The Real Housewives of New York
“Life is a Cabaret”
August 15, 2018
It’s rare that a season of a Real Housewives franchise has a defining and clear storyline, and when this season of The Real Housewives of New York began it wasn’t obvious that there would be one. But then the TV Gods blessed the producers with the greatest gift in reality television when The Countess got herself good and drunk and started threatening the lives of the police officers who arrested her for being good and drunk. And so, because this season became the story of The Tragic Downfall and Triumphant Return of The Countess, the finale takes place entirely on the day of the premiere of her cabaret. This just makes good narrative sense.
However, thanks to events that happened after the season stopped filming — namely the part where The Countess was being sued by The Count and The Countlings because she was trying to sell the Hamptons home so that she could buy a fancy house upstate (and screw The Countlings of their inheritance in the process) and then proceeded to fall headfirst off the wagon and had to go back to rehab — thanks to all of these things, this finale is awkward to the point of being almost painful to watch.
For instance, there’s the part where at the sound check, The Countess’ music guy asks if Sonja is going to behave herself during the performance, and The Countess says she better since her mother and The Countlings will be in the audience. And later, her daughter Victoria checks in on her mother while she has her makeup done, and brings her congratulatory flowers. You know, the same daughter who felt she had to sue her mother to prevent her from stealing from her.
And then there’s the whole drinking thing … but we’ll get to that later.
Elsewhere, Sonja and Ramona meet for manicures where Sonja insists that she is not going to censor herself for the sake of The Countess or anyone else. Exposing herself is her entire schtick! And honestly, it is. No one comes to see Sonja perform with the hopes that she won’t obliviously humiliate herself, I mean, come on.
Also pre-gaming are Dorinda, Princess Carole, and Tinsley at Tinsley’s penthouse apartment that she moved into with Scott — but only in theory because Scott travels so much he is never there, including on this night. While opening a bottle of champagne, Dorinda shows off her legitimate waitressing skills, explaining in an interview that she was taught to keep her “large hands” behind her back and speak with a forceful tone. This is just good advice for anyone, honestly.
Tinsley asks if Fudgie the Whale will be attending the cabaret that night, and Dorinda tersely explains that he wasn’t invited. Tinsley is all, “WELL SCOTT WON’T BE GOING EITHER BECAUSE HE IS OUT OF TOWN BUT EVEN IF HE WEREN’T OUT OF TOWN HE WOULDN’T BE GOING BECAUSE HE DEFINITELY WASN’T INVITED BY THE COUNTESS OUT OF THE BLUE THIS MORNING.” Which, obviously, he was.
Princess Carole can’t believe that Fudgie wasn’t invited, certain that this was some sort of oversight, and asks if Dorinda called and asked The Countess about it. Dorinda is like, “YEP. AND SHE SAID I SHOULD HAVE ASKED FOR A TICKET FOR HIM MONTHS AGO OR BOUGHT ONE FOR HIM MYSELF.” Princess Carole then remembers that Dorinda facilitated all of The Countess’ outfits from designer Jovani for the cabaret and Dorinda is like, “YEP. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF FREE OUTFITS, ALL ME.”
And on that note, the ladies head to The Countess’ big performance.
Once they have arrived at the cabaret, Tinsley reveals to Princess Carole that The Countess had invited Scott to the performance just that morning, and shows her the tweet, while wondering if she should tell Dorinda. “Oh HELL yes,” Princess Carole encourages, “and IMMEDIATELY.”
So, as Bethenny, Ramona, and Sonja are still arriving at the table, Princess Carole changes seats with Dorinda so Tinsley can show her the texts from The Countess inviting Scott, and Dorinda brushes it off as being no big deal and just hopes that The Countess has a nice night.
LOL LOL J/K She obviously loses her shit and starts yelling about it to anyone who will listen.
The women then break into two camps: Camp Well That’s Just Rude and Camp Dorinda, Get Over It which is entirely populated by Bethenny and Sonja.
