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Mar 19, 2010, 12:05pm   #1's Avatar
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The more that I watch Real Housewives of New York City (or any city, really), the more confused I get. Why do we watch this show again? Can someone explain it to me? Have we fallen so far into a Bravo k-hole that we can’t tell that this show is terrible? Because I suspect that it might be.

Until we answer those and other pressing questions, let’s simply go on to believing that this show is awful in a glorious way, what with all the Playboy-posing, psychic-consulting and fashion-show-fighting. Last night’s episode was a transitional one, but we still got plenty of housewifery for our one-hour time investment. Also, we got precious little Ramona, which is great, because I needed a break for her crazy eyes.

Let’s dispense with the unpleasant business of Kelly’s nudiepants Playboy pictures right now. She started the show caring what her kids thought about the photos, but once they expressed a bit of well-founded trepidation, she decided that their opinions weren’t that important after all. She did it anyway, and I’m sure it turned out fine. That magazine’s retouchers are, uh, heavy-handed.

Kelly later said that if her kids wanted to post for Playboy, she would support them in a second. Presumably, she would wait until they were at least 18 to throw her support behind them, which looks to be at least a decade away. Also, LuAnn would like to pose for Playboy if anyone is interested. Which, apparently, no one is. That was more or less LuAnn’s only participation in this episode, but she should be happy, because she still got more than Ramona.

We saw most of the Housewives together at an Emanuel Ungaro party, which was apparently the fameball-iest of the Fashion’s Night Out parties, since it featured Lindsay Lohan and her ubiquitous fameball mother, Dina. LuAnn claims that she was asked to host it, but like all of LuAnn’s claims, I find that dubious since we saw her do nothing but help Jill pump Alex for information about Ramona’s Labor Day party and what “team” she was one. Alex sidestepped the question admirably, and Kelly saved the day by talking about her nudie pictures. I feel like Kelly is one of those people that, any time there’s a lull in the conversation, she’ll take it upon herself to fill the lull with…herself. In this case, her level of self-absorption was totally convenient.

Alex took the opportunity to bring up the issue of her own nude pictures in one of the spliced-in interviews, and if you’ll all remember, the mere mention of them caused Ramona’s eyes to nearly burst out of her skull. She was so thoroughly scandalized by the images that her feet simply compelled her off the stage at the reunion, while both Jill and LuAnn stayed to snicker at Alex to her face. Jill explained that that’s because Alex’s pictures were “weird” and Kelly was doing Playboy, which is totally tasteful, of course.

In further Alex news, Jill is still all up on her about her children and their behavior, but it seems as though Alex is the only housewife besides LuAnn that we’ve actually seen spend any time with her children this season. Acknowledging their existence probably gives them more opportunities to misbehave, yes, but it probably also means that they’ll need less therapy in the long run.

When Jill isn’t talking smack about Bethenny’s personality or Alex’s children, she’s attempting to become LuAnn’s personal guru and savior. LuAnn, for her part, may or may not be attempting to turn herself into Kim Zolciak of the Atlanta housewives – we know that she’s going to release a “dance” track later in the season, and now she’s consulting a psychic to find out who will be the next love of her life. If that’s what she’s trying to do, she needs to be trying much harder. Kim is vastly more entertaining, and also has a much nicer car. And, come to think of it, she also has a sugar daddy, and we all know how hard it is to find a good one of those.

Speaking of dudes, we have Mario, Ramona’s troll of a husband who does the unenviable job of making all of the housewives look like mature and reasonable ladies. He has managed to drag out his camera time for one stupid, mean little remark about LuAnn’s divorce to a total of three episodes and counting. On the one hand, that’s a strategy from which all other Real Househusbands that want face time could learn. On the other, more reasonable hand, Mario acts like a child, he’s unwilling to admit it unless he’s asked in the exactly right way, and he’s incapable of apologizing or admitting that he may have been in the wrong.

In short, he’s perfect for Ramona.

There was no movement on this “count-less” issue, no advancing of the plot. It was just brought up once again, and everyone said the same things about it, and then they cut to the next scene. Which is exactly what we shall do as well.

I have a confession to make: I think that Kelly is a simpering idiot (she thinks that PETA’s stance against fur doesn’t have anything to do with animal abuse), but I love her apartment. Dark wood floors, white walls, modernist decor…sign me up. We even got a good glimpse of her bag collection, and holy Hermés, Batman. Kellys and Birkins in a dozen different colors, and I wanted all of them. At least she has taste in something.

We got to see them because Jill came over to…uh…visit the bags? I’m not sure what she was doing, but they sat down on a countertop, despite the easily availability of chairs, and Kelly gave Jill a mug with her picture on it and then Jill decided to tell her, on behalf of all of us, that she is not going to be on the 40th anniversary issue of Playboy because that would have come out back in the 90s. Kelly made some sort of excuse about her agent and generally acted like she had never claimed that she was going to be on the 40th anniversary issue, which we saw her claim last week. Having a camera crew around all the time makes it difficult to lie convincingly.

Now it’s time to get to the meat of the show: Bethenny and Jill finally ran into each other at Jill Stuart’s fashion show, and the claws came out. Bethenny tried to take the fakey-fake way out, which is what most people would have probably done, by acknowledging Jill’s presence with LuAnn, saying hi, complimenting both of their appearances, and then trying to excuse herself. All of the housewives were sitting together, however, so the awkwardness was palpable. For her part, Jill complained ad nauseum to LuAnn that Bethenny had been totally fake.

Well, in a bid to be real, Bethenny tried to talk to Jill again, but by then Jill had decided that this was neither the time nor the place, but couldn’t resist screeching about it for a few minutes anyway. And the only thing that I could think when it was over was that Jill absolutely does need a hobby, and that she doesn’t seem contented unless she’s part of a conflict. Absent her own conflict, Jill will find someone going through drama in her own life and insert herself into it, which explains her new BFF LuAnn.

Bethenny may not be perfect, and she may in fact be kind of an a-hole a lot of the time (really, a Learning Annex class?), but who keeps and replays a voicemail for months after the initial conflict, to more or less anyone that will listen? Jill may claim that she has a new hobby, but it seems like all she does is try to wring every last drop of camera time out of the only interesting thing that she has going, which is apparently her fight with Bethenny. If Jill was smart enough to understand irony, I bet she would think that was all hilarious.

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