Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” has basically been my anthem while anxiously awaiting Real Housewives of New York. Well guess, what? They’re back with all the camel toe, cultural appropriation, and drunken drama we’ve come to expect from these Upper East Siders. Throw in Luann de Lesseps’ recent shenanigans, and it’s a cocktail Carrie Bradshaw herself would endorse.
Ramona Singer is drinking coffee from a mug that reads, “Keep Calm…Take a Xanax.” If there was ever a more appropriate opening scene for any season premiere of a housewives franchise, this is it. The women are readying for a day in the Big Apple, with Carole Radziwill running through Manhattan and Tinsley Mortimer failing to potty train her mini-dog. Dorinda Medley is razor focused on planning a massive Halloween party. The theme is “Famous People: Dead or Alive” and Dorinda is channeling her inner Gaga. Unfortunately for Dorinda, she didn’t read the fine print on her Amazon order, and instead of the infamous Lady Gaga bubble dress, she received a box full of clear plastic orbs. She should store them for a future crafting sesh. Decorated with holly and scary Santas, they’d make the perfect addition to her Berkshires Yuletide menagerie. Of course, if you’re a RHONY, you’ve got a costume designer who works at SNL on speed dial who is willing to help out for a name drop. Done and done.
Before the macabre festivities, Bethenny Frankel has a gala to attend where she is honored for her tremendous work in crisis relief in Texas and Puerto Rico. She recounts her efforts and the snowball effect while managing to pat herself on the back and appear incredibly humbled by her experiences, which is a balance I’ve never seen in brash Bethenny. She’s invited Tinsley and Ramona as they donated $10,000 and and $3,000 respectively early in the initiative. Ramona is quick to notice that Bethenny’s bestie wasn’t included on the guest list. Perhaps her crazy eyes are a bit more cunning this season. Nah, who am I kidding?
Heading to Dorinda’s apartment, Luann is bombarded with coffee and promises of a Berkshires getaway and caftan canoodling now that she’s single. Dorinda notes that Tom seemed to get worse after they got married, and Luann agrees. However, she is still pretending everything was perfect with Tom despite his documented cheating, their ten month marriage, and her subsequent arrest and rehab stint (my bad, that hasn’t happened yet in the RHONY timeline). You know, sometimes love just isn’t enough. Preach, Countess. There’s a song in there somewhere…oh wait. Speaking of songs, Dorinda reveals her Gaga plans, and Lu realizes she should dress up as a singer too for Halloween. She laughs haughtily that she could just be herself. I’m betting now she’s wishing she could go back in time and do just that. Luann isn’t all that upset with Tom, but she’s really riled about Carole’s inability to pick up the phone to see how she’s doing. Her costars’ consensus? The divorce was inevitable. In fact, they were more shocked by the fact the wedding actually happened. Sonja Morgan likens the short-lived relationship to Lu’s Moroccan camel debacle, and it’s the playback America didn’t know it needed.
Carole and Tinsley are a blonder and much more bubbly version of last season’s Carole and Bethenny. After Carole and Adam set up Tinsley with Scott, the women’s friendship blossomed over boyfriends and travel…and break-ups. Tinsley and Scott are on the outs due to distance, but she still loves him and hopes to reconcile. Likewise, Carole and Adam are taking a break, but they’re still enjoying coffee together on a daily basis. And by “coffee” she means an overly caffeinated trip to pound town.
After being MIA and dodging Ramona’s several attempts to reach out for Turtle Time, Sonja is joining her old friend to shop for costumes. Sonja is dressed in an unintentional crop top and is talking a hundred miles a minute about traipsing all over Europe like a free bird now that her daughter is in boarding school. Ramona is confused. She’s pretty sure Sonja spent her summer sleeping her way through the Hamptons. With all the drama in her life, Sonja settled on a diet of anti-depressants and croissants (hence the crop-top), so she spent some time in Costa Rica “juicing and getting off the meds.” The ladies dish on Luann’s divorce. They saw it coming–Tom is a playboy. Sonja champions him as a great charity f**k. Oh Sonja, don’t ever change.
Carole informs us that she never exercised a day in her life, and at fifty-four years young, she started feeling a bit scrawny. Motivated to run the New York City marathon, Carole has been working out with a trainer and has clocked her longest run in at twenty-one miles. With no younger beau and a reportedly rocky friendship with Bethenny, is this what Carole’s story line has been reduced to? She deserves more. Someone please call a ghost writer! Across town, Bethenny is still grieving the death of Cookie with her trusty driver Kevin, who also appears to be her trusty dog walker. Cookie saw Bethenny through every life changing event, and damn, it’s hard to lose a pet. I am not being sarcastic in the least. It’s devastating to see how upset she still is, but I am puzzled why she Snapchatted (Instagram storied??) her bawling her eyes out after putting down her pooch. That seems like a bit much to share. Or maybe not. My sosh mede knowledge of appropriateness is sub par at best.
