Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Real Housewives of New York City Recap: That’s Repelling

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, test-tube babies and middle-aged women’s eggs that were frozen in a river in Montana, the day I have long been dreading is finally here. Yes, like the shadow of a cloud travels over the plain, it is a dark day indeed, but one we could see traveling from a long way off. On this day, I have nothing to say about the Real Housewives. I’m all out. I just don’t have it in me. It’s all been said before. I might as well just go off to my beaver cabin and put an end to it. I’m going to have to close up the Real Housewives Institute — of which I have been an employee since 1952, the year of Danielle Staub’s birth ­— and find a whole new profession.

But since we’re here and, well, I am getting paid quite handsomely (Admiral James T. Moneybags IV, the owner of New York Magazine, gives me 189 Sri Lankan rupee for each 1,000 words I write), I might as well try to talk about this episode. Okay. All the ladies went to Montana and complained about how boring it is. There were two fights. They did some stuff on rocks and with guns and they fished and Heather fell in the water and then they wandered around the woods in circles like the time my friends and I ate mushrooms and went to Storm King and Torrey got stuck in a sculpture. That’s it. That’s all she wrote. Maybe Ramona is right; maybe this is a really boring trip after all?

Well, we might as well talk about the fight at dinner, since we have to talk about something. On Jersey Shore, the most important sociological experiment of our time, the guidos came up with a concept they called “both right,” where two people fighting could both be right at the same time. That is what is happening with Sonja T. Morgan of the Honeydew Plantation Morgans and Countess Crackerjacks. Should Sonja have told her facialist that Crackerjacks doesn’t cheat on her boyfriend and none of the gossip is true? Yes. Were the facialist’s rumors so bonkers that Sonja didn’t believe them for a second and could let her continue because they were funny? Yes. See, they are both right. So, according to ancient guido custom, they both have to drink three bottles of 5-Hour Energy (that is 15 hours of energy) diluted in two shots of cheap vodka while laying in a tanning bed and all will be forgotten. Seriously, even the fights in this episode are dumb.

The best part of the whole fight was when Ramona said, “God, this is stupid. Let’s talk shit about Aviva instead.” I mean, who hasn’t done at that a dinner party? Things are taking a turn for the tedious or awkward, and someone just decides to make it all better by banding everyone together to smack-talk someone they hate. That is a very real maneuver. But what really astonished me was that Ramona then decided she was going to call Aviva right then and there and tell her that they had all diagnosed her psychological pathology.

No, I’m not surprised Ramona would call someone and tell her that (please, I have been employed at the Real Housewives Institute since the Eisenhower administration, and we’ve been keeping our eyes on her for a long time). I am just always shocked how six Real Housewives eating dinner together can never make it through an entire meal with a full table. Someone always has to peel off, usually with a friend. Either they're storming off about some remark, heading to the bathroom to take a sip of their flask, or rushing off to the bushes to cry because Walter, a fake boyfriend, won’t fake-propose on a fake vacation. No matter what it is, these ladies are always leaving a seat empty for Elijah and, well, just about any other angel that might just happen by and want to get red-faced with a bunch of middle-aged ladies with technologically enhanced faces. It’s like empty seats are the ultimate appetite suppressant.

I guess we should probably talk about the staff because, damn, I sure wanted some serious customer service after watching all the hot trade that was out there on the range. I might need to go visit Frog Knobbler, which I assume is a place where you go to get your frog knobbled and is a destination actually listed on one of the signs near Sonja’s Beaver Cabin. It appears that Ramona and Sonja believe that the staff is just there for them to look at and hit on. When they say they want to go out to dinner rather than have a chef over, Ramona’s only reason is, “Who are we going to look at? Just this one chef? Where are all the hot waters and bartenders and other people?” I mean, this is a very valid point, but don’t these two want a little bit more out of their men than someone who works in the service industry?

Paul, the skeet-shooting instructor, was, of course, the hottest. I would make a joke about a hot guy and skeet-shooting, but I’m not sure how much time any of you spend on Urban Dictionary, so, whatever, make your own damn jokes. Haven’t we already established that I’m giving up?

