Last night was the first segment of the Real Housewives of New York reunion. There was a definite divide between the demeanor of the veterans and the demeanor of the newbies last night. And by that, I mean the oldies came prepared to fight, get vicious, down and dirty while the newbies obviously didn't do their research and came prepared to recap the season and discuss.
Reunions are both my favorite shows to watch and my least favorite to recap. My favorite to watch because we get an unfiltered glimpse of the ladies, but they're a real beast to recap because the accusations are flying and the screaming is coming at you from all sides. Meanwhile I'm just trying to assess what everyone is wearing and who looks the worst. In the case of RHONY that award always, without fail, goes to Pinot Singer and last night was no exception.
I'm pretty sure the Project Runway "Unconventional Materials" challenge dress Pinot wore was constructed from old plastic bags on the top and my grandmother's living room sheers on the bottom. All dyed Crayola royal blue. Madame, you are in need of an intervention. Please refrain from drinking and dressing for the duration.
So, let's get this thing going, shall we?
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Things take off with a great debate about What Not To Wear and Where Not To Get It. The simple answer is this: Please refrain from overt rudeness and fashion begging. Oh, and do not sequester Carole Radziwill's very close friends and make them feel obligated to loan you a dress to wear on a low-rent tabloid when they're dressing the FLOTUS and Nicole Kidman. As Carole put it, "Honey, it's not exactly Vogue."
Before we get to all that there was a funny moment when Andy Cohen called Carole out on why she did this show. Carole gives a long-winded, overly intellectualized response about the anthropological significance of the Housewives behaviors and how from a sociological perspective of journalistic curiosity she wanted to see the crazy in the flesh and experience the drunken cattiness and total mean girl antics as fodder for her next book. Oh, well – I added the book part, but you know she's thinking it. Carole also had a book to promote and you know, why not – especially since there was a hefty paycheck involved.
Back to the dresses! So remember when Crass With The Countess demanded Carole's friends, the design powerhouse couple Naeem and Ranjana Khan, loan her dresses and in exchange she promised free publicity via Life & Style? And remember when Carole was, like, so offended that LuAnn would think THEY would need publicity from such a deplorable publication when they were obviously appearing on this upstanding and high-brow reality show for the publicity? Yeah, well that's still an issue.
LuAnn is greatly offended that Carole was offended by her behavior. And instead of simply apologizing for placing Carole in an awkward place – that place being that a woman Carole scarcely knew and was professionally affiliated with, propositioned her close friends without Carole's knowledge. LuAnn is instantly defensive. Look, I get it – LuAnn loved the designs and was excited about the prospect of meeting new designer friends. Apparently she doesn't think it's a big deal to borrow clothes.
But Carole was looking at it from a friendship perspective and felt LuAnn was being thoughtless. She was also sort of shocked that after LuAnn asked Carole several times to broach a relationship (prompts Carole ignored), LuAnn went behind her back and "friend jumped."
Carole also sort of cut LuAnn to the core when she all but blatantly announced that LuAnn wasn't good enough for Naeem's designs and it was laughable that she thought she could offer him publicity.
See, Lu fancies herself a society fixture. And maybe she was when married to Count Crockula, but now she's just like Sonja Morgan in that her former still haunts her because her present isn't nearly as divine. Now LuAnn is the wine seller's girlfriend and Andy Cohen's bitch, and while she hides her insecurities with that respect better than Sonja does, it's still there. And Carole, fancy pants author-girl, widow of American royalty, and friend of NYC society A-Listers unpleasantly reminds her of what's she's not.
In the middle of all of this Andy asks Heather Thomson to weigh-in from a designer's perspective about the practicalities of clothes loaning. Heather is explaining that it's a big hassle to designers and LuAnn is instantly miffed that Heather isn't defending her. Shockingly, Aviva Drescher (returned to her given name as a reward) emerges as the sane voice of reason by simply laying it all out for the ladies in a way that makes sense to all parties.
