‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: Herd Insanity

The Real Housewives of New York
“Reunion, Part 2”
September 17, 2020

The second part of the reunion picks up where we left off: what the hell happened between Tinsley and Dorinda? While Tinsley is yelling about Dorinda being jealous of her life, Dorinda insists that she would never want a relationship like Tinsley and Scott’s, waiting for a man to come to her rescue.

Dorinda then turns down a dangerous avenue, claiming that she was only irritated that Tinsley was not being “transparent” about her relationship with Scott. Dorinda stresses that the producers tell all of the women when they sign up for the show that they are expected to be “transparent” and real, and meanwhile, Tinsley is over here hiding and lying about her relationship with Scott.

But Tinsley is not having Dorinda’s hypocrisy and points out that Dorinda shared NOTHING about her breakup with Fudgie, that they all had to learn about it through Page Six.

Andy Cohen pauses the Tinsley/Scott talk to ask Dorinda about that story, and Dorinda claims that a dear friend of hers planted it news of the breakup — which hadn’t actually happened officially yet — in Page Six, that he made the decision for her. Dorinda insists that while she might not have been forthright, she was never dishonest, a distinction I, for one, am confused by.

A viewer asks the other women why they sat back and let Dorinda bully Tinsley and they are all like, “Uh duh, because we didn’t want to be her next target?” The turkey baster comment is dragged back up again and Dorinda tries, again, to apologize, but Tinsley IS NOT INTERESTED THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Another fan asks what Dorinda thought about Ramona’s theory that she was jealous that Scott was giving Tinsley the life Richard used to provide for Dorinda, and Dorinda poo-poos this: sure, she’s happy for Tinsley or whatever but she doesn’t want to be dependent on someone else anymore.

Andy Cohen then asks Dorinda why she became so infuriated when Tinsley’s name was brought up in the finale, and she “explains” that Leah’s toast wasn’t “authentic” because Tinsley did NOT bring Leah into the group. In fact, Dorinda insists, if anyone deserved a finder’s fee for Leah, it would have been Bethenny.

However, Andy Cohen corrects Dorinda: yes, Bethenny gave them Leah’s name, but Leah was one of 30 names that she gave the casting directors. Andy Cohen points out that Leah and Tinsley became friends before filming began — and that they genuinely liked each other, it wasn’t some put on for the show.


Dorinda sighs that they were already down one cast member because of Bethenny, so to have Tinsley leave halfway through the season, she just didn’t think they should be honoring her in the finale. Andy Cohen points out that Bethenny left the show THE DAY BEFORE FILMING BEGAN (whaaaaaaaaat?!) so, you know, let’s not be attacking Tinsley for leaving halfway through. Furthermore, not that it’s any of Dorinda’s business, but because she is so worried about the show, apparently, Andy Cohen informs her that Tinsley did come to him and the producers and they all mutually agreed that if she wanted to leave, it would be for the best. Dorinda is all, “WELL THAT’S JUST GREAT, I GUESS ANYONE CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT AND THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES ANYMORE,” and then everyone is talking over each other and I can’t hear anything that anyone is saying and suddenly Ramona is up and running off stage — maskless — to go pee. Girl, I feel ya.

The next montage is “The Ladies Go On Too Many Vacations,” and Andy Cohen’s first question is for Tinsley: what’s this about making out with your sister? She insists that it was completely innocent and they were just demonstrating to friends how they kissed and anyway it was some 20 years ago — though that still puts Tinsley at about 25 so … no? That wasn’t some cute middle school bullshit? That’s super weird? Andy Cohen asks Tinsley if she’s a good kisser, and Leah confirms that, in fact, she is.

Andy Cohen asks The Countess if she had a vibrator in her suitcase on their trip to Mexico and she admits that she did, but insists that it wasn’t what was going off when they collected their bags. So … points for honesty, I guess?

Andy Cohen tells Tinsley that he’s impressed Leah was able to convince her to strip down at Ramona’s house, and Tinsley’s like, “I mean, I looked good. I was thinner then, so no shame.” Note: Tinsley absolutely looks the same.

Andy Cohen asks The Countess what was disrespectful about being put in Ramona’s basement suite, and she argues that she was promised THE BEST ROOM, and instead she was given Ramona’s garbage cellar, SO YOU TELL HER, ANDY COHEN.

They very briefly touch upon Ramona calling the staff at the Mexico house “the servants” and the camel ride, and with that, they wrap the “vacation” segment without once talking about the one true hero of the season:

Andy Cohen then bids farewell to Tinsley, sending her off to her happily ever after. (Except not at all.)