Anyway, Paul was for sure the hottest, but you know he wasn’t going to ride any of these ladies in the horizontal rodeo. Naw. Paul is the type of cowboy who works on a fancy ranch and whose job is, essentially, to get the undercarriages of upper-middle-class ladies swept free of the cobwebs without having to stick his feather duster in there himself. We’re mixing metaphors today too, alright? Cool. NeNe Leakes bloop sound. What I’m trying to say is that he gets them all hot and bothered, but he can’t be bothered to follow through. His job is to release the skeet, not fire the gun.

But Paul wasn’t the only hottie. The dude with the doofy Oaklies at the repelling mountain was pretty cute. I think the younger fishing instructor was pretty fly as well. (See what I did there?) Oh, and let’s not forget Henry, the ranch hand they sent to pacify Sonja T. Morgan. You know that Sonja called the front desk to get a handyman to come over, and the manager Duane was like, “Okay, Teddy went yesterday and Beau is still traumatized by what those ladies from Lubbock made him do during their bachelorette party, so sorry, Henry, but this one is yours. If she touches you on your tushy, lunch is on me. We’re having Arby’s. And I better just take your order right now because, well, we all know what that lady is like.”

Now, as a professional at the Real Housewives Institute, I would not be earning my NEA grant if I did not mention Carole’s magenta prairie bolero. I’m just going to let you all Mad Libs this one. “Carole’s dress for the hike was like [an inanimate object][a detail that is not usually ascribed to that object] that [an action that carries a negative connotation][a pop-cultural reference that is nostalgic, preferably one that has been the basis of a BuzzFeed list some time in the past two weeks].” There you go. Leave yours in the comments. The best one wins a prize. (There is no prize.)

It upsets me greatly to say this, but Ramona is right. This vacation is boring. And it’s not really the activities, either. Well, geocaching is stupid. There, I said it. It’s sort of like Reddit. You know, something wildly popular but rudimentary, and once you try it, you don’t understand how some people can dedicate their whole lives to it. See, geocaching and Reddit are the same. Or, you know, so is this show and geocaching (or this show and Reddit, by the transitive property).

It’s not the lack of fun excursions that is not making for compelling television.  The cast didn’t really do anything at all during the Crazy Island trip, but that turned out to be pure (satchels of) gold. So what is it about this vacation that is totally lacking? I don’t know, honestly. I wish I had an answer for that, but I just don’t. Sorry.

But rapelling really did bring the drama. When they showed the previews, I thought Kristen was fake blubbering, but no, that blubbering was real. Kristen just couldn’t handle it, even though she did. That’s what I don’t get about Kristen: Even when she succeeds she still sees herself as a failure. Maybe it’s because no one listens? She vocalized her needs to the ladies very clearly when she told them not to talk to her, but then they just completely disregarded her. Everyone disregards her. That is Kristen’s burden.

That’s what Kristen was thinking about when she got to the bottom of the rock and her ass touched the dewy moss. It was so cold and soft underneath her, and she could feel that rasp at the back of her throat that meant tears were on the way. She wrenched herself out of the ropes and sat down at a rock, staring at a tree — no, a whole host of trees, and the sun coming between them so yellow and solid it’s like you could drive a car on it. But Kristen was still upset. The women had just totally ignored her. No one knows what she needs, even when she tells them. No one knows what she can do, even when she shows them.

That was what was going through Kristen's mind as she let her eyes unfocus and the beauty around her somehow got inside her, through her eyes and up through all the nasty tissues, up into her brain. No one knows, she thought, and no one is going to change it. Not these women, not the fame they might bring. Certainly not Josh, who wasn’t even at home with their kids. No one needs me, she thought. No one really cares. And the landscape just got bigger and bigger and wider and wider and she could see it all at once, like she was looking at Google Maps absentmindedly at her phone. But it wasn’t like she was there. And just as she was about to come to some realization, just as she was about to see the picture of the thing that was going to set her free from all of this, there were peals of laughter behind her as Crackerjack got down and touched the ground. It was gone, whatever her thought was, and it was replaced by this woman, this thing that she calls a friend, this ruiner of Xanadu.