The Real Housewives of New York City
“New Beginnings, My Ass” & Reunion Specials
Oh, hello. It’s been a while. ~looks up to top of post~ Almost 8 months in fact. Last time we were together we were thisclose to the end of the seventh season of The Real Housewives of New York City — we were on the eve of the finale, in fact — when I just … left.
So what happened? Why did I just abandon you all literally right before the final episode? I wish I had some big dramatic personal story — an operation, a death in the family, a divorce. Then you might forgive me, feel sorry for me, even. Maybe you’d go so far as to send me a card apologizing for thinking that I was just another lazy blogger falling down on the job. But the truth is, I was just a lazy blogger falling down on the blog. Blame it on fatigue. Girl Code fatigue; younger man fatigue; nail polish fatigue; whining about nannies leaving them fatigue; International Fashion Lifestyle Brand and Toaster Oven fatigue. Whatever.
The point is, I got so far behind at some point last summer that I stopped caring and I convinced myself that it would actually be better to recap the final episode shortly before the new season began than to post the recap of the final episode a month after the final episode aired. Or at least that’s what I told myself as the reunion episodes piled up on my DVR and I stared at them in contempt while drinking tumblers full of Pinot Ramona.
It made sense at the time.
But here’s the problem: I am a completionist, and as such my OCD will not allow me to begin blogging season 8 until we put season 7 — reunions and all — to bed in some fashion. So here’s what we’re going to do: I’m going to write an extremely brief, certainly disappointing recap of the final episode and note some highlights from all 3 hours (LORD HELP ME SWEET JESUS) of the reunions, and then we can all move forward together. Because, honestly, do we need to spend 1500 words talking about the poached egg pizza over which Fudgie did not propose to Dorinda? NO, WE DO NOT.
“New Beginnings, My Ass”
August 11, 2015
We begin the finale with Sonja and Ramona congratulating themselves on, I don’t even know what, actually pulling off a “fashion show” in some abandoned carriage house/not needing a liver transplant when they woke up that morning? That taken care of, Ramona is like, “So Bethenny is mad at me because I might have told everyone that she cheated in her marriage, what a drip.” And then they remind us that Ramona is hosting a “New Beginnings” party because the Producers need some sort of reason to put all these women in a room together to close out the season.
Elsewhere, Her Highness Carole takes a tour of Bethenny’s completed apartment, and then the two talk trash about The Countess, which, frankly, is not all that difficult to do.
Dorinda and Fudgie go to some pizza joint where he doesn’t propose to her, but suggests that they move in together. She disagrees because her 35-year-old daughter whose job is to sponge off her grieving mother might object.
Finally, Ramona’s “
Menopause is a New Beginning” party. Unsurprisingly, this event becomes a big stupid mess where everyone is just yelling at everyone else. An ever-so-brief breakdown of all the shrieking:
- Bethenny is mad at Ramona for saying that she was a big cheating cheater in her marriages
- Bethenny is also mad a Ramona for calling this a “New Beginnings” party when nothing at all has changed about Ramona aside from her marital status
- The Countess is mad at Princess Carole for dating her niece’s former boyfriend
- Her Royal Princess Carole is mad at The Countess for not accepting the fact that Her Sereness is dating the former boyfriend of The Countess’ niece
- Her Serene Highness Princess Carole is also mad at The Countess for being a HUGE HYPOCRITE when it comes to dating younger men
- The Countess is mad at Her Serene Highness AND Heather for violating “Girl Code” on their “vacation”
- Bethenny is mad at Heather for doing a “drive-by” therapy session with her while she was talking things out with Ramona
- Sonja is mad at that idiot Kristen for mentioning Sonja’s failed toaster oven project in an interview with The Post, even though the Post reporter was the one who brought the toaster oven up, not that dummy Kristen AND even though Sonja Morgan did not even read the interview in question after it was published
- Ramona is mad at everyone because they won’t shut up long enough for her to make a toast to all her girl”friends”
The epilogues explain that:
“Dorinda is finally finding enjoyment in the here and now … But she’d still rather have Fudgie put a very dirty martini in her hand than a ring on her finger.”
“While Princess Carole still sits on her apartment’s board, her favorite set remains on Adam’s handlebars. The couple is still going strong but the same can’t be said for Her Highness’ relationship with LuAnn … or the Countess.”