Our next montage is dedicated to The Countess, who, as I’ve admitted here, really does seem to have pulled her shit together this season and tone it ALL THE WAY down. Andy Cohen observes that in the previous season, the women were FED UP with The Countess’ narcissism and obnoxiousness, because MY GOD. And the women agree that she is more approachable, and down to earth this year.

Interestingly, The Countess attributes it to no longer being on probation and having to dance around the drinking issue. For two years, she was living with the threat of being sent to jail hanging over her head and … for whatever reason … that made her a complete asshole who wouldn’t shut the fuck up about her dumb cabaret show. The Countess does admit to taking a misstep in the Berkshires and drinking too much and she was genuinely upset to watch it back and see the way that she treated Sonja — which, even this admission and statement of the obvious, feels like a huge step forward. I know Ramona had a therapist during this season, but was The Countess seeing someone too, and if so, can we maybe get a group discount for these ladies?

A viewer asks Leah if she expected The Countess to be a diva and whether those expectations were confirmed or denied, and Leah’s like “I mean, no?”

Another viewer wonders how The Countess, of all people, became the sober voice of reason this season, and she’s like, “Were you not paying attention? I’ve been through a lot of shit and came out the other side. It’s taken a while, but I finally learned what I can handle.”

A viewer implores The Countess to stop saying that she was “incarcerated” and spent time in “prison” because neither thing happened to her privileged, can-afford-bail-and-good-lawyers ass. And she’s like, “I KNOW, I KNOW, WORDS MATTER, I’M TRYING.” She adds that this is why she’s working with the Fortune Society, because the entire prison and justice system is in need of an overhaul and people need to be made aware.

A viewer asks Sonja if it’s true that The Countess only paid for half of her hair and makeup expenses for performing in her show, and she confirms this while The Countess yells from across the room that she DID pay Sonja. The Countess adds that when she was getting started with the whole cabaret thing, she had to pay her director and musical director and the people running the show and so yes, Sonja was a “guest” of the performance. And anyway, she performed at Sonja’s Drag Queen Bingo Party — you know, the one raising money for charity — and didn’t ask for a dime!

She is truly a saint walking among us.

Andy Cohen mentions the memoir The Countess is writing and how it made her feel closer to her father, and she starts talking about her father’s struggle with alcoholism and sobriety and how he was her “everything” and she gets choked up for a while before plugging the upcoming book and her cabaret show one last time for good measure.

Andy Cohen’s next montage is “Holy Cow, Look at These Old Hornballs!”

Andy Cohen asks The Countess about the Italian tennis instructor and dog groomer, and she confesses that nothing happened with either as they are both in relationships with other people. But she tried her best, God bless her.

A viewer asks the women why they are so obsessed with Harry the Ex and Tom the Cheater when Ramona’s little boy toy William is up for grabs, but Ramona’s all, “Who?”

Andy Cohen asks Dorinda if she’s started dating again, and she turns a bright shade of red before answering that “time will tell.” The Countess and Sonja both seem to know something about this mystery man, and add that it’s “very new” and that Dorinda “lights up” when she talks about him. (That said, when I Googled “Dorinda dating” here in the month of May in the year of our Lord 2021, the first things that came up were stories about this reunion, followed by a story from April reporting that she’s single. So what I’m saying is don’t get too excited.)

Andy Cohen then moves on to Leah and her conquests: the cute Berkshires bartender and the cute Canadian in Mexico, but she’s like, “Eh. They were fine, but I’m not into one-night stands, so.”

Andy Cohen then ends this segment asking the women who they think will be in the next serious monogamous relationship and they all agree it will be Dorinda. And maybe once this Covid mess blows past all of us, she will be, but it hasn’t happened yet. 

The final montage of this hour is “Ramona and Leah’s Mommy Issues.” Andy Cohen notes that their relationship is fascinating: they clearly made a connection but then it went sideways quickly.

Ramona takes over, explaining that there’s a part of Leah that she just doesn’t understand because Ramona is “more controlled” than Leah is. Ramona adds that her birthday party was a breaking point for her because she specifically asked Leah to rein it in, and instead she was out there dancing with her ass hanging out. And Leah’s like, “sure, but the response to that is, ‘hey, pull your skirt down,’ not screaming at the production team to turn the cameras off!”

The other women come to Leah’s defense, telling Ramona that she overreacted and that they were all dancing with her, and anyway, Leah had a leotard on and it was only women. But Ramona keeps huffing that Leah “started it,” and that she was “looking for attention when the night should have been all about Ramona.

