RZP: The Plot Gets Lost

Posted on September 28, 2011

Is it us, or have a lot of reality TV shows kind of gone off the rails lately? We watch The Rachel Zoe Project because we’re fascinated by what she does for a living. We don’t watch the show so we can see Rodger doing a badly scripted reality TV version of The Hangover or to view wholly unbelievable situations like showing one struggling pretty boy furnishing an entire 7000-square-foot house overnight. We get that her 3rd trimester is forcing her to work less, but somewhere along the line the people involved convinced themselves that Rachel’s home life was the draw here and it’s not. It never has been. Sure, we always enjoyed the rather colorful cast of characters populating her world (although much less so since Brad left) but an entire episode centered around their wacky antics and manufactured stress situations is pretty much unbearable.

And the worst part is, we can’t really think of anything funny to say about this episode. The reason for that is because the people involved are all trying way too hard to be funny on their own. Reality TV always works best if the personalities appear un-self-aware. Brad is a truly funny, witty person and that came through on camera somewhat effortlessly. Taylor really was kind of a bitch, so she didn’t really have to try that hard to be the villain in season 1. Joey, you’re not the clever queen you think you are. And Jeremiah, so help us, if you break out that “Aren’t I adorable?” expression one more time, we’re going to reach through that screen and slap you. And Mandana, people who say “OMG” out loud should have a bucket of cold water thrown at them by someone saying “LOL” over and over again.

In the good old days, the stressful situations actually felt like stressful situations. We didn’t believe for one second that Rachel just handed over the decorating of her new house to an inexperienced assistant without giving him any other input than “White.” She’s too much of a visual person and a control freak for that. We don’t believe for a second that “Ohmigod we need to be out of here by 5 pm!” or “Ohmigod, I have to furnish this whole house singlehandedly overnight!” or “Ohmigod, Rachel and Rodger will be here in 5 minutes and NOTHING IS DONE.” In all seriousness, packing, unpacking and organizing Rachel’s closet is a job that would have taken at least a week.

The scenes with Rachel sitting on her bed and sadly calling her designer friends in New York during Fashion Week were kind of cute, we have to admit. Although it didn’t escape our notice that Kors never once asked her how she was feeling and the conversation instead turned to how she was dressing. That was kind of unintentionally hilarious. At least Prabal Gurung had the decency to wish her luck. What we don’t get is, why didn’t she send someone to those shows in New York? We don’t care who: Mandana, Jordan or Joey would have made the most sense. Just a couple of scenes of one or all of them trying to navigate the fashion scene in New York while Rachel barks orders at them from her hotel bed about which dresses they have to secure for her would have been so much more interesting than watching them unpack sunglasses and act like they’re stressed out about it.

We could have forgiven a lot, including the furniture drama, but MAN, that Vegas crap went on forever. BRAVO: NO ONE CARES ABOUT THIS. It was just so lame, especially when they “woke up” the next morning with “hangovers” in a suite that was so obviously art-directed to look like they partied all night we were a little embarrassed for everyone involved. We liked Rodger a lot better when he was more of a peripheral character. Say what you will about R & R; they’ve been together a long time and you can tell they get each other better than anyone else. So injecting all this faketey-fake-fake tension, with Rachel acting like a nagging sitcom wife and Rodger trying to act all dudetastic (when he rattled off that info about the Hermes charms for the Birkin bag like a pro, revealing how un-dudely his life really is) is boring and silly.

Dresses, bags, jewelry, celebrities, fashion shows. That’s what it’s about, people. Stick to storylines and tension that arises out of Rachel’s actual professional life instead of trying to do The Honeymooners. Hopefully, we’ll be back to form when they have to dress Anne Hathaway for the Oscars, since that was some of the most talked-about styling of the past year. If they gloss over that project just so we can have scenes of Rachel and Rodger arguing over a crib or scenes of Joey and Jeremiah re-enacting “All About Eve,” we are going to be mighty disappointed. Rachel used to have a pretty bad public image and the show helped turn that around by reminding people that her job isn’t easy and she is, in fact, quite good at it. But if they persist with all this Real Housewives-style silliness, all that’s going to get undone.

