The Real Housewives of New York
“Viva La Dysfunction”
September 3, 2020
It’s Christmas time and we begin this finale episode with Ramona chasing poor Coco around, trying to take his picture in front of the tree; Sonja accepting an RSVP from a post-hand-surgery Dorinda for her upcoming Drag Queen Bingo party; and Leah taking one last boxing lesson from the real star of this season, Martin the trainer.
We then head to the studio to record The Countess’ next hit single, “Viva La Diva,” which is being produced by an actual producer and songwriter, a guy named Desmond Childs who wrote “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” among an actual ton of other songs you’ve definitely heard of. As for why he’s working with this adult version of Rebecca Black? Gentle Reader, your guess is as good as mine.
Because, good lord, this woman can not sing. She can’t even talk in tune, which is all she is doing here, recording the stupid little chatty intro for this new terrible, terrible, very not good song, “Viva La Diva.”
“What a hoot!” The Countess yelps at one point.
Is it though?
After she records these eight lines of weird dialogue, The Countess tells Desmond Childs that she can’t wait to perform it in front of her friends at Sonja’s Drag Queen Bingo Party, so we definitely have that to look forward to.
Next, we revisit Dorinda’s original Manhattan apartment, which I was under the impression she had sold, but in reality, she’s just remodeling in anticipation of selling it or maybe moving back in, who knows! Nothing much notable happens except for the moment when her designer demands she not lean against the window because he’s worried that she’ll fall out of it and die. So apparently he and I share a zodiac sign, because I was also worried about it, even though it has been 18 months since this was filmed, and I would have definitely had heard by now that Dorinda Medley had fallen to her death out of a Manhattan highrise windo.
Oh, and Dorinda declares that 2020 is going to BE HER YEAR!
Also dealing with more real estate than she can handle: Sonja, who shows Ramona around the changes she’s made to the place. And it does look better, mostly because she’s removed most of her personal old lady junk from the place.
Elsewhere, Leah, Kiki, and Bunny make gingerbread houses at some bakery? candy shop? I don’t know where we are, and I suppose it doesn’t much matter. There, Bunny gently suggests that when Leah and Kiki go on their Jamaican holiday, they do so without phones and social media. And it’s not bad advice! It’s just completely unrealistic advice.
Leah then voiceovers a bunch about how her relationship with her mother is a work in progress and that she recognizes she could be more mature. Who told Leah that she could have growth and actual character development — I didn’t think that was permitted on these shows?
Next, we have The Countess’ cabaret preview for her new show, “Marry, Fuck, Kill,” which only Sonja and Leah (and Leah’s sister and friend) will be attending, as Dorinda is recovering from her surgery and Ramona is an asshole. I mean, I’m sure after five months, I’d be sick of filming with these lunatics, too, and GOD KNOWS I have seen enough of The Countess’ cabaret just from the series itself to last one lifetime. It’s not that I blame Ramona for not wanting to sit through yet another cabaret performance, but the thing is, ya gotta. It’s part of the deal you signed with
the devil Bravo.
So The Countess comes onto the stage and she makes some “jokes” about her marriages, divorces, and arrest which elicits some uneasy laughter, mostly because we’ve heard it all before. She also jokes about going to Mexico and being proud of herself for not falling into a bush this time. Take your victories where you can.
The Countess then jokes about Harry the Ex and wanting to kill him, which is Sonja’s cue to join her on stage to play a round of “Marry, Fuck, Kill,” with Dorinda, Ramona, and Tinsley. Sonja proudly announces she’d kill Ramona, she’d have to marry Tinsley after her
first second divorce because she’s unfuckable, which leaves Dorinda to fuck. And who knows, Sonja quips, Dorinda might be a surprise in the sack — she is a people pleaser, after all. (Is she? Since when?)
After the show is over, Leah and Sonja join The Countess backstage where they talk shit about Ramona not attending the show. But Leah doesn’t mind: since Ramona isn’t there, Leah can chew gum and show her vagina to whomever she wants.
Sonja notes that she’s feeling self-conscious about the weight she’s gained from all the stress of the past year, and Leah agrees to take her to some exercise classes with her. Middle age is not a fucking joke, y’all. Leah adds in an interview that she has come to love the complicated, layered, messy Ms. Morgan. Join the club, lady.
Finally, everyone gets ready for Sonja’s big Drag Queen Bingo Party, which Sonja is hosting to raise money for GLAAD. In attendance are many famous drag queens, Desmond Childs from earlier, Leah’s friend Eliseo, and our housewives, obviously, all being tended to by shirtless waiters because if RuPaul can do it, so can Sonja.
