The Real Housewives of New York City
I’m beginning to think that this season is a little bit like the Mueller report: lots of hype and anticipation only to land with the impact of a messy shart during science class that ends up rolling down the leg of your jeans. Just like Mueller, I think this season has nothing. Or, if it has something, it is so far hidden in the folds that we’re going to have to really get deep into this thing before we find any redeemable gems.
Thank god the Real Housewife Institute Intern-for-Life Molly Fitzpatrick was here to fill in for me last week, because I was not ready to recap that air biscuit of a clambake. As for this week, there were a few great scenes, but nothing that added up to a compelling whole.
Let’s start with those great things, shall we? My favorite, by far, was Ramona’s awful date. This guy Mark, a pocket protector in search of a shirt, should have his own episode of Dating Around because I could watch his fascinating awfulness for hours, write a book about it, become a best-selling author, and still never bore of how maddeningly annoying he is.
He starts the date (at BocceUSQ, a tourist-trap restaurant in Union Square) by kissing her on both cheeks. Then he applauds that she got it right and adds, “I spent two years in Paris, so that’s how I do it.” Oh, shut up, dude. He is just like that guy you went to college with who did a semester abroad in the U.K. and never stopped saying “cheers,” in his American accent like he’s Madonna picking up her Scotch egg from the chip shop.
Then Ramona says, “Rori [the matchmaker] told me you were born in Germany.”
He interrupts her to say, “But where I was conceived was more exciting.” Then he takes a long pause and says, “Do you want to hear that story?” Let’s unpack this. First of all, he interrupts her before she can ask her question because he thinks it’s not interesting enough. Then when he offers up something interesting, he doesn’t tell her until she is going to beg for this story that he just promised is better than the thing she wanted to ask. I mean, dude, just answer the question. How about, “Yes, I was, but I was actually conceived on the set of Octopussy.”
Later in the episode, Tinsley’s mom Dale tells her that by 40 she should be able to know if a guy is the right one or not in six months. By Ramona’s age, it takes her only about six minutes to decide this guy is a dud. For Ramona to give a man her untethered disdain is remarkable. Here is a woman who would pick up a male cat and say, “I never wanted to touch pussy until I met you,” but she won’t flirt with Mark because he is such a jackanapes.
The absolute worst thing about this guy is when he tells her that he was almost married eight times and doesn’t do air quotes with his fingers around “married,” instead he does this weird thing with his fingers that look like either two slugs dying in a salt pile or the rejected fifth movement from The OA. He then tells Ramona that he thinks monogamy is unnatural and that people shouldn’t get married. Dude, then what are you doing out on a date? If you just want to bang women there are ways to do that without torturing them with your nattering.
Then he says, “Can I tell you my theory on marriage?”
Ramona, using the disgusted tone she usually reserves for not getting the best room on vacation, says, “Not really.”
He responds, “Well, I’m going to tell you anyway.” I can’t even say take a hint because that wasn’t a hint. It was a verbal bludgeon to STFU, pay the bill, and buy yourself a lifetime subscription to Pornhub (which is free) so you never have to bother another woman for the rest of your life.
Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Diva Cup Morgans also had a very interesting encounter this episode. When they are all gathered around at her Paper magazine party, a girl who looks and sounds suspiciously like Luann’s daughter Victoria approaches Sonja and says, “I didn’t get a kiss.” Sonja gives her a kiss on the cheek and she says, “No, on the lips.” Sonja goes in for a full make-out session that looks like two sophomores in band trying to dig out each other’s fillings with their tongues. (Why was it always the band kids who were fucking the most?)
I have a conspiracy theory and it’s that this girl was totally a plant. She was just some hot lesbian that Sonja knows and she said, “Know what would be awesome, just come up and kiss me out of the blue and we’ll make out for a second and then you can leave.” My favorite floozy would totally do that. She would also just totally make out with some lesbian in the middle of the bar for no reason at all, but, as hot as Sonja is, I question this hot lesbian’s motives for wanting to get jiggy with it in the middle of a party.
I could watch Sonja wring out her knickers over a bidet for hours and just be continuously amused. She goes back to her townhouse with her new assistant Jay, who may not be gay and may not be single, but either way Sonja should give him my number. (Remind me to tell my man that I just learned that monogamy is unnatural.) She discovers there was a leak and the water got all over her curtains and they’re now moldy. Sonja then says, and I quote, “I had a leak from my sky roof because I wasn’t there to caulk it myself because no one caulks a sky roof as good as I do.”
