On last night’s Real Housewives Of New York, we were introduced to the newest addition, Tinsley Mortimer, by way of Sonja Morgan and her Home For Scorned Socialites. Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill continue to hover in the background of the drama, while Luann de Lesseps and Dorinda Medley take center stage as they rail against Sonja’s accusations about Luann’s fiance, Tom D’Agostino. Oh, and Ramona Singer gets straight-up read by a butler, which is essentially far and away the episode highlight.
We open at Sonja’s house, where she’s dyeing her eyebrows and ordering interns to ferry her chocolate. Tinsley pops by to move the hell on in – complete with pillows! Once the “It Girl” girl of NYC, Tinsley fell hard when she splashed across the tabloids in stories revealing ongoing domestic disputes with her boyfriend, one of which resulted in her arrest. Tinsley, now less of an It Girl than a Who? Girl, is trying to rebuild her life. Mission one: find a different sort of guy to date. You know, one who you don’t need to call the police on weekly. Sonja is down for the cause.
CLICK CONTINUE READING FOR MORE!
Over at Bethenny’s, she’s dressed in a full leopard/cat costume for Halloween. Or just because Carole and Ramona are paying a visit and she wants to make it known that their cat fights are no longer a metaphor. Ramona doesn’t like taking her shoes off for just anyone, nor does she care about your puppy. She shall kick your puppy with her Jimmy Choo and you will like it! After some forced dog-petting (these pups are adorable though, so no hate!), Carole pipes up to announce she’s adopted two KI-ens. She is a parent too, yo! Not really, says Ramona. Dogs are like kids. You know what else is like kids? KIDS.
The ladies sit down to chat about Luann, Tinsley, and the election – all with equal ire. First, Luann didn’t invite Ramona to her bachelorette party
for obvious reasons and Ramona is still resentful. She’s all, “I wish her well! If she’s happy, I’m happy!” But Ramona and Ramona’s new face are clearly not happy AT ALL. Moving on to Tinsley, Bethenny recalls what she knows about the woman, the myth, the new Grey Gardens resident: Tinsley was a major socialite who “had the world at her fingertips” until it all came tumbling down. Then she made a reality show a few years back, dated a tech dude in Palm Beach with megabucks, and was ultimately arrested as a result of one (of many) incidents in their tempestuous relationship.
Carole thinks about the upcoming party they’ll all be attending and wonders if election talk will come up, which (at the time of filming) is like wondering if Ramona will act inappropriately in front of your nephew or the Pope. Hint: It’s GONNA HAPPEN. Ramona then makes a comment about the election that Carole thinks is uninformed, and suddenly Carole can barely restrain herself from getting into it with Turtle Time right here on these white couches.
Somehow, Carole partially swallows her bile…saving it for a more public setting, perhaps? She is on the edge, and one more word from Ramona could send her into a full facial meltdown. In an Ironic moment with a capital “I” Bethenny calls Carole a know-it-all and an elitist while Ramona swigs Pinot, not giving a flying f–k about Carole and her many splendored opinions. Ramona will read all the Facebook comments she wants, and inform herself solely from the scraps of newspaper stuck to the bottom of her shoe as she dances out of a bar bathroom stall! In short, Carole is barking up the wrong hair extensions.
Luann is out shopping for Sonja’s Mad Hatter’s party with her daughter, who sympathetically listens as Luann complains about Sonja and her snarky comments about Luann’s upcoming marriage. Sonja’s allegedly been slamming Dorinda for introducing Luann to Tom, and is publicly continuing the narrative that Luann’s marriage won’t last. So, basically, Sonja is saying what at least 50% of the internet is saying on any given day. But Sonja is supposed to be Luann’s friend, and her history with Tom (as loosely defined as it is) seems to be igniting an ongoing jealousy. She just can’t let this sh*t go.
Ah, but it’s a new day in Sonja’s life, as her roomie comes to greet her in bed. Tinsley is excited to be back in NYC, but is hesitant to reach out to old friends. She’s probably also hesitant to admit she recently attended Sonja’s off-Broadway sh*tshow. Tinsley breaks down a brief history of her life: She went to boarding school, was married to Topper Mortimer (the first guy she ever slept with) for 15 years, divorced three years ago, and life ultimately…brought her to Sonja’s spare bedroom. So, fill in the blanks.
