I finally got my wish on last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York: Jill returned from the land down under and the episode was marginally better for it. Mostly it was the Sonja show yet again, though, which probably means that Sonja is smarter than she seems and found a way to finagle more camera time for herself since last season. And, well, she does a good job of it.

The episode was comprised of a series of awkward dinner and cocktail dates with one sales party wedged in for good measure. Oh, and Jill can’t be bothered to leash her dog, so it almost got devoured in Central Park. But whatever, more important things were at hand, namely the social order of the group. Thankfully, we had Sonja there to explain it to us.

Jill! Jill’s back! Glory hallelujah, we might get to have a fun, ridiculous storyline again (as opposed to the boring, ridiculous that we had last week). She came back from Australia bearing cheap gifts for Sonja, Kelly and Luanna and promising to stay out of drama, but the girls met for lunch and immediately got into the Ramona-Cindy drama over Ramona’s dead friend. Nevermind that none of the women present were directly involved in the drama in any way; they got to have another laugh over the fact that Cindy would expect them to go to Quogue, or all places, and then Sonja and Kelly play-acted the upcoming confrontation between Kelly and Ramona. And credit where credit is due, Sonja does a pretty decent Ramona impression. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Over in Brooklyn, the producers suddenly remembered that we have another housewife who we hadn’t seen in a long time. Her name is Alex. She was celebrating one of her kids’ birthdays, and so the family hired a pianist to come play in the house. Francois, who takes piano lessons, seemed none too impressed. As it turns out, the piano he was playing was new too, and also a birthday gift. Francois continued to seem unimpressed. Which is the problem with kids, really – they’re not reliable vehicles for validation.

Next, Kelly and Ramona had their confrontation with Sonja present to mediate (read: revel in the drama), but the fireworks were fairly limited. Kelly launched into a nonsensical monologue about fighting and winning and how she’s just not fighting at all and how Ramona has hurt her in the past, which is something that’s continually mentioned but that I still can’t quite remember. And then Ramona popped up from the chair to show Kelly that she had dressed like a hooker just for her, and instead of being perplexed or slightly offended, Kelly seemed to love it. Maybe the key to Kelly is to just be completely nonsensical, and she’ll think that you’ve done something special for her and grin like an idiot.

Our next awkward meeting happened between Cindy and Sonja, just as the episode’s previews promised. Cindy had been invited to Sonja’s house under some sort of quasi-positive guise, but as soon as drinks were poured and Cindy stopped dancing with Sonja’s young, attractive houseboy (and oh man, did that make Sonja uncomfortable – no one acts inappropriately with Sonja’s houseboy but Sonja, and don’t you forget it. Also, what exactly is a houseboy?), Sonja blew up her spot for crossing Ramona and making everyone drive to Quogue, which is the biggest social faux pas to ever befall the Real Housewives of New York.

Sonja went on to explain the very delicate Real Housewives social order, and apparently, Ramona is on the top. Which is interesting, because only a few scenes prior, Sonja had spent several minutes in front of the camera doing her best derisive Ramona impression. Apparently she had already paid penitence for that sin and felt the need to spread the gospel to others, and Cindy was the unwilling recipient. And when you worship Ramona, you take communion with pinot grigio and…more pinot grigio. There’s no body of Ramona, just blood. And at this rate, Ramona’s blood might actually consist of more pinot than anything.

The parties continued at Ramona’s place, where she was having one of those annoying get-togethers where you’re expected to buy something, except it was for Ramona’s own jewelry line. LuAnn pretended to be excited that someone out there was manufacturing more giant, tacky jewelry for her to buy, but in reality, she’d never do anything truly supportive of anyone else on the show. That’s not our LuLu, who later privately expressed her distaste for Ramona’s baubles with a larger-than-life-size gold butterfly strapped to throat. It’s probably a compliment if she says that a jewelry line isn’t her style.

And that was proved accurate when, in the next breath, she passive-aggressively inquired into where Ramona’s wine had been made and then laughingly corrected her pronunciation of the region. How dare Ramona not speak Italian? If the person who fronts the money for a wine brand doesn’t speak the language of the region in which the grapes are grown, then the wine spoils immediately. Everyone knows that. It’s like the first law of wine making, right after ensuring that actual humans squash the grapes with their feet.

Afterward, Kelly and Cindy went on a walk in the park and “ran into” Jill while complaining about Sonja’s instruction that Cindy pay homage to Ramona because Ramona is the leader of the pack. Predictably, Jill didn’t seem amused by that information, and that’s because she is clearly the leader. This is why you don’t leave the country during the season, Jill. Someone usurps your fake throne, and then you get back and the entire royal structure is screwed up.

