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RHONYC Recap: Let Us Gather, Reunion-Style

Last night was part one of the Real Housewives of New York City reunion, and it was a treat watching the ladies bicker with each other like their jobs depended on it. Which they do! Also, I don’t know how many of you saw Watch What Happens Live after the reunion, but they’re doing a special one-on-one episode with Jill Zarin? This is our Frost/Nixon! With a villain worse than Nixon and a man gayer than Frost! I can’t wait. Anyway.

At the reunion, Ramona wore a shocking and insane approximation of a royal-blue leather prom-top-and-skirt, circa Staten Island 1989, and Carole, whose neutrality and tendency to keep above the fray lands her most vulnerably on the chopping block, tried her hardest to keep her job, engaging in conflict instead of snarking about it post-action. Also, I got a shout-out! Andy quoted my recap at one point, calling me “Julie from New York.” I’m a little sad he didn’t refer to me as D.J. Soft Batch, but I’m pleased as fruit punch that Aviva was confronted by my comment that her husband’s “Overweight Housewives” comment was disgusting and stupid.

Here is a rundown of the things that happened on those couches last night, in order of battle.

Carole Versus LuAnn
We kicked off the night with Carole’s conflicts with the Countess. In dispute was Luann approaching Carole’s friend Ranjana to borrow a gown for a Life & Style shoot, her one-upping tendencies, and whether she was a friend-jumper. They also talked about the princess thing, and how it really hurt Luann that Carole made sure she knew she wasn’t Michelle Obama. Yeah, um … Luann? You’re not.

Winner: Carole

Carole Versus the Other Housewives
After watching a clip package that demonstrated Carole in action, the ladies finally had a chance to comment on Princess Radziwill’s habit of commenting on the show’s proceedings long after interacting with everybody one-on-one with friendliness and grace. Aviva wrapped it up in a Tiffany box for one of the only remaining people on the show talking to her. “You’re so lovely and understated … ” the legless one began, adding that it was surprising — or disappointing — to see Carole’s interview footage later, in which she basically talked shit about all of her cast members. “Yeah!” her cast members added. And also, “Hey!”

Winner: the Other Housewives. In this world, talking behind one’s back is a sin, even though it’s not in real life.

Heather Versus Luann
Piggybacking on the Ranjana/dress debacle and Luann’s tendency to shut down when confronted, Heather was right when she observed that, in general, when Luann doesn’t like what she hears, she doesn’t want to hear it. I’m waiting until next week to give Heather the official season win, “Holla’s” and all, but I can’t really see how she’d lose at this point. She’s a smart B, and her explanation of why she smiled in Ramona’s face while Singer raged throughout the season was pitch perfect, now in theatres.

Winner: Heather, by a mile. A green mile! RIP Michael Clarke Duncan.

Aviva Versus the Ramonja Couch: Round Harry
After a montage themed around Poopy the Pig and his dalliances with half the cast, Andy asked Aviva whether she got sick of the ladies talking about her ex all the time. Which is bizarre, Ramonja said, since Aviva is the one who always brings him up. The New York Post shit-talk around expensive Hamptons sandwiches and Aviva’s legal battles were mentioned in passing, and Aviva, in her first of a couple futile attempts to reconcile with Sonja, even claimed to be a girls’ girl. I’m not sure about the context of that assertion exactly — I rewound that a couple of times, then gave up. But Aviva also tried to tell Sonja that, based on their ex situation, they had a lot in common. Not only was Sonja having none of that, she even remarked that Aviva “knew what she was getting into” when she married Harry. This bit was mostly about stuff that had gone down off-camera, but it really served to hit the point home that Sonja was in no way open to Aviva’s nice-making at all. No way, no how. No Poopy.

Winner: the Ramonja Couch.

Aviva Versus the Ramonja couch: Round Phobias
Aviva went into this reunion knowing her job was to apologize for her batshit St. Barts behavior and to come forward about her phobias in a sympathetic way. At this point in the reunion, she spoke at length about the gory accident that left her an amputee in a heartbreaking way, explaining that if she hadn’t lost her leg in a horrifying incident, she’d be able to deal with heights and planes. She even committed to moving on from talking about her phobias constantly and said that she didn’t want them to get in the way of her life. Aviva did a good job here. I will give her this win. And that story is harrowing. Nobody should have to experience anything close to what she lived through.

Winner: Aviva.

Heather Versus Ramona
Neither Heather nor Ramona fully engaged in talk about their past conflict when Andy brought it up and showed supporting footage that illustrated just how much they hated each other. But Ramona came as close as she ever will to apologizing for accosting Heather in the Hamptons for being too loquacious. Then they covered the London Trip exclusion, and Heather said that if she were to attend a business trip today, she would invite Ramona. Even though I thought it was nasty at the time to exclude only Ramona from her trip, Heather’s excuse — that she didn’t want Ramona to say anything as gross as her “you talk too much” remark to any of her colleagues — floated beautifully. Onward, upward.

