instead. Okay, maybe a bit of both.
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6. She’s More Relateable Than Ever
Let’s face it, most of the women watch their favorite Housewives franchise as a form of escape. The glorious sun-soaked, vacation and botox-filled lives of the California ladies or basking in the southern shade with a refreshing glass of tea with the Atlanta crew. Melbourne who?
The New York women have always remained pretty grounded, most of them squirrels trying to get a nut. Bethenny was, a few years ago, a real-life Carrie Bradshaw. Now she’s back, and her life experiences have made her more empathetic, more accountable. Bethenny talks to LuAnn about some of the other women, Sonja and Romana in particular, and she’s not churlish, as she might have been in the past. B is reserving judgment. Perhaps being away for a few years has allowed her that luxury. She’s like the Victoria Gotti of Real Housewives. She’s got wisdom to impart, probably whether the ladies will want to hear it or not.
7. She Shows It’s Okay Not to Have it All
Bethenny from season one was determined to have it all: a successful career, a husband and a child. She achieved all of her goals, only to watch this unattainable dream many women have for themselves fall apart. Now she’s facing the reality of being too old to have any more children, of trying to find a place to call home, of being a single parent, of re-imagining what her life is going to look like in the fallout of both personal and professional setbacks. She’s strong one moment and dissolving into tears the next. What woman going through an ugly break up hasn’t had a meltdown in front of a perfect stranger?
Bethenny is still vacillating between what’s she’s lost and an eagerness about what comes next. One thing is certain, returning to the Real Housewives guarantees this next chapter will be anything but boring.
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Tuesdays at 9pm on Bravo.
(Image Courtesy of Bravo)