‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: She’s Kinda Heavy, She’s My Frenemy

The Real Housewives of New York
“Not Feeling Jovani”
July 9, 2020

We begin the episode with Dorinda calling each of the women to invite them to the Berkshires for the weekend and … getting everyone’s voicemails. It makes her feel like she’s being shut out, like she’s a loser no one wants to talk to.

Back in the city, Sonja is hosting Elyse at her newly pink apartment (it’s very cute!). There, Sonja shows Elyse the “blue book” in which she is registered, to prove that she is, indeed, part of New York Society even though Dorinda gave her a very hard time for using the Morgan family crest on her shoes two (three?) seasons ago. Girl, you have got to let that go.

Alright, let’s pause here for those of us who are not members of the 1%. A “blue book” is also known as a “social register” which is basically a list of the so-called “social elite.” It’s bullshit. The end.

Right, so, Sonja explains why she was so drunk ahead of the Halloween party and it basically boils down to “I got drunk with my gay friends.”

And then we get to what Elyse is actually there for: shitting on Ramona. Apparently, after The Countess’s Halloween party, Elyse followed Ramona to her second party where she tried to talk to her, but Ramona refused to let Elyse sit with her, insisting that she was there with “her girlfriends,” as if Elyse wasn’t one of her girlfriends.

Elyse then reveals quite the story: that summer, Ramona was over at Elyse’s house, enjoying Elyse’s pool, wrapped demurely in a wrap … until Elyse’s husband showed up, at which point, Ramona shed the wrap revealing her “very sexy bathing suit,” and began messaging Elyse’s husband, right there in front of her.

Elsewhere, Leah meets Ramona and The Countess at some boutique, who cares where, to do a little light shopping for their two-day trip to the Berkshires. It’s the day after the Halloween party, and Leah is hurting while The Countess and Ramona both look fresh as daisies, making Leah realize that it’s going to take a lot to be able to keep up with these old biddies whose livers are 70% vodka at this point.

Ramona is still stunned at the way Dorinda behaved the night before, but decides to write it off: Dorinda is still grieving the husband who died seven years ago, Ramona can’t be mad at her. The Countess and Leah attempt to explain to Ramona that Dorinda and Sonja have legitimate complaints with her, that they feel she used them for a free birthday party. Ramona, again, does not deny that this is what happened but instead argues that they are just jealous they don’t have 50 girlfriends.

Leah is rescued from the conversation by her baby daddy who is also suffering from a case of the cocktail flu and excuses herself to go take care of him. Meanwhile, The Countess continues to try to get through to Ramona: yes, it’s easy to set Doridna off these days, but Ramona can also be an asshole. Why did Ramona bring The Countess’s ex-husband’s ex-girlfriend with her to The Countess’s Halloween party, for instance? But Ramona doesn’t have an answer for that because there is no answer for that, and instead they talk about the pink jacket that The Countess has decided she definitely needs for this two-day trip to the Berkshires.

As for the Berkshires: Dorinda prepares for the ladies’ visit by training Len, her housekeeper to deny Ramona’s demands for wine. “With due respect, Miss Ramona, this is not a hotel and there is no room service. If you want wine, you must go downstairs.” And I assume this is included for a reason, that Ramona must have ordered poor Len around on previous visits, but that’s just based on context clues because any such scenes seem to have been cut to make room for all the other insanity that breaks in the Bezerkshires.

Leah and Sonja arrive, and Dorinda gives them a quick tour of the remodeled house and the rooms they’ll be staying in, while explaining that the basement flood forced her to throw out Richard’s things — which was painful, but ultimately cathartic, and made her realize she had been hanging on to too much of the past. Dorinda appears to be dealing with her demons, but, dear reader, I regret to warn you that she is not.

Ramona and The Countess are in a separate car, and on the drive up they continue to talk smack about Dorinda, and Ramona continues to be insulted at the idea that she be forced to share her birthday party with Sonja. Ramona agrees to host a separate event with Sonja at some other time and The Countess agrees with her because God knows no one wants to fight with Ramona in a confined space.

