Last night’s Real Housewives Of New York reunion was dominated by one tantruming, feet-stomping toddler bellowing “I can say what I want!” No – I did not turn my three-year-old loose on Andy, but after witnessing the un-checked behavior of Bethenny Frankel, I’m certainly not comfortable letting anyone at Bravo babysit. OK, maybe Jules Wainstein, if she brings her “waiting on line” nanny and potty training expert.
Things begin with Luann de Lesseps calling Bethenny a “horrible person” for calling her boyfriend’s teenage daughter to “verify” she didn’t have an affair*, which resulted in Bethenny standing over Luann to scream “LieAnn” (nice twitter steal) in her face. Luann telling Bethenny she’s “evil” didn’t even cause Bethenny to flinch – despite what the previous depicted.
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Additionally Bethenny claims Dennis finds her Real Housewives antics funny – specifically her rampage in the Berkshires. Bethenny smirks that although Dennis has not given her “copious notes” dissecting what he enjoys about her outbursts, he found the tirade amusing. I’m just gonna let this all sit there… …. …. …. …. #BirdsOfAFeather
Then Andy dives into Bethenny’s fibroids. Then her divorce. She cries. Again. Because Bravo’s special-ist snowflake has all the emotions so hard. Bethenny’s emotions are the hardest emotions, and they must be petted and coddled, and revisited til time is nigh.
Who the hell cares! And who the hell records themselves sobbing into the empty closet over the loss of a love they faked for a TV show? Oh, the same person who vociferously declares that she never lies while being caught in lies.
Will Bethenny literally say anything to get attention? Does Tamra Judge need to hop shows and perform an exorcism?! *YES – immediately.
Anytime Bethenny gets called out for hypocrisy or shameful behavior, she retorts with, “I can say whatever I want!” Yeah, technically you can, but, see, there are these things called “consequences.” Insisting that because you can do something, it’s also the right thing to do, is literally the logic of children.
Bethenny lectures Jules for age-shaming, yet believes she’s allowed to weight shame and slut shame, be the authority on everyone’s personal life, and it’s acceptable for her to say whatever she wants about others because they’re “on a reality show,” all while simultaneously declaring that she’s not discussing her relationships because they’re personal. Hmmmm… Paging Tamra Judge – the patron saint of Housewives has become possessed.
No, Bethenny shouldn’t have to share about all the f–ks she engages in, as much as she shares about all the f–ks she doesn’t give, but she shouldn’t have the right to omit large swaths, while proclaiming all the other women liars for doing the same. Doesn’t that seem, oh, a bit … um… well, for lack of a better word, delusional? (If I had a dollar for every time a Housewife used that word…)
Bethenny has had issues with nearly every woman on this show – issues SHE has created because she covets drama. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander, right? If Bethenny wants to blow up other people’s lives under the auspice of keeping things honest, she has to be willing to blow up her own life too.
Thankfully Bravo subtly shaded Bethenny‘s fib when they featured footage of her OBVIOUSLY gushing over dates with a then un-named Dennis, loooooong before Bethenny was so-called dating him. Loooooong before he was so-called separated. Why wouldn’t she feature this burgeoning, beautiful love on RHONY? It would be a story line of redemption: Bethenny had it all and lost it, but now she’s finding love again… Gripping stuff, right?
As Luann said, Bethenny can dish it out, but she can’t take it! And Jules can’t eat it. Cause it’s TOTALLY fine to mock Jules‘ eating disorder, because that’s funny, says Bethenny, but menopause jokes – crossing the line! (Both suck).
Jules finally gets her moment in the shade, when Andy runs down her paltry little moments of trying to ruffle feathers which amounted to ‘Who put the fork in the calzone?’. Or the joke that never came to pass, but was passed around again and again as a reason to hate on Jules and constantly discuss her weight in an unkind way.
Look – Jules is a mess. She’s also too kindhearted and gun-shy for this show, and although in more stable personal circumstances she may have been amazing, staring down the barrel of Bethenny‘s mouth, Jules got the stutters. It seems Jules is ass-backwards in all things. She assumed her daffy humor and quirky defense mechanisms, her trolling of Housewives cliches, and her cosplaying the spoiled NYC socialite would come across as a zany Kim Zolciak character we love to hate. Jules obviously didn’t account for her marriage falling apart (or maybe she did, but I don’t think so) coupled with Bethenny’s bellicose intentions.
