Remember last week when we talked about whether it’s worse to be a skank or a snake? Well, as it turns out, the issue of Housewife snakery would continue to be relevant on this week’s episode of Real Housewives of New York City. And if you thought last week’s fights were epic, then Thursday night’s episode likely had you curled up on the floor in the fetal position.
Just when I thought we were going to have a fairly calm episode with relatively tame arguments, last night’s final 15 minutes sent us all on an off-the-rails trip straight to Crazytown, population: Jill. At some point after 10:50, I subconsciously started holding my breath and I don’t think I let it out until after the show had ended. It’s amazing that I didn’t pass out from lack of oxygen. Oh, and if you’re on Team Jill, you may want to bail on this recap right now and save yourself the rage blackout. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Ok. So. Let’s get the first 45 minutes out of the way so that we can get to the good (bad?) stuff.
The show started with Kelly getting interviewed for Playboy by a guy who had to be the skeeziest, nastiest pseudo-journalist on the face of the planet. Instead of realizing that he was being totally classless and unprofessional when he was supposed to be doing his job, Kelly egged on the flirting and got so excited that it made me wonder if she ever gets any attention from men off-camera. She’s a divorced model, not a teenager with a crush, right?
Kelly waxed poetic about how dreamy the guy was (he wasn’t) and practically squealed when he asked her out, after which she forgot which way she was supposed to be walking on the street. I was embarrassed for her, and as a person with a journalism degree, I was embarrassed by him by proxy. According to her Twitter account, she still wants to go out with him, despite what she later said about him not being as major as Gilles Bensimon, her ex-husband.
Speaking of people who only want to be around people that are major, we have Jill. Her daughter managed to land a spot in a Seventeen magazine spread about prom dresses, and Jill got so excited that the shoot’s stylist knew who Kelly was (and knew that she was friends with her) that she actually admitted that being friends with famous people makes her feel awesome, strictly by virtue of them being famous and her being associated with them. I guess that explains her friendship with the walking human scum know as Jon Gosselin.
Next up, Ramona (I’m trying to run through this other stuff quickly so we can get to the important part, bear with me here). We got a little bit more of a window into the traumatic childhood to which she had hinted previously, and it sounded pretty terrible. Ramona’s father was violent and abusive toward her mother, who would sometimes flee Manhattan with her kids to escape from his temper. She finally bonded with him shortly before he died, and apparently his death is the cause of Ramona’s fixation on renewal. There wasn’t really a storyline around this revelation, but it was a sad yet interesting glimpse into what makes one of the show’s oddest characters tick. Say what you want about Ramona, but at least she seems like an honest person that’s willing to admit her demons.
Ramona also got together with Kelly, Alex and Bethenny to help Alex pick out a final designer for Brooklyn Fashion Weekend, which is apparently an actual thing. I’m not sure why they were invited, since none of them except perhaps Alex really seemed to care about the “fashions” (why did they insist on calling the clothes that?) except for a dress that Ramona wanted to buy.
The get-together in Brooklyn set up an important fight, however – when Bethenny mentioned a Gatecrasher item which she thought had been planted by Jill (and based on my understanding of gossip columns and what was in the item, plus what happened later in the episode, I think I have to agree with her suspicion), Kelly took the opportunity to dig up year-old drama and talk about herself, since that’s the only thing that Kelly is ever really interested in talking about anyway.
She is still upset that Bethenny called her Madonna and she halfway did the “you’re down here, I’m up here” thing again, despite the fact that she already declared a clean slate with Bethenny during fashion week and pulled Bethenny aside to explain to her exactly how much she didn’t care about the whole thing immediately after they finished talking about it. At this point, I think she’s craving another fight in order to give herself a real storyline again, but Bethenny didn’t bite.
Unfortunately, however, Bethenny didn’t manage to stay out of the fray for long. The other girls all told her that they were sick of being in the middle of World War III (Kelly in particular got an outrageously passive-aggressive email from Jill that implied that their friendship was over if she continued her truce with Bethenny), and she called up Jill to try and set up a face-to-face meeting to has things out. Things went downhill from there.
