The Real Housewives of New York City, S10E1: Oops She Did It Again
Welcome to Season 10 of The Real Housewives of New York City!
A little backstory: I’ve been watching RHONY (and almost all of the Real Housewives franchises) since the very first episode, to the point where I consider myself a bit of an expert on the Real Housewives universe. But for a long time, I kept my Bravo shows as girly things just for me…as I regularly whine to you during Bachelor season, recapping can a lotta lotta work and pretty time-consuming. So for a while, I just wanted to have those one or two shows where I could sit down with a glass of wine and just soak it in, without having to constantly take notes or think about how I was going to frame this or that scene in my post.
But this year I realized that, for as much as I talk about and read about and listen to podcasts about my favorite Bravo shows, I could easily be spending that time writing about them. And also, I’m a very prideful and not-humble person, so to hear some other jerk talk about how they’re an expert on Real Housewives because they’ve watched and blogged about the last two seasons is personally offensive to me. We’re on Season 10 of New York…that means I’ve literally dedicated almost a decade of MY LIFE to the dramatic, petty goings-on of these Bravo betches. And I’ve started to think that maybe I want something to show for that, y'know? I mean, besides the many hardcover books featured on my apartment bookshelves that have been penned by these ladies, many of whom have probably never even read an entire non-children’s book in their lives…but like Aviva Drescher says, it takes a village to write a book (and in her case, we should be supremely thankful to that village full of ghost-writers).
So anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is: I’m going to start recapping more Bravo shows, and my new goal is actually finish an entire new season of recaps. Which is not a thing I’ve actually be able to do in maybe five years, which means that you wouldn’t be blamed if you didn’t believe me, but let’s just agree to meet each other where we are and then grow as people together, okaaaay?
(Also, if you’re not listening to Ronnie and Ben’s RHONY recaps on their podcast, Watch What Crappens, even just for Ronnie’s imitation of Ramona, let’s pivot on those current life choices of yours. Also, here’s a song they made that gives you a 2 minute preview of their brilliance)
Tag, You’re It.
A low-key highlight of every new Real Housewives season is the show intro...and I have to say, you guys, I still really dig the new and jazzed up intro format that they debuted for New York last season. It’s big and bold and brassy, just like these broads! Out of all the other RH intros, this one is really an intro you can dance to.
Season 10’s intro starts out with a newly-blonde Carole, which is interesting, because historically, the first person in a new season intro indicates that they’re making some power moves this year. I actually really enjoy Carole on this show - I think her inclusion finally elevated it to the level they’ve been trying to sell us on since the beginning, which is a look inside the lives of elite women in New York. I mean, the woman married into a veritable American Dynasty, for godsakes, and wrote a stunning first book (guys, it’s fantastic) before she ever even came onto this show. But with that said, let’s be honest: She hasn’t always brought the most interesting storylines to this show (and sometimes, not any storylines at all!), so this intro placement seems to predict that we’re going to see something different from her this season.
Unfortunately, this prediction also comes with her wearing what seems to be a red beaded pageant dress from the late ‘90s…pretty sure Britney Spears is wearing its sister below.
Carole’s tagline is, “In the marathon of life, loyalty is everything.” Which basically means that Carole’s gonna run a marathon, because Real Housewives taglines are nothing if not literal, and that shit’s about to get real when it comes to Carole’s long-standing friendship with Bethenny. That’s not even a spoiler - my 5 year old niece could put that plot point together, just based on that tagline.
Dorinda, in last year’s intro look (actually, all the women are in the same looks as last season’s intro, except for Carole), tells us, “I have a big heart, but little patience”, which, unlike Carole’s tagline, tells us basically nothing, because these are things we already know about her.
Ramona's tagline is, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” How is it possible that one of the most air-headed and clueless people on this show consistently comes up with the most clever tagline? Last season Ramona’s tagline was “I’m an acquired taste…you don’t like me? Acquire some taste!” Which is BRILLIANT, you guys! And this season’s tagline is, too! My mind is spinning and I’m questioning all the things I’ve previously learned about gravity and the laws of physics, because if the dumbest person on this show has the smartest tagline for the second time in a row, what does that tell us about everything we once believed to be true?
Tinsley’s tagline is, much like her, a total snore: “C’mon…why would I cook when I can just order room service?” Wow wow wow…can hardly wait to see what kind of storylines ordering room service will bring us this season!
Sonja is here to tell us that “I’m not just a last name…I’m a legacy”, and already I’m annoyed and totally, totally finished with having to hear about her ONCE being a Morgan. Because also, you’re not either of those things! The guy divorced you, Sonja…like, more than ten years ago! It’s time to let it go. And even more than that, it’s time to stop talking about it to a nation of Americans who never even cared to hear about it in the first place.
Then it’s Bethenny, who tells us that, “It’s great to be successful…but it’s even better to be strong.” Did you guys know that the name of Bethenny’s charity is “Be Strong?” NOW YA DO!