“Kristen’s nail polish line is a huge success with 12 colors and growing. Possible new colors include Holla Honey, Countess Champagne, and, of course, Ramona Blue.” (Not said: “Her Awful Husband’s name was among those revealed in the Ashley Madison leak, BECAUSE OF COURSE IT WAS, but she’s sticking with him because she’s weak and dumb. She will not be returning next season because it is impossible to make a storyline out of picking out nail polish colors.”)
“The Countess redefined “Girl Code” with the release of her single. She’s spending the summer belting it out, from the dancefloors of Ibiza to the boat houses of Sag Harbor.”
While Heather may team up with Bethenny to take “drive-by therapy” nationwide, her relationship with The Countess has stalled. (Not said: “Heather is suing her brand manager for not allowing RHONY to film at the Yummie Tummie offices, or include any of their products on air, because he’s clearly an idiot who doesn’t understand that the WHOLE PURPOSE of being on one of these shows is to hawk your related products. She is also not returning to the series next season because what’s even the point if you’re not going to be able to sell some shapewear out of it, right? On the plus side, we never have to hear her say “Holla!” ever again.”)
“Ramona’s candid tell-all memoir, Life on the Ramona Coaster, was recently published. The epilogue, however, has yet to be written, as her divorce from Mario still isn’t finalized.”
“While still not in stores, Sonja’s fashion line is currently available online. It’s unclear whether she’s designing a collection for her Nigerian football team.”
“Bethenny recently cruised the Galapagos Islands with new bestie, Carole. She realizes she may have room in her life for new friends after all.”
August 18, 2015
Is it me, or are half of the women dressed like straight-up crazy people at this reunion?
OK, sure, Dorinda, Bethenny, Princess Serene, and Sonja all look fine, but Ramona seems to have lost half of the lining of her gown, The Countess appears to be wearing a $15 prom dress from the 80s, Heather came in a bra and a silk robe, and Kristen pulled out her boobs and is wearing some sort of Disney Store Rapunzel wig. What is even happening, y’all? How drunk were they when they got dressed?
But Andy doesn’t ask that, even though clearly that should be his first question: “Just exactly how drunk are you ladies? On a scale of 1 to Sonja?” Instead, he begins with a Bethenny montage, after which Bethenny reveals that she is not just the most self-aware Real Housewife — across all seasons, even — but she also demonstrates that she’s the most meta. She is never not aware that this is a television show and that she is a character within it, noting that she knows she’s aggressive and difficult to deal with and has made controversial comments, but she regrets nothing. It’s FASCINATING.
Heather, looking to land the first punch on The Countess, announces that when the ladies found out Bethenny was returning to the cast, The Countess made a toast to taking the Skinny Girl magnate down. The Countess stammers for a while before landing on an unconvincing, “I don’t remember that?”
A viewer takes Heather to task for comparing her nanny quitting to Bethenny’s abusive childhood, especially when Heather has known real hardship dealing with her son’s condition (good point, Viewer). Heather’s defense? The nanny started working for her before her son was born, so it is kinda the same thing. This is not much of an argument.
There’s a lot of boring talk about how early in the season Bethenny didn’t invite Kristen and Dorinda to something or another but no one cares. No one ever cared, let’s be honest.
After a montage of what turned out to be an AMAZING trip to Atlantic City thanks in large part to one Madam Sonja Morgan, we spend a lot of time basically calling Sonja an alcoholic without actually saying the words. This somehow becomes a conversation about Sonja’s previous visits to the Lady Pond, of which it sounds like there have been many.
A viewer asks Her Serene Highness what she thought of Sonja talking about partying with “John John Kennedy.” “NOT MUCH,” says Princess Carole. Sonja, however, is always Sonja, and instead of just saying, “Hey, I was drunk and stupid, we all saw that, sorry if I offended you and the memory of your dear friend,” instead of doing that, Sonja doubles down on the “John John” connections and begins burbling about Studio 54 and the Golden Age of Partying and how John Kennedy Jr. was, “MY FRIEND.”
Princess Carole responds that John Kennedy Jr. was her family, prompting The Countess to sneer that oh now family matters to her, huh.
Which brings us to Princess v. Countess, round infinity. After a Princess Carole and Duke of Pastas montage, Andy asks Her Highness if she’s still seeing her chef boyfriend. Senere Carole informs us that she is, indeed, and it’s been about 9 months now. The Countess immediately begins yelling that Her Highness began dating him while he was still involved with her niece, an accusation that Princess Carole firmly denies. The Countess herself also refuted this back in the early episode when she first introduced Earl of Quinoa, explaining that he was 1. her personal chef and 2. her niece’s ex-boyfriend. But, you know, details.
