I love Real Housewives Of New York. Also, I want to hang out with them. The FOMO is worse than ever with this whole quarantine thing and everything. I will drink 10 martinis and lose my mind with Leah McSweeney. I will tear down the genteel (only-in-delusion) Upper East Side establishment – starting with their flowers. I will burn Newport to the ground with a fire of toasted marshmallows and vodka. It will be great. Ramona Singer can take her wannabe elegance and stuff it like a lobster roll.
Anyway, Ramona has invited all the Real Housewives of New York ladies to beautiful and sophisticated Newport, RI where she’s attempting to refashion herself into some sort of elegant grand dame in the search of a wealthy husband. Pssst…. Turtle Time, that ship has sailed. Meanwhile, there is Tinsley Mortimer, whose family actually owns a house in Newport where they spend summers. They winter in Palm Beach.
See, this is why they hate Tinsley. It’s not her screeching, or the whining, or the Power Puff Girl makeup with plastic-y tears, it’s the access. The blue bloodstock that doesn’t come from marrying up, and won’t dry-up with divorce.
Dorinda Medley is meeting them in Newport, coming straight from Blue Stone Manor where she’s supervising the renovation. When Dorinda said a flood I had envisioned a little bit of water dribbling down the wall and I chalked it up to karma for having giant dead fish swooping over the walls where her guests slept. However, seeing the actual scene at Bluestone. HOLYYYYY… I get why she’s so anxious. This is a historic home and to do a restoration correctly is painstaking and nervewracking. That said, I cannot wait until these girls can go back there and trash it again.
On the bus to Newport Leah drops the bomb that she’d like her sister, Sarah, a new mom, to join them for the weekend. Leah says Sarah needs a break and a night away with her new fun friends (re: absolutely batshit crazy old broads they can laugh at) will be perfect.
Also, Leah is going through something with “Pita Chip,” the guy she was dating for his baked goods. They hooked up, then were supposed to have a dinner date but on the day of he never called to confirm, so Leah texted him in a rage and accused him of sucking dick. Now it’s over before it even got started. As a result, Leah is feeling really badly about herself (and hopefully her hair-trigger temper), and she’s too anxious to eat. Which doesn’t mix well with the general extracurricular activity of this group: consuming alcohol.
So about the sister – I am on both sides. Leah should’ve planned this out in advance instead of putting Ramona on the spot. Although I don’t see how it really matters if she joins. However, Ramona, who wants to control the nuance of the group, doesn’t want an interloper she doesn’t know (who likely has more tattoos than Leah) showing up and out-hotting them all in her bikini. Ramona also doesn’t want Leah and Tinsley going off with Sarah to do fun young people things, leaving all the grannies behind to reminisce about their days at Studio 54.
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However, Leah tells Ramona she looks 25 and is her surrogate mother, which is … all kindsa MTV Teen Mom weird, but it works so Ramona initially agrees that Sarah can join them for the second night.
Howevrrrrrrrrrr… once they get to the hotel, which is posh and very fancy, and are greeted with gorgeous craft cocktails and a lunch of lobster rolls (which Leah does not eat), Ramona starts having second thoughts and RESCINDS the sister’s invite. Leah will not be told no. Like a child she starts running around the dining room, dancing up and down, begging and whining. She corals Dorinda and Tinsley, and even Luann de Lesseps to agree with her that her sister can come.
Tinsley knows Sarah and co-signs her greatness. Sonja Morgan and Elyse Slaine both say nope. Me thinks they saw Sarah’s Instagram… This is mutiny in the Housewives world. A civil war which will be won by the woman with the most stamina for antics and outrage. Ramona has met her match. Once again Ramona is pressed into saying yes, then they all go to their bungalows to rest up before dinner, which is a clam bake befitting of a Martha Stewart Living spread.
While everyone else relaxes, Leah keeps drinking. Oh, she also calls her sister and tells her to drive up the following day for an overnight.
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Ramona and Sonja are of course sharing a ‘cabin’ and it gives them plenty of time to conspire. After thinking about it AGAIN, Ramona decides she doesn’t want Leah’s sister coming after all. This time, away from the persuasive fan dance of Leah waving linen napkins, Luann agrees.
Sonja promises to support Ramona in breaking the news to Leah. Ramona decides she’ll offer a ‘cocktails and conversation’ event at her house as a conciliatory substitution where she can vet Sarah for future reference. Well, we saw how well Ramona’s last cocktail party went when Dorinda got thrown out! Also, I’m so sure Leah and Sarah want to hang out with aging former trophy wives, discussing Tom and Harry’s pass-around dicks. (Which obviously Leah and Sarah would pass on completely.)
At least the beach party was beautiful for about 15 seconds. Ramona even brought plastic crows leftover from last year’s New Years Eve for all the women wear. Immediately Leah decided that the cocktails were too weak, and so too, apparently was the company. She asks the bartender to start making hers double (or triple), and before the appetizers are even served she is literally making love to the stake holding up the pergola. Ramona tries to warn Leah to slow down, but that only makes Leah, a rebellious teen at heart, want it more. Ramona literally yells across the party that Leah is a recovering alcoholic and shouldn’t be drinking such strong drinks.
Ramona is intent to prove her dominance though, both over this trip and her friend group, and by telling Leah that Sarah is uninvited (again). Unfortunately, Sonja is wavering in her Ramotional Support role. Sonja lets Leah sit on her lap. She doesn’t stop her from flinging the flowers. She at one point was dragging Leah by her ankles across the lawn as Ramona literally tried to tackle Leah to make her calm down, but only because Ramona decides this is the moment to inform Leah that her sister is canceled. Ramona literally wrestled Leah to break the news. In response, Leah decides break everything else in sight. Especially Ramona’s ego.
