The Real Housewives of New York City was originally presented as a collection socialites living the high life in the Big Apple. After Bethenny Frankel’s insane success with “keep it real” commentary and consistent branding, the show’s tone changed. It evolved (or devolved, depending who you ask) into one of the yell-iest and most product-pushing of the Bravo reality series. The latest season has gone full tilt wacky with the ladies acting as wild and crazy as possible.
It seems like this season is focused on wringing the wildest and craziest drama out of the women. Considering some housewives drink like it’s an Olympic sport, pick fights pathologically, and others are just duds, we’ve ranked the housewives by their level of crazy.
Bethenny is the most successful of the New York housewives, and the sanest. Let’s be honest, if she can star on a reality show, share personal upheavals in her life unabashedly, and still stay on-brand, she’s a genius. Whenever she lost her temper or got emotional, there was a somewhat reasonable motivation or antagonist. She’s always forthcoming; despite issues with her marriage and her past, she’s never been dishonest or inauthentic. She’s by far one of the realest housewives. She may have issues, but who doesn’t?
Diagnosis: Crazy smart.
It may be controversial to consider kooky Alex to be one of the most level-headed of the bunch. Yes, her husband Simon van Kempen is eccentric. Yes, she is one of those pretentious parents who insist on speaking French to her children but not establishing rules for behavior. Yes, she and her spouse give off a distinctly swingeresque vibe. All that being said, after putting on airs in the first season, she has become really authentic in her time on Real Housewives. She treated the show like her job because it was. She showed up, engaged, and voiced her opinion. Who wouldn’t want to get out of an office and make money on TV to spend more time with their family? She currently hosts various web series where she shares her take on the show but openly references what producers are doing based on her experience. She may seem a little nervous on camera and make strange fashion choices, but what she says and how she says it all feel very legit.
Diagnosis: A little kooky, but mostly grounded.
Heather seems real, authentic, and something of a smart businesswoman. She is also pushy, opinionated, and far from perfect. This doesn't make her abnormal. The only thing that does is her fixation on using hip-hop vernacular. She continuously wants to remind people of her connections to P. Diddy and Beyonce. She has roots in clothing design and worked on their lines... but being a involved with the company does not make you personal friends. This also cannibalizes anyone recognizing her actual clothing brand. Keep that in mind, holla!
Diagnosis: Compulsive namedropper; use of “Holla” may be a nervous tic.
Carole is a tough nut to crack. In her first season on the show, she seemed the sanest of the bunch. She also seems like legitimate New York aristocracy given her Kennedy connections, Princess title, and career as a successful writer. However, her willingness to get into the muck this season shows some cracks in the façade. It calls into question how real she is. Is she a pathological social climber? Obsessive narcissist? Also, how do we know if her book was or was not ghostwritten?
Diagnosis: Slightly suspect.
Kristen may not be doing anything for feminism by excusing her lack of intelligence with her looks. However, she’s does seem like a genuinely involved mother and a career model. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Her penchant for saying bizarre things seems to be more a symptom of being unchallenged for being tall and beautiful than a virtue of being genuinely insane. Only time will tell is she does have some screws loose. After all, she does get a glass flung in her face.
Diagnosis: Under observation.
Cindy did not make much of an impression on audiences of the show. However, she did have some questionable behavior. She made a name for herself by gluing Swarovski crystals to lady bits. Talk about a career that will suffer in the recession. As you can tell from her clip she cannot correctly pronounce Swarovski. She doesn’t seem crazy as much as tacky. She didn’t really seem real, authentic, or even engaged in her time on the show. She admitted to "having it all" by having a surrogate give birth to twins. But then her children were only brought out like props and given to a nanny. It’s pretty unclear why she even went on the show since she didn't give a great impression of her parenting or business.
Diagnosis: Benign tackiness.
Jill went from one of the most likable to one of the most loathed housewives on the show. Her quick shift from annoying mother to pathological product pusher combined with her nasal voice made her grating. She got into a fight with Bethenny then proceeded to instigate fights with everyone on the show. After being fired, she offered conflicted stories of the rationale to different news outlets: On Watch What Happens Live, she asked Andy Cohen, on the air, why was she fired. On ABC, she said the show was becoming a toxic environment. On OWN, she said she wanted to leave the show and even wrote an email to the producers that she didn’t send. Instead, it was answered by the universe. Regardless, she has not found a way to be likable or relevant without revisiting her issues with Bravo and Bethenny.
Diagnosis: Victim of her own ego, fame hunger, and annoying voice.
COUNTESS LUANN DE LESSEPS
There are two, maybe even three or four, LuAnns. There is the highfalutin Countess who reminds people of appropriate manners and passive aggressively shames them for using the wrong fork. There’s fun and frisky LuAnn that likes to go out with the girls and flirt with guys. There’s the questionable mother LuAnn who leaves her children to be raised by their sassy live-in nanny then unceremoniously fires her. There's LuAnn the autotune musician. LuAnn feels like the type of rich Manhattanite we want to learn more about. What are her secrets? What does she really think? On the show, she’s been caught lying, cheating, and squealing. If she owned it all and said, “Bygones, America! I’m a real person!" that would be relatable. Her music career is a little problematic. Her first song was processed to death but somewhat catchy and campy. Her second seemed like shameless pandering and it’s no wonder the two Housewives that starred in it were fired.
Diagnosis: Exhibits symptoms of multiple personality disorder. It's unclear if she's a compulsive liar or bad at keeping a secret.
Aviva began her time on the show riddled with anxieties and seemed to be in a slightly co-dependent relationship with her husband. This season, she seems willing to say anything and everything that comes to mind. It’s unclear as to whether Aviva is channeling Rocky and fighting housewives left and right because she’s real, wants to stay on the show, or is trying to sell her book. She also seems oddly okay with her father and ex-husband’s inappropriate ways. It's also strange she would devote a book to losing her leg but started the show not talking about it at all.
Diagnosis: She doesn’t know how she feels and neither do we.
Kelly is legit crazy... allegedly. She’s fashionable, attractive, and has a decent career as a fashion personality. However, when she was on vacation in St. Barts, unable to escape the cameras, all kinds of wildness came out. She was obsessed with candy, accusing people of things, trashing Bethenny, and calling everyone “hoebags.” She would hop on her high horse slut-shaming women, and then pose for Playboy and walking around with half-naked men. She also accused some women of being possessed.
Diagnosis: Crazy behind closed doors.
Sonja is lovably crazy. She likes her booze and her men. She has a whole host of “businesses” yet we never see products. Where is the toaster oven? Show us the receipts! She has a host of interns that somehow get college credit to do her bidding. They also all live in her house? Sonja has no filter but she also seems to have no understanding of what’s going on in her life. Given her issues with the custody of her daughter and her divorce, broadcasting she’s commando is not great for credibility. Also, judging from this video, she isn’t aware that she shouldn't give interviews while inebriated. In case you’re wondering, the young girl holding her is one of her interns.
Diagnosis: Housewife has a series of bounced reality checks.
Ramona is the Eyelander! She’s the last surviving housewife from Season 1. She and her crazy eyes have found their way into our hearts. Her lack of a filter and socially inappropriate behavior made her a mainstay on the series. However, it is bizarre that her business is built on making religious jewelry and her brand is family oriented. Yet, she’s not afraid of heavy drinking aka Turtle Time, being scantily clad, and her husbands seemingly cheating ways. She also seems a little erratic and no longer able to drop the Romotions. Is she unclear as to where the television Ramona begins and the real Ramona ends?
Diagnosis: Filing for divorce from reality.