Princess Carole latches on to the The Countess is a Royal Hypocrite narrative, pointing out that though she mocked Her Highness for dating a man much younger than herself, The Countess routinely sleeps with much younger men — as evidenced ON CAMERA. THIS SEASON. To this, remarkably, and with a straight face, The Countess argues that one night stands with men barely older than her own son are somehow less tacky than being in a live-in relationship with someone.
And as the hour comes to an end, we learn that The Countess went skinny dipping with their 21-year-old houseboy in Turks and Caicos because of COURSE she did. Let’s hope he received hazard pay.
August 25, 2015
We begin the second hour where we left the first: Princess v. Countess, round infinity +1, and the other ladies pointing out to The Countess that if she had really cared so much about Princess Carole not dating her not-nephew-in-law, she should have nipped the relationship in the bud early on; how was Princess Serene supposed to know it was such a big deal to The Countess if she didn’t say anything to her until after they had been dating for several weeks? To this, The Countess does not have a response because there is none.
We move on to a Dorinda montage and are reminded that she has an ethnic stereotype for a boyfriend, a grown-ass daughter who needs to move out already, and something of a martini problem, which is to say she is a rich white lady of a certain age.
The other women express their reserved concern over Fudgie the
Whale Boyfriend, worrying that he is dating Dorinda just for free publicity of his dry cleaning business, but Dorinda don’t care. They then talk about the time Fudgie got all handsy with the other women, but Dorinda don’t care. At one point, Bethenny describes Fudgie as “a guy who wears cologne” which is maybe the funniest thing she’s ever said on this show. Dorinda don’t care.
Andy then turns the “Fudgie the Handsy” conversation over to Kristen, who explains that she thought he was behaving inappropriately — and this time Dorinda DO care, yelling that Kristen brought it up “25 times.” Dorinda then wonders why Kristen acted like it was such a big deal … after all, Kristen has modeled topless. What one has to do with another I’m not sure. You know, aside from the slut shaming.
As for Heather and Dorinda, they apparently had a bit of a Twitter war when the “F-You Dinner” episode aired, but I wouldn’t know because, seriously, F Twitter. The argument over it does inspire Dorinda to spit out this bit of free verse poetry: “All we need is a fire torch you know with the Tower of London and a hunchback.”
We move on to a montage of the women acting like cats in heat. I MEAN, flirting with men. That’s what I meant. (“Who’s slut shaming now, Therese?” — My Feminist Conscience.)
Nothing of real value is learned here. Sonja “dates” babies; The Countess “dates” babies, and then calls Princess Carole a bad friend for dating babies; Her Highness had sexytime dreams about Bethenny, but has never taken a dip into the Lady Pond; Ramona is not that innocent. Yawn.
Speaking of the Grigio Demon, we move on to the Ramona montage where we relive her attacking Andy for asking about her marriage in the last reunion, her divorce and finally her acceptance of her marital situation. Ramona then admits to getting a little divorce therapy in the form of breast implants, and apologizes to Andy for her behavior in the previous reunion, realizing now she was protecting Mario’s feelings FOR NO GOOD REASON.
Ramona then tells the story of confronting Mario and his mistress in her Southampton home which was NOT COOL. Although Ramona saying, “what’s that Jewish word?” before landing on the one she was looking for: “minutia,” gives the entire segment some much needed Teresa Giudice realness.
The Countess is all, “I never liked that Mario,” before going on to tell a story about how he called her “The CountLESS” this one time.
Oh, Countess. You don’t want to know what I call you in my head and what I would call you here if I didn’t have to write for a family-friendly site.
We conclude the hour with a little bit of Bethenny v. Ramona, and we get to the bottom of Dressgate. When Bethenny is like, “AND NOW I SHALL TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE WHOLE DRESS STORY,” Ramona does her Ramona thing where she tries to talk over her to make her stop. However, this is Bethenny Frankel, the one person in the universe who is unafraid of Ramona Singer, and she offers to show the texts to prove Ramona is a lying liar if she has to. Defeated, Ramona allows her to proceed without interruption.
So, the story is, Ramona was a guest on Bethenny’s ill-fated talk show. At some point, someone spilled wine on Ramona’s dress, and Bethenny told her to borrow a dress from wardrobe. Ramona, instead, went to wardrobe, picked out her favorite dress, and put it into her purse. Bethenny later sent her a different, You-Keep-This-One-Dress, along with a text that read something along the lines of, “Hey, that dress you took was a loaner, I’m sending my assistant to come pick it up.” But when the assistant arrived at Ramona’s apartment, Ramona pretended to not be home. If that’s not bad enough, Ramona then claimed that the dress in question “fell out of the trunk of her car” before then taking a picture of herself wearing it and posting it on Instagram.