Everything about this sentence is wrong. First of all, there is no such thing as a “sky roof.” Secondly, the reason that there was a leak was probably because Sonja tried to repair it herself and did about as good of a job as she does keeping her BlackBerries out of the toilets. I just love the layers of delusion and misdirection so much. It’s like looking into a hall of mirrors, but instead of seeing yourself a million times, you just see thousands and thousands of stuffed rabbits.
Luann has to go do community service with her friend Annie Gets It Done at God’s Love We Deliver, which serves meals to people with HIV and other illnesses that make them housebound. She is, of course, the worst at community service. She can’t figure out how to work a ladle, even after the chef gives her explicit instructions. Then she whines about being on parole and how she can’t just jaunt off to her new completely round country house because the parole officer won’t let her. Then the chef catches her taking a taste of the soup. “That’s a first,” he says to her, trying not to swat the plastic soup bowl out of her hand and yell at her about possibly contaminating the food of a critically ill person.
I’m sure Annie is a great real-estate agent, but none is as great as Dorinda’s real-estate agent Laurie. I bet Laurie has stories. I bet she will sit you down at the Regency and tell you what every single one of the people in the bar has in their nightstands, and that makes me want to hug her and never let her go.
Dorinda and Luann, however, do not want to hug each other at all. They just want to avoid each other. Bethenny decides she needs to broker peace between them, because their rift is making all group activities very awkward. Dorinda says she doesn’t want any unrest, which is why she hasn’t brought anything up, but the unrest is here. It’s sort of like not paying your taxes. You can pretend like nothing bad is happening, but every day you’re just accruing penalties and interest until one day a man in sunglasses shows up at your door to throw a glass of wine in your face and haul you off to jail.
Bethenny decides that she’s going to have a “gangster lunch” so that she can get these two warring factions reconciled. For some reason Barbara K is also invited. Apparently this was supposed to be a theme lunch and everyone was going to come dressed as gangsters. Barbara K, being the new one and the dupe, is the only one who does. She wears a black suit, a fedora, and carries her hard hat from the construction site, which is a bit of authentic New York mobsterism if I ever saw one. Bethenny had a business meeting so she wears a sleek suit with an oversized jeweled bow which I hate but also want to steal. Luann didn’t get the memo so she shows up dressed like a teenager who just saw 10 Things I Hate About You at the mall in 1999. Dorinda says she dressed gangster, but she’s wearing leather pants, an Adidas shirt with the shoulders cut out, and pink streaks in her hair. She looks more like someone too old to engage in Harley Quinn cosplay.
Dorinda says her piece and that she wants things to go back to where they were before, but keeps saying things like, “friendships change,” and, “if this comes to an end, so be it.” It doesn’t sound like she wants to make up, it sounds like she wants to break up. To her credit, she’s not finding fault with Luann, but she’s not trying to talk about any issues at all, she’s just trying to plaster over it with real-time Tyler Perry quotes.
Bethenny tries to get someone to take some ownership over something and get Dorinda to admit she heckled “Jovani!” which she continues to deny. At the end of the lunch, they say there’s a truce, but everyone feels like they left wanting something more. Maybe that’s because Bethenny ordered gluten-free pasta for everyone.
I’m definitely #TeamNobody in this fight because I think they both behaved badly. However, I’m slightly #TeamLuann in I think that Dorinda is a little bit worse. As many people on the show say, she refuses to apologize, so they can never move on. Also, when Barbara comes over her house to talk about a potential renovation, Dorinda asks Barbara how she felt about lunch and then gets upset when Barbara says Luann wanted an apology she didn’t get. Dorinda then turns on Barbara and ends up kicking her out of her house because she wouldn’t agree with her version of things. Bethenny is right, Dorinda is the denier almost to the point of delusion, where she rewrites the past to make herself look better.
As Barbara left the house, there was a blonde woman out front in a black turtleneck holding a Starbucks cup of tea and resting all of her weight on one leg, the good leg. She thought about what she heard upstairs, through the bug she placed in Dorinda’s chandelier a long time ago, and she didn’t want to even bother anymore. What was this for? What was this even about? Aviva Drescher threw out her half-full tea and decided to go home and watch reruns of How I Met Your Mother instead of messing with these women.