We finish with LuAnn, who states, “The most interesting people make the best headlines.” Which is really just a way to spin a negative like getting arrested into a positive, but I’m here for the sun and not the rain and so I’ll buy what you’re selling just this one time, Lu.
Lots of New Faces This Season...And I Don't Mean New People
The season starts out with a banger, which is Ramona being annoying and anal while telling her movers or decorators or whoever those dudes in her apartment are that she doesn’t want to be annoying and anal while she does stuff that’s annoying and anal. One of the guys points out that she’s carrying a mug with her trademark line from Season 5, “Calm down…take a Xanax”, which is either the most cleverly positioned swag promotion ever or a blessing to Ramona from heaven, because I literally went online a second later and ordered the mug m’self.
Over at Sonja’s townhouse, we get to see Sonja talking to herself/her dog while she goes through her costume choices. The infamous Marie Antoinette headpiece makes an appearance, which gives us all flashbacks to Season 4, when she literally forgot to wear half her costume and we practically saw her birthing hole every time she bent over (which was a lot).
Bethenny’s getting her face and hair did before a big event at the Museum of Natural History where she’s apparently speaking to 700 people and accepting an award for her humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico. Ramona’s assistant texts Bethenny to tell her that Ramona is wondering who’s going to be at her table that night, which is Peak Ramona, and which Bethenny promptly ignores.
Tinsley is hair-spraying her now-straight hair (she got rid of the ringlets, everybody! After only having to sit through each and every cast member talk about the mistake of her keeping the circa-2007 ringlets a thousand times last season, she FINALLY LISTENED) and talking baby-talk to her Chihuauana, who obviously isn’t potty-patch trained yet.
Carole, meanwhile, is out of doors, somewhere around Battery Park or another place in New York where you can walk by the water, and is doing something that I can only assume is running?
Dorinda, always one to provide much-needed comic relief, is sitting in her apartment and talking to Halloween decorations while she puts the finishing touches on the Halloween party she’s planning. The theme is “Famous People Who Are Alive” (remember this, it will come up later), and since EVERYONE knows she loves Lady Gaga, Dorinda decided to dress up in her infamous Bubble Dress Costume. The box arrives, and it’s just a bunch of clear plastic globes, which reminds me of those plastic eggs that L’Eggs pantyhose came in that I used to be weirdly obsessed with as a kid, which then made me go down a rabbit hole of learning more about the L’Eggs brand and legacy, which then also led me to this vintage magazine advert that I distinctly remember seeing when I was a kid and thinking that it was the epitome of everything I wanted to be when I grew up (and STILL want to be…there’s still time for me to learn how to properly walk in heels, guys!) :
What does this have to do with Dorinda? Nothing! But this is just how my mind works, so welcome to the journey.
Anyway, Dorinda is like, “It’s just a bunch of balls…what am I going to do with a bunch of balls?” and before I can tell her exactly what she can do with a bunch of balls, she checks her phone and discovers that what she actually ordered was a Gaga Bubble Dress KIT, and not the actual whole costume. So she makes a phone call to her friend Brian, a costume designer for S…N…L! (You’ll get that joke later), tells him her conundrum, and finds an easy fix - they’ll just glue all of those bubbles together and then attach them to a bodysuit! That’s the kind of quick and easy problem-solving that New Yorkers are paying people like him the big bucks for, guys!
Later that night, we see Bethenny arrive at the annual red carpet gala for Delivering Good, her partner in her relief efforts in Puerto Rico. She’s the keynote speaker that night, and she tells us that she got started in relief efforts in Houston and Puerto Rico because she realized one night that she was seeing these terrible things on TV and then going out to dinner and eating sushi and basically sitting on her ass and not doing anything. And since her charity, Be Strong (geddit, guys? It’s in her tagline!) is for women and children in crisis, long story short, she went down to Houston to help. And then Puerto Rico happened, and everyone told her she couldn’t go there because there wasn’t any food, water, or electricity and people were dying, but if there’s something that literally everyone knows about Bethenny by now, it’s that if you tell her she can’t do something, she’s going to make it her mission to prove you wrong, and so she was like, “No, motherfucker, that’s when you DO go, so I told everyone here who were just sitting on their asses and watching the news to go fuck themselves and I chartered a fucking plane and began to single-handedly rebuild Puerto Rico all on my own!” (I’m paraphrasing)
And then once she started and everyone saw what she was doing, more and more people reached out to help her with donations or planes or warehouse space, and it’s grown to be a massive relief effort. And I mean…say what you want about the Real Housewives (actually don’t, unless you want me to fight you), but the fact that a Real Housewife from New York did more to provide relief to Puerto Rico than our own government is pretty fuckin’ baller.
Very carefully - almost too carefully - Bethenny tells us that she’s invited Tinsley and Ramona to the gala, because “very early on, they donated a lot of money” when she first started with Houston. Tinsley donated $10,000 (!) and Ramona, in her own words, donated “as generously as I could” ($3,000).