She wants children, and froze her eggs to ensure that, at 41, she doesn’t have to rush the guy part. Sonja, in glasses with a tattered notepad in front of her, acts as Tinsley’s brokedown life coach, repeating things like “You’re 41. FORTY-ONE!” – you know, super encouraging things that make a gal feel real special. Head in hands, Tinsley rethinks what the actual hell she’s doing here. And what choices she needs to make to get out.
Bottom line: Tinsley just wants to move past her mugshot days, if only because her eyebrows were not filled in properly in that pic. <wink>
Dorinda is doing cryotherapy. And I just have a real question here: Did the entire Housewives franchise receive a deep group discount on cryo? Because this is perhaps the 17th time I’ve seen Bravo feature this schtick. Ramona joins Dorinda, repeating her “concerns” about Tom, which Dorinda has no time for. Ramona swears she’s going to shut Pandora’s box on the Tom investigation, but we’ll see about that. Dorinda has her own wounds to nurse, telling Ramona about Sonja blabbing all sorts of dirt on her around town. “She didn’t say anything to me,” says Ramona, who is likely more hurt that Sonja didn’t share gossip with the one person who would appreciate it most. As for Dorinda, she’s just amazed that Sonja can go around happily spreading dirt about others while she, herself, has a thousand pound bag of trash trailing behind her at all times.
Cut to Tinsley in the city, window shopping and eating street food. She’s not in the “in” crowd anymore, so will need to forge her own path. She visits a high end shop to try on dresses that she can no longer afford, reminiscing about the days when everyone wanted her photograph and designers were throwing her ball gowns, gratis. “It really was almost the perfect life,” (emphasis on the almost) sighs Tinsley, who’s still curling her hair – her “signature” look – possibly in hopes that she can reclaim some of her former glory. Not sure landing a gig on RHONY will do much to steer her in that direction, nor will shacking up with the older, more tragic version of herself. But a girl can dream!
Also shopping – but for REAL – are Dorinda and her daughter, Hannah, who needs furniture for her new apartment. Hannah doesn’t have a job, but is “rolling in dough,” she says. Dorinda wonders why and how they’re both not eating out of tuna cans by now with their joint lack of financial sense.
Back at Bethenny’s apartment, she and her assistant are purging her closet in the name of charity. Bethenny talks about Dennis Shields, her current love interest – and the cause of much speculation (was he or wasn’t he married when they began dating?) – who she says is the smartest person she’s ever met. Wait – including Carole!? In any case, she doesn’t know where the relationship is going (although online gossip reports now the couple has split), and is still navigating the drama with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, not to mention raising her daughter, Brynn. Her assistant, by the way, could not seem less interested.
Speaking of assistants, Sonja is wrangling hers into action over the weedy crevices in her garden (no pun intended) and party prep for her Mad Hatter’s soiree. She has strict instructions for the guests too: Everyone must wear color! The free Evite says so. Tinsley, who’s now been demoted to intern, schlepps tea sandwiches back to Sonja’s house, nervous about meeting Sonja’s group of friends. Annnnnd cue Ramona! The first guest to meet Tinsley – and to deep throat a tea sandwich before the others arrive. JAYZUS, Ramona! Slow your roll on that chicken salad triangle.
There’s no need for Tinsley to quake at the sight of Ramona though, for after she blows by the butler, he serves it up straight with NO twist. His opinion? Ramona is a lowdown b*tch whose husband cheated on her because…”Wouldn’t YOU?” OMG. Who is this dude? Please cast him, Bravo. We need him in our lives. Ramona, by the way, is aimlessly wandering around, still in sunglasses, as Mr. Truth Cannon Butler delivers his vitriolic assessment. Also, she is dressed for a funeral, as is Tinsley, even though Sonja demanded COLOR, COLOR, COLOR!
