When Did The Real Housewives Of New York City Get So Gross?
And other questions raised by this week's slight but bonkers episode.
Three-fourths filler capped off with an extended sequence wherein Ramona terrorizes Luann and Bethenny, this week's episode shouldn't work at all but does thanks to a stunning lack of self-awareness and departure from vanity. I have a lot of questions.
Can we stop acknowledging the Grey Gardens thing?
Production's tongue has always been planted firmly in its cheek, but it's time to stop leaning on the Grey Gardens iconography. Between Carole's couch and Sonja in general, it's becoming a little much. There's no real reason why part of this week's opening clip montage had to feature Tinsley chastising one of Sonja's dogs for pooping in her room, or Carole asking where her babies are in a demented voice, other than to perpetuate these arcs, which I'm already into without the added pressure. One's fine, two is too many. Unless this season is setting the groundwork for Carole to sell her place and move in with Sonja while she and Adam look for a bigger place.
How early did Sonja leave her house?
Sonja's late meeting Bethenny for lunch, which pissed Bethenny off considering the restaurant's "in Sonja's foyer." When she finally arrives she apologizes, firing off some story about how she got there before her and, since it wasn't really open yet, decided to go get a manicure to kill time. What does that even mean? What time did she get there? Did she plan for an hour's worth of travel to walk down the street? Why did she go get a manicure instead of going home? What makes someone go, oh, I have 15 minutes to kill, I should probably go get a manicure instead of sit in Starbucks (which before you say anything is something she absolutely could have done because remember when Heather complained about waiting in her tiny unheated foyer and Sonja was like, "Starbucks is down the street you could have waited there!"?) for 10 minutes. I just don't understand.
Why doesn't Richard have a bigger headstone?
There's no real way to talk about this without sounding like a complete and total asshole, so I'm just going to go for it: I was really surprised by Richard's grave marker. Given Dorinda's whimsy and eclectic style, I expected…I don't know what I expected, but it definitely wasn't that tasteful, no-frills stone. This one's on me for expecting some variation of the Washington Monument, a custom piece by Jonathan Adler, or a gold bust of the man himself -- which is probably a work in progress in Hannah's artist loft -- but it's still weird, right?
Does Hannah's family think she came up with that phrase?
Again: I fully acknowledge I'm nitpicking and a monster, but I have to be true to every jaw-dropping moment I experienced this week.
Hannah reads something she wrote for Richard's memorial service, which ends with "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Like anyone in that situation, Dorinda and her parents are moved. The problem is that I'm worried they think she came up with that all by herself, and I'm sorry, she didn't. They're probably just reacting to her expressing herself at all -- from the way they talk about it, it seems like she had some sort of breakdown after Richard's death -- but it still irked me all the same, because it wouldn't surprise me to find out next season that she leveraged Dorinda telling everyone about the beautiful speech Hannah made that day into a successful career as a writer of greeting cards or writing staff position at The New Yorker.
What's going on with everyone's outfits?
I'm very into how quirky and disparate everyone's sense of style is this week. At the memorial service alone we've got Dorinda wearing a fuchsia and white vest made from the unicorn she accidentally killed by giving it too much vodka; Hannah's wearing one of Richard's blazers and giving off model in the late-eighties, drug kingpin's girlfriend in the early-nineties vibes; and Carole is dressed as Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is a nice complement to later in the episode in a scene where Bethenny arrives for drinks dressed as Beetlejuice, and Ramona is played by Catherine O'Hara. And then there's Luann's wedding dress, which like Richard's gravestone is simple, elegant, and completely underwhelming.
Can Carole's next book please be about Richard?
Wouldn't that be wonderful? He sounds like an interesting enough guy to carry the weight of 300 or 400 pages. Worst-case scenario, Dorinda finds out, sues her, and we get Bookgate, Pt. 2? Either way everybody wins.
Why are we only seeing one of Luann's looks?
