Sunday, April 10, 2011

RHNY: Garcon? A bottle of your finest Ramona Singer!

Talk about a punch to the gut. Andy Cohen and his Bravo cohorts know they have a lot to make up for after the Miami and DC debacles; they're clearly on a mission to take their brand back. Mozzelltoff  Andy, you got my attention...now what are you going to do with it? Even though Episode One was a free for all, hopefully this season of RHONY will make sense--that is, as much sense as the Housewives can make.  Bravo worked the editing room hard to ensure New York smacked us in the face.  If you could main-line a black-tar, speed-ball of a television show, this is the show you'd do it with. To put it in Brassy terms: no dinky-donk music was played. It was straight up Ride of the Valkyries.

First up is Ramona, who's added vintner to her ever-growing list of entrepreneurial endeavors. That's right, 'Mona makes wine now. Pinot of course. She pretends to have a Welcome Back from Summer party, when really it's the launch for her booze. According to Wine Works it's about fourteen bucks a bottle.  I'm tempted to try it...but can you imagine going into a wine shop and, with a straight face, asking for the Ramona Singer pinot grigio?? I have a pretty dry sense of humor, brass balls and very little pride, but I doubt I could pull it off.
like a fish
to water
Since the sun rose in the East and set in the West that day Alex and Simon van Kempen are there. Then Jill and Bobby Bahbby Zarin saunter in. And like that we go from zero to 60. Jill pleads her version of a season three mea culpa to the camera: was last yee-ah hahhd? yes. have I grow-an and learned? yes. Alex incredulously tells the camera: Jill is pretending nothing happened!! Her eyes and teeth simultaneously bug out, so I know she means business. What? Are we fighting already?! The tension rises. Alex and Simon conspiratorially lock-jaw-mumble to each other. Ramona slams back a case of pinot. Bahbby Zarin's light-sensitive glasses go from light to dark nine times and his loafer tassels cross in fear.  Jill looks constipated from trying to appear civil. The scene wraps with Alex extending an invitation to an equality march across the Brooklyn Bridge. We either averted a Housewife crisis, or we're on the cusp of one. I'm unsure, but I'm sitting at attention now.

Whew. Time to up the cardio, I'm out of shape.

currently sharing a spinal cord
(sorry Countess, you may be out of a job)
Next we're at Jill's (still horrifically decorated) apartment. Kelly is there lounging on Jill's bed, since that's what best girlfriends do. That's right, these two are hella tight now. Jill says she's stuck by Kelly  because she's loyal and that's what real friends do fuck you Bethenny Frankel. Ugh. Vomit. Kelly twiddles her hair and bites her nails as  Jill wonders what Alex's problem was the previous night.  Honestly I'm a little befuddled too, but my confusion is sincere and based on choppy, frenetic editing. Jill is confounded as to why someone she's deemed below her isn't letting her bullshit slide.

Meanwhile, Kelly is all turned around too since she thought they were debating the pros and cons of green beans versus jalapenos in hot chocolate champagne on a scorching summer day in the sand dunes of Antarctica.  But she fakes her way through bashing Alex with a: that's right Jill you don't just go into a tailspin at the drop a hat...says Kelly Bensimon. I yell at my TV.  Jill insists  I AM NICE! and starts to cry as she rehashes how she was Bethenny's family and she'll always love Bethenny blah blah blah. It all somehow simultaneously made sense and didn't make sense: Jill's given herself the impossible task of grinding her ax harder than ever, while trying to make people like her and feel sorry for her. Finally Ramona chimes in, telling the camera that Jill is jealous of Bethenny. No shit 'Mona, now go stomp some grapes.

Next we go to the van Kempen's sweatshop home office:
Interestingly enough, this space also houses the facility
used to make Jill's adorable new line of bustiers as  seen on WWHL
They both work from home now. In the same space. Torture. Alex tries to convince us they have oodles of irons in the fire. Simon's tourettes is showcased nicely when he flibbery-jibbets around in his pink, suede loafers while she tries to conduct a call with her modeling agency. Say wha?! That's right. She's modeling. Bygones. Simon left his job for a social media start-up. That's probably a pretty good fit for him, because he becomes more socially awkward with every passing minute. A virtual society is definitely the best place for this harmless, but incredibly strange man.

We head out on the town to a charity event with Sonja and 'Mona to meet Cindy Barshop, the latest and greatest housewife to hit Bravo:
Cindy Barshop:
 nipping puberty in the bud one follicle at a time
No, she's not some freaky cooter collector. Nor is she Dr. Barshop, New York's gynie extraordinaire.   Cindy owns Completely Bare hair removal spas. That's right, this is the woman responsible for making the pre-pubescent body hair aesthetic seem reasonable and attractive for grown women. On behalf of all the women in America, minus the porn stars: thanks an effing ton Cin. She's quick to tell us that her particular brand of hair removal has been very lucrative. Years ago she ran into her own, personal  brick wall: convenient and effective hair removal. She and her brother Howie teamed up to rip out women's body hair and have been laughing their way to the bank ever since. They say do what you love and you'll make money, so that's what Cindy did. But just think how dire and hairy her situation must have been  to build an entire empire around it.
but in her hoo-ha
She's also responsible for attaching tiny, adhesive rhinestones to women's vaginas...or more commonly known as: vajazzling. But more important than accessorizing labias, Cindy is a single mother of twin baby girls (via three years of IVF), quite a feat considering she's in at least her late-forties.   Props are owed. But I'm deducting points for the vajazzling.

