Bethenny Getting Married is Bravo’s best debut ever despite its title, her dull fiance

Despite its nonsensical title, Bethenny Getting Married? drew viewers to Bravo and became its highest-rated debut ever. Bethenny Frankel’s show was “the highest rated series premiere in network history with 2.10 million total viewers and 1.35 million adults 18-49,” according to a Bravo press release.

I’m surprised by that–but also by how watchable the show quickly became. I couldn’t quite imagine what Bethenny would do without the other housewives to make smart-ass comments about, and I also couldn’t imagine watching an hour of conversations between her and her fiance/future husband Jason Hoppy, who on Real Housewives had about 95 percent less personality than one of Ramona’s eyeballs. It was also weird that Bethenny suddenly had brand-new friends, highlighting the artificiality of these docudrama shows that purport to show someone’s life but actually show a producer’s version of it.

But thanks to conflict between them (fueled so far by Jason’s conservatism, and I don’t mean politically), Bethenny’s hiring of a gratuitously hot assistant, and some emotional weight in Bethenny’s on-camera therapy session, it just worked. It’s certainly not the guilty pleasure/ridiculous mess that Real Housewives is, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Review: Married at First Sight

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.