The more that I watch Real Housewives of New York City (or any city, really), the more confused I get. Why do we watch this show again? Can someone explain it to me? Have we fallen so far into a Bravo k-hole that we can’t tell that this show is terrible? Because I suspect that it might be.

Until we answer those and other pressing questions, let’s simply go on to believing that this show is awful in a glorious way, what with all the Playboy-posing, psychic-consulting and fashion-show-fighting. Last night’s episode was a transitional one, but we still got plenty of housewifery for our one-hour time investment. Also, we got precious little Ramona, which is great, because I needed a break for her crazy eyes.

Let’s dispense with the unpleasant business of Kelly’s nudiepants Playboy pictures right now. She started the show caring what her kids thought about the photos, but once they expressed a bit of well-founded trepidation, she decided that their opinions weren’t that important after all. She did it anyway, and I’m sure it turned out fine. That magazine’s retouchers are, uh, heavy-handed.

Kelly later said that if her kids wanted to post for Playboy, she would support them in a second. Presumably, she would wait until they were at least 18 to throw her support behind them, which looks to be at least a decade away. Also, LuAnn would like to pose for Playboy if anyone is interested. Which, apparently, no one is. That was more or less LuAnn’s only participation in this episode, but she should be happy, because she still got more than Ramona.

We saw most of the Housewives together at an Emanuel Ungaro party, which was apparently the fameball-iest of the Fashion’s Night Out parties, since it featured Lindsay Lohan and her ubiquitous fameball mother, Dina. LuAnn claims that she was asked to host it, but like all of LuAnn’s claims, I find that dubious since we saw her do nothing but help Jill pump Alex for information about Ramona’s Labor Day party and what “team” she was one. Alex sidestepped the question admirably, and Kelly saved the day by talking about her nudie pictures. I feel like Kelly is one of those people that, any time there’s a lull in the conversation, she’ll take it upon herself to fill the lull with…herself. In this case, her level of self-absorption was totally convenient.

Alex took the opportunity to bring up the issue of her own nude pictures in one of the spliced-in interviews, and if you’ll all remember, the mere mention of them caused Ramona’s eyes to nearly burst out of her skull. She was so thoroughly scandalized by the images that her feet simply compelled her off the stage at the reunion, while both Jill and LuAnn stayed to snicker at Alex to her face. Jill explained that that’s because Alex’s pictures were “weird” and Kelly was doing Playboy, which is totally tasteful, of course.

In further Alex news, Jill is still all up on her about her children and their behavior, but it seems as though Alex is the only housewife besides LuAnn that we’ve actually seen spend any time with her children this season. Acknowledging their existence probably gives them more opportunities to misbehave, yes, but it probably also means that they’ll need less therapy in the long run.

When Jill isn’t talking smack about Bethenny’s personality or Alex’s children, she’s attempting to become LuAnn’s personal guru and savior. LuAnn, for her part, may or may not be attempting to turn herself into Kim Zolciak of the Atlanta housewives – we know that she’s going to release a “dance” track later in the season, and now she’s consulting a psychic to find out who will be the next love of her life. If that’s what she’s trying to do, she needs to be trying much harder. Kim is vastly more entertaining, and also has a much nicer car. And, come to think of it, she also has a sugar daddy, and we all know how hard it is to find a good one of those.

Speaking of dudes, we have Mario, Ramona’s troll of a husband who does the unenviable job of making all of the housewives look like mature and reasonable ladies. He has managed to drag out his camera time for one stupid, mean little remark about LuAnn’s divorce to a total of three episodes and counting. On the one hand, that’s a strategy from which all other Real Househusbands that want face time could learn. On the other, more reasonable hand, Mario acts like a child, he’s unwilling to admit it unless he’s asked in the exactly right way, and he’s incapable of apologizing or admitting that he may have been in the wrong.

In short, he’s perfect for Ramona.

There was no movement on this “count-less” issue, no advancing of the plot. It was just brought up once again, and everyone said the same things about it, and then they cut to the next scene. Which is exactly what we shall do as well.

I have a confession to make: I think that Kelly is a simpering idiot (she thinks that PETA’s stance against fur doesn’t have anything to do with animal abuse), but I love her apartment. Dark wood floors, white walls, modernist decor…sign me up. We even got a good glimpse of her bag collection, and holy Hermés, Batman. Kellys and Birkins in a dozen different colors, and I wanted all of them. At least she has taste in something.

