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Julie Plake

Last night was the season finale of Bethenny Ever After. And it really felt like both the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Julie Plake left, Jason Hoppy and Bethenny Frankel finally moved into their new apartment after a season-long HGTV show of decorating it, and Bethenny announced that the talk show is really happening.

I have to say, I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with Bethenny. I’ve loved her on Real Housewives of New York. I’ve adored her on Bethenny Getting Married?. And I’ve resented her and been in awe of her for complaining about having it all while actually accomplishing it all on BEA.

With that being said, I think it’s time for the Bethenny of reality TV to come to an end. She’s seems done. Frankly, the show seems done. And I think most of the viewers are ready to see the silly, fun Bethenny they fell in love with again. Which hopefully will happen on her talk show.

I can’t say enough about how much Bethenny is willing to let it all hang out – literally and metaphorically – and give us the very best and very worst of herself, but it seems she’s maybe given too much and it’s time to move on. I mean, case in point – do we even care about the revolving door of employees that have now come to dominate the show as Bethenny’s so-called friends and confidantes? Nope. Sorry, Jacs!

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Last night’s episode of Bethenny Ever After felt like the end of an era. Bethenny Frankel rehashed the past and she and Jason Hoppy seemed to be finally moving forward in a positive direction. We were treated to several montages of Bethenny’s life on reality TV over the years and although this isn’t the finale it seems to be setting the stage to tie up a bunch of loose ends in preparation for next week’s final farewell.

Things begin with Jason and Bethenny visiting their new apartment, which is still under construction, but finally seems to be moving along. Bethenny is having some issues with the TV eclipsing the bar and since this is quite literally an apartment built on booze, sweat, and tears – Skinnygirl needs an altar.

Really though, she’s right. Not only does Bethenny Frankel Hoppy love her some libations, but an homage to the glorious liquor gods who made her rich seems fitting. I also think she needs a shrine to Andy Cohen.

We are treated to a montage of Skinnygirl over the years from Bethenny convincing the ever-so-classy ladies of Real Housewives of New York to try a Skinnygirl margarita to learning she’d sold the brand to BeamGlobal.

Next up, Bethenny and Bryn head to Spanish class. Bethenny talks about wanting Bryn to have all the opportunities she didn’t have – namely parents that love and care for her and want to be involved in her life. Bethenny marvels at how perfect Bryn is and how unique. She describes Bryn as her own signature brand and the life of the party. Bethenny tells us her priorities have seriously changed since becoming a mommy and she wouldn’t want to miss a thing. Which is nice. She does seem totally enthralled with Bryn. I hope she always remembers that business is just business.

Side note: I love that Bethenny and Jason walk Bryn so many places.

It’s montage galore up in here! There’s another montage of Bryn‘s life and Bethenny‘s pregnancy. I cannot believe how big Bryn has gotten and how tiny Bethenny has become. Time really has flown.

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On last night’s episode of Bethenny Ever After, the Skinnygirl team headed to Aspen for the launch of Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo. Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy continued to wrestle over whether or not Jason should work for Skinnygirl and Bethenny got a reminder of what it was like to be single and twenty-two again.

Things begin, oh I don’t even know where they began? What were they even doing? Oh that’s right… hanging out on the street corner! Which seems as close to Bethenny‘s natural habitat as a cougar in the city can get! Bethenny is buying art for the new apartment and congratulating herself on being such a renegade, so cutting edge. She spends thousands – ON STREET ART! No one rich in the history of the world has ever done that. Well, at least according to Bethenny’s revisionist history.

Bethenny buys a American Flag painting. I’m not sure why. It was hideous and looked like it was a papier-mâché accident. I kept waiting for her to try and commission one with the Skinnygirl logo on it. Which actually would’ve been neat. She could hang it in the office.

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On last night’s episode of Bethenny Ever After, everywoman Bethenny Frankel continued to deal with marital drama, running an empire drama, and renovating a multi-million dollar apartment drama. In between doing everything she took a break to ball bust with friend Jake and do yoga with food blogger Nick Feitel. Who quite obviously would have rather been eating Bethenny’s falafel than doing downward dog.

Things start out with Bethenny and the team learning that meek little intern Maggie has quit. Bethenny probably insulted and embarrassed her too many times under the guise of keeping it real. Maggie likely turned in her two-weeks notice and raced on down to her lawyer’s office to start the lawsuit accusing Bethenny of disparaging her reputation on national television and forcing her into dangerous waters.

