Over the past several years, reality TV star/chef/entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel met her husband, landed a Real Housewives spin-off, had a baby and hit it big with the sale of her low calorie cocktail line, Skinnygirl Margaritas. But can she conquer daytime TV?
On Monday, Frankel kicked off her Ellen Degeneres-produced talk show Bethenny, which will air in six cities on Fox-owned stations as part of a six-week trial this summer.
Those familiar with Frankel probably weren't surprised by the no-holds-barred, crass and in-your-face style of the show's debut. She asked guest D.L. Hughley if black men have larger penises than white men. She talked about masturbation with a curious audience member. She told a story about the time she went on a date with a teacher's assistant in college and he gave her test questions in advance. (They didn't sleep together, she assured the audience.)
Bethenny Frankel gets talk show trial run
While it was refreshing to watch a host who clearly couldn't care less about being politically correct, there were moments that seemed blatantly forced and over the top. Within the first five minutes of the show, guest Michael Catherwood asked her seemingly out of nowhere to address rumors that she was getting divorced. The moment had "contrived" and "unnatural" written all over it. Frankel would have been better off somehow working it into her own monologue and confronting the issue herself.
Later in the show, she openly admitted (as she has many times before) to being cheap when it comes to buying clothes and beauty products. So she did a cute demo that taught viewers how to use household items in lieu of pricey creams and acne treatments. All was going well... until she began to slather Miracle Whip on her face (a facial!) and sour cream on her underarms (for razor burn!). Things got worse when she proceeded to scrape off the excess with a tortilla chip, before pretending to feed it to herself.
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Sure, it was an entertaining hour of daytime television, but ultimately, Frankel is going to need to find the balance between a fun, inappropriate approach and shamelessly trying too hard.
Did you tune in to the premiere of Bethenny? What did you think of the show?