The Real Housewives of New York City
Poor Sonja. She’s just now waking up to a reality everyone around her has been trying to shine a light on for years, which is that her days of 40 interns and trips to St. Tropez are over. Sonja is hanging on to the ragged thread of her former life with both fists, and last night she finally let go.
Hi, I’m Danielle, and I’m happily filling in for Brian this week. I usually recap the Real Housewives of Atlanta, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and a bunch of other shows here at Vulture, and I have been following every iteration of Housewives on Bravo since they first pried open the gates of Coto de Caza.
Kristin, Heather, and LuAnn met at a shop called Wink in the Village to make fun of Heather’s small boobs and expound on the various levels of crazy Ramona brings to their group. I love Village LuAnn. The Countess describes a trip below Houston Street the way most people describe two years in the Peace Corps. Did you know they have running water down here? Quick, get the camera — they have something called a subway! LuAnn insists that Ramona was shocked by her own behavior, but nothing Ramona has done actually backs that up.
Sonja had a This Is Your Life moment when interns old and new flocked to her like a lady in waiting to plan Millou’s funeral, which, according to Sonja, should be better than Princess Diana’s. While she tried to decide which would be the best funeral location between her house upstate and her house in France, wallpaper peeled away in great strips, the frame of her bed snapped like a Slim Jim, and the ghost of every previous owner rose up to moan delusionalllllllll to the air around her. We all know you loved your dog, Sonja, but we also know that you color your purses in with Sharpies. Everyone hissed at Marley, the replacement Millou whom everyone hates, and I wondered out loud if the ASPCA makes house calls. One of her old interns almost dropped Millou’s urn, and Sonja decided to hold the funeral at her former apartment on 72nd Street.
Kristen had the most uncomfortable job interview ever for a workout-video brand named JCORE, run by two men who think DVDs are not portable. She’s still upset that her modeling career is coming to an end at the ripe age of 37, and that she hitched her wagon to the cruelest star. She’s not particularly balanced or graceful, but she’s also trying to land a job with a man inching closer to her face every second while she works out. She gets the job, and when the JCORE crew comes to her house to film, Josh, her husband, stood in the background and shouted passive-aggressive comments at her until she asked him to leave. He didn’t, of course — he dug his heels in and said it felt good to “oversee her a bit” instead, and the ghost of Susan B. Anthony floated into view and kneecapped him.
Carole needs an assistant, and decides to interview them at Ramona’s office. When normal people offer you space, there is usually an unspoken agreement that they won’t be using it at the same time, but not Ramona! She sat at her desk grilling Carole as if she were the one applying for an assistantship with Ramona, and then wheeled around to interrupt every interview Carole conducted. Carole, admittedly, had no idea what she was doing, but I loved that she was just looking for people with personality, asking them intentionally fucked-up questions about guns and fog machines just to see how they’d react. Only one of the interviewees read her book, so I’m pretty sure she got the job.
Everyone experiences grief differently, and Sonja expresses her grief with cosmic strobe lights and Aleta St. James, a very bored healer. Aleta beat a drum over Sonja’s prone body and said every New Age word she could think of, ending the first part of the session with “Chakras, 16th century Tibet … there you go.” This is a woman who apparently had twins at age 57; Sonja thinks she’s magical, where I just assume she is very, very tired. Our Lady Sonja cried through the entire thing and talked heavily about the resentment she feels when people (Ramona) take advantage of her. Aleta thought that was a cue to wave Millou’s ashes over Sonja’s body, and Sonja cried, “I’m ready to let you go so I can love myself without you.” This was simultaneously the most absurd and saddest thing I have ever seen on TV.
Since the evening was short a few hate crimes, Aviva had a dinner party and invited her father, George, whom Sonja affectionately calls “the erection bandit” after he unceremoniously jammed his pud into the small of her back last season. Steve Madden’s wife Wendy is there, too, but who cares? There is a relic of the past alive and well in the corner, ready to assault you with his schlong at any second. His new 25-year-old girlfriend, Cody, only amplifies his disgusting nature as he gleefully tells people they met when he walked into her salon for a scrotum wax. I hope their grandchildren embroider that on a pillow. Reid tried to join in the fun when Old Grandpa Gropey Balls encouraged everyone to get mirrors on their bedroom ceiling by revealing he had mirrored ceilings when he was 16, and it chilled the room faster than 15 air conditioners turned on full blast. George proposed to Cody for no reason at all, and Aviva was so happy her leg popped off. Mazel.
After an ill-fated dinner where Ramona tried to set her up with the restaurant owner, the big day arrives. Sonja gets ready to spread Millou’s ashes by shouting at her new dog, Marley, and telling everyone the day is about her. This service will have it all — a eulogy, a program, several well-dressed friends, and her crazy friend Robin will do a sacred powerful traditional prayer. What tradition are you talking about, Robin? The tradition of Miss Havisham’s around the world burying the pets they treat like children?
Has anyone set up a Tumblr documenting Sonja’s interns yet? And if not, why not? They all milled about trying to help her with her speech, which she spoke into her phone only to have Siri cock-block her at every turn.
Finally, everyone shows up to the 72nd Street burial ground. Sonja wore Valentino and was sure to announce it to the crowd, her showboating gene just running like a leaky faucet. Harry, the newest housewife, is there, as are photos of Millou biting a tennis ball. Everyone drinks Champagne first; LuAnn can hardly believe she is at a doggie memorial service or day drinking, but you’re in Sonja’s world now, Countess — belly up to the bar and stay there. I love dogs more than I love people, and even though this was a very sad event, it was also completely insane. As Sonja told the story of finding Millou in the most upscale pet store New York had to offer, Heather put a name to what we’ve known all along — this is a eulogy for Sonja’s former life. This is Sonja moving forward, this is her growth, and she’s expressing it in that “cute little puppy package.” A woman who looks like George R.R. Martin stalked the crowd while Sonja finished up, and Heather sealed the very somber deal with a voracious, “Yeah, baby!” Heather would actually say the word “HOLLA!” at a funeral. Everyone made their way to the water, Robin gave a very heavy speech about letting Millou pass through the gates of death only to be rewarded and raised up in a former life. Robin’s big tradition is zombie dogs.
Carole, Aviva, and LuAnn laughed through Robin’s prayer, and then Sonja, with all of the sincerity she could muster, tossed Millou’s ashes into the sea, only to have them blow right back onto the sidewalk and her dress. She Lebowski’d her dog’s final resting place, but had already moved on to telling someone the last time she wore this dress was to Prince Rainier’s funeral. There’s the old Sonja, peeking out like a sunbeam through a cloud. R.I.P., Millou.
Next week, the girls visit the Museum of Sex and Ramona insults a woman’s dead parents. Every show this season is a masterpiece! Thank you for letting me hang out with you.