In further Sonja news, she had LuAnn and Kelly over to feed them dinner from her new cookbook. Except her new cookbook is all about toaster oven cooking, so she made them fish and asparagus in a $20 toaster oven that she picked up for $5 at a yard sale in one of the dumpier neighborhoods of Long Island. The fish didn’t even stay together long enough to get onto the plate, and apparently Sonja was unaware that most meat gets smaller as its cooked, so each of her her guests had approximately three bites apiece. But just so you know, Sonja has cooked for royalty with her toaster oven. The Churchills! Who are, uh, not royalty. But they are British. That’s kind of the same, isn’t it?

Somewhere around this time, we had our small inter-commercial, non-narrative clip that I usually skip in the recaps, but this time it starred Sonja and was more than worth mentioning. You see, Sonja had been asked to helm another event, this time with a bunch of straight guys. Firefighters, even! Hot ones. The ones they put in the annual FDNY calendar. They were having a charity softball game and Sonja had been asked to throw out the first pitch, but because Sonja leads with her vagina, she decided to dress up in a skanky Halloween costume to do it, for reasons that weren’t entirely clear.

And I’m sure she threw that pitch at some point, although I don’t remember that happening, but mostly she just mugged for the camera and showed us all her ass, encased like divorced sausage in flesh-toned pantyhose. Thankfully she had underwear on under there, which apparently presents a bit of a problem for Sonja next week, but pretty soon she asked the firefighter to take their shirts off so that should could pick which one she would hit on later and I forgot all about her butt. Sonja, you’ve still got some things down to a science, even if you’ve gone of the deep end recently.

Next, Jill visited Alex in Brooklyn, and you know that it was serious because Jill deigned to leave the island. She seemed incredibly nervous and immediately put her foot in her mouth about whether or not Alex works out, but Alex took it well and moved on to the topic at hand, which is still…Bethenny. Bethenny and Alex’s kids. Who Jill called animals, which is something that Jill denies, but it sure does sound like it probably happened. That’s the kind of stuff that Jill says: Mean and entirely uncreative, because Jill is not funny or original, just vicious. But this show is so godawful without her that I can’t even summon up the righteous outrage that I would normally include at this juncture. It’s just good to have you back, Jill, even if your feigned genuineness makes me uncomfortable.

To conclude, we accompanied Ramona and Cindy to an anonymous Upper East Side restaurant that looked like every other restaurant that they’ve ever eaten in, wherein they argued about whether or not Cindy should have had pinot grigio at the party to thank Ramona, and also whether Cindy should have bowed and kissed Ramona’s ring. Ramona, naturally, was of the opinion that Cindy had done her some sort of grave injustice, but instead of being magnanimous and reasonable, Ramona told her that when Cindy was married, she’d understand.

And I generally kind of like Ramona because I appreciate her particular brand of housewife performance art, but there are few things more unnecessary, not to mention so transparently mean-spirited, that I’ve heard uttered on this show. No part of the entire discussion had anything to do with Cindy being single until Ramona decided to bring up her marriage as a weak excuse for why Cindy should have had her drink of choice at the party. That didn’t stop Ramona, though, and if her intent was to bring the meeting to a screeching halt, then I suppose she was successful. Looks like she takes it to another level next week and actually makes Jill weep in embarrassment, which is something heretofore unaccomplished in all of Housewifedom. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, and in the meantime, try to scrub the image of Sonja’s pantyhosed ass from our minds.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Stephanie

    I thought I could sleep through the night after seeing Sonja’s rear end once but after the episode they had to show a close up for the show next week. I may skip it and just read your review because that was enough to cause nightmares. This coming from a woman who constantly tells people what is proper??? Due to that I think I blanked the whole episode out of my memory! Thank goodness for you Amanda! You are a trooper.

  • Kjon

    I also saw the preview for Sonja’s uh… costume. Was anyone else at the party wearing one? I blacked out.
    Why is this former waitress talking about a pecking order? Just a little tip honey (I’m sure Luann will cover this in great depth): If you have to assert a ‘pecking order’ to someone else, you’re usually looking up at it from the bottom.

    • adrienne z

      Wow! Well said!

  • suz

    Thank you Amanda for yet again taking one for the team. While I was doing my 7 minute fast forward (down from 10), i kept thinking….I can’t wait to see if and how Amanda can find any humor in this hot mess. You did, and bless you for that. I would not have been surprised if the recap had just said “Yech!”

    I’m thinking someone needs to high-jack Kelly’s meds, so we can have another pyschotic episode.

