On last night’s Real Housewives Of New York, the women traveled upstate – like way upstate – to have another intervention with Luann de Lesseps. This time about how her cabaret has become unmanageable and out of control.
Sonja Morgan rides to Luann’s Catskills home in the equivalent of a private jet on wheels. Basically, a camper van repurposed into a luxury hotel room. It still has more amenities than the townhouse, though, because it features a working toilet!
Sonja sprawls out, brushes Marley’s hair. Then she uses his brush to comb her own hai. She arrives at Luann’s swinging a bottle of champagne, complaining that she’s been on a bender of drinking too much. Once Sonja starts drinking she goes hard into a black hole of semi-alcoholism, then arrives like a phoenix forgetting that she exposed her snatch on TV and fell off a table crying or any of the 300 other insane things she did in her stupor, but it’s all washed away with a juice cleanse, a jitney to St. Tropez, and a smile. At least Sonja seems cognizant of this.
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Ramona Singer, Bethenny Frankel, and Tinsley Mortimer meet for lunch to discuss “The Problem Of Tinsley”. Did Dale Mercer arrange this summit? Tinsley is basically the living incarnate of a grown-up Judy Blume book. At 43 she’s still wailing about her period, crushing on the popular boy, and worrying that her mother will upstage her at the dance or tell everyone she buys bulk underwear at Costco. You know what I’m saying, children of the ’90’s!
Tinsley’s problem is the same as always: she wants a baby. But, first, she wants a man. Her biological clock has basically just thrown up its hands and decided to regress to Tinsley’s mental age. Or at least Tinsley better hope. Her biological clock probably just went to Barney’s and started shopping for some Faberge eggs.
Bethenny is testy from ignoring the scrumptious looking guacamole she ordered. She tells Tinsley that at her age she doesn’t have time to wait for Prince Charming so she better just get knocked up with a sperm donor and hope the man comes knocking after the fact. Otherwise, adopt another chihuahua. This is what Tinsley needs to hear, but Tinsley closes her ears and complains that Sonja was being mean to her about her dreams of motherhood and marriage. Oh, Tinsley…
Dorinda Medley is so happy and content in her new neighboorhood she may never leave. She makes house calls! To the florist, the cheese shop, Bergdorf’s, and she loves it. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Won’t you be Dorinda’s neighbor. She was also wearing a cardigan. Too bad she’ll have to leave it for upstate, and the circular house of talking in circles.
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Luann’s new round house is … well, it’s round and well-decorated, but I don’t get why there’s a kitchenette in the guest bedroom? As Bethenny says you can make an omelet while using the toilet! Luann sticks Barbara Kavovit – you know the friend who saved her life and made this house possible – in there. Meanwhile, Sonja gets the functioning guest room.
Over dinner Sonja and Barbara confront Luann about how her ego is out of control and she’s being a selfish twat over the Halloween party. Luann doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with expecting Bethenny to ignore Bryn in order to watch her perform cabaret in a slutty nurse costume at 2 am. I mean is Bryn a countess, darling? A Disney princess costume doesn’t count! Don’t you think insulting one’s friend’s parenting breaks girl code?
I love Sonja – when she’s on top, she’s never on bottom. Like when she tells Luann “I’m a Sagittarius, I tell the truth” to explain why she’s justified in talking shit about Luann behind her back (and to her face). And Sonja is right. Luann is high on her horse and is acting like JLo. Except, she’s JNO. Sonja reminds Luann that she preened around backstage, ignoring them, as they waited endlessly in ridiculous costumes with people half their age. Eventually, Luann claims that she wanted Bethenny to see the Countess Come Full Circle – she’d seen her at her worst, and cabaret is the countess’s best. “Go with that,” Sonja agrees, “Ramonacize it and let’s move on.”
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Then Sonja reminisces about her girlhood times getting beat up in the locker room and how she would have to bash girl’s heads into the hand dryer to get them to back off? They had hand dryers in the 60’s and 70’s? Barbara, unfortunately, spent her youth fending off sexual harassers who tried to grab her early-developing boobs.
With the inevitable consequences of Luann sticking her foot in her mouth coming her way she waxes poetically about feeling the wind blowing down the Hudson River coming for her like a full-force gale of accusations and destruction. “And I know I’m gonna get killed,” she laughs. So Luann puts on her Statement Necklace of Deflection and invites everyone to a geriatric cabaret show! No, not to her own – som80-year-oldld woman who is still performing. So, future Luann.
Of course, Luann is producing a new statement necklace collection to match the Jovani she performs in. Is Dorinda gonna claim royalties?! Let’s hope!
