And with that – the curdling of some digestive juices, the sluiced skin cells of an old man, the hollow thrum of ping pong pandemonium, the plastic creak of a fake leg, the cinching strain of elastic girdles, the ding of a toaster oven, the pop of a champagne cork as it travels into oblivion – it is all over. Oh, let's not forget the shouting. As the Grinch would say all the noise noise noise noise noise noise noise, the senseless bursts of air hurling forth from the Real Harridans of Gallows Cove. It is enough to make you wish you were deaf, or at least enough to sell your hearing for a comfortable life, which is something that Ramona thinks you can do.
I don't really know what to say about this final episode because, like the second season of forgotten Mexican soap opera ¡Que Viva!, this has basically been the permutation on the same plot line for weeks now. It's sort of like different threads of the same pink cable knit sweater that your sister bought at Joyce Leslie in 1997. As soon as you find a new one, it goes right back to the same nasty garment. This week's new thread is that ¡Que Viva! is pissed at Ramona that Ramona kicked her 80-year-old father George, a sac of scrotum meat, out of a party. Ramona contests that George assaulted her, which is such a misstatement of truth it's like saying that Sonja has slept with a only 10 guys in her life (which is kind of true, because she has slept with 10 to the 10th power guys in her life, so it's both kinda right and not right at all).
Ugh, I'm so sick of everyone being wrong all the time. Yes, everyone is wrong. They should all just go home, lock the door, close the blinds, put a "Gone Fishing" sign in the front door, fall head first into the sofa and just lie there with their asses in the air and think about what they've done for awhile. There are so many things I'm sick of: ¡Que Viva! and Ramona fighting about St. Barts, the way the Countess turns her head to watch two women fight, Jacques' nose hair, Mario's jocular condescension, typing option+1 every time I want to write "¡Que Viva!," jackets, white wine, fake parties for stupid occasions, product lines, pretending like there is a career outside of reality television, boring husbands, pretending like Kelly Bensimon was never an adult mammal that wandered this earth, Heather and Sonja fighting about toaster ovens, gay stylists, overly stuffed couches, fundraisers for children with things wrong with them, fundraisers for diseases I've never heard of, tea, the sleeves on Ramona's red dress that make it look like she's carrying around the bar of her own crucifixion, fashion shows, open bars, liking Heather, cocktail weenies, I'm sick of it. Sick of it all. It's like having the same sandwich every day for lunch. I mean I love sandwiches like strippers love a clean pole, but I don't want to eat the same one every damn day.
That was the one good thing about Carole's ping-pong party. At least it was different, at least it seemed fun, at least Ramona's daughter Avery (who is quite fetching, mature, and well-rounded considering she was raised in the wild by jungle cats which explains why she showed up dressed as Cheetara) came, at least Heather's husband Jonathan (who is tied with ¡Que Viva!'s husband Taco for being the blandest dish at this all-you-can-eat vomitorium) had something to say. At least we had all that. But still I was unfulfilled because ¡Que Viva!, even after a warning from Carole to be on her best behavior, couldn't keep her trap shut about how awful Ramona is, especially after the incident with her father. I'm sorry, ¡QV!, but your father got what he deserved and you got what you deserved too. You don't put your toddler in the deep end if you don't want him to drown and when he does, you can't blame the water, you have to blame yourself.
Anyway, ¡Que Viva! goes for a fitting at Yumzers Tumzers™ for her big gig walking in Heather's charity fashion show (I am sick of every word in that sentence). She wants to wear tights to cover he leg, Heather says no. She wants to wear her hair down, Heather says no, and so does Alyn Topper, the gay stylist whose name I never could have made up even if I was writing a parody of gay stereotypes. Heather basically tells her, "You're a model, you have no say in this." This is what I love about Heather, she is nice and normal, but she is not afraid to stand up for herself or what she believes in with the utmost respect and honesty. We could all learn a thing or two from Heather, like how to engage with shrieking monkeys, how to run a business, and how not to butcher the English language.
The best interaction between these two though was not at the fitting but later when Heather was trying to show ¡Que Viva! how to walk and pose in the show. Because she is Heather Thomas, and this is exactly what she would do, she tells ¡Que Viva! "I'm trying to get the black girl out of you." Yeah, good luck Heather. You have a better shot of finding a drop of water inside a box of chalk as you do of finding a little bit of soul in ¡Que Viva!
Finally the night of the big show arrives and Heather invites all the girls so that she can raise money for liver transplants for little kids. I'm sorry but Samonja has no business attending a charity that is about liver health, none at all. That's like having Jeremy Lin host a celebrity basketball tournament for the Worldwide Rickets Foundation. Also, Sonja left the house in her flapper costume from two Halloweens ago and was wearing this ridiculous headband which proves that she was already drunk when she arrived at the big Kid's Liver Fundraiser.
