CHAPTER 1: HOLLA!
It’s hard to believe that there’s been six seasons of The Real Housewives of New York City, and Ramona still keeps her “fun” heels piled up in a spare room like a common doctor. Oh, hello there. I’m Liz Galvao, and I’ve decided to recap RHONY. May God have mercy on my soul.
A few things you need to know about me before we get into this relatively uneventful season premiere: 1) I think Carole Radziwill is the coolest person who’s even been on a Housewives show, and possibly the coolest person who’s ever lived, and 2) I went to the same undergraduate institution as Aviva Drescher, and therefore found it extra embarrassing and gross when she threw her education around last season. Truly, she was the one being the trailer turd, if you don’t mind me resurrecting my favorite phrase from last season.
Now that that’s out of the way, tally-ho! The ladies have new tag lines this season, which sound like their drag queen alter egos wrote them. Seriously, the camp was way up on these intros, no? Ramona invoked both pinot and Turtle Time in hers, Aviva talked about “pulling my leg,” and Sonja’s was about “going commando,” which I don’t even think was a pun.
The most painful was Carole’s: “If you’re going to talk about me behind my back, at least check out my great ass.” No, Carole, NO! You don’t have to say those things just because the producers tell you to! Jesus. Carole just needs to go, “I have three Emmys and a Peabody and I fucked George Clooney” and drop the mic. This is what I fear most for her: that she will sink to their level.
We open on a shot of the Statue of Liberty, a feet’s eye view of a taxi almost hitting the camera, and a diseased pigeon alighting from a streetlamp. NEW YORK!!! Then we’re with Carole getting her “author photo” taken, for which she’s asked Heather to accompany her and irritate the fuck out of the photographer with unsolicited suggestions. After that business with Ramona interfering in Sonja’s toaster oven shoot last season (LET’S TALK ABOUT IT MORE!), Heather should know more than anyone to shut up during a shoot she’s not running. Carole says she’s “painfully shy in front of the camera” during an interview on the reality show in which she stars. Cool.
CHAPTER 2: THE RAMONA
Then it’s off to Sonja’s townhouse, where she’s still living, incredibly! Ramona shows up in a chartreuse peacoat (meditate on that phrase for a second, like an Upper East Side minister/friend) to make tired jokes about gay hairdressers and discuss how Sonja got “the Ramona,” which I thought was just your basic sensible shoulder-length layered cut, but what do I know. SIGNATURE HAIRCUT! Sonja says she’s “going below 30” with the men she dates and Ramona says “I think right now she has more men coming than going,” a line a producer fed her that she obviously had no idea was about splooge. Also, there’s a hint that Ramona’s arc this season is going to be about her daughter Avery going to college, which, you guys, I just can’t do. I just finished watching the daughter-going-away-to-college story play out for about 40 of the cast members of RHOBH, and I’m telling you that I CAN’T.
Apparently Sonja’s fucking Harry Dubin again, Aviva’s ex who also did LuAnn (by the way, where is LuAnn this season? Who is Sonja going to share men with if she’s not on the show?). Ramona drags out that old cow/free milk chestnut, delighting the many prudish grandmothers who watch this show for its respectable values and lack of sex. She also coins the term “saddist” and I’m officially asleep by this point.
But I wake up, because it’s HollaHeather’s birthday!!! She’s throwing herself a party in a venue approximately three thousand feet underground and chatting up all her Former Bad Boy Employee friends and reminiscing about “Puffy.” And that’s the connection, thin as a silken spider’s thread, that we need to establish why new Housewife Kristen Taekman is on this show. BUT MORE ON HER LATER!
Cut to Sonja screaming at Ramona in the cab on the way to HollaHeather’s party not to bring up her date’s age, which is 23, by the way. I don’t care how young or old the guys Sonja dates are, I only care that she made this young fellow ride in the middle seat so that he couldn’t barrel roll out of the cab at the first stop light. Wise choice, Ja-Ja. “People are ageless to me,” Sonja said, walking into a fortysomething woman’s birthday party.