Of course, literally everyone in America is sitting there and wondering, “Where’s Carole?” Ramona is also wondering this, and thinks it’s a little strange that she’s not there! The more things change, the one thing remains the same - you can always count on Ramona to stir the pot, even at a charity gala!
Looks Like It Will Never NOT Be About Tom
LuAnn shows up at Dorinda’s apartment for tea and a lil' catch-up. LuAnn is still looking for an apartment in New York (it’s been, like, three years now, LuAnn - just buy one already!), but great news - Dorinda has a whole plan about how Lu should move to the Berkshires to live with her, and they can be two crazy ladies in caftans. Which makes me immediately think of Grey Gardens and how Dorinda kinda sorta reminds of both Edies in a way, but that's a creative recap storyline for another time. LuAnn plays the sad trombone by telling Dorinda that she should come visit her in the Hamptons, “because, you know, the kids are in New York a lot so I’m alone a lot.”
ORILLY, LuAnn? Tell us MORE!
The one thing that LuAnn never thought would happen - but that literally every living, breathing, and halfway-thinking creature in the entire galaxy knew would - has happened: LuAnn is now officially divorced from Tom D’Agostino. We’re treated to a montage of their “whirlwind” relationship - a.k.a., all the filmed moments where it’s super obvious that LuAnn is way more into Tom than he’s into her - and every time I see these kind of flashbacks, especially that one of LuAnn in her fur coat and telling Tom how handsome he looks, I always think of how LuAnn reminds me of Bonnie from the 1988 Tom Cruise classic Cocktail…Bonnie was this rich, older, connected woman whom Brian (played by Tom Cruise) had a one-night stand with whilst in Jamacia, and she somehow convinced him to move back to New York with her and basically be her Boy Toy, and even though he was sorta reluctant he ultimately went along with it because he was kinda hoping she’d connect him to business people who could set his career back on track, only she never did and instead treated him like a hired cabana boy until one night he was so fed up that he publicly embarrassed her in front of all her fancy New York friends at an awful modern art opening!
Anyway, I feel like LuAnn is Bonnie in this scenario, where she had things to offer Tom and managed to talk him into being with her long-term and Tom was kind of bored and aimless or maybe broke enough to go along with it and he at least kind of liked her but wasn’t, like, super in love with her, especially because he was still secretly in love with a sweet, pretty blonde woman he had ditched when he started hooking up with LuAnn AND OH MY GOD THERE ARE ACTUALLY SO MANY PARALLELS TO COCKTAIL YOU GUYS!
Dorinda points out that Tom actually got worse after he and LuAnn got married, and Lu finally admits that she didn’t want to see it for so long, but looking back, what everyone kept saying about Tom - even Bethenny’s warning about him not being a good guy - now haunts her.
“I suffered a lot. I really suffered a lot,” Lu moans. And I feel for her, but I also don’t, because all of that is suffering she basically brought on herself. Dorinda asks if there’s any chance of a reconciliation, and Lu pauses before she says no. But she still pauses, which to me means, “Not unless he moved heaven and earth to get me back, and there’s still a little piece of me that hopes that someday he’ll do that.” He won’t, LuAnn! First of all, you’re a brunette, when he clearly prefers blondes:
It’s a nature and a nurture thing - you can’t fight it! It’s not your fault. But you need to move on, because the writing is, and always was, on the wall.
Speaking of Sonja, LuAnn hasn’t seen or spoken to her all summer - except for a “Oh GAWD!” text when she heard Lu and Tom were divorcing - but she still has a bone to pick with her, because, even though it’s VERY out of character for Sonja, she’s been going around spreading rumors that Lu’s dating like crazy! Part of me thinks that Sonja did that just to save LuAnn some face, because let’s face it - she’s not the most intelligent, thoughtful woman in the world, so it’s easy to see where she might think that she was helping instead of hurting. But LuAnn doesn’t appreciate it! She needs people to know that she was suffered, she really suffered, and she’s still suffering, all alone out in the Hamptons, alone alone alone, in the Hamptons, and not in New York where after three years, she still doesn’t even have an apartment!
Turns out that, Sonja’s heartfelt text aside, everyone else reached out to LuAnn except for Carole. “But you’re not friends,” Dorinda reminds her, rather bluntly. “Yeah, but we were in a better place,” LuAnn protests.
“I think we all understand the reasons for LuAnn’s divorce, Carole tells us in her ITM. “What we don’t understand are the reasons she got married.”
The producers then treat us to every woman in ITM throwing their two cents in on LuAnn’s divorce, along with some misty-colored memories showcasing the moments from past seasons when the women warned LuAnn to her face that she was making a huge mistake. But Sonja gives us the biggest gift of all by comparing Lu’s marriage to camel ride in Morocco. I had almost forgotten about that, you guys! What a blessing and a treat to travel back in time to that wonderful moment.