Maybe Bethenny, who seems to know awful lot about what happens behind these women’s closed doors for someone who doesn’t give any f–ks, got wind that Jules and Michael were a divorce waiting to happen, and decided to teach Jules a lesson, but I’m banking on Bethenny merely deciding Jules would be an easy target for evisceration. Another Sonja Morgan who would forever stare wide-eyed into the sun whenever Bethenny pointed upwards and shouted “Look!” Blinding herself time and time again. Jules is smarter than she appears – as is Sonja – and she’s also more mindful of what it’s like to shield her emotional reserves.
Luckily Jules had Dorinda Medley to be her knight in shining armor. When Bethenny outright accuses Jules of coming on the show to divorce, because there was a prenup situation she was trying to evade, Dorinda immediately shouts Bethenny down. “That’s none of your business,” she chastises. Bethenny tries to argue that it is. Um, no. Sharing gossipy mutual friends doesn’t give one the right to play judge and jury (didn’t Bethenny just freak out at Luann for doing essentially the same thing?!).
Bethenny can’t help going lower by calling Jules out as making Jews look bad. That’s when Jules breaks. “Don’t you DARE!” she husks, the anger simmering in her voice. Oh, but Bethenny will always dare. What is it Bethenny says about Luann – that she can never do the right thing?
Jules can’t discuss her divorce and Andy doesn’t press. What she does talk about is her eating disorder, and now she’s healthier than ever (she does look great – flushed and youthful). Jules took offense to the uncharitable way Bethenny and Carole Radziwill were questioning and discussing it. Jules felt she could trust Bethenny, only to be isolated from the group, and then denigrated. Carole denies it, and maintains it was a “misunderstanding.” Carole has a lot of those, per her Twitter and the words that half-heatedly plop out of her mouth, listlessly dribbling onto the the many bibs of her dress as she feebly mutters things.
Later, Carole tries to babble about Adam, but Luann dismisses her. It was rude, yes, but honestly with Carole – meh. I’d say she needs a ghostwriter for her train of thought, but she already has one: Bethenny.
Carole also scoffs at the implication that hanging out with Bethenny has turned her into a mean girl. She’d rather just have people think she’s unfathomably arrogant and callous, doesn’t mind alienating people or humiliating them, and that she’s openly snide about other’s circumstances and situations. Higher-level Housewife!
She’s as higher-level as Bethenny is homeless, and Luann is in love.
Moving along, Luann has gone mad. This is your brain on Bravo. Or Bethenny. Probably both. The CIA has taken over and we are witnessing the Frankenstein effect of Andy trying to remake his inner-most nascent thoughts into women roaming the wilds of Manhattan. I’ve been watching Stranger Things lately. And the stranger things have come to Bravo. Like Luann’s COMPLETE denial over Tom.
I’m with Ramona Singer here. No, her receipts didn’t add up – an article from Radar Online confirming her Tom dates, coupled with a blurry cell phone photo taken by Bethenny’s Tom-Tailing PI (everyone in Manhattan is after Tom’s tail, or riding it already!) of the RS + TD heart. RS + TD = Ramona Dodged A Bullet (which then hit Luann in the gut).
After Luann once again goes to bat for Tom‘s murky truths, Ramona leans over in her negligee from Courtney Love’s 1994 Delia’s collection, to gently and kindly share that she is worried for Luann. There are not just red flags, there are red armies, marching over the horizon carrying cannons meant to shatter Luann’s hopeful, desperate, yearning heart. As a semi sort of frenemy of convenience, Ramona hopes Luann knows what she’s doing. Luann shrugs helplessly, for a second her armor seems chinked, but as a warrior for soulmates, she inhales sharply and goes right back to reading from the cue cards Tom printed out.