While all this is happening a super trashed Tinsley sits down on Dorinda to slur that she doesn’t want to fight, she just wants to hug. Dorinda is in her Mrs. Medley mode though and chooses to lecture Tinsley (again) on how she’s still not being forthcoming about her life. All Tinsley hears is that Dorinda thinks she has cooties. WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE HER?! NO ONE LOVES HER!!!!!! FROZEN EGGS!!!!!!! I mean can you imagine if Tinsley was acting the way Leah did? Actually, they might actually like Tinsley then.
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Leah does not take the news well. She breaks down into hysterical – fake – sobs and throws herself on the ground. Sonja tries helping her to feet, but only succeeds in taking Leah’s shoes off. Dorinda is chasing her before she impales herself on a lobster fork. Dorinda understands Leah – a kindred spirit in rage and retaliation. Leah, like Dorinda, loves to go hard, and they’re all fine and dandy until you piss them off. Yeah, the difference is that Leah isn’t mean. She’s ridiculous and outrageous and a lot of work to babysit, but she’s not mean. Dorinda is. Also, Leah isn’t bitter to her core, just the sole of her sneakers.
Finally, Ramona realizes that Leah has her beat. If she doesn’t want the entire trip to be ruined she has to agree to let Sarah come. Leah is a master manipulator and I love it! She has stolen Ramona’s crown – literally!! – by ripping it off her head, and now Leah is the one whose tantrums reign supreme.
The next morning Ramona and Sonja are in surprisingly good spirits and Leah is also surprisingly fresh, although she has no memory of what happened the night before. Instead, her night of living ‘Keith Richards Takes Newport’ was cathartic. So she runs into the waves with Dorinda for a baptism.
Elyse is less enthralled. First she tells Ramona she was out of line for inviting, then uninviting the sister. Once she told Leah yes the first time that had to stand. Ramona doesn’t know these proper etiquette rules though. Although Elyse also thought Leah was out of line to ask in the first place.
Elyse lectures Leah about being so drunk and her behavior probably being the reason she doesn’t have a man. Dorinda immediately defends Leah and snaps that Elyse is no psychologist. It’s interesting that Elyse is finally coming out of her shell, and whew this crab is shady!
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As they head into town for shopping, Elyse, riding with Ramona and Sonja, complains about Dorinda being a hypocrite and mimics her lecturing Ramona for judging Leah, after screaming at Tinsley for being a materialistic slut. It was, actually, pretty funny. A rare moment when Elyse’s inclusion in this group made sense. However, then shopping happened.
In the middle of a boutique Leah tries to explain why Elyse is out of line to criticize her, but instead hearing Leah she goes a step further by asking what she’d do if her own daughter acted like that. Leah is livid. She storms out of the shop, dropping a slew of F-Bombs, which has Ramona seething with the vapors. She’s mortified. Her reputation! Quick somebody get her an Hermes beach towel to fan her injured sensibilities with! Or a Bloody Mary.
Outside Leah complains that Elyse has no right bring up her daughter and she’s tired of being judged by these hypocrites. I agree. Who is Elyse Slaine in this world? Furthermore, after the way Sonja and Dorinda behaved in the Hamptons and the orchard, Leah doesn’t think her meltdown was all that bad. “I thought I was allowed to chug 10 martinis and lose my mind?” she quips. DING DING DING for the double standard! We need Martin in charge of this ring. And yes, I didn’t see Elyse pulling Dorinda aside to lecture her about the example she’s setting for her daughter by calling Tinsley a prostitute.
What these ladies always need to get them back is a bar. Now Ramona is bemoaning that her childhood issues of being raised in an alcoholic home were triggered by Leah’s outburst. What – Ramona had nightmares of being forced to forage for vodka? It was also embarrassing for Ramona to have to relive these moments of Leah cursing in public in a sophisticated environment like Newport.
Was Ramona the little matchstick girl of the Berkshires or something, looking in through the leaded glass windows of all the mansions salivating over oysters? Ramona claims Leah’s behavior was so traumatic she “blanked it all out.”
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Luann immediately calls Ramona out on this BS, and reminds Ramona that she’s been plenty embarrassing all around the world, and therefore has no business pointing the finger at Leah. Furthermore, Ramona didn’t blank anything out – she was blackout drunk too! Dorinda is also on Leah’s side. As punishment for causing Ramona distress, she turns her back on Leah and Tinsley, literally blocking them from the group. Leah gets so upset she leaves the restaurant. Tinsley is used to it. Her eggs, sitting in a lab petri dish, get more attention.
Once again Leah has manipulated Ramona into capitulating. Ramona follows Leah outside to give her a hug and apologize. Ramona is trying this new thing where she connects to young people so her sister-daughter Avery will let Ramona come on spring break and, or teach her to Tinder. Ramona promises to let go of some of her judgements to accept Leah. Well, next week we see that this was all talk on Ramona’s part.
Personally, I love Leah and think she’s shaking up the status quo! Also finally Tinsley has a friend – something she’s so badly wanted for so many years, but that Dale wouldn’t allow her to have.
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TELL US – WAS LEAH OUT OF LINE TO ASK IF HER SISTER COULD COME ON REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CAST TRIP? OR WAS RAMONA BEING RIDICULOUS? ARE THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK WOMEN UNFAIRLY JUDGING LEAH’S DRINKING?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]