Eat, Drink, Love: Another Stupid Bravo Show I Like

13 Sep

eat drink love

I’ve never smoked crack (I don’t even know proper drug lingo – do you smoke crack? Is there something else you can do with it? Can you cook it and put it in pie? Would that be called, like, Grandma’s Old Timey Apple Baked Crack?), but I would assume that if I did, it would feel like I’m watching a marathon of Real Housewives, Top Chef, and every other mindless Bravo television show out there. I don’t know if you see what I’m trying to do here, but I’m comparing the crap I watch on Bravo to crack cocaine addiction.* I have a problem and I don’t really care where I get my next hit from – it could be a nice Real Housewives spin-off like Bethany Getting Married? or it could be a good old Inside the Actors Studio. It really doesn’t matter, as long as it meets the following criteria:

1.) It’s narcissistic.

2.) There are some pretty things to look at.

3.) There is a strong east coast and/or west coast accent involved.

4.) It appears when I turn on my television.

If the above criteria are met, I am satisfied. I think this formula, along with my reality drug habit, is what made me fall for the new Bravo reality series, Eat, Drink, Love. Eat, Drink, Love follows the lives of five women, all in the L.A. food industry. The interesting twist is that they each have very different roles – some are chefs, one is a food blogger, one is in marketing, and one is a food publicist. All we see is them eating out all the time, which is what I’ve come to believe are their actual jobs. But you know what? Good for them. That is my dream career. I’ve talked some big game on here about how my fantasy is to become a comedy writer or something ambitious, but what I really want to do is eat at restaurants all day and say things like, “Oh my god, I can taste the farm to table-ness.” or “The flavors in this are so rich and complex. I can taste the sour note, but it’s not too much.” I could pull that shit out of my ass All. Day. Long.

But seriously folks, these ladies do much more than eat out and I think it’s refreshing to focus on women from a very male dominated field, which the food industry clearly is. I’ve worked in restaurants and it is not easy being a woman in a kitchen, so more power to them. At the same time, I feel like they could have made a couple of switcharoo’s in the casting to assure that every character is taken a tad more seriously.  Here’s a breakdown of the cast, and why I have a love/hate relationship with each of them:

Nina Clemente

Nina Clemente

Nina is a private chef and caterer, and also happens to be the daughter of Francesco Clemente, a famous painter. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Nina got cast due to the fact that she is tiny, pretty, scrappy, and because she can list names of celebrities that her dad had over at their house when she was a kid. Nina has made sure the viewers never forget that Andy Warhol “just hung around, like all the time” and Lauren Hutton is “like her godmother, practically.” (I’m putting quotes around these statements to emphasize how annoying it sounds, not because she actually said these things. And stop being the quote police! “!”) I say this not only because she’s kind of a name dropper, but also because she doesn’t seem to do very much. She would like to be a mainstream chef in Los Angeles, but she’s never gone to cooking school, and it appears that she’s never worked in a restaurant. Now, I’ve watched Top Chef long enough to know that female chefs do exist in the city of Los Angeles, so I feel like Bravo could have found someone with a little more…work experience. But I’d like to re-iterate that she is very petite, has a hip haircut, and talks like a Brooklyn mobster with a little lady voice. So do with that what you will.

Oh, hey! It's my best friend, Lauren Hutton! Where did she come from?!?

Oh, hey! It’s my best friend, Lauren Hutton! Where did you come from?!?

My Nina Highlight: She hosted a “show and tell” at her apartment, which involved everyone coming over and, well, elementary school style showing and telling. One person played the violin, another brought in a wedding dress, and someone else talked about a picture of her grandmother. Everyone was all cynical going in, but then cried it out and loved it! It made me think – why don’t I do that? And then it made me think – that sounds like a lot of work to clean my house. I’ll skip it.

Brenda Urban

Brenda Urban

Brenda is a culinary publicist, which is the person that gets publicity for your restaurant. It also means that you get to drink stupid amounts of wine all day and that you are socially awkward. You also talk about your divorce a lot and get really jealous of other women who are prettier and more confident with men than you are. So, there’s a lot of qualifications!