Tea-time ends with Dorinda telling LuAnn that she’s going as Gaga to her Halloween party. “Oh that's fantastic. Well, I’ve gotta go as a singer, right?” LuAnn muses. I mean…but do you? “I can go as myself!”
Looking back, that costume choice would have been highly, highly preferable to what happens later.
Eloise, All Grow’ed Up
Meanwhile, at some hotel that lets you live in it, Tinsley is ordering a cheese and CHAR-COO-TER-EEEE board from room service (like, for a moment I wondered if Brittney from Vanderpump Rules had defied the laws of time and space and invaded Tinsely’s body for a moment, by the way she sprinkled that over-pronunciation of Charcuterie with a strong Southern tang). Carole shows up, and tells us that over the summer, she and Tinsley have gotten closer, mainly because they went on a week-long double-date to Spain with their boyfriends.
Carole is blonder, and Tinsley has added some throw pillows and photos to her long-term hotel room to make it more “homey." Carole thinks it looks fantastic; I disagree! The cheese and charcuterie board arrives, and Carole makes an almost suspiciously big deal over it. “This is your life?!” She exclaims, as if no one in the world has ever gotten food delivered straight to their door before. We live in the future, Carole, and Postmates is a thing: You, too, can have a cheese and Char-coo-ter-eee board brought right to your door! Tinsley is like, “I told you...I’m Eloise, all grown up!” I mean. There’s a lot to unpack in just that statement…because she says that, and we’re all like, “Oh yeah. You actually are the kind of girl whose biggest dream and ambition is to be the grown-up version of your favorite childhood storybook.” I mean, the ringlets and that awful stunted-growth-and-develpment dress from last season’s reunion? They make so much more sense now!
Tinsley is SUCH a different person now that she’s living in a hotel than she was when she first got to New York and was living in Sonja’s townhouse. She also has Bambi with her, which I assume is her childhood pet, and she makes a reference to how, especially now, she needs him with her.
Why could that be, Tinsley?!
Turns out, Tinsley and her boyfriend Scott - the friend of Carole's she sucked so much face with on a blind double date last season who also owns Coupon Cabin - are on what most people would call a break. Doing a long-distance type thang from New York to Chicago just got too hard, and it also kind of sounds like Tinsely was a bit much and Scott was like, “Yo, how do I get a coupon for a discount on your personality” (I just made that up, btw. It's just the kind of great copy that people pay me to not write for them). Carole offers to fix her up with someone else, and Tinsley’s like, “Shut the fuck up, no way, I want Scott and I to work” and it feels like, since Carole made the reference that she talked to Scott the night before, then offered to set Tinsley up with someone again, and finally warns Tinsley by saying, “I don’t want you to think, ‘Oh, Scott and I are going to get back together’ and all this stuff and then you get hurt”, that the message is clear to Carole that Scott’s checked out of the Tinsely Cabin. But apparently, Tinsley just hasn’t gotten around to reading the expired date on their relationship coupon yet.
Sorry, guys…once I get going with the metaphors, it's a non-stop train that you ain't gonna get off.
Carole, for her part, is officially broken up with Adam and doesn’t call him her boyfriend anymore, but is still having “coffee” with him almost every single day…either he brings her actual coffee, or he shows up and brings her “coffee” in the form of his dick. Like, I don’t even know which one I would be happier about - having a hot guy bring fresh coffee to my door every morning is literally a thing that I’ve had on my vision board for the past 5 years. I mean, sex is great, too, but I honestly think if I had an Adam in my life who showed up with coffee and then wanted “coffee”, I would be like, “Yo, can I just sit here for a moment and enjoy this free and transported coffee you brought me first, because this is a miracle and I need to just be grateful for this moment before we go onto the sexing portion of this perfect morning lyfe.”
And quips like this are why I like Carole: “I guess people could say he’s getting his cake and eating it, too...but then I thought, 'But I like cake, also.'”
Tinsley ends the convo with a reference to Q4, which shocks Carole, because she didn’t know what that was at first (I didn’t, either, frankly, until I started copywriting at this nation’s most beloved bullseye-themed retailer a few years ago, but now I do, so I felt pretttttty smug watching Carole grapple with what it stood for. It's the small wins, you guys) and also, like everyone else in America, didn’t expect a professional term like that to just casually pop out of Tinsley’s mouth.
I mean. Nobody did. Her tagline is literally about ordering room service. Known for delivering riveting content, she is not.
I, Too, Fully Plan On Going To "Costa Rica" Someday
Ramona is waddling around some costume shop, taking snaps of herself with a wizened corpse prop - ”Age and beauty?” she crows - and trying on dead flower crowns when Sonja arrives. Ramona tells us that she doesn’t know what’s going on with her relationship with Sonja - she feels like Sonja keeps blowing her off when she asks to spend time with her. Sonja’s like, “I know you’ve been trying to get me out to the Hamptons but I’ve been in Europe all summer” and Ramona privately calls bullshit, because she knows for a fact that Sonja’s been in the Hamptons but never reached out to her. “It’s kind of sad, because at one point we were really close.” It IS kind of sad! I mean, separately, Ramona and Sonja are kind of awful, but together, they’re the BEST.
