2011, $1.49, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Give me Sassy Pose #1!

Second Impression: And smile! But don’t you dare let that smile get up to your eyes!

FADE IN: on a tasteful loft space. Light, airy, modern. Cross-legged in the middle of the room sits our host, Real Housewife and self-styled Skinnygirl, Bethenny Frankel. Her hair tumbles effortlessly past her shoulders. She opens her mouth to speak:

BETHENNY: Hi? I’m Bethenny? This is the Skinnygirl Workout?

I’m not sure? If she lives here? It might be a set? Or it might be her house?  

Bethenny lets us know two things about her fitness philosophy:

  1. “I don’t believe in people yelling at you” (she has a voice that always sounds like she’s yelling)
  2. “I don’t believe in expensive trainers” (she has an expensive trainer, who is co-hosting this video)

Additionally, just because I feel like tattling, I want to let you know that the three workouts proudly advertised on the DVD case are not actually three separate routines. It’s just one workout with awkward fade-outs interspersed throughout. There’s no warmup, no cooldown, no beginning, no end. There is no moment but this moment. Just Bethenny, reminding you to breathe at every possible opportunity.

Bethenny introduces her co-host, saying, “Michael is a New York City yoga instructor.” Does that mean he likes putting his face right up against the poop sidewalk like Tara Stiles? It doesn’t matter, as it soon becomes evident that Bethenny and Michael have very different ideas about how the shoot day will go. She’s in a reality show steamrolling contest, and he’s in a yoga video.

Naturally, we begin with the blessing:

During a standing twist he says,”Give me a little more chest,” to which she deadpans, “Excuse me?”

Apropos of nothing, she demands to know if he got a pedicure. “A MANicure,” he corrects her. I wonder if that bit was planned and of course it is, because nothing about reality TV is real, unscripted shows have staff writers, and no one ever Woke Up Like This.

We do a move called Reverse Down Dog and an actual dog walks through frame:

This makes me think that this really is her house. Having pets interrupt your workout is a time-honored tradition here at Thrift Store Fitness:

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