Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bethenny Ever After: Tyrannical Empire

Hey Everyone! Who's ready for another glassful of Bethenny?

"What can you do for ME today? Huh?"

I’m a little concerned this week because the public image of our little protagonist, Bethenny, seems to be taking a bit of a hit. I’ve been reading things on the interwebs and even just reading your comments it’s clear that Bethenny is grating some nerves. What I found so endearing about her last season is that she was learning what it was like to truly care about other people more than herself. Like after Bryn was born and she said she didn’t care about work, she just wanted to take care of Bryn. Those were sweet moments. This season, though, Bethenny DOES seem to be over that initial daze of being so in love (both with Jason and Bryn), and she’s back to business. I really hope we get more glimpses of that softness, which balances her abrasiveness. Sadly, this episode, we do not.

We join Bethenny going to Bryn’s crib one morning to get her up. Gina is sleeping soundly in her sofabed next to Bryn and not even stirring. Bethenny explains that Bryn sleeps from 8PM to 8AM and that Gina sleeps as long as possible since she’s not a morning person. She then acknowledges that most baby nurses don’t hang around as long as Gina has, but she’s sort of become part of their family. Bethenny says she’s adopted a 49-year-old child. She likes to take Bryn out for walks in the morning in her tummy carrier and Cookie comes too. This morning there is a photographer snapping pictures when Bethenny walks out of a shop, so she panics that the paparazzi is after her and she nudges in with a group of guys and kind of hides among them until they get home. She says she doesn’t want the paparazzi getting shots of Bryn. But Bryn is appearing on Bravo every week, so she can’t be THAT concerned about the baby’s privacy. Does she have more control over the show? Is that it? When she gets back Gina’s still asleep and she rants to us about how Gina is supposed to work for her, but in reality she works for Gina... taking care of her own baby.

Now Bethenny and Jason stop in at a little wine and spirits store because Bethenny is all riled up again about how she keeps getting tweets and emails telling her people can’t find Skinny Girl margaritas all over the country. This particular shop owner tells Bethenny that they had Skinny Girl for a couple of months, then didn’t have any over the summer, but now they do again. Bethenny is so irritated that she’s ready to fire somebody - anybody - on the spot.

"You are not qualified to distribute my product!"

At least Bethenny realizes that she doesn’t know the details. But she is dead set on convincing Jason to get involved with the details and fix everything. Bethenny says something interesting, which is that she’s doing all of this for THEIR family, but Jason sees it as HER thing. Bethenny, that’s because it IS your thing. Jason there? He has a full time job of his own, which is also going to the benefit of your family. It kinda bugs me that she thinks it’s his duty to prioritize her projects over the ones he’s spent HIS life building. Jason tells Bethenny that he’ll look into the shortage in his spare time, but he’s not going to march in and fire people because he has to assume there are legitimate reasons for the hold-up. Um hello? I’m sure it’s not like there are a bunch of factory workers standing around planning out how they can best screw Bethenny over. She’s so quick to assume that everyone is incompetent besides herself. I guess the fact that she realizes that she’s too irrational to address this on her own is good. I just don’t see why her husband is the only alternative. There are very talented business people who do things like this for a living and can be just as invested, even if they didn’t hatch the Skinny Girl idea themselves.

Aw look who’s here to visit Bethenny at home. It’s awkward little Nick!

"Let's go to the big gay ice cream truck."

He’s brought her a sandwich and mini cupcakes from an underground sandwich shop. Underground eateries would be the number one reason for me to move to New York. I love that you can get fantastic cuisine from anywhere around the globe on that tiny little island. Except Mexican - correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never found a great authentic Mexican restaurant in NYC. Anyway, Bethenny loves that Nick loves food and she wants him to write a blog for her. Hmm. She doesn’t want to just hang out with him, be friends and enjoy food together, she wants him to work for her. Why? Why does everyone in her life have to become a serf in her empire? Am I being harsh? They discuss various food carts and Bethenny wants to do a food crawl and have Nick blog about it, so she starts brainstorming names. After offending Nick by suggesting “Nick’s Creepy Crawl,” they finally settle on “Nick’s Culinary Crawl.” Julie brings Bryn over and Nick says to the baby, “Nice to meet you,” and offers to feed her a red pepper.

"Or maybe a sip of tequila?"

Aw, he seems so sweet. There’s speculation on the interwebs as to whether he may be mildly autistic. I guess all the better for Bethenny to control him. She says she likes unusual people, sleeper hits.

Later Julie goes with Bethenny to do a photo shoot for Redbook. While Bethenny gets her hair did Julie advises her to pass on a book signing gig in Canada and Bethenny starts waxing thoughtful about how she tries to do too much and she needs to reel it in. Bethenny reminds us what a huge deal Redbook is because it is every woman in the country. Personally, I’ve never even opened a Redbook, but okay. Then Gina appears with Bryn.

"Oh good. Someone dressed my baby."