    And, what exactly was Jill doing in Australia during the filming of this season. I really expected her to come back looking like she’s had radical plastic surgery…but she kind of looked the same. She is such a camera whore, there must be some explanation/excuse. What gives?

    • Turnipsntots

      She was down under shilling her book of ‘wisdom’.

      • suz

        Thank you…I guess I would have liked a darker, more scandalous explanation….but that seems like a logical reason. That said, who would want to read her book on any continent…or planet for that matter.

  • PhotoGirl

    Amanda, you deserve a medal and perhaps a raise as well!

    Sonja’s backside. Oh. I can’t… Brain bleach. STAT!
    And why on Earth is anyone listening to a former call girl, I mean waitress, discuss the pecking order of anything? Could I get fries with that?

    • JenG

      LOL! Thank You!

  • Susan Albert

    I was mad a Bethany for not wanting to make up with me! Really after all the times Jill refused to speak with Bethany. She has a very peculiar memory doesn’t she.

  • Relli

    “kids not reliable vehicles for validation.”

    Amanda, I want a t-shirt that says this so i can wear it to my next child forced activity.!

  • espanv

    Amanda, I read your recaps religiously but rarely comment. I have been watching most all the Real Housewives shows from the beginning and I used to like Jill. What happened to her? She is like the meanest of mean girls and I find her hard to watch. I am always worried about what she will say because it isn’t really “entertainment” when it gets to that level of mean.
    Your writing is brilliant and I really look forward to hearing what you have to say! Thank you!

  • S

    I really can’t understand Sonja – but you’re right Amanda, Sonja’s got some things down to a science. I kind of enjoy seeing her bravado while flirting with men half her age, but I don’t need to see her body parts!
    Ramona is really getting on my nerves. It occurred to me while watching the show that she is somewhat of a Jill in that she really considers herself something special in NY society. And Sonja believes her. Her pinot grigio demands are ridiculous. I feel for Alex because even though her fan base has grown, she hasn’t accomplished her goal of moving up the ranks of society. Kelly Ripa placed her last in the pecking order.

  • Lisa in Oregon

    My favorite part of your recap (discussing Luann’s jewelry): “It’s probably a compliment if she says that a jewelry line isn’t her style.” Spit my lunch out laughing at this one! Brilliant!

  • Karen

    Did anyone notice that Kelly who self proclaims to never talk bad about anyone, was a willing particpant at the lunch with Sonja, Luann and Jill to tear Ramona apart?

  • shallowgal

    Jill declared that she no longer would participate in the drama… I think that lasted all of 2 minutes.
    whew. This crew is turning into the “I can’t stand any of them” bunch, much like the OC. At least they’re attempting to be entertaining, I’ll give them that.
    Pecking order? lol. hmmm… let’s see … I can’t stand LuAnn. Alex’s rose colored glasses are beginning to get to me… Sonja’s always been an over-sexed hot mess… Ramona just gets more and more ridiculous … Jill’s just mean and will never get it & Cindy is another wannabe.
    I can’t wait for next week. lol.

  • Gracie

    “Kelly launched into a nonsensical monologue”
    “with a larger-than-life-size gold butterfly strapped to throat”
    “Sonja leads with her vagina’
    Amanda you are too funny LOL LMAO

  • Maryann

    Amanda, I love your sense of humor and your recaps! You are so talented. You make my day.

  • Leelee

    Love how Luann, mispronounces Veneto too. It’s not French!!!! I looked up and have friends who live in Venice, it’s pronounced VE(yn)to. I hate her. Oh and Luann said “alls I know…”. She used improper English, yet she corrects everyone. No one with manners corrects. Unless you are their mother. Get over yourself Luann!

    • Nancy from SB

      THANK YOU! I also caught that, last week, Luann saying, “All’s I know….” Normally I wouldn’t criticize someones grammar – as you (also) said, that in and of itself is ill-mannered, but boy did that jump out at me as, well, low -class, frankly! The true Luann was revealed. I had to chuckle at that. She must have cringed when that was played.

  • Purse Mommy

    Is Ramona trying to “brand” herself like Bethenny did for Skinny Girl? Really? Does the world need Ramona wine, or is she looking for her $120 million dollar payday like Bethenny. Seems the only one with business sense is Bethenny. Which is probably why Jill was so pissed at her.

    • suz

      ….and why Bethanny left the show for her own gig.

  • Leelee

    Oh Amanda. I loved your comment about Luann’s jewelry. She has the oddest taste. Always wears huge Native American pieces, mixed with other styles that don’t match and should never be mixed. Remember that horrible dead animal looking shrug- thing she wore to have a pedicure. Absolutely hideous. Bonne nuit mon amie!!