Upon their arrival at Blue Stone Manor, Dorinda gives them the tour and reveals their rooms: The Countess will be staying in the dreaded “Fish Room” and has already tucked the shark into bed for her, and Ramona is staying in some other room, who knows, where Dorinda has prepared the swordfish to be Ramona’s roommate.

As Ramona wrestles with her suitcase in the foyer, the other women gossip about the fact that Dorinda has invited Elyse, and that Elyse posted something ominous on her Instagram:

By the way, Elyse’s ENTIRE INSTAGRAM looks exactly like this post:


Anyway, apparently, Ramona unfollowed Elyse on social media? Or maybe it’s the other way around? Who knows, the point is, VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN WITH RAMONA and the women are HERE FOR IT.

Elyse arrives just as lunch is being served, and before we continue, let’s have a sidebar about Elyse and her role on this show. Elyse is what is known as “A Friend of the Housewives,” a character who is not technically a cast member, but might as well be considering how much time she spends with the main cast, and who is paid per episode she appears in. Now, it’s rare for “A Friend of the Housewives” to become a full-fledged Housewife — off the top of my head, Brandi Glanville is the only one to do so that I can think of, though I am sure there are others out there — so the role is really about serving as “backup” to the Housewife who brought you on the series. At least, that’s Ramona’s understanding of the role. She’s responsible for Elyse being “A Friend of the Housewives” and in exchange, she expects Elyse to take her side on all issues and in all fights. But then filming began and Ramona began treating Elyse like a secondary character in favor of the “real” cast, and Elyse realized she was being used. So all of that — though it is never discussed directly but instead is alluded to obliquely — is what is percolating under this entire conflict.

Elyse arrives, and after some lunch and some discussion of the one time Leah slept with a guy who only had one ball — “one and done,” as The Countess quips — Elyse decides it is time to take out the ol’ Festivus pole and air some grievances.

Elyse confronts Ramona about not inviting her to join them for drinks after the haunted house and Ramona has no real response to that, suggesting instead that they have this conversation privately. Elyse presses on though, pointing out that Ramona then shunned her at the after Halloween party, when Elyse was just trying to make nice. Ramona keeps insisting that Elyse lower her voice and that this is “what [her] father used to do,” and suggests again that they discuss this privately before trying to hustle Elyse into the living room.

However, Leah and the other women are like, “WE’VE SEEN THE RAMONA SHOW BEFORE” and follow the women to the next room to try to prevent Ramona from manipulating Elyse with talk of her abusive childhood.

When the other women join them, Ramona is like, “FINE, but let me be clear: when I have a problem with any of my friends, I discuss it with them one-on-one, I don’t go around talking shit behind their backs, which is why I’m disappointed in your behavior, Elyse.” But Elyse is like, “I don’t know who you think you’re talking to right now, but I know it’s not me, the person you gossip to ALL THE TIME about the other women.”

Also, cue the black and white montage of Ramona talking shit about the other women to whoever will stand still long enough to listen.

Ramona begins yelling that it’s not her job to make Elyse “feel comfortable around my friends” (read: real castmates) and that it was “narzsistic” for Elyse to interject herself into an argument that Ramona and Dorinda (read: real castmates) were having at the Halloween party. Ramona, using an affected baby voice mimics Elyse, whining that Ramona doesn’t pay enough attention to her.

Elyse is like, “One, bitch, I don’t talk like that. And two, I said that you compartmentalize.” (read: treat the real castmates better)

Ramona tries to passive-aggressively cheers Elyse for “enjoying her friends” (read: be on the show), and Elyse fires back, “like you enjoy my husband?”

At this, Ramona makes a break for it, claiming that she doesn’t want to do this in front of other people.

So Elyse follows Ramona into the kitchen where Ramona begins bitching, again, about Dorinda being out of control, as if that excuses her own brand of assholery. Elyse points out that she thought she was one of Ramona’s “close friends” and the reason you know Elyse is not a close friend of Ramona Singer — or a viewer of The Real Housewives of New York City — is that those of us who are know that Ramona Singer has no close friends. And Ramona, she proves this point by saying she has “50 close friends.”

Let’s be clear for the record: no one has 50 “close” friends, which is what Elyse points out, adding that Ramona is naive if she believes that. And calling a 65-year-old woman “naive” is truly something, but it is also not inaccurate.

