‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: Taken to the cleaners

The Real Housewives of New York City
“Airing Your Dirty Laundry”
May 18, 2016

Well, The Countess is finally moving in with Lady Morgan, which everyone but The Countess and Lady Morgan agrees is just a terrible idea. Sonja shows her guest to the upstairs apartment whose heat is not turned on, and they discuss The Countesses’ recently exciting love life. Seems that while she has been dating four different men, she’s been spending a lot of time with one particular gentleman. However, The Countess is not quite ready to discuss him with her new landlord, even though it’s serious enough that she is putting off finding her own home in Manhattan because she doesn’t know where this relationship might go.

The Countess congratulates Sonja on her new beverage line, “Tipsy Girl,” and wonders how Bethenny took it when she heard the obviously ripped-off name. Sonja reveals that they haven’t discussed it as of yet, but she’s pretty sure Bethenny is JUST GOING TO LOVE IT! Bethenny is Sonja’s “mentor,” after all, and as her mentee, Sonja can just steal her entire trademark, it’s cool.

However, no one told Bethenny that the mentee/mentor relationship was so generous, and when she meets with Her Highness Carole and Ramona for drinks, she is NOT HAPPY. She points to this Page Six article about Sonja launching this brand with Ramona’s former partner on Bethenny’s back which while interesting (and damning for Sonja), is more interesting to me for this tidbit:

Sonja celebrated her birthday last week at Canoe Studios, where Tipsy Girl prosecco was poured for guests. Her “Real Housewives of New York” co-stars were conspicuously absent after a round of bruising contract negotiations that pitted them against each other and highest-paid cast member Bethenny.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS. I have A LOT of questions regarding this. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Is this why Bethenny didn’t invite Sonja to her Hamptons home? Is this why Sonja and Ramona didn’t see one another all summer? Is this why The Countess and Sonja are so buddy-buddy all of a sudden? I NEED ANSWERS.

The actual point is Bethenny is very angry that after helping Sonja and “showing her how the sausage is made,” Sonja turned around and stole her ideas wholesale just to get her name in Page Six. Which, honestly, is an entirely predictable turn of events.

So Bethenny invites Sonja up to her office during business hours so that she can properly read Sonja the riot act in front of her employees. LET THIS BE A WARNING, GIRLS: DO NOT CROSS BETHENNY FRANKEL. Sonja, for her part, somehow has no idea she is about to be torn to shreds by Bethenny, and as she takes a quick tour of Bethenny’s office/apartment, Sonja notes that she loves Bethenny’s use of Skinny Girl’s signature red — in fact, she herself uses the same red on her website! This news does not improve Bethenny’s mood.

Bethenny sits Sonja down on the couch and explains that she’s heard that Sonja has started a wine label called “Tipsy Girl” with a rather shady business partner, that Peter guy who Ramona was working/flirting with last season. What even? Sonja explains that Peter already had the trademark, “Tipsy Girl.” The idea is that she would be the face of the brand, and they would distribute it in Peter and their other partner, Pierre’s restaurants. What’s the problem?

Bethenny explains to Sonja the obvious: that “Tipsy Girl” is what is known as a “cheater brand,” which is when one brand rides on the coattails of another, and that it is not a coincidence that “Tipsy Girl” sounds like “Skinny Girl” and that they are both cocktail brands associated with Real Housewives of New York City, you big idiot. But Sonja insists “Tipsy Girl” is never going to be as big as “Skinny Girl,” they’re not competing! And anyway, she wasn’t trying to rip Bethenny off — Bethenny is her mentor! Sonja was inspired by her!

Bethenny explains that”copyright infringement” is not the same as”inspiration” before ripping Sonja to shreds over her multiple business catastrophes, including my personal favorite, the Nigerian football team. Sonja finally begins crying, explaining that she was just trying to support herself financially and SHE THOUGHT BETHENNY UNDERSTOOD AND WOULD HAVE COMPASSION.

Bethenny, simultaneously pitying of and irritated with Sonja, points out that one cannot plead ignorance and competence in business at the same time: so which is it? Is Sonja a capable businesswoman running an “international lifestyle brand” or is she so stupid that she didn’t understand the implications of putting her name on something that sounds suspiciously similar to her friend’s already well-established brand? And with that, Bethenny is done and she shoves Sonja into the elevator as Sonja wails about not being able to do pocketbooks because The Countess does pocketbooks. Bethenny is unmoved.

