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.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.