Somewhere a satanic cult is using Ramona Singer as their icon. The recap highlighting Ramona’s season full of atrocious behavior and excuses, followed by the flashback of SEASONS worth of Ramona shrugging that she can’t help what comes out of her mouth because that’s the way she is, finally cutting to the present day Real Housewives Of New York reunion stage where, with all the sincerity of a robot, Ramona admits that she‘s horrible… It’s all literally a study of the human brain without emotional intelligence.
I could literally spend this entire recap talking about nothing but Ramona. When have we ever come across a Housewife so comfortably tactless, callous, and clueless that she offered up DEMENTIA as an excuse for being a shitty friend. DEMENTIA people! DE-MEN-TIA. This from a woman who subsequently bragged that it was OK to be obsessed with her appearance because she works “really hard” to remain ageless. Ramona’s attitude (aka the brain of a 14-year-old social media addict) is the most ageless thing of all!
Ramona’s resilient lack of empathy is also truly ageless. Like when she nullifies all of her prior apologies by ending the reunion announcing that she’s certain Luann de Lesseps is secretly drinking. It’s galling to me that after Ramona got caught in like “9 lies,” as Andy Cohen pointed out, she still believes she has the right to play moral authority about Luann supposedly lying. This all may sound like a criticism of Ramona, but it’s not. Don’t even change Pinot Vodka Hard Rock Bod Cafe Millennium Singer. Don’t you ever stop swearing on Avery’s true renewing lives!
It’s almost like Ramona’s decided that if she works on her physical appearance, she’ll also turn back time to press reset on her conscience. You can exfoliate your pores but not your porous moral values, Ro!
Andy did try to find something positive in Ramona. That positive turned out to be Mario. Who is still hot and still patient after all these years. The same can’t be said about her “kissing cousin” Harry Dubin, who gave his crocodile smile to Ramona who turned them into new veneers.
You have to hand it to Ramona, though. Even Bethenny Frankel stood up and clapped when Ramona offered up her aged memory as an excuse for publicly snubbing Dorinda Medley, then lying about it. In Ramona’s mind the fiasco wasn’t that she hurt Dorinda’s feelings, but that she got caught looking bad on camera.
Likewise when Ramona tries to explain away lying about not wanting Sonja Morgan at her birthday party. Ramona reasons that if she had Sonja there it would turn into a Real Housewives Of New York event instead of a party all about Ramona. “Now I’m your reality TV friend?” scoffs Sonja, who is disgusted that Ramona is trying to break into society when she’s nearing 70. I mean isn’t this the way agelessness works?! But seriously – who does Ramona think Sonja is? The Tinsley to her Carole? To Ramona it was easier to lie then have to break the “third world” or “3rd line” explaining her feelings. She means the fourth wall, btw.
I love how Ramona equates the third world not with imperiled countries, but the dimensions of reality television for which she doesn’t want to venture. She really is a terrible traveler.
The super horrible thing Ramona did, though, was be snide about Dennis Shields‘ death and how Bethenny was dealing with it. Even worser-worse, pretty much ignoring Bethenny in the immediate aftermath of Dennis’ passing. Even Ramona can admit her remark about Dennis being a drug addict because he wasn’t smart was beyond the pale (although she does try to blame Bravo for airing it. Which of course). Ramona did apologize, and called Bethenny immediately after the episode aired. Bethenny has forgiven her, but is still hurt.
Bethenny chalks all these ruthless comments up to Ramona having an irrational animosity towards her. Ramona counters that she keeps her distance from Bethenny because she’s afraid of her irascibility. Both of these things are true. Just like Bethenny can’t get off Luann’s jock, Ramona can’t get off Bethenny’s (or Sonja’s). These women are entrenched in decade-long cyclical relationships that have to feed upon themselves in order to keep the Real Housewives Of New York going. But it’s more than that: the pathos of how these women deal with each other is layered atop their pre-Housewives traumas.