Anyway, after Sonja sent her daughter off to boarding school, she ran away to Europe, where she took an anti-depressant and stuffed her face with croissants (“woolf woolf…with the cwoissaaants!” is a line I’ll never get over) and gained some weight. She shows Ramona her stomach chub in the costume shop, and Ramona looks HORRIFIED…even though, in the real world, Sonja’s body is still absolutely smashing, especially for a woman her age. But then she went to a “raw foods place” in Costa Rica for 10 or 12 days, where she “got off the grid” and “juiced” and “got off the meds” and “got into herself” and that’s why, according to Ramona, she “looks so fabulous.”
I mean. It’s all code for plastic surgery/lipo, guys. I really think you probably got that already, but in case you didn’t, that’s what they’re talking about. I think that Sonja probably did do some juicing and meditation while she was recovering from lipo, but just in case you were like, “wow, sounds so holistic”, I'm just here to tell you that doing raw foods and juicing for a week is not going to just make a Summer of Cwoissaaants magically disappear.
They get to talking about LuAnn and then of course Tom, and Sonja goes into a diatribe about what did LuAnn expect, Tom’s a great party guy, the life of the party, “and you’d text with him and it’d like we’re having a party, come one come all, and then you’d go home and have a…what do you call it…a charity fuck? But that’s all it ever was!” Really, Sonja? Because I seem to remember some pret-ty big tears on a yacht during Lu’s engagement party, when you kept insisting that Tom was the man in your life for a really long time…the man you depended on to be both your friend and your escort (in more ways than one). But she does hit the nail on the head when she surmises that you can’t take a playboy and expect to turn him into a husband.
Wise words…wise, wise words…if only just one of these women had told Lu all of this before she got married…
Carole Sets A Realistic, Attainable Fitness Goal
It’s Halloween Day! Carole’s on the way to the gym to work out with her trainer, and drops stuff like “the Farmer Almanac says” and “I’m running a marathon”. We’re all like, “whaaaaaat?! The woman who turned her kitchen into an office? The woman who, for each season she’s been on this show, has dropped at least one hard brag that she’s never exercised a day in her life?!” YES! Because when Carole turned 54, she felt a little scrawny…and even though she’s never exercised a day in her life, she felt like she needed to start working out. But she knew that if she didn’t have a goal, she wouldn’t continue with it! So what goal did she choose? Oh, just a straight snoozer like run the New York City Marathon.
We’re then treated to a knock-off version of “The Final Countdown” by Europe, which I highly enjoy, while we’re simultaneously forced to watch Carole do CrossFit outside, which I do not enjoy. I cannot think of anything more annoying than having to either do or witness someone doing Crossfit on the streets of New York. There’s a reason why we still make fun of Kelli Bensimon running in the streets - oh, sorry, the “trenches” - of New York - it’s goddamn obnoxious.
I’m not going to comment on Carole's running gait, though.
I'll just let this GIF do it for me!
That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbled
Bethenny is sitting in her apartment, clad in a highly-questionable ensemble of a flouncy ribbed red sweater with a long pendant necklace, jeans with silver studs on the sides, and chunky white sneakers...like, it was very much “‘80s Nashville Housewife” on the top and “Texas Strip Mall Casual” on the bottom.
Her driver - and apparently dog-walker - comes back with her two other dogs, and Bethenny tells us about Cookie passing away. I mean, Cookie’s been there from the beginning, and practically deserved her own Apple, so this is a great loss for all of us.
For Bethenny especially, Cookie was absolutely her emotional support animal, and before she had Brynn, Cookie really was her family. Bethenny notes that Cookie’s been with her through everything - her success, her marriage, Brynn, her horrible divorce, her houses - and she says this and I can’t help but think that, if I were a pet psychic, I would absolutely make the assertion that Cookie was here to support Bethenny through the biggest growth period of her life and teach her how to love and get her through one of the most emotionally horrific times of her life, and now that Bethenny’s in a more settled, healthy place, it’s like…okay. Now Cookie can go to the Rainbow Bridge. Which, btw, Bethenny brings up and everyone in America loses it. “I wanna go there,” she says, crying, and I mean…I cry at literally everything, even commercials that aren’t supposed to be sad, but I frickin’ lose it. Like if you’ve never had a powerful, kindred bond with an animal, I get it - it’s super easy to be like, “it’s just a dog” and not get why someone is being so emotional over it, but when you have met that animal that you absolutely know is on this earth to love and support and even protect you, and vice versa…we all wanna go to the Rainbow Bridge! The Rainbow Bridge is gonna be a beautiful frickin’ place of happiness and joy and puppy snuggles and kitten chin-nudges!