Back to the party. Suddenly Jill, Kelly, Luann, Alex and Simon swoop in. Kelly quips  that Alex and Simon would go to the opening of an envelope...which is laughable because Bethenny said the exact same thing four years ago, and Kelly seems to be the biggest bikini-clad famewhore in this bunch. But I can't be bothered with her. She's hurting my head already. Stupid sanctimony should be outlawed. And punishable by amputation of the tongue. Anyparty, this event involves the pretty well-known artist Peter Tunney and some interactive foot-painting, all in the name of cancer research. I felt like Kelly: I didn't quiiiite get it.
huh?
It was supposed to be nouveau and hip and artsy, but there was lots of footage of  very done-up women struggling to get paint off their feet.  Then words like Choos and Guccis and Louboutins were thrown around in slightly panicked tones. Although it's clearly an adult evening, Cindy's baby girls suddenly appear with their nannies.  They make the rounds through the cocktail dresses and ruined pedicures. Jill's nose twitches and her ears point, she senses something. She trolls for information before verbally accosting Cindy about her kids (how'd she get them?) and the father (not a sperm donor? then where is he? not in the picture, why?).  Jill tells the camera: when I asked I noticed she got a little uncomfortable. A normal person might feel awkward or embarrassed, but if you're the new, improved, learned-from-last-year Jill Zarin you wear it like a badge of bitchy honor. Then Jill insists that when you first meet someone, and their children, it is entirely normal to immediately ask about conception and the origins of the sperm.  Truly. No words.
Get the fuck outta here 'Mona,  there's work to be done.
...now what was your most painful experience as a child? I'd like to tell
 everyone here all about it within the next ten minutes...
 ...I'm Jill Zarin by the way.
Before the night is out we meet Brian. He's an artist too. I'm not sure if he has a last name...but I don't think it matters. Brian is Sonja's play thing. Meet Brian everyone:
I'm climaxing right now Brian, be a dear and get me a spritzer.
Sonja clearly fancies herself some sort of Samantha Jones character and Brian is her latest conquest. In one of her interviews she lets us know she doesn't need a man to take care of her, just to fuck her. Niiiice potty mouth Sonja, did the Morgans teach you that?

And with that the night is over.  Way to rally for cancer ladies.

What happened next made me thankful that I'm no longer a member of the work force. 'Mona delivered a truly obnoxious, cringe worthy, and cracked-out performance as she interviewed some pathetically unprepared young women in her search for a second assistant.
Listen to me! Look me in the eye! LOOK. ME. IN. THE. EYE. That's it,
that's it...I know it's scary, but if you want to be a businesswoman like me
 you're going to have to do worse shit than stare into my kooky  corneas.
Three or four girls are paraded through the office and verbally abused by Ramona as she turns the interview process on it's head by making it all about herself. The first girl is introduced as Tunisia, to which Ramona says that's a pretty name, it sounds like a country. Crickets chirp. Then she throws around advice to hapless interviewees like she's running a second-rate self-help seminar: that outfit is all wrong; your personality is weak; looks like you could use some help with skin care, take some products from my skin line. Renew! Refresh! One poor girl meekly told 'Mona the Mean that it was her first interview out of college...then she pooped her pants and ran from the room. Apologies are owed.

It's the Countess's turn to brag next as we catch up with her and her boyfriend from last season, Jacques. They're still together. And he's still working his French accent. LuAnn luuurves it.  They go out to dinner with Sonja and Brian, and I understand why the term "cougar" just. won't. die...it's LuAnn and Sonja's fault. Mostly Sonja's though. It was one sexual innuendo and euphemism after another. On and on and on.  And on. I got bored with it and went to the fridge for a snack. Meh.

Next we're out at the Singer's in the Hamptons. 'Mona is still coked-up and drunk from the night before and won't shut her mouth. Alex and Simon are house guests for the weekend and they're all going to a wedding together.  Jill will be at the wedding too, but doesn't know that Alex and Simon are coming.  Apparently this is a biiiig effing deal.   'Mona's all whispering at the camera and winking and nodding and couldn't be happier.  Alex's eyes bulge and her jaw spasms as she counts the ways she's going to trip Jill up in her own lies. Simon is giddy from all the air-time, and Mario's just trying not to cut his hand with the bagel slicer. It's the best day of their lives.

At the wedding Ramona and Alex do this:
this is for Bethenny

And then Jill and Bahbby do this:
Bahbby! Bahbby! My jaw, pick it up!

What? What Jill? I can't see a thing, my glasses are too dark.
 I'm schvitzing! Zarin Fabrics!

