“Being a fan is at least partly about being a critic”, Francesca Coppa
Fan Remixes are unique and difficult as their audiences are limited to those who are familiar with the show, the characters, story arcs, and plot lines. If you’re not familiar with the Real Housewives of NYC, I’m not sure you’re missing much, other than a voyeuristic guilty pleasure in watching Manhattan women doing the things you already thought they did: redecorate, shop, gossip, read Page Six, etc. Not exactly breaking stereotypes of white/owning class privilege, the show is more of a psycho-social study in identity negotiation. That’s reality (tv), I suppose.
Last season, Bethenny’s identity seemed to be fixed solely on finding a husband. (She was the only single “housewife” until LuAnne’s husband ditched her). While the nation’s former (and coveted) “Sex and the City” audience empathized, the self-made career woman’s fragility negotiating her future and desire to find the right man became the audience’s burden at points. As a result, I thought “team Bethenny” would find it refreshing to see her as something other than a man/marriage obsessed woman. Additionally, the queering of on-screen popular culture relationships are especially important for queer and queer allied fans who have so few options for characters to identify with in mass media. (Note: these fans may or may not be actual fans of the Real Housewives).
While Fan Remixing is a departure from my usual remix work, I’m exploring the unifying qualities of popular culture. While some of it may very well be crap, it has the ability to unite us through the commonality of shared characters, story lines, and experiences, despite its reliance on (or perpetuation of) hetero-normative, sexist, racist, and classist stereotypes. Building upon a familiar popular culture allows new ideas and concepts to be accessed by the general public, not just the art world or academics.
The Queering of Bethenny Frankel series is a set of 2 show trailers. Those familiar with the show will recognize their ‘short cut to drama’ format where only the most sensational bites are used to hook the audience into coming back for the full story after the commercial break. This technique was successful – I came back – but the story was never as good/funny/dramatic as it looked in the trailers.
Part 1 (:31) introduces Bethenny’s struggle with her relationship to men and wanting to come out.
Part 2 (:25) explores her relationship with LuAnne, the newly single housewife.
As always, this remix is classified as fair use in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.