Bethenny is confused about how a paddle boat trip and a free vacation were the straw that broke the camel’s back but hey, no real loss there. Everyone kinda snickers about what a weakling Maggs is who can’t hang with the tough old broads and only Julie Plake seems to feel guilty for perhaps heaping too much pressure onto a twelve-year-old who has barely graduated from college.

Side note: I can really appreciate Bethenny‘s success and when she was basically running her one-drink wonder of a business out of her studio apartment and funding it with her Real Housewives of New York paycheck, I can understand hiring some just out of college kid to be an assistant. But now that this is a major business I just cannot believe she is leaving all of the administrative and executive assistant duties in Jackie‘s hands. Isn’t Jackie like 22 with not much experience?

I mean, clearly Bethenny worries about the level of professionalism since she has brought it up several times – and clearly that’s why she is hoping to include her husband into the business side of things, but I just do not understand why she does not have real professionals in her employ? Perhaps she does and this whole Skinnygirl at home business nonsense is just a storyline.

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On last night’s episode of Bethenny Ever After the team continued their Mexican adventure which coincided with Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy continuing their marital meltdown, but strangely they seem to be making some small strides and at least they are communicating. Somewhat. Maggie, Bethenny’s beleaguered intern quit and then there were three Skinnygirlians.

Team Frankel is still in Mexico, but things are in a much happier mood than last week. Bethenny and the girls, plus Jason, start out with breakfast and a little trip to the beach vendor. Bethenny is a little steamed that she thinks she got ripped off by the sarong vendor and wants to go for round two to haggle for a better price. She runs into a jewelery vendor instead and falls in love with a fantastic necklace that she really wants. He won’t come down on the price, so she throws the less emotionally invested Jason into the mix. Jason has no luck either and Bethenny promises to run into “hermano” again and make the necklace hers.

Later Bethenny does find Hermano and is able to negotiate a deal to get Julie and Jackie some jewelery and score the necklace. Hey – she’s rich! Jewelery for all!

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On last night’s Bethenny Ever After, Mexico says bienvenido to Bethenny Frankel and Co.!  Watch out Cabo San Lucas, Hurricane Bethenny is rolling into town to celebrate her birthday.  The group is greeted with coconut popsicles, and I have never seen someone so obsessed with how her child holds a flipping frozen treat…seriously, just let the kid eat the popsicle!  She and Jason Hoppy are led to their villa, and it’s a true paradise.  Jason is hoping that the couple can leave their bickering and pettiness back in the States.

At dinner, Bethenny congratulates Jason on making it through a day without ripping each others’ heads off.  She accuses him of not trusting her and not liking her, regardless of how much he loves her.  They are both saying the same thing, but yet when Jason says it, Bethenny seems very guarded.  Bless him.  Let it drop, lady!  Or don’t let it drop…that may be a better conversation than what Bethenny broaches next.  She wants to ask Veronica to be Bryn’s guardian in the event she and Jason die.  Bethenny explains to Jason that his parents are getting up there in in age, so clearly Veronica is the perfect choice.  Her near-death experience in Nantucket only solidifies this fact.

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Well, I managed to imbibe myself through another episode of Bethenny Ever After. It was more of the same with the marital drama and the non-stop product plugs. We’re in the mid-season slump here where the storylines get staid and the characters seem too cranky and the viewers are looking for a resolution and a change of pace. Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy continue to miscommunicate in their marriage, and despite that, they are considering making Skinnygirl enterprises a family business. At least they’ll finally have something to talk about! And Gina returned and blessedly hasn’t changed a bit!

Things begin with Bethenny meeting with her interior decorator Brooke, to make furniture choices for the new apartment. It seems Brooke is a bigger drama queen than Bethenny as she starts to need Xanax at the thought of Julie Plake leaving. Perhaps, it’s because Julie is the only person who can reign in Bethenny.

Next, Bethenny heads to Beam HQ where she is helping to oversee brand direction. Bethenny explains that just because Beam bought her out—identity, soul and all—she’s still involved, because Skinnygirl is more than booze—it’s now BMI tests, and depends (for when your Skinnygirl cleanse causes a mishap), and screwdrivers and tampons and mascara and vibrators—and anything a girl could possibly want or need that can be made in the colors of red and white, and have a photo of Bethenny slapped on the front of it. Skinnygirl deodorant – you got it!

