Last night was the season premiere of Real Housewives Of New York. We met new Housewife Jules Wainstein. The original B of Bravo, Bethenny Frankel, also returned, and whew, was she some kinda mouthy! Bethenny apparently sees herself as the reverse fortune teller of RHONY; she won’t tell you your hopeful future, but with condescending judgement she will point out everything that’s wrong with you, your life, your past, and your overall way of being.
Bethenny is also the ‘Party Police’ this season – obviously replacing the woman she once loved to hate, Heather Thomson, who gathered her big-girl shaping panties and fled this Skinnygirl bar.
Things begin in Bethenny’s new apartment. Hurrah – she’s no longer homeless! The new place is nice, but in that blandly generic HGTV design show sort of way. Dorinda Medley visits to gawk over Bethenny’s Traum Safe, as if it’s something Dorinda couldn’t afford to install in her own pad. Bethenny and Dorinda have become close, but there is one major issue: Bethenny doesn’t approve of John. Like at all.
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Bethenny also doesn’t approve of how much Dorinda drinks – which is why she serves her wine (Skinnygirl wine). Dorinda announces she ‘quit’ drinking. Like a cleanse. I mean she did it for like 1 day so that counts, right? To intentionally misquote and terribly rework Mark Twain, ‘Beware of friendships that require you to curb your natural appetite for partying and booze!’
They’re planning a brunch and going over the guest list. Carole Radziwill is axed. Bethenny complains that Carole has grown distant since becoming connected at the hipbone to Adam, her much younger hipster. More on those two later.
Dorinda has a substitution – this friend Jules, whom Bethenny has met. Dorinda believes Bethenny and Jules will get along famously, but serves Bethenny one warning: don’t mention Jules’ husband’s height.
Over in the Land of the Ramona, it’s Dating Season in PinotTown. Lock up your pinots!
Pinot’s boobs have mysteriously grown fuller, but her Turtle Time remains the same. I personally think the implants are too big, but I mean, I’m not trying to get my prowl on among the hot AARP crowd in over-priced cocktail lounges. But Ramona is – oh Ramona is! Now Avery is legally able to drink and supervise the Turtle Time. Oh, poor Avery!
Ramona, Ramona, Ramona… Pinot can’t pronounce the bartender’s name, confusing her with one of Sonja Morgan‘s interns, she calls her Radish, Roku, Radiccio, Rascal, Raindance – whatever (her name is Rokia). Avery looks on, cringing and sitting beside her friend, who Ramona doesn’t remember even though the girl spent a whole weekend in their Hamptons house. Poor Avery. It’s always Freaky Friday opposite day in her world.
In other bizarre situations, Luann de Lesseps has temporarily moved in with Sonja! Luann is downsizing her NYC apartment and Sonja’s daughter has gone to boarding school. So, here we have RHONY’s real-life version of AbFab.
Sonja is sad discussing how her daughter left, but alas, what kind of life is it for a teenage girl to be roaming around Sonja’s crumbling townhouse? Where the remains of the day rumble through the rooms like a subway train, knocking loose more plaster that won’t be repaired, as Sonja’s interns scurry around, red-faced and harried, responding to her demands to do business in the bathtub where Madame Morgan demands a Sharpie, a guest list, a cocktail and one of their friends on Tinder. In short, no teenage girl wants to play Estella to Sonja’s Ms. Havisham!
Since Sonja doesn’t like to admit that change has come and the present is sweeping in and engulfing the past and tossing it into the future, she puts Luann up in Quincy’s bedroom – an odd choice given the prevalence of guest rooms! Sonja warns Lu not to bring men back “to my daughter’s bed,” but it’s perfectly fine to go into detail about blowjobs.
