Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bravo TV Report Card, Spring 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Much has changed in the world of Bravo TV since then. But really, has it? Let’s go to the report card and find out:

There's a new twinkle in her eye.
Bethenny Ever After: The reality TV equivalent of a lead singer’s head getting too big and leaving the band for a solo career. I expected it to work out, in this case, because Bethenny’s band sucked. You had to figure when she got married and started her own show it would be an upgrade. Not really. Bethenny’s lost her edge a bit. She’s in love now, which means she’s less cynical and more happy. Which is great for Bethenny, but not for me. I’ll give BEA the edge over RHONY, because at least now Bethenny’s playfully bickering with a man (as opposed to un-playfully bickering with a swarm of women), but only by a reconstructed nose.
FVG Grade: D-

Real Housewives of New York: They really miss Bethenny. Not literally, of course, because they all hated her, but in terms of the show being watchable, this was a devastating loss. It’s like when I was 11 and the Mets traded David Cone to the Blue Jays at the trading deadline for minor league prospects. I frantically found my Dad and asked, “Dad, why would we ever trade David Cone? He’s our only good player!!!” I understand now that moves like this make sense for a team’s long-term viability. But in the short-term, they’re just that much more painful.
FVG Grade: F-

Million Dollar Listing: When the three main characters are doing what they do best, I like this show. These are some of the best young realtors in Southern California, and since I only ever deal with the dregs of NYC’s rental market, it’s nice to know there are caring, talented go-getters out there. It’s when Bravo manufactures cat-fights between them – and makes them have staged lunches with female friends where no one ever eats – when MDL gets annoying. Maybe this is how they get the women to watch, but it doesn’t seem to me like you need it. After all, that’s what the Housewives are for.
FVG Grade: D+

Pregnant in Heels: The title is terrible. I don’t even get it. All women wear heels, so who specifically is this referring to? The main character, Rosie Pope, is cute, spunky, has a pretty (and most likely fake) Australian accent, and is great at what she does. Which is…a “pregnancy consultant”. WTF is a pregnancy consultant? Who comes up with this stuff? And that’s just it: Anyone who’d legitimately seek out the help of a pregnancy consultant has to be entertaining television. And sure enough, the pilot included two expecting couples: The first hated babies and had a husband whom Lindsey was 98% sure was gay, and the second spent upwards of 15K to “focus group” a baby name (which they insisted isn’t a name, but a “brand”), only to go against everyone’s recommendation in the end and pick the name they wanted in the first place (Bowen). It was awesome. I loved it. I even asked Lindsey when the next episode would be on. She said it’s tonight. Hmmm, Lakers-Spurs…
FVG Grade: B-

Don't even get me started.
Watch What Happens Live: As if the Real Housewives weren’t horrible enough, now they bring a bunch of them on afterwards to talk with Andy Cohen about the show we just spent an hour watching. Seriously. Why must you do this to me, Bravo? Cohen intentionally brings up the most heated moments from the show in order to cause…you guessed it: even more fighting! And, of course, Lindsey loves it! All girlfriends do. This marks the first time I’m actually mad at Bravo. They know exactly what women’s guilty pleasures are, and exploit them without any regard whatsoever for boyfriends who might be stuck watching with them. You owe me one, Bravo. Now go find me another Rosie.
Grade: F minus minus