I'm still sort of absorbing Kelly's breakdown on tonights episode. Catching up on lots of episodes, cities, and seasons, but I'm pretty sure this was my favorite of all of them simply for it's uncut reality that "reality TV" seems to have precious little of these days. I suspect we just may have had an inside peek at a real, no sh*t, this is it, psychotic break.
Since I started watching this series Bethenny has been one of my very favorites for a variety of reasons. I mean, even with all the trappings of clear success flowing around her on every side, she has still managed to keep her feet on the very same ground the rest of us tread, as marked by her empathy for every day people and facility for gritty one liners. Anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen knows that kitchen will not be successful if the person at the top feels s/he is above rolling up a sleeve and scrubbing a pot during a rush. Perhaps that has contributed to keeping her in the real world with the rest of us, instead of some pukifyingly pretentious cartoon land of fleeting privilege a la The Countess.
When Kellly was introduced I can honestly say she was equally as much not among my favorites for about as many reasons. Even when she enters the room for the first time Kelly does so with the air of a girl who has been told she was pretty waaaaay too many times for it to have any credibility, then became utterly intoxicated by it, all the while knowing when the "you're pretty" train leaves the station for the last time she's got nothing. At the same time I wasn't sure if Kelly's strange presentation was just insecurity over being the newest on the show and her place in the world now that her looks are clearly fading (looks largely having been her passport into any kind of notoriety since grade school), etc. Describe it how you will, to me she just ain't all that, and seems to have lived her life utterly convinced she is.
Bethenny and Kelly's nearly immediate clash of personalities didn't surprise me much. After all, both are the only single women on the show, and both would be in the running for the "who's hotter" question. Despite the fact that Bethenny has lots going for her on most every level and Kelly only has the ",but I'm pretty card" in her deck, Kelly's single card isn't much good without an arch rival (even if manufactured in her own head) to play it against. I saw all of their interpersonal friction as being pretty much a byproduct of a "no, I'm the prettiest on the show" hair pulling contest.
I think tonight we may have seen some answer to that question. All Bethenny has to do is appear in the same room with Kelly, and Kelly seems apt find a reason why her appearance is somehow a personal slur against her. Perhaps it is true in Kelly's mind after all that this is a sort of Coyote/Roadrunner thing, that this is a contest someone must win or lose. By that logic Bethenny publishing yet another book totally overshadowed Kelly's high schoolishishly simplistic self-directed project of taking pictures on a New York street. Considering what we saw tonight, I have little doubt that while Bethenny was carefree and topless in a photo shoot over the Manhattan skyline, Kelly was curled up a ball on her bed, crying "That was my shoot! It should'a been me!" No doubt in her mind she was the obvious choice is any housewife was going to be photographed for any reason, especially one as hip and now as PETA. Leading up to tonight's episode have to wonder though, what was the timing between this breakdown and the revelation that Bethenny would be getting her very own spin off?
Might the revelation of the new "All Bethenny, All the Time" show have been too much for Kelly? I have to wonder what the timing was between that revelation and the trip they were all on. I think Kelly likely has been keeping a sort of weird score in her head, seeing that she has been consistantly outclassed by Bethenny, and tonight it all caught up with her.