Lu has an extra set of teeth bones, behind her teeth, a throwback to her Eskimo lineage. Good lord – Luann’s an Eskimo, an American Indian, a Countess! What’s next the missing daughter of the Flying Walindas, who escaped the circus-life by hiding in the trunk of a visiting ex-pat fleeing Romania and his own gypsy, but royal roots courtesy of his mom’s affair with a prince? Let’s hope! Anyway, Sonja’s only comment about Lu’s extra chompers (all the better to bite you with a snarky comment, my dear) is to worry how Lu accomplishes blowjobs. Sonja then demonstrates how blowjobs work, and what parts of the mouth are most essential. Luann warns if she’s not careful the poor man could end up with “railroad tracks.” Why do I think there is some sort of fetish porn for this type of thing, and some sort of knock-off porn version of Sonja and Lu’s convo called Crass With The C-ntess will emerge?
Moving along, Jules is at home pretending to cook things. Her apartment is a little dark and musty-seeming, even though it’s huge, high-ceiling-ed, and new. Jules is a “stay-at-home mom” with a full-time live-in nanny and a housekeeper. But, still, she’s busy, busy, busy! Dinner for the family is essentially frozen stuff and spaghetti she tossed together just in time for the nanny to drag the kids through the door, and her venture capitalist husband Michael swans in.
Jules parenting…. well, she says “bribery” is her most useful parenting tool. Not nannies? Speaking of nannies, Jules is half-Jewish/half-Japanese but claims she gets confused with the Filipino nanny when she’s carting her blonde daughter Rio around. Apparently other nannies, noticing her clothes, wonder about her salary. Oh Jules…
Jules and Michael were childhood friends, who re-met as adults. He’s 10 years older and was used to dating Eastern European models, but had to marry a Jewish girl, so he picked the most non-Jewish looking Jewess he could find – that would be Jules! With her hair that hangs flat and lank down her back like a cape. This ain’t no Kyle Richards hair, although Jules is already showing off her hair-copter and hair-flipping it with reckless abandon into people’s faces and food. I never thought we’d find a Housewife with more annoying hair-skills, but here we be!
Jules’ family dinner is basically insanity. The kids aren’t sitting at the table, her son, Jagger (5) was supposed to eat spaghetti, but is instead bashing a bagel and screaming, refusing to eat it, even though Jules promises he can feed half to the dog. Then he’s stole popsicles out of the freezer after Jules told him no. Michael barely looks up as he brags their 5-year-old is “negotiating.”
Carole is happy with Adam, and they are shitting their modern love story all over NYC. Carole had baby fever, which she dubs a “nesting urge,” so she adopted a puppy and named it “Baby.” All kindsa wrong misanthropic metaphor there. But Adam loves Baby as his own.
Carole and Adam take Baby with them to a camera store – even though it says “No Dogs Allowed,” but Carole jokes that Baby is a service dog. A service dog that’s not feeling well and is going to the vet, so Carole collected a poop sample and put it in a coffee cup, which she places on the counter of the camera store! Well, at least Adam bought a camera for his upcoming trip to Ethiopia (Bethenny will surely have to delete him on IG over that!). Meanwhile, Carole will be staying home, wiping Baby’s butt, and pining for his safe return.
Carole is still not over her issues with Luann as she berates Lu for maligning her character and announces that she will not have Adam in the same room with Luann, who makes them both “uncomfortable.” Uhhh… is Carole Adam’s mommy, or his lady?
Speaking of love, it’s John and Dorinda’s monthly anniversary, so he takes her out to dinner. He’s so happy, that walking through the door of an expensive restaurant, John hands a homeless guy $5 and seems impressed with his own generosity.
Dorinda is wearing a dress that zips up the front. John, “the chubby toddler” she is forced to lug around, can’t contain himself – or keep his hands to himself – as he zips it up for “Good Little Johnny” and down for “Naughty Johnny.” Dorinda – time for all of Johnny to take a perma-time out. Instead, Dorinda is wondering if John should move in with her now that Hannah, her daughter, is moving out.
