Through the efforts of a great team of writers and behind the scenes folks Lynnfam has reached 1000 posts. So what are we gonna do to celebrate? Chat about Jill Zarin – of course!
Today Bravo showed the first episode of Real Housewives of New York; it originally aired in March of 2008 – almost 7 years ago. We were introduced to social butterfly Jill, who explained the ins and outs of Manhattan society. We saw the seeds of Jill’s rivalry with Ramona begin, as Jill interrogated her tennis pro to find out Ramona’s weaknesses (it was her backhand if anyone cares.) We saw Jill as a mother (the show was originally filmed as Moms of Manhattan), with 14-year old Ally Shapiro interacting awkwardly with step-dad Bobby Zarin, and more awkwardly discussing detox (weightloss) camp. The premiere was followed by four Jill-filled seasons of RHONY, ending when the franchise underwent major recasting – and Jill was let go.
In Andy Cohen’s recent book, he revealed that Jill Zarin almost made an appearance on Real Housewives of New York last year. She had agreed to appear in a tennis scene, but when Ramona Singer got wind of it she called Andy and explained all the reasons why that wasn’t a good idea – mainly that the cast would mutiny. This is because Jill has not only burned bridges with Ramona, but she has very publicly called for Andy to fire Carole Radziwill and Heather Thompson after ratings plummeted their first year on the show. Andy agreed with Ramona, and Jill was told that it wasn’t going to happen.
Andy was the executive ultimately responsible for firing Jill Zarin from housewives, and their relationship has been rocky since, especially after she appeared on Watch What Happens Live and grilled him about why he fired her, and why he played favorites. Worse yet, she recorded the entire interview to shop around to blogs in the (likely) event that Bravo edited it until it was unrecognizable.
Another Bravolebrity Andy has had a rocky relationship with is Patti Stranger, star of Millionaire Matchmaker. Patti is very outspoken, and infamously made homophobic and racist remarks on Watch What Happens Live in 2011. It’s a little surprising that she wasn’t fired from the network at that time – but now that Andy has stepped down from Bravo’s executive team to focus on WWHL and his own production company, she’s fairly secure as long as her show brings in the ratings.
Tonight Patti will have Jill Zarin on her show, marking Jill’s first appearance on Bravo since WWHL – a show that brought in record ratings for the network. The excuse for Jill’s appearance is her daughter Ally’s difficulty finding a relationship. The excuse is no more transparent than Albie and Chris Manzo appearing with their mom Caroline, or Rosie Pierri appearing with sister Kathy. One can only hope that Ally (at 22) is mature enough to deal with what is sure to be a lot of public comment on her appearance on the show – and I’m not talking about her physical appearance – but the negative comments her mother is sure to draw. And not just on this blog. But she’s an adult, and agreed to do the show. She’s not new to the rodeo.
I’ve seen the first 15 minutes of the show, and Jill is very annoying – an overbearing mom – so annoying that Patti has to tell her to zip it multiple times and finally kicks her out of the room so that Ally can talk. Plus Jill stuffs a straw up her nose. It should be an interesting show.
Secretly I hope she pulls in huge ratings. It is such an interesting dynamic to have a person draw in viewers but still be shunned by the network.
Years ago Jill struck a chord in many of us as someone who could turn on her castmates and go to the ends of the earth to destroy their careers – their reputation – their livelihood. Was she really that bad, or just someone who got too carried away in that strange little fame bubble the housewives created? All of the stuff she was accused of – running to the tabloids, exposing the past of her castmates, commenting on their book reviews, setting up fake drama – seems business as usual for housewives nowadays. And let’s face it – none of the other NY housewives were blameless in the game they were all playing.
I had to laugh when a story emerged earlier this week about Patti being banned from WWHL because Andy didn’t like her. The story had Jill’s sticky little finger prints all over it, even comparing Patti to Jill. It reminded me of the good old days. Many things have changed over the years, but some things haven’t.
Let’s celebrate our 1000 th post and chat about Jill and the good old days. Who knows if we’ll have this chance again!