It’s premiere night for Bravo’s newest experiment with real friends navigating life and love on the North Shore of Long Island: Secrets and Wives. Bravo follows six ladies, Andi Black, Susan Doneson, Cori Goldfarb, Gail Greenberg, Amy Miller, and Liza Sandler, who’ve grown up together, gotten married – and divorced – together, and are living out their pitfalls and triumphs under the microscope of a close-knit community where no one is exempt from criticism. Although my first impression of the promos for this show was “ugh, yet another housewife knockoff!!” I’m kind of revising that thinking now that I’ve seen just how real the ties are among this group of ladies. Many of them went to high school together (the throwback photos alone rival RHONJ in their ‘80s awesomeness!), and more than a few of them have gotten a bit messy-boots with their inter-dating histories.
We first meet Cori Goldfarb, who’s yelling at her dog and complaining to her housekeeper, with the help of a Smartphone Spanish translation app. Cori describes the North Shore of Long Island as one of the “premiere suburbs in the country,” kind of like Beverly Hills. (But kind of…not.) Cori is still married to her first husband, Sandy, which makes her somewhat of an anomaly in her town. Friend Amy Miller says Cori & Sandy were the “It” couple back in the day. Sandy & Cori recently opened a business together, a high-end spa, which they funded by selling off their beloved Hamptons home. Although Cori sometimes wants to smother him with a pillow “until he, like, stops breathing,” she says she still loves Sandy. The couple have four daughters together.
I’ve already done double duty tonight, channeling my inner Mr. Belvedere and presenting myself with some running socks (sadly, I own no shoes with red soles) and a viewing drink so that my kaftan-clad (well, a bathrobe, but it’s fancy) self would be socially primed to watch the Southern Charmreunion the way it should be watched…channeling Patricia Altschul. I’m still upset with Andy Cohen for not stepping up the reunion game and bringing the final round to Charleston and out of the WWHL clubhouse. Next year, right?
The cast is prepping for the big night in New York City, and everyone is already anticipating a great deal of drama. Andy compliments Shepard “Sheppie” Rose on his mature and stylish attire and addresses Thomas Ravenel as “Senator,” although T-Rav claims to have no more future political aspirations. The host notes he stuck in the hot seat (and potentially in the line of physical fire) between Thomas and Kathryn Dennis before high-fiving Craig Conover. Enough with the pleasantries, Andy. This hour is going to fly by as it is!
Speaking of, Scrappy is hosting his mom, her ex-husband Ernest who she sent to the clink a few years back who has returned from jail even more in love, his mother Bessie who isn’t Dee’s biggest fan due to the incarceration, and the prince’s sister Jasmine who can’t fathom why her mom wants to reconcile with Ernest. Oh, and Bambi and Jasmine’s boyfriend Rico are in attendance as well, but they aren’t likely going to bring much drama to this table. Dee blesses the meal, and Scrappy prays for a conflict-free evening. Dee addresses the elephants in the room, and Bessie cries that it was difficult to learn how to forgive Dee for sending her son to jail. Bessie contends there are better ways to punish your drug-dealing, verbally abusive, car-stealing husband than to call the cops on him. Just make him fend for himself on laundry for a week! Jasmine interrupts that Ernest is an opportunist for wanting to get back together with Dee after she put him away for seven years. Dee threatens to whoop Jasmine’s butt up and down Atlanta, but Scrappy does his best to mediate. Can’t everyone behave like adults? Ernest believes they have a long way to go before they’ll be a big, happy family. Ernest…mastering the understatement since 1984.
It’s time to revisit the Hamptons for the ladies of Blood, Sweat, and Heels, and so far it’s not going well. Whodathunkit? This place seems cursed ever since last season’s fiasco at the very same locale. This year, the ladies are making a weekend getaway out of Demetria Lucas‘ upcoming wedding photo shoot, taking place at a castle nearby. Daisy Lewellyn is upset about the laughing and snickering Demetria, Melyssa Ford, and Arzo Anwar were engaging in the night prior as Daisy was updating Geneva Thomas on her cancer news. She feels disrespected and slighted. While Geneva eats breakfast in her shades, she ponders why Demetria is so shady. She didn’t invite Geneva to the wedding photoshoot (and uninvited her to her wedding…sort of), so a hurting Geneva calls her mom for support, then discusses the mess with Mica Hughes(of all people!) and Arzo. Who did Demetria invite along to the shoot? Melyssa. Yes, let’s just let that sink in for a moment.
At her photo shoot, Demetria’s mother Camille meets her for support. Demetria looks up to her mother as the OG feminist who is her greatest role model, although she admits her mother is more proud of Demetria getting married than of all her writing and business accomplishments. Which isn’t very feministy of her. The grounds of the shoot are gorgeous, but back at Casa de Leftovers, the girls are griping about the fact that Melyssa is suddenly Demetria’s BFF. Chantelle Fraser takes Arzo aside to apologize for her perceived “racist” comment, which Arzo accepts, then apologizes in return for her insults against Chantelle. Back at the castle, Demetria’s getting her inner princess on. So, what are the Leftovers to do? The entire group heads to an apple orchard to get their inner Girl Scout on instead. Boom.
