Saturday, May 07, 2011

RHNY recap: THERE IS A PECKING ORDER

Excuse me what?

Come again?

A pecking order? Oh no, back the eff up. She cannot be serious. Can she? Holy shit, she is. Sonja Morgan believes there is a legit social hierarchy to the toxic bullshit that is The Real Housewives of New York.  Or at least that's what she's going with to get as much air time as possible.  Whatever the twisted logic behind the madness, it's Sonja's gospel to preach. And preach she does. Ah-men and hallelujah. She fancies herself the social director and relationship liaison for the Real Housewives' elite. And she's gonna educate the rest of those ignorant, low brow bitchez if it's the last thing she does.
More important than Sonja's imaginary social stations for the Housewives, is that fact that affected, pompous, self-important android-Sonja is here to stay. We're not getting our old Sonja back. I suggest you bust out the black veils, hankies and get your mourning on. RIP Season Three Sonja.  Maybe last year was the real deal and this charade is exactly that, a charade. A rouse. A character she's playing. It doesn't really matter because Sonja can't un-ring this bell. She's gone by way of Jill Zarin--this display won't be forgotten no matter the mea culpa she may give in the future.

Just to refresh: a lot of people, myself included, liked Jill way back when. Remember Bethenny's Jill Zarin is like black licorice, you either love her or you hate her analogy? Which was pretty much true at the time, but  then the black licorice got bitter and rotten and spoiled and power hungry and even  the president of the Black Licorice Admiration Society got sick of it, spit it out, and swore it off forever. Remember? 

It's a chicken or the egg thing: is this what Sonja/Jill/whatever-Housewife was like all along and their true colors finally came through like their natural mousy-brown roots through their high-priced high-lights? Or, did the attention ("fame" is just too strong a word) go to straight to their head? We'll never know. And I don't  really care, but it is a stunning spectacle and transformation to behold.  Nothing like watching someone self destruct in real time.

Speaking of transformation, Jill's back from Australia. She's returned to Manhattan with finger-puppet kuala nick-knacks and glad tidings for all. She went through some sort of meangirl-detox and sweetheart-rejuvenation during her trip Down Under, and has sworn off gossip and drama. Riiiiiiight.
G'day Cuntess!
Similar to a lifelong alchi walking into a bar to "test" himself, Jill hits the ground running and goes out to lunch with Sonja, LuAnn, and Kelly.  They fill Jill in on 'Mona's shenanigans the week before at Cindy's Quogue party...and yes, the mere mention of going to Quogue made Jill shudder just like everyone else. An interesting reaction from someone who just spent 20-something hours flying to the other side of the world. Australia? Yes. Quogue? Not on your life. Anyquogue, the majority of the lunch was spent prepping Kelly for the peace-summit she'd be attending with Arafat and Netanyahu at Camp David...or was it her lunch with 'Mona? Hard to know. Sonja impersonates Ramona. Kelly talks about a threatening text she got from 'Mona that wasn't actually threatening in the least, just stupid. The three other ladies share a shit!-has-she-lost-it-again glance, but they let Kelly's delusions slide because they've already picked her for their team and there's no backsies in this game.

Next we swing by the Van Kempens'--for no apparent reason other than because a producer wants us to see Alex McCord doing something besides fighting and reconciling with a cast mate.  Breaking-up and making-up must really be all she does, because they clearly scraped the bottom of the footage-barrel. We watch her and Simon surprise their sons, Sarkozy and Millpied, with a piano. 
Jonesing for a Wii like Bensimon  craves jelly beans.
The boys don't give two fancy, French shits. In fact they appear so limp and and lifeless I wonder if they care about much besides the effort required to take their next breath. They look  like they've been dead-bored all their lives. Please don't misunderstand me: expanding children's horizons is worth the effort, even when they resist. However I wouldn't be surprised if the only toys the Van Kempen kids are allowed are some exquisite jacks whittled out of organic fruitwood by a free-range Tibetan monk, paired with a ball made from the extract of rubber trees grown exclusively in foothills of the Himalayas. Anyfun, Alex insists Francoise luuuuurves the piano and he and his Julliard educated teacher are having some sort of steamy, piano love affair.  Weird.  The whole scene was awkward and painful and a little disconcerting.  Maybe it's an "on camera" thing, but Simon and Alex interact with their kids the way people who aren't at ease with children think  people who are comfortable with kiddos speak. Go ahead and read that last bit again if you need to, it's a clumsy sentence but I'm keeping it in.