The most interesting thing about Brenda is her love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with Kat Odell, another cast member. Kat gets all of the attention and it makes Brenda CRAZY. Brenda and Kat go out regularly, and Brenda always makes the foreshadowing statement about how she’s “just looking forward to a fun and relaxing girls night.” Note to reader: whenever you hear this phrase on Bravo, it means that there will be a giant, dramatic problem. Typically, this signals that one girl is about to get super drunk and say something really bitchy to her best friend. But it could also mean that there will be a chance run-in with your worst enemy. And by chance, I mean that your worst enemy is always invited by a mutual friend and will be sitting at your table. Inevitably, Brenda drinks 15 glasses of wine and accuses Kat of sleeping with all of L.A. (in all fairness, this could be true, but probably not because that would take FOREVER). We never see them make up, but they always go out to eat again two hours later, so either they’re both so drunk that they just forget, or we don’t get to see everything. But I’m pretty positive that none of the footage in reality shows is edited, so it’s probably the former.

Frenemies.

Frenemies.

My Brenda highlight: Her interviews are the best because they’re the most biting. She’s much more comfortable alone with the camera person and a glass of Pinot Grigio than she is with a group, so her sarcastic remarks are some of my favorites. Also, she loves to eat and is very unapologetic about not being stick thin in order to enjoy every last morsel. That’s my kind of girl.

Kat Odell

Kat Odell

Kat Odell is a former food writer for Bon Appetit magazine, who is now the editor of Eater LA, a widely known blog about up and coming L.A. restaurants, bars, and clubs. Kat is a mystery to me. She is, indeed, very pretty and beyond flirtatious with the men folk. And, obviously, she has a powerful job that makes or breaks L.A. restaurants, so it is in everyone’s best interests to kiss her ass. I don’t mean to drop a Brenda dookie on you, but given all of that, I still don’t see the appeal. She seems a bit vacant and shallow; she has a super annoying voice; and all she does is giggle a lot and look away. She doesn’t really do it for me! But hey, I’m just looking to have a good time with a girlfriend, so there’s no need for the drama, right? WRONG! She seems like one of those girls who doesn’t get along well with other girls, and that rubs me the wrong way. But girlfriend does eat awfully well, and looks good while doing it, so I will give her that. The bottom line is that I respect her, I just don’t enjoy her personality. I do realize that I sound like a girl who doesn’t like other girls when I rip on another girl for not liking other girls, but I’m choosing to live with that irony.

Even this dog is obsessed with her.

Even this dog is obsessed with her.

My Kat highlight: I thought it was a nice touch that she brought the girls along for a weekend getaway to a farm to pick your own food and then cook it for dinner (that’s when I’d use my classic “farm to table” line. I’d use it incessantly, in fact). I also do really respect her tactics for getting a story. If it takes using your good looks and flirtatious manner, then more power to you, my friend. Do whatcha gotta do.

Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller 2

Oh, Jessica. Poor, dear Jessica. When we meet her, Jessica is  the marketing director, or some such thing, for Harry Morton’s line of restaurants (including the Viper Room, R.I.P. River Phoenix, and the disgustingly named Pink Taco). Jessica appears to be all consumed by her job, leaving her love life by the curb. And you know what happens when you put your career before love, ladies – your eggs get old and dry up and you end up living in an RV with 17 cats and no hope. Can I get an amen?

