The Bitches Are Back- A Real Housewives of New York Recap for Season 9- Episodes 1&2

“I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch. Oh, the bitch is back. Stone cold sober as a matter of fact. I can bitch, I can bitch cause I’m better than you. It’s the way that I move, the things that I do.” Elton John, The Bitch is Back

Hello everyone and welcome to my first-ever Real Housewives recap. I meant to write this last week, after the premiere of the new season, but I didn’t, for a lot of reasons, but mostly because my kid has been on spring break so I couldn’t find the time. Whatever the reason (laziness, being busy, not drinking wine on the weekdays- it’s a long story) I just want to start by explaining why I decided to recap RHONY.  First and foremost, Bravo is my religion and I will pretty much watch anything Saint Andrew Cohen deems worthy of my viewing pleasure, but of all the housewives franchises, I think New York may be the crown jewel. I know OC is the OG, and I watch every season, but I just can’t connect with those ladies the way I do my NYC housewives. And Beverly Hills is great- I have watched every moment of every episode- but when you live in Los Angeles, it almost doesn’t have the same aspirational quality. I mean, don’t get me wrong- I’m hardly having high tea in the garden of Villa Rose with Hanky and Panky like Queen Vanderpump, but after 15 years in SoCal, the glamour of the Los Angeles franchise doesn’t measure up somehow. Watching the women of New York be driven around the city to all their fave restaurants and hotspots on the upper east side, shopping their days away, all the while living in fabulous town houses is somehow a fun escape for a die-hard West coaster like myself.

Before we get into anything regarding the episodes, let’s discuss the new taglines. First up is Dorinda, with “I tell it like it is, but I always make it nice,” a thinly-veiled reference to her amazing and unforgettable Berkshires meltdown last season. Next up is Ramona, squawking in her shrill voice, “I’m an acquired taste. You don’t like me? Acquire some taste.” Then we have Sonja, with the brilliant, “There’s nothing grey about my gardens.” Um, this we know, “Sonja with a sexy J” because you have been very clear about the fact that you have no “garden” in your lady parts. Carole is next, with “In the politics of friendship, I win the popular vote.” Um, only if Bethenny is the one voting, sweetheart. Luann of course has to mention her upcoming nuptials, so hers is, “The only title I’d trade Countess for is wife.” Again, as always, it’s about Tom. Then of course, Bethenny has to come in last, with her signature bitchy tone saying, “If you’re going to take a shot at this B, you better not miss.” I’m going to come clean straight away about my distaste for Bethenny. When she started, years ago, she was my favorite. I thought she was funny, authentic, and most of all, genuine in her search to find love and have a baby. As a woman in my mid-30s when RHONY began, I totally related to her ticking clock and her fears that it just might not happen for her. And then she got married, and right after that, her business became successful and she got very, very wealthy and when she came back two seasons ago, I couldn’t stand her. I don’t know if it was the money or the divorce or what, but I think she is a truly mean person who enjoys hurting other people. That said, she makes great television, because love her or hate her, we can’t stop watching her.

There were a few highlights of episode one and one of them is that Ramona seems to have a brand-new face. Sister has had some WORK DONE. Maybe next time she will do it early enough in the off season that her face has a chance to settle a little before she starts shooting again. She also has a new contractor named Mario, who she asks to set her up with someone. She’s redoing her apartment, so I guess poor Mario is going to have to spend a lot of time with her. Carole and Adam are still going strong, and it appears that he has moved in, though it’s hard to tell for sure because every time Adam speaks, he talks with that stoner cadence that makes  the end of every sentence sound like a question. I’m not sure if he is always high or just disheveled and messy, but whatever it is, I’m not into what he’s selling. I know they like to market Adam as some “hot chef” that swept Carole off her feet, but I think he’s probably just happy to have a sugar mama so he can keep creating “interesting food with radishes” or some shit. Anyway, Carole’s whole Sex and the City “I don’t know where this relationship is going” is tired, and by the looks of her face this season, I think she may have greatly overestimated the amount of good summers she had left last year when she called for five. She, too, has had some work done and it’s not good.