Kelly and Ramona have lunch because they both want to talk in circles about how their non-relationship.  It's a great use of time. Kelly is unsure of her ability to keep up with 'Mona's high level of nonsensicalness, so she brings Sonja  for back up.  I can't recap the actual conversation because although I understood the words spoken, the sequential order of said words made no fucking sense whatsoever. None. Needless to say, the air has been cleared and their friendship that-never-was is now back on track to never going anywhere ever again.  See? No sense at all. I told you so. 
Whatever you say Sonja.
Oh, and Sonja took all the credit...for what I don't know, but she took credit. As far as I could tell all she did was point out that Romona wore a funky outfit in honor of downtown-Kelly and Kelly wore a blue blazer out of respect for uptown-'Mona. see? They really are kindred spirits. Interview-android-Sonja wonders why Cindy didn't want this to happen.

Fresh from the natural high of achieving peace in the Middle East, Sonja has Cindy to her house for tea to dress her down for trying to rise above her Housewife social station.  And from the look of things Sonja will use a crow bar if need be to wedge Cindy back into her place.  Last week Cindy stepped on Sonja's toes by warning Kelly away from the toaster-oven ambush.  Android-Sonja (who from this point forward will be referred to as just Sonja) is in rare form.  Cindy's strike one is making pleasant small talk with Sonja's house man (!) or butler or whatever. Cindy even dances with him because it turns out he's not a butler, he's an out of work dancer.
Sonjism #461: A real lady never acknowledges the staff.
I thought the danceing was funny and endearing. Sonja didn't.  Cindy! Cindy that's not what one does when one comes to someone's home. Fuck you Sonja.  Interview-Sonja says she's got years of experience in the world of society and she's seen girls like Cindy come and go. No really Sonja, fuck you. Then she pulls this bullshit mother-hen-let-me-take-you-under-my-wing thing and Cindy isn't buying it.  Strike two.  Sonja let's Cindy know that no one wanted to go to Quogue but they went for Ramona, not for Cindy--I'm pretty sure they went for the reality show you're all filming together, so fuck you again Sonja. Cindy's strike three is not showing proper humility when Sonja calls her out for not having a kegger of Pinot Grigio ready for Ramona the minute she touched down on the moon got to Quogue.  Sonja knocked it out of the park by letting Cindy know that no one would know you if it wasn't for Ramona...there's a pecking order.


Now say it with me one last time: FUCK. YOU. SONJA.

She's got the snide, contemptuous, condescension of the Cuntess combined with Ramona's tactless, unfiltered, thoughtless babble, and then there's a touch of Zarin-meangirl thrown in for good measure. The perfect storm.

Cindy was gobsmacked to say the least. And Sonja? Sonja was proud of herself for a job well done.

Unreal. Literally, Sonja can't be for real with this bullshit.  If the RHNY crew was the mob, Sonja would be the consigliere to Ramona's godfather, telling Cindy to kiss 'Mona's ring.

Speaking of Ramona....we get a breather from thinking when we stop by one of her jewelry hocking parties.  She earnestly tells the camera that she's thought of a great new way (!!) to do bidness: develop a trickle down selling system powered by women pushing her True Faith Jewelry in their homes.  Brilliant 'Mona! Except someone everyone already thought of that idea...about 75 years ago.  It's called an in-home selling pyramid scheme.
Daahling, the Cuntess doesn't DO Tupperware parties.
LuAnn shows up to pass judgement on every detail--she's rude and patronizing and full of herself. She makes a SUPER snobby crack about how Ramona's pronunciation of an Italian vineyard makes it sound like it's on Long Guyland.  'Mona's ignorant pronunciation is one thing, but someone who talks out of her stuck-up, puckered asshole really shouldn't be mocking any geographic population's accent. But even she pales next to Sonja. The Cuntess is going to have to up her game if she wants to remain Top Twat.

Next we catch up with Cindy walking with Kelly in Central Park. She tells the tale of Sonja manhandling her like my three year-old abuses a six pack of Playdough.  They seem to genuinely run into Ginger walking Jill--interestingly enough it's probably one of the few random, spontaneous encounters in the history of all Housewifery. Kelly retells Cindy's story to Jill.  All three of them are slack jawed--of course that's nothing new for Kelly, but Jill and Cindy are truly stumped.
Best guess as to what this one's inner monologue was...
...upon hearing Sonja fancies 'Moner the leader of the pack (!!!).
Under most circumstances I would take real issue with Cindy running to Kelly and Jill for comfort, but it's clear she's suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder so I'll let it pass.  I mean, she just found out she's the lowest of the low on the Housewife food chain, that's gotta make you question everything you've ever known.

