The Real Housewives Of New York are back with a vengeance! Except for Bethenny Frankel. That B is outta the picture… Well, not entirely. The episode opens with the ladies reacting to the news that Bethenny has quit. For some this is a blessing; a ripping off of the bandaid to reveal fresh, chemical peeled skin. That would be fellow veterans Ramona Singer and Luann de Lesseps‘ feelings.
For others who were in Bethenny’s Skinnygirl denim hip pocket, they’re sad to see her backside. That would be Sonja Morgan and Dorinda Medley. Sonja, who wants to hoard everything in her emotional basement of horrors – including toxic friendships, is mourning being abandoned.
So that’s that – end of an era until the next time Bethenny needs a career boost! Real talk though: Thank you Bethenny for donating during the coronavirus crisis. A + for B strong.
The Countess has shed her shackles and gotten off probation! Why do I sense a new single coming on? Sonja is there for support, aka to get Lu’s first post-probation cocktail. Just kidding. They ease in with coffee and Sonja giving Lu a talking-to about being way too focused on trying to be a sober cabaret star, so now that she’s no longer on probation they’ll be cutting her less slack. “What about me for once,” Lu scoffs. Um, everything was about her all the time. We basically watched Real Housewives Of Cabaret last season.
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Lu promises to be more sensitive to her friend’s feelings (sure, Jan) and they hug. Sonja, ultimate multi-talker, takes a bite of her giant street cart soft pretzel over Lu’s shoulder. Yes, Sonja, put Lu in the same position she puts you: second!
Then we meet Leah McSweeney who is supposedly friends with Tinsley Mortimer. Tinz and Leah meet at a boxing gym, and Tinsley is just so happy to have someone under 50 to film with. Tinsley is on the Luann de Lesseps self-improvement program of talking about needing to put herself first like she hasn’t always been putting herself first. OK, well, Tinz has been putting Dale first! As part of this reinvention, she’s dumped Scott Kluth and is dating a Bruce, who has 2 ex-wives and three kids. Tinz is surprised that you can basically talk to small children the way you talk to dogs. Suddenly those frozen eggs are feeling mighty thawed.
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Leah has a 12-year-old daughter named Kier, and was dating a married man until she found out he wasn’t going through with his divorce. Isn’t that like mistress 101? Also, guess what?! Leah is a Housewife with no filter. (eye roll) She’s too ribald for Tinsley’s southern sensibilities, but madam debutante is pretending to be risqué to prove to Scott that she doesn’t need his discount love. So until Dale puts her foot down about who Tinzzzz-leah is allowed to associate with she’s cool with Leah’s sexual over-disclosing. I have a feeling Dale will be canceling those play dates very soon!
Dorinda is recovering from a broken rib after a dinner party dancing mishap with Carson Kressley. Despite her injury Dorinda still managed to make it nice by providing lasagna for 12. I love this woman. I love this show. I love my New York ladies who understand all the priorities in life come down to telling your girlfriends how it is, having fun, and food. I am not sure I can deal with Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills and their chronic diets being on at the same time. STOP PRETENDING YOU DON’T LIKE CHEESE, KY-YLE!
Anyway, John has been nursing Dorinda back to health which she both loves and resents. They are bickering like a married couple which means it’s time for her to change the locks and banish him back to his own apartment unless he’s dropping off the dry cleaning.
Dorinda and Luann have made amends after all the smashed sequins and ripped gowns of the Jovani Wars. Now Dorinda is throwing a party to celebrate/not celebrate Luann not really being an alcoholic, but a party animal who got caught way in the cups. Actually it’s an end of the summer bash to bring everyone back together after summers at various vacation homes and foreign locales. How shi-shi-shi!
Ramona meets her friends at T-Bar (including the new ‘friend of‘ Elyse Slaine) to reconnect after a summer in the Hamptons. Ramona sold her apartment and moved into a new place on the Upper East Side. At 60 she’s feeling directionless and alone. Ramona breaks into
dry heaving tears that she will be eternally single and never held by a man again. I mean, she could probably call Harry Dubin…
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Leah is a native New Yorker and runs the clothing line Married To The Mob, which I’ve never heard of. Should I have? Kier and Leah are soul mates, life partners, best friends, and also mother/daughter. Which is totally gonna end well. Leah is also, of course, BFF with Kier’s father, Rob even though they’re not together. That’s nice and totally traditional/expected in the Housewives realm where everyone except Sonja, Bethenny, Luann and Camille Grammer have the moooosssst peeeerfeckt conscious uncouplings!
Sonja has been in her apartment a year and despite her swearing it was a fresh start it now looks like an episode of Hoarders. There’s stuff piled everywhere and literal plastic bags full of crap. Ramona comes over with Coco and Sonja’s dog immediately starts humping her. Then Sonja tells the story of how she went out in platform sneakers from Sonja Morgan New York as made by an Ethiopian pole dancing team she’s investing in to help run her vertiginous life goals symposium, but anyway her wrap dress, which was produced in a toaster oven through heat bonding, flew open and she got a concussion. Therefore she hasn’t been walking the dog enough so watch out for hidden surprises! Also Sonja fell dragging a bag full of god know’s what and the hot dog man had to assist her. I’m sure his wieners offered plenty of support.
Ramona immediately recognizes that Sonja is trying to avoid the reality that Quincy left for college. Even though Quincy has been away at boarding school for years, she’s too grown up for coming home and doesn’t want Sonja helicoptering. Ramona thinks that is ridiculous. She invites herself to party with her sister Avery’s friends every week. They practically look like twins so it’s not like anyone thinks a mom crashed the party!
