pop culture, Review, television


Grade: A (but not an A+ because it’s still disgusting and sad)

There are a few episodes of reality television where the “reality” and reality blur together uncomfortably and you realize that these people are, like, really fucking messed up. The episode of Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami where Scott smashes a mirror is one. And the finale of this season’s Real Housewives of New York City is another. The drama was so close, so hideous, and so tangible that it almost felt scripted. But it was real in the ugliest way.

We open up back in Miami, where the producers cattle-prodded the Housewives into going because Mohegan Sun sucked and Bethenny was bleeding too profusely to go to Mexico (I never thought I would be angry at vaginas for having their own storylines in RHONY and having those storylines impede my promise at a dramatic vacay). Bethenny, whose jawline is really cute now, has just told Luann that she has a photo of Tom and some woman making out. AT THE REGENCY. WHICH I’M ASSUMING IS A BAR.

Side “bar” (ha?): These women and the inhabitants of their social spheres inhabit only, like, three places in Manhattan: Boutique the club, The Regency Bar, and Sonja’s vagina. The last one has late checkout, so it’s particularly popular for the late-risers.

Anywayanywayanyway, Luann refuses to believe Bethenny and oscillates rapidly between swooning onto the ground like a Southern Belle, fake-vomiting, and shouting, “TOM’S MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME.” Reminder: they have been dating for four weeks and engaged for one. Luann says that she “knows” he’s the one. FOUR WEEKS.

For her part, Bethenny does truly seem remorseful, which is a little too late. The entire season, Bethenny has been a raging psychopath (not a diss, just a fact) and so mean to Jules, so I find it a little weird that this is the thing that she’s in literal tears about. After she tells Lu, the camera shows her sitting in bed, lying in bed, and drinking straight from the Skinnygirl bottle. Great sutured advertising, btw Bravo!!

The entire time (all four weeks) that Luann and Tom have been together, the women have said that Luann is in love with being in love, and in love with the hype. And when she whispers to Bethenny, haggard and old and tired, “Don’t do this to me,” it’s almost as if she’s asking Bethenny, “Don’t do this to me. Don’t ruin my storyline.” I know that’s harsh, but I think it’s also true. Luann is an honestly awful person. I don’t want her to be unhappy, but I also think that this is a natural progression of her storyline.

This episode was, for the first thirty minutes, too close and ugly and weird and not-good drama. Luann’s in a tizzy, Bethenny’s inconsolable, Ramona is getting very close to people’s faces and screaming, “I FOUND OUT THAT MARIO WAS CHEATING FROM PAGE SIX.” It’s a lot.

And then, when Luann is in the bathroom after the bomb has been dropped and she’s been talking with Tom, you see the wildness recoil and something more calculated take its place. Reality TV “reality.”

However, before we get into the whole problematic of it all, I just have one moment that is perfect. Luann, this entire time while she’s been spinning out, has been texting Tom via voice call. Meaning, she speaks into Siri and Siri types out a text message. TO REMIND US THAT THESE WOMEN ARE ELDERLY.

Luann, in her text to Tom: “How could you do this to me. Question mark.” BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO VERBALIZE PUNCTUATION. A moment of levity.

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Source: Bravo TV// “How could you do this to me. Question mark.”

After she’s freaked out, Luann does the classic horrible move of getting back together with Tom and shooting up Bethenny like a trussed-up turkey on Thanksgiving. Why is Bethenny so involved with Luann’s business? Why is she gunning for Tom? Why did she fact-check?

The last one makes me actually annoyed. Bethenny rigorously fact-checked and made sure that her information was solid before coming to Luann. LUANN SEES THAT AS SHADY. LUANN, YOUR FIANCE IS PLAYING TONSIL-HOCKEY WITH A COUGAR AT THE REGENCY. GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.

Luann’s darkest moment, when you glimpse the depths of her denial and delusion, comes when she tries to believe her own lies. She says they had a fight, he went to the Regency, and met up with a girl whom he had not seen in a while. She was, according to Luann, “of course ready, willing, and able to be there for him. And, you know, Tom fell into her clutches.”

And right there, more than any other moment in the episode, is when I decided that I hate Luann. Because someone who blames other women for the cheating of her fiance, who forgives the man but slut-shames the other women, is so beyond anti-feminist that it’s disgusting. Women like Luann are so willing to believe their own narratives, that men are gullible and fall into the traps of women, that they take back cheaters time and time again because “that’s just their nature.” Tom can’t help it. UM TOM COULD HELP IT. AND HE’LL DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. Luann will keep making excuses for him because to not make excuses would be to give up the fantasy and the narrative of “Happy wife, happy life.” And that makes me so sad, that people are willing to sacrifice so much for the facade of a good life.