Winner: Heather, who gets bonus points not only for her “When there’s something you don’t like in yourself, it’s really the first thing you identify in someone else” observation but also for getting all of the other women to agree that she was just nervous at first, thereby absolving her from any annoying behavior.

Ramona Versus Luann
Luann and Ramona wouldn’t delve into their fight from episode one about how Ramona called Luann a bad parent and possibly tried to blackmail her, but they’re clearly still tense around it. They agreed not to dig it up so as to protect their kids (or just because they were bored of talking about it), and that they are both “cautious” which is a way of saying they have a working relationship of hating each others’ guts.

Winner: Victoria.

Ramona Versus Time and Temperature
In a dopey interstitial, Ramona checked the lipstick on her teeth and asked the poor custodial staff at the Museum of Moneylending and Cash-Back to lower the temperature three degrees. Carole was cold. This was dumb.

Winner: Whoever fast-forwarded over this part.

Aviva Versus Everybody: St. Barts Edition
Finally, we got around to addressing Aviva’s behavior on St. Barts. The first matter was Aviva’s dumb Rush Limbaugh remark, a non-apology she non-apologized for. Then Aviva went into a prepared and articulate apology toward Ramonja for acting the way she did, adding that she understood if Ramona and Sonja didn’t forgive her. Which they didn’t. Aviva said she’d never behave that way again and assured them, Annie-like, that they could bet their bottom dollar that she wouldn’t.

Winner: No winners here. We’re letting this simmer. Let’s see what Aviva’s actions bring.

Aviva Versus Ramona
After her well-rehearsed “profuse” apology, Aviva told Ramona that she thought she was her friend and felt betrayed. She added that she told Ramona before anyone else that she would be joining the girls in St. Barts but would be taking Reid. Ramona said that Aviva told her Reid would be staying in a hotel, which Aviva didn’t agree with. Then, Ramona got Ramotional about how she doesn’t make friends easily and has a tough exterior, and Aviva turned on her “like a viper.” Remember that ad for Viper car alarms? Do you think Ramona would be a good spokesperson for that brand?

Winner: Ramona. She did a convincing job of playing her betrayal over Aviva’s.

Aviva Versus Everybody: St Barts Edition, Part Two
At this point, Heather popped in her head to say that Luann stirred the pot in St. Barts when the Countess told Aviva that Ramonja had spoken about how they would ask Reid to leave once he’d arrived. There was chat about how the “How should we ask Reid to leave?” scene on the bed was actually silly and playful, and therefore misrepresented, and then Ramona rejected Aviva’s newfound remorse by timestamping her! She said that Drescher had been blogging about how lousy she and Sonja were since the beginning of the trip and that the only reason she decided to plead for forgiveness was because she’d seen popular opinion turn against her. Andy read something from Aviva’s blog about how Reid would never want to be around “pent-up cougars,” and that hurt everybody’s feelings because somehow, it is worse to be called a cougar than a Real Housewife.

Winner: Everybody.

Me Versus Reid!
As mentioned before, Andy read my comment about how Reid isn’t fit to shine Jon Hamm’s dick’s shoes but left out the dirty words I said for TV. Aviva agreed that nobody on the show is overweight and that her husband made a bad joke. So, I won! YEAH!

Winner: Me!

Aviva Versus Ramona (Ongoing)
This isn’t getting resolved anytime soon, although, to her credit, Ramona has had so many fights with so many different women at this point, I can believe in life after love when she considers accepting the other party’s apology. I will give Ramona the win for knowing she’s being honest when she says she will simmer on what Aviva said and also for this remark to her neurotic foe: “I have no ill will toward you, I wish you the best, I just think you should get a better therapist.”

Winner: Ramona

Other things we learned on this week’s reunion:

  • Life & Style isn’t Vogue.
  • Sonja does a terrible Ranjana impression.
  • Carole owns a lot of clothes, a fact Luann is more likely to be jealous of than Carole is likely to be jealous of Luann encroaching on her relationship with her friends
  • Everybody in the city and internationally loves Harry.
  • Luann’s new haircut and black gown looked great
  • Carole was “thrilled” to be on that couch, even though Andy asked her if she could believe she was there.
  • Aviva’s close relationship with her dad has roots in him pulling her out of that piece of farm equipment
  • There is a place in NYC called the Museum of American Finance. And it’s not a bank.

Did I miss any of your favorite moments or most notable quotables from last night? Please weigh in below! And I’ll see you guys next week for part two of the reunion — the last RHONYC hurrah.

Photo: null/Bravo TV