In addition to a new apartment, Bethenny has a new office, but one thing remains the same – she’s still not divorced! The elevator smells like weed, and that is the only chill thing going on there. Bethenny barges in, lectures her staff about giving Skinnygirl a fresh, fierce look even if they have to screw their boyfriends on the desks to have a good idea, then she storms out after opening the electric bill from the apartment Jason is squatting in. Bethenny is, shall we say, in the weeds.
In between mating, Ramona is lunching. First she meets Bethenny where they lament the constant state of drunkeness that is Sonja. Ramona, who is now single, and has an image to protect on the dating scene and cannot go out with her. Ramona complaining that someone is embarrassing? Mmmmkay! They also bond over disliking John. Bethenny complains that Dorinda is constantly trying to convince them to like him, but she don’t do propaganda. Oh, so what the hell is all that Skinnygirl garbage propped up in every corner of every scene?
Next, Ramona has lunch with Carole, who literally says all of two things. First, when Ramona mispronounces reggae as “ri-gay” Carole corrects her. After several prompts, Ramona finally, triumphantly manages “ray-gay.” Ramona talks non-stop, rambling on, about anything and everything, until Carole wonders if Ramona behaves this way on dates. Carole advises, “Someone once told me: Talk less, smile more.” Was that someone Lee Radziwill, because that advice is straight out of 1880. Without missing a beat, Ramona cackles that if she and Carole combined themselves they’d be the perfect woman. I don’t know that there’s any combining Carole’s wannabe Carrie Bradshaw forever “Hot Child In The City” style with Ramona’s satin cocktail dresses, but I’d love to try it. We could create a fashion monster!
Finally Bethenny brings a date, John, (who DOES look vaguely like Jason!) to meet Dorinda, her John, Jules and Michael for brunch. John annoys Bethenny from the get-go: All he talks about is dry-cleaning, which he shamelessly self-promotes. Interesting that this bothers Bethenny. Someone once told me: “We dislike in other’s what we know is annoying about ourselves…” Aside from all that, John is annoying – he keeps pointing at Dorinda’s shirt like there’s a stain (there isn’t), then running his finger up to bop her in the nose, like one of those annoying grandfather jokes. “Ugh… ” groans Bethenny. Agreed.
Jules arrives and gets right to the business of explaining that her job, as a mom with nannies, is harder than Michael’s job. Luckily she does get a paycheck since she has a credit card. Bethenny forms an instant dislike for Jules and sneers about Jules being one of those ‘kept women’ who thinks money comes from the money tree and earns her funds by reaching for Michael’s wallet. There is something off-kilter about Jules, and I’m just gonna say it: I don’t like her!
Since Betheny is in a bad mood over the whole Jules thing she starts passive-aggressively making comments about Dorinda getting way too drunk at a party in the Hamptons. A weird scene occurred where John literally carried her out. Bethenny seemed to be hinting it was abusive. “I get emotional when I drink,” Dorinda acknowledges, trying to minimize the situation. She’s embarrassed Bethenny brought it up, because it discredits her in front of friends, and makes her look bad. Bethenny’s poor date! I hope he was compensated handsomely from the Skinnygirl Safe.
There’s something else – Jules reminds Bethenny of her mother. Particularly her thinness. Bethenny, who declares that she owns the expertise on being naturally thin (since she – shameless plug! – wrote a book), knows when someone is unnaturally thin. Someone like Jules. Bethenny knows this because although Bethenny never had an eating disorder (didn’t she tell us repeatedly about her bulimic past?!), her mother did.
Bethenny whispers her eating disorder speculations to Dorinda. Then Jules plops down next to Bethenny, swinging her hair in Bethenny’s face. Bethenny suggests that Jules be Princess Leia for Halloween, and Michael could be R2D2! She laughs hysterically while Michael looks crestfallen – being sensitive about his height and all – and Dorinda cringes. Maybe Bethenny and John – Dorinda’s John – should get together since they both have zero social couth!
TELL US – FIRST IMPRESSION OF JULES? IS BETHENNY TAKING HER MEAN STREAK TOO FAR? ARE YOU LOVING LUONJA AS ROOMMATES?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]