Bethenny fawns all over Bryn and then realizes that something is wrong with Gina. She’s very upset and it turns out that her husband has taken her name of the deed to their property, which is in Trinidad, and they’re separated, and Gina wants to send him to jail. It’s all very traumatic and Bethenny is rather helpless, but she assures Gina that everything is going to be okay. Now she has a photo shoot to attend to. She tells us that maybe the boundaries with Gina have been blurred, but she wants to kick Gina’s husband’s ass.

Bethenny is off to tell Dr. Amador about how Jason needs to get involved in her Skinny Girl business. Dr. Amador wants to know if Jason will be working FOR Bethenny or WITH Bethenny. She insists that it’s WITH. She and Jason haven’t discussed it yet, but that’s the goal down the line. I’m not exactly sure what Dr. Amador is getting at, but he says something about becoming partners and that no matter where Bethenny goes, she’ll always be herself. Bethenny is certain that this working together won’t be a problem. Jason needs to be involved so that he’ll understand why she’s always so busy and frazzled. I don’t know why she thinks he doesn’t understand. Dr. Amador wonders if Bethenny feels like she’s done with therapy and Bethenny is like, “Hell to the no!” I need someone to quietly listen to me!

"Jason talks back when I complain!"

Well it’s Gina’s birthday, so Bethenny is taking her to get a makeover. Just kidding, they’re just going to a spa to get pedicures. Gina is overly curious, for some reason, about whether the spa will also give her a bikini wax. Bethenny talks about how inappropriate Gina is, but that she loves her. As they sit soaking their feet, they discuss what is going on in Gina’s marriage.

"Fine Gina. But do you really have to sleep until 9 every day?"

Gina insists that it’s over and she’s having a hard time with it. Bethenny says, “You have us.” See, that’s nice that she wants Gina to feel like she’s part of the family, but then she’s always throwing in reminders about how she’s an employee. It would all be very confusing. Then as Bethenny comforts Gina, it somehow turns to Gina reassuring Bethenny that she’s a strong business woman and a good mommy and Bethenny is bawling all over the place. She needs a lot of reassurance, doesn’t she?

Later Bethenny and Jason are discussing how scary it will be to hire a nanny when Gina leaves. Bethenny is mostly concerned that hiring the wrong person will turn into another Max situation. Then she goes off on Max and how all he cares about is meeting girls and having his picture taken. We get a flashback of Max getting a massage at Bethenny’s baby shower. I always did think Max was a little confused about the alleged perks that come with being a celebrity assistant. See, there really aren’t any. You just get to make sure that everyone else gets perks. Jason defends Max a little until Bethenny brings up a Skinny Girl party where Max asked Jason for a condom. Okay, yes that’s completely inappropriate, but here is my complaint. Bethenny IS completely inappropriate. Most of the time. Remember when she was flirting with that producer last week? If you were hanging around listening to Bethenny all the time, would you think sexual chatter was inappropriate in her presence? I doubt it. But Bethenny has decided that Max deceived her and he’s not really interested in working hard.

So now Max comes over and sits down in the office with Julie. And Bethenny walks in totally serious and solemn. She tells Max that this is a professional environment (um, what?) and that they’re trying to run a real business and that Max is just a liability. She says he’s late, lazy and has no work ethic.

"I showed up for this, didn't I?"

As for Max, he insists that he takes the job seriously, but that at times he’s felt out of place. He’s never put together a crib, or packed a woman’s suitcase before. Bethenny’s having none of it, so basically Max owns that he’s messed up and asks for a chance to make things right. But Bethenny is over it and tells him she doesn’t want him in the office. Then she looks down at her phone and starts texting or something. Did I mention that this entire conversation is taking place in front of Julie? This makes me very uncomfortable for Max. I think it’s totally legitimate to say that he didn’t end up being a good fit for the job, or that he may have misunderstood what he was getting into. But to sit there and fire him in front of someone else while sending text messages and saying he is unprofessional is so hypocritical. Max was definitely the professional one during this particular interlude. As he gets up to leave, Bethenny won’t even look at him, but just keeps texting.

She's probably unfriending Max on Facebook.

She’s acting like he insulted Bryn or something. There was no reason to leave it like that. Look, I’m a firm believer in ending jobs that aren’t working out, but I’m also a firm believer in leaving things on good terms. I’m not very impressed with how Bethenny handled this. I don’t know how she expected him to behave in such a completely different way than she always does. Did she ever explain that to him?

In another scene, we have Jason attempting to put together a walker for Bryn and Bethenny getting more and more annoyed while she watches him not figure it out fast enough.

"How will you run my business if you're this stupid?"

Uh, Bethenny? This is exactly what will happen if Jason works with you. She finally stands up, hands Bryn to Jason and quickly snaps everything into place herself. HA! Jason even tells us this is the exact reason he’s taking baby steps with the business.