So anyway. Cookie died and Bethenny’s sad. The End.
Party time at Dream Hotel...Which Honestly Sounds Like The Name of Britney Spears' Next HBO Special
Dorinda’s getting ready for her party, and STOP THE PRESSES, but the guy asking her about her wig is none other than Luke Henderson, whom dedicated Bravo watchers might remember as Ladies of London Caroline Stanbury’s former make-up artist/bestie! Being that Luke did not go to Dubai with Caroline and Dorinda and Caroline are pals, Luke now hanging out with Dorinda and doing her makeup seems both natural and yet crazy as fuck.
Carole comes over, sporting a red lace teddy under an Amelia Earhart costume.
We get it Carole - you’re sexy and you have sex. WE GET IT.
They chat about how nobody’s seen Sonja, how Lu’s ridiculous for being upset that Carole didn’t text her about her divorce, and then Dorinda tries on her costume, which according to Luke, has a “gaping gusset... She’s gonna be winkin’ at people!” He claims, which is honestly grounds for him and all of us to petition Bravo for his own Apple.
Money Can't Buy You Class...and It Apparently Can't Buy You Cultural Sensitivity, Either!
The party gets underway: Tinsley looks way cute dressed up like Madonna, John ambles into the party in a SWAT costume (we like John this season, don’t we? I feel like the wind has changed and we like him now), and then Sonja and Rocco, dressed up like Lucy and Ricky, stroll in. Sonja catches us up on the fact that Frenchie, her Parisian lover from last season, is busy partying in France, while Rocco is definitely playing the long game. And I gotta tell you guys…I like this Rocco. I think he’s a gentleman, I think he has real affection for Sonja, and I think if Sonja knows what’s good for her, she’ll wake up and realize that, somehow, in some way, by some fantastic miracle, she's managed to land herself a real gem of a grown-up man.
But then Sonja tells us that because Rocco is working later, she wants to focus on entertaining him since he can’t stay all night, which apparently means she can’t even walk 5 steps over to the couch where the other ladies are sitting and say hi. “I’ll cater to him, and then I’ll dive in with the bitches,” she tells us. It’s super rude and weird…it’s not even like it’s a super packed party and Sonja and Rocco would waste a bunch of time making their way through the crowd just to say hi - there’s, like, only ten people there so far! They could literally just wave and say hello from where they're standing - they wouldn't even have to yell!
But you know who does come in and immediately say hi to the ladies? Ramona, dressed up in the red plastic “Oops I Did It Again” Britney Spears full body suit costume that she legitimately stole off the set of Lip Sync Battle! Not for nothing, she looks great…but I feel like we would all look great in a super expensive costume we stole off the set of a TV show, yeah?
But lest you think that’s the most outrageous costume to appear that night, you would be mistaken…because here comes LuAnn! Dressed in a white halter-top pantsuit, a GIANT afro wig, and…is that…? Did she really…?
Yep, that’s some blackface!
Now, according to the Countess of Caberet, she didn’t put on blackface - she just put on some self-tanner, or a little bit of bronzer. You know, to give herself some color. Just to, you know, make it look like her skin was naturally darker. Or, you know, deepen her skin tone.
These are all the ways you can say, “Oh, I guess I did do blackface, but I didn’t really know what blackface was until I actually did it and then Twitter was like, “Blackface? That’s inappropriate” and so please just let me sing and dance my way out of this one. Oh, the afro wig? That was just me, trying to make my hair look more afro! Oh…afro signifies African? Oh wow wow wow.”
And you KNOW that when Lu put that costume together, the whole time she was thinking it would be a total gas and everyone would just die over it and she would go down in Halloween Housewife Herstory. Because that’s what Lu does! She gets herself a giant wig that doesn’t even correlate to Diana Ross’ signature look; matter-of-factly puts on some extra self-tanner because she’s dressing up as a black person, so why wouldn’t she; and then tries to play off the whole costume as a tribute. But Diana Ross does not want your tribute, Lu. She does not need you to associate yourself with her in any way!
Looking more like a man than in any other ITM I’ve ever seen of her -
...Lu explains that she’s Diana Ross because “she’s fabulous.” Tom is not in tow, she feels liberated, and it’s been a while since she’s felt her “girl power”. THEN DRESS UP AS POSH SPICE, LU! YOU GOT THE HAIR, THE BOD, THE HEELS, AND FOR SURE YOUR DAUGHTER HAS THE DRESS. But no…instead she makes the rounds at the party in a wig that’s about as tall as she is, repeating “I’m coming out" (geddit?), as Carole notes that there’s something off about her costume. Lu actually acts offended when Dorinda guesses incorrectly that she’s Donna Summers, which is just…I mean. Don’t worry about cultural stereotypes and being tone-deaf enough to make jokes about being an Indian and scalping someone or darkening your skin when we dress up as a black person, but feel free to get offended when someone mixes you up for another iconic ‘70s songbird.
