Well, well, well. The Real Housewives of New York City didn’t waste any time in posing the tough questions last night. Approximately seven minutes into the episode, we already had an existential quandary: is it worse to call someone a snake or a skank? Lofty issues, these.
The girls set a quick tempo from there and didn’t let up for a full 60 minutes. Last night was stuffed to the gills with Fashion Week drama, booze before noon, useless vanity projects, finalized divorces, meals on the Saks sales floor and public questions about botched boob jobs. If the ladies of New York City keeps things up at this pace for the rest of the season, I think I’m going to have to watch this show with a chaperone, just in case I pass out and need to be revived mid-episode.
So, here’s what I’ve decided: Jill is passive-aggressive, LuAnn is pretentious, Kelly is a moron, Ramona is certifiably insane, Bethenny is badly in need of a filter and Alex is obviously far too reasonable of a person to be around these women for long periods of time without compromising her mental stability. At the very least, those were the characteristics that they all displayed last night, and I think it was a nice opportunity to see all of the women at their most basic selves. If you had never seen the series before, this episode would have been a decent primer.
As I mentioned up top, LuAnn and Bethenny started things off properly with the second fashion-show catfight in as many episodes, beginning with a passive-aggressive (she’s learning from Jill!) dig about how Bethenny isn’t a Fashion Week regular, after which Bethenny lost her mind and called LuAnn a snake, but LuAnn heard “skank” instead. Which brings up an interesting question: would you rather be called a skank or a snake? Please let us know in the comments. For what it’s worth, I choose skank. Usually if a grown woman calls you that, it’s just because her husband thinks you’re hot.
I’m not sure exactly what beef it is that LuAnn has with Bethenny, but it sort of felt like she conducted the entire argument on Jill’s behalf (Kelly was there too, but she just sat quietly, waiting for a lull in the conversation so that she could start talking about herself) until Bethennymentioned Jill had been talking smack about her promiscuity for the past year, and the smack-talking apparently only stopped when it became opportunistic for Jill to latch on to the drama in LuAnne’s life. People keep mentioning LuAnn’s extra-marital dalliances, and it’s now to the point where I think I believe them. Didn’t Ramona say the same thing, more than once? LuAnn hasn’t exactly denied it either time that the subject has been brought up in her presence, from what I remember. Why aren’t other people asking about this stuff? I want details, LuAnn. Come on, you’ve already sold your soul for fame. What’s a little more?
The thing about fighting at Fashion Week is that you eventually have to shut up and sit down because the show starts, so we segued from those housewives to Ramona and Kelly at…well, I don’t remember what fashion show they were at, and it doesn’t matter anyway. But when it was over, Kelly made the mistake of mentioning that she had to leave to take Jill to Perez Hilton’s party, and Ramona turned eight shades of red at the knowledge that there was a party to which she hadn’t been invited. She proceeded to guilt Kelly into giving her a half-hearted invitation and then she acted like she was doing Kelly a favor by accepting it. It has become clear that Kelly should take Ramona everywhere, because as long as she’s there, Kelly still looks relatively reasonable and polite.
Kelly had no option but to tote her to the party since Ramona had thrown her kid in a taxi at the mere mention of going, and when they got to the red carpet they met up with Jill. Kelly brought up the Bethenny/LuAnn fracas from the Pamella Roland show and instead of letting Kelly explain the story to Ramona, Jill piped up to tell a story that she didn’t even witness, despite the fact that someone was present that had, you know, actually seen everything happen. Accuracy is not important to Jill but camera time sure is, and it’s hard to put the camera on someone else when she’s the one that’s constantly talking. Even if it’s about stuff that had nothing to do with her in the least, which I suppose is pretty smart, in a certain way. She who dies with the most camera time wins, after all.