Someone on twitter reminded me that Aviva at one point did use all that fancy education when she was a lawyer, and seeing her emerge a diplomat among catty drama made me wish we'd seen more of that Aviva and less of Meviva, queen of the neurosis and meltdowns.
LuAnn is satisfied with Aviva's break-down which exonerates her from low-budgetness, but chastises her for the faults. But Heather is furious and says LuAnn only likes things that she wants to hear and can't take criticism. While I totally agree, I think we're all like that. Particularly people participating in reality television.
Next it is LuAnn's turn to get some digs in on Carole when she calls her out for talking behind people's backs in a snide way on the individual interviews. LuAnn is surprised as she didn't know that person. Carole who had seemed like each individual Housewife's favorite during filming, suddenly finds herself with five pair of steely eyes glaring her way, silently sniping, 'Yeah, Carole… you WERE mean!'
Carole insists she was trying to be funny and isn't that really the point? I think Carole is mostly afraid of Pinot and knows that if she doesn't stroke her ego and uncork her wine, she'll be the Aviva of next year. And she doesn't hold her own as well as Heather and she doesn't spout off her crazy as well as Aviva. Carole, realizing five against one is very bad odds – particularly when two of that group are certified loons – clears her throat and apologizes. Carole is too smart for this shit.
Next up, Andy wants to know why there's something about Harry Dubin! First off he asks who has dated Harry in his bunch and all the girls on the old sofa raise their hand, while everyone on the newbie sofa is like, ew – why do they share so much bodily fluid?
Sonja, who is friends with Harry and doesn't like Aviva one bit, goes right for the jugular and accuses Aviva of trashing Harry on TV and to the press. The dead beat dad allegation is broached and Aviva, bless her heart, is trying to remain composed and let the white trashies hang themselves, but you can tell it was a struggle. And it is in THIS instance that I feel Aviva should have let them have it – she blew her wad on the St. Barth's nonsense.
I've always been of the personal opinion that no one has the right to presume to know what happens(ed) in your marriage and it is best to remain neutral and refrain from commenting – at least to the person's face. While I'm sure Sonja felt compelled to defend her friend with benefits – and all of NYC's for that matter – I don't think it was her place to make accusations.
Aviva denies speaking to the press. And says she wishes she could bond with Sonja over their court issues with their ex-husbands. Sonja does not bite and accuses Aviva of not being a "partner" in her marriage. Aviva decides to drop it. Which was a good call.
Aviva remains a hot topic when her ever shifting phobias, that according to Sonja emerge with convenience, are broached. Aviva refers to her many concerns as "stacking the odds in your favor." Aviva explains that while it's a little silly it all stems from the loss of her leg. Aviva recounts the insanely traumatic experience – all of which she remembers – and oh my gosh, it's heart breaking. It explains a lot about Aviva and about her relationship with her father.
It makes me feel compassionate for Aviva. Meanwhile Ramona seemed to be staring off into space and ignoring it while Aviva apologizes for it manifesting into a bottle of anxiety which she unfortunately projected onto the ladies. Aviva admits it's very embarrassing and it takes a toll on her. Ramona was blinking a lot and trying not to roll her eyes. Which is never a good sign. When the blinking starts, her alter-ego Pinot emerges!
Speaking of Pinot, the great Heather vs. Pinot season-long altercation is rehashed. Aaahhh… reliving an entire season of Pinot's crazy. I'm glad Heather held her ground.
Surprisingly it was all niceties at the reunion! Pinot attempted to call Heather out on talking behind her back, which Heather quickly explained being nice to someone in a social situation is a little thing called manners.
Not mannerly? Accosting someone in your home, whom you've just met, and telling them what's wrong with them. Not mannerly? Causing huge argumentative blow-ups in public. I guess Ramona has never learned of these so-called things, or social couth! Imagine, a person being polite!
Ramona admits she shouldn't have told Heather she talked too much within five minutes of meeting her. And surprisingly, Heather reveals that at the current state of their relationship she would invite Ramona to London because she understands how she operates.