Luann does a bunch of shitty other stuff, but all in the haze of acting for the storyline. She’s gone and cracked, and it shows. During Bethenny’s Mexican fiesta party, appropriation to the max, the women are discussing the $10K pinata (I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN) that Bethenny got them, when Luann marches up, taps on Bethenny’s shoulder and says, “STOP TALKING ABOUT ME AND TOM.” She obviously believes in the reality tv formula that a group of women talking must be gossiping. It’s so obviously her trying to start drama and her blind belief that these women really care that I had to laugh. I didn’t want to. I HAD to.

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Source: Bravo TV// What’s sadder: Jules’ belief her marriage will succeed or her denim lewk?

This finale was one of the darkest I’ve ever seen, from the glimpses of turbulent pain in Jules’ eyes as she says that she hopes hers and Michael’s eighth anniversary will be lucky for their marriage, knowing full well that in the time of the testimonial filming, her relationship has already headed for divorce. The blind faith of Dorinda. The magic eyes of Ramona. Sonja looked amazing, but she always does. The upcoming knowledge of what Carole will wear to the Reunion. All SUPER dark stuff, you guys.

And at the center of the tornado, in a circle of belying calm, are Bethenny and Luann. Their friendship in tatters, and Bethenny’s utter disbelief that Luann could attack her for Bethenny’s probably first, and last, attempt at benevolent, no-strings-attached do-gooding. Luann will choose her LuMan every time, and the rest of the girls are just collateral damage.

I typed this all on my new LAPTOP, so I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet, but I wanted to put up content. Also my BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW #TWENTYFUN. Ugh I hate myself for that hashtag, but I won’t delete it. I need to learn from my shame.

Favorite Moments:

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  • Bethenny screaming at a waiter to never serve vegetarian ceviche in her presence again.
  • Luann: “Me and Tom are doing our own therapy. People tell us to go to a therapist, I say, Why?”
  • Everyone loving Adam’s new haircut. It’s cute. It’s not that cute.
  • Sonja being confused by food and reminding us, yet again, that she and Tom were lovers and that her current boyfriend gets his rocks off to antique napkins.
pop culture, Review, television


Season 8, Episode 5

Grade: A/A+

(Written while on my bed. Sexy. I’m in the middle of finals—well, I’ve just finished/failed one out of two finals—and I rewarded myself with an episode of The Real Housewives of New York. I don’t think I’ve done a Real Housewives recap, so I think it’s appropriate to start with this one. This has been a long aside. Oh! I’m wearing skinny jeans! That’s not relevant, but I just want people to know I wear things other than joggers. Moving on.)

Because Beverly Hills has been such a disappointment all season long—thank god it’s over—everyone and their mother is jizzing themselves with excitement over New York. It’s fresh, it’s dynamic, it has authentic drama, and so far no one has mentioned Munchausen. Seriously, Andy Cohen is circle-jerking with a crowd of Upper East Side gays in pure happiness that RHOBH is over.

Side bar: For those of you who don’t know, the entirety of RHOBH was taken up by someone—Lisa Rinna—claiming that Yolanda Hadid (nee Yolanda Hadid Foster) actually had Munchausen Syndrome instead of Lyme Disease. This is fucked-up, especially coming from Lisa Rinna, who—I was about to say “Not to be rude” but I can’t say what I’m about to without being rude, so fuck it—has lips that can only be described as two car bumpers and got her asshole waxed on television. The second half of the season was taken up by who actually started the Munchausen conversation. Except for a brief sabbatical where Lisa Rinna and Lisa Vanderpump went to Ohio to purchase a mini pony, which Vanderpump ended up not buying, this was the entire season. God, I envy that mini-horse. It managed to get out before it was too late.

Side bar side bar: Can someone confirm/deny that Lisa Rinna and Detox from RuPaul’s Drag Race have the same mouth? Thanks.

So we’re at the fifth episode of RHONY and we’ve already had a huge “To be continued” fight, Dorinda slurring her words more than a sailor on leave in World War I, and Bethenny saying someone else has an eating disorder. AND WE’RE ON EPISODE FIVE.

After last week’s episode, the botched barbeque and Bethenny shoving a bagel into her face while destroying Jules’ house, this episode has fresh drama that doesn’t feel too cringey. Here are the highlights.

1). Bryn and (I’m assuming) her personal stylist have approved her outfits for a trip. I’m surprised Bethenny does carryon, because I assumed that only my dad did that, but I’m glad to see that another tight-pursed New Yorker does the same.

2). Jules and Bethenny: Okay, so I hated Jules the first episode. And the second episode. And then I forgot she existed for the third episode and half of the fourth episode. But now she and Bethenny sat down for a lunch and, after twenty minutes of dead air as Jules formulates her thoughts, she finally tells Bethenny that she was shitty at her brunch and ran out like a total Mean Girl™. One thing that I like about Bethenny, even when I want to push her onto an iceberg and set her out to sea, is that she really digs honesty. She was totally fine with Jules telling her that Bethenny hurt her feelings, and almost encouraged it. After a season of RHOBH skirting around who said what, Bethenny’s honesty is refreshing. Jules reciprocates and confides in Bethenny that she struggled with an eating disorder.