But don't fret, there's still plenty of this to go around:
heaps of the most insincere double-cheek air-kisses ever
Small talk doesn't last as Alex lasers in on Jill's half-truths and out-right lies with hawk-like precision.  Jill squirms and Alex doesn't let a damn thing drop.  First it's who was and who wasn't invited to the wedding. Then it's something about the march on the Brooklyn Bridge...again. Then it's the second shooter on the grassy knoll on a sunny day in Dallas in 1963.  Alex. doesn't. stop.  It's  annoying. It's weird. It's awkward. If I was capable of feeling anything for any of these women, I might feel sorry for Alex because she's putting a big target on her back and making an ass of herself. She's made it her mission to prove that Jill is a squirrley, manipulative liar who has failed miserably in personal-accountability 101.  The problem is: everyone already knows that!  Except Jill...and maybe Bahbby...and probably Kelly. But Alex is desperate for Jill to acknowledge that she sucks heaps and mounds of hairy Zarin balls, and guess what: Jill's not gonna do it. It's exasperating and painful to watch.  I really hope this crap isn't going to play out all season; Jill being a nasty piece of work and Alex being an annoyingly relentless (and futile) truth-seeker aren't mutually exclusive. Meaning: they can both suck at the same time. And they do. But of course Jill sucks more.

Jill declares she was caught off guard and her heart dropped when she saw Alex and Simon get out of 'Mona's car. Wait...what? Your heart drops and you feel betrayed and "set up" because someone you film a reality show with and interact with on a regular basis has shown up at the same place you are. Biiiiiig Brassy eye roll. All of a sudden Jill tells the camera I said I couldn't change and I have changed...no matter what anyone does I'll be nice and kind.  Really Zarin? Is that so? Then prove it.


As a quick, random aside: after the ceremony Ramona gets busted big time for gossiping about Cindy Barshop's brother. This is the visual:
Howie Barshop's girlfriend is ready to beat 'Mona to a pulp.
Much like 'Mona's grapes.
Classic.
It had something to do with the cigar of a dead friend in someone's mouth at the wedding.  Seriously. I'm not channeling Bensimon, that's what they said.  It was pointless, mildly confusing, and a good example of how Bravo was hell bent on packing as much as they could into Episode One. Too much. But I'm sure this tid-bit will come up in later episodes, so tuck this non-sensical nugget away like a good little chipmunk.

Back to the Zarin at hand: At the reception Jill rips 'Mona and Alex to shreds with a bunch of other women, thus proving Einstein's theorem that the nastiness of a Season Four Jill Zarin is equal to, or greater than that of a Season Three Jill Zarin. Duh. Jill sits under a tent, like the fucking Queen of Sheba, and rehashes the march to Brooklyn fiasco with some women who probably don't care but dig the camera time.  She rags on Alex and 'Mona for wearing ivory dresses to a wedding...what, is she channeling my great-grandmother? Is it that big of a deal anymore? Especially in summer? Then she gets really brutal, calling Alex a "fucking bitch" in a veeeery nasty tone and says "look at her, socializing at a party that's so above her." That's what she said.  And she meant it.
Watch me discredit the new "nice and kind me" in a hot minute.
Pay attention, 'cause it's gonna be quick.
Then it was over. There were flashes of camels and thugs in cocktail dresses and grown women crying, but I didn't care. It was over.

Later on Watch What Happens Live, Jill said the final scene at the wedding was a set up; she made those extra-mean remarks about Alex  off camera to a producer and they dubbed it over the "tent conversation". Andy didn't let it slide: But you said it Jill, right? You were miked and you said it...so shut up you miserable cow. But really it didn't matter what she said on WWHL, because all anybody cared about was her new look that matched her  personality perfectly:
UGLY
It's a given that these women are exhausting, but Bravo gave them an extra boost this episode. There's just no way that this pace is sustainable. Please Bravo, settle down. 

5 comments:

  1. Your recap? I laughed, I cried. It was better than Cats. Seriously.

    Does anyone besides me think LuAnn's BF looks like David Schwimmer with long hair? Anyone? Anyone???

    mwah!!!
    Shan

    ReplyDelete
  2. This episode was all over the place, I didn't know if I enjoyed it or was just left with a headache-that whole cigar fiasco was very confusing, but I am sure it will be back again later this season either cleared up or just an even more confusing mess!

    And I think Jill decided to own the villian thing and just pretend like she wants to be nice and likable this season. That must be the explanation for her heinous behavior, if there is one thing I can't stand it was her comment about Alex socializing above her station or what not...so disgusting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. FANTASTIC recap. Good Gawd, I'm going to be visiting every day waiting for the new ones. Thank you for your awesomeness!

    And yeah, I played that cigar explanation over 2-3 times and still couldn't follow it. But RHoNY is definitely the best(and worst) group of the bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  4. cannot wait!!

    http://gawker.com/#!5791763

    ReplyDelete
  5. A. It's spelled 'Mozel Tov'- do you not what WWHL?
    B. The accent you're using for Jill is more Boston. New Yorkers don't say " haaahhhhrd". They don't elongate their vowels, they just sort of forget about the vowels.
    C. Stop calling Ramona 'Mona'

    ReplyDelete

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