Did you guys feel it, too? I guess it’s easy to just accept the universe of this show as it is and forget that it was once something different, some place where people didn’t make non-cast members cry, or laugh off women being molested.
I really miss Bethenny, you guys. She had that rare combination of acerbic wit, brutal honesty, and narcissist coping skills from a dysfunctional childhood. Even though she was never actually a housewife, she was the best at being a Housewife. I have to wonder how different the show would be if she were still on it, calling out people’s behavior, and maybe even talking some sense into Andy Cohen behind the scenes.
I’m not about to start writing Bethenny fanfic… Alright, I’m not about to start publishing my Bethenny fanfic. But I am going to continue the challenge of changing my recap format each week. This week, could we take the time to review the episode and see when we missed Bethenny the most, on a scale of 1 to 10? Let’s do that.
How Much Do We Miss Bethenny?: Cody Does Sonja & Aviva’s Nails – 5/10
Oh, this scene. There was some talk of racism in this episode (we’ll get to that later), but for me, this scene was really the most uncomfortable. Sonja invited Cody, George’s fiancé and Aviva’s soon-to-be in-law, over her house to… do their nails for free and get grilled about her “intentions?” What a lovely invite! And we can top that off with Sonja’s clueless comment that her neighbors might think her dealer was there. Comments like that wouldn’t stand out so much if there were literally any women of color on this franchise, ever. Um, did you guys know that New York is one of the most diverse cities in the country?
Aviva says she wants to know how often Cody and her father have sex and then backtracks immediately that ew, gross, she doesn’t want to know, how did we even get on this subject? Girl pulls this A LOT. She also makes a point to tell Cody that she isn’t worried about her “inheritance or anything” when it comes to her father. You can tell she isn’t thinking about her father’s money by the way she keeps bringing it up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I HOPE this broad is in it for the money. Your twenties are hard enough without being married to a gropey octogenarian who drops the word “turd” like he… well, like he drops turds. (Sorry for that one.)
I would have loved to hear what Bethenny had to say about this mess.
How Much Do We Miss Bethenny?: Fancy Hat Shopping for the Races – 3/10
Sure, the big hats are really only for the Derby, and even then, it’s kind of silly if you’re not actually in Kentucky. But who doesn’t love an excuse to wear something enormous and frivolous? Also, who involved in the show has a friend who makes flesh-colored chain necklaces? This is like the sixth one a Housewife has worn, and they’re fucking hideous. Somebody owes someone a favor, and that favor involves making Housewives wear flesh-colored chains. Creepy.
I only wish that Bravo had gotten a screencap of the humorless hat store employee who waited on these women. She was NOT HAVING IT and she was giving me life. I don’t like to throw around the word “hero,” but…
How Much Do We Miss Bethenny?: Cody & George’s Engagement Party at the Museum of Sex – 9/10
It’s not that these women ever shied away from talking about sex, but there was a time when we didn’t have to sit through ten minutes of apes masturbating and six-foot-long wooden penises just to see a fight. Am I wrong here?
You know, for all of the shit I talk about Ramona, I think she has the correct reaction to George: complete and utter revulsion. I’m sorry: this man met Kristen and immediately PUT HIS HAND ON HER BREAST. A complete stranger, and his first action is to grope her. At his OWN ENGAGEMENT PARTY. Aviva says that “lecherous” is a mean word for her father, but I think it’s entirely accurate. If your mind is fighting this logic, imagine if George were thirty years old. Would it still be funny to say to a woman, “At your funeral, I’m going to lick my lips and put my hand on your vagina?” Did that not send chills down your spine? That’s some True Detective shit! There’s not enough Klonopin in the world to get me to sleep after hearing that. Jesus Christ.
Now. Ramona, Queen of Tact & Empathy that she is, completely ignores Sonja when she tells her repeatedly not to bring up that Cody lost her parents recently. It’s kind of like when a smoker sits through a lecture about how bad cigarettes are for you and how you should really quit smoking cigarettes and how you’re getting cancer from cigarettes, but all their brain hears is “cigarettes, cigarettes, cigarettes.” Sonja says: “Don’t mention her dead parents, don’t mention her dead parents, DON’T MENTION HER DEAD PARENTS,” and all Ramona hears is “mention her dead parents.” So she does, and she makes someone who she just met cry at her own engagement party. Nice.