We got to see them because Jill came over to…uh…visit the bags? I’m not sure what she was doing, but they sat down on a countertop, despite the easily availability of chairs, and Kelly gave Jill a mug with her picture on it and then Jill decided to tell her, on behalf of all of us, that she is not going to be on the 40th anniversary issue of Playboy because that would have come out back in the 90s. Kelly made some sort of excuse about her agent and generally acted like she had never claimed that she was going to be on the 40th anniversary issue, which we saw her claim last week. Having a camera crew around all the time makes it difficult to lie convincingly.

Now it’s time to get to the meat of the show: Bethenny and Jill finally ran into each other at Jill Stuart’s fashion show, and the claws came out. Bethenny tried to take the fakey-fake way out, which is what most people would have probably done, by acknowledging Jill’s presence with LuAnn, saying hi, complimenting both of their appearances, and then trying to excuse herself. All of the housewives were sitting together, however, so the awkwardness was palpable. For her part, Jill complained ad nauseum to LuAnn that Bethenny had been totally fake.

Well, in a bid to be real, Bethenny tried to talk to Jill again, but by then Jill had decided that this was neither the time nor the place, but couldn’t resist screeching about it for a few minutes anyway. And the only thing that I could think when it was over was that Jill absolutely does need a hobby, and that she doesn’t seem contented unless she’s part of a conflict. Absent her own conflict, Jill will find someone going through drama in her own life and insert herself into it, which explains her new BFF LuAnn.

Bethenny may not be perfect, and she may in fact be kind of an a-hole a lot of the time (really, a Learning Annex class?), but who keeps and replays a voicemail for months after the initial conflict, to more or less anyone that will listen? Jill may claim that she has a new hobby, but it seems like all she does is try to wring every last drop of camera time out of the only interesting thing that she has going, which is apparently her fight with Bethenny. If Jill was smart enough to understand irony, I bet she would think that was all hilarious.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • NCGal

    Brilliant as usual!

    Bethanny is mean…a beautiful cobra. Her Learning Annex was foul and show-off-y: what a self-promoter. Jill is borderline: powerful postive presentation on the outside and crazy as a shi*-house rat on the inside. Ramona is on speed. Period. Speed. Alex is dull and has WAY too many teeth. Kelly, although is no Chaucer scholar, would make a great smart-buddy foil for Gretchen, right? Luanne is, as Bethanny called her in Ep. #1, a “big, dumb, drag-queen, and is also clearly a man trapped in a slightly female form (and I have to say, is transitioning rather awkwardly) and Ramona’s husband is just a big, bumpy ass.

    Something just occured to me: I have been having terrible nightmares on Thursday evenings and it occured to me that the reason was not the late-night kibble, but these awful, awful women. What a terrible testimony to sisterhood, to respect, to anything resembling any kind of decency around civil discourse. I don’t respect them enough to have a waking conscious reaction, so it shows up in nightmares or kittens, bananas and tunnels…hmmm…

  • Tiffany

    Kelly is sooo dumb..I mean the words that come out of her mouth! Like about wearing fur, how PETA doesn’t want us to be cruel to animals..well they get the fur from these animals is cruel! Don’t get me wrong I eat meat, but don’t wear fur. Jill should just get over the issue with Bethenny..she did try to talk to her at the Jill Stuart show, and Jill didn’t want to discuss it. Anyhoo I think Bethenny tried and Jill shot her down. On a lighter note Bethenny’s impression of that guy friend was hilarious!

  • Tiffany

    Oh btw, was that a LV clutch the lady was carrying..the one that came to Jason’t birthday party?
    It was awesome, seemed like a newer style? Anyone know?

    • Def an LV clutch, from the “Safari” line, I believe it was called. I think it was F/W ’09 but might have been S/S, I can never remember exactly when it comes to LV. Sheree also carried the same clutch in several episodes of Real Housewives of Atlanta. I noticed that Jill had a brown hobo from the same collection at the fashion show.

  • Chris

    Amanda, I really like your recap.
    However, I also agree that perhaps you need to rethink if you still want to recap this – or any Housewives show for that matter.
    This show is a really bad example for how women represent themselves in the media (and are being represented): only interested in looks, catfights whatever. And your recap (even though a lot of what you say is true and funny) even reinforces that. Is that really your intention?
    Whatever happened to the sisterhood ?
    I know this is the Purseblog and not the Unesco-report, and believe me there is nothing wrong with being a bit shallow or loving designer handbags (designer watch, designer poodle etc) , but this show is not even about fashion.
    You might want to skip it in total. JMHO of course.

