The Real Housewives of New York City
Last night, all but two of the Real Housewives of New York City decided to reenact the movie Heathers. But it was more croquet than suicide across the pond, where last we left these would-be mean girls. If you remember, last week, Carole versus Luann was simmering — and this week’s episode began with Sonja’s face in a bidet full of ice.
Soon after, the gals were playing croquet, and Carole, if only by virtue of her sarcasm, was in the Winona Ryder role. She didn’t like that Luann had woken her up and worn a cape like hers, so she spent the next few scenes proving — hard — how hell-bent Luann is on one-upping her. Sure enough, Luann stuck to her script and Penelope’d herself through a montage or two. Heather did gymnastics once? Well, Luann did it twice — and so on, and so forth. But, the Countess’s lack of restraint and her outstanding insecurity around her royal title compared to Carole’s notwithstanding, aren’t all of the Housewives jealous of Carole? And for good reason. Carole is not only the thinnest Housewife on any of the series, she is not only a Princess with Kennedy connections and an active, non-monogamous social life and actual style, but she has a career nobody can snicker at, and a late husband she actually loved and met at work, as a peer. If you were a striver, you’d hate her, too, or you’d at least compete with Carole constantly, even if you didn’t realize you were trying.
But Luann is trying. God, is she trying. After Croakey, during which a befuddled older gentleman tried his best to pop a bottle of pink Champagne and not take his own life at the same time, the gals changed into their high boots and wrap dresses and made an entrance at some kind of cocktail bar that may or may not have served food. But who needed food when Sonja was there to serve some Clockwork Orange outfit realness. Still, Tall Girl Luann strode past her and her other droogiess, which was later chalked up to her persistent Penelopeness. Hee hee — the word penis kind of lives in that last word I made up. It should pay rent!
So, over dinner, to combat Luann’s habit of constantly bringing the conversation back to herself and magnifying her own accomplishments, Carole decided to do the same thing back to her, because she was making a funny. But Luann either didn’t notice that she was being parroted or she was edited to seem as though she didn’t react at all. And when Sonja and Carole got up to use the loo, Heather tried traversing the shaky rope bridge Luann had woven with her spider woman silk legs out of mutual animosity toward Ramona. That didn’t go well, in part because Heather cannot speak the Queen’s English and in part because Luann didn’t know what she was talking about. Basically, Heather was like, “Sup, Boo” and “Yo, Mr. White!” and such. But in essence, Heather made a point of opaquely referring to the “fire signs” that were at the table and asked if Luann was ever aware of how women will occasionally one-up each other. But Luann was neither aware of what Heather was referring to nor self-aware of, um, herself, so that was both stupid and a waste of time. And during this dinner, nobody ordered food, which made Sonja remember that she had a party to plan when she got back home and how she wouldn’t have food there, either.
Back in New York City, Ramona and Aviva toured the space that would host that very party. It was an anniversary party for Aviva and Reid, you see, so naturally it would take place in the mustiest, most claustrophobic, dingy-looking room in New York. I also believe that it was in the Empire State Building, but on the ground floor? So the room had the age of a landmark but without its iconic view. Still, Aviva was game, and Ramona was excited for a chance to interact with somebody who didn’t seem to hate her, and Sonja, meanwhile, was somewhere in England fretting about her three toaster trays. “Worry about one thing at a time,” advised Heather, who soon shifted her gremlin “helper” gaze on Carole, intending to fix her and “LuLu” next. Women fixing other women? Somebody tell The Newsroom! Cue Coldplay! Loop in Gabby Giffords, or don’t — that woman’s suffered enough.
And soon after that, Sonja was back in Manhattan to sign off on a hideous-looking cake, and Aviva and Carole were at an organic salon to gently gossip, sans fards. Carole told Aviva how Luann one-upped people in London and used the “I wrote a book too!” thing as an example, which is hilarious. Just to (appropriately) insert myself into the equation here: I have read both What Remains and Class With the Countess cover to cover. Both are important, personal works. But when it comes to Carole’s simile of writing a book being like birthing a baby — let’s just say Class With the Countess is a … slower baby; a smaller baby, than What Remains’s bouncing, gifted child. And this hairdressing scene also hosted Carole’s observation that Carole doesn’t make a thing about being a Princess whereas Luann can’t not mention her Countessness during a standard interaction at Duane Reade. The scene suffered, as many do on this show, from Carole’s reality-TV-unfriendly intelligence, tact, and self-awareness. She said nothing lacerating, but made a point of saying, “What’s said in the salon stays in the salon” to protect her Real Talk, even though there are cameras in the salon, and also, that salon looked like a couple of big sinks and head masseurs in somebody’s apartment.