    • adrienne z

      Ramona’s collection was much better than what Luann had on. Her disdain at Ramona’s collection didn’t make sense because what she had on was gaudy and looked like it would have been painful to wear. It looked like something a teen boy made in welding class.

      • Manuela

        I agree. Ramona’s jewelery line is a bit vanilla but very versatile and mostly tasteful for costume stuff. I’m getting a wee bit tired of LuAnn’s constant in-your-face homage to whatever slight Native American heritage she might have. Heaven forbid someone might forget her “rags to riches” pathway in life, as she tells that tale with her choice of neckware.

  • JenG

    Sonay leading with her vagina, was my favorite quote. Amanda should write a book entitled ” Housewives witty quotes.” Amanda Rocks!

  • mirna

    Am I the only one who thought Alex looked a bit creepy when talking to her son? He did not seem interested at all! Her and Simon are just weirdos! UGH!

    • Manuela

      A close neighbor has an autistic son the same age, and I was shocked as I watched that scene how alike it looked to her and her son’s interaction. I wasn’t creeped out exactly; I just wondered if Francois is perhaps mildly Asperger’s?….. Or maybe Alex was irritating her kid enough that he put her on ‘mute’. Who knows?

      • adrienne z

        It’s also possible that the boys are camera-shy. They’re probably not sure how to act and what to say because they are in the spotlight when it’s their turn to talk. Too many people looking at them may put them in an awkward situation.

      • Blaine

        We have a high-functioning autistic nephew and the similarities caused me to think the same think also.

        I also have a real distaste for the TA-DA moment that goes along with surprise birthday gifts, even at my age.

  • LauraJ

    I wondering why this turning into the Sonja show? She seems to be regressing to some hormone crazed teenager. So uncouth …

  • mochababe73

    Sonja is utterly ridiculous, and I love it. But I could have done without the vagina shot.
    I have decided that I don’t like Cindy. She’s weird. Her relationship with her brother is weird. This chick is on the show yet she acts as though she can’t be bothered with any of the ladies. Or the show.
    Ramona is Ramona. You either ride the Ramona Coaster or get off and leave it alone. If you get offended by everything she says and does, you would drive yourself crazy.
    Didn’t miss Jill at all. She just picked up where she left off.
    I actually like Ramona’s jewelry. What wasn’t seen on the air is that she actually bought a bracelet. Besides, I’m glad it’s not cheap fake stuff like Kelly’s.
    Alex is starting to bore me. I liked her and Simon because they were so different than the other wives. Now, they are just more of the same. And, that piano was a complete waste of money. What kind of handbag could I have bought with that money.
    As far as Kelly is concerned, I have no words. I got nothing.
    Can’t wait for the Jersey ladies on the 16th. Let the shenanigans begin!

  • Beth

    Mochababe73 , I agree. Cindy’s brother’s girlfriend looks just like her, they take a house together for summer, he’s always around…. Very odd. When I saw his girlfriend I thought it was Cindy. But Sonja was terrible to her. Could you imagine having big enough(…) to ask someone to tea and then birate them. This is too fun

  • Leelee

    Beth darling, you stole my comment

  • Beth

    Sorry. But you left your I pad open! BTW I wonder how Sonja pays for her staff. She’s bankrupt

  • adrienne z

    cindy’s brother is very weird

  • Sue

    The show gets worse each week

  • weaslgrl

    Joan Rivers said it best during this week’s Fashion Police: “Any dress that needs anal bleaching is too short!”

  • teakay

    It looks like Luann, Jill, and Kelly have regrouped during the summer, and are re-writing history – making Ramona the target. Those 3 act like Ramona caused Kelly’s freak out on Scary Island – when it was Kelly taking potshots at Bethenny, then calling them bullies when they responded.
    Luann mentioned three times this season that Alex is a social climber and made fun of Ramona for her pronunciations — what an obnoxious wannabe Who was she before marrying the Count??? Cat from DC called her out on WWHL – and it’s about time someone did.

  • adrienne z

    When Alex brought it to Jill’s attention that she had called her kids animals, Jill should have reminded Alex that her boys were stabbing and mutilating another guest’s dinner and nothing was being done about it, hence the animal comment would have been appropriate.
    Had my boys (I have 2 close in age….) even Considered doing that Anywhere (even at Home), that behaviour would have been immediately dispensed with in short order.
    I think “animals” was a delicate term at the time – I would have been alittle more descriptive.