If I can impart any advice from watching Kelly Bensimon and Claudia Jordan on Million Dollar Matchmaker, it would be: don’t watch Million Dollar Matchmaker.
Patti Stanger and her posse of ghouls have accomplished the impossible — they presented me with a solid hour of Kelly Bensimon talking to cute men, which is my ideal Housewives spin-off, and made it boring. I don’t know if it’s the format of the show (confused) or the pacing (languid) or the matchmakers themselves (insipid), but I found the whole affair mildly agonizing. I’m not sure what I expected from an on-the-record friend of Jill Zarin.
It wasn’t a total write-off, though:
- first of all, it should be noted that Real Housewives was only ever referred to as “the Housewives show,” presumably for copyright reasons;
- we got a solid segment depicting Bethenny as the vindictive wendigo who deliberately painted Kelly Bensimon as insane with her cutting remarks and manipulative ways (agree);
- Kelly was variously called an “educated supermodel author” (agree) and a “journalist” (agree);
- Patti Stanger uttered the phrase, “Kelly isn’t crazy; she’s just misunderstood” (agree);
- Kelly’s storyline was that her time on the Housewives show had pigeonholed her into the role of Crazy Kelly, which had affected her self-esteem. Patti insisted this wasn’t an accurate representation, and then proceeded to refer to her as “Crazy Kelly” roughly 19 times over the course of the hour;
- Kelly insisted that her type is funny nerds (she specifically referenced Larry David), which is of course how Kelly Bensimon sees herself;
- Kelly ended up picking exactly the guy you would imagine, a wealthy classically handsome white dude, because he said he was from Wisconsin so Kelly convinced herself this meant he had “Midwestern values”;
- Kelly opted not to pursue him because he spoke too much about himself! The Kelly of old would have fawned over a rich man’s self-absorbed rambling. Our girl is learning, growing. I’m proud.
The other half of the hour was devoted to RHOA’s Claudia Jordan, who was on the show to break her streak of liars and cheaters. It emerged that this was a sublimation of her daddy issues, which led to an incredibly uncomfortable, borderline traumatizing scene of Patti Stanger coercing her into disclosing a rape over the phone to her father. Chuck up a trigger warning next time, Pats.
The only other scene of interest in Claudia’s footage was when Patti sent an undercover manwhore to hit on Claudia at a mixer as part of a test. It reminded me of nothing more than the scene from Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School when Mo’Nique tests the women on their ability to detect the Urban Renaissance Man. Briefly, it was like I was watching a better reality show, and then I saw there were 20 boring minutes left and came crashing down to Earth.
So yeah, conclusion: don’t watch Million Dollar Matchmaker. The end.