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Bethenny Frankel, reimagined as a Dionysian goddess being tended to by her husband and her wedding planner.

bethenny frankel

Is Bethenny Frankel the Villain of Bethenny Getting Married?

Bethenny Getting Married?, Bravo's new Real Housewives of New York City spinoff, is obsessed with its protagonist, the unstoppable Miss Bethenny Frankel: Not a single scene is filmed without her. As a result, every other character on the show seems to be living in a world in which Bethenny Frankel is the planet around which all other humans revolve. And putting aside Frankel's quick wit, the show's premise alone isn’t a lot of fun: Frankel, with a hot significant other and a successful professional life, struggles with … what, exactly? (Granted, fun for us is judging a bunch of crazy people in conflict.) With Bethenny constantly teasing her intern, nagging her fiancé;, and having a once-an-episode meltdown inside her beautiful Tribeca apartment, she might not end up being "The Bethenny" of this show — the relatable, refreshing one. So let's look at the other characters, all of whom are thus far beating Frankel for the win in her own series and decreasing Frankel's likability in the process, while perhaps landing themselves a spinoff of their own.

Max "The Hot Intern" Miesel: We're just going to say it: Frankel is cruelly blue-balling this kid. She's constantly asking him about his sex life, forcing him to shyly admit he's into women her age, and his adorable discomfort around her line of blunt questions is endearing. After hiring him (when he was the only straight candidate who applied for the job), Frankel told her fiancé, Jason, that she wouldn't walk around her home naked while Max is around, and she'd act appropriately with him. Instead, we see her laying in bed in a bathrobe while Max literally picks out her panties for her! In a scene that borders on the erotic, she tells Max to pack the black panties and Max, full of lust and longing, can only murmur, "I would have picked the pink ones ... " Hang in there, Miesel. Andy Cohen may already be mulling Max Quitting His Job?. Video evidence of Frankel's blue-balling, below:


Shawn "The Wedding Planner" Rabideau: While initially Shawn, who bears a striking resemblance to actor Tony Hale, is bumbling and kind of annoying in his attempt to be the perfect wedding planner, he shows real commitment to Frankel's big day. Shawn's trying-to-stay-calm awkwardness in the face of Frankel's "It's Four Seasons or Bust" demands scores him further points. Frankel, on the other hand, said she only hired him because she was in a time crunch. After Shawn manages to get the Frankel-Hoppy wedding held at The Four Seasons restaurant when the place was booked and he only had three weeks to do it, he even kindly brings Bethenny cotton candy. And all this for a woman who'd previously demanded he get her a seltzer just so he’d get out of her face.

Jason "Impossibly Sweet Fiancé" Hoppy: What is there to say about Jason? Even Bethenny admits she has "no idea" why this sweet man is with her. He somehow looks masculine in a sash that says "Bride to Be," and he handles himself well around this self-proclaimed "strong, successful woman." One might fear for this somewhat simple-minded man in the face of Bethenny’s self-professed emotional issues, and because of Bravo's toxic nature, it's always possible we'll someday see a fame-mongering Hoppy starring in Jason Getting Divorced? (Remember, Frankel: Andy Cohen has loyalties to nobody on this network but the viewers.) But so long as those fears are at bay, Hoppy's seeming normality is a breath of fresh air on reality television.

Mr. and Mrs. “Bethenny's In-Laws” Hoppy: Jason's mom told Bethenny, "I finally have a daughter," and takes her shopping for wedding dresses. Frankel makes the Hoppy parents breakfast frittatas and she does tear up when Mrs. Hoppy starts crying at the sight of her soon-to-be daughter-in-law in a wedding dress. But then Bethenny acted like she was doing the woman a favor, in therapy, when she was all, "I could have gone on my own." Worst of all, Frankel then holds it against Jason in an argument about how busy she's been going dress-shopping with his mom! She should be thanking these people for not holding it against her that she's dragged them onto Bravo.

Frankel still seems authentic — or at least like she’s being as authentic as she is off-camera — and she’s got a quick, cynical sense of humor and enough personality and spunk to anchor her own series. But now Frankel's character is juxtaposed with kind, caring, authentic people instead of the insane Housewives, and she's filmed crying and complaining about her upper-class problems while these kind people inexplicably tend to her (many) needs and help her through her meltdowns. Viewers grew to love Bethenny because she seemed so “down-to-earth,” like a woman who deserved happiness and could never quite find it, but now the circumstances of her life as an engaged TV star are no longer particularly relatable. The people orbiting this woman’s world are pretty endearing, but Bethenny herself may not end up being the hero of this story.

Photo: Getty Images, Photo-Illustration: Mike Vilensky and D.J. Baskin