The Real Housewives of New York
“Return of the Berkshires”
May 24, 2017
Hey, did you hear that Bravo has given Bethenny and that Frederik guy from that real estate show that I refuse to watch their own real estate show together? Because that is a thing and Bravo think they are being cute by giving it a backdoor pilot through this series to which I say NO. I do not care that Bethenny is selling this apartment that she has lived in for five minutes and I do not care that she and Frederik agree on the obscene price for which it should be listed. I care not for any of these things and I am not going to watch this new show.
What I do care about, however, is whether or not this new show was what was promised to Bethenny by the producers if she were to expose Tom the Cheater last season. I’m not saying that it was, just that it is curious that there had been some interesting rumors that she was made a secret producer of RHONY in exchange for finagling a way to bring the cheater story to The Countess on camera. But if that were true, it seems odd that The Countess would agree to be on another season of a show produced by a woman who had humiliated her on national television and nearly broke her engagement, right? But maybe it wasn’t RHONY Bethenny wanted to get a production credit on, but instead agreed to do it in exchange for a show TBD? and this is it?
Speaking of The Countess and Tom the Cheater and bitches out to break them up, Ramona swings by Princess Carole’s apartment so that they can compare notes on the rumors flying around about the couple. Her Gossipyness fills Ramona in on the conversation she had with Lawsuit Barbara at Dorinda’s party, in which Lawsuit Barbara told Princess Poland that The Countess felt she had something to prove and was going to marry this philanderer despite all the rumors floating around about him still “hanging out at the Regency,” and that she might just divorce him later.
At least, that’s what we heard from their taped conversation as it played out in the previous episode. Here, however, Princess Radziwill’s story becomes that The Countess is having “pre-wedding jitters” and second thoughts about marrying Handsy the Clown, which is not what Lawsuit Barbara said. The Countess is not having second thoughts about the wedding, but she might be having second thoughts about the marriage. Big difference.
As for Ramona, she reveals that someone sent her a text conversation in which some unnamed woman claims that she had recently taken a car with Tom the Cheater and that he tried to “stick his tongue down [her] throat” and grope her. Everything about this whole situation in which Ramona has screen captures of text messages between some anonymous third parties is totally sketchy, and yet everything said in said messages is COMPLETELY BELIEVABLE.
The women agree that The Countess needs to be told that her fiance is out tomcatting around again, but considering how poorly it went for Bethenny last time, they decide to give Dorinda the honors.
Oh and also, we learn that Ramona thinks “grab ’em by the pussy” is FAKENEWS because she knows President Covfefe personally and that he’s a germaphobe.
Meanwhile, The Countess and Tom the Cheater walk their tiny dog in the park and talk about where to honeymoon because they are a normal couple and of course they are going to get married and everything is fine why do you ask.
So Dorinda, who has suffered some sort of recent head injury and completely forgotten how well this went over last year, has decided to host the women — all of the women — at her Berkshires home for her birthday weekend.
And Dorinda knows, which is why she’s very proud of her plan to have the women arrive in stages: Ramona, Sonja and Tinsley will arrive the first night; Bethenny and Carole arrive the next day; The Countess will arrive sometime that evening. How this will prevent the women from getting into fights about haircuts, The Countess being a whore, and Dorinda’s mother’s birthday cake is beyond me, but best of luck, lady.
Ramona and Sonja are the first to arrive, and Dorinda puts them to work at holiday decorating even though it already looks like the Ghost of Christmas Present has been violently ill all over the house.
As for Tinsley, she’s still in New York to have lunch with her mother, Dale, a proper Southern lady whose face is so full of fillers and Botox that it has not moved since 1992. Dale has, for reasons that are not clear to me, brought Tinsley’s father’s ashes along with her even though he’s been dead for a couple of years now and she and Mr. Mortimer were divorced at the time of his death. The Southern Gothic is strong with this one.