In other words, we better see Anne Hathaway in her panties trying on dresses soon.


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    • MilaXX

      Agreed. Although I have to admit I do like the few moments where we see how much Rachel & Rodger really do care about each other. Otherwise give me pretty clothes. I already watch the A-list for fake drama.

    • Anonymous

      Give it up boys I have. I watched for the same reasons you did and have stopped for all the reasons you just laid out. Where the hell are the pretty girls in pretty dresses??? Why the hell is Roger given any screen time at all?

    • http://twitter.com/thebestjasmine Jasmine

      She didn’t send anyone to the shows because then they might be the star instead of her, and think that they can go forth and style without the RZ imprint.

      • Mary McClelland

        yeah, it’s shit like that that makes me question her professionalism. OR the people on the show are staged and her real assistant went to the shows in NY and Bravo chose to not feature it to keep in line with the manufactured “OMG – I’m like HUGE pregnant!” drama.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8400269 Aaron Lucas

      yea, i stopped watch RZP b/c it got wayyyyy too scripted, “unreal” and not enough celebrity styling…i really don’t care (sorry, Rachel) about her having a baby…and you know Rodger demanded being a main part of the series after it took off after season 1 and 2

    • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

      Yeah, much less fun without Brad. I heart him. And I really was hoping to see more about the Anne Hathaway styling, but hopefully that is to come.  But she at least seemed more human this week, so there’s that. 

    • http://twitter.com/karenwalsh Karen Walsh

      Agreed times 1000.  All this manufactured crap is making me think of the A List, and I don’t want to do that.  Pretty obvious that the show is seriously lacking without Brad’s natural charm.  Joey and Jeremiah ain’t Brad.  Stop trying to make them happen.

    • Anonymous

      Remember when shows were actually WRITTEN on television?  You know, with real writers who were interested in telling a compelling/funny/sad/engaging story?  I guess that’s too expensive for television to give us anymore.  So we get this cheap knock off version of television.  It’s like being forced to eat a diet of meringue and potato chips.   Forever.  I don’t even try to turn on the television anymore unless I’m watching something on HBO or Showtime that someone actually wrote.  And real actors read.  And real set designers created.  Bravo SUX.  Lifetime SUX.  It all SUX.   

      • http://twitter.com/ILikeShiny Cindi Williams

        I like it when BigWhiteGrannyPanties get all in a bunch.

        • Anonymous

          Me too!  BWGP, your rants are delightful!

        • Anonymous

          LOVE YOU for being supportive of my Bunchie Pantie Rant.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clydette-Wantland/673315286 Clydette Wantland

      WELL SAID!  I couldn’t stomach Rodger one more minute last night or the word “pregnant”.  I can’t stand Joey’s over the top behavior either.

      • http://profiles.google.com/misslauraschultz Laura Schultz

        Yeah, I’m not a Joey fan either. I do think, however, that there was conflict drama editing going on – they’re really trying to beef up the drama between him and Jeremy. I think the whole house decorating thing was edited for drama that just wasn’t there. 

        • Anonymous

          Here’s a new idea for a (cough) reality (cough) show — Make the gay boys cry…a couple of minutes with Nina Garcia/Kelly Cutrone — it could be a revolving cast —  should have both of them down for the count.

      • Anonymous

        Wait… Rachel’s PREGNANT?!

    • Anonymous

      R & R have always reminded me of those long married couples – (still in my mind, my parents generation, so few in mine have made it to 20 years let alone 30) – who CAN be awful to each other because they’ve passed up many good opportunities to split and have decided the good outweighs the bad and when the chips are down, the other comes through often enough.

      That said, yeah, the reality show version of their life usually rings so false that it’s just not that interesting. Bring on the clothes!

    • Anonymous

      I cannot stand Jeremiah, and I swear to god he is NOT gay and it’s pissing me off. He’s the offensive, insincere Reality TV gay stereotype and it needs to stop.

