Oh, Real Housewives Of New York, you never fail to disappoint. Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well it’s you girl[s], and you should know it!
Love may not be all around, though, but the opposite of love and just as passionate, is hate which is aplenty! Especially when it comes to Dorinda Medley‘s passionate animosity towards Tinsley Mortimer. Seriously – whaaaaat? Hating Tinsley is like hating the lone sock floating around the laundry forever without a mate. Hating Tinsley is like resenting an earring back that doesn’t quite fit snugly to any of your earrings. Hating Tinsley is like going to Costco and getting stuck bad samples.
What I mean is that none of these things should generate strong enough feelings to reach the intensity of anger Dorinda has towards Tinsley. Because what Dorinda truly hates is that her life has gone on without Richard andis no longer the fairy tale it was.
Dorinda says so herself when she takes us on a tour of “Mrs. Medley’s New York.” This is a sad little traipse down memory lane where Dorinda mutters to herself outside the Upper East Side townhouse she and Richard once owned. Dorinda is literally communing with the ghosts of her fabulous past – the ones who served dinner to Hilary Clinton. But did she do it out of a rusty toaster oven?!
We’ve become accustomed to these ‘girl I used to be…’ musings from Sonja Morgan, but somehow it’s sadder when Dorinda marauds through her past, wistfully staring up at the gate that bars her from entering the past. It’s the same gate she installed in front of the townhouse when she lived there, and the gate has far outlived her. And that life.
Afterwards, Dorinda meets Sonja, Ramona Singer, and Elyse Slaine at Nello’s, the restaurant where she had a weekly date night with Richard, and we’re expected to believe the maitre d still remembers her. It’s interesting that for this occasion Dorinda is literally cosplaying a wealthy UES matron; Chanel casually draped over her shoulders, sensible flat (probably Hermes) loafers, genteel jewelry….
Ramona is annoyed with the entire charade. Which is saying something because lately social climbing is Ramona’s bread and butter – or should I say her salad and fat-free Italian – as she searches for the life mate who will save her from dying alone. Ramona is annoyed because this is the opposite of a social climb. It’s social de-escalating, and they form a pathetic simulation of ladies who lunch.
All of these women were once married to influential men – none more influential than Mario, who communed with God for personalized instructions to make religious talismans that doubled as stylish accessories to accent one’s cleavage. Anyway, now these women are divorced and spending a weekday afternoon eating an early bird dinner as they reminisce about the good days. Ramona could be dating! You have to admire Ramona and Luann de Lesseps as the only women in this group who have moved past their divorces. Tinsley, Dorinda, and Sonja are still very much living in the hazy hedge of regret.
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Speaking of Sonja she has no time for Dorinda’s passe nonsense either, but it’s because she’s on a post-bender fast and master cleansing for 5 days. By the time this lunch happens she’s on Day 3 without food, is cranky as hell, and is staring down Elyse’s pasta like she suspects a Morgan Letter is hiding under the cheese.
Elyse is more concerned with whether or not Luann is drinking again. Does Elyse know Lu? Are they friends? I’ve never gotten a backstory on this random hanger-on who goes around dispensing unwanted life advice to these women from underneath her too-tight eye holes. Anyway, the answer to Luann drinking is not yet. But the day, the night, the year is young. Dorinda and Ramona still think it is ridiculous that Luann is living under the pretense that she’s an alcoholic. She just had a few slips called assaulting an officer and being forced to eat bologna. It was all the fault of that Tom. Um, friends, don’t make passes for friends who are asses.
Meanwhile, Luann is across town receiving life advice from Jacques Azoulay, the man she fucked over for a phony pirate. Jacques is now engaged and embarking on a standup comedy hobby. He and Luann are still close. Over French fries for a francophile and her former French beau, Luann cues up Feelin’ Jovani and forces Jacques to listen. He wonders who Jovani is, and also why Luann can’t just have one single glass of red wine. Only one. Yes, why can’t the countess countenance a cabernet?
Luann has enlisted Jacques to perform at the anti-bullying fundraiser she’s hosting with podcaster Chanel In The City. It will be a night of performances by comedic podcasters and MC’d in part by Luann, who … is not particularly funny unless you’re laughing at her clueless egomania. Sadly Real Housewives Of New York taking a stand against bullying is not meant to be ironic. Jacques even asks Ramona and Dorinda if they’ve ever bullied anyone, and with completely straight faces they both say no. Cue the flashback footage of contradictions!
Leah McSweeney is still having issues with her mom. She calls her ex-boyfriend for support and they wind up discussing why neither of them has ever moved on to new relationships, but instead remain in this weird stasis where they’re not dating each other, but behave like a married couple. Including the not having sex part! Leah wonders if this is setting a bad example for their daughter.
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Well, it’s definitely better than whatever example Dale Mercer gave Tinsley! They go out for pizza and we learn that Tinsley has broken up with the erstwhile Bruce because he didn’t put her first in his life. Dale blames Tinsley for being 44, childless, and trying to raise dogs as children. Basically, Tinsley is the equivalent of leftover Easter eggs when no one even likes egg salad sandwiches. Especially when it’s a sad funky pale pink color.
Dale doesn’t understand why a settled and established man would waste his time with a woman who’s mentally 15 and still hanging Teen Beat heartthrob posters on the bedroom wall of her mother’s house. Tinsley looks amazing for 44 – I think it’s the stunted adolescence reflecting from the inside out. Tinsley also admits that she was only with Bruce because he lives in Chicago and she was hoping to make Scott Kluth jealous by proximation of location.