Then, they do a new cocktail flavor test. Bethenny eschews every flavor, but White Cranberry Cosmo, which they plan to unveil in Aspen by Christmas. Pressure! Poor underprivileged Bethenny is excited about the launch party because she grew up skiing and will get to snowboard for the first time in years. And guess what she’s wearing? A Skinnygirl snowboarding suit!

Next, Bethenny heads to the marble yard, where she has a huge multi-contractor meltdown over bathroom plans. She loves being the center of attention in all of this mess and lecturing people on not communicating. She also loves pretending she has no control, while playing the diplomat amongst the professional renovators, who are all just hoping for their chance at a Bravo show of their own. Outside, she prays to a statue that everyone will get along and her apartment will actually happen.

Jason and Jackie pay a visit to the jeweler who made Bethenny‘s wedding ring. After last year’s birthday meltdown (Birthdays by Bravo!) Jason is walking on eggshells and feels a lot of pressure to make this one perfect. He is thinking of getting the setting changed on her engagement ring, because after less than two years of marriage, Bethenny is unhappy with it. A skinnygirl is never satisfied! And think about what that says about your marriage, Jason! Even the jewelers were like, ‘uhhh… dude – really? Not a good sign!’

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I breathed a sigh of relief when Bethenny Frankel‘s assistant Julie Plake finally gave her notice on this week’s episode of Bethenny Ever After. Julie just looked so miserable in every episode this season. I wanted to take her out for a drink and get her a new job.

It looks like she did just that. Her Twitter bio as of this week reads, “back in the burgh, working in pr & loving life.” Julie, who had worked for Bethenny for three years, decided to leave New York and move closer to her family and boyfriend. You can’t really blame her, life in New York is so expensive and can be exhausting, especially when you’re in a 24/7 job like the one of celebrity assistant.

On her Bravo blog this week, Julie explains how she felt after watching Bethenny describe to her therapist how Julie’s frazzled attitude affected her negatively. Because everything is about Bethenny.  To her credit, Julie takes the high road:

Seeing Bethenny talk about me in therapy was emotional. In my time with Bethenny, I was pretty much everywhere with her (bathroom, bedroom, fitting room), but the therapy room. I guess I didn’t realize until I saw this what an extreme part of her life I had become. I always knew it, but seeing her get emotional like that made it more real. Bethenny and her familyhave become a HUGE part of my life. I saw them EVERYDAY all day. . .not being around them is like having an empty hole. I am just glad that Bethenny has Dr. Amador to help her work through her emotions and learn tools on how to handle situations. Everyone needs that.

Having worked for a moody boss before, it makes me so angry that Julie is still deferring to Bethenny in the above blog post. I’m sure Julie did affect Bethenny’s mood, but at the end of the day, Bethenny is the one who takes home all the profits. She is the boss. Did Bethenny ever think that it was her crazy-ass behavior that made Julie so frazzled? Julie also makes a curious statement about the rest of her time on the show:

“Don’t worry though — you can’t get rid of me that quickly. I’m still around to wear out my welcome and say goodbye. . .

It’s bittersweet. . .stay tuned.”

That’s an interesting comment! I wonder if we’ll see their relationship change. Bethenny also blogged, and started it off like this: “I really liked this episode, because it was largely about female power, which is, in many ways, what I stand for.” Female power via low-calorie drinks! We’re going to destroy the patriarchy while remaining true to our inner Skinnygirl.

Bethenny says Julie’s departure was the right thing to do:

Julie made a decision. Whether that is what you or I would do is irrelevant. She was stuck. She was tormented and something needed to happen for something to happen. To be honest, it was better for everyone. When someone is struggling with something, it affects their whole environment. Jackie was so enthusiastic about embarking on a new adventure, and it was difficult to do so while Julie’s heart and head were leaving the game. It’s the circle of life in business. I love Julie, and she is forever in my heart and connected to my family, but I do believe that it was the best decision for everyone. She is happy, the office is running smoothly and quietly, and everyone has found their place.

That’s right, Julie! Every thing is so much better now that you are gone! But seriously, Bethenny is right, and Julie is probably much happier. The thing about working for a boss like that is everything else afterwards seems easy.

And what about the new Julie? Jackie also posted to her Bravo blog, but she’s a woman of few words, saying that she was “in denial” about Julie’s departure and that “I know I have big shoes to fill, but Julie is a great teacher and will help me with everything I need to know!”

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JULIE’S DEPARTURE FROM TEAM BETHENNY? WOULD YOU WORK FOR HER?

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