Backstage ¡Que Viva! is totally trying to mess with Heather's show. She wants to change her outfit, she wants to change her makeup, she wants to take off her pants and jacket (say "take off her pants and jacket" out loud and then laugh and laugh and laugh). Heather tells her no, again. She gives ¡Que Viva! no quarter and no control over how she is going to walk down the runway and it is freaking her out. That's when it dawned on me, ¡Que Viva! is a control freak. She's not just like your normal micromanager she is certifiably insane about control. Think about all her phobias: she doesn't like to fly, she doesn't like elevators, she doesn't like being somewhere where she is not the one who is controlling everything. Even after Heather tells her that she has to wear the look picked out for her, at the last minute ¡Que Viva! takes off the jacket and leaves it backstage. She pathologically can not be out of control for even one minute. She needed to show Heather that she is the one who will determine who own destiny. That control problem, right there, is why she hates Ramona. Ramona isn't a control freak, necessarily, but she is always the center of attention and by dint of that seizes the reigns of whatever cart she's careen through life in, passengers be damned. She and Sonja also like to get completely wasted beyond the point of control. ¡Que Viva! hates that, because the one time she was being controlled by a machine as a young child was the time she lost her leg, now whenever she isn't in the driver's seat, she thinks she is going to die. She hates being out of control. You are welcome for the diagnosis. I should be writing for WebMD.
Speaking of out of control, out front, in the middle of the presentation, Somonja confronts the photographer who took pictures of Sonja, the cook, her toaster oven, and the man she wishes would be her lover. Earlier she had gone to Heather's office and actually was kissed by James, the world's most patient homosexual who designed Sonja's box. He was just so glad to be done with this project and mocked up a package for her and it looked nice and clean and sexy and professional. It was everything Sonja was not, and it is everything what would sell a toaster oven. Sonja was very happy. Then she giggled when someone said "box" and "package," as we all did. But at the benefit, she and Ramona attacked the photographer because he didn't get even more pictures of her alone, of the toaster oven alone, and all the food and stuff. They just talked and cackled through the whole runway show, visible to everyone right in the front row like Anna Wintour on a PCP bender.
The worst part though is that Heather comes from her big presentation and raising a ton of cash and Somonja is like, "Where are the pictures Sonja was promised? She wants them. Make the photographer give them to her." Heather said, "Listen, you can get out of my face with that. Really? This is what you have to say to me?" which was the perfect response. However, if I was writing this shit, she would have said to them, "This is not about you, this is about the CHILDREN. MISSING. LIVERS," just like ¡Que Viva! did when they played hookie from her charity event. But still, her reaction was good. And then she walked away.
Much of the action on season one of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills — a franchise far superior to the one we're currently watching — revolved around words said in an off-camera phone call between Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards that could never be confirmed, because both women refused to change their story. The personalities of those characters and the other plots driving that season made the never-ending war of the phone call fun to watch, but witnessing a similar event on an older franchise with women who have been fighting the same battle for years is another story. If LuAnn and Ramona keep circulating round this ridiculous, impossible to confirm phone call, Real Housewives of New York fans will soon be driven nuttier than Kelly "Top Five Nicest Celebrity" Bensimon.
That being said, last night's Central Park showdown gets a pass, but only because Ramona got so flustered that she offered up the most absurd non-sequitur I've seen in years. Also, hi — I'm Shaunna, and I'll be taking over for Housewives aficionado and UGGS enthusiast Brian Moylan as he gallivants through Canada or something. He'll be back next week, but until then let's dig in to whatever it was that happened on Housewives last night. Did anything happen? That's depends on your definition of "happen", but at least we found out that Heather is Jewish by injection.
As a fun little "getting to know you" exercise, Heather and the woman I will also refer to as Que Viva went on a double date with their husbands, where we found out three very important things: First, that Heather's husband is in fact not related to Oskar Schindler, the legendary German industrialist credited for saving 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. I'm sorry, but if someone on the Bravo network was directly related to someone that selfless I think my brain would explode. We also learned that Heather is "Jewish by injection", which according to Urban Dictionary is a slang term for a Gentile who has had a lot of sex with a Jewish person. Raise your hand if you ever want to hear about Heather's sex life ever again.
Finally, we got to hear Heather's husband Jonathan say that Que Viva's ex-husband Harry slept with both Sonja and LuAnn. This was a total given for Sonja, who later flirted with Peter Griffin's handyman cousin and forgets to wear pants to her own parties. But LuAnn? I'm still not sold. The woman who wrote the lyrics "You can tell where someone's been, Without even asking him, He's either rude or has some style and panache" would never hook up with Sonja's toaster-cooked leftovers.
