This week it felt like we finally reached the new footage in the Real Housewives of New York City season, the stuff they filmed after Bravo decided there wasn’t enough drama in what they originally had to go to air. The "brunette" women fought with Simon over his “mean tweets,” but we never saw, read, or even really heard about what they actually were. The “cyberbullying” story was ridiculous and trumped up too fast. It was especially odd coming from Jill, who seemed to take actual teen bullying pretty seriously during her charity event earlier in the season.
This episode also suffered, once again, from the way the cast members talked about the show without actually talking about the show. This time around, it was Jill, LuAnn, and Kelly talking about how they want to get Alex and Simon off the show. It was presented like "people are going to stop talking to you," but what they really meant is "we're going to whine into Andy Cohen's good eye until he finally sees fit to kick you off the show." Of course, what they don't realize is that at this abhorrent rate, they're all going to be booted off.
But until that happens, we still need to decide who won! On to our tally.
LuAnn was perhaps the most deluded member of Team Get Rid Of Alex And Simon. "Those two are desperately trying to get relevance through us," she said hilariously, as though she was anybody before her debut on the exact same show as those two. "Everyone climbs the social ladder, but it’s creepy that Simon is trying to use us." Oh, honey, Simon has only one less humiliating single than you do! Don't try to draw such strict lines. Anyway, it seems like she's the mastermind of this whole plot — she's caught on-camera roping in Jill, and you know Kelly couldn't have thought of this on her own. "You have to stay away from this guy," she says of Simon, acting as though a couple of tweets are a pair of cement shoes. "He’s dangerous!" One thing we can say for LuAnn this episode, however, is that she was the only housewife who even bothered to actually pretend to paint Jill's wall. So that's something.
How on earth did Sonja NOT KNOW SHE HAD A BLACKBERRY IN HER TOILET!? (On Watch What Happens Live later, she claims it fell out of a guest's pants at one of her parties. Suspicious.) She’s clearly nervous with the plumber around, raving about how she has no help in the house because she's broke now. But in true Sonja style, she goes right on to talk about having a charity event at her house the next week. And then she greets her hired feng shui expert! Only she could attempt such a bundle of contradictions, stick her hand into a toilet, and manage to look cute in a pair of skinny jeans while doing it. But halfway through our visit to her house we began to lose her. Why didn't she make the bed for company? Is she that useless without help? And does she really think people are talking about her bankruptcy because they're JEALOUS? And when she reminisces about her economically secure days, is she talking about when she was a hostess? Because we were reminded of that period later in the episode when we saw the old pictures of her from her skyscraper-bangs days.
As noted earlier, Jill's whole cyber-bullying thing was just over the top. It drowned out any legitimacy her arguments not to have lunch with Simon might have otherwise had. (There are plenty of reasons not to want to hang out with that dude, after all. The leather muumuus alone!) It was about as absurd as the idea that she would ever paint her own apartment. Two seasons ago, she had Brad do the whole thing over. Not that we blame her for changing it, but women over 40 don’t have their friends over to PAINT. In pencil skirts and floral tights.
Kelly started the episode sort of sweet and goofy. She was clearly psyched about Ramona including Sonja in the surprise party. And then she vajazzled her face, which was amusing. But then she quickly went back to Old Kelly — the woman who is unable to deal with conflict and who can't stop herself from making nonsensical lectures. During Simon and Jill's conversation at Cindy's party, she just starts ... hooting? Is that what that was? It appears then, and throughout the episode, that she thinks "meantweeting" is an actual verb, and maybe synonymous with just "tweeting."
We should also probably talk about Kelly's weird gender stereotypes. “I have never met a man who said let’s meet so we can talk,” she says, which made me laugh out loud, because I bet she hasn't. But she keeps saying things like "What man has time to mean tweet?" And "Be a man!" At the same time, she makes fun of Alex's stand-by-her-man gender norms. It just makes no sense. She'd already lost the episode by the time they got to Delicatessen, but the whole move she pulled when she attacked Alex and then said, "I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT!" was on Jill and LuAnn levels of bitchiness. Same as when she said "Can you just stop being red? It's bothering me!” when Alex wasn't even breaking into hives.
You have to hand it to Cindy: She's not afraid to go to all these events alone, when all the other women use each other and their husbands as crutches. That said, maybe she needs a little less alone time and a little more QT with her babies. She doesn’t know how to use a high chair at a restaurant, and she only took one of her kids to lunch with her parents as a sort of table centerpiece. Of course, this immediately tired her out and she called some random employee — not a nanny — to deal. She definitely didn't win this episode, and that was even before she called her parents "Benjamin Buttons." (Who wants to start taking bets on whether she'll come back next season, even if the rest of the other ladies do?)
Alex doesn’t understand the simple fact that girls can be friends with girls without being friends with their husbands. It’s not like Alex is friends with Mario. Or Bobby. But Alex comes out with things like, "There is no Jill and Alex unless there is Jill and Simon." Which is one of many reasons she'll never fit in with the rest of the gang. (Another reason: These are all women trying to fight gravity in any way possible to hold their boobs up. Why must Alex constantly wear dresses that push her boobs down?)
Which leaves Ramona. Yes, she made herself into a hero by tacking Sonja's party onto her own. And yes, that had to be the worst surprise ever. And also, yes, she presented the situation with Jill and her Skweez meeting as though she would have been mature with it, when in reality she would have freaked out. BUT it was nice of her to try to make Sonja feel loved, and that slideshow of them when they were younger was maybe the brightest point in the entire episode. Seriously, the Kelly-from-90210-side-ponytail-bangs-and-scrunchie look? Win!
Apella, Ramona's Party Space: You were on Gossip Girl, too!
Brad: Back from Morocco, back on the show! But with a tramp stamp …
The feng shui expert: For saying, “Things don’t just go away” in toilets. You don’t have to be a spiritual flow expert to know that, but you probably do for Sonja to listen to you.
That plumber: Free advertising, and he didn’t even have to stick his hand in a toilet.
Mario: Hello, JFK Jr.!! Who knew?
Alex Backal, the party planner: “A hot club” with wall-to-wall carpeting? No.
Missoni: For making that skanky knit skirt Ramona always wears.
The man who got vajazzled at Cindy’s party: This is why the terrorists hate us.
Simon: Basically he did everything wrong this episode. He wore creepy clothes, was creepy with Jill, and his insatiable desire to have his own story line is so alienating. Get your own show, like Bethenny! Surely your 45,000 MeanTwitter followers will watch!