Over drinks, Tinsley and her mother laugh about how her mother was withholding if she thought Tinsley had put on too much weight, and Tinsley reveals that her mother made her wear makeup to school when she was in the fourth grade. Yay conditional love based entirely on suffocating beauty norms! Yay internalized misogyny!
Tinsley and her mother also discuss how Tinsley’s current living situation is going with Sonja, and Tinsley admits that it’s hit a rough patch. Tinsley’s mother suggests she bring Sonja a cookie every once in a while which is just a good rule for life.
And then Tinsley’s mother tells her to marry a 50-year-old and make babies. Yay stifling gender roles! Yay patriarchy!
Oh, and also in New York, Princess Carole goes Christmas shopping with the Duke of Asparagus’ parents, Lord and Lady Midwestern.
Back in the Berkshires, Sonja is bitching about Tinsley and how she doesn’t make coffee for Sonja, so maybe Tinsley’s momma is onto something with this cookie business. Ramona suggests that maybe Tinsley is in the process of “finding herself” which, as a forty-something-year-old woman myself makes me both sad for and angry at Tinsley all at once.
Tinsley eventually arrives at the Berkshires and as she’s settling into the weird shark-themed guest room that Dorinda has assigned to her, Sonja stops by to make some snide comments about the fact that Tinsley went to lunch with her mother and her mother’s friends and didn’t invite Sonja. Which is completely and utterly bonkers, which is to say it is par for the course with Sonja.
The next morning, Dorinda tries to show Tinsley her birthday cake, only to open the box the wrong way, dumping the poor cake on its side. IT’S A PORTENT. READ THE SIGNS. EVERYONE SHOULD LEAVE NOW.
Instead, more people arrive: Bethenny and Princess Carole pull up to the house, Bethenny putting her driver Kevin on notice that he might have to come rescue them in the middle of the night depending on how things go. It’s not an idle threat.
Bethenny and Her Highness pause long enough to say hello to their hostess and receive some flowers that Bethenny’s boyfriend sent to her for moral support, before hiding in their room upstairs to gossip about The Countess and Tom the Cheater. Princess Poland supposedly waits until now — not during their three-hour-long car ride — to tell Bethenny about Ramona’s evidence, which, OK, sure, very believable, BUT THE POINT IS, they agree that this is going to be Dorinda’s job to tell The Countess because hella nope.
After Ramona, Tinsley and Sonja build a fire and nearly fill the house with smoke which would bring the sweet release of death and relieve them of the need to relive “Dear The Countess, Tom is Cheating on You, Part 78,” the ladies sit Dorinda down and tell her what they know about The Countess’ shitty fiance. Dorinda literally whines that it’s her birthday, she shouldn’t have to be dealing with this crap, but the rest of the women are like, “OH NO, MA’AM, YOU WANTED TO BE THE ONE TO TELL HER THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED, SO HERE’S YOUR CHANCE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”
Then The Countess arrives and everyone is like, “BE COOL,” and they begin frantically decorating cookies and asking her boring questions about her wedding, all the while thinking so loudly that there isn’t going to be a wedding that you can hear it through the TV.
But that conversation will have to wait, because first Tinsley and Sonja have to have a completely batshit argument over the fact that Sonja would not allow her assistant to open the front door and receive a package for Tinsley, as it would take him away from his Very Important Sonja Assisting Duties for maybe three minutes. Sonja seems like a delightful hostess.
Finally, Dorinda takes The Countess aside privately and is like, “DEEP HEAVY SIGH. Look, the ladies are talking about Tom the Cheater again, and they are saying he’s cheating and they have some text where he’s accused of trying to grab some lady by the pussy and just how much do you trust this guy because if you want to get out of this wedding, you still can, I’ll drive you to Mexico myself.”
But The Countess is NOT HAVING IT, and insists that she trusts this shitbird 100% and that the other ladies are just jealous because they don’t have a bald cheating middle-aged man in their lives, which is when Ramona joins the conversation, a conversation that is interrupted with The Dreaded TO BE CONTINUED title card.
The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo on Wednesdays at 8/9 p.m. and needs more Christmas decorations.