Bravo extends its brand into your life with increasingly pointless products

Have you ever been watching a Bravo reality show and thought to yourself, “What seems to be missing from my life are additional ways to experience the Bravo brand in my environment, particularly by purchasing products that have the logos for Bravo reality shows on them?” If so, you’re in luck, because as a Bravo press release said, the network has announced new “brand extensions with multiple licensing partnerships.” Woo!

The network says it is “continuing the extension of the Bravo brand beyond the television screen and directly into the viewer’s environment” by singing “deals with major retailers to create ‘Top Chef’ branded wines and floral arrangements, ‘Top Chef’ Master Cutlery Knives, as well as a second installment of the best selling ‘Top Chef’ cookbook.”

Okay, the cookbook and knives make some sense, but Top Chef floral arrangements? They’ll also produce co-branded wines, because that’s what people look for in a good wine: a major media conglomerate’s logo.

The network is also launching a fashion line, artfully titled Fashion By Bravo, that’s part of its new Project Runway, The Fashion Show, and will place “exclusively designed Kooba bags” into the new docudrama series NYC Prep, which is a real-life version of Gossip Girl.

At least the network admits that it’s just milking its successful series for every penny it possibly can. In the press release, Bravo Media’s Frances Berwick said, “By capitalizing on our already successful ‘Top Chef’ franchise, and building up our upcoming original series with exclusive in-show integrations and merchandising deals, we’re able to not only grow our business, but grow our brand beyond the TV screen.”

Sounds like someone has been watching way too much The Rachel Zoe Project, because Rachel spent most of the first season alternately saying, in that nasally voice, “die,” “shut up,” and “grow my brand,” although she pronounced it like “grow my bran.” There’s an idea: Bravo Bran Flakes, which help cleanse your body and brain after watching Rachel Zoe for an hour.

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Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.