Dorinda arrives in a sparkly turban as is her right to do so as a woman of a certain age; Leah comes in an evening gown and Adidas, God bless her; and The Countess arrives in taxi driver drag.
It’s a choice.
But the most controversial accessory is Ron, Ramona’s date for the evening. Ron is an aggressively straight man, and, in fact, the only straight man in attendance that evening. Ramona’s not even romantically involved with Ron, which is why Sonja is furious that she brought him: DID RAMONA NOT READ THE INVITATION?
No, Ramona did not.
Anyway, Sonja has some history with Ron from Beautique, because of course she does, and Ron reportedly hit on one of Leah’s friends at the Halloween party that Ramona also brought him to, because of course he did. When Leah asks Ramona and Ron if they’re involved, they both insist that it’s just platonic — super platonic, in fact — and Ron mistakes Leah’s curiosity as interest in him. Ron insists that he loves being single, but that people need “friends,” and Leah laughs, “friends with benefits?” which for some reason makes Ramona run away in disgust. And because Ramona is so grossed out by Leah saying the phrase “friends with benefits,” she misses the actually disgusting moment when Ron tells Leah that she is “in [her] prime right now,” and promises that he “can make [her] shine.”
Elsewhere, The Countess gives Ramona a hard time for missing her cabaret preview, and Ramona insists that the invitation arrived at the last minute, and anyway, she didn’t even see an invitation. The Countess points out that the details were in an attachment; did Ramona not open the attachment?
No, Ramona did not.
Sonja gives a speech thanking everyone for coming and aiding the LGBTQ+ community, EVEN THOUGH SHE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD BRING A STRAIGHT GUY ALONG. Ramona interrupts to yell that it didn’t say on the invitation that she couldn’t bring a straight man and then Sonja’s speech just becomes these two yelling at each other and waving their phones in each others’ faces.
They begin playing Bingo and Dorinda, who has now had the benefit of a few cocktails, her Sicilian begins to show and she becomes extremely competitive. I only say that because as a fellow Sicilian, I have learned in my forty-~cough~ years that if I want to remain friends with people, I absolutely can not play games with them. It doesn’t matter how much I love you, when I’m playing a game against you, I WILL CUT YOU IF I HAVE TO.
After Bingo, The Countess debuts “Viva La Diva” for the crowd by tonelessly singing over the track while the crowd watches in a perfect mixture of horror and amazement.
We then are treated to our traditional Season Finale “Where Are They Now?” freeze frames:
“Life in quarantine is not a cabaret, so Luann is now focusing on her memoir. Luann also sold her round house. Apparently, Upstate was the lower level of New York.”
“Known for her advice (solicited or otherwise), Dorinda will make it available to all with her new book, Making it Nice, Making it Through. She won’t be wearing Jovani on the cover.”
“Leah quit drinking, further strengthening her relationship with her mother. She understands she might now always be liked, but she is always loved.”
“Despite the facelift, Sonja’s townhouse found no bidders so she took it off the market. Sonja’s own facelift was much more successful at attracting attention.”
“Maintaining 50 friendships while social distancing has kept Ramona busy. Finally settled into her new building, she moved to a higher floor for more Instagrammable views.”
And yet, that’s not the end of it! Because when Leah tries to make a toast thanking the women for taking her in and becoming her friends, she opens with, “Tinsley introduced me to you guys …” and is interrupted by a drunk Dorinda who stops her. “I’M NOT DOING THAT SHIT,” Dorinda proclaims. “I WILL NOT GIVE TINSLEY THAT. SHE ALMOST RUINED OUR SHOW. SHE BREACHED HER CONTRACT. I WILL NOT TOAST TO TINSLEY MORTIMER,” Dorinda continues to stomp around yelling. “TINSLEY LEFT US, SHE’S A BITCH,” Dorinda barks while Leah stands dumbfounded and the others attempt to explain that she was just pointing out that Tinsley was Leah’s entrée to the group. But drunk Dorinda is not hearing it. “FUCK THAT SHIT, SHE WENT BACK TO CHICAGO. TINSLEY CAN GO FUCK HERSELF. I DON’T WANT THAT BITCH’S NAME MENTIONED. I’M DONE.”
And on that angry Dorinda note, the season comes to a close the same way it began. “Happy fucking holidays!” an incredulous Leah exclaims. “Merry fucking Christmas, bitch!”
Now, onto the reunions.
The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.