It’s almost time for Dorinda’s fete, and Carole is dressed as Amelia Earhart, with a red negligee under her fighter pilot suit because, hey, it’s Halloween and that’s the one night of the year women can dress slutty without judgment. At least she’s being honest. Dorinda reveals Luann is pissed at Carole for not sending the obligatory
“I told you so” “I’m sorry you’re going through this tough time” divorce text. Carole laughs at the thought of Luann’s rage. She’s not holding her breath for an apology text for those times Luann called her friends jealous bitches for trying to protect her from walking down the aisle with a serial cheater. Dorinda’s costume designer arrives in time to help her shimmy into the bubble leotard. John has traded in dry cleaning bags for SWAT gear to protect his pop princess.
For longer than I should have, I thought Tinsley was Tamra Judge dressed as a Like a Virgin-era Madonna. Tinsley looked just like her (Tamra, not Madonna). Perhaps she was technically dressed up as Tamra dressed as Madonna? Sonja and Rocco arrive as Lucy and Desi, but by the way the ladies have been hemming and hawing, Sonja should be dressed as Waldo because she’s been missing all summer. She hides in a corner cooing over Rocco but wishing she was with Frenchie. Ramona arrives wearing a red latex bodysuit a la Britney Spears, because of course she would. I have to hand it to her, she looks great, but she definitely forgot her Xanax. Staying true to the pop star theme, Lu bulldozes into the bar dressed as Diana Ross complete with a mile-high afro and next level tan. Just wow. I honestly have no words. Apparently, money can’t buy you class or even an ounce of self-awareness.
The women are miffed as to why Sonja has yet to come over to say hello. Gaga has clearly had one too many martinis because she’s slurring her disdain for Lady Morgan’s manners. On cue, Sonja joins the group, making excuses about Rocco distracting her from the girls. Luann chastises Sonja for talking about her divorce in the press. She’s a tad peeved, but make no mistake, she will survive.
Bethenny clearly missed the memo to come dressed as an actual person, because she has opted to transform herself into
Elle Woods a drag queen Barbie/Texas prostitute. Those humanitarian efforts must have taken up every last bit of Bethenny’s couth and kindness because she gives a quick rundown on her friends’ costumes. Carole is the ugly step child of the zookeeper outfit she wore in real life last season. Perhaps Carole should have taken her own advice and slutted it up a bit more. Thankfully, Ramona’s costume meets that threshold enough for the both of them, being the perfect mix of tits and camel toe. Carole is chain smoking because that’s what Amelia would do, and it’s a bold move for someone about to run a marathon. Dorinda expresses her pride for Carole’s endeavor by offering the best post-race plan via a garble of subtitles. She’s slurring about Adam Sandler (or was it Andy Samberg?) and her SNL dress designer before John carries her out of the party.
Luann is exhausted by two years of defending Tom, and the only things that will make her feel better are karaoke and belittling Carole for not reaching out with post-Tom sympathies. Carole counters that she was Lu’s only acquaintance who didn’t engage in the pre-wedding Tom gossip shit storm, so perhaps Luann should shift her anger elsewhere. Also, Carole didn’t hear from Luann when things went south with Adam, so even Stevens. Either Luann is hella wasted or her head is tired from holding up that fifty pound fro (probably both), because she nods off in agreement…or is that just defeat?
Realizing she’s not the center of attention, Bethenny announces she has a new investment property in the Hamptons, but it’s near the highway. Ramona is baffled. She knows the Hamptons, and there is nothing Hamptons about property near the highway. Bethenny begs to differ, and Bethenny is always right, which we already knew. Likewise, Ramona never knows when to shut up, so she reminds Bethenny that they are very similar. Ramona, like Bethenny, is entrepreneurial. Oh snap. Did Ramona just commit the cardinal Sonja sin of pretending to be anywhere near as successful as Bethenny? I smell a cheater brand meltdown! Bethenny goes off on a tangent about her multiple properties and how unbe-weave-able Ramona’s comments are. When the hair pun goes over Ramona’s head, Bethenny is even more frustrated, but no one has the heart to tell her that explaining the joke makes it even less funny that it was already. Geez. Please some just get that wig off the Countess and send Diana Ross an apology bouquet.
TELL US – ARE YOU EXCITED THAT REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK IS BACK? THOUGHTS ON LAST NIGHT’S PREMIERE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]