On last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York, it was party time! Party time for the cast, anyway. Not so much for the viewers, although the episode was better than last week’s snoozefest. We visited not one, not two, but three birthday parties, two of which were for teenagers and the other of which was for Jill, who is kind of like an emotional teenager in a lot of ways.
The episode involved less drama than one would assume would happen in three Housewives parties, and it felt sort of like the last couple of episodes of Real Housewives of Miami; did Bravo know that this isn’t prime footage and smash it all into one episode? Perhaps. And perhaps it wasn’t a bad decision. I’d rather see one fast-paced, reasonably entertaining episode than two or three slow, boring ones.
We started with both Ramona and LuAnn, who were simultaneously planning dueling Sweet 16 parties for their daughters. Does anyone remember My Super Sweet 16 on MTV? I loved that show. And by “loved,” I mean “hated,” but it was awesome in the same way that Toddlers and Tiaras is awesome. Now they have 16 and Pregnant, which makes me just as worried for humanity, but in a different kind of way.
Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that, perhaps predictably, Ramona and her daughter Avery where at odds over what her party would be like. Avery, who seems to be in a constant state of mortification at the antics of her mother, wanted something small and tasteful, with limited guests and no crazy performers. Ramona, because she is Ramona, wanted acrobats and fire-breathers and a petting zoo. Alternately, at LuAnn’s and Victoria and their party planner, mother and daughter both seemed equally excited about getting an ice luge for cocktails. Oops, my bad, mocktails. They’re 16! They can’t drink! And neither can Avery, but I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted to buy someone a stiff drink so badly in my life. She needs one. Or ten.
Meanwhile, at Dr. Patricia Wexler’s office, Jill and Sonja sat in the waiting room and to talk with Jill’s sister about debts and assets and judgments and some other stuff that went over my head (and might have gone over Sonja’s). And then the good doctor came in and stabbed Jill in the face with a needle a couple of dozen times to give her an instant face lift. I’m not even exaggerating for effect – there is no phrase for what happened other than “stabbed in the face.” Normally I think our Housewives are whiny babies when it comes to getting their Botox and fillers for the cameras, but this looked like it genuinely hurt. And I guess we know what Jill’s been doing to make her face look so funny.
Next up was a party, but not either of the parties that we talked about earlier in the episode. But it was a birthday party! For Jill. And it was a surprise, except that spaces in New York aren’t really big enough for everyone to hide, so they just all…stood with their backs to the door? But before Jill got there, there was a drag king named Murray Hill (*snort*) and a guy with a giant dollar bill who was trying to make jokes but who everyone was ignoring. And for some reason, it struck me as the funniest thing to ever happen on Real Housewives. It was like someone had taken a drop of Curb Your Enthusiasm awkwardness and added it to the mix, and it was glorious. Just…glorious.
Jill eventually arrived and was so surprised that she screamed profanities, and Kelly came rolling in after her and grabbed the microphone to tell everyone how sorry she was that she was late and where she had been, because clearly everyone at the party had been talking and thinking and gossiping about her all night long, and it was only right that she address the peasants. Before Kelly could make too big an ass of herself, though, Ramona donned a red wig to do a terrifying impression of Jill and LuAnn descended a staircase dressed like a showgirl and serenaded everyone while wearing a full Vegas baby blue feathered head dress. Ramona voiced what we were all thinking and actually called her a drag queen. I love it when the cast members make jokes about each other that we make about them; it feels like they’re breaking the fourth wall or something.
Next we followed LuAnn and Victoria while they endeavored to buy a party dress, and during the shopping trip they had the most typical and predictable argument in the history of mothers and daughters. Victoria wanted short, tight and shiny, because that’s how adults dress! I remember those days. My budget was smaller because my mom wasn’t trying to relive her youth through my wardrobe, but still, it seemed as though the only sure way to send the message that I was on my way to adulthood was via sequins.
Except it was important that the sequins not cover too much of my thighs, because when are your thighs ever as good as when you’re 16? Never, that’s when, but my mom was right for not letting me dress like jailbait, as was LuAnn. Although she did let her daughter try on the Paris Hilton 21st birthday dress. Which brings up a whole set of questions: Isn’t Paris, like, 30 now? Why are stores carrying a dress from nine years ago? Why is a company still manufacturing a dress from nine years ago? Are people still requesting it? Do they not understand it’s 2011?
Elsewhere, a tiny, elderly hypnotist arrived at Alex and Simon’s house in Brooklyn to cure Simon of his cigarettes. Personally, I think it’s unforgivable to put someone under hypnosis on television and not force him to make monkey noises or put a pair of underwear on his head or something, but I guess I don’t make the television rules, now do I? The tiny hypnotist just told Simon he didn’t like cigarettes anymore and…woke him up. That was it. I felt cheated, but Simon seemed to be of the opinion that it worked. Mazel tov, I suppose.
Back in Manhattan, we got to witness a set of Real Housewives in training: Avery and her friends, who had a table at a chichi restaurant and sat around talking about guest lists and celebrities who they should try to have attend Avery’s party and how anyone who was anyone was going to be there. I had always held a high opinion of Avery and her seeming inability to support her mother’s shenanigans, so watching her morph so effortlessly into the role of underage society mean girl made me have a sad. I guess it was too much to have hope for her, considering that she was raised by wolves and all.
Before we knew it, it was time for the Sweet Sixteens, which were tragically both on the same night. The first stop was Avery’s, which was gorgeous and looked a lot like my prom. Except my prom had a giant dinosaur skeleton in the middle of it, because I had it at the same place where Cynthia from Real Housewives of Atlanta had her wedding. During the walk-through, Ramona was most concerned with two things: That no one called the beds that were scattered around the space “beds” in front of Mario, and that her booze got delivered on time. The kid? Screw the kid. Get that IV of pinot ready.
At Victoria’s party, things were a little less uptight, because how uptight can anything be when fire-eaters are present? Not uptight at all. The party was underway and it was the first stop for most of the cast, where people were dancing and having fun and it wasn’t stodgy or grown-up at all. It looked like a kid’s overpriced birthday party, just as it should have, and somehow LuAnn had managed to not make herself the center of attention. In fact, after a while, she left the party altogether, although hopefully she had hired security to keep an eye on everyone. When our cast taxi’d over to Avery’s party, things were, uh, a little different.
Avery definitely had the better venue and setup; the loft looked gorgeous and expensive and totally adult, but that was also sort of the problem. There were…adults. A lot of them. Even though LuAnn was the one who copped to living vicariously through her daughter’s party, it looked like Ramona was actually under the impression that the party was at least half for her. We didn’t see anyone dancing at her party, just a bunch of kids sitting on the
beds Designated Seating Areas, while the adults swilled cocktails in the VIP the adult corral.
There may have been more than a couple of dozen kids there, but the grown-ups were the only people getting any attention, because if Ramona’s in a room and everyone isn’t thinking about her, then her head will collapse in on itself. At one point, Avery even sought out Kelly’s help to extricate her parents from the company of her friends, a fact which should make Ramona reconsider every parenting choice she’s ever made. Kelly may be on good meds now, but she’s still Kelly.
While the kids over at LuAnn’s party were dancing it up and having a good time, back at Ramona’s party, Bobby and Simon almost got in a slap fight over Simon’s
slam book Jill Zarin hate website, a site in which Simon denies involvement and about which we’ll apparently learn more next week. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that listening to middle-aged people argue about their blogs and Twitter accounts and Facebook pages is the most boring thing on the face of the planet. Hopefully it’ll be resolved quickly so we can all move on with our lives next week, but you and I both know that we probably aren’t that lucky.