In other news, Jules needs a new nanny.

i-dont-care-peggy-mad-men

And the Duke of Panzanella returns from Ethiopia to make Instagram-ready radish dishes for Princess Carole and not help her on the cookbook they are writing “together.”

i-dont-care-peggy-mad-men

As for Dorinda and Ramona, the two old friends meet for breakfast where they discuss “Tipsy Girl” and how they think it’s a not-great idea, not because of the painfully obvious rip-off of “Skinny Girl,” but because tipsy = drunk, and Sonja does not need any more encouragement in that department. Ramona laments that her relationship with Sonja has changed: she’s moving forward, and, alas, Sonja is “staying where she’s always been” and “not growing.” Unlike our model of transcendence over here, Ramona Singer.

Dorinda realizes that, like Sonja, her relationship with Ramona has also been strained recently and wonders if maybe the common denominator here is Ramona. To that end she spells out very clearly what she wants from Ramona: she wants Ramona to make the nice-times with Fudgie, and for the three of them to be able to be in a room together without tearing one another’s throat out. Sure thing! That sounds easy enough! Can do! says Ramona.

Sometime later, The Countess, Sonja and Ramona meet up for some sort of event at what appears to be a nightmare factory that combines go-go dancers, karaoke, sushi, overpriced drinks, and a bunch of 50-somethings pretending to have a fabulous time as they scream at one another over the overly loud dance music. So fun! There, everyone drinks waaaaaay too much, and discusses The Countess’ newly active love life, and the fact that according to Harry the Ex, The Countess is — and forgive me for repeating this, I’m just reporting the facts — “a squirter.”

do not google

Sonja also notes that from the sound of The Countess’ “wet spell” (~shudder~), she isn’t in the market for the vaginal rejuvenation that Sonja will be receiving soon, which we will hear all about in great detail, DON’T WORRY.

After Ramona leaves to go to Dorinda’s event, The Countess and Sonja discuss Sonja’s meeting with Bethenny, who claims Bethenny was “very aggressive” with her. Sonja dismisses Bethenny’s behavior as just Bethenny needing to “get laid” instead of “being concerned that a friend was infringing on her copyright.”

bethenny-okay-alright-rhony-resigned

As for Dorinda’s event, Fudgie is having some sort of … fancy dry cleaning party? What is even happening here? Something to do with Dorinda wearing some couture gown and Fudgie talking about what a slob she is and how he has to treat stains for her all the time while a bunch of their “friends” stand around drinking free white wine and eating cheese? I do not understand this event. In any case, it is happening, and some of the other ladies attend, including Jules, The Countess, Sonja and Ramona — even though Ramona was specifically not invited.

So, The Countess arrives, only to be confronted at the bar by Rey, a tall and very drunk Croatian she claims she briefly dated the previous summer. Rey tells The Countess that seeing her is making him “have a nervous breakdown,” before demanding that she kiss him. Instead, The Countess flees into the night, completely — and understandably — freaked out.

Once The Countess leaves, Sonja, sensing and being unable to resist trouble, brings Ramona over to meet Rey. While Rey tries to order three drinks at once (!!!) Sonja explains that The Countess “dated” him over the summer and he’s the one who took The Countess to Ibiza. Rey drunkenly and jokingly begins yelling at Sonja to tell him how she knows about Ibiza: “HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IBIZA, YOU BITCH?” And this draws Fudgie’s attention.

Fudgie brings his security detail over and asks Rey to leave. But instead of just stepping aside so the drunken Croatian can stumbles home, Ramona, for reasons that are baffling, becomes wildly defensive of this very loud and very rude person she just met and begins demanding to know why Fudgie is throwing him out. Fudgie, in turn, begins yelling at Ramona to leave as well, shoving his squat Trump-like hands in her face. As Rey yells that Fudgie is “VERY RUDE,” he and Ramona are pushed out the door.

Outside, Dorinda yells at the drunken Croat that he made an ass out of himself and forced The Countess to leave, and as for Ramona, how DARE she make a scene at Fudgie’s fancy dry cleaning party. Ramona furiously begins shoving her hand in Dorinda’s face to demonstrate how Fudgie had behaved, causing Dorinda to scream at her. All the while Rey the Drunk Croat is lurches around in the background, making sure the camera gets his best angles. “WHO ARE YOU?” Dorinda yells at him…

mindy i don't know you rhony

… before demanding he leave already and threatening to call the police.

As Rey the Drunk Croat leaves, Dorinda turns her attention back to Ramona, screaming that she tried to “make it nice” for her, whatever that means, and Ramona screams in return that she, “DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!”

Eventually, Ramona wobbles home, while Dorinda hails a cab to take herself home. Fudgie tries to stop her, insisting that Dorinda’s not mad at him, right? Ramona is the one who’s wrong here! But Dorinda explains that actually EVERYBODY is wrong! Ramona acted poorly, but Fudgie should have never put his pudgy hand in a woman’s face, and so, for the upteenth time this season, she’s walking out on him. Goodbye, have fun, DORINDA OUT.

The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo at 8/9 p.m.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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