If you follow the careful science that made Bethenny Frankel a logical choice for her own spin-off (coming off of The Real Housewives of New York), it’s easy to see why stylist Brad Goreski was given one of his own by the Bravo reality gods: he’s got sass to spare; he’s decidedly attractive; he’s launching his own mini-empire and has a romantic partner willing to put their relationship on camera for the world to see.
Goreski made his name appearing on two seasons of the hit Bravo show The Rachel Zoe Project, where he worked his way up from assistant to Style Director for the oft-lampooned Hollywood stylist. Their friendship also made up a large part of the show, which is why viewers were surprised to find out through the tabloids the two had an acrimonious split when Brad left to try his hand at his own brand. Their squabble has never been made very clear — something about possibly stealing clients from the coveted Zoe roster of A-listers — and dealt with only slightly on Zoe’s own show, which just wrapped up its fourth season a few weeks back.
On It’s A Brad, Brad World, Goreski opens up his personal and professional life, yet again, to Bravo cameras as he struggles to build his name away from Zoe and attract clients. He has a major card up his sleeve with Hollywood starlet and fashion plate Jessica Alba on his limited list of notable names but has a ways to go before he’s anywhere near the stature of his former employer.
Brad can make for good reality TV and seems savvy enough to ham it up for the cameras without reeking of total desperation. His boyfriend of ten years, TV producer and writer Gary Janetti (Will & Grace, Family Guy), helps reign in his fashionable other half, too. They live together in a chic Hollywood Hills home, along with their two dogs Penelope and Jasper.
While Brad begins his solo career, he’s using their garage as an office to fill with racks and racks of designer clothes — which Gary describes as an “encroaching blob” into their space — and plans to try out various assistants before settling on one. A friendly gal named Monica is first up and tags along with Goreski for a Paper Magazine shoot focused on showcasing Brad’s style. The shoot takes up far too much of the episode, devolving into a schmaltzy pseudo-therapy session about personal style between Goreski and the needy photographer. Though, credit to him for really shoehorning himself in.
Something you don’t see much on these types of shows is frustrated boredom and inactivity, which Goreski seems okay with letting viewers peek in on. While waiting for his agent to call with some work — and getting turned down for a job styling Diane Lane after a half-hearted commitment — he’s shown puttering around his beautiful home, working out in a barre-style fitness class, playing with his dogs and generally bemoaning his lack of work. It’s hardly riveting stuff but it’s at least interesting to see someone not feel compelled to showcase their life on TV as an unending parade of glamorous celebrity air kisses.
Luckily, things switch right back into Bravo gear when Goreski gets assigned a job styling singer Keri Hilson for the prestigious Costume Institute Gala in New York City. The Met Ball, as it’s known, is often called the Fashion Oscars and is obviously a big ol’ deal for Brad Inc., especially because he’ll also be styling Jessica Alba. There’s some fun dress-up with Hilson, which all feels very a la Zoe, but without the words “bananas” and “dying” on repeat.
That’s not to say Brad is low-key by any stretch of the imagination. Just take a gander at the black and silver sequined tuxedo jacket he ends up wearing to the Us Weekly party (and matching black sequined shoes!) and there’s a helpful reminder of Goreski’s need to peacock a bit more than most. He’s clear on the need to be his own billboard for his business — something he’s no doubt picked up from his years with Zoe — and that he’s got a lot more work ahead of him to be anywhere near her level of style influence.
Except Zoe’s world isn’t what Brad is aiming for. He looks to one and only Madonna for inspiration and cites her classic documentary Madonna: Truth Or Dare as a touchstone. He says he often pictures himself with Madge’s iconic, braided ponytail and headset, noting that, “deep down inside of me I have blonde ambition and that’s the thing that keeps me going.”
• Repeatedly talking about your dog’s "pussy" is a great way to kick off any new series so cheers to Gary.
• Meeting in Mykonos. Perfection.
• Does anyone else thing Brad is really running out the clock on those bowties?
• Paper Mag got a pretty nice plug in this episode,.
• Get your tissues because this season looks like a teary one. Not even through the intro and we’ve got crying Brad!