CHAPTER 3: AGELESS
Let’s pause for a second. Can we talk about Sonja in that red dress? DAMN, GIRL. She must have gotten a new trainer or let Reid’s stupid comment about fat alcoholics keep her from eating, because she is looking all kinds of WHAT this season.
Ramonja comes in and mingles and the producers set up this ridiculous scenario of Sonja’s date going up to Kristen to talk to her. Okay, sure. Men in their early twenties definitely have the balls to approach beautiful women they’ve never met before and strike up conversations. Absolutely. Suddenly, magically, we are transported to Kristen’s sizzle reel.
“Everybody thinks I’m from California because I have blonde hair,” Kristen says. What brain-damaged individual think that that’s how that works? Are California blondes even a concept anymore? This broad doesn’t even look old enough to have been alive when that was a thing. People probably think she’s from California because she’s been vocal coached out of having an accent.
Here’s what you need to know about Kristen: she’s balancing modeling and taking care of her family (so down to earth!) with the help of a nanny (hey, who can’t relate?), her husband is an entrepreneur for eBoost (blah blah who cares), and she has two young kids: a son named Cash (let’s not even go there) and a daughter named Kingsley, after Kim Richards’s pit bull. She also planted this seed: “I feel like I need to write a book called I Love My Kids But This Fucking Sucks.” A book! What a hilarious omgkidding joke! She also added, “Any takers?” and gave her lit agent’s name and contact information, plus the first few lines of her proposal. It was very subtle.
I don’t hate her. Kristen spoke to Sonja and Ramona for about five seconds before nailing them in her talking head: “These two are hilarious. They seem like my crazy drunk aunts.” That might be a burn to Ramonja’s ears, but it’s exactly why they’re on the show.
CHAPTER 4: BOOK, BOOK
Aviva and Reid finally got to the party and Ramona said it felt like a “black cloud of smoke coming into the room,” because she’s been watching a lot of Lost reruns lately. Aviva and Sonja talk about the totally neutral subject of how Sonja is now fucking Aviva’s ex-husband in addition to the 23-year-old standing right next to her. Apparently they’ve made up? After last season’s reunion, I actually thought that Ramona was more likely to make up with Aviva than Sonja, but I guess Sonja knows that she’s more likable when she just parties and gets along with everyone instead of dragging out a fight. Sonja tells Aviva that she gave her “the Ramona manual” and it’s her own fault for not using it, which just proves that Ramona is an extremely difficult person to get along with.
Then Aviva goes up to Carole. Siiiiigh. Aviva is writing a “book, book– that makes me think of you” as she puts to Carole with the intellectual deftness of someone who thinks that all blondes come from California. (That’s another thing: for a show about New York City, there are way too many fucking blondes on this joint. Should I even get into the total lack of racial diversity for a show in one of the most diverse cities in the country? No. No, I shouldn’t. I should stick to book, book drama.) Aviva puts Carole on the spot by prodding her: “Are you going to help? Maybe throw a little editing in there?” HELL to the NO! Do you know how much she should be paying Carole, an Emmy and Peabody award winner who fucked George Clooney, to edit her leg memoir? (Let’s be real, what else is it going to be about, getting three degrees?) Carole’s response is “Uh…” which is exactly right.
Carole and Kristen have a conversation about Elvis, which leads Carole to exclaim about her in delight, “Not only is she tall and pretty, but she’s weird!” That’s what I assume people are saying about me all the time. Then Aviva spins Ramona’s shoulder around to tell her how much older than her she is and that she decided that they should have made up by now.
Ramona isn’t feeling it and thinks Aviva conned her. “You approached me as sugar and spice/But you’re nothing but not nice,” Ramona spits out in the worst rap ever. “Excuse me, I need some more ice/For my vodka and Slice.” Is she trying to get a record deal from one of the Former Bad Boy Employees? Because that is not the way.