Finally, we were at Aviva’s anniversary party, or as I like to call it, the Cara Quici Concert.
Concert. Sonja flitted around the room, which was lit like a DMV, and Ramona made a memorable yet depressing entrance in a shiteous blue silky strapless number, accessorized with her own jewelry. And just before Cara Quici — a beautiful singer who wrote custom lyrics like “a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a” especially for the occasion — took the stage, Aviva tripped and fell. And I didn’t care for that. Aviva’s was no Vicki Gunvalson spill. Her trip down the Quici stairs was ugly and sad — somebody with one leg who hasn’t done anything on-camera yet to inspire vitriol, losing control, then having to endure a loud Ramona joke. It bummed me out, and usually Housewives falling down is one of the top three things that will get me out of any funk.
Luckily, I will always have footage of Cara Quici’s two — TWO! — songs to cheer me up in any situation. Wasn’t that great? Didn’t you love being able to read Luann’s mind during Cara’s performance? (“And I’M the one they make fun of for singing?”) Wasn’t Cara’s fur choker, corset top, and leather pants outfit modern and daring? Didn’t her voice sound melodious? Weren’t her backup dancers tasteful? Oh, I loved that scene. It was almost as though the show were back from the grave in full. I smiled, I clapped, I enjoyed that performance IMMENSELY. Brava, Cara! Bravo, Bravo! Cara Quici for Hot Slut of the Day!
Soon after Cara’s beautiful performance, Reid made a sweet speech about how he feels his wife’s pain and Aviva kind of gave Carole credit for his speech, and that was kind of a non-mini-drama that faded into the dusty-seeming Empire Room air like a Pinot fart. And then it was time for the main course — not food! Why on earth would the first Sonja in the City party ever host her famous toaster mac and cheeses? No — I speak, of course, of the entrée known as drama. And sure enough, Andy Cohen didn’t keep Ramona on this show for her fashion sense! After Ramona and Heather’s respective husbands stammered through awkward introductions, the two ladies went AT. IT. Heather asked if anything was wrong, and Ramona used all of the lizard rage she’d been storing up in her cactus trunk since the London fiasco unraveled and called Heather a liar for saying during their shopping trip that she didn’t talk shit behind Ramona’s back. It was an interesting point of contention. If I were Ramona, I would have used that opportunity to say, “Hey, Heather — you really hurt my feelings not inviting me to London. I’m the only one on this show you excluded. What the fuck.” But I’m not capable of imagining what my brain would feel like if I actually were Ramona. It might be like a Throbbing Gristle show in there, broken up by airhorns and blasts from whatever the mental equivalent is of a firehose.
So instead, Ramona went subjective and external in the Heather attack. She refused to own up to hurt feelings and decided instead to call her foe a phony and a liar, which Heather tried to contest and smile through, to no avail. And then, Ramona ran away — like, Looney Tunes–style. Bitch practically left a puff of smoke.
For the remainder of the episode, we got to watch Heather chase Ramona around the room, which I must admit, was both satisfying and humorous. Avoiding Heather became so dire for Ramona that at one point, she actually ran into Luann’s arms. And it was like watching two of the Roald Dahl Twits commiserate when Ramona disclosed to her Royal Enemy how she’d prefer the confrontational hostility of Luann over the T-Rex smile of the Yummie One. And just in case you were under the impression that Luann and Ramona were in a good place, the Countess practically lit a DeLorean-ish trail of fire behind her Louboutin tracks when she ran up to Heather to make sure she knew she was on her side in the Ramona Wars.
What a mess. What good old-fashioned Stateside fun.
What did I miss? What did you think of last night’s episode? Please let me know in the comments, mateys! And I’ll see you guys next week. Holla!