Sonja, who’s still dressed in her Welcome To Target duds, gets more irate when Carole strolls in wearing black and white. Why is no one obeying her orders?! Carole wonders when Sonja opened up her Home For Wayward Girls, and why she seems to have a rotating resident at it. Also a question mark is Dorinda, who Sonja did not invite to her tea party, but who Ramona did invite to her Hamptons house, therefore had to uninvite Sonja. (Did you follow that?) Although it’s all okay in Ramona’s world because she’s just calling it a “change of plans” – which could mean anything! Like, I have to go see my daughter. Or – someone here openly loathes you.
Ramona claims the choker/sash/scarf on her neck is covering up evidence from recent “frisky” dates, which no one believes and Carole side eyes her about. Also deserving of a side eye is the absolutely enormous sliced geode hanging from Ramona’s neck that passes for…what? Hipster UES? Bored, Carole decides she’ll read Ramona her resume to avoid talking about hickeys and fake love interests for even One. More. Minute.
As other guests arrive, including Bethenny and Luann – who obeyed the dress code, much to their chagrin – the drama starts rolling. Yip! We’re nearly 50 minutes into the episode, otherwise known as The Red Zone. Let the stank fly.
After Bethenny deposits her requisite SkinnyGirl basket on the sideboard, she goes out to mingle with the hoi polloi in Sonja’s garden. Luann is glad to see Tinsley, who she knows from back in the day – and whose wilder turn in life is 100% Countess Approved. Bethenny and Luann share an awkward moment of “I love your hat!” [Your hat is hideous], “I love your hair!” [You copied my look, b*tch] before Ramona goes in on Tinsley. She wants to know the deets, like if Tinsley regrets not having children with her ex? Because that’s a good opener.
Tinsley rides the Ramonacoaster for awhile, seeming like a pretty open book who doesn’t mind a good hazing ritual. This chick might do just fine here! I’m digging her Zen Barbie vibe.
Inside, things are not so zen. Luann is confronting Sonja about her gossip gal ways. Sonja cops to saying ALL of it, though, disarming Luann with admitting it – but simply not seeing what the problem is. She does think Tom is shady, and she is upset that Dorinda introduced Tom to Luann. Sonja even still wonders why Luann forgave Tom so easily after his little, er, Regency Hotel incident last year? Luann’s all, “That was in the past!” But it doesn’t inspire trust.
Not reaching any resolution, Luann finally gets up to rejoin the party, chalking Sonja’s opinions up to jealousy. She thinks Sonja wanted to bag Tom – or any man – and wasn’t able to seal the deal. Now, Luann thinks, Sonja can’t stomach the thought of Luann conquering that which she could not. Luann may be right about that, but she’s somewhat delusional to bottom line everyone’s misgivings about Tom as pure jealousy. The guy was not on the up and up last year, and it’s open knowledge. Therefore, in some respects, it’s open season. At least until Tom proves them all wrong – which he’ll have to do over a period of years, not months.
Back outside, Sonja is still in mourning over her missed Berkshires trip last year, while Bethenny wonders when Sonja will let go of the trip that never was. Meanwhile, Tinsley innocently tells Carole and Ramona that Sonja is helping her make a list of suitable bachelors – which the ladies can’t help bust bust a gut laughing at. Sonja is in charge of Tinsley’s husband hunt? Did Tinsley not fare so well on Tinder, which is surely a safer bet?
No matter! For Tinsley is just grateful to have Sonja in her life at this juncture. She appreciates the party, which introduced her to the women she’ll be
sparring with for the next four months, and she’s hoping the spare bedroom won’t be her last stop on her road to redemption. She’s also hoping to get a warmer reception from Bethenny at their next meeting, who she feels like she didn’t connect with at all. I’m hoping Tinsley doesn’t get chewed up and spit out by this group, one day ending up on loose tooth duty in Sonja’s halfway house.
TELL US: THOUGHTS ON TINSLEY SO FAR? IS SONJA JEALOUS OF LUANN, OR WARY OF TOM’S INTENTIONS? WILL DORINDA AND LUANN BE AT ODDS WITH SONJA ALL SEASON?
Photo Credit: Bravo