bethenny frankel returns on rhony

Bethenny Frankel has come back home to Real Housewives Of New York, except she’s homeless. Are we even sure she lives in New York City at this point, or does she just live in the scaffolding of her own hubris? Delusionally elevating her to the heights of such paragons as Bill Gates and Oprah, whom Bethenny clarifies would not change their underwear in the back of a town car. Clearly, Bethenny doesn’t really know Oprah. Oprah so would! Martha Stewart on the other hand, she would never be so disorganized as to let the prickly fibers of a polyester seatbelt touch her vagi-steamed nether-regions. 

It’s clear right from the start Bethenny has an agenda on RHONY: to hawk Bethenny products and be the living incarnate of her Skinnygirl brand, but also to regain fan support by selling her old standby woe-is-me victim yarn. This time about her divorce and the horrible being she reproduced with known as Jason Hoppy, whom if she saw on the street she would ignore as a stranger.


Which is pretty much how Bethenny’s marriage came about, right? She saw that putz basically on the street, he was a willing victim-participant, so she funneled his hose into her spinoff. In short, Bethenny is trying to be the Bethenny of yore; hoping we’ll ignore all the things we’ve learned in the aftermath of her Bravolebrity dissipating, replaced with the all-consuming jaw of her narcissism.

But, really, Bethenny hasn’t changed. She’s still Bethenny, the B isn’t back – she never went away – she’s aways been a woman on a mission, with an agenda to sell an image of herself, in order to sell a product of herself. She’s a living product, except now the Skinnygirl brand is a trifling shell of it’s former potential, not at all unlike its creator. Bethenny wants us all to believe she’s grown and changed and learned and has moved-on, but all she can talk about is how Jason wronged her. Bethenny thinks by behaving as the Bethenny who catapulted to stardom way back on RHONY season 1 when SATC and Carrie Bradshaw love was fresh in our conscious, she can turn back time, reclaim our debit card-wielding devotion, and make us feel sorry enough to love her again. Hey – I guess it’s worth a shot!

Bethenny’s play for our sympathies begins immediately when she, assistant in tow, checks into the presidential suite of a posh hotel complaining that she’s homeless and doing million-dollar deals out of a suitcase instead of from the grand TriBeCa palace she created which is currently being squatted in by her gnarly ex-husband desperate to seize her success and take credit for her hard work. Bethenny’s refrain throughout the show will be of how she is homeless, alternated with telling us she owns three homes: one stolen by HE who shall not be named but rimes with Spason Jalopy, one in the Hamptons which she had to purchase because she needed a summer house for Bryn, and a third in the city currently under renovations which she cannot occupy because the tile is as offensive as HIS’s face. 

Later Bethenny will tell a riveting story of namedropping which involves her grinding on Jamie Foxx while wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown to a star-studded gala, only to be informed that Mr. de la Renta had just died and it was magical moment of metaphor for our little mogul, who then launched into a speed-talking description of how she doesn’t’ care what people think – even if she’s accused of f–king pigs (which she has done <ahem… JH>. Such are the ways of the homeless tycoon that her priceless gown is now in a suitcase… either at the Ritz, her house in the Hamptons, or in Cookie’s portable Fiji trough. 

One person who has gone the opposite direction is LuAnn de Lessps. LuAnn has given up trying to be “The Countess” – instead seizing the opportunity to be herself with gusto. She’s moved downtown, shed the veneer of image, bought a cozy new home in the Hamptons, and is dating and dancing and laughing and cracking jokes about how she needs to lose weight but that would lower her tolerance. 

LuAnn de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel catch-up

LuAnn sidles into Bethenny’s fancy hotel room looking effortless, casting no aspersions but plenty of observations that cut just the right note of shade, without being snarky. Bethenny is talking so fast, trying to spit-out her zany remarks, making one wacky analogy after another, that I practically need subtitles. Is she hard of hearing? Or just hardly hearing anyone but herself? 

But LuAnn matches her point-for-point, candidly and with languor as they chat breaking-up and friendships over Skinnygirl cocktails. Because she’s living out of suitcases, Bethenny dubs herself the emperor who has no clothes – which must be why she’s borrowing Bryn’s.  Bethenny describes LuAnn as “Switzerland” because she doesn’t get “down and dirty” in the mess. Instead Lu is hosting a Hamptons soiree to celebrate moving on. 

Kristen Taekman is still in her apartment, with the CB2 rugs, but things have changed. Josh bought her new boobs and now their life together is great – she can even go out with the gals without worrying about him leaving a kid in the elevator while he watches football! Kirsten meets Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson for drinks. Lu shows up in a black leather jacket while Heather is spooning organic vodka into Carole’s mouth like mother hen because Carole’s new diet is comprised of butter, cucumbers, and vodka. In what order or combination, I am perplexed. 

RHONY season 7 premiere

LuAnn announces she’s having an all-inclusive soiree in the Hamptons for all the girls – yes, even Sonja Morgan. Even though Sonja has been “a bad friend” to LuAnn and a drunken, smarmy, floozy living in her delusions of grandeur to everyone else. Sonja’s drinki-drinkfers will apparently be a hotly contested issue this season!

Carole is writing a sequel to The Widow’s Guide… but to be honest she’s not really working. She’s more or less demotivated and frittering away the hours having fun while entertaining the idea of writing on a pilot based on her book, which a network requested. Carole’s editor lectures her and demands she get a baby-sitter, not to be confused with a ghostwriter, because she’s missing deadlines. Carole smiles a wan smile, looks starry-eyed at her coffee cup, and instead imagines the butter-martini she’ll be drinking with the hot barrista later that evening. She’s living the Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating instead of writing it, right?!  

