It’s obvious that Real Housewives of New York is NOT having its best season by a longshot. Truthfully, it’s sad considering the RHONY girls had a reputation for bringing it year after year. Their dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a stressful election, and a veryyy small group of women. And while it’s clear there’s a lot going on both on and off the screen, the ladies are, in the words of Bershan Shaw, kind of being boring grandmas. Bring back Dorinda Medley and the Berkshires — the stakes are dire.
Rumors have been swirling that RHONY is in for a major shake-up. There’s been talk that OG Ramona Singer might be getting the boot. Apparently, filming the reunion is on hold amidst talk of bad ratings for the longtime series. Fans are pointing their fingers at everyone, from Leah McSweeney’s behavior to Eboni K. Williams‘ push to get the ladies to confront their white privilege. The silver lining, as always, is Sonja Morgan who brings the funnies week after week, since all of the women are really lacking on storylines this time around.
At this point, I’m ready for Season 13 of the Real Housewives of New York to be over already. And it honestly makes me sad as hell to say that. RHONY used to bring reliable entertainment year after year. I never get tired of Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer’s Thing One and Thing Two antics. I loved the mess that was Tinsley Mortimer, particularly when Dale Mercer was involved. Before Bethenny Frankel started bashing Bravo, she was the Queen B. But this year, it’s just a bust.
RHONY has gone through a major shift in the past year, much of it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eboni K. Williams’ entrance as the first Black cast member has brought conversations about racism and white privilege to the forefront. Luann de Lesseps is past her days of falling in bushes and sleeping with pirates, opting for yoga and alcohol-free rose instead. And the majority of scenes in Season 13 fluctuate from being dark and gloomy to downright boring. Although she came in hot, Bershan Shaw had a point when she called them a bunch of “boring grandmas.”
The success of a Real Housewives season is based on several factors, one of the biggest being the cast. The Real Housewives of Potomac has been so successful because the cast is truly an ensemble and they all bring their A-game year after year. And we saw last year on the Real Housewives of Orange County that no matter how hard you try, some ladies will just NOT work well together to make good TV. The rumblings around the current grandma-filled season of the Real Housewives of New York is also evidence of that, especially considering they’re a teeny tiny cast of 5 this year. And that’s clearly why Bravo is taking its time to figure out the next move for the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Last season of RHOA was a bit all over the place. The Bolo hype was real, but aside from that, the season felt disconnected and a little stale. Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams will obviously never resolve their issues, and that as a storyline is played out. Newbie Drew Sidora and her bad wig was a bit of a bust. And Kandi Burruss and Cynthia Bailey essentially brought NOTHING to the season, and 50 Cynt even had a whole ass wedding. And again I’m pleading, WHY IS Marlo Hampton STILL PEACHLESS? Make it make sense.
Every Real Housewives of New York fan can clearly see that this season is a total bust. And while everyone is trying to point the finger at one person or thing to blame it on, I don’t think it’s that simple. The ladies are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic which hit NYC especially hard. And they filmed the majority of the season amidst one of the most contentious presidential elections of all time that had everyone on edge. Not to mention a national reckoning regarding racism. Also, at least half of the ladies are going through serious personal issues behind the scenes that are taking their toll on them.
Behind the RHONY seems, it sounds like Bravo is worried about the fan response to this season. The addition of Eboni K. Williams has been heavily debated, with some praising her for making the women confront their white privilege and others (AKA Ramona Singer) thinking she’s too “preachy.” And while Leah McSweeney was a fan-favorite last year, the fans have turned on her so bad that even Mona is asking them to give her a break. Sounds like Leah is a victim of the sophomore season scaries.
Okay, what in the actual hell is happening on Real Housewives of New York? The ratings have fallen faster than Luann de Lesseps’ last marriage, and that’s saying something because she was Mrs. D ‘Agostino for approximately 5 minutes. Eboni K. Williams was highly touted as the new woman on the scene and the first Black cast member, which was supposed to be a compliment to diversity but wound up being an exercise in failure.
Leah McSweeney has been riding the wave of the sophomore curse and may or may not be sinking the boat. The jury is still out on whether or not Leah is an asset or just a complete ass as she navigates a fine line between being woke and plain annoying. Now we’re hearing Ramona Singer is fired, which made Bethenny Frankel smile for the first time in 15 years. Today we receive news that the reunion is on hold, Andy Cohen is having a freak out, and something in the milk definitely ain’t clean in New York.
Snooze. Bored. Those are two words that come to mind to describe this season of The Real Housewives of New York. It feels like nothing has happened this season. The only thing to note is the weekly educational lesson we get from Eboni K. Williams. These women are on a trip to Salem, and it feels like a dark spell has been cast on us. This isn’t the show we know and love. This is a shell of what it used to be. Something needs to happen to liven this season up.
Bershan Shaw has been a pleasant addition so far. It’s not enough though. Something needs to change because this is NOT it. Fans have turned on Leah McSweeney. People seemingly blame her for being part of the downfall. However, can this really be attributed to one person? Dropping Leah or firing long time cast member Ramona Singer is not the way to approach this. Maybe the Salem trip will take a turn and not feel like watching school on TV.
Bravo recently changed the direction of the Real Housewives franchise. What started as mindless entertainment about luxury lifestyles shifted towards addressing societal ills in America. Of course, producers won’t give up on the irresistible formula that turned Real Housewives into the success story that it is. There’s still plenty of bickering, fights, drunken antics, and the lifestyle in general. But taking a cue from the Black Lives Matter movement, these ladies are now discussing race relations and white privilege. It’s ruffling some feathers within the cast and viewers.
It started with the addition of Tiffany Moon to the Real Housewives of Dallas cast. Tiffany shared her culture and experience of being Asian in America. Then Crystal Kung Minkoff joined Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with the same premise in mind. Real Housewives of New York was an all white group until Eboni K. Williams and Bershan Shaw were added for Season 13. Even Southern Charm took on race relations. Leva Bonaparte confronted Charleston’s dark history, and Kathryn Dennis’ ancestry.
Ramona Singer has given us lots of great TV over her years on Real Housewives of New York. But is her time finally coming to an end? Despite Ramona being a fan favorite, it’s no secret that the last few years haven’t been her best. Especially when adding new castmates. And hey, maybe you can poop yourself on TV one too many times.
With the addition of a younger, edgier Leah Tiki Torch McSweeney last season, Ramona tried her best to welcome her but fell very, very flat. As much as she wanted to play the mother figure, she just couldn’t keep up with Leah’s antics. The two came to blows more than once. It’s even spilled over this season with adding the first Black housewife to the franchise, Eboni K. Williams. Leah has had to regularly try and mediate Eboni educating Ramona, to no avail. So could this be a sign that Ramona just can’t keep up with the changing times?