Sonja is in a play called “Sex Tips for Straight Women by Gay Men” and can’t remember a single line she’s supposed to say at her rehearsal, even though the show seems to be coming to the end of its run. She is also seen washing her vibrators and other such sex toys in her dishwasher, and I’m not so sure that’s sanitary, as she has told us many times before that her brokedown palace doesn’t have hot water. As for Luann and Dorinda, they seem to have formed their own little club, and Lu says that even though she is inviting 250 people to her upcoming wedding, Dorinda is the only one of the housewives who scored an invite. Luann is on the wedding diet, which I’m assuming consists only of Marlboro Reds and straight vodka, but whatever, cause it’s working for her. She has never looked thinner. Dorinda also looks amazing, and I like her so much that I’m going to pretend it’s not from the coke that everyone claims she and John the Sweaty Drycleaner like to partake in. Dorinda is pissed at Sonja for saying bad things about her in the press, Lu is pissed at Sonja and Ramona, presumably for having previously hooked up with Tom and they walk and talk in the park to air their grievances.

Meanwhile, Bethenny is trying to sell her Tribeca apartment, after finally getting her freeloading ex to move out of it, and in a Bravo cross-promotion moment, of course Fredrik from Million Dollar Listing New York is her broker. Fredrik wants to price the apartment lower than Bethenny does and she argues with him, claiming “I’ve broken records before.” It’s interesting to watch the two of them in scenes together because he is so likable and she is… not. But wouldn’t you know it- a few days later, he gets an all-cash offer for the full ask- Bethenny’s price, not his- and she does a smug little dance on the couch that makes me hate her so hard. As if she needs any more money. Soon she goes to Sonja’s house to collect some clothes for her Dress for Success charity, where Sonja is delusional and crazy, as usual. They talk shit about Luann and her wedding and B says she would only attend if it was “a paid appearance.”

Soon we get to see the inside of Lu and Tom’s apartment, and I have to say, I kind of get why she wants to get married if those digs are part of the deal. The editors do us a solid by focusing on a tacky cookie jar that is emblazoned with the words “Tommy’s cookies” and was surely made for him by a bored ex-girlfriend who spent an afternoon at Color Me Mine. Lu talks to her wedding planner and it’s pretty clear that they are planning on really blowing the doors off with this wedding. Lu, however, apparently doesn’t have time to get her nails done, cause the editors throw some shade by doing an extreme close-up of her man hands and her busted manicure.

Dorinda goes to Ramona’s and they chat a bit. Ramona tells Dorinda that she “enjoyed John” recently and also complains about not being invited to Luann’s bridal shower. She tries to gossip about Lu and Tom’s relationship and Dorinda shuts it down quickly. She really is the best. Then we see Carole and Bethenny at B’s apartment and all Carole wants to do is talk about the upcoming election. Bethenny seems so annoyed by it that one can only assume she’s a Trump supporter, which I’m totally okay with because it gives me yet another reason to dislike Ms Frankel. She calls Carole “crazy” and obsessed.

Then Ramona and Luann meet for lunch and the temperature is frosty, at best. Ramona accuses Tom of cheating and Luann of putting up with it, Luann accuses Ramona of trying to “stir shit up like Nancy Drew.” The conversation goes in circles and Ramona basically says that she “hopes it works out” but also hopes that they don’t crash and burn. So, basically, even with the brand-new face, it’s still the same Ramona.

Episode 2 starts with Sonja frantically waiting on her guest, who turns out to be the newest housewife, the former socialite Tinsley Mortimer. Apparently she is just coming back to New York after a few years and is going to be Sonja’s “houseguest” while she gets herself sorted out.  Tinsley is much younger than these other seasoned NY broads and she’s pretty.  If she sticks with the show, however, I give her one year before she starts overfilling her lips and cheeks a la Brandi Glanville, formerly of RHOBH.  Sonja tries to give her some life advice and it’s all I can do not to laugh at that. I mean, I love Sonja, but I don’t think she’s in any position to tell anyone how to get their shit together.

