The Real Housewives of New York
July 23, 2020
It is six days before the annual horror show that is Ramona’s birthday party, and she is forcing Leah to go inspect the space with her, as punishment to Sonja and Dorinda for not being appreciative enough of being used for some party planner’s Instagram account.
The theme — such as it is — for the party is “Ramona’s Living Room,” and the guests are all instructed to wear black so that Ramona will stand out in her red dress. And Leah has been given even more specific instructions: “COVER THOSE TITS.”
Ramona has another instruction: Leah has to serve as her protector if any drama breaks out, and Leah is like, “Me? Are you sure?” before noting in an interview that she fully expects to not fit in at this party which she anticipates will look like a MAGA rally. (She’s not wrong.)
Elsewhere, The Countess and Sonja attend a meeting at the Fortune Society, the non-profit organization which helps those recently released from prison to successfully reenter society. The Countess has decided that after spending one night in lockup, this is the group she wants to help — AND GOOD FOR HER, it truly is a noble cause. So I am going to do my level best to not make fun of The Countess performatively sobbing while listening to some of the community members’ life stories, or at the idea that she is taking a group of the women for a “spa day,” or the fact that this all feels like one big act to make her look like less of an asshole. Because she’s bringing attention to an important cause, and in the end, that’s what is most important.
Ramona, Avery, and Mario meet for dinner at some Italian restaurant where Ramona’s water broke some 23 years earlier. Ramona tries to get out of Mario whether or not he’s dating someone, but he doesn’t bite. Avery proposes a toast to the “Three Muskateers,” and when Ramona tells Mario and Avery that she loves them both, he responds, “That’s so sweet.”
Yeah, that’s … that’s not what you want to hear in response to “I love you.”
So, that Russian bathhouse that Leah made the women go to? That wasn’t just some prank she was playing on the other women: she actually goes there, on her own time! When actual Russians are there! What?
Leah and her sister Sarah go Russian bathhousing with actual Russians, where they discuss Tinsley chasing after her Cinderella dream (the poor dear), the trip to the Bezerkshires, and Ramona’s urging of Leah to make nice with her mother before her mother dies.
At this, Sarah breaks some terrible/hilarious news to Leah: on a recent conversation with their mother, Mom told Sarah that she “doesn’t like Leah.”
Yeah, that checks out.
Bunny also talked shit about Leah’s “enhancements” shall we say, and by enhancements, I mean “Botox.” And look. Despite being an ethnic Catholic from Texas, I actually have a lot in common with the old WASP from Connecticut in that I, too, find Botox tacky, especially for someone who is still merely in her 30s. That said, Leah signed up to be on a nationally broadcast TV series, and I honestly would do all sorts of nonsense to my face in that situation because have you met high definition television?
And what I think Mom was really getting at was that she was mortified her daughter had become a Real Housewife, to which I say: Girl, I hear you. I light candles and pray to the Reality TV Gods that neither of my sons lose their damn minds and end up on The Bachelorette, because heaven only knows that would be the most appropriate and ironic punishment for my sins.
Sonja pays a visit to the Townhouse which is available to rent again (and I genuinely hope she found someone before 2020 exploded and all the rich assholes fled to Anyplace Other Than Manhattan — and I additionally hope that she had some strong language regarding exclusions written into her lease agreements), and worries over a leak in the basement and a broken toilet.
She also has big plans to renovate the place, get rid of all the florals, and do the all-white decorating thing to appeal to potential renters who are not in their 70s.
Elsewhere, Leah, Elyse, and Dorinda have a visit at Dorinda’s apartment where they worriedly (or “worriedly”) discuss the fact that Sonja made Page Six for getting her ass kicked out of a piano bar in Philadelphia’s “gayborhood” after singing “Hello, Dolly!” and then yelling that “they shit on me!”
It remains unclear who the “they” are.
AT ANY RATE, Leah and Dorinda, of all fucking people, are wringing their hands over this development, concerned that Sonja is going through something.
I mean, yes, she clearly is, but pots? May I give y’all a mirror before you start commenting on the kettle’s coloring?
