Tinsley Joins The Real Housewives Of New York City And Tries To Get Back On Top
Find out whether she does or not in this week's rankings. (Spoiler: she's right, being an 'It Girl' doesn't happen overnight.)
This week's is an enjoyable, if forgettable, episode that makes a little too much room for new addition Tinsley Mortimer. Spread a little too thin for the intended Watch/Skip, we once again turn to Ranklings. Let's see how everyone fares.
Here's a brief rundown: Following her marriage to "boarding school sweetheart" Robert "Topper" Livingston Mortimer -- of the Standard Oil Mortimers -- Tinsley quickly became New York City's "It Girl" of the new millennium. Once the couple separated though, she went from the pages of Vogue and front-row seats at NYFW to a regrettable CW reality show and being arrested for trespassing on her on-again/off-again boyfriend's estate. It's not that she does anything particularly bad. If anything, she's supremely likable. The problem, however, is the way she and everyone else talk about her Palm Beach "exile" and the arrest that occurred during it.
Hard as the transition from Dior brand ambassador and member of "one of the most respected families" may be, she's engaging in wordplay and double entendre the likes of which haven't been seen outside of an episode of Arrested Development. By which I mean she and her storyline are presented as if she's newly out of prison and forced to live in Sonja's halfway house, which isn't the case. Well, isn't entirely the case. Funny as it is, that's enough to put her in the bottom spot. Consider this part of her arc.
Though she rebounds towards the end, the majority of this episode sees Bethenny at her worst. It's hard to take her seriously, sitting there, crisscross applesauce on her couch in a leopard-print bodysuit and wig that's meant to shock or be relatable -- whether or not it is Halloween, whatever she was going for really misses the mark -- as she tells Carole that she's "talking loudly" and "being a know-it-all" as if she isn't the person who ruined Dorinda's Christmas-themed birthday in the Berkshires last season by chasing Luann around the house shouting about how she's a whore and performing her own version of a real-time debate fact-check. Her testimonials and biting one-liners in the back half show signs of life, but constantly playing devil's advocate whenever Carole opens her mouth, coupled with those in her employ laughing at her jokes and saying whatever she wants to hear at exactly the right time, continues to be a really bad look. To quote the woman herself, I'm starting to worry she "believes her own myth."
While it seems like the payoff is right down the road, being sidelined because of an already exhausting fight with Sonja puts Dorinda at a big disadvantage this week, as everyone else attends the Mad Hatter welcome home party for Tinsley and she's stuck getting cryogenically frozen and shopping for furniture at Jonathan Adler with Marnie. Lame.
Like Dorinda, Luann simply isn't enough of a factor this week. Seen shopping for hats with Victoria early on, she benefits from her sit-down with Sonja and being one of the only people to read the invitation correctly, even if she is wearing a faded Ralph Lauren dust ruffle from 2003 and a hat she found on the sidewalk in Fort Greene.
Apart from delightfully opposing and/or correcting nearly everything that comes out of Ramona's mouth, Carole doesn't get much to do this week. Still, watching her edit Ramona's syntax, vocabulary, facts, etc. is more than enough as the season lurches toward her election party. She also gets a great TH in, in which she dubs Sonja's townhouse "Sonja Morgan's Home For Wayward Girls," which is a book I'd very much like her to write.
The second of Sonja's "borrowed butlers," Patrick's cameo as the cliché queen who can't stand Ramona or anything else he's tasked with dealing with is as great as it is wholly unnecessary. On any other leg of the franchise he'd come off as someone trying too hard for the camera. Here, complaining about everything in Lady Morgan's kitchen while Tinsley wipes the dust or lipstick or whatever it is off a champagne flute in the background, he's right at home. Bad at his job and a vessel for the manic energy New York has come to be defined by but which has yet to appear outside of Ramona, I wouldn't mind if he permanently joined the ranks of Sonja's unpaid staff.
Positioned as the fool yet again -- and she very well may be -- Sonja rises in the ranks because of the soiree she's hosting, even if it is unfortunately cut short because the episode has to set up the woman she's throwing it for. Fully embracing her role as the Upper East Side's Miss Havisham, she's taking the initiative to help find Tinsley a new man, but mostly just roaming the halls of her townhouse in a bathrobe and two-week-old lashes instead of talking to Dorinda. Who, speaking of, she needs to forgive for not inviting her to the Berkshires. She may be onto something in terms of Dorinda Meddler using everyone else as a weapon against her because she said "everyone knows [she does] drugs" at last season's reunion when Bethenny raised the issue, but it's three steps back in what otherwise appears to be a huge leap forward. And as for Luann, I really do think she has the best intentions at heart. Sure, she's sad she can't call Tom at 3 AM from inside a bathroom stall at Beautique and ask to come over anymore and is pissed about the way things went down, but she's really just trying to make sure her former pupil reaches her full potential now that she's been set loose in the concrete jungle.
Arriving in each of her scenes like a pizza the delivery guy left on the roof of the car and accidentally ran over exiting the parking lot, Ramona's an admitted disaster I have no qualms about indulging in. Gross as her support of then-candidate Trump may be, it's an unsurprising turn of events that she develops in what would out of context appear to be a bit. She's stepping on one of Bethenny's dogs and chastising her for not sending her pictures of the puppies, as if they were twins she adopted a year ago and forgot to mention; she's saying "passive aggressive" as if it's something that's suddenly in vogue thanks to a popular sitcom; she's pretending she has to do research on cryotherapy instead of admitting she doesn't want her dress to come off unless a visiting businessman's (son) is tearing it off her in a Times Square hotel room; she thinks one of Sonja's dogs is Milou, even though she attended his funeral only just a few years ago; she's doing Stevie Nicks cosplay for Sonja's Mad Hatter party and couldn't care less what her host thinks about it as long as no one sees her hickeys; and she's redefining what it means to clearly disinvite someone from something because she doesn't want to be the bad guy even if she's a superficially terrible person. However, in an episode's that's largely devoted to establishing Tinsley, Ramona once again, for better or for worse, makes every second count. Thank god someone's trying!