Get yourselves adjusted and comfortable, because it’s time to rehash the drama from last night’s Real Housewives Of New York Reunion, part two. Bethenny Frankel breaks down over the custody hell she went through this year. Carole Radziwill and Tinsley Mortimer are actually permitted to speak (whoa!), and Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer – well, they continue to be the national treasures they are. And I can’t help wishing these two would totally change, yet not change at all. The same goes for the entire cast, when it comes down to it. Their brand of crazy just…works.
Last week left us with Luann de Lesseps on the hot seat, justifying her marriage to Tom D’Agostino for all of the ladies, Andy Cohen, and America. Alas, watching that sh*t back had to be awful for her, no matter how delusionally she walked into that marriage. Luckily, Lu only has to defend herself 47,000 more times before the reunion can move on.
The first issue Luann has to get past: Missy. Though Ramona claims she hasn’t been inviting Missy to Every. Single. Party. This. Year. Luann suspects foul play. She also lashes out about Mario having an affair right under Ramona’s nose – which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in terms of an argument about why Missy is peachy keen with her, but whatevs!
Then Luann goes to her third tier defense, explaining that Tom (who’s been caught on RHONY cameras since season one) is not “a TV person,” and that he just needs to de-mic now and then. Mmmkay. Also, she likes their lifestyle. Bethenny butts in with her newly minted adage that you can make a lifestyle out of a life, but not a life out of a lifestyle. This will never sell as many t-shirts as Dorinda Medley’s “How am I doing? Not well, b*tch!” Because that is how you coin a phrase, ladies and gentlemen.
But back to Bethenny’s issues with Luann. She doesn’t like Lu referring to Tom’s one-bedroom apartment as a “penthouse,” so she explains what an actual penthouse is for us common folk at home. I’m not sure who’s supposed to be more insulted over this – Tom, Luann, or us? In any case, Bethenny’s got some serious arm flailing going on as she tries to drive her point home. Luann’s like, meh. Okay, I’ll call it an apartment when I’m around YOU.
Andy brings it back full circle, congratulating Luann on her marriage
of three more weeks and praising everyone on the cast for being “happy” at the moment. (Emphasis on the moment.)
It’s time to move on to Tinsley, who is apparently still here. After talking a walk down Tinsley’s winding road of self-actualization (still in progress) this season, Andy asks about her look. Will she stop wearing ruffles and curls and bows and sparkles? Short answer: No. “I didn’t come back here to reinvent myself,” argues Tinsley, who just wants to be her! Carole says she never meant to change her, and found that their polar opposite personalities and looks worked for them as friends.
Tinsley says she’s still living in a hotel (LIES!), and is looking for a place she and Scott can shack up together this Fall. She also admits this season showed her at some of her lowest moments, but she feels like she’s bounced back now. Confessing that her past relationship involved physical and emotional abuse, Tinsley explains how she hid most of these facts from her family, let alone the public. Drinking also played a part, which she’s trying to change. Though she doesn’t think she has an issue with alcohol, Tinsley does think she used it as a crutch during hard times. The rest of the ladies sort of side eye her on this, but who are they to judge? #Mexico
Now it’s time to relive Carole’s election journey. Since we’ve already lived through it – twice! – let’s just leave it at this: Carole was bummed out. She’s still bummed out. She’s also very, very informed – she’ll have us know! But she is decidedly NOT bummed out about Adam un-shacking himself from her place. Though they’re still semi-together (at the time of filming), Carole would classify herself as “free.” But she did travel with Adam on a couples trip to Spain with Tinsley and Scott, so…??? And she’s not on the election loop anymore, so Bethenny has accepted her back into their friend circle. Which is more of a hard line.
Since Andy doesn’t want to leave the political poop alone, he throws a viewer question at the ladies: Who knows either political candidate from 2016? And who did each of them vote for? Ramona says she’s met both Clinton and Trump, but pleads the fifth on who got her vote. (She also looks like she might have a wee accident in her underpants while answering this question.) Sonja knows some of the Trumps, but won’t reveal her vote either. Dorinda voted for Clinton, who she knows socially through her late husband, Richard. (WHAT!?) Lu has been introduced to both candidates, but also pleads the fifth.
Bethenny met Bill Clinton once in Barney’s and told him he had spinach in his teeth. She also ran into Trump on the street, who allegedly recognized her first, then made a YUGE deal about it. Because her show must go on! (She’ll be here all night.) Bethenny does interestingly admit that she voted for Clinton, something she’s been entirely tight lipped about on social media. Carole, of course, voted for Clinton. And Tinsley
doesn’t know what an election is wasn’t able to vote.
