Kelly Bensimon Reflects on Housewives and Reality TV by NMD
In a recent interview for CelebrityBabyScoop (CBS) former RHONY cast Kelly Bensimon answered some housewives related questions. The full interview is here. I found her answers amusing, and thought I would bring them to the blog and add my comments.
CBS: Do you keep in contact with any of your former cast mates?
KB: “LuAnn [de Lesseps] came over for a party a couple of weeks ago. Jill Zarin also just emailed me the other night. We do keep in contact, but it’s like, would you keep in contact with the people you worked with at your last job?”
NMD thoughts. I appreciate that Kelly doesn’t pretend that she actually became friends with any of the ladies and thinks of them as “people she worked with.” I do find it interesting that she and LuAnn are in the same social circle after all. Kelly was introduced by LuAnn on the show when she joined in Season 2, but it’s hard to take any of the introductions seriously at this point.
CBS: Would you be interested in doing another reality TV show like Real Housewives?
KB: “I would definitely be interested in doing another reality TV show, but I wouldn’t want to do a reality TV show with a mixed cast like that unless it could be a new kind of genre, called “soft-scripted.” The nice thing about soft-scripted shows versus reality TV shows is that soft scripted shows allow the participants to kind of know what is going on versus just being on the show like I was with Housewives. You walk into a room and people are just like, “Oh I hate you!” and you’re like, “I have no idea why.”
NMD note: I suppose “soft scripted” is like the Khardashians or Duck Dynasty where they are all scripting for a half hour show. The cast maintains some sort of control over how they are portrayed as they “react”to an interesting situation. I can see why she’d prefer that. Her mention of a “mixed-cast” is probably a nod that the cast was at odds with each other – each trying to be portrayed as the good one rather than working together to all look okay. It was unfortunate for Kelly that Bethenny knew her and didn’t like her before the show started, but perhaps if she had noticed Bethenny even one of the many times they had met, Bethenny wouldn’t have disliked her so much. Season Two. That was the season where Ramona wouldn’t even be in the same room as Alex and Simon, and Jill and Bethenny were best friends. Wow how things changed between Seasons Two and Three.
KB continues: “Soft-scripted shows give you more boundaries so you kind of know how to navigate them. It’s also more real to the viewer and I think it’s more interesting. I would definitely do a soft-scripted show, but I would not do something that is “reality,” because that is not fair to the viewer. As a writer and as a mother, I don’t want to present myself in that way.”
NMD: Hmmm – soft scripted is more “real” to the viewer. I have to call BS on that. Nothing was more real to this viewer than Scary Island. I think KB entered housewives thinking it was soft-scripted with her fake boyfriend Max and her fake pretending she was going to help with Jill’s charity and didn’t know what to do when Bethenny called her on her BS and wouldn’t follow the soft script Kelly had laid out in her head.
On another note, Kelly was mentioned on WWHL last week when the men from Million Dollar Listing NY were in the clubhouse. Andy asked Ryan if it was true that Kelly was his girlfriend. Ryan denied it and said they were friends (he looked bemused), and Fredriq chimed in and said he was friends with Kelly as well. It sounds like Manhattan is a small community with all those high rises. I wonder if either of them sold her Hampton’s home?
Happy Memorial Day weekend…