Jessica’s ultimate goal is to serve as the top dog for Harry Morton and then to become a restaurant mogul herself. We briefly get to meet her dad who “fit her into his schedule for lunch!” which partially explains her drive to work so hard. Basically, her dad is her boss who doesn’t show her enough affection and is only happy with her if she’s working her ass off and not enjoying life. It’s kind of sweet, if you think about it. But besides the daddy issues, Jessica just seems to be a smart, driven business woman. UNTIL…duh duh duh…somebody somewhere sends out some email about her and she is fired. It all happens in approximately 3 minutes and it’s very hard to follow why or how it went down. In a fit of emotion, Jessica said something about how she’ll be “that girl” who has to go back to the Midwest and start all over and let down her dad, etc. etc. That’s when it dawned on me that she is an actress. As my husband pointed out, no one from the Midwest actually says the Midwest. They would say “I’ll have to go back to Wisconsin,” or whatever. In fact, they’d probably be like, “I have to go back to Merriam Park, a neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota.” We’re not a vague people. So, I don’t really buy for one second that her story is true, but I kind of like her for some reason, so I hope she gets into some local theater.

What?

What?

My Jessica highlight: One of the plots around Jessica was that she was going to hire Nina’s friend, Lindsay the mixologist, to work on some cocktails for one of Morton’s restaurants. Lindsay was a little uppity about the whole thing, which irritated Jessica. And you don’t want to irritate Jessica! After they had their icy meeting, Jessica hosted all of the ladies for drinks at the Pink Taco (gross) and Lindsay the mixologist made some snide remarks about some of Jessica’s decorations. In response, Jessica hastily announced in front of everyone that she would not be working with Lindsay, in order to get her revenge. It was like a 15 year old getting back at her frenemy for eying her boyfriend. It was uncomfortably adolescent behavior, and I loved it! Use that power, Jessica! Bring that bitch down a notch!

Waylynn Lucas

Waylynn Lucas

Every ensemble cast of a television show has a secret star, and Waylynn seems to have fallen into that role quite nicely. She is a pastry chef, who opened the super successful Fonuts with her friend and business partner, Nancy Truman. (Fonuts are donuts that are baked or steamed, but never fried). She’s pretty and bad-ass (she has tattoos and doesn’t give a damn!) and everyone is in love with her contagious personality. She has also been engaged twice, and dated Michael Voltaggio, which means nothing to you if you’re not a Top Chef fan. But if you’re not a Top Chef fan, then you’re crazy, so you live in a mental ward and you can’t even read this because you’re in therapy for not liking Top Chef.** Just so you’re caught up, Michael beat out his brother to become the winner of season 6 of Top Chef. He is equally bad-ass (also has tattoos and also doesn’t give a damn), and, apparently, a terrible boyfriend.

Michael has ruined Waylynn’s ability to date chefs, but it sure doesn’t stop each and every one of them from pursuing her. Her poor business partner has to sit and watch her get hit on every waking second of the day, but she doesn’t seem to mind too much. That’s a good friend. My only beef with Waylynn, who I think is adorable and seems very talented, is that she’s SO aware of how adorable she is. She just always has this “why does everyone love me so dang much??!?! Is it because I’m so cool and pretty?!?!” grin on her face. I kind of want to slap it off. But other than that, she deserves her stardom.

These fonuts look a hell of a lot like donuts to me.

These fonuts look a hell of a lot like donuts to me.

My Waylynn Highlight: She is just up for anything, and has a good attitude about it all, which I like. And she seems to be the one who gets along with everybody, which I also like. Call me Nelson Mandela, but I always enjoy the peacemaker. You really can call me Nelson Mandela. I’ll answer to that.

Eat, Drink, Love airs Thursday nights on Bravo, if this post hasn’t already made you hate it. Give it a shot. It will at least make you hungry, and who doesn’t like that sensation?

*I’m guessing that anyone in recovery for actual crack addiction might disagree with this analogy.
**I’m guessing that anyone actually in a mental ward for serious mental health issues would disagree that this is why people are in a mental ward.

2 Responses to “Eat, Drink, Love: Another Stupid Bravo Show I Like”

  1. cg September 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    I’m addicted to this show too….but Bravo moved it to 7pm on Thursdays….is that translation for NO SEASON 2??? I hope not..shake, shake.

    • athed September 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      Oh my god, I hope not! But I did notice that it is on at a time when no one will watch it. I suppose that’s not a great sign…

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