    • Our reasoning is really pretty simple – we cover it because a lot of people enjoy it and enjoy talking about it. Although I try to frame the discussion in a funny way, I think a lot of our conversation here does come back to why these women are bad examples and why we shouldn’t want to emulate them. Am I adding to their notoriety while doing that? In some small capacity, probably.

      I think that your point is an interesting and valid one (and one that I’ve thought about before, truthfully), but we’re in an odd situation here – we want to do things that our audience enjoys and things that break up a bit of the monotony of such a niche blog while still being tangentially relevant (I find myself answering at least one or two bag questions in the comments every week), and the response we’ve gotten to the Housewives recaps has been bigger and more consistent than any of the other shows I write about.

      So I guess my answer is this: I’m trying to strike a bit of a tough balance between doing things that readers enjoy and things that don’t put out a message counter to what I believe in. In any given post, that balance may wobble a bit to one side or another, but I’m never going to write anything that betrays my own sense of how women should treat other women (for instance, you’ll never find me making fun of someone else’s natural appearance). On the other hand, I’m also not going to handle these people with kid gloves just because they’re women – that would be just as bad.

      • Kemji

        Oh, please don’t stop the recaps. I sooooo look forward to them. Your recaps do not in anyway suggest that these women are to be emulated. In fact, it does quite the opposite. With each sentence, the reader, even one unfamiliar with the show, understands that these ladies conduct themselves in a manner that is… how do I say this without sounding like the Countess… infra dig. Quite frankly, they are so ridiculous sometimes that I have to wonder if they aren’t really putting all this on (I mean, middle aged women talking about “whose team you’re on”??!! Seriously?) I feel a lot of it is an act, for more face time and more $$. (Not Kelly though, she’s dumb for real!)

        Anyway, your recaps are fun. I really enjoy your writing, recaps and all, and look forward to them. …And lets not forget, buying designer bags at prices that can feed destitute families for weeks is a special kind of dysfunctional, but then, we’re all a little dysfunctional, aren’t we?

      • Don’t worry, I’ll keep writing them as long as people keep enjoying them and I can do so without seriously ignoring my own moral compass. As it stands, I don’t see any conflict between what I write here and my own values :-) I just wanted to make sure I answered Chris in a thoughtful way, because I do think the question was thoughtful and valid.

      • JenG

        I love the recaps and look forward to them weekly. So I hope you never stop!

  • Nancy


    Please don’t ever stop your Real Housewives recaps. They are so funny and spot on, just perfect.

  • mochababe73

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Amanda. This is your blog and say run it like you want. There are women like the ones in the “Real Housewives” franchise that we all know. To be hoset, I get sick of hearing about seeing “real women” doing “real things”. It’s boring.

    Anyway, I used to like Bethenny, but now, she’s just being a mean girl. She was even mean to her boyfriend’s friends by making fun of them.

    I think that Jill should let it go.

    LuAnn keeps talking about moving on, but she hasn’t, and, reallly, who can blame her. Kelly’s daughter talked about her weirdness. She’s not weird, but just really loving her life.

    Sometimes, it’s hard for some (like Bethenny) to see someone really enjoying themselves and their life. Even though Bethenny says that she’s happy and loves her life, I wish that she would act like it.

    I missed Ramona. I was hoping to see more of her.

    Alex and Simon with their children is so cute. They appear to be good parents, and I like the fact that they made their boys leave so that could have an adult conversation.

  • Janinevs

    Once again, great recap, now I’m ready to watch the epi over the weekend. And these are exactly the kind of reviews that we need for this show. A lot of young women read this blog and I believe it sets a great example for them to shower these idiots with disdain. These women will never be welcome in MY sisterhood. It takes more than just genitals to be part of the sisterhood.

