Let’s get a few things clear from the jump: Ramona Singer is a monster. Jill Zarin is a monster. Bethenny Frankel is a monster. No one alive has ever been more determined to get married in Palm Beach than the artist formerly known as The Countess, one Luann D’Agostino.
So far, Season 9 of The Real Housewives of New York has in no way matched the maniacal brilliance of Season 8, but they came as close as they have yet during Wednesday night’s episode. Part 2 of the Berkshires trip of course cannot hold a candle to the Berkshires trip of yore (because there’s no higher number than one), but it did deliver more than I expected.
Today has been stressful enough so let’s ease into things here with the least monstrous people before we get to the most. Honestly, I barely remember seeing Tinsley in this episode and I’m just glad she wasn’t making out with a Merrill Lynch intern at an arcade. Sonja must have increased whatever dosage of mood stabilizers she’s taking or something because she smartly kept her mouth almost completely shut the entire episode.
I’ll get into more Dorinda later, but can we talk about the image rehab she’s done for herself thus far following Sonja’s absolutely perfect outing of her alleged drug habit last year? (Though, judging by the previews, it seems like it will mostly be undone in the next half of the season.) I wonder how much of it has to do with keeping John off camera.
Adam and Carole were off being sexy. They made sexy salads and showed off their nipples and how is this relationship still going on?
One of the most surprising turns this season has been my enjoyment of Luann. Last season her lovesick delusion and obvious lying was hard to sit through but I now no longer care, mostly because she clearly doesn’t give a shit. Luann loves her lifestyle with Tom and that’s really what this is all about. Maybe they have an open relationship, maybe they don’t. Maybe Tom still gropes women, maybe he doesn’t. All we know is that if Luann isn’t going to be a Countess anymore, than dammit, she’s going to make being a commoner worth it. Palm Beach and skiing and drinking champagne in SUVs is worth your husband joking about a getting “hall pass” on television, I guess.
Last night also marked the unwelcome return of Jill fucking Zarin. Jill Zarin is grating and thirsty and does not make for good television, yet she somehow weasels her way back in occasionally. Andy’s not letting you back on the show full time, Jill! Leave us alone!!!
Jill obviously just showed up with her best Cheshire Cat grin to talk shit about Ramona even though two seconds before she started that she had said they were in a good place. All this because Ramona didn’t invite her to some stupid party in the Hamptons that Jill wasn’t able to attend anyway and oh my god can you imagine if the scope of your life was this narrow and petty?
Jill yapped her trap about some stupid shit and proclaimed that Ramona’s life is “a mess.” Dorinda again proved herself to be an inexplicably good friend to Ramona by pushing back against’s Jill’s comments. Sure, Ramona is desperate for a man, but is her life really any worse than usual? Her divorce is final, she’s still rich and the work she got done has fully healed and looks about as good as one can hope. I would not mind having that kind of a mess.
In terms of our monster rankings, Ramona was definitely more of a monster than Bethenny last night, but I’m going to discuss them together because the line is so very thin. Let’s get two things on the table: Ramona was LIT UP and Bethenny knew exactly what she was doing.
Of course, they’re on a television show and they need to provide some drama of interest, but trying to seriously engage with Ramona when her blood alcohol level is three times the legal limit is pointless. Bethenny also clearly knew Ramona would be set off by that “you haven’t been a good friend to me comment” because how many goddamn times have we heard Ramona go on about what a good friend she is?
The barbs traded between the two women were petty and beneath us all. Ramona’s self-proclaimed attempts to hurt Bethenny any way she could were sad and reminiscent of the way she hurts almost everyone else in her life. Still, Bethenny’s icy demeanor and sly grins were ugly in their own way. Ramona and Bethenny are both broken—albeit in difference places—but broken they remain.
One thing I realized last night is there is perhaps no more unsympathetic character on this franchise than Bethenny Frankel. Maybe it’s watching her storm out of a party like a petulant child for the 845th time. It might be her constant insistence that she’s the only one ever telling the truth. Or maybe it was watching her (jokingly?) berate her assistant because she can’t properly identify a moth. Whatever it is, I find it difficult to feel bad for her even when I know I should.
With no resolution to be found, Bethenny packed up her hideous coats and left with Carole trailing behind her. Note to Carole: If you want people to stop calling you Bethenny’s sidekick, maybe don’t blindly follow her out of a party when she won’t even explain to you why she’s upset.
The person with the most serious bone to pick with Ramona, as far as I’m concerned, is Dorinda, who discovered the next morning that Ramona had basically trashed her room, ripping off light fixtures and scratching the paint. I can’t even begin to understand how this happened and I doubt there exists any remotely sane excuse. Ramona and Dorinda are actually friends in real life and to treat someone’s home with that degree of disrespect is terrible and indicative of some deeply narcissistic issues.
In some ways, it may seem like I’m too forgiving of Ramona, but it’s really the opposite. Ramona is an unhinged person who almost immediately goes for the jugular and rarely apologizes. She’s entitled and selfish and asks much more of people than she offers. And for those exact reasons, I have a hard time feeling sorry for anyone who remains friends with Ramona.
She has burned every single one of these women and for whatever reason, they continue to forgive her. You can’t enable someone’s bad behavior and then get mad when they keep behaving badly! We’ve seen Real Housewives maneuver to get rid of cast members before or completely cut someone out of their lives. And yet, Ramona has shown us all who she is over and over and you can’t keep acting shocked or suddenly decide that you’re still mad about a dress she stole three years ago. Or you can, but don’t expect me to care.