As Ramona rattles off the list of dates she and Tom have publicly engaged in – including one where super-sleuth Bethenny crashed – Luann just dead-eyed continues her spiel of Tom’s amazingness. As Tom’s lies get dismantled again and again, she just carries on repeating the PR-approved spin:
Tom is a milt-millionaire who enjoys sailing, playing Yahtzee with attractive ladies of a certain age, sharing bottles of wine at The Regency, and partying on his yacht with P Diddy. He is also the co-owner of several successful businesses which produce such premium products as Nigerian football team uniforms, unisex perfumes for men and women to throw off the scent of cheating, and a full-bodied collection of sparkling ciders called Tipsy Boi. In his spare time, you can find Tom cruising the hallways of WWHL, impersonating one of Sonja’s many interns. He is also soulmate of Luann, who will willingly forsake her title for this amazing commoner, with whom they share several common denominators.
It’s a lost cause. Truly it is Lost. Lost. Lost. Luann will lose her title, just as she has lost the smattering of respect she once had. Or maybe hope will prevail and she’ll leave him at the alter in a televised wedding?! Dorinda, eternal optimist, peace-maker with purpose, precocious pot-stirrer, and the only woman with actual integrity, merely resigns herself to supporting Luann the best she can. If Luann is happy locked within the walls of her delusion (and Tom’s seemingly controlling ways!), at least they’ll likely get to attend a beautiful wedding!
Well, Sonja probably won’t be attending. Apparently when Tom is not dating Housewives, he’s socially threatening them. Is this guy like Bravo’s version of the mafia? Sonja ran into Tom at Beautique, and he demanded she tell everyone they only slept together once or she wouldn’t be invited to the wedding. Sonja refuses to lie to cover Tom’s ass. What happens in Beautique doesn’t always stay in Beautique though – and WHAT WAS TOM DOING IN BEAUTIQUE WITHOUT LUANN?!
Sonja, who spent the better part of a season waxing poetically about the ten beautiful years she spent as Tom‘s under-cover lover, now admits with hesitation that she really only slept with him, maybe, five times. Exaggerate much, Jill Zarin? But two of those times Sonja went to Tom’s house so that makes them worth double, right?! Luann maintains they slept together only once, because Tom said so. Because his record is so impeccable! Andy laughs, then confronts Luann about refusing to believe Sonja, her long-time friend, over the word of a proven liar. The answer, for Luann, is simple: Tom is her soulmate.
Even Sonja has to throw her hands up on that one – she loves Lu, as she says, more than than she loves Tom. At least Luann has friends who care.
Dorinda is yelled at for pot-stirring, and she doesn’t deny it or try to defend it. Dorinda is nosy as all hell, and with all the drama blowing up, who wouldn’t be?! I’d be trying to get all the stories too – it’s just so…juicy, juicy apple! Who slept with whom, what, when, where, how and is it on film is riveting. It is the peak of Housewives quadrilaterals and one which any good social scientist would pick apart angle by angle. Bethenny and Carole have animus to Dorinda’s shit-stirring that is confusing. What exactly Dorinda she do to them?
All this anger leads me to believe there is MUCH, MUCH MUCH more to this issue between Jules, Bethenny, and Carole than was ever shown, and they blame Dorinda. It appears Bethenny is pissy that Jules confronted her over dinner those many moons ago. But that can’t be it – what really went down? What was actually said?
Dorinda admits she might not meddle so much in the future, but she will always defend her Jules, who was unfairly targeted. And Bethenny will always say whatever she wants!
As a shocked Jules told Bethenny, “You can say whatever you want, but you’re going to look bad.” Sage advice, but far too late!
And in homage to both Stranger Things, and the stranger things unfurling on RHONY, I leave you with this consideration: “Should I stay or should I go now.. If I stay there will be trouble.. If I go it will be doubly.. So c’mon and let me know.” (also, watch Stranger Things. Bethenny will seem less weird by default).
** Last night Bethenny was on WWHL and admitted to texting Dennis daughter to arrange the phone call before it was made. #NoWords #ToiletBowlPerson
TELL US – DOES BETHENNY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHATEVER SHE WANTS? WILL LUANN LEAVE TOM? DORINDA: POT-STIRRER OR GOOD FRIEND?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]