Any Housewives fan knows that Luann's on record as saying that the plan was to wear three different dresses over the course of her wedding. Last night's trip to Randi Rahm's showroom gave us the biggest one: her wedding dress. I already told you I was a little underwhelmed save for the bridesmaid dresses and Luann's sister, Renee (and since we're asking questions, how are we only just meeting her? Talking about a star-is-born moment, completely stealing her sister's thunder in less than 10 seconds with one innocuous line, "I love lace"), but I'm curious why we didn't get to see the other two looks. It's not like the surprise would have been ruined; she showed them the centerpiece and this aired months after the fact. Were they not ready? Was the muted reaction to her dress what spurred the additional two pieces?
Why didn't Luann or her friends take any pictures?
I don't know wedding party protocol, but I feel like it's pretty standard to take a few pictures of the bride-to-be in her gown when she tries it on. This isn't the first time Luann's kept mum and been sloppy with details -- don't forget, she only told a few people and the New York Post she was engaged -- so it's hardly shocking. But there I was in bed, right there with Ramona when her eyes bulged out of her head and her jaw dropped when Luann said she didn't even think to take any pictures to show people. C'mon, Luann, I understand why you want to close the loop when it comes to your "friends" and dream man/wedding -- Bethenny would throw pig's blood on her as she walked down the aisle; Sonja would make a deeply regrettable speech; Ramona would probably kill someone -- but surely you could show them a picture of the dress.
And who are these friends of hers, anyway? How come none of those jerks thought to take a picture or two? Was her deal with People Magazine already set for the exclusive rights to her wedding pictures? Would a picture of her dress taken on an iPhone 4S have ruined their agreement?
Why is Sonja's ice brown?
I Googled it: there's something wrong with her icemaker. So, since we know why Sonja's ice is brown, let's get into why she hasn't done anything about it. More than that, why is her solution to tease Tinsley about it and then have a dirty ice-throwing fight in the kitchen/dining room? Oh, and how crazy is it that this part of their eerie murder/suicide narrative and is a moment borne out of a pretty tense moment where Sonja frets over flowers (which she hates) and passive-aggressively remarks about Tinsley putting glasses in the sink and running the risk of chipping them. She can't do anything right, that Tinsley! Steals her friends, chips her teacups, makes drinks that need ice and hasn't fixed the icemaker, etc.
Who is Anisha and why isn't she a cast member instead of Tinsley?
Like Luann's sister, this Meghan Trainor lookalike, whoever she is, makes up for the lack of a formal introduction by being the absolute most and spellbinding as a result. She and Tinsley are casually walking in what appears to be Chelsea, you know, just causally talking about Tinsley moving into a place of her own, while this woman drives her lapdog in a remote-controlled car a few paces ahead like it's business as usual. Why is she doing this? Because the stroller she used to push him around in brought too much negative attention.
First of all, I can't even begin to understand the logistics of this decision. Mostly because she can't drive the car, evidenced by the fact that she runs it right into a pedestrian. How does someone go from stroller to remote-controlled car? Does she strap the dog in? What happens if she's out and the batteries die? And what's this she's saying about how Tinsley can’t live on the Upper East Side anymore because there are too many cockroaches uptown? Who is this woman and why is Tinsley just hanging out with her now?
How do you get a late-addition invitation to a wedding?
Ramona's always been a character, but this is some next-level stuff. Her conversation with Luann is eight different shades of crazy as it jettisons from one place to another. How do you get around not being invited to someone's wedding? Tell the bride-to-be that you bought a plane ticket and bully her into extending you and a plus-one an invitation. And if that doesn't work? Tell her you don't really want to go anyway and that people are calling you to take bets as to whether or not it's even going to take place. Then tell her you're joking and so happy for her and would love to be involved.
How did we get to the point where the women are openly farting at the bar?
Sonja's farting at the bar and blaming it on Ramona, who's apparently also farting at the bar. How did we get to this point? When did everyone except Bethenny and Dorinda decide to adopt a ton of animals and have crazy sex lives and pass gas in restaurants because the bathroom's sort of far? RHONY has always been sweaty and unwell, but when did it get so gross?
What other TV shows have inspired Tinsley?
If a Beverly Hills, 90210 plotline inspired her and Topper's first annulled wedding, what other shows have inspired her?
What's going on with Ramona?
I don't think she's entirely wrong about what she's trying to say to Bethenny, but she's truly outdoing herself this time around.