Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Jenna Lyons spices up 'RHONY' in TV debut.

Jenna Lyons spices up ‘RHONY’ in TV debut.

Jenna Lyons’ Return to Reality TV

In 2020, Jenna Lyons made her reality TV debut in “Stylish,” a show on HBO Max. As the former creative director and president of J. Crew, Lyons was expected to be a guiding force in the competition, similar to “The Apprentice.” However, the series revealed Lyon’s discomfort with making decisions, as she shied away from defining the winner’s role or discussing her own post-J. Crew plans.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding “Stylish,” Lyons has now returned to reality TV as the marquee star of a revamped version of “The Real Housewives of New York City.” With her recognizable face and connections to notable figures like the Obamas, Lyons serves as a point of entry for viewers. However, her struggles to engage with the other cast members make the early episodes of this season feel strained and unappealing.

Though the show’s first three episodes may have fallen short of expectations, the new cast brings enthusiasm, inclusivity, brightness, and exuberance to the screen. These women, ranging from online content creators to brand marketing professionals, are well-versed in keeping people talking about them. Their interactions feel rehearsed and lack authenticity, especially in the early spats.

While the previous season of “RHONY” was hindered by COVID and marred by racism allegations against one cast member, this season seems to have shed the dolefulness of the past. The show’s focus has shifted away from substance use and towards building new relationships among the cast members. However, the women’s attempts to create conflict and drama often come across as forced, as seen in a mundane argument over cheese preferences.

Bethenny Frankel, a former cast member known for her sharp wit, hangs over this new group as they strive to find moments of dissension. The cast members’ attempts to ignite conflicts can be amusing, particularly when it comes to their engagements with outdated trends and venues. However, Lyons stands out with her authentic vulnerability and lack of self-promotion skills, revealing her struggle to navigate the world of brand-building and self-identity.

As the episodes progress, the show must address its initial awkwardness and allow the cast to truly get to know each other. Lyons, with her ability to create chaos and blunt honesty, can be a captivating presence on screen. However, the show also needs to showcase the talents of its other members, who are well-versed in crafting their public image.

Only time will tell if this iteration of “The Real Housewives of New York City” will match the longevity of the original series. The cast needs to find their rhythm and the show must figure out how to effectively utilize Lyons, whose fame predates the rise of social media. Ultimately, the success of the show hinges on the dynamics between the cast members and their ability to navigate the world of reality TV.

“The Real Housewives of New York City” will premiere its 14th season on Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET, and will be available for streaming on Peacock.

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