Since Sonja had little else going on this season except for pretending to be mad at Tinsley, Andy grants her a segment dedicated to the battle for Sonja’s bidet-laundered lingerie: Rocco versus Frenchie! Although the ladies basically think Sonja has created a big ole’ mess out of her romantic life, Sonja claims she’s got it all under control. It comes down to this: Frenchie is the short fix, Rocco is the long game. Since she married her ex-husband after seven years of being friends (without benefits?), Sonja thinks the back burner approach is the road to glory.
But this Frenchie dude has Smarmy with a capital S written ALLLLLLLL over him, and even Luann isn’t afraid to point out how “natural” he seems on camera. So, he’s an actor, eh? Playing the part of Sonja’s boyfriend? OF COURSE HE IS. Carole says as much, which seems to baffle Sonja. She thought he loved her for her brown ice!
And free rent and television exposure and on-demand nookie. Dorinda thinks Frenchie moving in is a huge mistake too, but Sonja is not hearing it. She loves having Frenchie in her bed, and his box in the basement. It’s a European thing. It’s also too much for Sonja’s breasts to handle, which valiantly try to wrest free of her dress as she drones on and on without end.
After Ramona and Sonja make sure their girls are firmly taped to the underside of their dresses, Andy turns his lens on Bethenny’s love life. Though her time with Dennis Shields was but a brief flicker on the screen, the real drama was going on behind the scenes. Ex-husband Jason Hoppy, who was arrested for harassment and stalking during this season’s filming, seemed invisibly ever-present. Now, Bethenny says she’s back with Dennis again. Since “things” were dealt with (which we can guess had to do with Jason), Bethenny says they’re giving it another shot.
Tearing up, Bethenny admits she has a difficult time getting close to people. And she didn’t allow Dennis in as much as she could/should have. She also wanted Dennis to make some changes, which she says he has. And her new feeling of freedom is helping her try to make this relationship work again. (Well, as of today, they’re still together – so maybe a corner has been turned?)
But Bethenny pushing people away isn’t just reserved for her romantic relationships. Andy mentions that some viewers see Bethenny as not really wanting to be around her cast mates most of the time. Bethenny stands by her “I gotta go!” behavior when dealing with these women, though. She also doesn’t want to elaborate on the charges Jason’s been slapped with, especially to Ramona, who tries to add commentary. Since she can’t do the I-gotta-g0 schtick here, Bethenny just shuts Ramona down with an “I don’t want to talk to you” and “Thank you so much.”
Andy wonders what Bethenny and Jason’s daughter, Bryn, knows about what’s been going on. Since she’s only seven years old, the answer is: not much. Bethenny says she doesn’t discuss her situation with Jason in front of Bryn – ever – and Carole backs her claims up. But Andy wonders if the same tight lipped approach is going on at Jason’s house? Bethenny doesn’t know, nor does anyone. So it’s not really worth speculating about. Plus, Bethenny isn’t concerned with what the tabloids report. She knows Sonja’s nip slip
or Lu’s divorce will make headlines the next day and usurp any juicy news about her particular drama.
Because Andy hasn’t rattled Bethenny quite enough yet, he harkens back to last year’s reunion, at which Bethenny said she called her mother for the first time in years. Since that call, Bethenny hasn’t taken Bryn to see her. It might have something to do with the fact that Bethenny’s mom has contacted the press to trash her repeatedly over the past year.
The interesting part about “the dark side of Bethenny” is that viewers don’t get to see the same level of detail as we do with the other ladies, mainly because she keeps it hidden (or is court ordered to do so). Andy alludes to this, asking if what we don’t see affects her behavior on the show more than we know. (Um, DUH.) Tearing up again, Bethenny says of course it does. “You can’t even imagine the torment that this has been,” she cries. And to be fair, no, we can’t. Because we haven’t been allowed in.
Attempting to have a sincere moment of connection (that Bethenny clearly does not want), Ramona confesses she felt similarly when Mario “forced his way” into living with her two seasons ago, post-divorce. She didn’t tell any of the women the truth then either because she didn’t want to fall apart. Carole pipes up that she knows how much of a toll this Jason drama has taken on Bethenny, and it’s not manufactured for sympathy. In her opinion, it’s real. But the rest of the group had little idea what Bethenny was dealing with behind the scenes.
So, where are Bethenny and Jason at with resolution these days? Bethenny has faith that she’ll live a “normal, free life” one day, but it will be with “zero contact” with her ex. Dorinda echoes that it’s important for women to have options, which segues into Bethenny plugging her charity for abused women. She knows she’s a woman of means who has options, so she wants to help others who don’t. And I don’t care if it makes me sound naive, but I think that’s great. And love her or hate her, at least Bethenny is doing one thing with her money for the good of others in need. And something that doesn’t involve the words “Skinny” or “Girl.”
TELL US: DO YOU THINK BETHENNY SHOULD HAVE OPENED UP MORE THIS SEASON ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES? IS FRENCHIE A PAID BOYFRIEND? WERE YOU SURPRISED BY THE POLITICAL CONFESSIONS?
Photo Credit: Bravo