Sonja makes fish for LuAnn and Kelly in her now famous toaster oven. The Cuntess makes her nervous, but the meal comes out okay anyway.  Sonja says she cooked for the Churchills in Saint Tropez using a toaster oven. I'm confident that's a lie. 

We wrap Episode Five up by toggling back and forth between two sets of Housewives talking through their Real-feelings and House-junk . I'll spare you the white knuckling and deal with one pair at a time. 

First up, Jill must've blacked out and somehow wandered into Brooklyn. She says to herself: eff it, as long as I'm here maybe Alex will believe me if I tell her I've always really liked her and I want to be friends again. Gotta start somewhere. She knocks on the Van Kempen's door and Alex doesn't slam it shut in her face.  They chat.  Alex talks to her in a manner similar to how one might negotiate a rabid, 'roided-up, two ton bull out of jumping off the George Washington Bridge. She tells her you can't expect me to be okay with you saying mean things about me, my husband, my children, and my very existence.  Jill seems tolerable.  Three quarters of what she says is bullshit, but she's coming from a place of give-me-a-chance-and-let's-move-on-so-I'm-not-the-bad-guy-anymore.  Alex is skeptical, but agrees to take a whack at it.  Jill talks her into doing some hocus-pocus thing she picked up on her walkabout in the outback and they write their feelings down and burn them.  Time to hug.
We'll see about all this, now won't we.  I wonder what odds Vegas has on this peace accord lasting.

So as much as Alex and Jill's sit-down might be called a success (questionable use of the word), Cindy's talk with Ramona is a huge ball of flaming failure. Think Hindenburg and you're half way there.  Of course most conversations with Ramona are inconclusive, farcical train wrecks. However this one is so nutty that I'm convinced there's an off-limits back story to which we aren't privy. It hurts me to say it, but I couldn't follow this conversation either. Is there something wrong with me?? Seriously, is there? You'd tell me if there was, right? Because I can take it, I swear...


Anywife, they sit down for dinner and Ramona gets a glass of Pinot Grigio (big surprise), Cindy understandably orders a martini... 'Mona takes issue with ordering hard alcohol.  I'm confident I don't need to explain the 23 reasons why 'Mona's reaction is so laughable. She makes a comment about the drink order and the dinner is already off to a dismal start.  I think Cindy thanked 'Mona for the call apologizing for her Quogue behavior; Interview-Cindy says she wants a sit down just to get her hands around 'Mona's apology.  Smart lady.  Cindy talks about how they're friends and she wants to clear the air so they can just move forward, but it's hard to have a conversation with a half-drunk cinder block wall shrouded in barbed wire--otherwise know as 'Mona. So they just stare at each other.  And look.  And stare some more.  It was like a high noon shoot out in some Gary Cooper western and the tumble weeds were rolling down main street while the shop keepers slammed their shutters closed. Nothing. Suddenly Ramona starts babbling about Quogue being a kids party and she wanted a good time with her husband and Cindy's party wasn't a good time and then there wasn't any pinot and Cindy knows she likes pinot and when Cindy has been married 18 years maybe she'll understand.

Whoops.  I don't care how confident and comfortable and secure Cindy is, I'm pretty sure telling an almost 50 year-old SINGLE woman that she'll understand when she's married isn't good.  In fact it's dismissive. And thoughtless.  And exclusionary.  And a game changer


Cindy cuts Ramona off with  if you're just going to teach me, then fine. Let's stand down.


STAND DOWN. I like that, and I will implement that phrase into my everyday vernacular immediately and with great gusto. 


They sit in silence and then Ramona scurries away. Cindy has been beaten to a pulp this week by the bruisers known as the Real Housewives of New York.  Get your shit together Cindy, it's going to be a loooooong season.


In conclusion, I'm sending this recap (along with some love) out to the town of Quogue, Long Island. It took me a minute to figure out, but I've been there.  It's nice.  More than nice, it's lovely.  It's not an over-affected, over-priced, over-stimulated, over-populated (often with douche bags) MAD HOUSE like Theeeee Hamptons.


Hang tough Quoque, you're a little bit of all right and don't you forget it.

Image credit: NY Post, Bravo, and wikispaces.com

3 comments:

  1. I think I found you posting at SGM, and oh I love reading you! and I especially like your dedication to the poor town of Quogue;-) and the phrase Stand Down ....I'd forgotten that one:) thanks for the laughs this morning!

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  2. You're welcome for the laughs Tracey, thanks for the compliment :) The Housewives are dishing up some good stuff lately, so it's pretty easy to just stay put and recap. I'm glad you like it! And yes, SGM gets a cut of all the proceeds.
    Go Quogue!

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  3. Pinot brings out the alcohol drinker in everyone.

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