Confession time- I am a total Bethenny Frankel devotee. I know she annoys a lot of people but I have adored her since I first saw her on the Martha Stewart version of The Apprentice and I obsessively watched her Bethenny spin off shows. I am, and will always be, #TeamBethenny, so if you hate her, you are in for a rocky ride with me this season and I apologize. That said, I will always try to call her out if she’s in the wrong, which will likely happen at several points because we can’t all be Cameron from Southern Charm. But no matter what, I will never be on Ramona’s side on anything because I hate her (although I recognize her importance and place in the show). That said, let’s jump right in, shall we? *
(*obviously this paragraph was written before I watched the episode….DAMMIT BETHENNY YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE A FOOL)
So for some reason, Bravo feels the need to tease us with all of juicy bits that will be happening this season which rings some alarm bells for me about this episode. Why are we getting the “This Season, on RHONYC…” reel before the show instead of after?
Time for the taglines and my grades for them:
Bethenny- If you can’t handle the truth, you can’t handle me (B+)
Dorinda- Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, martinis are! (B)
Carole- I plan for the future, but live in the moment (B-)
Sonja- If being Sonja is so wrong, then why does it feel so right? (A++)
Jules- A Jew and an Asian walked into a bar; then they had me! (C)
Luann- If you can’t be cool, then you can’t be with the countess (C-)
Ramona- Like a fine wine, I just get better with time (B)
Kinda lame taglines this season….It’s interesting that Ramona got the last slot this year. Usually that goes to the HBIC who we all know is Bethenny (as evidenced by her center spot in the title shot).
Speaking of, we catch up with Bethenny who is being visited by Dorinda who is in her sophomore season with the real housewives. Dorinda was the shiny new toy last season and for the most part, I really enjoyed her. But this season will be when we really see if she can hang. Bethenny shows Dorinda around her new apartment that has a lovely, albeit small closet.
Dorinda looks great and credits her good skin to “not drinking” but Bethenny talking heads that she saw Dorinda boozing it up all summer so who knows. Dorinda decides to “not drink” some more and asks for a small glass of wine. Bethenny wants to have a “boozey” lunch which is my favorite kind of lunch to have, and the ladies decide to invite guys to it as well. Bethenny is dating again regardless of how un-final her divorce is because it’s taking forever and who has the time to wait.
Basically this lunch is the “this is totally candid and natural” setup by the producers to introduce us to the new housewife, Jules- who is apparently Dorinda’s friend. Dorinda mentions inviting Carole and it seems like there may be trouble in paradise with Bethenny and her would-be bestie. Bethenny calls Carole “sluggish” and says that she doesn’t respond promptly to Bethenny’s texts. Carole is still with YoungManChefAdam(YMCA) and is very much still in the honeymoon phase so she’s dropped off a bit with her friends. Also- Bethenny followed and then unfollowed YMCA on Instagram because she doesn’t like it when people throw herbs onto their faces or something.
Speaking of those two crazy love birds, it’s been almost a year since they first got together which surprises all of us, including Carole herself. The first indication that I have that this is a real relationship and not just for show, is that Carole tells us she would never put Adam and Luanne in the same room after Luanne’s behavior last season. If this were a tv show romance, that’s the first thing she’s do, so good for them (bad for us). Carole got herself a puppy named Baby who is super cute in that designer-dog kinda way which is to say that the cuteness feels a bit manufactured, which of course it is.
Ramona is single and ready to mingle. Barf. I feel so bad for the men of NYC. I also feel bad (and always have) for her daughter Avery who is 21 now and meets up with Ramona at a bar. Avery is with her friend Kiley who Ramona has no memory of, but apparently spent an entire holiday weekend with once. Ramona barely apologizes for embarrassing her daughter and blows it off with a “whatever”, and that’s a perfect example of why I hate her. She does not, cannot, and will not own up to her shit. She only apologizes when it suites her, or when she thinks it will make her look good or she can get something out of the person. It’s a gross quality. Avery, on the other hand, I adore because no one makes stank faces at Ramona like her own child.
Sonja is still in her crumbing townhouse with her starving interns and presumably no hot water. Luanne has bravely taken up Sonja’s offer to stay at Lady Morgan’s castle when she’s in town, which says more about Luanne’s standing with the rest of the women, than it does her friendship with Sonja. There’s a fairly racist conversation about “Eskimos” and their teeth that segues into Sonja questioning how Luanne can give blowjobs properly if she has bones on the roof of her mouth. I don’t care. This is an odd pairing that interests me not at all. This is the last we see of these two for the rest of the episode though which I find interesting.
Unlike the pairing of Queenbee’s Ramona and Bethenny, who very much interest me. Bethenny immediately brings up #DressGate in a way that is clearly a joke but not really a joke because Ramona still hasn’t returned the dresses she took or donated to charity as was suggested by Bethenny at the reunion. Bethenny applauds Ramona for letting her balls get busted but I think Ramona is more pissed than she’s letting on. The women bond about dating and Bethenny tells us that while she is seeing lots of people, no one is in her bed because she doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of getting them back out again. Bethenny asks Ramona if she’s talked to Luanne and Sonja, which Ramona has, but Bethenny hasn’t since she saw the women out on the town and lit up. Ramona takes this opportunity to both slut & booze shame her supposed best friend and its gross coming from the queen of turtle time. Ugh. I hate Ramona. She get so holier than thou about shit.