Dorinda, meanwhile, is getting increasingly drunk and increasingly irate that Sonja has yet to come over and say hello. It IS odd - you’ve been there for almost an hour and you still haven’t greeted the host? WHERE ARE YOUR MANNERS, MISS LEGACY?!
Which is what Dorinda wants to know, TOO! She starts to argue with Ramona about it, who keeps trying to fight the losing battle of sticking up for Sonja or volunteering to go over to her.
Dorinda’s like, “No, she can come over here,” and then proceeds to literally ask every single person around her if, when they walk into a dinner party, do they greet the host, getting more and more heated each time she asks someone and they say, “Yes.” Then, like a flash, Sonja is there, having said goodnight to Rocco, sitting down and acting like nothing is amiss. Dorinda’s fire goes out - and also she’s already too drunk to really articulate a lot of words at one time - but calls her out on the fact that it took her an hour to get over there. “I was clinging to Rocco”, Sonja says, as if that explains everything.
Lu calls Sonja out on talking about her to the press, Sonja makes a bunch of excuses, Lu ends by singing lyrics to one of her own songs, and that’s it! Now we'll never, ever, ever have to hear about this ever again!
Bethenny walks in, looking like Pink Barbie on steroids. She alternatively tells people they look great and then drags their looks to us, which is kind of peak Bethenny, if you think about it. Like, sometimes I really love her and don’t ever want her to leave the show (again), and then other times I feel like it’s so obvious that she hates being around these women, so why are any of us still bothering with her being there?
Carole starts smoking IN THE BAR, because Amelia chain-smoked, even though Amelia flew planes and Carole's literally running a marathon in a week, Bethenny catches up with her new best friend John, and Dorinda downloads Carole on what is honestly the greatest post-marathon hang-out plan (or just hang-out plan in general) in the entire history of the world:
And then we get to see the progression of Dorinda telling everyone the story of her costume, and it goes from mostly coherent - “I had the guy from SNL make this for me, who did it for Adam Samburg” to “The guy from SNL made this for me, he did it for Adam Samburg and he’s now working for Sesame Street” to “Adam Sandler’s thing did it for me” to (with the hand gestures) “They did a skit for NSL, with Lady Gaga, and Adam Samburg, the guy that did it, did my dress.” It was frankly fantastic.
Dorinda, finally clued into the fact that she’s black-out drunk, has John usher her out of her own party...stumbling all the way, dropping a few of those plastic globes behind her like a glittering reminder of Halloween Past.
LuAnn, however, is still in roaring form, and announces that she wants to sing! Let’s go to a karoke bar, because that’s just the kind of mood she’s in! After a crazy moment in her life - two years of it! Two years of having to defend Tom! She had to defend Tom for two years! And she did! And you wanna know why? Because she loved him!
And this is the moment when we know that, after two whole seasons of having to hear her gush about Tom, now we’re going to have a whole season of having to listen to her trying to elicit sympathy because of Tom.
But right now, she just wants to be Diana Ross! But also, she suffered so much. Guys, she suffered SO much. And everyone else knows this, EXCEPT CAROLE, WHO DIDN’T EVEN TEXT HER!
LuAnn, in the words of your own song, C’EST LA VIE! That’s how it fucking goes - Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you, because EVERYONE told you that you shouldn’t be with Tom, and Carole’s the only one who was like, “Cool, hope it works out” which you were sooooo grateful for at the time, but now that she’s not sending you flowers because you made a really dumbass decision by marrying a cheating playboy, now she’s in the wrong?
Which is basically what Carole says, too. She also makes a VERY good point that Lu didn’t reach out to her, either, when she heard that she and Adam broke up, SO IN YO FACE LUANN DON’T BE SO UNCOOL YOU BROKE THE GIRL CODE CAROLE WAS JUST DOING HER AND NOW YOU GOTTA LET IT GO.
I paraphrased those lyrics, of course.
The original ones are much more eloquent.
I Will Also Call Bethenny When I Am Successful
LuAnn brings up that Bethenny just bought a new house - it’s in the Hamptons, on the Montauk highway, and even though 90% of America doesn’t know what that means, Ramona’s got something to say about it, okaaaaay? In South Hampton, anything south of the highway is preferred, and Ramona would never buy on the highway, but that’s just her, okaaaaaay? Sorry! Being on the highway is not south of the highway - it’s just not! But she’s suuuuure it’s greeeaaaat…you buy right and sell high!
Bethenny IMMEDIATELY gets her hackles up and starts in with a sarcastic dig about being glad she got Ramona’s approval, and Ramona shoots back that she’s like Bethenny, she’s entrepreneurial, and Bethenny snaps that Ramona is not like her, that Bethenny doesn’t say negative things right off the bat.
Does anyone remember the night that Bethenny met Erica Jayne for the first time and then immediately proceeded to give her negative feedback on her music video and personal brand for the rest of the night?