Meanwhile, Bethenny is preparing herself for the catskills by turning the word “cabaret” into a weekend-long drinking game. As Sonja explains “Cabaret is a trigger word with the ladies.” So true! Tinsley, determined to win at something in this failure we call life, vows that she will drink herself into a stupor but, by god she will win this drinking game! #Goals
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Immediately upon walking in the door, Bethenny and Dorinda appraise the house like real estate sharks deciding if it’s worth the investment. No one likes it. Dorinda observes that they are literally in the middle of nowhere and the closest neighbor is across the lake. Which means NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM! With this group that’s a blessing and a curse. This house does seem lonely and really isolated, but clearly, Luann did need a change and a place to
drink in secret conceptualize and create her statement necklaces.
Ramona is late because she’s celebrating her birthday with a massive lunch thrown by her real friends and only attended by her other real friends. And because Ramona is the queen of tact she puts the whole thing on instagram so she can’t just later lie by claiming she had a doctor’s appointment she couldn’t cancel. Instead, Ramona decides she’ll just buy Luann an apology/housewarming gift to distract her.
After deciding against a coaster that said “Cock,” Ramona buys two out of three of a set of candlesticks. She doesn’t think Luann will notice. It’s a good euphemism for this situation. With 2/3 of the group in the Catskills Ramona doesn’t think Luann will realize that she’s back in Manhattan, having a birthday party which she’s not invited to. Too bad Sonja has instagram! And she is pissed.
Bethenny is also pissed that somehow she has been suckered into attending a cabaret show at the retirement home. In hopes of thwarting this plan, no one brought any cabaret-worthy clothing, but as Sonja wryly (and drolly) reminds them, “Luann has signature necklaces – those can sparkle up anything.” Oh, Sonja – never change.
Over lunch, Sonja and Tinsley morph into Dale and Tinsley. Except Sonja is Dale on haterade. Tinsley whines about how Sonja hurt her feelings by not being more compassionate about her breakup and Bambi having cancer, but Sonja is done with the broken record that is Tinsley’s entire life. “I just didn’t have any strength for the boyfriend and the baby story again,” she shrugs, tucking into a roast chicken. “I guess I can’t talk to you about those things then [MOM],” Tinsley sniffles. Is there no one Tinsley doesn’t disappoint with her failure to procreate?! Looking at this chicken probably makes Tinsley cry because chickens make eggs and what comes first?
But Sonja and Tinsley are merely the icing on the cake of conflict that is served in the Catskills.
The best part of the whole episode was Barbara explaining how Sonja labeled her “Gender Liquid” because Barbara sometimes likes men, and sometimes likes women. But, she prefers men so she’s not exactly bi-sexual. Barbara compares liking women to dark chocolate. She explains this flowchart of her sexuality as dessert after lunch. Tinsley is shocked, but Bethenny shrugs that with all the girl kissing everyone’s done, they’re all basically “a piece of dental floss away form being lesbians.”
What quickly followed this jovial discussion of acceptance was the inevitable argument between Luann and Bethenny over priorities. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Bethenny and Luann have such a convoluted relationship because they are reflections of each other’s bad sides. In Luann, Bethenny subconsciously sees her propensity for selfishness, and cluelessness about how she is received in the world. And in Bethenny, Luann sees her own ability to be caustic, to push people aside, and to need to be right.
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Like when Luann suggests that staying out too late, watching cabaret should take precedence over getting up with Bryn for school the next day. Luann claims she just wanted to be able to celebrate her accomplishments with Bethenny as a thank you for everything she’s done. So invite her backstage, early, have her meet the dancers and your makeup artists, and watch the dress rehearsal. I’m totally on Bethenny’s side here. Luann is so far removed from what it’s like to parent a young child. Plus, Bethenny shares custody of Bryn so on nights and days she has her, understandably Bethenny places time with her daughter before anything else. Even trashed Tinsley noticed Luann being totally self-absorbed. Luann equates cabaret with being her baby, but yeah, cabaret doesn’t need breakfast in the morning and a Halloween party chaperone. Or maybe it does, but Bethenny can’t do it all!
I think another problem is that Bethenny is acting out scenes from her own childhood on Luann. In Luann, Bethenny sees echos of her mother and the ways Bethenny is similar to her own mother. Bethenny is often the adult. Even though she’s a toxic adult. She becomes hyper-focused on making sure her feelings are vented even if it’s not rational or kind. And Luann is completely unhearing of other’s criticisms and complaints. Bethenny and Luann should probably just get couples therapy. Whatever the case Luann owes Bethenny a serious apology!
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TELL US – TEAM BETHENNY OR TEAM LUANN? DO YOU LIKE LUANN’S ROUND HOUSE? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK EPISODE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]