Bethenny, much to my chagrin, is also acting very booze-shamey about Dorinda and it reads poorly and quite snobbish. Bethenny boasts that “it’s [her] job to drink!” but she can’t keep up with Dorinda and John. As a high functioning alcoholic, I always take issue with people who scold the drinking habits of grown adults. None of these women are stealing out of their children’s college funds to support their boozing habits, so lay off ladies.
In one breath, Ramona tells us that she has been hanging out with John and Dorinda more because she likes John now, and in the next breath, she tells us that she doesn’t see them out much because she’s not comfortable with John. She says both of these statements in literally the span of about 2 minutes.
So clearly one of the major themes of this season is going to be Everybody Hates John, which is fine as he seems pretty skeezy to me too, but I don’t like starting the show off with Bethenny and Dorinda palling around and then three or so scenes later, Bethenny is talking shit about Dorinda’s boyfriend. Will this be the season that turns me off of Bethenny? I’m having a really hard time defending her behavior this episode…
Finally, we meet new girl Jules. Jules has clearly purchased the Real Housewives 1st Season starter kit and we meet her standard issue white fluffy dog, Zoe (age ?) and adorable moppet children, daughter Rio (age 2) and son Jagger (age 5). Jules is a “stay at home mom”, but not the type who takes her job too seriously because she has a live in nanny and housekeeper. And really, who has the time to raise their own kids because children are the worst, AMIRITE?! Jules also owns a giant cowhide chair that I’m trying to decide if I love or hate. Jules’ husband Michael is a venture capitalist who has an office on a floor below their 4 bedroom apartment. Jules, graciously tells us that the secret to parenting is bribery. Thanks, Jules! Did your live-in nanny teach you that?
Dorinda and the most hated man in New York, John head out to dinner where on the way, John gives a homeless man a five dollar bill because he is feel especially generous as it’s their anniversary. But not like…their yearly anniversary, because every month on the 14th, John celebrates their anniversary, which is either very sweet or totally gross. Dorinda is gorgeous and fun and way too good for John but he does her dry cleaning for free so I guess it all evens out. Dorinda once again chooses to “not drink” and orders a martini. There is still no love lost between Dorinda’s daughter Hannah and John, but Hannah will be moving out soon which means that John is going to try to swoop in on that sweet Dorinda real estate. Dorinda’s not so sure yet how she feels about a live-in boyfriend.
We meet up with Bethenny again but this time at SkinnyGirl HQ which is way cooler than my office, but then I’m a total sucker for exposed brick. Bethenny gets her Poor Little Rich Girl edit in when her assistant brings her the electric bill for her old apartment that is still lived in by her ex Jason. This is a short scene where she sort of breezes in, tells the SkinnyGirl team that they can smoke crack and fuck on her couch for all she cares as long as they get the job done. I want to work there.
Ramona goes to get lunch with Carole and Ramona pronounces Reggae “reh-gay”, emphasis on “gay”, which Carole desperately tries to correct while mentally questioning why she agreed to meet up with the RamonaCoaster in the first place. Ramona got to keep both properties (NYC and Hamptons) in the divorce because all Mario wanted was cash and they settled the whole thing in 4 months. Ramona says she just looked at it like a business transaction and took all of the emotions out of it. I respect that. Ramona and Mario are not speaking but she doesn’t disparage him and says that what’s important is that he has a great relationship with Avery. I also respect that. Stop it, Ramona. This whole episode is topsy-turvy for me. Carole can’t get a word in edgewise and I’m I’m quickly back to my utter disgust of Ramona. Phew. That was a close one. Ramona doesn’t ask Carole anything about herself which is a trait I despise in people. You don’t have to care but it’s rude to not even ask.
Bethenny and her date for the day Jon, meet up with Dorinda and her own variety of John for the Boozey Lunch the girls talked about in the first scene. Both Dorinda and I notice DateJon’s physical similarities to Bethenny’s not-so-soon-to-be-ex Jason. Girl’s got a type. So even though Bethenny was the one to label this lunch as “boozey”, she immediately snarks about Dorinda and John starting off with Bloody Marys. Jules and Michael meet up with Bethenny, Dorinda, and the Jo(h)ns.
Bethenny makes the huge mistake of asking Jules if she works which results in Jules going on a rant about how she’s a Mom and raising humans is the hardest job and if she had a salary, it would be more than what Michael makes and on and on and on and since we already know about the live in help, it does not endear Jules to us at all.
John kindly congratulates Bethenny on her new apartment, offers to hook her up with dry cleaning, and Bethenny is a total bitch about it in her talking head. I really feel like I want to erase my opening paragraph but for the sake of honesty, I’m going to leave it. She really sucks in this episode though.
Apparently there was some issue this summer where Dorinda and John were hammered and it was uncomfortable for Bethenny and I guess that’s where her prissiness about their drinking comes from. Dorinda admits to being “sensitive” when she drinks and Bethenny pushes a little too hard for my taste and keeps going about this incident that Dorinda clearly wants to put it all behind them and doesn’t get why she’s bringing it up in the first place. I agree.
And to put the cherry on top, Bethenny accuses Jules of having an eating disorder in a talking head and then references (out loud to the group) how short Michael is by suggesting that he go as R2D2 for Halloween. God dammit, Bethenny. I sort of worried about this when she was on RHOBH a month or two ago and was so shitty to Erika but I didn’t know that it would be this bad. She has completely bought in to her own hype, which makes me feel partially responsible. That’s the thing about LVP, she’s the HBIC and knows it, but doesn’t act like she knows it. Hrumph. Now I’m grumpy and feeling foolish.
Until next week!
Recap written by Liz