Bethenny has been asked to speak at a Bright Starts gathering, which is a company that makes educational toys for babies. Now that Bethenny is a mother, she must be the expert, right? Jason comes along to support her because he’s sweet. I also think he likes being part of her limelight. So while Bethenny is mingling and making her rounds, Jason sits down with a group of women and tells them all about how he and Bethenny met. He says he came up to her and asked her when she was going to get the stick out of her ass. He rightly points out that a conventional approach would not have worked on Bethenny.

"I never get to talk this much at home!"

He chats it up with these girls about anything and everything while Bethenny is in a corner going “Pipe down,” like he’s embarrassing her. This seems obnoxious, but I did read on her Bravo blog that she loves how social Jason is when he comes to events with her, so I don’t know if she’s trying to be funny or what. Of course, she sees this as more proof that he needs to work for Skinny Girl.

It’s time for Nick’s Culinary Crawl! He and Bethenny meet up at some sort of outdoor market with lots and lots of food booths. They go up to an empanada booth and Nick orders a veggie empanada, saying he doesn’t eat red meat. Bethenny is all kinds of put out, especially after the girl at the booth says that their best empanada is pulled pork. How is Nick supposed to help her judge food if he won’t eat half of what’s there?

"I'm seriously re-thinking hiring you as a friend."

Well, he accidentally takes a bite of the pork and he doesn’t even really seem to care, so I guess the crisis is averted. Bethenny keeps demanding to know why he won’t eat meat and he finally tells her that he likes to set some rules for himself. Bethenny’s not buying it. She jets off into the crowds of the market and Nick is left looking around for her. When Bethenny realizes Nick is falling behind, she calls Jason and tells him to come over immediately because Nick can’t keep up with her. So who wants to hang out with Bethenny? Sounds fun, right? She’ll take you on a forced march and try to make you work for her. And be totally annoyed with you the whole time. Sheesh!

Later Bethenny, Jason and Julie present Gina with a birthday cake to let her know they love her and appreciate her. Somewhere Max is watching this and wondering where he went wrong.

"Don't worry. We took the cost of the cake out of your paycheck."

Gina bursts into tears because she’s stressed about what’s going on with her family. Bethenny hugs her and keeps saying, “We’re your family! We’re your family!” Um yeah, who can fire her at any time. See? Mixed signals. Always the mixed signals. They discuss finding Gina a new boyfriend, and Gina announces that she’ll be staying on until May.

Okay, here we go one more time with the freaking supply shortage for Skinny Girl margaritas. Jason has apparently taken some time to look into things and he wants to sit Bethenny down and explain to her what’s going on. First of all, Bethenny doesn’t think Jason is angry enough.

"If I can fire Max, you can certainly fire an assembly line worker!"

He tries to explain that when everything started there was no demand for Skinny Girl, so they had to guess on how much product to make. Then when Bethenny would appear on certain shows the demand would go up. So for the coming year they’re planning on producing a lot more. Bethenny is furious that the company didn’t foresee how much the demand would shoot up when she went on TV. You know what, Bethenny? They didn’t want to gamble everything up front. Good grief, they didn’t want to lose it all. Now that they have something to go on, I’m sure that production can be more easily predicted and kept up. Jason also tries to explain that there are always issues in a new company and they are working them out. Bethenny just goes, “Why can’t they produce as fast as I can market!?” Because they don’t have magic wands. Jason keeps trying to patiently explain and Bethenny keeps interrupting to declare everyone incompetent. Jason wants to visit the bottling factory to see how everything works and Bethenny wants to smash bottles over someone’s head. She finally shuts up and lets him finish, but this isn’t a promising dynamic here.

Next week! It looks like Bryn gets baptized a couple of different ways and it’s also Halloween.

So what do you guys think? Have you lost all faith in Bethenny, or is she just figuring things out? What would help her chill out, do you think?

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta


Bethany said...

I think this is a common problem amongst self-made business people with no prior work experience. They assume that since they are good at _____, they can be the boss, but they have no understanding of human emotion and the fact that every human being is different. I've encountered this same issue with many bosses. Bethenny needs to get control of herself before she tries to control other people.

Anonymous said...

Keep seeing the shrink! Or at least become self-aware...a walking contradiction of acceptable behavior.

Laura said...

"Nick's Creepy Crawl."
HAHAHHAAH Best moment of the episode.

"You think I'm creepy?"

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first comment. Bethenny just needs to have an advisor that can guide her along and give her good advice. I really like Bethenny and am so glad she's not on NY Housewives..they are withces! I wish great happiness for her, Jason, and Bryn. Bethenny you will get everything worked out and everything will be wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I started off watching 'Betheny..' because I thought she was funny and entertaining, but the more I watch, the more of her true colors I see and dislike.

She's a typical emotionally unstable bully boss - slap/apology, slap/apology. How emotionally draining to work for someone so selfish, nasty and lacking in self-awareness as she is.

No wonder her nanny and P.A. had to make up some excuses to leave. I bet they are both SO much happier not being around SUCH a terrible person.

She has no real friends - everyone is bought / disposable.