Dorinda and Tinsley are still in a mysterious feud. Tinsley thinks Dorinda has something going on in her own life and is projecting it onto stalking Tinsley’s relationship with Scott. The relationship Tinsley is supposedly no longer in! Dorinda complains that Tinsley never opens up and everything is so surface. She compares Tinsley to a turtle, and doesn’t want to invest in a friendship she can’t go deep with. So if Tinsley is like a turtle, that means she’s eternally doomed to the fish room, right? Tinsley tells her hair dresser she’s nervous about attending Dorinda’s party, while Dorinda complains to her MUA Luke (of Ladies of London fame) that Tinsley is impossible to get to know.
Well, somebody had to have drama this season and it might as well be Tinz! Also I looooove Dorinda’s new short hair-do!
Dorinda has decided she’s an expert party thrower. She has read up on her Class With The Countess and re-written the tome for modern times. She likes to mix all different crowds like a craft cocktail, then spice it up with some sex appeal. I mean Make It Nice with Dorinda really needs to hit bookstores soon. We are bored. We are trapped at home. We cannot party. Let us live vicariously though the Berkshires.
Leah has a complicated relationship with booze. She didn’t drink for 9 years, then when Real Housewives Of New York producers told her they could not stomach another sober Housewife, she started again a few months back. Unforautnely she can only drink responsibly sometimes. Which is the case for all of us, right?? Or have I been suffering from Real Housewives exposure where drinking responsibly means that going out and losing the Chanel bag carrying your passport passes for a pretty tame night? Anyway, Leah is back to not drinking which Tinsley thinks is a curse. She refuses to cheers a mocktail. She’s a good superstitious southern girl like that, but way to support your sober homies!
Ramona arrives t the party looking she’s wearing 80’s satin bedsheets. We get it Ramona – your bed is cold, you are lonely, and want someone to hop on in!
Despite being off probation, Luann is still towing the sober line for now. She is Lu and Improved! Or at least Ahn and consistent!
Proving that she truly is the best hostess in town, Dorinda surprises everyone by having drag queen Chelsea Piers come out to perform Feelin’ Jovani. It’s Luann’s post-probation graduation present! Dorinda explains that she loves hard, fights hard and forgives easily. Um, on that last one… No she doesn’t, but sour grapes aren’t really a good cocktail make, so shake it til you make it! Also I don’t care what anyone says, I love this song. Leah has no idea what Jovani is. Which is our first indicator that she’s probably not a good fit here.
Although Lu and Leah do have some things in common besides struggling with sobriety. Like they’ve both been arrested! Leah was nabbed on 4th of July for obstruction of justice when she threw a water bottle at the cops who were trying to arrest her man. After getting punched in the face by an officer and knocking her her teeth out Leah sued. Now she has veneers and a nice fat settlement from NYPD which she used to start her clothing company. I don’t get the name of Leah’s company. Are we going to get an explanation on that?
Tinsley decides to make it if not nice, then right by pulling Dorinda aside to figure out why they hate each other now. It’s about transparency. Dorinda wants Tinsley’s life to be the Saran Wrap on the leftovers after a weekend of houseguests, but Tinsley is more like aluminum foil: conceal, deflect, and trap heat in. Basically Dorinda suspects Tinsley is still lying about her relationship with Scott (she is, but only to hide it from Dale) and wants the truth. Tinsley argues that she’s finally living her life on her own terms so if she wants to secretly date Scott one day, and secretly not date Scott but get dinner with him the next, she can!
Tinsley decides that this is about Dorinda not really wanting to be her friend, but Dorinda is annoyed that Tinsley’s panties are constantly in a wad about rules and regulations for how her friendships are allowed to go. It’s called boundaries, Dorinda, maybe get some? Cause you have them with John. I’m impressed that Tinsley actually kind of handled herself here. She was direct and forthcoming that Dorinda needs to stay out of it. Tinsley’s voice still sounds like a CareBare on Helium, but at least she’s asserting herself instead of crying in the corner, then crying harder cause her lashes fell off. Tinsley decides she just can’t win, which is Dorinda’s cue to escalate by mocking Tinsley for being an immature baby who needs mommy to fight her battles. She storms away after calling Tinsley a whore who lays on her back for designer shoes. So Dorinda is really starting this season off on the right foot, huh!
The whole thing gives Leah a horrible first impression of Dorinda, and she’s appalled that Tinsley would let someone talk to her like that. Welp, this is gonna go down like swallowing a horse pill dry. See this is always where Dorinda loses me. Even if she is right about Tinsley being dishonest a) it’s none of her business and b) she took it way to the left, got personal, attacking, and gross.
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While Dorinda and Tinsley are sparring about nothing, Sonja is hitting on Ramona’s ex-lover, William. He is young, she’s heard rumors that he has a “pair of jeans full of magic,” plus she wants to serve Ramona a little revenge for always going after her leftovers. Leah is less impressed with William’s cheesy Billy Baldwin looks. She describes him as the kind of guy who needs manual and magnifying glass to find a girl’s clit. Sonja is exasperated by Leah’s mood killing anti-magic. She doesn’t want to go home alone! She tried swearing off younger guys, but just can’t resist their viagra-less sex appeal. “Somebody, somebody, somebody wake up and smell the Sonja!” she demands. Please tell me this is on Sonja’s Tinder profile?
TELL US – FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF LEAH? IS TINSLEY LYING, OR IS IT NONE OF DORINDA’S BUSINESS?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]