“It’s Will & Grace with real estate as a backdrop.”
That’s the short description of Bethenny Frankel’s new Bravo adventure with buddy and Million Dollar Listing: New York realtor Fredrik Eklund. And really, it paints a perfect picture for the “reality sitcom” that sees the double act buy and flip properties while they butt heads over budget, style, and just about everything else along the way. While Eklund installs heated toilet seats and lines the facets with Swarovski crystals (this may be an exaggeration), Frankel finds herself trying to rein him in. “We just don’t speak the same language at all,” says the reality TV regular. “I was the nag and he was the cute, I Love Lucy wife hiding hat boxes under the bed.”
Whether their friendship will profit from the trials and tribulations of property buying is (almost) as big a gamble as investing their own money in the renovations. “It’s not like reality television where we make it look bad for a day and then we go to sleep,” says Frankel. “We could get our asses handed to us. We just don’t know.”
Regardless of a successful real estate outcome, Frankel promises a rip-roaring good time. “I created the show and it’s better than I ever expected,” she says. “I know that when Fredrik and I are together there’s this ridiculous dynamic; it’s just like gold. We just were peeing in our pants laughing all the time.” Fans of the Bravo network are used to seeing Frankel crack up at the antics of her costars, but she promises this show has a completely different feel. “It doesn’t have that cookie cutter, formulaic TV show feel where it’s forced — it’s just 30 minutes of absurdity with two idiots,” she explains. “This is very different. Fredrik hadn’t done a show like this before. He was used to everything being perfect and tied up in a bow, like, he makes the deal and everyone lives happily ever after.” But, during shooting this time round Eklund had to get used to conceding control and letting the drama unfold naturally. “He’d be like, ‘why are we here so long, what’s happening?’ And I was like, ‘You can’t drive. The show is going to drive; it’ll take you places that you’d never have known because truth is stranger than fiction.'”
As for moments to look out for? Don’t miss a handstand dance-off party at Frankel’s home (we’re 99 percent sure alcohol’s involved in that one), literal pant peeing, and Eklund’s attempts at setting his costar up — “Gay guys have different priorities; the person has to be hot and they have to have a big…” You get the idea.
Differing priorities aside, Frankel still highly encourages tuning in…well, kind of. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” she says. “If only one person watches we don’t even care because we had so much fun. It was just a passion project, but you cannot help but smile watching these two morons interact.”
Bethenny & Fredrik premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.