Perhaps the best thing about writing for Idol Chatter is that it gives me a chance to confess- I mean, write about – my very guilty TV viewing pleasures. Guilty pleasures like “The Real Housewives of New York City.” In the past two seasons I have been sucked into watching the series because I have loved the friendship between BFFs Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel. Now season three has become all about the dissolution of the two’s friendship, with each accusing the other of betrayal and each not willing to forgive the other for a variety of discretions. All of the housewives are naturally caught up in this relationship drama – deciding if they are on Team Jill or Team Bethenny – and I just can’t look away.
Jill has never been portrayed as unflatteringly as she has this season – sniping, whining, backstabbing in every episode – and the timing couldn’t be worse as she is out hawking her book “Secrets of a Jewish Mother,” an advice book on love and friendship. The book is getting panned by many reviewers and Zarin herself has been accused of allegedly writing her own positive press over at Amazon.com under different pseudonyms. All of which has lead the blogosphere and fans alike to debate the following question: Is Jill Zarin good for the Jews?
It’s a cheeky question first asked by Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen when he interviewed Zarin recently and asked her which celebs she thought were “good for the Jews” in terms of promoting Jewish ideals in pop culture and which celebs have been bad for the Jews by continuing to perpetuate stereotypes of Jews.
Certainly, my opinion of Zarin- and how she represents her religion – has changed. The book doesn’t seem to offer any new or insightful, or even particularly Jewish, advice in many instances. And what respectable advice there is , Zarin certainly doesn’t seem to be following in her own damaged relationship with Bethenny.
And since I am just a Midwest evangelical gal who has a deep appreciation – even if not a completely deep understanding – of Jewish culture and rituals, I throw Andy Cohen’s question out there to Idol Chatter readers: Is Zarin good for the Jews? Or is she now turning into another stereotype of a shrill, overbearing, meddling Jewish mother ? Should we even care about what Zarin has to say as a representative of the Jewish faith and is it actually an offensive question to even be asking? I really want to know, so start a discussion in the comment box below!