Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

hellivision

Real Housewives of New York Recap: In Which We Celebrate a Marriage Built on a Fondness for Butts

As not-quite-a-cast-member Jennifer Gilbert put it, "You know what they say about assholes: Everyone's got one." On The Real Housewives of New York City, of course, pretty much everyone is one. Except for this week, and this season's, winner, which we have scientifically determined after watching last night's finale.

Let's review:


We have to admit that Ramona looked great during her renewal ceremony with Mario, and despite the overall tackiness of the whole thing, it was actually kind of touching when she teared up. At the time, we suspected it might be because she was swilling Pinot Grigio all afternoon, but then she was remarkably coherent when she took a time out from her Special Day to lecture Jill. "It's always important to see where other people are coming from," she said, "and not just come from your point of view." The clarity was gone by the time she turned her robot mind control laser beams crazy eyes on Bethenny in a tearful moment, however: "NOW YOU KNOW YOU CAN TRUST US," she said, creeping us, and Bethenny, out. And when it was revealed that after the whole family hullabaloo Ramona ditched Mario and Avery for three weeks to spend a vacation with her real girlfriends, she lost her own episode.

As we have done many times in the history of this show, we felt that Bethenny had exactly the same reactions to several moments in this episode that we would have had. She compulsively clutched at her own skin when she had dinner with Jill, but she still managed to get out what she wanted to say. (It probably helped that she wore Chanel). "You create arguments and drama and pick fights with people and count things and then you have to deal with the residual damage," she said. "The problem is you don't assume responsibility for anything you do." It's like Bethenny traveled into the future and read our blog! "I think that she thought she was being sincere," she analyzed later, thinking back on Jill's apologies. "I think that the tides turning on Jill are the reasons we're sitting here having this conversation." We agree. Having made it through that horrible scene (where it was not lost on us that no one ate anything), Bethenny goes home to move, which any New Yorker knows is the most torturous thing you can ever experience other than being on a Bravo! reality show, and somehow gets made up in the middle of the moving process, losing the rest of the episode.

As we have done many times in the history of this show, we felt that Bethenny had exactly the same reactions to several moments in this episode that we would have had. She compulsively clutched at her own skin when she had dinner with Jill, but she still managed to get out what she wanted to say. (It probably helped that she wore Chanel). "You create arguments and drama and pick fights with people and count things and then you have to deal with the residual damage," she said. "The problem is you don't assume responsibility for anything you do." It's like Bethenny traveled into the future and read our blog! "I think that she thought she was being sincere," she analyzed later, thinking back on Jill's apologies. "I think that the tides turning on Jill are the reasons we're sitting here having this conversation." We agree. Having made it through that horrible scene (where it was not lost on us that no one ate anything), Bethenny goes home to move, which any New Yorker knows is the most torturous thing you can ever experience other than being on a Bravo! reality show, and somehow gets made up in the middle of the moving process, losing the rest of the episode.


Now, if we were Kelly, the lingering shame over the events of two episodes ago might have caused us to evaporate into fairy dust at this point. But she seems to have decided that smiling and looking fabulous is the best course of action, and at this, we can only marvel in respect and wonderment. "Hiieeeee!" she says the first time we see her. She smiles when Jill tells her her boob is crooked, and when the camera cuts to her after Sonja says: "After this one left we finally had some peace and quiet," Kelly still looks blankly polite and unruffled, as though Sonja is talking about a different person entirely. This, we realized, is the key to her success. No one can offend you if you're not even aware that they are trying! She probably wasn't even bothered by the producer's bizarre, Animal House–style epilogue for her: "Kelly remains committed to a life full of lollipops, unicorns and rainbows ... and spends much of her time being charitable." While an ordinary person might think, "Wow, the producers hate me. Especially since it was just last season that I specifically said I didn't brag about doing charity work," Kelly was probably just like, "That is exactly right. I love all those things. Whee!" However, teaching America that willful stupidity is really the way to go in this world did not win Kelly the episode.