Basically, these old gals have the dynamics of a family. It doesn’t make sense, it sometimes goes below the belt and gets mean, they lie to make themselves feel sometimes better; sometimes worse, they fight, they make up, they hug, they cry, they laugh, they are there for each other when it matters and turning on each other when the need is temporarily dissipated, they know each other’s hot buttons and happy places. I mean Bethenny is to Ramona, as Luann is to Bethenny, and so-on. And Sonja is the moldy cheese who stands alone; farting. The crumbling townhouse to steel-beamed apartment buildings with working elevators and towels that don’t double as drapes.
When Andy asks Ramona how she thinks she stands with each of the women today we get the most Ramonja exchange ever, which encapsulates their relationship to perfection. “I am where I am, baby,” shrugs Ramona with a gleeful smirk. “You’re a piece a work Singer, I swear!” snaps an exasperated Sonja, who’s already grabbing the cocktail shaker for their post-reunion drink. They’re riding home together so Sonja warns Ramona that after two pieces of chocolate she’s going to fart. These ladies = forever my heart!
And we all know that someday they’ll all wind up moving into Sonja’s townhome with the interns now in-home health aids to the demented and deluded. The women will be waltzing around wearing the dogs as fur (and bras), confusing the brown ice for whiskey, and taking turns hauling the diapers up from the basement. Oh, who am I kidding – Tinsley Mortimer will always be the one doing that! And eventually their hearing so bad that even Luann’s singing sounds good. Dorinda will be making out with a Santa Clause mannequin one minute, crying into his beard the next, and putting chip-clips into his hair the minute after that. Ramona and Sonja will eventually fall leaning out one of the upstairs windows, leering at the men walking by.
And Bethenny will be painting the bidet red, and ordering the intern(ists) to bring her crap cakes but only eating the edges cause Skinnygirl, Skinnygirl, Skinnygirl! Then making margaritas out of Mylanta and Metamucil. And every evening they’ll all perform cabaret with Tinsley wailing a ballad to Scott and throwing a carton of eggs against the wall. Won’t it be fun girls?!
I should probably get back to reality here and reality is confronting Tinsley about her finances and relationships. All the women agree that Tinsley is as fake as her eyelashes, and they want her to wash her face (girl), and come clean about who she really is. Except Tinsley was raised to not discuss money or anything that makes her uncomfortable. The other problem is that Tinsley is just as vapid as she seems: she’s a southern debutante who was raised with a lot of money and not a lot of goals besides getting married, appeasing mama, and having perfect babies.
Bethenny dubs it setting women back 100 years, but who is Bethenny to talk with her constant shaming of the women on this show. Furthermore, the branding of Skinnygirl itself sets back women 100 years – or at least a decade.
Dorinda and Sonja are obsessed with the idea that Tinsley is some sort of kept woman with an arrangement with Scott, and that she’s still seeing him (she admits to going on one post-breakup trip together). *Sigh* Tinsley is a kept woman. A woman kept by DALE. “My lifestyle has not changed my entire life!” Tinsley insists!
Except for that time she got arrested and Dale reduced Tinsley’s trust amount until she got her act together. Tinsley getting it together meant
getting a job on a A-list reality show even if it entailed living with Sonja and practicing fiscal responsibility by shopping at Intermix not Chanel! Penury to Tinsley is polyester!
Why do these women care where Tinsley comes by her money? Bethenny seems particularly bitter about it, in a strange way that is rather unbecoming. Leave the debutante to wear her white dresses in peace and Mrs. Havisham away with her frozen dog and frozen eggs and her frozen emotional IQ and defrosting trust fund assets. It seems the real annoyance is that the women don’t believe Tinsley actually lives in NY, but just rents her hotel for filming. Dorinda’s proof is that she tried sending flowers in January but Tinsley had moved to Palm Beach. Um, rich people winter in warm locales? Also wasn’t Tinsley’s frozen mcbambi housed there? Tinsley is back in the hotel now, in a tw0-bedroom, and has signed a year lease.
