The Rachel Zoe ProjectBathing Suits and Big Changes Season 4 • Episode 6
People do not make it onto reality television so that they can be "a slightly better-edited version of themselves on screen, realizing that the world is watching." This is just what Rachel Zoe is not, writes Jacob Bernstein in the Daily Beast for an essay about how the show and Zoe are "appalling," yet quite entertaining. Jacob, meet reality television. Reality television, meet Jacob. Reality television's stars should end up being a slightly worse-edited version of themselves, since the editors have to cut a bunch of footage of people hanging out and doing mundane things into entertaining episodes with some semblance of plot. Of course, on The Rachel Zoe Project, we're treated to some of humanity's best examples of lacking self-awareness. And we love them for it. Who doesn't say awful things they shouldn't say when just in the presence of their friends? And who has the balls to unabashedly keep saying those awful things when on national television? Not us. Besides, how much can we really know about Zoe's character from watching this show? After all, you know what they say about character: It's what you do when no one is looking. And you know what they might as well start saying about reality television? It's what you do when everyone is looking.
Thankfully, on last night's episode, this included Zoe planning what she would wear when she gives birth, Jeremiah wearing scoop-neck T-shirts, and Joey calling Rachel "a pregnant whore."
Things We Learned About Fashion
• "Real" to fashion people in terms of body shape is an entirely different thing to normal people. The model on the Elle swim shoot "has a real body — she's not like a scarecrow. You know what I mean?" Zoe tells Joey and Jeremiah. Cut to the model on the shoot with flawless skin, no fat, and long, pleasing limbs. The most "real" thing about her is probably that she's not made of straw.
• Rachel: "Do you know how I get off on a great fashion story? It’s not normal."
• The difference between the L.A. hipster look, as embodied by Jeremiah when he was in his sick outfit, and the New York hipster look, as embodied by the millions of people we all see everywhere, every day in this town, is chest hair and soap. Also, the L.A. hipster look might be more sweater-y.
• Givenchy heels connote a certain thing. To Joey, it goes something like, "What shoes are you wearing today? Givenchy wedges? You’re like a pregnant whore."
• Photographing bathing suits is not like photographing other kinds of apparel. Allow Rachel to articulate: "Working with bathing suits, it just takes on a whole new thing."
• Rachel can't shoot the same designer more than once for the Elle shoot, which makes you wonder if this is a thing many editors decide to do so as not to offend their advertisers.
• Fashion shoots look very silly when they're happening. Even Rachel, when she's examining the model in a forest as she models the swimwear, looks at her like she might not be human. Even though, as she's emphasized, she's so real.
Things We Learned About Life
• Rachel didn't want to do a nude pregnant cover shoot, as Joey teases her she should — just a clothed one for the Hollywood Reporter.
• Rodger has man friends. You might say, "But didn't we learn that when he went to Vegas?" But it's impossible to discern the veracity of friendships with Vegas people, especially on reality television. In this episode we know Rodger's friendship with the guy who looks like Adrian Brody only less symmetrical in the face (there's our "real" quotient for the week) is actually a relationship because Rodger goes over to talk about fatherhood and ogle the man's son.
• Rodger doesn't want to be "Mr. Mom because I could easily see that happening," he tells his man friend. Except he's wrong — the hot gay male nanny Rachel would insist on hiring would be the real Mr. Mom, thereby filling the "real" quotient for whatever week that episode airs.
• Not being included in work happenings sucks. Everyone has been the one who wasn't cc'd on an e-mail, or wasn't invited to a meeting, and left wondering to some degree why the hell they exist/bother. Jeremiah experiences this when he is left off a bunch of e-mails from Rachel to Joey and possibly other people about the Elle shoot. "Obviously, I don't like being left out of the e-mails between Rachel and Joey. I understand that they're best friends, and I might be a little bit sensitive about it, but I don't want to be left out," he says, soulful eyes looking deep into all of our souls. You have to wonder why Rachel hired him to be a styling assistant if she's not going to tell him what to do on styling jobs.
• Rachel hates when people are just sitting around. Yet she also doesn't want to have to tell people what to do. Such is the quagmire Jeremiah faces.
• A noise can act as a catchphrase. Jeremiah, being new, hasn't established his reality television catchphrase yet. It's not that he's not clever (not that he needs to be, being so good-looking and good at decorating houses), but he's still being very careful, reserved. Yet he does have a signature "I'm so frustrated!" growl. It came out this episode a couple times.
• Rachel: "I’m like a snake that’s swallowed a basketball."
• Joey might be Brad in disguise, for all we know. Ex-assistant Brad Goreski, who's signature way of speaking was forever encapsulated in a New York Times story about how he says "lewk" instead of "look" and so on, clearly owns "lewk." Yet this episode, whether Joey realized it or not, he says to Rachel, "Give me a LEWK."
• Never be ashamed to seek reassurance that you're awesome. Rachel, slipping into her more high-pitched "I'm satisfied with myself" voice, says to Joey on the shoot, "Do my looks make sense? Because you know, with pregnancy brain." She knows she did a great job, but she may as well hear it from Joey too.
• Rodger claims he didn't want Rachel to do the Hollywood Reporter cover. But then he got to be in the shoot and seemed to have a lot of fun selecting his Lanvin patent shoes to wear for it, so maybe it wasn't so bad for him after all.
• Rachel didn't wear maternity clothes when she was pregnant, something she says makes her "lucky." Well, it's not like she's going to find a maternity Chanel jacket at Pea in the Pod, so yeah, that does make her lucky.
• Speaking of maternity clothes, Rachel needs to be properly attired and made up when she goes to the hospital to deliver her baby. That epic reality television conversation is here:
• Joey has no idea what happens during childbirth. How else to explain him asking Rachel if she's worried about doctors seeing her butt in the hospital gown, and making a face about the thought of having to wear it at all? Yes, the gross thing in the delivery room is totally going to be the hospital gown!
• Don't just waltz into a company and ask to start up a whole new division. It is pretty naive of Jeremiah to think he can start working on the Rachel Zoe home line now, when they don't even have apparel in stores yet. But so lost is he for purpose in the company, he's desperate to make himself indispensable.
• If you have to fire someone, don't tell them it's because you can't afford them when you rent a $20,000-a-month gigantic house, have the money to fill it with new furniture, and have Birkin bags and vintage Halston coming out your ears. Rodger probably should have lied about why he couldn't keep Jeremiah on full-time anymore, instead of saying that the company can't afford him. How much could they have been paying him anyway? At least we can probably assume the whole firing thing was fake and just put in there to create tension to keep that semblance of plot going.
Next week: will Jeremiah make a dramatic return to Team Zoe as the Manny? Keep your heavage crossed, folks.