The Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip
As the adage goes, no matter how old you get, you never truly leave high school. In that vein, this girls’ trip isn’t so much a getaway as much as it is a sleepaway camp with lots of alcohol involved. We have the nightly bonfires, the secret friendship alliances, the silly field-day games that are inexplicably inane, and the oddly sentimental moments that have people briefly believing they will be lifelong soulmates with the person they shared a bathroom with for five days. There was even a talent show! Of course, this is generally in some cabin in Vermont and not a villa estate for the one percent in Turks and Caicos, but the premise still remains.
For example, take Ramona Singer, fresh off a uniquely atrocious run on RHONY. She has frequently alluded to her abusive past over the years — largely to inoculate herself from accountability from her endless list of tactless antics — but to my recollection, I don’t think we’ve seen her open up about her pain and loneliness this much. Kenya rightfully recognizes Ramona’s behavior as cries for attention because the Twirl queen herself is quite familiar with these emotions, albeit none of them being of the Karen variety. They both intimately know what it is like to live with a lack of love from their parents and partners; Kenya now has a young daughter to pour into, while Ramona has an empty nest and RNC fundraising events.
Unfortunately, poor Cynthia, the Kevin McCallister of the trip (if you don’t get my ancient reference, please correct that immediately and go watch one of the best Christmas movies ever), is watching Kenya mend fences with the Ramonacoaster in utter disbelief. A few things should be put into context here. At this point in the production, Cynthia was in the middle of negotiating her next season of RHOA. She was rumored to be on the chopping block and ultimately got a “friend of” contract offer, and we now know she has chosen to transition into being an esteemed alumna of the Bravo network. All that amplifies her stress around her dynamics with Kenya: is her power in their friendship solely in the fact that Kenya needed an ally when she was cast as the villain? The answer is likely yes, but Cynthia also doesn’t help matters when she can’t pull herself out of her funk to so much as smile for Brooklyn on FaceTime.
Sourpuss notwithstanding, Cynthia does plow forward with yet another one of her earnestly corny events, and thankfully, the girls commit and have a good time — except for Kyle, who seems to have an issue with competition under any circumstance, perhaps harkening back to some sibling rivalry trauma instilled by Big Kathy. It should surprise no one that Kenya wins, but her choice to share her award — four days at the villa — with Theresa and Louie speaks volumes. The women are getting exposed to Kenya’s playful, generous, loud, and warm sides. I can understand how it could feel particularly cold for Cynthia to be kept in the shadow of all that, especially after finding out that Kenya is telling the other women that she is being territorial of her. Neither of them seems to be aware of the unspoken labor they have been doing as interlocutors for these white women, and they have broken up whatever remained of their friendship for people they will likely never speak to outside of DMs and BravoCon.
Nevertheless, it is charming to see the women convince themselves that they’ve built these deep, lifelong bonds out of a seven-day drinking haze. I believe Theresa is genuine when she says that these women have friends for life because my Jersey icon is a walking Mafia movie quote Madlib. Melissa and Kenya probably do think they’re going to be gal pals in the alternate universe where Joe lets Melissa have a girls’ night and Kenya, a full-time single mom, has downtime. And sure, Kyle and Luann will … do splits on a table somewhere near you.
Luann, ever the party starter, also … apparently has a skill to create a cabaret show out of thin air? Is that Auto-Tune mic and money gun just part of her carry-on kit in case of emergency? In any case, it served as a perfect segue for their ending credits. Elegance is earned, my friends. These ladies were far from elegant for the last seven episodes, and we were all the better for it. More getaways like this, please — light, refreshing, low-stakes, but enough drama to keep the momentum going. It’s a good way to break up the repetitive cycles of their respective franchises and bring new energy to their on-camera dynamics. Looking forward to the new crop in season two, and the redemption of Jill Zarin!
• Kyle doing the walk of shame on the tennis court to kick off the episode is as hysterical as the episode ending with us finding out that Luann is already DM’ing the very married villa concierge. You have to appreciate the commitment to the floozy lifestyle.
• Every year these reality shows try to do some version of a twerk contest, and every year they look more and more ridiculous. Ramona looks like she is about to get pulled away by a parachute. How does Melissa’s mic end up in her asshole? I have so many questions.
• Luann explains tug-of-war ergonomics because of her knowledge of “quantum physics,” by which I think she just meant mechanics? She’s sober so I don’t know where that term comes from, but help me understand.
“Quantum” means things that are on the subatomic level.
• I know it is a somber moment because Cynthia is really reflecting on the demise of her friendship with Kenya and just the fact that she had a miserable trip overall, but … Cynthia really looks great in her last confessional outfit. I would like to know where she got those nude tones. It looks like Hanifa, but I know that site backward and forward, and I don’t believe that is a Hanifa outfit!
• “Does Louie know what a good twerker and ball-licker you are?”