In response, Ramona barks at Elyse to “appreciate [her] friends” (read: castmates) and “appreciate what [she’s] done for her” (read: bring her on the show). And then she runs away again because bitch is a bad loser and hasn’t clued in yet that this where she needs to start throwing around her insincere apologies already.

Meanwhile, in the living room, The Countess is trying to keep it real with Dorinda: yes, Ramona was an asshole, but … so was she … the Halloween party “toast” Dorinda made was mean and dark and too much …

Leah, shocked that someone is willing to tell Dorinda the truth, makes a face, and Dorinda is like, “EXACTLY, LEAH!” Except, Leah wasn’t making face in support of Dorinda, she was making face at the idea that someone would dare confront Dorinda because Dorinda be scary.

So Ramona comes running back to the safety of the living room where she is confronted by Dorinda about her calling her “drunk” at the Halloween party and using her as a prop at the party planner’s office. When Dorinda points out that Ramona is out of excuses, that she’s with people who love her and she needs to just own her behavior, Ramona finally defaults to apology mode, and climbs into Dorinda’s lap for a hug.

But then Elyse, thinking that this is about her, when it decidedly is not, tries to join them, climbing into Ramona’s lap in an effort to prove that she matters as much to Ramona as the actual cast.

It doesn’t go well, and Ramona essentially calls her fat, because Ramona’s gonna Ramona.

Sometime later, Ramona tries to tell Dorinda that she actually doesn’t go out all that often when she’s in the Hamptons — OK — and they both agree that men are intimidated by financially independent women like them. And I’m not saying that men aren’t intimidated by the likes of Ramona Singer and Dorinda Medley, just that their money has very little to do with it.

Drinking continues, and the group decides, reasonably, that they should just order some Chinese and stay in that night. After some very specific sex discussion and some appreciation of Sonja’s ass …

… talk turns to The Countess’s cabaret show, and how much, exactly, she’s going to pay Sonja for appearing in it. Sonja sighs that while she enjoys doing the show, The Countess never pays her, and she has interns a family to support.

Ramona and the other women suggest to The Countess that she needs to pay Sonja $5, maybe $10 thousand … and The Countess. Fucking. Snaps.

The Countess insists that she DOES pay Sonja, and when Sonja points out that all she pays is about $225, The Countess huffs that Sonja is NOT going to be paid like a Broadway actor because SHE IS NOT A BROADWAY ACTOR. ALL SHE DOES IS TAKE OFF HER DRESS, WHY SHOULD THE COUNTESS PAY BROADWAY PRICES FOR THAT?

When the other women point out that paying Sonja $225 is almost more insulting than paying her nothing at all, The Countess becomes even more enraged, and begins marching around Dorinda’s house yelling about how she “HAS [HER] OWN CABARET SHOW” and how “HUGE” she is and if Sonja doesn’t appreciate being in the show The Countess “DOESN’T WANT [SONJA] IN THE SHOW, YOU BITCH!”

Sonja, at this point, is sobbing, and the other women try to comfort her while The Countess continues her tantrum, screaming that “I CAN DO THE SHOW ALL BY MYSELF,” and, “SHE’S HORRIBLE,” and “IF SONJA THINKS SHE’S THE STAR OF MY SHOW, SHE IS SADLY MISTAKEN.”

Everyone is like, “Dude, chill, she’s not planning on taking over your show, she’s just asking for a raise,” but The Countess WILL NOT CHILL, SHE WILL NOT CHILL AND LET THIS CABULESQUE BITCH COME AND TRY TO STEAL HER SHOW FROM HER.

At this point, Dorinda is well into her cups, too, and slurring at Sonja that she will stand up for her, that she is a WARRIOR, that neither of them is weak and she is not going to accept The Countess’ behavior. And to that end, Dorinda confronts The Countess, scolding her for being so cruel to Sonja who stood by her during The Countess’ sobriety journey. ALL SHE DID WAS ASK FOR A LITTLE MORE MONEY.

But The Countess is still not hearing anything that sounds like reason, and she storms back into the living room to tell Sonja one more time, just for good measure, that Sonja is “NOT COMING INTO MY SHOW.”

Jesus, lady, you’ve made that clear …

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The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.

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