      • Anonymous

        I know, right? My gaydar has not ping’d a single time since he’s been onscreen. I smell shenanigans.

      • Anonymous

        I never knew that he was pretending to be gay. I just figured he was a straight guy and the accent was contagious for working in fashion.

    • Anonymous

      I totally agree TLO.  i didnt know if i was going to make it through the episode.  roger & co.were COMPLETELY boring, i. do. not. care.  also, i. do. not. care. at all for joey, he really gets on my nerves. 

      • Mary McClelland

        I used to like Joey and thought he was often kind of the incidental realist and counselor, but now that he is stepping it up to try and act like BRad and create this faux-competition with Jeremiah he is just annoying as hell. 

    • Anonymous

      I turned off the show during the early Vegas part–unnecessary frat boy silliness for a man Rodger’s age who’s about to become a Dad.  Yeah, more runways, fashion shows, less household pretend drama.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you about the Vegas trip. Could have done without that completely, but I actually like seeing Rachel go through the pregnancy and moving and the other aspects of her life. I can’t believe I’m a Rachel Zoe defender, but I’m okay with seeing her whole life (as overproduced as it is) not just her fashion life. 

      I liked Brad on the show, but not Taylor, and I miss Brad’s humor, but I’m okay with her current crew too. I watch partly for the fashion but also partly for the less dramatic parts of her life, and maybe that’s the difference. My guess is that when Brad gets his own show, he’ll seem more scripted too. That’s a natural byproduct of having a few seasons of reality TV under your belt. 

    • http://twitter.com/WarthenKen Ken Warthen

      It’s like bad community theater. Cue Corky St. Clair!

    • Susan Crawford

      Right ON, T Lo! I don’t tune in for the RJP in order to see Rodger and his brohams saying “whassup” and “du-u-ude” – I tune in to see Rachel flipping through racks of clothing and tossing a vintage Chanel or two at her harried assistants; I tune in to see Rachel talking about styles for her celeb clients; I tune in to see the FASHION, Bravo, not the staged assistant-crisis du jour or Rodger’s manly buddies bonding at a strip club in Vegas. It’s the FASHION and STYLE. And seeing Rachel putting a look together for a client? That’s the icing on the cake. Love her or hate her, the beeyotch knows her job.

      The “furnish the humongous house in a week” business was SO phony.  Unless pretty-boy furnished it all with floor samples, there is just NO way that can be accomplished, even with the power of RZ’s name behind his requests for overnight delivery. And we’re supposed to believe that in one overnight workathon, this boy filled bookshelves, hung pictures, placed rugs and lamps, toted furniture all over the place AND still had time to light scented candles and arrange color-coordinated flowers in every room? Sure, we do, Bravo! And while you’re at it, we also believe that Mandana and her lone bitter kitten minion got Rachel’s entire fashion archive organized down to the last earring in a single afternoon – because we, like YOU, are all on crack!

      • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

        And not only that, but I am not buying that she wants all mass-produced stuff in her house.  I don’t care what your name is, custom furniture cannot be made overnight. 

    • Anonymous

      Well, the reality was that Rachel was in her third trimester and pregnancy really does take over at that point.  So I get while the show’s baby-centered right now.  If there’s another season, I’m assuming it will veer back a little fashionward.  And I am looking forward to the Oscar stuff.  Wish there had been more of it already.  I like it when Rachel talks about why she chooses or doesn’t choose an outfit and, of course, does her fashion gasp.

      And, by the way guys, even when you don’t feel you’re at your funniest, you write a very funny blog.  It really cheers me up, frankly.

      • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

        I disagree that it will go back to fashion next season, if there is a next season.  My guess is it will be “baby baby baby” centric, and we’ll see more manufactured drama about R and R, the assistants babysitting, and very little fashion.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      I can’t even watch this anymore.  Bravo seems to think that its Housewives franchises are working so well, why not shove that down our throats for every show they do?  Bleah.  No thank you! 