The Countess finally takes the stage and she makes a ton of jokes about being arrested in between singing off-key and doing bits with other people including the perfection that is Rachel Dratch and Bridget Everett and eventually Sonja joins her on the stage for their big “Money Can’t Buy You Class” let’s call it “duet” and SHOCKINGLY! except not at all, Sonja’s wrap dress “unties itself” and Sonja flashes the crowd her Morgan, as promised.
But the real star of the show is Dorinda who begins screaming, “JOVANI!” every time there is a costume change, which there are about ninventy-three times during the show. “JOVANI! JOVANI!” Dorinda keeps screaming. “JOVANI!”
It is glorious.
The ladies then head to the after-party, where Dorinda announces she is only going to stay long enough to congratulate The Countess but then she is out of there. JOVANI!
Elsewhere, Bethenny and Princess Carole have an actual conversation that isn’t weird, chatting a little about Princess Carole’s relationship with the Duke of Cukes and how she feels more creative when she’s single. But then Ramona tries to join them and Bethenny shoos her away, irritated that Ramona interrupted the first real conversation she and Princess Carole had had in months. Ramona, furious, demands to know when she will be permitted to talk to Bethenny and Bethenny encourages her to check with her secretary.
Ramona then begins screaming at Bethenny for not attending the party for her skin-care line which, by the way, may not even exist some five months later, and Bethenny is like, “alright.” Ramona then demands that Bethenny explain herself and Bethenny is just, “No,” leaving Ramona with only one word in her vocabulary:
Later, Princess Carole advises Ramona to lower her expectations of Bethenny, and she won’t be disappointed all the time. Ramona calls this advice, “fucking brilliant.” I mean, I guess.
The star finally makes her big entrance, and everyone showers The Countess with compliments for her show and performance. Meanwhile, Dorinda is still furious and Bethenny — who thinks it’s ridiculous that Dorinda is mad that she helped The Countess procure all those dresses just to have her diss her boyfriend that Dorinda doesn’t even really like all that much — tries to understand what Dorinda is so pissed about. After Dorinda slurs that she would have been much happier with Fudgie with her, and how insulted she is that The Countess invited Scott, Bethenny marches over to The Countess to get her side of the story.
According to The Countess, Dorinda had called her that morning to yell about Fudgie not being invited, and The Countess, irritated that Dorinda would call her on the morning of her Big Day to bitch at her, explained that there were no more seats left, but also thought she made it clear that Dorinda could bring Fudgie if she wanted to. But then she felt bad that maybe she hadn’t invited all the boyfriends — “all” being Scott, because no one but Tinsley is in a relationship — so she texted Tinsley to invite him. Of course, all of this contradicts her excuse that there were no more seats left, but OK.
The Countess then tries to explain this to Dorinda, who insists that it is NOT how it happened, that she was NOT clear at all about Fudgie being invited, but she doesn’t want to ruin The Countess’ night: congratulations, she did an amazing job, Dorinda is very proud of her, the dresses were beautiful, thank you for inviting Dorinda, and thank you for inviting Scott.
As Dorinda takes her leave, The Countess starts lamenting to Bethenny that she is just so sorry that Dorinda is “like that” — DRUNK — and that it is “very sad.” Thus bringing us to our second awkward and most dramatically ironic moment of the entire episode considering The Countess would find herself on a daytime talk show some months later talking about drinking multiple martinis, bottles of wine and a six-pack of beer in one evening.
And that is how we end the episode and the season, rich in irony in light of what will happen with The Countess some months later, and yet with no outlet to explore it because The Countess went to rehab instead of the reunion — and wisely so.
All that is left are our unsatisfying post-scripts:
Wait … what? Swim instructor? What? YOU KNOW WHAT, I DON’T ACTUALLY WANT TO KNOW, THANKS.
I will see you drunken bitches in the reunion. Jovani.
The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo on Wednesdays at 8/9 p.m.