We go to Bethenny’s apartment where she is dressed as a cat because apparently it’s Halloween. Carole comes over and so does Ramona, who in typical Ramona fashion, refuses to take her shoes off even though B asks her to because she has two new puppies, Biggie and Smalls. Ramona admonishes Bethenny for not telling her about the dogs, likening it to someone having a new baby and not disclosing it. Um, not really the same thing, Ramona, but okay. They all gossip about Lu’s bachelorette party and Ramona says she “knows something” about Tom and Luann but thinks that Luann’s “ignorance is bliss.” They also gossip a bit about Sonja’s new houseguest Tinsley and B seems to delight in the fact that she (Tinsley) “crashed and burned” a few years back. Carole then invites them to an election night party at her house and a fight ensues over Hilary’s emails and Carole gets pissed. Meanwhile Luann and her daughter Victoria shop for hats for a “Mad Hatter” party which then begs the question- aren’t these women a little old to be dressing up like kittens and Mad Hatters? She is saying that Sonja is jealous of her relationship with Tom because of their previous “tryst.”

Tinsley is excited to be back in New York. She says that she married the first guy she ever slept with (some rich guy named Topper Mortimer) and ended up getting divorced three years ago. She tells Sonja that she froze her eggs, so she doesn’t seem too worried about being childless at 41. Apparently, she is very bad at dating, as her last relationship ended with her being arrested for trespassing on his property after they broke up, hence the infamous(?) mugshot with her fake lashes. If anyone can relate to dating/stalking much younger dudes, it’s Sonja, so she is sympathetic. Tinsley also talks about how she used to be an “it-girl” on the social scene and says her family by marriage had an old history (read: buckets of cash) and that she had an “almost perfect life.”

Meanwhile, Dorinda goes to cryotherapy (which is a way for rich people to lose weight that doesn’t involve lines of cocaine but also doesn’t involve exercise) and Ramona meets her there. Of course Ramona won’t do the cryotherapy, but she will talk a lot about Luann and Tom. Dorinda isn’t having it, so Ramona says she will “shut the pandora box.” I love how Ramona always gets phrases almost right in a way that sounds so wrong. Then we see Dorinda shopping with her daughter Hannah, who has gotten her own place thanks to her daddy’s money. I kind of love their dynamic.

Apparently Sonja is the host of the “Mad Hatter” party and Tinsley is doing some kind of manual labor to help get ready for it. Something tells me she hasn’t done much of that in her life. Ramona arrives and her hair looks like it desperately needs a deep conditioning treatment. She offends Sonja’s neighbor by not remembering her, even though they have apparently met several times. Sonja is mad at Ramona for not wearing enough color and she also says she didn’t invite Dorinda because she’s still mad about the Berkshires, among other things. Carole gets all judgmental about “socialites” and Bethenny arrives and calls it the “happy hour of the upper east side for the crusty vagina crowd.” Um, pot meet Kettle- you’re black. I hardly think she with so many vagina issues from just last season should throw stones, as B is hardly a spring chicken herself. God, I hate her so hard. Anyway, Ramona plays coy about potentially having a hickey and Tinsley helps Sonja with her lashes and says she’s nervous about meeting the other ladies. Sonja has hired a psychic for the event, natch, and soon after, Luann arrives wearing a hat and a very interesting get-up. At least Sonja can’t accuse Lu of not wearing enough color. Bethenny comes armed with Skinny Girl merch, because how could she pass up an opportunity for product placement, and Tinsley notices right off the bat that B is pretty unfriendly. Sonja and Luann fight over Tom- Sonja thinks she’s been “left out” of the wedding party because of her “truth” and Luann thinks Sonja wants Tom. Sonja’s bitchy borrowed butler makes fun of Luann’s outfit and I kind of hope he becomes a permanent fixture in the cast. Tinsley pretty much decides she doesn’t like Bethenny, to which I say, welcome to the club.

Overall, these weren’t the most exciting first two episodes to start off a season, but I think we have some potential. Based on the previews, there looks to be some drama brewing for the weeks ahead, and I am here for it. And of course we have Luann and Tom’s wedding to look forward to, so that should provide something juicy. I don’t know if anything can top last season, but I am hopeful. And I promise to make future recaps much more timely, since my kid is back at school. See you in a few days for episode three. Cheers.

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RhonicaPetty

Mama. Wife. Writer. Yogi. Wino. Book lover. Bad reality tv expert. Cheese enthusiast. Jack of all trades, master of none

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