Here’s what I find so fascinating and complicated about The Real Housewives: it’s a 360 experience. The stories and characters from the show continue on in real time, making supplementary drama on Twitter, Radar Online, Watch What Happens Live, etc. (Actually, that’s pretty much the only outlets they have.) They feed off of the publicity and on keeping their names in the press. That’s what makes it so fun to shit-talk and theorize about the cast. It’s also what makes it so complicated when something serious actually happens to them. When these people have opened up their lives to us, where do you draw the line?
Ramona Singer talked about her separation from her husband Mario on Bethenny last week, then filed for divorce a few days later. I feel okay mentioning this since she was open about it. One of the things that stuck with me from last season was when Countess went all Mafia boss on Ramona at the reunion and threatened, “Do you want blood?” We all knew she had some dirt on Ramona’s relationship and now I guess here it is. I feel for Ramona because it’s obvious how important her marriage was to her, but this would explain some of her uh… vehement insistence that she has it all.
But enough rolling around in the dirt! Let’s get to yesterday’s episode, where everyone rolled around in the mud.
CHAPTER ONE: THE PSYCHOPATH TEST
We pick up right where we left off: Carole and Aviva fighting about ghostwriters between a window a/c unit and c-stand. Some say they’re still there. Some say they’ve always been there. Aviva maintains that “the word on the street” is that Carole hired a ghostwriter for What Remains. Carole points out that Aviva’s cliche-peppered fight mode is extremely weird and lobs a couple B-words at her. “I don’t talk about how you raise your kids, don’t talk about my writing,” Carole says. “If you got pregnant, I would support you,” Boniva retorts, completely missing the point.
The fight moves to the stairs, where Amanda Sanders, Image Consultant is hovering. “I was coming up to see the children’s bedrooms,” she says. “The children, the children, bless their hearts, the little wee ones. I have posies for them, oh yes, posies for the childrens.” (She creepy.) Did Aviva hire this woman to coach her at parties, or is she going to be a mid-season replacement Housewife? Only time will tell. Carole calls Aviva a psychopath and the ladies separate into groups to debrief and discuss. Aviva rehashes her nonsensical argument that it takes a village to raise a book and adds “Mozart” to the list of people that Carole thinks she is, branching out from John Grisham and Stephen King. Carole, who has three Emmys and a Peabody and fucked George Clooney, says, “She’s just doing this because she wants to make drama for her book that nobody’s going to buy.” Dingdingding!
CHAPTER TWO: TEAM SONJA
The next day, HollaHeather comes over to Ramona’s apartment to dish on the party and watch Ramona’s mouth flap about a trip she’s planning. Upon entering, HollaHeather goes straight for Ramona’s dog, all, “Hey mushyface,” which is exactly right. “I’m so excited to go back to Africa” comes out of Ramona’s mouth and sets Marcus Garvey spinning in his grave. It’s news to me that Ramona enjoyed Africa, because that Morocco trip in season 4 was so traumatic that it made me quit this series for two years. Ramona explains in her talking head that Africa taught her the meaning of such important phrases as “blue balls” and “hung like an elephant.” HollaHeather thinks Aviva is mean and “no pun intended, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on.” Is it too late to quit again?
After a quick meeting with Carole and her editor where they laugh and laugh about the idea of her having a ghostwriter, we swing by Sonja’s apartment, my favorite place on Earth, to watch Sonja carry her new dog Marley around and break in a new intern. She says that Team Sonja is 35 people- ?!?!?! Girrrrl! Sonja says that most of her interns can afford to work for free because they come from wealthy families in the same breath that she declares she doesn’t want anyone getting a free ride. I think it’s pretty clear that the only ones getting a free ride in this situation are Sonja and possibly Marley, in Sonja’s arms.
Speaking of oversized teams, across town Aviva is clomping through Central Park with her “team” to shoot the cover of her book, A Leg to Stand On. I guess this is the village we’ve been hearing about? Most of them are just hanging around. Nobody’s even holding a bounce card or anything. One guy’s job is just to laugh at her jokes. Kristen meets up with Aviva and they take a mo to talk about the fight with Carole. Aviva explains that she actually has many writing credits including being an English major, going to law school, and two pages in Chicken Soup For the Soul. Kristen is straight-up and says she thinks Aviva is jealous of Carole, to which Aviva replies, “Oh my God, it’s a turtle! So cute!” Kristen looks at her with pity and concern. To be fair, though, that turtle was fucking cute.