(Let’s not forget that Ramona made a newly-engaged Bethenny cry by telling her that she ruined all her relationships and would probably ruin her marriage, too. She must be a blast at weddings!)
George later said that this was racist. Now, he’s lived through the Civil Rights Movement and Brown v. Board of Ed and the Emancipation Proclamation, so I think it’s worth considering his point of view. Personally, though, I don’t get it. Pointing out that someone doesn’t have parents is horrible, mean, hurtful, rude, obnoxious, ill-mannered, and deliberately obtuse, but I don’t see how it’s racist. I think that Ramona has a problem with younger women right now in general, as we saw when she THREW A GLASS AT KRISTEN’S FACE.
Ramona claims that because her daughter is 18 now, she’s worried about younger women falling prey to older men. I think that it has more to do with her catching her husband having an affair with a 26-year-old, but let’s not dwell there. Let’s just move on from watching a woman in pain, whose marriage is falling apart torture a young, newly-engaged woman who’s just been orphaned. It’s been fun, though.
How Much Do We Miss Bethenny?: Sonja & LuAnn’s Bike Ride – 1/10
Sonja and The Countess’s friendship is one of the more surprising ones on the show, but also one of the best. The Countess is less proper with Sonja, sillier, more quick to laugh at herself and less quick to judge. Sonja seems stronger with LuAnn, less worried, less scatter-brained, and more willing to deal with reality. Remember when Sonja took down the portraits of her and her ex in her townhouse? LuAnn was the one she called, not Ramona.
This show spends so much time on women fighting with each other and confronting the conflicts in their friendships, it’s nice to see when a friendship is working, for once. This scene didn’t need anything.
How Much Do We Miss Bethenny?: A Day At the Races – 8/10
Man, this is the first season that RHONY is taking trips to places I’ve actually been! (Hint: that’s not impressive.) Saratoga Springs is absolutely lovely, and also the home of Skidmore College, which I once toured with my parents as a high school junior. My dad is a horse-racing fan and I’m pretty sure he wanted to attend Skidmore. That track in Saratoga is beautiful as hell.
The ladies bring their big hats and their pastels to the races and Sonja gets buzzed pretty early, which, why not? I mean, if you’re drinking mimosas and bloodies in the morning, are you really going to be shocked when your friend who weighs a hundred pounds gets drunk? I don’t understand the judgment there.
The women decide to pool their money and bet together, throwing down $50 each. Sonja balks at this; lady is in a financial BIND. She does a bunch of $3 bets on different horses; it does not sound like a great strategy. And of course, the ladies who spent the money end up walking away with a combined $3,340, or $835 each.
I so felt for Sonja in this scene. She’s the one who could use that money the most, and because she couldn’t afford to spend $50, now she has to watch these bitches fan themselves with cash, make it rain, tuck dollar bills under their eyelids, etc. I couldn’t blame her for being like “fuck this” and going down in the stands to talk horses with a guy like the ones she grew up with. Bethenny grew up with horse-racing, too, and it was always fun to see that side of her come alive at the track.
I mean, would it really have killed them to split the money five ways and cut in Sonja? It’s not like it would cut their winnings in half, that’s $167 less for each of them. I know they have no obligation to do that, but it would’ve been really nice of them. Sonja might have been less inclined to separate from them and ignore their texts, and they might not have had to leave the track without finding her.
How Much Do We Miss Bethenny?: Belligerent Sonja – 6/10
I mean, I don’t know if Bethenny could’ve helped this situation. I don’t know if anyone could have. Sonja showed up at the house hours later, drunk and furious and muttering “Bitches.” I just don’t know how anyone’s supposed to calm that down enough to be able to go out to a nice dinner.
Okay, clearly, Sonja would not have this level of anger if she wasn’t drinking, but doesn’t she kind of have a point? They texted her twice. There should have at least been a phone call before they all drove off. It’s not like you can just hail a cab out there. So, Sonja just had a day where everyone but her won $835 and then they all left the track without calling her. Hell, I’d be drunk and pissed off too.
Then again, wasn’t it really the production crew’s job to know where she was and make sure she didn’t end up drowning in a hot spring or something? Whenever possible, let’s just blame the man behind the curtain.
Next week: Sonja packs her bags and doesn’t leave, Aviva texts something to Heather that starts a fight with LuAnn, and other things that might happen at a seventh grade sleepover! Until then, I’ll be like Bethenny: not on TV but alive in our hearts!