Reality TV may have “real” right there in the genre name, but we all know these shows are usually more scripted than a Shonda Rhimes-penned episode of Scandal. Yet, on rare occasions, we see “reality” TV become oh-my-God-this-is-too-real-to-watch TV. And that’s what happened on the latest episode of Real Housewives Of New York season 9, when Bethenny Frankel ended up melting down over her own private torment and LuAnn (De Lesseps) D'Agostino’s ill-advised upcoming nuptials.
After years of Bethenny vs. LuAnn drama, things between the Bravo veterans seem better than ever at the beginning of "Two Weeks Notice." Just a year earlier, Bethenny had called her sometimes-nemesis a "whore" and now, here they are talking about relationships without any misogynistic insults being hurled around. The topic at hand throughout the episode is LuAnn’s imminent wedding with Tom D'Agostino, whom everyone in the RHONY world believes is still cheating on his bride-to-be. LuAnn will hear none of it.
Things fly off the rails when the future Mrs. D'Agostino recommends co-star Tinsley Mortimer follows her "gut and her instinct and her heart" to find a new husband. Newbie Tinsley questions whether she should actually be thinking more, since the last time she followed her heart she was arrested. Ever the truth teller, Bethenny tells LuAnn following her own instincts led her to the "worst situation of her entire life." Of course, the Skinnygirl mogul is talking about her decision to marry ex-husband Jason Hoppy.
LuAnn repeatedly tries to tell Bethenny she’s onto the "next phase" of her life after Jason by spouting the pithiest faux zen platitudes possible, despite the fact the former Mrs. Hoppy keeps saying she’s still "in a dungeon in a torture chamber" after finalizing her divorce. Everything gets so emotional, the usually stone faced Bethenny rushes out of the room and loudly sobs alone in a room. The display is clearly raw.
When LuAnn finally goes to check on Bethenny, the celebrity chef barely makes any sense as she tries to talk between tears. "You did not upset me at all. I’m upset," a red-faced Bethenny murmurs while furiously shaking her head. At one point she calls her then-boyfriend Dennis, "Demis." After some untethered chatter, Bethenny admits why she’s so upset. "I think you’re making a big mistake," she explains, starting to cry again. "I really do. I swear to God on my life … I’m not crying about you. I’m crying about my own life." By the end of the exchange, Bethenny can’t stop saying, "I’m not okay," while fighting back more tears. It’s a picture of a woman legitimately at the end of her rope.
"When you’re being tortured you’re not gonna be okay," she admits. "Because if someone’s life is to torture you, you’re not gonna be okay." It’s obvious Bethenny had doubts before marrying Jason in 2010 and went through with it amid all the Bethenny Getting Married madness. Now, she’s trying to stop her friend from making the same mistake. Her emotional response makes all the more sense, when you realize just how much Jason was allegedly harassing the mother of his child. The former RHONY husband was arrested for stalking Bethenny in late January, after he supposedly threatened her in person and via "hundreds" of emails and FaceTime calls.
Bethenny’s televised meltdown was filmed in mid-December, mere weeks before Jason’s arrest. With all of this secret torment going on behind-the-scenes, it’s no surprise she wanted to wanted to warn LuAnn about from marrying a man she wasn’t sure about. Fingers crossed the Countess actually gets her version of happily ever after.
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