Last night was the season premiere of Real Housewives Of New York and all I have to say is thank goodness these ladies area back! They are quite literally the saviors of the Real Housewives franchise, and LuAnn de Lesseps and Co. definitely took us to church last night.
It’s a topsy-turvy time for all the women, who are dealing with some personal changes and challenges – like deciding to paint their entire apartment hot pink on the recommendation of an emotionally domineering unprofessional designer (aka their invisible teenaged daughter.) Gotta make amends for being a drunk loon on TV and I guess pink walls is the easiest way to do it! Obviously, I’m talking about Sonja T. Morgan and her unseen, unnamed daughter Quincy J. (I swear Quincy is actually just Sonja’s id acting up! #FreudRealTalk)
Sonja has finally moved out of the Casa de Crumbles, and I will never forgive Bravo for depriving us of that moving footage. It honestly appears that the only thing Sonja brought with her were monogrammed towels (STAM forever) and an entitled attitude. Which means we have NO idea what happened to the 6 flats of Charmin toilet paper in the basement, her Y2K survival stash of food, the crusty underwear worn for decades of many suitors, the artwork of chintzy dying flowers, yearbooks from class of 1912 belonging to her ex-husband, and most importantly: the motorized pashmina drapes. Also the interns!
In Sonja’s new condo of reduced circumstances, she has downgraded from 6 shellshocked interns suffering from Stockholm Syndrome to one “personal assistant” who helps Sonja DUCT TAPE a monogrammed towel over her bedroom window to prepare for her date later that night. “What it falls down just as I’m cumming,” Sonja wonders in earnest. And informs, Alex, the new Pickles, that she will be to blame. Time to file a complaint with OSHA!
But first Sonja must entertain a prominent guest: Ramona Singer! As Sonja struggles to yank up her spanks in the narrow hallway of her new reality (at least the toilets flush!), Ramona exits a town car and knocks on the door. I’d much rather see Ramona climbing out of an Uber, but honestly, some expectations are just too high. Ramona is overjoyed by Sonja’s new place. I am overjoyed by Sonja appearing in her interview segment looking like the mom in I Dream Of Jeanie. Is that a bouffant wig?! Ramona notes that Sonja seems light-hearted and glowing in this new place, free of all the old memories and dusty glorified overpriced retirement home objects. Do we think Sonja had a yard sale?! OMG if I missed that I will die.
This is all making Ramona want to sell her own apartment, a classic Park Ave 6, which she just fully renovated to be modern and look like every other apartment in the area. Which appears to be an issue for resale.
Across town, Dorinda Medley is talking a walk with Luke, formerly known as Caroline Stanbury‘s makeup artist. Dorinda hasn’t spoken to LuAnn since JOVANI stole their friendship, but Dorinda blames LuAnn for being insane. The proof is in all the ridiculous things LuAnn has done in the last year in a half: quickie marriage to a known cheater, quickie divorce, arrest, rehab, another rehab stint… Dorinda left out two critical moments: Cabaret and getting SUED BY HER OWN CHILDREN. For now, Dorinda is fine with taking a break from Luann – even though they’ll both be running into each other in the Hamptons this weekend. Dorinda is also fine with her alcohol consumption! Oh, bother…
And now a moment of sadness. It’s been three weeks since Dennis Shields passed away and Bethenny Frankel is just starting to emerge from the fog of shock. She has some supportive friends staying with her, and like a mafia boss, Bethenny discusses Dennis’ death over sandwiches around the table. “We gotta do something to honor life,” she says raising her giant crystal tumbler for a toast.
I joke, but I feel terrible for Bethenny. Even sadder is that Bryn, Bethenny’s 8-year-old daughter, doesn’t quite understand where Dennis has gone and occasionally will text his old phone number. For Bethenny, it doesn’t even matter what circumstances led to Dennis’ death because he’s dead, although she did hear that he had fallen on a boat the day before and was in pain, so maybe that was trigger? People on Real Housewives Of New York need to stay off boats.
The death of Dennis even softened Ramona’s steel-cut heart: she sent Bethenny a text. And Dorinda, who knows about the loss of a partner, has reached out several times but explains that you have to give grieving people space but remind them that you’re there. Just like you have to remind your friend that Jovani is always there…
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To break her Housewives fast Bethenny has Luann and her friend Barbara Kavovit over for lunch. Bethenny is feeling overwhelmed – not because it’s Luann, but because she’s still raw from losing Dennis. OK, maybe because it is because Luann is insane and self-absorbed, and last time Bethenny saw either of these women it was at Luann’s intervention. Again, Bravo, really? No footage? Start installing NannyCams.