"I feel like we were married and we got separated, and I don't want to be separated," Jill tells Bethenny, in a moment of rare self-reflection. "Well, divorce can be ugly," snaps Bethenny, already sort of crying. Both of their tears in this session killed, once and for all, our game of Jill Zarin Is a Disgusting Person. Yes, she was full of b.s. like, "I don't gossip about you. I've been your biggest cheerleader," and, "It all happened so fast. I'm not putting this on her. This is on me." But she made an effort, and even if it was for the wrong reasons, making an effort counts. So does carrying a neon LED purse. But still, her self-reflection was too shallow to earn her a win. For example, after hearing LuAnn's song, when she said: "I never thought of that! Elegance is learned," she should have known that she was running the risk of the producers turning that into a teaser line.


Alex's attempt to chase Jill down at Ramona's reception reminded us a of that scene from Planet Earth where the starving polar bear fails in his attempt to pin down and eat a walrus. Only less sad. Other than that, she was a nonentity in this episode, outshone entirely by the half-man, half-skirt she brought as her date to the party.


As our friend Emily pointed out, LuAnn's performance of "Money Can't Buy You Class" made it seem like she was auditioning for a regular slot at Lucky Chang's. Plus, she was rude to Jill — looking over her shoulder disinterestedly when she was telling her about her lunch with Bethenny — and said at one point that her secret thumb-sucker producer has "a great aura about him." But then she looked great, and out of nowhere produced a normal-seeming, handsome boyfriend whose name might be Jack, or Jacque, depending on the thickness of her made-up accent from the land of Assholia, who seemed to actually like her, and more surprisingly, her singing. Not enough to win her the episode, but well done.


We can rely on Sonja for two things: One, for being drunk and saying funny things, and two, appearing to actually be happy to see the other women. When LuAnn says she has a new boyfriend, instead of smelling her own hair in order to prevent herself from vomiting in memory of the last one, she acted adorably happy. Later, she's even happy when Bethenny violates her pledge to PETA by wearing bird feathers in a dress. "You have pheasant feathers," she gushes. "You know I shoot birds and I have a hat with all the pheasant feathers." And then, like the best kind of drunk, she cries during Ramona's ridiculous vows and dances alone, or rather, with her boobs, at the wedding. When it was revealed that she's working on a "sexy society" novel in the end, well, that was just the icing on the cake. Sonja wins the episode, and the season.

Ancillary Losers:

The wedding planner Roberta: Is she Texan? Is her big hair bringing her closer to God? Because that's the only excuse.
La Pomme: Their live act is LuAnn de Lesseps?
The girls getting out of the party Hummer: That was the saddest bunch of trollops we've seen since the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Where did they ship them in from, the streets of Prague as interpreted by Gossip Girl?
Jennifer Gilbert: Poor girl, they clearly told her she was going to be a full cast member by now. She was even doing confessionals!
Simon: It was not lost on us that when he first appeared, the camera traveled down to make sure we saw his HALF-KILT.
Ramona's dog: Forced to wear the same outfit as Avery.
Andy Cohen: For having the gayest wave in all of Manhattan. Eh, who is Intel Chris fooling. They all have that wave.
The celebrant: For making a joke about Mario liking butts. Even Bethenny didn't laugh.

Ancillary Winners:
The Pierre: Yes, it's tacky and overdone during the day. But at night, and when you're drunk, it is a little special in a Tavern on the Green sort of way.
Le Cirque: For knowing better than to push too hard for product placement.
Jack/Jacque: He's cute! And any time you speak English and they subtitle you, you are automatically awesome.
Jason: For hiding his appalled expression at everything involved in Bethenny's move, even when he observes (rather metaphorically) that Bethenny doesn't have anything in her jars.
Avery: "So are you going to cry?" asks Ramona. "Why would I CRY?" asks Avery. Then, when she's in her bridesmaid dress, she kind of does cry! Aw.
Mario: For writing his vows at the last minute. At least he and Kelly have perspective on the ridiculousness of it all. And for being funny coming down the stairs for the same reason. And for once, being a real man and knowing what to say at just the right moment. (We'll ignore the Al and Tipper Gore–style kiss at the end there.)

Photo: Courtesy of Bravo