  • S

    I love your recaps – so please don’t stop. With that being said, I think you did make fun of someone’s looks: I think Ramona was born with those eyes.
    What I don’t understand is why people always stand up for the mean girls: Bethanny and Jill. They are clearly the ones going aroung attacking. Bethany does it behind people’s back most of the time and Jill doesn’t care if the person she’s talking about is around or not. Yes, Kelly isn’t too smart, but she isn’t as mean as the others. Yet everyone loves to hate her. And I agree with a comment earlier that Kelly seems to be the happiest. Bethany may have the most going for her, but she clearly has issues and talks way to much crap to be happy. I know it was commented that she doesn’t talk trash on her twitter account. I followed her for a while when I was a fan. Bethanny talked about Rachel Zoe and Rachel Zoe commented on how shocked she was on being attacked. Otherwise I think Bethanny’s twitter account is well managed by her people/assistant. Its her mouth, that she has no control over.

    • Ramona says that her eyes do that because of her contacts, not naturally. I read somewhere that she recently decided to change contacts, so we might have to say adios to the crazy eyes. I don’t know why she never changed them before, but then again, why does Ramona do anything?

  • Ellen

    Does anyone know the name of the psychic who visited Jill in the Mar. 19, 2020 episode? Thank you.

    • Snow

      Her name is Jennifer Rogers! She is amazing and life changing! She has been working with Lisa (Jills sister) for years and Jill as well. She was the one who predicted Bobbys Cancer months prior to him even being sick. She demanded him to go to all the top dr’s in NYC and they all said no. From what I understand she publicy was told she was wrong and she kept saying it is in his throat. over and over. Finally they found it four months later and said it had been there for close to a year. It’s amazing how they chose to show her talking to Luann about her love life when I heard she was there to tell her amazing Cancer prediction story. Her website is I am client of hers for close to 20 years and she has saved my life. I was going to take my life till I met Jennifer. She will be honored by her gift someday. Bravo should be ashamed to not even use her name. She is amazing!

  • Laura D

    When Jill Zarin was at the fashion show in the recent episode, who’s bag was she wearing ? I loved it.

    • From what I could see of it, it was from the LV safari collection – F/W 09 I think.

  • arlene

    I love all your reality show recaps. Look forward to them as much as the bags. Keep up the great work. You make me laugh out loud. I think you need your own talk show!!!!

  • Bagolicious

    Write on! Power to the people!

  • aka55


    As I’ve indicated in the past, I continue to watch the RH programs because: 1) these women generally make me feel better about myself & 2) it’s hard to refrain from gawking at a multiple car accident. The reason I continue to read & respond to your blog is because: 1) it’s well-written, entertaining, & thought provoking; 2) it has generated some intelligent commentary regarding this sociological phenomenon (which many, if not most of the related blogs do not); and 3) it’s nice to know I’m not alone, either in watching the programs or in my visceral reaction to them.

    You are to be commended for both your perspective & for allowing your readers to share their’s. I would also like to thank you for providing a forum for comment that encourages smart dialogue, inasmuch as that is possible, given the subject matter.

    I take some comfort in knowing that there are bright minds & strong moral compasses willing to show the programs as cautionary tales for the societal ills of which they are symptomatic.
    Plus, you’re funny as a bas***d! Please don’t stop! It makes the madness far more bearable!!!

  • Anna Cooperberg

    This was a great recap! The whole day before this episode, there was a RHNY marathon; I was sick, so watching Bravo while attempting to do schoolwork was the only logical thing to do. I absolutely understand your recaps much better after seeing a few, well, many, episodes. Keep them up, please!

  • deb alexander

    does anyone know what bag alex carries. its a hobo style, metallicy in siler so it looks. she had it on both lasr season and this season

  • Dawn

    you are awesome – love your recaps. this may be one of my faves :)

  • Steph

    I love this recap!!! Thanks for sharing, I actually DVR this show I can’t help it!!!! (fb)

  • Samantha

    Poor Bobby. After all he has been through, Jill is probably still denying him that form of intimacy for which she has expressed disgust: “Why do you think they call it a ‘job’?”

    Mario seems to have invested his residuals in carbohydrates.

    Jason has impressive morals, but I sense something scary at the root of them. Bethenney might find that the commitment he promises to make before they “step foot” in their new home is a vow to sleep with her as frequently as he does his other wives. “There’s the stove, Baby – just dump your kid in the pile with the rest.”

    I wish the Count would come back. I miss his glasses as much as he misses his neck.

    In the next episode, Kelly’s smile will change when she realizes that she has always mistaken her bottom teeth for her top.

  • Jocelyn

    I don’t watch this show but: Tag for Linea Pelle (fb)

  • Joy

    agreed with ^

  • kelly

    Ramona is SUCH and IDIOT!!!!! Thx to her I can’t stomach this show any more. Seriously?