So far, this season of Little Women: NY has been bringing us a lot of bickering, but not much substance. But on this week’s finale episode, things get a bit more real (well, for “reality” TV, that is!). We begin at the ice skating rink with Kristin Zettlemoyer, Jason Perez, Jordanna James, andDawn Lang, who have all just returned from their Puerto Rico trip. Dawn’s not skating because of her brittle bone disease, which puts her at risk for broken bones easily. Kristin and Dawn have mended fences, as have Jason and Jordanna. But Misty Irwin is the new target of everyone’s anger because of her wishy-washy behavior, disloyalty, and general inability to tell the truth (as Kristin sees it). Everyone’s drinking the haterade at the rink, though, and jumps on board bashing Misty for basically being a bad friend. Because Kristin lives with Misty, she’s stressing the most over the situation.
But stress be damned! Because it’s Kristin’s 38th birthday soon and the group wants to throw her a party at which everyone will argue and back-stab. At Jordanna’s apartment later, her boyfriend Anthony tells her he got a job as an air traffic controller (yay!) that means he has to leave her for three months (boo!). She’s thrilled for him, but doesn’t want him to go. Later,Lila Call, Jordanna, and Jason go shopping for Kristin’s birthday bash. They don’t have a venue, cake, or food, but why not shop for costumes first? Good plan. Jordanna knows that Kristin’s biological clock is ticking, so she may not be thrilled about turning another year older. But Kristin’s much younger boyfriend, Josh, will be at the party to cheer her up. Again, good plan (?). They decide on a 1920s theme party, but nix Jason’s fantasy of Josh popping out of a cake wearing nothing but his birthday suit.
Well, apparently the hemisphere doesn’t make a difference when it comes to Abby Lee Miller’s hateful ways, but the mothers on last night’s Dance Moms may have annoyed me even more than the tyrannical teacher. At least we got to see some precious animals and some great performances. The girls are spending their down time feeding kangaroos and koalas, and even though Holly, Nia, Jessalyn, and JoJo are in attendance, the girls won’t be performing in the upcoming expo with their ALDC teammates. Kira and Kalani are touring Sydney on their own, and Holly finds it odd that Nia attends everything and isn’t included, but the opposite is true for Kira and Kalani.
The group number is a Mad Max theme, and Holly interrupts to share that Nia will be giving a concert in Melbourne the same day the group will perform. She’d love to have all of her friends and Nia’s teammates to come show their support. Jill doesn’t see how they’ll be able to do both their performance and Nia’s show in one day–sorry! Abby doesn’t even pretend to hide her disgust, rolling her eyes and making faces. Jessalyn then scolds the team for making fun of JoJo after a video was leaked online. The girls offer up their apologies, and JoJo handles herself more maturely than any of the mothers. Holly and Jessalyn complain that their daughters are being excluded, but Jill believes this is Holly’s punishment for not allowing Abby to manage Nia’s music career. Jessalyn confronts Abby about why some dancers are constantly criticized, yet others can make big mistakes that are never addressed. To whom could she be referring? Abby shares that she tends to humiliate those who repeat mistakes in hopes of making them realize their issues. Jill breaks it down in simpler terms…Maddie is protected from criticism.
Things begin with another birthday – this time the birthday belongs to Dorinda Medley, who is turning 50. She wants to celebrate by returning Ramona to a place of torment and doom: The BERKSHIRES. Ramona gets the sniffles and can’t breathe. She fans herself. Her thumbs twitch as she texts her friend with the private plane to be on retainer. Just kidding – Ramona actually has a cold, but that’s not gonna stop her from going on a date. Ramona’s tissues bring all the boys to the yard! And they’re like her germs are better than mine!
So, it took me the entire second season of Southern Charm to realize that every episode begins with the Charmers waking up at their respective residences across the Lowcountry. Nice touch, Bravo! Last night’s finale begins the same way, but this time Craig Conover is bright-eyed and bushy tailed as he calls Cameran Eubanks and Shepard “Shep” Rose to tease them about their drunken antics the night before at Thomas Ravenel’s post-campaign party. Shep can’t remember his jovial speech (it’s hilarious), but he does recall Kathryn Dennis’ crazy behavior. Craig concedes that maybe he should just work on himself instead of trying to help new friends on the path to normalcy. It may be Craig’s most intelligent statement all season!
Across the peninsula, at Patricia Altshul’s mansion, she’s enlisted famed designer Mario Buatta to help her rejuvenate her parlor. Together, their projects have donned the pages of multiple Architectural Digests, and she trusts him to marry her decor visions of antiques, classic fabrics and textures, and mini collections of expensive limoges. Whitney Sudler-Smith arrives, and Mario teases him about his tight fitting pants (is that scotch tape or a zipper?), citing they look like a cheap hotel. A cheap hotel typically doesn’t have a ballroom. I am dying. Mrs. Pat defends her son, saying his trousers are undoubtedly expensive, but Mario’s humor isn’t lost on me. Whitney’s jeans don’t have room for his balls. Score one for Mario! An unfazed Whitney, relays Kathryn’s meltdown from the party as Mrs. Pat explains the backstory to Mario. For this former teacher, P. E. no longer stands for physical education.