The Real Housewives of New York City Reunion Recap: Fairy Tale Dream

The Real Housewives of New York City

Reunion Part 1
Season 9 Episode 20
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo

What’s up RHONYies? It’s your favorite Tre-hugging Jersey recapper, subbing in for Brian Moylan while he teaches a graduate seminar at Yale on Jill Zarin fanfic. He should be back next week, so I have to get in all my feelings about this season starting … NOW!

This season seems kinda long, but I’ve been really enjoying it lately. I thought the naked pool heart-to-heart hullabaloo was one of the best episodes of reality TV I’ve ever seen — I guess depending on how you feel about that, you can discount the rest of what I say accordingly — so I was surprised to remember how boring I thought the beginning of the season was. Like, what? Sonja and Dorinda had drama? Wait, the Italian restaurant all the way uptown was this season? Is it me? That feels like a lifetime ago.

Anyway, what’s with the synagogue setting for the reunion? Those are some high-ass ceilings! How will they up the ante next year? The Vatican? But seriously, why the height? Are they gonna fly in the friends and husbands of Housewives on a wire like Peter Pan? Wait, were there even any friends of Housewives this year? I don’t think the one whom Tom used to date (or maybe still dates?) counts. Maybe perennial Ramona Singer party guest and Liza Minnelli BFF Arlene Lazare?

One more stupid reunion question (and no more Liza Minnelli references, I promise): Are the ladies’ reactions during the Ramona clip package actually in real time? Bethenny and Luann had a few facial expressions that didn’t make sense to me. #shitRHONYfanssay.

Speaking of that Ramona clip package, dang she’s got issues. I mean, we knew this already. How did Bethenny put it? “Dogs know this.” But I felt something was revealed when Ramona dismissed her own previous notion of a marriage lasting forever as a “fairy tale dream.” Did you catch the tension and fury in her face when she said that? Apparently, Botox-stilled waters run deep. So why did I roll my eyes about it? Well, context. And also, Bethenny’s read of her with the whole “eating chicken out of her purse and sipping rosé behind the couch thing.” Yeow!

Weirdly, I feel for her with the thing about being rude to servants. I mean, I get that Bethenny treats everyone equally, but that’s not saying much. I’m sure Ramona was weird and awkward in the elevator and it is rude that she doesn’t remember Bethenny’s assistant of three years who’s brought her margaritas and stuff. But I bet you anything that those Mexican houseboys whom Ramona dominates think she’s a hoot and I bet she’s actually warm and down-to-earth with them when she’s not being an automaton boss lady. And I bet she tips well. Or maybe $200 is not good for that situation? I bet if someone told her the right amount to be generous, she would do it. I really do think her intentions are okay in most situations, except maybe the thing about Dorinda’s house with the paint in the guest room. But I do think it goes back to Ramona’s clueless sense of entitlement. Oh, and also the whole Luann thing with the investigation behind Luann’s back. What was that?

Speaking of Luann, well, I didn’t plan to get to this until later in the recap, but here we are. The good news for all of us at home is that I don’t think we’ll have to waste any more of our TV time thinking about Tom’s infidelity. It’s so freaking weird, you guys. Reality TV has reached a new level of meta with us all knowing about Luann’s divorce, and then the disclaimer at the beginning of the reunion followed by Andy asking Lu (all dressed in white) how married life is going. She says, “Fantastic,” but then lists Tom last when describing what she loves about marriage.

Anyway, I believe that most of these ladies wanted the best for Luann in her marriage — or at least did a good job of acting like they might have wanted that. Except Ramona. And Sonja. And Bethenny. No, no, no, just Ramona. I mean, Sonja, sure, but she had her own reasons and at the end of the day she just wants to be invited, whether it’s a wedding, a weekend in the Berkshires, or sex with Tom and Luann. And the Bethenny thing is weird, what with all the waterworks. There’s definitely some strange projection or transference happening, but Beth can afford a shrink so I don’t have to waste my time. Long story short, I don’t think she’s out to get Luann in any case. But Ramona? WTF.

Is Ramona just a moron? Put Luann aside for a minute. Ramona’s whole desperate quest to be on Bethenny’s good side always starts with playing sub to B’s alpha dog (like in this reunion), but the cycle always ends with Ramona lashing out viciously and sloppily and then weeping and apologizing and falling back to square one. I feel like part of her heart is in the right place and part of her heart wants to make some TV drama by stirring up the Luann-Tom stuff. I think Bethenny’s return was bad for Ramona’s position on the show and she’s still struggling with how to assert her role. I don’t honestly know how I feel about the great space Ramona coaster, but I will say this: All of her insane posturing has sort of worked. I’m still talking about her. AAAHHHHH!!!!!

One last thing about Luann, though: She will ALWAYS be the Countess. I mean to the extent that she ever was, really. What kind of Count was Alex? French? France doesn’t have a monarchy anymore, right? There are many Europeans who cling to their extinct status. No tea, no shade, I kept my gay.com screen name BrooklynBoy76 long into my 30s. I’m just saying, that party has been over for almost 100 years. This is America anyway, and it’s 2017, despite what Mike Pence and the Klu Klux Klan would have you believe. Luann is the Countess because she got famous with that title and made it her thing and we bought it, just like Snoop or Cher. And so, she always will be the Countess.

Segueing from Luann to Sonja, you know how Bethenny always calls Lu out for her “Countess voice”? I actually think Sonja’s the one with the crazy put-on persona voice. I feel like she pretends to be this 1978 fantasy of a rich white lady on the Upper East Side and it just gets odder and odder. Nobody really talks like that. I actually felt like Sonja was off for the whole episode. I know I said I wouldn’t bring up Liza again, but it reminded me of how Liza seems like her brain stopped integrating new information one night at 54 Below and she hasn’t been with us in the reality of the world ever since.

The point is, Sonja seemed really out of place on that reunion couch. Don’t come for me, Sonjaholics, I love her too. But the reunion left me a little like, “Why?” I will say that Sonja should stop saying she quit drinking because it appears that she really did cut down a lot, and no one will give her the credit she wants as long as she pretends it’s something else. As for the thing with wearing Dorinda’s lingerie, I mean, she just needed to apologize. Sonja wanted to come downstairs all slinky and sexy and make everybody laugh and pay attention to her. Why couldn’t she just be a grownup and fix that with Dorinda right away? This is why Ramona is a bad influence. Although I think that talking-to-the-press thing is all on Sonja. She needs to be smart enough to not try to justify it with claims like, “I was SAYING I was there for her!” Yeah, no.

And now we’re back to Sonja’s issue with Dorinda that feels like it’s from 2014. Did you ever notice how fighting with dumb people brings out Dorinda’s smarts? With Sonja, she’s all Grey Gardens references and “terra firma” quips. Once I noticed the great dress she wore to the reunion, it wasn’t long before I had this whole pro-Do mo. Until I remembered the hand-stabbing incident with Bethenny and just what a mess she can become. Mess isn’t even the word. What an ugly, intrusive, PLEASE GO AWAY problem she becomes. Is it really just alcohol? I don’t know what you guys think, but there’s gotta be a drug problem on one of these shows eventually. If not Dorinda, then somebody. Sonja? Maybe Tinsley … if I don’t get my first wish of Tinsley just going away.

Oh, right. In conclusion, I hope Tinsley isn’t back next season.

RHONY Reunion Recap: Fairy Tale Dream