Real Housewives of NYC Reality Check: How Sorry Was Bethenny Frankel?
The other Housewives of New York City can knock Bethenny Frankel for her vitriol, her publicity-mongering and and her tendency to put career over friendships, but the woman knows how to sell the sh*t out of an apology. In last night's episode, "The Ambush," Bethenny cried every time she was on camera, exploited her dying father for sympathy and distributed personalized "I'm Sorry" cards with the ease of a faux-remorse pro. It was brilliant. After the jump, Movieline dissects Bethenny's apology strategy, congratulates Ramona for finding her way out of that pinot grigio glass long enough to overcome her fear of Brooklyn and assess which moments from last night's episode hit the Real/Fake Jackpot.
TRUE: Bethenny Does Not Want to Fight With Jill Anymore
The actual "ambush" in last night's episode may have been wildly staged, but I honestly believe that Bethenny wanted to clear the air with Jill. Hear me out: By healing her relationship with Jill -- which combusted when Bethenny only sent Jill's dying husband flowers instead of actually visiting him -- Bethenny can finally publish that self-help book about friendship that she has written and launch another class at the Learning Annex.
Below is a teaser from the inevitable book, How to Apologize to Your Frenemies:
1. Ambush: It may seem cold and calculated but this is the best (and only surefire way) to approach that frenemy you've been battling. And it guarantees that you will have the upper hand in the confrontation.
2. Bear Gifts: This always helps. In last night's episode, Bethenny appeared to be carrying a bakery box as she entered Ramona's inner sanctum. She also had apology notes in her purse, but I'll get to that in a second.
3. If Possible, Arrive For the Talk Directly After Flying Across the Country to See Your Dying Father: Obviously, you cannot always plan things like this but they help. Bonus pity points if your father turned you away from his death bed (as Bethenny's did in last night's episode).
4. Start Slow: This is imperative because the ambushed frenemy will feel, well, ambushed and defensive. Last night, Bethenny demonstrated this step by saying, "I won't be negative"/"I just want to sit down and talk"/"We don't have to be friends."
5. Tears: Self-explanatory.
6. Deny, Deny, Deny: This does not always work, as Bethenny showed last night when she tried to say she did not know that Jill's husband was sick. Jill responded, "Are you kidding? You sent me flowers! You knew he was sick. He had f*cking cancer! They slit his throat open!"
7. Allude to Your Own Personal Problems: This teaser (last night, Bethenny's was "There's another big thing going on with me that we will talk about later) incited curiosity and a moment of gentleness in Jill.
8. Tire her Out By Rehashing Your Friendship: This will exhaust her and just make her willing to put it all behind you. Or else her friend (LuAnn) will interrupt and tell her that her Town Car is waiting for her downstairs.
9. Personal Touch: Leaving your frenemy with a small token of your appreciation/apology -- in last night's case, a card for Jill's husband Bobby -- will show that you cared enough to follow Bethenny's steps towards a frenemy truce.
There's really no need to even get into the irony of Bethenny saying to Jill, "I just want to talk to you alone for a few minutes" as a camera crew, Ramona and LuAnn, and the housewives' assistants pulled up chairs for the impending throw down.
FALSE: Ramona Wanted to Visit Brooklyn
As much as viewers wanted to believe that Ramona had gotten past her fear of the borough long enough for a security-protected stroll through the neighborhood, it was simply not true. Producers needed a storyline for her that would show that she is not just a bundle of manic personalities that change depending on her white wine consumption that day. Track suit + camera-captured walk across the Brooklyn bridge = human. Right?