How can these women accuse Tinsley of not being open when she admitted – straight-faced!!- on national TV to calling 911 for her dog, and having NO SHAME about the fire department coming to resuscitate Bambi. I am shooketh trying to imagine this scene. Also, NYC – this is where your tax payer dollars are going! Bethenny can’t even look in the general direction of anyone else during this segment for fear that she’ll literally burst out laughing. Tinsley is oblivious while detailing the freezing and defrosting of Bambi so Dabney could properly say goodbye before Bambi joined the other chihuahuas and Tinsley’s dad in an urn on the mantle in Palm Beach. This is like a cautionary tale of the unchecked WASP and what happens when they all stay too close to the nest.
Also, Tinsley claims Bambi was cremated, but I don’t believe this. They so taxidermied him after extracting his DNA and sending it to a cloning lab in China. Next season Tinsley is gonna be living in the Penthouse again with 16 identical Bambi’s wearing oatmeal-colored turtlenecks.
Finally it’s time to harangue Luann. Which is essentially the entire theme of this show. The highlight is when Andy asks what Luann’s etiquette book would say about Ramona’s abhorrent behavior at the NY Loves Kids Charity event, which Andy dubs “the most cringeworthy moment ever seen on this show” – a HIGH honor, indeed!
In response, Dorinda explodes into mocking Luann’s Fish Room escapades in the Berkshires. It was amazing and glorious! Luann is only affronted because Dorinda interrupted her, which Ramona judiciously points out is what Dorinda did to her at the charity event, which is obviously why the speech went so badly. It had absolutely nothing to do with Ramona pronouncing the hostesses name incorrectly… Dorinda was partially to blame for it all being so awful and disrespectful to Bridie, which Dorinda refused to acknowledge (of course).
Then Luann delves into her sobriety – including her Easter Day mimosa relapse. Luann still can’t (won’t) admit that she’s an alcoholic, which doesn’t bode well for her continued society. When Luann is pressed by Bethenny she gets defensive and argues that Bethenny isn’t a psychologist. Which Luann knows because she has one of those. A psychologist Luann just obtained last week so that at the reunion she could say she had a psychologist. Also, Bethenny’s an honorary Doctor of Housewives Psyche, which obviously applies here!
I do feel for Luann when she shares how difficult it was to navigate sobriety while filming with a cast full of lushes. Especially in Miami. And Luann is accurate that none of them were compassionate to her. Especially not Bethenny, Dorinda, and Sonja. Sonja, to her credit, has the realization that they were pretty callous about Luann needing to take time apart to maintain sobriety, but Bethenny is still stuck feeling that Luann’s behavior is about her. Like because Bethenny spent months helping Luann she now feels Luann owes her for leaving rehab a week early. I’d like to know how Bethenny knows so much abut what went on? If Bethenny was communicating with the staff than that’s a clear HIPA violation! But Luann was certainly NOT taking things seriously if she spent so much time texting, then left early for cabaret (Luann denies this — we don’t believe her).
Also, nothing was said about how dismissive Luann was of Sonja after the AA meeting!
At least Luann can now admit that she had a mental breakdown last summer, which led to the second rehab stint after her kids sued. With counseling, Luann is working on herself. It seems more authentic than Ramona’s proclamation that she’s working on herself (her priorities are doing crunches!). Sadly, everyone is pretty much convinced that once Luann gets off probation and doesn’t have the breathalyzer anymore she’ll relapse. You know what, she probably will. More than once in fact. She’ll do it to test herself, because like Luann said, she self-sabotages (with low intrapersonal intelligence). She’ll do it because she’s investing more time in performing cabaret than she is relearning herself. For now, cabaret is Luann’s cabernet, but I think it’s all part of the journey – and a Housewife is nothing if not on a journey!
TELL US – DO YOU THINK LUANN IS TAKING SOBRIETY SERIOUSLY? IS RAMONA THE DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS?
[Photo Credits: Heidi Gutman/Bravo & Bravo]