In case you haven’t noticed, I am taking a blog break to re-charge and also re-vamp my blog to better share my transformation & fitness journey! In the mean time – enjoy this fun video :-)
Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Merchant & Joseph Gordon Levitt…just WOW!
I am not afraid to admit I keep this baby queued up and ready to go. Thank you Jimmy Fallon for your greatness to bring this Epc Lip Sync battle to us is truly a gift!
Stephen Merchant taking us to school with his hip hop fabulosity!
As the news about the cancellation of Bethenny Frankel’s talk show spreads like wildfire on the interwebs, I find myself torn in how I feel about it. As a viewer it was tough to watch but I wanted her to have success.
I’ve made no secret that Bethenny was a big inspiration to me when I started this journey to transform my life and chase my dreams to live a happier life. Her book, A Place of Yes, was the right push at the right time to start my next chapter.
Having the opportunity to meet Bethenny and thank her in Chicago was both thrilling and fun. I wanted her show to succeed and hoped other women could find that same inspiration that I did. She really is a testament to what drive and sheer determination can do for achieving goals.
But from my own experience on the show and the episodes I was able to sit through and watch in completion, I knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last. It was very awkward at times seeing Bethenny try to find a groove.
Like her book, the message was solid and the stories fun, but there was too much chaos. Trying to cram too many segments into an hour without any real focus and lots of Housewife appearances were clearly not a recipe for success for this former personal chef turned TV personality. I think that was why it was so hard to find a groove and gain traction.
It was clear Bethenny was never quite comfortable and trying to force it all to work. Some segments were just plain hard to watch.
Personally, I thought Bethenny strayed too far from her target market audience. It always seemed odd to me that she was diving right into the deep end of daytime talk with a full hour syndicated show.
Wouldn’t a ‘Cocktail Hour With Bethenny’ type show ON Bravo made more sense? Seriously. Think about it.
A platform for her to talk relationships, recipes, promote her skinny girl products and stick to her demographic.
A show where Housewives stopping by all the time made sense.
A show where if celebs stop by then fabulous and if they don’t then who cares.
Less of a big daytime studio audience, but more cocktail party setting.
You see where I am going with this? In my mind, starting on Bravo would have let her find her groove in a safe setting.
I really thought this kind of show would have been a smoother transition to that format as well as letting her really grow an audience. But hey, what do I know? I am just a viewer… who, in this case, did not view!
I am sad for the team that worked so hard. I could tell from my own experience with them that they were passionate about the show. I am sure they and Bethenny will bounce back. Bethenny is resilient and always does.
I enjoy this. And I love that RuPaul gave Kristen a chance to talk about how important SLAM is. To find out more go to www.slamnyc.org
Since reading GUTS and getting to know Kristen Johnston, my life has surely changed. I have been able to find my own voice about addiction and inner struggles. The truth is, the secrecy is what kills. The secrecy is what keeps us in its grip. Addiction kills. Make no mistake about it. But the secrecy is the nuclear bomb of it all.
Getting to know Kristen has helped me break that secrecy. I have been clean off heroin over 16 years by the grace of God. But that doesn’t mean that relapse or death that happened to Philip Seymour Hoffman can’t happen to me. Or you. Or any one of us.
Addiction does not care if you are black or white, young or old, rich or poor. Addiction will seduce you, love you and then kill you. It is just that simple.
I met Phil many years ago. Over 20 years ago in NYC in fact. I doubt he would have remembered me, but I remembered him and followed his career closely. To me, he was one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, character actors of our generation. His work on stage and screen was simply brilliant.
But what I remember about meeting him was how quiet and unassuming he was. I was always mesmerized at how he transformed into such a giant on the screen or stage and truly owned the roles he took in contrast to the man I met.
He was loved by many including his long time partner and his kids. Not to mention close friends and adoring fans. But it doesn’t matter to addiction. He died alone in a bathroom. It breaks my heart.
His death hit me hard.
I had my own dance with drugs in my youth and it wasn’t long before I was snorting lines and popping pills. Within a year from getting out of my first stint at rehab I had escalated to straight up shooting heroin. I have never admitted that publicly until now. Yes, I used heroin.
Heroin gave my mind a peace, a quiet calm I had never known. My insecurities, Aspergers, troubled intellect, and addictions made my young head feel like it wanted to explode daily. Suddenly that angst all melted away when I used heroin. It felt like it was the only way for me to be “ok” and not feel like my own mind was against me. I somehow convinced myself that it was my “medicine,” and had nothing to do with addiction. (Can you say denial?)
At 20, I OD’d in a friends bathroom. I was in his bathroom because I was homeless and did not have my own. I ended up flatlining at Cabrini Hospital.
By the Grace of God I survived that incident (and many others) and, when I was 25, I found Jesus and also got clean off heroin. But I have always known that death was possibly next and could not understand how I lived even that long.