Bethenny instructs her to donate both dresses to Dress for Success, before calling her “Rinona Ryder.”
Ramona is never, ever going to donate those dresses, y’all.
The last few moments of the hour are spent with Bethenny yelling at Ramona for spreading the rumor that she had cheated on her first husband, and Ramona agreeing that she shouldn’t have done that. (All the while, Ramona is thinking about how she is going to go home and put on that dress she stole from Bethenny and sleep in it. Maybe cook something in it.)
“Reunion Part 3”
August 27, 2015
The third and mercifully final hour of the reunion begins with a montage about Sonja Morgan’s International Fashion Lifestyle Brand which is actually a thing! And we know it’s a thing because Sonja is actually wearing one of the dresses! She’s not only the president, she’s also a client!
Which is when The Countess pipes in that SHE’S WEARING ONE OF HER QVC DRESSES TOO. (As if we couldn’t tell.)
There’s some sniping about Sonja’s business plan, but not much, mostly because everyone is JUST SO THANKFUL the business is for real and not being run by a Nigerian Prince somewhere in the inbox of your aunt’s email.
Oh, and Sonja actually acknowledges that Kristen wasn’t lying about the whole toaster oven Post interview, and even goes so far as to promise to buy Kristen a car when the toaster ovens finally happen. HOLD HER TO IT, KRISTEN. YOU GET THAT CAR, GIRL.
The next montage is about how Princess Carole and Dorinda are widows, which is very sad and very moving and very boring. So boring, in fact, that Ramona falls asleep to exactly everyone’s and no one’s astonishment.
Was she faking? I don’t know. But does it matter? No, no it does not. Pinot Ramona forever.
The next montage is of the disastrous Turks and Caicos trip. After discussing how bratty Ramona was about choosing the biggest room, we return to a favorite topic, Sonja Morgan: Catastrophic Drunk. Bethenny clarifies that she never called Sonja an alcoholic, who is she to diagnose someone as an alcoholic? At this, Ramona — are you sitting down? You should be sitting down for this — Ramona takes responsibility for throwing Bethenny under the alcoholic bus, explaining that she didn’t want to have to confess to Sonja that she had been talking behind her back about her.
And then we finally come to the issue of the Strange Naked Man in the Other Room. Ramona tells her version of events: she and The Countess and maybe Sonja, it’s kinda unclear, had been at a local bar where The Countess struck up a conversation with Some Guy. Some Guy had a friend and around closing time, The Countess and Ramona invited Some Guy and His Friend, soon to be know as Strange Naked Man in the Other Room, back to the house. When The Countess and Some Guy “went for a walk on the beach…”
… His Friend asked Ramona if he could just crash there seeing as he was too drunk to make it back to wherever he came from in the first place. “Sure!” said Drunk Ramona. “Take this bedroom next to my friends. BUT DO NOT USE THE BATHROOM AND GO HOME BEFORE ANYONE WAKES UP.” Unfortunately, like the specific instructions given to Billy in The Gremlins, these too go unheeded and disaster soon follows.
The Countess, not unreasonably, wonders why she’s the one that is being held responsible for this turn of events, seeing as she took care to make sure her side action was gone in the morning. Heather points out that the difference is Ramona didn’t write a song about it and then snub her for three months after.
However, The Countess counters that it was uncool for Heather to come bursting into her bedroom with cameras, at which point Andy Cohen reminds The Countess that she’s on a reality show. There are cameras everywhere. The Countess responds that when Heather and the crew came into her room, she THOUGHT SOMEONE HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR OR SOMETHING and everyone is like, “staaaaaahp.”
Ramona, for one, finally comes to understand that maybe letting some stranger she met at a bar four hours earlier sleep in the nude next to her castmates was not the best idea. And then? Somehow? The reunion turns into a hug party? Heather is hugging The Countess is hugging Bethenny is hugging Kristen is hugging Dorinda is hugging Heather is hugging Sonja is hugging Andy is hugging Princess Carole is hugging Ramona?
Then, as they take up glasses of champagne, Bethenny congratulates the group on being such strong women who are doing so much for womanhood and everyone tears up at how proud they are of themselves and I have to turn off my TV and dim the lights and go lie down on the couch with a cool rag over my eyes before I become homicidal, I mean really now. Stop it.
The Real Housewives of New York returns to Bravo on Wednesday, April 6th at 8/9 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.