Luann and Barbara have known each other since Lu moved back from Switzerland. Bethenny describes their friendship as essentially one of convenience since they both live in the Hamptons. Luann brings Bethenny a pie, but Barbara forgot a hostess gift so she yanks a travel toolkit – apparently a product she produces? – out of her backseat and presents it unwrapped. Bethenny snaps right out of her funk to notice that A) it’s smooshed and unwrapped; and B) last time Barbara gave her the same thing in pink. Oh no… if Barbara is going to start competing with Bethenny for product-promotion she won’t last long here. I’m surprised Bethenny hasn’t launched Skinnygirl Kleenex to mop up your grief. Or Skinnygirl Widow’s Weeds. Black on the outside, lined red on the inside to signify the Skinnygirl passion that will never die!
Luann spends the entire lunch complaining about Dorinda and Ramona, who at that moment are on their way to the Hamptons for the weekend. Also traveling south is Tinsley Mortimer in a Tesla Scott Kluth had shipped from Chicago. Sonja is in the passenger seat. Tinsley’s pivotal storyline is that she hasn’t driven in 5 years and probably should have her license revoked for inactivity. I mean last time Tinsley was behind the wheel cars didn’t even come equipped with BlueTooth. Think of the safety of others before the storyline, Bravo!
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Tinsley is still with/not with Scott, and before heading the Hamptons she meets up with Dorinda to go shopping. Dorinda complained about LuAnn being a terrible friend and toxic influence. I really don’t remember much about this conversation, because I was distracted by that weird store in which Tinsley clearly didn’t want to even touch anything, then looked appalled and squeamish when Dorinda came out of the dressing room in nothing but a long-sleeved floral-print bodysuit while the homeless-looking shopgirl hovered nearby. I don’t think Dorinda even took a breath from her dialogue on LuAnn. Maybe she needs a one-woman Broadway show… I bet LuAnn knows a guy and then they’d be even on the whole Jovanni thing.
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But in the car with Sonja, Sonja is the calm one as she clutches her dog and sips Diet Coke through a straw, while instructing Tinsley about the rules of traffic. Sonja has decided that a white-knuckled death shuttle is worth saving a longtime friendship, but next time it’s back to the bus where the only thing she’ll save is $100! Don’t ever change Sonja T!
And now the best part of the episode: Ramona takes a swimming lesson. She went on down to the YMCA for senior hour, wearing one of those floral-patterned swimsuits with a skirt, put her hair in a shower cap – because she never gets it wet! – and chatted with the other ladies as they waited for Marvin, their instructor, to come out in droopy red swim trunks to tell them to tread water carefully, ladies.
HAHAH! Yeah right. Actually Boris, a very sexy older gentleman of a certain age came to Ramona’s house, and pointedly ignored her hour-long sexual harassment of him while he stripped down to Day-Glo swimtrunks straight out of 1992 (maybe he bought them at Sonja’s yard sale and they were en the basement from her Pre-John J gentleman?), and kept all conversations on swimming.
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Ramona, of course, was wearing the closest thing to lingerie you can find in a swimsuit and talked about how she almost died on a capsized Columbian boat last year, because the only swimming she knows how to do is the BREASTSTROKE (wink, wink). Boris, who probably is an ex-Red Army soldier, grunted and suggested she put her face in the water. That was the end of that lesson! Although Ramona is definitely planning to have Boris back… Hard labor in a soviet work camp will seem like a walk in the park compared to the rapturous attentions of Ramona.
I guess Ramona never learned to swim because she grew up in the trees, talking to leaves, then developed a phobia of nature. Lets just hope Sonja doesn’t get to Boris first! She would so fake drown at a Fourth Of July party in order to get mouth-to-mouth.
After an invigorating flirting session, Ramona prepares for the arrival of Dorinda by getting out snacks… like Guacamo-LAH, found in some fridge-rummaging cardio (she didn’t get her exercise swimming!), squatting and sticking her butt out while talking to herself about SAAAAL-SA! Dorinda eventually walks through the door carrying a monogrammed “L&T” tote – swag from Luann’s wedding. That tote is cursed with the juju of quickie divorces and bad men, so no one wants to touch it and Ramona certainly doesn’t want it in her home.
And this is where the episode ends, with Dorinda’s Marie Kondo moment leading her to this old tote bag – which certainly doesn’t spark joy – and showing up at Ramona’s door offering it like poisoned tortilla chip. Guac-ammo, anyone!?
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I cannot wait for the rest of this season of Real Housewives of New York!
TELL US – WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SONJA’S NEW PLACE? IS DORINDA BEING TOO HARD ON LUANN? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FIRST REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK EPISODE OF THE SEASON?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]