Andy Cohen tries to point out to Ramona that she’s holding Leah to a different standard than she expects from the other women: that when Sonja talks about her “fat pussy,” Ramona laughs but when Leah says the phrase, “friends with benefits,” Ramona runs away in horror. Ramona claims that Sonja’s humor is like “Lucille Ball’s” while Leah is “more crass.” You remember all those times Lucille Ball joked about her “chubby pussy” on I Love Lucy, right? “Lucy, you gots some ‘splainin’ to do … about your chubby pussy!”

Leah notes that Ramona has a weird fixation on her sexuality in particular, and Ramona laughs that it’s because she feels maternal towards Leah, while Dorinda is like, “yeah, that ain’t it.” Leah tries to reply, but Ramona talks over her so much, that Andy Cohen is left screaming again, yelling at Ramona to “LET HER FINISH!”

Leah’s point is that at a dinner that didn’t air, she made a relatively benign joke about wanting to find a “billionaire with a nine-inch … whatever,” and Ramona was HORRIFIED! because Avery was in attendance. “THAT’S MY DAUGHTER!” She shrieked at one point. Leah then points out that Avery is 24-YEARS-OLD, the same age Leah was when she had her daughter, and she can probably handle a mild penis joke. But then! later at that same dinner! Ramona began, “jerking off” a wine glass, demonstrating her “flirting” techniques, so who is really embarrassing Avery here?

Andy Cohen then moves on to the Newport trip, and Leah’s like, “I mean, I don’t like how intoxicated I became, but let’s also remember how Ramona told me at the last second that my sister wasn’t invited to join us, so yeah, I overdrank. I was upset. And then I had to spend the rest of the trip apologizing over and over again.” But Ramona just shrugs that she doesn’t like it when Leah drinks.

Next, we discuss Ramona revealing on the show that Leah is bipolar, and Leah’s like, “I wrote an article about it four years ago, and I guess someone Googled it.” Ramona insists that she was just looking for some explanation for Leah’s behavior, and Leah’s like, “IT’S CALLED BEING DRUNK.” Ramona counters that if Leah is on bipolar medication, she shouldn’t be drinking, but Leah informs her that she’s not on medication for her bipolarism, something Ramona would know that if she had just asked.

Ramona insists that her bringing up Leah’s mental health issues was not “malicious,” but Leah, God bless her, breaks the fourth wall and is like, “That is bullshit because you knew perfectly well it was going to end up on television and my kid was going to see it. YOU KNOW WE’RE BEING FILMED.”

Ramona, amazingly, responds that 12% of Americans are on antidepressants and that Leah should own it and “help America,” causing Andy Cohen to ask in amazement if Ramona is really doubling down on this. And she is, Andy. She is. The only thing Ramona regrets is not bringing it up “personally” (or, even more appropriately, privately) with Leah. That said, Ramona doesn’t see the problem since Leah is so open about everything else about herself and her vagina on the show.

“You’re obsessed with my vagina,” is a thing that is said in response, marking the first time that sentence has been uttered in any Real Housewives reunion, so congratulations to all parties involved.

Dorinda begins yelling at Ramona that she attacks other people through the show, like when she alleged in the last reunion that The Countess was drinking while on probation, an allegation that theoretically could have ended with The Countess being arrested again. And then, out of nowhere so far as I can tell, Dorinda begins yelling that Ramona lies about her skincare line, claiming it’s what has renewed her skin when everyone knows she got a facelift. I mean, yeah, we all knew that, but what does it have to do with The Countess drinking or Leah’s vagina?

“Just be honest, you got a facelift!” Dorinda yells.

“Just be honest, you like to drink!” Ramona responds.

“Just be honest, you get laid by random men every night!” Dorinda retorts.

Dorinda then orders Ramona to go hang out with her “60 friends” because Dorinda’s friends can’t stand Ramona, they find her “wretched.” Which …  wait … what about Leah’s vagina?

Andy Cohen then tries to drag the conversation back to where it began: how can Ramona and Leah move forward? Ramona explains that there’s a part of Leah that reminds her of herself: they move to the beat of their own drummers, they’re self-made — making a distinct point to say that Leah doesn’t have an ex-husband or a DEAD husband who supported her — she’s been on her own forever, and Ramona respects that about Leah so much.

Leah notes that because she felt a certain maternalness from Ramona which Ramona then took away, it triggers Leah’s latent mommy issues. Ramona wants to hug Leah, but Andy Cohen has to warn her away.

So they settle for an awkward elbow bump instead. Weird times, man.

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The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.

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