Then there was some sort of little party where Bethenny poured some margaritas, and Kelly made such a deal about not wanting to try one that you would have thought Bethenny was asking her to snort a rail of coke in front of a gaggle of Page Six reporters with video cameras. Jill also had something going on, some photo shoot with her mom and sister, in which she got all of the best outfits and poses. Mom and sis didn’t seem to be amused by it, but what did they expect? They know her, right? And to be fair to Jill, they wouldn’t have gotten a book deal if it wasn’t for her involvement in this awful show, and no one knows who they are or wants to see them on the front of a book anyway.
The real point of this whole episode, however, was the not-so-little party that Jill threw at Saks Fifth Avenue for, like, a hundred of her closest friends. In stark contrast to the parties normally held on episodes of Real Housewives, this thing appeared to be a real shindig – the department store was empty, a sit-down dinner was catered in the middle of the designer showroom, Jill was wearing McQueen and carrying a totally awesome python Knuckle Buster Clutch. It wasn’t exactly a Real Housewives of Atlanta wig party, was it?
Just because they managed to throw a classy party doesn’t mean they actually acted the part, however. Ramona got absolutely blitzed on pinot grigio and roamed the party, wild-eyed and in search of drama and awkwardness. First she found it by butting into a conversation with LuAnn, Alex and Simon and telling the couple that LuAnn didn’t want to invite them to her Labor Day party because she didn’t want to interact with Simon. LuAnn said that it wasn’t true, but even if it was, what else can you say in that situation?
Ramona got angry that she was being called a liar and staggered off in search of more white wine, but meanwhile, Alex was feeling tender and vulnerable and decided that it was time to talk to Jill about the rude things that she tends to say about her children. Jill denied saying anything snarky and blamed it on LuAnn, who then came over and took the blame because Jill had slipped her a roofie before the party started so that she could lead her around like a docile pony at a kid’s birthday party. All of the blame-passing and confusion was just a bit too much for Alex, who cried a little over people be mean about her kids. When you compare it to Ramona tossing her kid into a taxi that was practically still moving in order to meet Perez Hilton, I kind of wonder how Alex even manages to put up with these people. I didn’t like her in the first season, but she and Simon have rebounded nicely.
Ramona resurfaced after everyone had been seated at the party, freshly boozed up and ready to ask Kelly if she had her boobs redone (again) in front of everyone. Perhaps it was just how the footage was edited, but the question seemed to come flying out of nowhere, as if Ramona was already having a conversation with herself about Kelly’s boobs, but no one else could hear it because it was inside of her own head. When she decided to vocalize her thoughts externally, a, uh, problem was created.
Look, I don’t like Kelly at all. She’s not even smart enough to be entertainingly awful, she’s just kind of…there, and if she’s not talking about herself, then she’s not even paying attention to what’s going on. So. I’m not the girl that’s going to come to her defense lightly, but that was just rude. Even Nene and Kim would think that that was rude. The New Jersey girls wouldn’t, but that’s only because they recognize plastic surgery as an opportunity for increased camera time, and they’re ahead of the pack in that regard.
Ramona went from speaking to Kelly while stooped over next to shouting at her while standing on the other side of the table in order to draw maximum attention to herself and her conversation, and for once, I found myself agreeing with Jill’s constant insistence that this wasn’t the time nor the place for such conversations. In fact, life is not the time nor the place. If a woman wants to talk to you about her plastic surgery, she will, particularly if she’s someone like Kelly who doesn’t have anything else to talk about. If she doesn’t, then you have to Google her and ask your mutual friends behind her back until you cobble together some sort of consensus on that person’s boob job. You certainly do not ask her in front of a table full of people at Saks.
Or, if you’re particularly industrious, you can do what my best friend and I did to find out about her ex’s little sister: you look through her Facebook pictures until you can figure out approximately when the surgery happened, and then not only do you have a verifiable answer to your question (people lie, but Facebook pictures never do), but you also get to feel like a detective for a few hours afterwards. That’s certainly preferable to acting like an a-hole on camera. Call me, Ramona, I can help you with these things. My fee is very modest.
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