Apparently the origins of the feud started with a little thing called self reflecting. Since both ladies talk a lot, they recognized that in each other and were annoyed. Ramona and Heather admit that Heather's initial nervousness on camera led her to talk even more and ramble, which made it awkward for everyone. And I will say, kudos to Heather she really can take constructive criticism with class! Hear that, LuAnn?
And after a season of them getting along rather well, Andy asks about Ramona's alleged blackmail call to LuAnn way back in episode one. LuAnn quickly tells Ramona not to start since it concerns her children. Ramona was waiting to pounce on that one, but LuAnn announced they are "moving past that" in a 'Don't push your luck, bitch' way.
Ramona accuses LuAnn of throwing people under the bus, which is utterly laughable considering the source. Even Andy is all like, "Sweetie. You're the DRIVER of the throw people under the bus club so shut it." Never thought I'd see a day when Andy is defending LuAnn. Interesting development!
Speaking of interesting developments, I was pleasantly surprised by Andy last night. He was a much better moderator compared to Real Housewives of New Jersey. And much better at confronting issues and the women. I guess they are less scary. Well, sort of.
Finally, St Barths and the great eruption of Mount Aviva is discussed. Aaaahhh… the goods! Aviva's apologies – and their lack of sincerity (particularly the comparison to Rush Limbaugh's apology) is the first topic on the docket.
Aviva admits it was stupid and Carole reveals she was shocked and sort of grossed out by Aviva's attitude that she didn't really owe Ramonja an apology. Aviva, either clearly realizing she was out of line once removed from the situation or clearly trying to regain the favor of viewers, offers what I believed was a sincere apology for all her behavior. She said she was "profusely sorry" and it will never happen again.
Sonja immediately reminds Aviva that she has "sincerely" apologized several times, only to turn around even months later and trash Ramonja in the press, in blogs, on twitter, and to the other women. So with that said, she cannot accept. Fair point. Actions do speak louder than words.
Apparently Aviva's angst came from believing she was friends with Ramona and was shocked that Ramona would tell her Reid was welcome and change the story later on.
Ramona starts yammering about verbal abuse and how Aviva hurt her "terribly. Terribly! TERRIBLY!" Ramona is trying to muster up tears and anguish. Keep trying girl… maybe just dump pinot over your head.
And what is it with her repeating everything in triplicates (and later quads)? I guess she took a class at the learning annex on conveying feelings with resonance.
Realizing she's getting nowhere with ol'Pinot, Aviva quickly texts Reid and tells him to buy several cases of wine and have them delivered to Pinot's apartment. Aviva can't go up that high, you see. Hopefully bribery will make her look better though!
The conversation between LuAnn and Ramonja asking Reid to leave St. Barths is revisited. Heather speaks up and says that while LuAnn stirred the pot during the argument by mentioning it to Aviva (a sentiment LuAnn shockingly agreed with), Heather did not think the initial conversation was serious or venomous.
And then the pent-up cougar, white trash nonsense was again covered. Ramona and Sonja ARE pent-up cougars and menopausers gone wild – the truth hurts! Calling them overweight was out-of-line and completely gross, but Ramonja was acting ridiculously trashy. Aviva admits she was "unhinged" in St. Barths with Heather calling it a "very dark time for Aviva."
Ramona is still not sympathetic. "No one," she snipes "has ever attacked me again. And Again. And Again. And AGAIN!" She's obviously
been too drunk to remember forgotten the past four seasons of RHONY.
Ramona sums up her relationship with Aviva thusly: " Whatever Aviva. I have no ill will towards you, I wish you the best. I just think you need a different therapist."
Next week: Trailer Turd, Toaster Ovens, Pre-Prenups, Andy vs. Ramona, and PIRATES! WEEEE!
[Photo Credit: BravoTV.com]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE REUNION? DO YOU FEEL AVIVA'S APOLOGY WAS SINCERE? COUNTESS OR PRINCESS CONCERNING DESIGNER-GATE?
And just because I love you! Classic Pinot…