In four franchises and numerous seasons of Bravo's Real Housewives, one's alliances are bound to change. One season you hate Vicki of Orange County. The next season you love her. One episode NeNe in Atlanta is the greatest, the next week you're wanting to throw things at the TV because of the sheer stupidity of the things coming out of her mouth.
But one Housewife has always had my affection, and I think that will never change: Bethenny Frankel. In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to meet a fair amount of weirdly famous people, and I am not even kidding when I say meeting Bethenny was definitely a highlight.
Here's what I love about Bethenny: that person you see on Real Housewives? That's exactly. how. she. is. in. real. life. The voice and the impressions and the gestures, I mean, it's hysterical. As a fan and student of reality TV, I know what editing can do. I've been manipulated by it into hating the villain, loving the hero, rooting for the underdog, and even though I'm aware of it, I can't help it. But Bethenny, I think, doesn't have much of a TV veneer, and whether you love it or hate it, hey, that's who she is.
I think that's why I love watching her. Real Housewives of New York City definitely has a different tone then the other franchises. The women have this veneer of high society and there's definitely some serious money rolling through their bank accounts. But as catty and immature as all the women of all the cities are, there's something way more Mean Girls about the way the Manhattan-ites deal with each other. With the other cities, you get the sense these women just kind of hang out while they're filming and forget about all the feuds until they start filming again. But it just keeps going in New York. They've got some Page Six-shaped weapons and they're not afraid to use them, and the machinations and manipulations are just fascinating.
And in the middle of it is Bethenny, with a sarcastic comment and an eye roll and the "Seriously, WTF is up with these crazy harpies?" attitude. She seems so self-aware of what reality TV is and how characters are made and portrayed.
Plus, she's freaking hilarious. Gold comes falling out of her mouth every week. That alone is worth the price of admission.
Follow Bethenny on Twitter @Bethenny
Check out Real Housewives on Bravo