Is ‘Real Housewives of New York City’ really a satire of the material world?

Listening to Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel’s strategy for the sale of her $60 million Hamptons home has become as much a part of the show as her psychic interactions with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. That, plus everything else that makes Frankel a star — going commando in Cannes and her competitive drive — is what makes the sale an enduring storyline on RHONY.

And on Sunday, the TV ads from the Bravo show were the focus of the recent debate on RHONY in the New York Times’ op-ed section. Time gave readers a preview of what is likely in store when the show returns: “Just as it makes fun of other houseswives’ schemes, Real Housewives of New York City will gleefully chronicle Bethenny Frankel’s efforts to unload a $60 million house in the Hamptons this summer,” the piece began.

Readers also seem to take a dim view of listing agent Lisa Ketterer’s bid to restore Frankel’s old, $50 million home — making it so luxurious it seems luscious and too perfect for reality. The op-ed piece draws a contrast between Frankel’s “basement comedies” and the reality stars’ “less subtle, more conventional versions.”

But while Frankel’s strategy is just as mean as the fantasy the show creates, the op-ed misjudges the celebrity she is. Frankel had a lot to lose, with the last house she sold, in Westchester County, selling at a far lower price than she’d predicted it would, The New York Times reports.

We asked a lot of the real estate experts whom Frankel has consulted for her big house sale, and we learned she has really bad instincts. Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman said the night Frankel, star of Bethenny Getting Married?, broke down in tears as she refused to give up the location of her old home is “the story that will happen again.”

The thing about Frankel is, “she’s lived her whole life doing one thing.” She was a rising reality TV star, and she excelled at it, with recipes, food shows, reality TV and relationships. But it’s all too clear that Frankel is not a lady of genteel class. Of the advice from Frankel and her brokers, simply “be honest and transparent,” says David Fishman, of David Fishman Real Estate, is crucial. There is nothing glamorous about a mother lode like Frankel’s Hamptons house. “It’s a house that, if sold to a suburban family, would be extraordinarily attractive and could sell quickly.”

And the question here is: “What would a new listing do to the average person?” No one seems to have the answer. In fact, no one seems to have any idea why Frankel is in so much pain about selling her house in the Hamptons and putting it on the market. Maybe she’s about to get married again. Maybe she really thinks it’s better in East Hampton. But we’re guessing the answer is a little different for Frankel than it is for everyone else.

Read the full article here.


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