Well, it is with great sadness that I announce Real Housewives Of New York season 11 has come to an end. I am so thankful god has granted these women the serenity to accept that they WILL NOT change and will forever remain the lovable, dysfunctional, bizarro world kooks we have come to adore.
For all the drama and insults they inflict upon each Real Housewives Of New York is unlike any other franchise in their ability to brush it off, chalk it up to experience, and come back together as more than friends, but family. After so many years knowing each other on and off Bravo, this show is also unique in that most of the relationships predate the show, and will outlast it too.
Unequivocably the major subject of this reunion (and so many others) has been Luann de Lesseps. No wonder Luann has such a huge ego! It’s impossible for me to comprehend that there was a time when Lu was a ‘Friend of…’ and I’m very curious to see how that will play out with Vicki Gunvalson on Real Housewives Of Orange County (which starts next week. WOOT!)
Ramona Singer definitely doesn’t believe Luann is sober and, in fact, tells, her she failed herself after failing a sobriety test. Even after her tactless comment about Dennis Shields, Ramona still hasn’t learned much about how addiction and relapsing works.
Then in the next breath, Ramona insists she’s supportive of Luann. Telling a person what’s wrong with them IS Ramona’s version of support. She’s basically a more crass version of Dale Mercer. Of course, this is also what Ramona does with people she doesn’t like, doesn’t respect, doesn’t think respect her, and doesn’t think are the right kind of people…
The shocking thing about Luann is even when faced with a montage of behaving like an insurable self-absorbed ass she still doesn’t get why the women were annoyed. Luann is like a lobster: same tough outer shell, all pinchers, and in order to get anything good, like Bethenny Frankel said, Luann needs a good, hard knock. But even then…
Even with Barbara Kavovit, a true ride or die friend, Luann is self-righteous. Luann is outraged beyond belief that Barbara had the nerve to say on television that Luann can’t sing, all while sitting in the audience of the greatest show on earth (Tinsley Mortimer‘s circus). As if none of us watching from the cheap seats (aka cable) have ears?? Hilariously all the other women completely and openly back Barbara up and take turns telling Luann she can’t sing. It must’ve felt so liberating!
RELATED – Ramona Singer Thinks The Entire Real Housewives Of New York Cast Should Return–Except For Barbara Kavovit
For someone doused in 16 layers of Wet N Wild Body Glitter, Barbara actually made a classy appearance. She very nicely explained to Luann that she cares about her, supports her, and believes she’s a great performer, but she is NOT Adele and needs to get off her high horse. And Luann’s horse is probably high
Luann insists she can sing because she’s just been cast in Broadway’s Chicago. OK, um, Chicago is where Broadway stashes C-List celebs they hope can bring some butts to seats. How many Housewives have been on Broadway?! In that show? Good for Luann and yada, yada, yada…
Bethenny said it best, “The punishment doesn’t fit the crime given the whole circumstance.”
Proving that Barb is cleared of all charges (and raised in esteem by the rest of the cast) Bethenny grabs a handful of tissues (of course there are like nine boxes next to her seat) to wipe the tanner off her arms. Seriously high school proms in New Jersey have less body glitter!! Also, Barb’s tanner intervention was my favorite moment from last night.
Tanner-included Barb had a rough go of it all season. I didn’t necessarily like her as a castmate, but watching her little montage I didn’t think she was that bad. And after all the hazing she took during filming and at the reunion, Dorinda Medley, a woman who is supposed to be Barb’s friend, compared her to the turnip in the fruit bowl (did she mean sweet potato?) to illustrate how Barbara doesn’t fit in with the others. I don’t know if it is an insult to be told you don’t fit in with this group of sour grapes…
That analogy kinda wants me to abandon this recap to think about what fruit each of the women would be. Luann, definitely a dragon fruit – a ton of work to get to the fruit part, then it’s sort of flavorless, mushy, and not even sweet.
Ramona’s a tomato, an imposter fruit. Bethenny is 100% a grapefruit – an acquired taste, but one that has a lot of payoffs if you can figure out how to eat (and appreciate) it. I love grapefruit by the way, even if I don’t love Bethenny all the time. Tinsley is a banana. A brown banana who doesn’t get that this is peak banana. Sonja Morgan is always and forever the Chiquita Banana lady, actually probably a cherry: sweet, easily paired with others, always enjoyed, but mildly annoying and flawed by a pit. Lastly, Dorinda is a watermelon; tough rind, has some seeds, but refreshing if it’s the right amount of ripeness.
Barbara leaves with the women lining up to give her hugs. Which is quite a contrast from how they treated her all season! For fear of self-tanner cross-over, Bethenny hugged Barbara middle school dance in south-style, i.e. 8 inches apart, but the rest of the women showed they cared by trying to actually use their own bodies to remove some of that orange glow. And Luann almost fell in Barbara’s lap, literally, which is probably a great analogy for their friendship in general.
Then we wander backward through the winding roads of Luann’s narcissism. All the flippant arrogance and callous comments, the conviction Luann has in how cabaret saves lives, especially hers, and that all the women are certainly jealous of her runaway success in the worlds most outdated performance art. Next season we’ll have to hear how they only came for ONE run of Lu’s Broadway performance.
