What kind of person promos the heck out of the premiere of her favorite housewives franchise and then sleeps through it? This one. Apologies for crashing out, but during Benadryl season even the allure of my ladies returning can’t keep my eyes open. Thankfully Bravo had the stream up early, so I’m not too far behind the conversational curve. So let’s start spreading the news!
I almost titled this blog “Bethenny Who?” I decided against it, because I knew many people would take it the wrong way. For me, RHONY has always been an ensemble cast. All of these women have had shining moments and cringe-worthy ones. I think that it’s proven throughout its history that you can remove half of the cast and still the show will go on. I don’t feel like this season is any different. I’m glad they addressed it, but I’m also glad it was brief.
The taglines this year are pretty on par to what they’ve always been. Sonja’s still a brand, Tinsley’s still a Disney princess, and Luann is still pimping her show. The clear hands-down winner for me was Leah with, ” “I may float like a butterfly, but I sting like a b!tch.” Whether it’s an actual foreshadowing of what’s to come is still TBD, but it hooked me like a fish and I want to know more.
Out of the gate we meet up with Sonja and Luann outside the courthouse. Luann’s probation is finally over and even the street vendor is celebrating. I hope with the P.O. shaped monkey off of her back, we can get back to a less stressed and more present version of Lu. Her talk with Sonja on the park bench made me feel like there’s a glimmer of hope that she’ll become a little more self aware.
A french-braided, hoop wearing Tinsley shows up to a boxing gym and formally introduces us to Leah. She’s far less made up than Tins, and I’m taking it as a good sign. I’m here for a grounded and tough chick. She might even rub off a little on Tinsley, which would be a welcome change. Martin, the boxing coach, was definitely not having any of Tinsley’s fashionista self when she tried explaining to him that her hoops were her signature. Martin’s IDGAF attitude was many of us.
Dorinda and John being domestic seems odd, especially knowing that they’ve since broken up. She did tip us off a little when she shared that familiarity breeds contempt. Between that and allowing him to burn his hand on a hot pan, it’s safe to say the writing is on the wall. Before any plans for that happen though, an end of summer party is on the to-do list.
Ramona is still trying to make Missy happen, but considering there was a cast opening and Missy is still a friend of, I doubt we’ll see much of her unless Tom rears his head again. So we’ll focus on Elyse trying to console Ramona in her loneliness. I’ve seen a lot of murmuring about how pathetic it was for Ramona to want a man so badly, and I call bunk. Some people aren’t good alone. They crave company and companionship. Just because that’s not what you need in life, doesn’t make it pathetic for someone else to feel that way. I actually felt for her when she shared that she realized her antics were a form of escapism from her loneliness. It was one of the most relatable moments I’ve had with her in years.
We get to see Leah in a mom role, which is something I’ve missed on this franchise. I loved getting to watch Avery grow up on screen, so it’s nice that Kier is part of the package. She’s already giving me sage wisdom vibes, and I can’t help but marvel at how normal the kids of housewives seem in comparison to their mothers.
Sonja proves that you can take the divorcée out of the townhouse, but you can’t take the hoarder out of the divorcée. Not to go all armchair psychologist, but I feel like this stems from once being super wealthy, to now having less. When you don’t know if you’ll regain that status or not, you tend to not want to let go of things you might never be able to replace. Don’t ask me to explain the inflatable flamingo though, because I’m stumped there.
Ramona drops by and to be honest I was so distracted by Marley’s attempts at mounting Coco, that I missed a big chunk of the conversation. I do know that Sonja is adjusting to Quincy starting her life at college and leaving Sonja behind. I’ve been an empty-nester for years now, so I get where she’s coming from. She seems to have a solid perspective on it though.
We’ve made it to Dorinda’s End of Summer Party and as she’s glammed up by Luke, I’m waxing nostalgic for Caroline Stanbury and the Ladies of London where we were first introduced to him. Dorinda is telling him how great and fun Tinsley is, which will seem even stranger as the party progresses.
The guests start to arrive and the token male obsession is one of Ramona’s former conquests William. Apparently Ramona can get it, because he’s not too shabby. I had to laugh when she walked in though because she walked right past Sonja, Tinsley, and Leah at the bar without even nodding or saying hello. Death, taxes, and Ramona being Ramona are all guarantees in life.
Dorinda commences to speechifying, and it’s slurless for a change. She points out how she felt this party was important, because it would bring them back together after being scattered over the summer. Her attempt to unify them didn’t stop with just words when it came to her relationship with Luann. She announces a special guest and in struts Chelsea Piers to the music of “Feeling Jovani.” Lu seemed truly wowed by the gesture, so at least one of the cracks from last season has been repaired.
One that won’t be so easy to mend is Dorinda’s relationship with Tinsley. They head off to the side and Tinsley in a moment of true maturity whips out the “Not the time and place” card and suggests they meet up at another time to hash things out. I’m unsure if Dorinda really didn’t want to wait, or if reconciliation was never her plan, but lets just say it didn’t go well. The argument over transparency spills past their one on one and into the group as well. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but in this very moment I’m team Tinsley, and not just because Dorinda’s one-liners are leaving a lot to be desired. The reaction just seems highly disproportionate to what the issue is. Here’s a tip, Dorinda. Drama follows you all everywhere organically. There’s no need to force it. You don’t want to come off like Leah’s description of you…
Everything coming up in the previews seems like a delicious oasis in the desert landscape of reality TV right now. I can’t wait to experience it all with you!
Don’t forget to check out the podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/35-real-housewives-new-york-season-12-episode-1-back/id1482301675?i=1000470612364