Not having a good time, but finally getting real and honest is Ramona Singer! Her divorce is in full-swing, so she meets Sonja for a drink to catch-up. Or rather Ramona, thinks a conversation will take place. Apparently Ramona likes conversing now… Whereas before Tweedle Drunk and Tweedle F–k just merely chirped over each other in increasingly manic tones, now Ramona wants to express sincere feelings of how Mario has cheated, become a shadow of the man he was, and effortlessly washed 25-years of marriage down the drain while demanding she forget he cheated and never speak of it again. He also blamed her for treating him badly and making him want to cheat. SO yeah, he’s a piece of shit! 

Ramona Singer is emotional about divorce

Instead of clucking about how horrible it must be for her friend to learn, in front of her daughter, that the man she loved and vowed to love for life finds her insufferable and doesn’t understand how this has become his life, Sonja just talks louder and louder “divorce competing” over whose ex and whose divorce and whose situation is worser. Not only that but who loved harder and more and was hurt the mostest. DeNile is a long ass pinot river and Ramona had been coasting on turtle time, but now she is forced to paddle through the Mario issues that have started to engulf her and needs soothing cups of pinotea and working air conditioner units, but Sonja is only offering Sonjaisms. Ramona gives up, realizing this must be what it felt like for her friends all these years, listening to her self-addled yammer chipping away at their sanity, refusing to be dented with observation or truth. 

So she visits her friend Dorinda Medley, the new lady. Dorinda’s low-key and downtown, she lives in a fancy building and has a staff, but keeps it funky. Her husband, Richard, died suddenly in 2011 and Ramona was true friend through it all. Dorinda returns the favor and listens supportively as Ramona cries over breakfast about how Mario broke her heart. Dorinda encourages her to hold her head high knowing she tried as hard as she could to salvage her marriage. Ramona quips that she no longer cares about image or what people think – she’ll even deign to vacation in the Berkshires! 

Dorinda’s daughter Hannah lives with her, and although Hannah is technically an adult, she’s still finding herself in a shoebox purchased with mommy’s purloined Black Card. “How does one find themselves on the Upper East Side?” Dorinda muses. Apparently at Fendi where the complicated diplomacy of returning one-of-a-kind purses must be dispatched with supplication. Dorinda admits to spoiling Hannah, who took Richard’s death very hard. 

Dorinda has moved on to a new man – she is dating the Poison Gorga of the Park Ave, John, a Jersian if I’ve ever seen one, whose family owns Madame Paulette – the legendary couture restorationist and dry cleaners. They also do vintage superbly! Dorinda fell in love with John amid her love of freshly starched, chemical-free steam pressing because she even dry cleans Hanes Her Way, and John lets Dorinda have things her way. Hannah is less enthused. I’m wondering if John is fleecing something in the museum-quality Schiaparelli (I kid, because he has a total Sopranos vibe!). 

Over at Sonja’s she cannot move on. Much like Bethenny she stays elevated in her former glory, musing about the times of yore. She rattles tangentially about the girls thinking she’s loser because she declared bankruptcy, but she’s a movie producer, a businesswoman, an international real estate tycoon! And they’ll all see! She’s also wrangling the impressionable young destinies of several interns while providing them the invaluable service of learning What Not To Do. “I used to be classy, now I’m trashy!” she announces glibly.

sonja morgan gets a facial

Sonja waxes poetic about how lucky she is to be sued because that means she has some coins, while her facialist is giving her is a solid gold facial, as the dog snoozes atop her. Meanwhile the interns make fleeting SOS distress symbols from the third story window, but it’s so corroded with unrestrained ivy, no one can tell they’re even there. 

Sonja vows the ladies will see, they will understand that she is doing things! Great things! Creating fashion lines of note! Because of the women second-guessing her Sonja isn’t sure she wants to attend LuAnn’s Hamptons gathering, especially since LuAnn has been so vociferous in polluting Sonja’s delusions. Speaking of delusional, Sonja claims Kristen is SWF-ing her. She’s stolen her facialist, her spray tanner, her nail girl – what’s next her toaster over?!

Across town Bethenny is lamenting the woes of being the richest little homeless girl in NYC. Poor little matchstick girl, looking through the windows of highrises from her limousine, wondering when someone will let her in, because her other 3 homes just won’t suffice!

Fredrik Eklund of Million Dollar Listing NY shows Bethenny an apartment she wants to buy for an office. Bethenny wisecracks until she cracks, then starts to bawl. She cries and cries about how she just has no place to go, how she is living out of a suitcase but she desperately wants another baby before her eggs refuse to hatch. But where would she put said baby?! In her house in the Hamptons, which she bought just to have a place to call home, or the one thieved from her in pettiness and spite, or the one that’s currently covered in renovations because the Skinnygirl emblem simply isn’t large enough. Bethenny has earned her fortune, made her mark, changed underwear in the same taxis as the greats, and suffered through peeing in front of a camera numerous times, only to be HOMELESS and forced to suffer the indignity of luxury hotels and corporate penthouse apartments. 

Bethenny Frankel is homeless

“Where will I go?!” she brays to Fredrik. “I’m so alone!” Instead of buying (or renting) a 4th place Bethenny should invest in a therapist. Instead she offers Fredrik what’s left of her ovaries, but he’ll have to retrieve them from the suitcase inside the loft Jason is hoarding. 

What is Bethenny playing at? I am curious to know. I want to give Bethenny another chance, to like her again, to see her grow and be different and not so… jaded or heavy-handed with the victim mongering. 


 [Photo Credits: Bravo]

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