With Andy staring her down Luann explains that she really was having trouble coping this season and that seeing all those clips together she was an asshole – one who deserved criticism. To make it nice she not only apologizes to Bethenny for being ungrateful, but agrees to kiss Bethenny’s ass. Which is how one prays to reality TV’s Jesus Lord & Savior, I suppose.
To demonstrate that she’s really undergone ‘the change’ Luann interrupts Ramona and Bethenny’s serious conversation about bonding over their abusive childhoods to check the time so she could blow into her breathalyzer. Also at the end of the reunion Luann bemoans that she felt distant from the woman and that she lost her cheerleaders. Which is perfect accidental metaphor for how Luann views her friendships. Like Barbara and Bethenny said, it’s what can you do for Lu. Luann will never get over not getting enough attention as a child. She had no Melinda to her Dorinda.
Luann has 3 months left of her probation and it comes as no surprise to anyone that she’s evasive about whether or not she’ll stay sober. Bethenny even proposes they have a joint party to celebrate their mutual freedoms as Bethenny’s divorce is expected to be finally finalized around the same time. Well, I mean, I’ll come.
At least Lu and Dorinda finally have their friendship back on track and are talking regularly. Dorinda vows to support Luann. If she had a new prayer card commissioned it was probably done by Pretty On The Outside.
Look, Luann doesn’t consider herself an alcoholic and who I am to judge – maybe she’s not. Maybe she’s just a run of the mill narcissist, but I fully predict that next season the entire storyline will be Luann not being sober. Luann and Sonja. Sonja, Sonja, Sonja… who still thinks Tej is Raj and Rage is an emotion reserved for Treatment of Morgan Letters. Sonja thinks she did Taj a favor by sexually harassing him because she made him “googoglgogogleable.” Andy Cohen is just beside himself and aghast. Sonja is like his crazy old aunt who there is no hope for, but you can’t really hate her because well, she is who she is. Except I think Sonja and Andy are probably the same age…
Also, Sonja wants Tej to be her new intern. Can she fit interns in the apartment? Or maybe Sonja will turn the town house into a boarding house? The International Intern Institute, Or I, I, I (like the letter not the number, obviously!)
“I’m not leaving the lobsters – that’s just who I am,” will NEVER get old, nor will a drunken, woozy Sonja telling paramedics she’s allergic to dust mites. We love these women because they’re incorrigible. Because they’re incorruptible from their dysfunction.
Sonja blows off any accusation that she has an alcohol problem and Andy doesn’t even touch on her adventure at AA, which is because this reunion and this cast is so jam-packed with crazy there’s not even room for that in between Bethenny’s tantrums and Luann’s arrogance. I feel like Luann has a can of arrogance, like industrial sized AquaNet aerosol cans from the 80’s, and she just sprays it around her head to ward off realism intruding into her self-professed glory.
Anyway, after Sonja swan dived out of dinner, Bethenny checked her purse to see if Luann might be right that Sonja was on something. The only thing Sonja was on was about 30 different hormones. Which maybe, like Xanax, shouldn’t be mixed with 5 rum cocktails on an empty stomach? I want to know what Sonja is on, though, she’s so well-preserved and much more natural-looking than many of these girls!! Share, please.
As for Bethenny’s Miami meltdown, she’s embarrassed and admits it wasn’t all about Luann, but Luann was the catalyst. Luann is fine with being let off the hook and abdicating responsibility. One day at a time, eh.
The reunion closes with each of the women sharing one regrettable moment from the season. Tinsley regrets sobbing at the circus. Which she should 100% NOT regret as this was the moment that made her this season and was the very encapsulation of Tinsley’s stunted adolescence that we needed in literal form. More please! What Tinsley should regret instead was A) dating Scott; B) her reunion outfit with all the tacky old lady costume jewelry and those beaded shoes. It was all so… bad southern. (Yes, Luann’s was worse, but I expect better from The Tinz)
Luann regrets telling Bethenny to fuck off with an antiquated Italian hand gesture. That’s it? Really? Not the fish room meltdown?! Ramona regrets her comment about Dennis. Thankfully. Sonja regrets not having more monogrammed towels. Bethenny regrets her snarky comment in Miami about Tinsley not having a daughter. Which Tinsley, weirdly, was not insulted by. Even though I am. Tinsley is too nice – and also too afraid of Bethenny. Dorinda regrets not barging into the clam bake and causing a scene, but I am eternally grateful for that because then we wouldn’t have gotten The Great Lobster Theft of 2018. And that was about the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.
Then some Bravo intern pours Fresca into champagne glasses for a toast and all the women openly complaining that there’s no booze, then Luann sends them off with an AA mantra about having the serenity to accept the things you cannot change. It literally could NOT be more perfect.
Bravo better have the serenity to accept that the Real Housewives Of New York cast cannot change. Also you know these women are still the only people buying Fresca like it’s 1992. When my mom was on Weight Watchers back in the day when you weighed food on a plastic scale, she lived on Fresca. Now I want some…
TELL US – WILL LUANN STAY SOBER? SHOULD BARBARA BE BACK? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FRUIT?
[Photo Credits: Heidi Gutman/Bravo & bravo]