Maybe that is why PSH’s death hit me so hard. That could have been me. Alone. In a bathroom.
I struggled to find words when I found out the news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. To me, the loss is of a huge talent. The loss is of a quiet lovely man. The loss is to a disease of addiction who claimed another soul.
So I share with you here a few words found by others that summed up what I myself was unable to say:
and … perhaps speaking the words I tried so hard to find and can most relate to:
When I worked producing infomercials, we would place products into categories and one category was “Aspirational”. This was used for products such as skin care, home spa equipment or anything that would resonate with viewers giving them a piece of the luxurious life they want at the home shopping price points that they would pay.
When Bravo launched The Real Housewives franchise with the Real Housewives of Orange County it reminded me of those product meetings reviewing aspirational products.
While it may have started as a cheeky reality play on the uber successful show Desperate Housewives, I think the real draw here was that these were in fact “Real Housewives”. They had kids, families and lives. It was the aspirational glimpse behind those gates but also that connection in that these women are/were not that much unlike the rest of us.
It was both aspirational and relatable and that was a winning combination.
Starting with the Orange County version and branching out, there was an organic tone that these women interacted with each other naturally and we got to follow along.
Even when a new cast member was introduced, there seemed to be some natural interaction amongst the ladies giving the show the air of authenticity.
When the New Jersey franchise came along it renewed the relatable qualities with the family factor that so many cast mates were siblings or truly intertwined in each others’ lives. Not to mention the table flip to end all table flips on screen!
But then it took a left turn and went downhill fast!
Quickly the Real Housewife shows became an ugly version of a soap opera of sad tragic unhappy women in forced situations creating nothing even close to real life, but is clearly manufactured drama.
Perhaps “scripted reality” works, but then express that clearly to the viewers instead of expecting them to accept whatever is spoon-fed to them as “reality”.
As a viewer, it’s insulting.
As a woman, it is revolting.
Look, I used to be a HUGE fan of many of the Real Housewives shows and in fact met several of the ladies. But I reached my limit on the last season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and even took down the section of my blog devoted to Bravo TV.
The women we see now are not the ones we saw at first. Not even close.
If you look back you can actually see the change and see how the producers started stepping in more and orchestrating scenarios and situations to manufacture strife, conflict and drama.
The ladies changed as a result of this and have all seemingly become less relatable and in fact quite dislikable. As if spending an hour watching them each week behave badly wasn’t enough, they each now have blogs they want us to read to defend their actions each week and slander each other to one up them. It is disgusting.
Not to mention the tweets and news reports of she said / she said; divorce, cheating scandals and even physical altercations. And, now, several criminal charges against multiple Real Housewives cast and implications of living beyond their means to grab at fame.
No longer do these women appear as strong and empowered, or even sane. They have become tragic, dramatic and seemingly pathetic attention seeking characters. A sad version of what we first knew them to be.
I’ve said before I think Andy Cohen, the public face of Bravo & the Real Housewives Franchise, is pop culture genius. He hit the homerun out of the gate rebranding and steering Bravo into pop culture history.
When I started watching Bravo it was Performance Theater and the impeccable James Lipton hosting Inside the Actor’s Studio by night and West Wing reruns in the mornings. Mr. Cohen helped revamp the Network and put them on the map .
But now it is a distorted version of itself and time for an overhaul. The Network has to know this. Andy has to know this. Between Tweets and blogs he has to know he is losing fans by the minute.
The writing is on the social media wall.
Then add in the failed new series following the same trite formula (Princesses of Long Island, Eat Pray Love, 100 Days of Summer, to name a few). The signs are all there. Viewers, like me, are tired of it.
I had hoped now that Style Network is no more and they are launching Esquire that there is an opportunity here. Though I am sure many STYLE shows will land on Oxygen, that brand had some good stuff that would well suit the Bravo Network.
I hope that this opportunity is not smeared by the mark of deceiving the public with Faux Reality and that Andy & Bravo take a beat to consider the ways this could grow the Bravo Empire even more.
Perhaps a return to the competition based reality shows (Project Greenlight, Project Runway, Top Chef, etc.) that drew us all in at first.
Was the Queer Eye reunion just a hint that the quality programming is coming back to Bravo? That it may return to a Network of camp, fun and entertainment?
Either way, I am done. I would rather watch impeccably written scripted dramas like The Blacklist, Scandal and Chicago Fire than spend another minute tuning in to see fake reality and ladies behaving badly to grab some fame.
I can’t imagine I am the only one.
I cannot decide if Chuck Lorre was in on it or was purely shocked. This is may be “old” but it is still uber fabulous. Things like this make me miss the camaraderie and fun of working on a set.
Happy Friday. Enjoy!