Actually, another big Housewives faux pas occurred as a result of Heather and Que Viva's dinner: Que Viva told the camera that she didn't approve of Heather's hands-free parenting style. This is fair, because Heather's son could totally date New Jersey's five-year-old psychopath Milania. Heather didn't hear Que Viva say this, but the following scene should prepare Que Viva for the consequences of insulting a Housewife's parenting style — Viva darling, you will be hearing about this for the rest of your life. Remember when Jill and LuAnn said something or other about Alex McCord's little terrors? Yeah, that went on for three years.
Anyway, Ramona and LuAnn met in the park to discuss the supposed blackmail incident, but it didn't go well because in Ramona's house no one talked, you see. They just yelled and screamed, so she has a hard time and LuAnn talks down to her and is not nice and not civil and Pinot Grigio and house parties and so on and so forth. It was really great seeing Ramona scream "you're not listening!" to LuAnn, who maybe got ten words in during their entire conversation. Ramona denied blackmailing LuAnn during the aforementioned off-screen phone call, and reiterated that LuAnn is an absentee parent who leaves little baggies of cocaine for her wayward children while Ramona takes mother-daughter knitting classes with Avery. This went on and on and on and my head started to block things out until LuAnn said, "What other dirty tricks do you have to pull out of your Pinot-filled ass?" At this point you could see Ramona's eyes do that thing, so she spit out some line about having no time to get a manicure, which had nothing to do with anything LuAnn had said and was awesome. "Actually, I do this new thing, it last three weeks. It's like a shellac. It's pretty good. Actually. Which is why." This is an exact quote.
Next Carole met up with Que Viva, her number one fan, at an upscale vintage shop. There we learned that Carole has a no strings attached sort-of relationship with Russ Irwin, who tours with Aerosmith for months at a time. Carole was totally cool with it, and even hit on a 20-something model to prove just how easy-breezy her relationship was. She just doesn't keep track of "those types of things." (Which means she silently celebrates each month's anniversary, waiting for the gift that will never come.) Que Viva, for her part, would never. Her mouth said, "You're so cool," but her face said "the idea of being without my husband for a weekend is giving me anxiety." You guys — Que Viva's obvious neurosis are going to come out, and soon.
We got to see just how totally awesome and cool and nonchalant and laid-back and "insert word for middle-aged people who want to act like 20-somethings here" Carole and Russ' relationship was when he picked her up for a late-night drive through the city, after an especially blah trip to Los Angeles. "You didn't miss anything in LA, because it's always the same," he said. "It's like Groundhog's Day." Deep. Their drive and the accompanying music reminded me of Taxicab Confessions, and now I'm embarrassed that I left New York for Los Angeles, because I care about what Russ and Carole think of me.
Let's get to Sonja: The poor, lovable floozy's house was in a state of disrepair. She hired some builders or fixers or whatever they're called to reduce the mess, and made a big show about Hurricane Irene and her intern's boobs to impress the "hot" handyman Rich — she wanted to cook for him in her toaster oven. I think that's a sexual thing. The main takeaway from this scene was that Sonja has her live-in intern call her "Mrs. Morgan." Let that one sink in.
Later, after terrible Heather threw a party for her VERY recently-deceased father in the Berkshires — which was touching, if a little strange — Que Viva officially joined Team Ramona when she joined the wailing wino for lunch. Viva didn't like it when LuAnn tried to get the newbies on her side by gossiping about Ramona behind her back, because she greatly prefers the kind of person who stabs you in the front. I do too, but Viva has absolutely no clue what she's getting herself into here. Befriending an honest, straightforward communicator is one thing, getting in bed with Ramona is something else entirely. Something dark; something that can only be understood after three and a half bottles and several hours of deep hypnosis. Anywho, Ramona stressed that LuAnn needed to get a job, because her YouTube "singing career" wasn't keeping her occupied enough to leave Ramona alone. Ugh, Ramona. The jealousy is crystal clear. Maybe Ramona can duet with Melissa Gorga at the next reunion.
Finally, it was time for a Housewives staple: An LGBT event, where Sonja was to present a prestigious award. Ramona finally got an opportunity to bond with Carole, and was very impressed when she learned that Carole was an ABC spokesperson. ABC spokespeople get to hang out with Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer, and those are the top people. No, Ramona — don't you know what network you're on? Andy Cohen is the top people. Thirty lashes and five Hail Marys. Sonja was too busy living it up in the green room to make her cue, and this dramatic event was presented by Bravo as a commercial-break cliffhanger. Geez, where is Alison DuBois when you need her? Eventually Sonja made it, and adequately presented the award for... Best Outdoor Camping. No, seriously — that was it. Sonja congratulated herself on a job well done, danced with some drag queens, and the city went to sleep.
Be sure to check back for Brian's recap next week, because it looks like Mario might hit on Carole. Escándalo!
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: BRAVO]
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