Finally HollaHeather’s birthday is over and we get to see a very exciting scene about a woman sitting alone in a tapas place waiting for her husband. Nope! Not doing it!
CHAPTER 5: TEAM COCO
Ramona has an interior designer or something over to look at the rows of shoes in her spare room. I actually thought that this scene was fascinating, because it made me realize that New York is probably the only Housewives franchise where we don’t spend 1/3 of the time in closets that are full rooms. That’s probably one of the realest parts of this show– even these women can’t afford to make an entire room their closet in NYC. Aviva calls Ramona and we get a lot of reaction shots from Coco. Yes, please, and thank you. I’m always saying that we need more dog reaction shots on television.
There’s a two minute bit about Sonja giving Kristen marriage tips at a lingerie shop that mostly revolve around pretending to be at a book club. We can just ignore that, right?
Next, Sonja hosts tea at her townhouse!!! I love every minute that we spend in that crumbling five-story museum of financial stability. Time stands still there. I have a feeling that when Sonja is at home she’s just a constant stream-of-consciousness babble every second that she’s awake. To me, Sonja is the realest New York woman on the show. I have met so many women like her: eccentric, broke but putting on a good face, digging her nails into things she can’t afford, hilarious, probably should’ve left the city years ago. And she seems to have new interns this season! What happened to Millsaps and her breast reduction? (Oh my God, I’ve watched too much of this show.)
“I want two creamers so people are ready to cream at the same time,” Ja-Ja instructs one of the red-headed Rachels who is now getting college credit for catering a divorcee’s luncheons. We meet Marley the dog, who is given the on-screen title “Millou’s Replacement.” We also see a bag of Millou’s ashes, which are given a title as well. Poor Millou. Poor Marley. Poor Millsaps, wherever she is. Ramona and Kristen and some other blondes show up and another intern can’t open a bottle of champagne. Where did she go to college that she didn’t spend Oscar parties with a bottle of Andre glued to her face? Not Vassar, that’s for sure.
CHAPTER 6: SHE’S LUMP
Ramona makes some bitchy remarks about Sonja’s home. Look, it’s obvious that that townhouse is as busted as a fake leg lying on the floor, but the woman’s in bankruptcy, and you don’t dump on a bitch when she’s down. We all know she can’t possibly keep this place, nor should she, nor will she, eventually. But you don’t kick someone when they can’t stop kicking themselves.
Ramona tells the ladies that Aviva called her to have drinks and has a bunch of feelings about it at everyone. Her friend/minister tries her best to grind the conversation to a halt by interjecting meaningless “deep” lines about how she should love Aviva’s soul or something. Kristen says that this is why she doesn’t spend any time on the Upper East Side. Yes, because we all know the stereotypes about all those UES ministers/friends inciting us to meditate all the time. Sonja says that Aviva unfairly lumped her in with her fight with Ramona last season, which is 100% true and nonetheless enrages Ramona.
Then, FINALLY, Ramona takes her tits to a bar with a revolving door to meet Aviva for a drink. Aviva decides that the best way to rekindle her friendship with Ramona is to compliment her to an uncomfortable level and then order a ton of drinks, and we get maybe the most awkward tequila shots ever on this franchise. (It’s a tough call, though, to be honest.) I thought it was extremely sad and extremely telling that Aviva said she thinks drinking will get her back into Ramona’s good graces. First of all, she’s not even showing a real understanding of what behavior caused her to fall out of Ramona’s favor. It was never about drinking or not drinking. More importantly, the fact that Aviva’s mother was an alcoholic and she likely has had love being mixed up with alcohol in her past just makes this all kinds of wrong. But they ultimately made up, so everything’s great! Thank you, alcohol!!!
That was the point at which I realized that the Countess is no longer going to be on the show anymore, except on special vacation episodes or monster mystery bonus packs. I never thought I’d say this, but I kind of missed her. And now, with my brain completely fried, I say good-holla to you, to Millou’s ashes, and to HollaHeather’s sexy Jewish husband until next time. Byeee!