CHAPTER THREE: PROM MOM
Then we’re back at Ramona’s apartment, where her daughter Avery and her friends are getting ready for prom. Ramona has five to seven panic attacks and lunges for the bottle of pinot like it’s the last chopper out of ‘Nam. I’m telling you, these girls have it much classier than I did. Their dresses are actually stylish! Their jewelry is understated! They’re going to the Hamptons afterwards! Everyone in my high school wore Jessica McClintocks and rhinestones and got wasted in Seaside Heights, pre-Jersey Shore. I wore lucite heels because I thought they made me look like Cinderella. Lordt, but mistakes were made!
After that Ramotional scene, it’s off to a rainy park with Kristen and HollaHeather and their holla/husbands. Kristen’s husband Josh’s company eBoost is sponsoring The Spartan Race, one of those obstacle courses for adults who like exercise. I feel like I never need to know what eBoost does or is. I’m good. The foursome work through some strenuous training:
– Tip-toeing across a treehouse ladder on the ground
– Pretend horses pulling a chariot (doubles)
– Pretend lawnmower (singles)
– Something involving miniature cones which we didn’t get to see
CHAPTER FOUR: EGGY BLONDE
The next shot is of blue balloons and I’m terrified of getting to hear what Ramona learned in Africa again. But it turns out it’s just Carole’s apartment, and now I’m terrified about how she’s gettin’ those balloons down from such high ceilings!!! Carole’s throwing a baby shower for a girlfriend, and her VP of social media shows up to help open the wine. HollaHeather’s sexy Jewish hollahusband comes with their daughter, and Carole says he’s the perfect husband because “only a great guy would come to his wife’s friend’s friend’s baby shower.” He’s that close to the mother-to-be, huh?
Sonja shows up and there’s a discussion of whether the guest of honor did it the old-fashioned way or the new old-fashioned way, which prompts one of Sonja’s best lines: “Who needs a sperm donor? There’s plenty of sperm out there. It’s the eggs at my age.” I feel like this is a remix of the eggs monologue from Annie Hall, but more poignant. Ramona shows up in a fabulous draped silk top (girl seriously needs to mix it up more in her silhouettes), and as Carole is introducing her to the guest of honor, I’m wondering how common it is to throw a baby shower with tons of people the mother-to-be has never met?
CHAPTER FIVE: MUDDY BUDDIES
After a brief interstitial at the Martin Lawrence Galleries, where I’m assuming every piece looks like this, it’s time for The Spartan Race. First of all, why would anyone ever want to do something like this? Secondly, nobody should ever do anything like this. But it’s happening, and Kristen has anxiety about it. I like Kristen. I like that she didn’t wear make-up for an event focused around exercise, like a reasonable person. I like that her husband did a spit-take when she asked him if he remember that time she tried to take up jogging. I totally get why she doesn’t want any part of this mess, but she has to be there to support eBoost, whatever the fuck that is or does (please don’t tell me). Kristen makes her husband promise to keep in synch with her, so he swears it.
Of course, everyone bolts ahead at the first opportunity like the crazy endorphin junkies they are and leaves Kristen in the dust. I mean, it is a race, but still: calm down. It’s worth noting here that EVERYONE got a medal at the finish line, like a children’s soccer team. The Hollahusband is WAY faster than you would expect, and crosses the line first. Get it, boy! This race somehow incorporates tires, archery, jumping over fire, climbing a rope over a mud pit, being smacked by American Gladiator paddles, and barrel-rolling under barbed wire. Good thing they did all those ladder tiptoes to prepare!
HollaHeather joins her hollahusband at the finish and they have a muddy makeout, which is genuinely sweet. Hours later, Kristen drags her pissed-off ass to the finish line and screams at her husband, which, right or wrong, is exactly what I would’ve done. Josh says, “If I told you how hard it was, you never would’ve done it.” Dude. EXACTLY. Kristen starts a sentence with, “You make me feel like…” and Josh cuts her off with, “No, I don’t make you feel any way.” Eeeeee. All the skills I’ve learned from watching Alex and Simon on VH1’s Couples Therapy say that this is not healthy communication. If we pick up here again next week, let’s go back to the hollahumping, please. And so until next time, I, like Ramona when her kid goes to college, am gonna need a lot of Xanaxes.