      • Anonymous

        I just keep repeating to myself “The Mean IQ is 100.  This means that fifty percent of the population is BELOW 100 and the fifty percent that’s above don’t watch Real Housewives.”  

        • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

          Oh, if only! 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12500056 Joseph Lamour

      During the Vegas scenes, was I the only one trying to figure out which one of his friends Rodger is having a down low affair with? Cause I mean… seriously. I’m thinking the one in the leather jacket.

    • Anonymous

      You hit the nail on the head. I saw a rerun of last week’s episode, and all I could think was, I hate it when my husband and I bicker; why would I want to watch another couple bickering on TV?

      • Mary McClelland

        especially when the bickering seems staged!

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

      we better see Anne Hathaway in her panties trying on dresses soon


    • marshal hartman

      If Bravo really wanted to be smart about this, they would have had Jeff Lewis come in and design the house with Rachel and Roger’s input rather than doing this Jeremiah BS. It almost seems like they hired the interior designer over the stylist for the assistant position just for the drama it created in this episode.

      • Mary McClelland

        I think Bravo and RZ are setting us up for when she creates some sort of craptastic done to death already RZ Home line to hawk on QVC. I mean she copies all her clothes from someone why not linens too?

    • Anonymous

      Everything about this damned mess screams fakest fakery that every faked. Absolutely nothing rings true. It’s all been said here already, but Rodger’s friends seems like a group of guys hired for this purpose. The Hangover ripoff was beyond embarrassing. Rodger is even more annoying than RZoe, he needs to go back to being a rarely seen background player. Most annoying of all is Joey, a feminine version of Sarah Silverman. His voice, they way he speaks, what he says, just totally obnoxious. The highlight was seeing what they had bought at the vintage store, almost everything else was lit-rully YUUUUUUCK.

    • Anonymous

      Does Bravo not even try to be the Film and Arts network?  I mean, even the History channel still does historical-ish stuff.

    • Anonymous

      LMK if that “Very Special Anne Hathaway” episode comes to fruition because I just deleted RZP from my dvr.

    • Anonymous

      Is it me, or is Joey getting the “blessed jewel” edit?  Is he being set up as the next assistant to betray Rachel?

    • http://twitter.com/essveeup Sarah Veenstra

      after watching wave after wave of Rodger’s brocean roll in…..if I ever again hear the phrase “Vegas Up, Bitches!”, I will dry-heave.

      • Mary McClelland

        Wasn’t it funny how when he looked at all the fried food you could totally tell he was freaking out that he may have eaten all that crap. Also funny the look on his “friend’s” faces when he would mention Rachel or call her.  They all hate her.  It’s obvious. 

    • Mary McClelland

      Yeah this show is pathetic. And frankly I don’t even think her styling is all that great.  I mean that Kim K shoot was so cliche it was embarrassing and the only one of Anne Hathaway’s looks that excited me was the Lanvin Tuxedo and the Tom Ford number – everything else was just meh.  I heard Brad is styling her now anyways. 

    • Anonymous

      there’s a plot for this trainwreck of a show?

    • oohsparkley!

      I was going to come here and defend the characters and “plot”, but then I remembered I didn’t watch the whole episode either.  Although I did want to see how Jeremy did with the decorating.  I’m not getting the gay vibe from him either.  I wish I had time to read all the comments all the time, but I don’t.

    • http://twitter.com/TheRedZavodnik Ginger

      All I thought while watching the scenes of Roger in Vegas is: “This is how gay men think straight men are supposed to act.” 

    • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.eric.hill Shawn Hill

      This show is off the Tivo. Turns out I WAS just watching for Brad.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_66KPZ36LMHMRQOX3HIJGHRNNUA MandyM

      I agree. This was just about the worst episode I’ve ever seen. I am also sick about hearing how her only salvation about having a boy is getting to dress him like Roger. Blah. Seriously Jeremiah is just about the most annoying creature on TV. And I have small children so we watch a LOT of annoying creatures on TV!