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Source: Bravo/ Just realizing this is the same weird shirt with elbow cutouts Dorinda wore earlier this season. Can’t we let this thing die?

Yaaaas! Not “Yaaaas” that Jules had an eating disorder, but “Yaaaas” that she’s using her platform to say something. That’s a fucking hard thing to say, but I think it’s so good in the long run. Bethenny seems actually affected by the confession, which is surprising because I thought she was going to call Carole and tell her that she owes her $10, and thanks Jules for the honesty.

3). I don’t have an internship for the summer; should I ask Sonja if I can clean up her dog poop in that UES townhouse? Maybe that’s why Luann moved in with her. God bless that poor intern. And where is Pickles???

4). Sonja is hot. I kinda just realized this. But her outfit at Ramona’s birthday lunch showed off how beautiful she is. But I absolutely cannot imagine how Sonja is as a mother.

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Source: Bravo

5). Ramona tells Sonja that she has a drinking problem and that’s why Ramona doesn’t hang out with her, because people judge you by the company you keep. Um, is this fucking Downton Abbey? No one gives a shit who you hang with; also, Ramona, you’re a human tornado with eyes that enter the room ten seconds before you do, so I doubt Sonja, who was married to John Adams Morgan, an old money banker millionaire, is really dragging down your image. Let’s not forget Ramona Pinot, you bug-eyed lamia.

Sonja isn’t buying Ramona’s crock of shit, possibly because she’s so used to having it on her floor. Whereas last season Sonja actually seemed like she had a problem, this season she seems better. Ramona is just trying to seem like the total ingénue. This season’s Eileen Davidson. Ouch, that was harsh. I apologize. My favorite moment was Ramona saying, “You’re in denial; it’s so sad,” which is absolutely the best way to make it seem like whoever you’re accusing of alcoholism is an alcoholic.

6). Carole might be the only 56(?)-year-old to actually pull off a twenty-year-old’s style. Like, we dress the same. And I dig it on her. Also I love her lip injections. And she slayed in that moto jacket over her red dress.

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Source: Bravo

7). When there’s a crossover between franchises, it’s more uncomfortable than seeing your parents tipsy at a holiday party. And funnily enough, that one snippet of Bethenny throwing the ladies of Beverly Hills a dinner party was more interesting than the entire RHOBH season. And that was, like, episode two.

8). Ramona now owns red. She has previously laid claim to blue, so it’s unclear if she’s giving up blue or just adding red to her arsenal. Is someone going to tell the cardinals in Vatican City that they’re going to have to change? Maybe they could do a deep emerald. Ramona Red.

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Source: Bravo

9). Luann, former Countess and current MMA fighter, has fallen far from her gilded perch. Her voice is lower than that military facility where District 13 lives in Mockingjay, and she’s now the “Don’t be Uncool” girl. At Ramona’s birthday lunch, she gives Bethenny a belated present—even though she already gave Bethenny a hula hoop at her birthday barbeque bonanza (who can top a hula hoop?)—in the form of a Carlos Falchi leather bag, embossed with Bethenny’s initials. That, in itself, is sweet. Until you get to Ramona.

Luann gave Ramona a necklace from her own line, which she had given her two months earlier and had to repair. LUANN REGIFTED A FORMER GIFT AND GAVE IT TO RAMONA. I’m living, and Ramona’s eyes pop out so far when she sees that Falchi bag that you can see the back of the inside of her skull.

That’s so not classy, to give someone an amazing gift at someone else’s birthday party, when you give the birthday girl a janky Claire’s knockoff necklace. How far Luann has fallen, and how much of a sacrifice it is to be “Cool.”

10). It might’ve just been the editing, but there were at least ten UES biddies who clamored around Bethenny and screeching, “You changed your hair!” like she was Moses giving the Israelites manna. You could practically see them smelling the youth off her, like the Sanderson Sisters.

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Source: Bravo/ The absolute fear of a woman surrounded.

11). Sonja implied that she might have a pube stuck in her eyelashes? And why does that make me like her more??


In this episode, RHONY has managed to do what RHOBH couldn’t—shake off a storyline. Sure, the John arc will come back, but RHONY was able to bring in fresh, organic drama to spice up the season. RHOBH, for all its trying, just keep resuscitating the cold dead corpse of Munchausen for twenty episodes. Which means we had to listen to Yolanda trying to pronounce “Munchausen” for twenty episodes. Yolanda, you speak, like, three languages—surely you can Google search how to pronounce “Munchausen.”

This was such a good episode that I had to write about it. I can only hope that it just keeps getting better. And that Sonja makes more uncomfortable small talk about blowjobs.