LuAnn was present when Bethenny called, and Jill again took the opportunity to put the phone on speaker and conveniently omit the fact that LuAnn was listening. For someone that was so offended that Bethenny would call her a snake, LuAnn certainly did not take the opportunity to speak up and inform Bethenny of her presence, which seems like snakery from where I’m sitting. Hey LuAnn – if you don’t want to be called a snake, don’t act like one. Specifically, don’t act like one when cameras are filming the entire thing to later be broadcast on a widely viewed television show.
Luckily for her, Jill was busy making LuAnn look reasonable by comparison. The conversation careened off the rails violently when Bethenny wanted to know why Jill was playing her private message for other people and making the problem so much bigger than it actually was, to which Jill responded that she didn’t think it was relevant why the dispute had gotten so disproportionately large (also, she asked Bethenny to define “disproportionate” for her). Did that sound to anyone else like an implied acknowledgement that she was, indeed, the reason that everyone knew about it?
Apparently she realized that she was losing on that front (and also appeared to still be confused by the concept of proportions), so she did what any desperate, petty, loathsome famewhore would do in her position – she played the cancer card! More specifically, she accused Bethenny of ignoring the fact that her husband had an operation to treat thyroid cancer over the summer, but she also didn’t dispute that Bethenny had sent Bobby flowers and emailed to ask how he was – an email to which Jill never responded.
She argued that Bethenny should have called Bobby personally to inquire about his condition, but since she said he had his “throat slit from ear to ear” for the operation, I can’t see why anyone would think that calling him afterward to ask how it went would be a good idea – would he have even been able to talk? According to Jill’s own version of events, it sounds like Bethenny acted in a totally reasonable and sympathetic way – what was she supposed to do, continue to badger Jill about her husband’s health until she finally answered? That seems unreasonable to me when someone is trying to deal with something so private and emotional, and maybe it seemed that way to Bethenny too. Also, for what it’s worth, I looked in to Bethenny’s claim that Jill was blogging about traveling and going to events all summer when she was supposedly spending every waking moment tending to Bobby, and it checks out. I don’t know that that really matters, however, and that’s the last thing that I’ll say in Jill’s defense.
Call me optimistic, but I hadn’t expected Jill to stoop quite so low. Sure, I figured she’d get pretty far down, but using her husband’s cancer to try and win a petty argument on reality television is a whole new level of pathetic and crazy that I honestly have a hard time conceptualizing. When the whole sickening encounter was over, Bethenny was in tears on the sidewalk and Jill looked like she was on an adrenaline high, gloating in mock disgust about how low and mean Bethenny is and about how she and LuAnn are so far above such petty conflicts. I’m pretty sure that neither of those morons understand irony, but if they did…well, I can’t even think of a way to finish that sentence, because it’ll never happen.
If you didn’t think that the argument’s aftermath was indicative of who’s enjoying the attention from the conflict the most, then you need to watch it again. Also, if Jill was so hurt, why wasn’t she acting like she was even remotely upset, particularly if all of this was really about something as emotionally wrenching as a loved one’s cancer? Some people just love to throw down, and Jill is milking her dramatic tendencies for every last shred of attention that they’re worth, whether or not the result is productive or positive (must I again bring up her friendship with Jon Gosselin? Or Michael Lohan?)
I’ve always been moderately Team Bethenny in the past, and although I doubt that she’s completely innocent in this or anything else, I don’t know how anyone could watch that display of malignant narcissism, particularly in light of the threatening email that she sent to Kelly, and even say Jill’s name with a straight face in the future. The woman is loathsome, and I’ve never had such a thoroughly visceral reaction to anything that’s ever happened on this usually insipid, silly show. Where’s Kelly when we really need a “we’re up here, you’re down here” moment?