Which makes it REALLY rich when Bethenny is like, “You just can’t help yourself in being unkind.” I get it - Ramona has no tact, and she’s the kind of person whose intelligence you just don’t respect, even when she’s right. But I feel like Bethenny really doesn’t even have a fake leg to stand on in the “unkind things to say” game, no? Ramona tries to tell her that she knows real estate, and Bethenny bites back that she doesn’t know anything about real estate, she owns an apartment and a house in the Hamptons, and Bethenny owns five properties as they speak!
Wow. Wow wow wow.
Bethenny closes with, “When you start being successful at something…call me back.”
There’s no question that Bethenny is now one of, if not THE most successful woman in the Real Housewives franchise. Her liquor company reportedly sold for 100 million dollars. And that was just the beginning for her…since then, she’s grown her empire by leaps and bounds. But she also seems to forget that the seed of her resentment towards Ramona was planted in the very beginning, during those first few seasons when Bethenny was still a struggling entrepreneur and Ramona was already rich and successful and had a house in the Hamptons and wasn’t exactly tactful about lording her superior status over Bethenny. Unlike Bethenny, Ramona didn't exactly need the show to help make her successful. She may be a total dum-dum in life and friendship, but in business, she does knows how to turn a dime into a dollar.
Ramona tries to make peace by telling Bethenny that she’s proud of everything that’s accomplished, Bethenny tries to tell her that she’s not, there’s a small fight for Lu’s microphone that Ramona is now holding and speaking into, Ramona tries to tell her that she supports women, she empowers women, and Bethenny is like, "no you don’t", Ramona keeps talking over her, Bethenny yells, “LISTEN TO ME RIGHT NOW!” entertains me greatly for some reason but doesn’t stop anything, they both keep fighting and arguing and talking over each other, I’m in heaven, and Lu’s behind the palm trees, just drinking it all up from behind:
Finally, knowing that there’s no winning with Bethenny, Ramona backs down and is like, “fine, fine, I like to be educated and Bethenny doesn’t” and it kind of troubles me because when Ramona is getting attacked by Bethenny and doesn’t deserve to get attacked that viciously by her but still ends up backing down and acquiesces to keep the peace with her, I feel like it’s a survival mechanism that she learned by growing up with an abusive dad and now she has to use it all the time with Bethenny and I don’t like that.
So they go back to talking about Lu’s costume, and Ramona is like, “isn’t it unbelievable?!” and Bethenny is literally like, “No, it’s unbeWEAVEable, you dumb shit!” and it’s like she’s joking but she’s also being vicious and I think I’ve already had my fill of her for one season, you guyyyysssss.
Coming Up This Season
And then we get to see a season preview! There’s a lot of dancing; some stripping in elf costumes; conversations about men; Dorinda and Bethenny go to Puerto Rico; Carole’s running and then walking in the New York City Marathon; there’s flapper costumes (the goddamn flapper costumes…NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO WEAR A FLAPPER COSTUME ANYMORE. Not just in Housewives, but everywhere. WE’RE DONE WITH THE FLAPPER COSTUMES, EVERYBODY, GOT IT?); Bethenny and Carole arguing in flapper costumes; Bethenny calling Dorinda a drunk on a private plane and Dorinda starts crying about how her life that she has now isn’t the life she expected #RIPRichard; Bethenny is at Bobby Zarin’s funeral and talking to Jill and Jill’s crying and saying “What am I gonna do? I’ve never been alone since I’ve been 20 years old” and I LOSE IT, because I love Jill Zarin but I loved her even more because of her relationship with Bobby; Lu gets arrested and everyone talks about it; We get the money quote of the season from Lu:
And then there’s a GREAT - like, Emmy-award-winning - montage of the women fighting that ends with Dorinda smashing her own face in a cake.
Guys. Buckle in. Because season 10 of The Real Housewives of New York is gonna save us yet!
I'll be posting more catch-up recaps of RHONY and Southern Charm this week and the next, so if you don't want to miss a'one of'em, sign up for my weekly newsletter, which comes out every Sunday, straight to your hot (in)box! Neat!
ALSO! To kick off this new chapter of doing RHONY recaps, I'm holding a lil' giveaway!
To win a beautiful copy of the RHONY classic, "Class With The Countess" by Countess LuAnn De Lesseps that you can have as your very own and keep forever and forever, eventually passing it down to your children and their children so that they might all take from LuAnn's wisdom, all you have to do is:
1. Go to my Instagram and follow me on there if you don't already (you can't skip this step, friends, because I'll need to DM you and get your addy to send you the book if you win!)
2. Find the following post:
3. In the comments, tag a friend whom you think might like these recaps!
Each friend you tag counts as an entry in the drawing. The drawing will take place + the winner will be announced in two weeks (May 1) on InstaLive!
Until next time, babes...never stop running in those trenches.