Tinsley decides the obvious solution to finding a man is to go to Leah’s trainer to grow a spine and try to be single for a while. She also decides that it’s time to stand up to Dorinda. Dale agrees with all these things, but then tells Tinsley that she really doesn’t have time for personal development since her eggs are the equivalent of hung-over eggs a la Francais!
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Poor Sonja – she’s on a cleanse because she gained 5lbs of alcohol weight and blew out the back of her fashion show dress, and now she has to meet with her investor waaaaay out in New Jersey where he puts a big old platter of cheese in front of her to inform her that no one’s biting on Sonja Morgan New York. Ergo the company is losing money way faster than Sonja’s losing weight. The whole thing is utterly depressing. Then Sonja has to attend a not-funny/supposed to be funny event where she can’t even drink.
Leah rides to the fundraiser with Ramona, who put on her ‘imitate a human being’ act to dispense advice about healing Leah’s relationship with her mother. Yes, Leah – don’t want to turn into the TinzDale! Leah is annoyed that her mother is judging her for her teenaged failures, not her adult accomplishments. Also Leah’s mom, Bernadette, is behaving like a child herself by simply not speaking to Leah about why she’s upset. And yes, that is very annoying, but Ramona points out that this is Leah’s mom’s way of expressing fear. Furthermore, Leah needs to accept that she might not agree with her mother’s opinion, but she needs to treat her with resect. Ramona suggests Leah ditch the texting (YES) and show up with a bouquet of her mom’s favorite flowers and a simple message that she misses her. The advice is so heartwarming, perfect, and anti-Ramona that Leah actually tears up. I literally thought I had entered the twilight zone. When has Ramona ever been sensible or… nice?
The venue where they’re holding the fundraiser confuses me. It’s like a McDonald’s Playplace for adults combined with Dave & Busters, with a stage. They serve alcohol and what looked like muffins? Also the bathroom closes with a glass shower door. Not the stalls, just the bathroom itself. Which is awkward, considering it’s right off the stage.
Luann has the brilliant idea to open the act with “I did not fuck the pirate! And here’s Jacques.” Luann also has the brilliant idea to break her alcohol fast by snagging a few sips from Ramona’s vodka soda before the show. Ramona looks on, mouth agape, as Luann slurps. It’s a magical thing; being intoxicated. In the cups. Luann is back baby, and Dorinda and Sonja couldn’t be more thrilled. Although even sober, Sonja is still the most fun!
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Dorinda is adamant that Luann isn’t an alcoholic. This is self-serving. Elyse gets her first ever confessional to complain that if Dorinda is truly Luann’s friend she would support her staying in recovery. After all, who wants a friend who gets shit-faced and makes a fool of herself — other than another person who gets shit-faced and makes a fool of herself! I’m with Elyse. If Luann is saying her life is better without alcohol and that she wants to try and stay sober, her friends should encourage her! Although I think Luann testing the waters, so to speak, isn’t a totally bad thing, but I hope she’s able to exercise discretion. It’s a tough call.
What we can all agree on though is that Jacques is not funny. Charming, perhaps. Amusing, maybe. Funny as in haha – NOT A CHANCE. Even with pirate sex jokes. This entire event is rather strange and un-funny though. The women are in the front row, just wanting to nosh and chat, but they’re stuck silently listening to random podcasters attempt stand-up. Ramona doesn’t even watch podcasts so she’s really not sure what’s up. Dorinda has no idea what this has to do with anti-bullying… Apparently the concept of a fundraiser eludes her?
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Also, she’s more concerned about her Tinsley Troubles. Dorinda is hurt because Tinsley opens up to Leah, who has found a way to connect to Park Avenue’s former ice queen. Meanwhile, Tinsley keeps Dorinda at a distance which Dorinda misconstrues as Tinsley lying about her life. The explanation for why is very simple: LEAH and Tinsley are close in age and can relate to each other on dating mores, life issues, etc. Whereas DORINDA is closer in age to Dale, Tinsley’ smother, and likely can relate to Dale over all the ways Tinsley is frustrating, immature, self-centered, and annoying.
I really don’t understand why bonding with Tinsley is such a priority for Dorinda? Especially when she doesn’t even particularly LIKE Tinsley! Dorinda enlists Leah’s help to find common ground. Leah proposes the three of them get lunch together, where she can mediate as Dorinda and Tinsley talk through their issues. Except Tinsley is totally against this idea. She’d rather go to lunch alone with Dorinda, and talk as adults. Dorinda and Leah refuse to accept this and basically inform Tinsley that she’s doing the three-way lunch because it’s the best way to solve things. After all Tinsley’s not capable of handling adult matters alone. It’s like Tinsley is going to the high school guidance counselor with her parent’s support.
Tinsley keeps insisting she doesn’t need Leah’s help because she’s so tired of people talking for her! After the show, once everyone but Luann (and a temporarily Sober Sonja) are all sauced up, they go sliding down the giant slide right into an argument. Dorinda has taken shots and then decides to start taking shots at Tinsley. Per the usual.
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Leah decides the problem is that Dorinda intimidates Tinsley, which Tinsley disagrees with. Dorinda, drunk, thinks Leah is calling her intimidating and then storms out. Everyone else is just exhausted by this same old back and forth when they just want to play pingpong and have fun. Also Tinsley still hasn’t been given the OK to going to lunch with her older friends without mom supervising.
TELL US – WAS IT A BAD IDEA FOR LUANN TO START DRINKING AGAIN? SHOULD LEAH BUTT OUT OF TINSLEY AND DORINDA’S ISSUES?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]