I’m just saying, ladies, let’s not be so quick to judge someone having a bad night with too many cocktails.
They then discuss Ramona’s looming Birthday Hellscape, and Dorinda models what she intends to wear:
Finally, it’s Ramona Time. She arrives at her party with her sister, Tanya, who I don’t believe we’ve ever met before? We’ve met Leah’s sister and Dorinda’s sister and Tinsley’s sister, and I believe we’ve met The Countess’ sister, but I don’t remember ever meeting Ramona’s sister and the bitch in me is trying and clearly failing to resist pointing out that maybe it’s because Tanya is like a younger Ramona and Ramona doesn’t want to have to share the spotlight with her.
But you know who has no fear of being bitchy? The producers who literally count down every one of Ramona’s guests, to see if she can reach her mythical “50 close friends” mark. And to Ramona’s credit, they are able to count 50 some odd guests, but whether or not simply being an attendee at a large party constitutes being a “close girlfriend,” still seems a bit murky to me.
Among those 50 guests are Sonja and The Countess, neither of whom bothered with the black dress code because by their measure, Ramona is receiving enough attention. Also, Sonja is super pissed that a number of these “close girlfriends” are women from the Morgan tier of New York society that she introduced Ramona to, and she’s feeling sore that Ramona is social climbing right up Sonja’s back.
But Ramona is basking in her own self-manufactured glow to be too upset with Sonja for not following the rules, and lets it go with a laugh, insisting that Sonja is her “BF” and she wants her to “shine” since it’s almost her birthday, too.
Leah and Dorinda also arrive, both adhering to the all-black requirement, not that it much matters in Leah’s case who she can’t get Ramona’s attention as she’s too busy yammering at her more socially profitable guests. Eventually, Ramona does acknowledge Leah and her sheer illusion dress, which in that moment Ramona compliments as being “beautiful.” But then, showing her insecurity, Ramona adds that she doesn’t mind that Leah is wearing it, because there are no men at the party, so she can be “as sexy as [she] wants.” So, yeah, this dress is going to be an issue later, methinks.
Dorinda, The Countess, and Ramona discuss Sonja “going off the rails” with her drinking, and, again, yes, they’re not wrong, but they’re also not exactly the best messengers for this sort of judgment. She who is without drinking sins cast the first whisky rock.
With the whole cast there, Dorinda announces that they are going on another vacation: this time to Cancun, because what these women haven’t done enough of this season is spend some quality time together in a vacation setting.
Ramona gives a speech about how much she loves all of her close friends, and how much support they have given her and how she’s living her best life or some bullshit.
Dorinda sits Sonja down to express how worried she is about her, and Sonja is like, “YEAH I AM A LITTLE STRESSED BECAUSE MY TOWNHOUSE IS COSTING ME $50,000 A MONTH.” Dorinda and The Countess both encourage her to come to them with her worries. As Sonja begins weeping about how she’s scared, Ramona opens a gift from her “friends”: a Gucci pocketbook. She comes trotting over to show it off to Dorinda, The Countess, and Sonja who, specifically, is like, “FUCK YO POCKETBOOK.”
Ramona tries to join them, but Sonja is too full of anger and resentments and vodka. Ramona, Dorinda, and Leah excuse themselves to the bar where Ramona whines that it’s her birthday, and Sonja yells back that IT’S HER BIRTHDAY, TOO.
I feel ya, Leah.
Ramona announces that it is dance party time, and the women, they take her up on it.
Ramona then proceeds to completely lose her shit.
Ramona yanks Leah off of The Countess, while yelling “NO!” at her like she was Coco, pooping on Dorinda’s rug. Dorinda insists that it was “funny” but Ramona DOES. NOT. THINK. SO. Not in front of the LADIES. Leah screams at Ramona that she’s being “psychotic” and she’s not wrong! In response, Ramona storms off, screaming for a producer to SHUT IT DOWN. She is DONE. She will QUIT THE SHOW RIGHT NOW. SHE WILL NOT HAVE LEAH DANCING LIKE A STRIPPER AT HER BIRTHDAY PARTY.
The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.