Last night I made the supreme error of watching The Real Worm Women of the Big Apple reunion right after I watched Sunday night's Real Forehead Killers of Blunderbunt Canyon reunion (that's the Real Housewives of New York and New Jersey who don't speak my rotten brand of make-believe English) and, well, it just highlighted everything that I think is wrong with reunion shows.
The New Jersey reunion was all about idiotic yelling. Just screaming. Just everyone yelling back and forth at each other like a female tennis match with each person grunting before the ball goes sailing through the air to the other side of the net. The worst part is when Teresa said Jacqueline's husband cheated on her and Jacqueline denied it and said Teresa's husband cheated on her and Teresa denied it and they just went. "No, you are." "No, you are." "No, you are." "No, you are." "No, you are." "No, you are." "No, you are." "No, you are." "Well, you're fat." That was Teresa. Teresa is incapable of forming complete sentences in an argument unless they're insults. Sure, it was exciting to watch, but it was also frustrating because there is no winner, no one makes any sense, and no one can determine the truth from whatever fantasy each individual shriek siren is living in. The only person talking any sense, as usual, was Caroline Manzo who said, "This is your 15 minutes of fame, and one day this will be over and you will be alone." It was like the moment in a great drama where someone finally speaks the truth, but everyone is too dumb to listen.
The New York reunion was just the opposite. It was boring. It was same low-stakes petty feuds that they've been having all season. You can't say that about New Jersey. It's loud and dumb, but these people are actually family. There are stakes. Consequences even (I said that in a Snagglepuss voice, if you didn't notice). New York this season was about four fights: Carole being sick of the Countess, Heather and Ramona thinking each other talks too much, Sonja thinking Heather didn't do enough on her photo shoot, and the whole ¡Que Viva!/Ramona/Sonja white trash kerfuffle. That is all that happened all season. Oh, that and the Countess got her cracker jacked by Capt. Jack Sparrow. Those are really the only events that occurred. They were boring then, and they continue to be boring now. But here we are, watching the sand retick through the hour glass, grain by tortuous grain forever.
So, I guess since we have to talk about this, let's talk about what we loved and hated from last night's reunion. LOVE
Carole Radziwill: I'm gonna admit something, I was a little skeptical when I heard she was joining the show. I thought she would be some crass social climber trying to use her family connections to get famous. It was just the opposite. Carole Radziwill is not really meant for reality television and that is why I want her to be my best friend. She watches the action unfold like we all do, with a bit of shock and amusement, except she is right there to comment on it. I only wish that she had been as scrappy this season as she was when standing up to LuAnn and the rest of the girls when talking about her season on the show. Still her answers about her squabbles, the Countess stealing her friends, and just why she would be on this travesty in the first place were pitch perfect, cool, and classy. That's just how Carole rolls.
Holla Gate: Thank you, dark prince Andy Cohen, for addressing the ridiculousness of Heather Thompson saying "Holla!" during her Real Housewives tag line. It's fine if you want to stand by it Heather, at least everyone is admitting that it's kind of crazy.
¡Que Viva!'s apology: You can say one thing for this lady, who speaks nine languages and has seven PhDs, including one from the Sorbonne in Batshittery, she sure knows how to apologize. When she told us that she saw how unhinged she behaved when she watched the show and that she was very sorry for the way she treated Somonja, I really believed her. I still don't like her, but I believe her.
Ramona's Dress: What was this thing? It was some sort of gladiatorial armor made out of royal blue leather. It's like she made a breast plate out of the hides of ever Smurf down in Smurfville. It was bizarre, ill-fitting, and absolutely ludicrous. It is exactly what I want to see her wearing.
Keeping the Kids Out of It: There were two moments that I thought were very classy last night. The first was when Countess wouldn't get into her crazy blackmail feud with Ramona (remember that?) because she didn't want to drag her kinds into it. The other was when ¡Que Viva! told Sonja she didn't want to talk about her ex or her custody arrangements on TV because she didn't want her son to see it. That is the first good call she's made all season. Sure, it was really just a dig at how Sonja lives her life, but still, it's good to see that she has some standards.
Points of Order: There is nothing I hate more than Housewives points of order. "Oh, that's not what I said." "You can't talk about that now." "Get your hands off of me." "This is not the right time." It's like as soon as they can stop talking about the substance of the argument and start talking about the process in which the argument is held the better. They started on Heather last night when she wanted to answer a question about borrowing clothes and someone said, "Who asked you? This isn't about you." Hello, you are all on a show where it is your job to talk about each other, have opinions about what each other is doing, and fight. You need to get over this need to control the precise way in which the fights roll out.
¡Que Viva!'s Makeup: Is she going to a French Revolution fancy dress party after taping this or something? Why is her face about eight shades lighter than her arms? It looks like she's a porcelain doll that came to live, lived in a brothel for a few decades, and is now about to die. And she paid good money to get someone to make her look like this. She should let that makeup artist eat cake and then choke on it.
Agreeing with Ramona: Ramona Singer proved herself to be one of those lizards whose neck flaps extend out to make her head gigantic this season. That is what she is, a crazy scattered angry lizard. But then on this reunion, I kind of had to agree with her. When she talked about how she let ¡Que Viva! into her life and she was really hurt when ¡QV! turned on her, she summoned something that resembled tears. Sure they were crocodile tears (angry lizard creature tears? Godzilla tears?) but they were tears nonetheless. I don't want Ramona Singer to ever make sense or have a good point because that means I'll have to like her, and I don't think I can deal with that. Off Limits: The worst moment of the whole reunion was from my friend Sonja Tremont Morgan (of the Pets.com Morgans) and she said that ¡Que Viva! was mean to her, "in the press, on your blog, and on Twitter." OK, all of these things are off limits on reunion shows. I'm sorry, ladies, but not all of us are so devoted that we can follow every single Google alert on your names like the rest of you do. We do not read (all) these things. We do not see them. We only watch the show. If you want to explain some beef that happened outside of the show, you need to show up with quotes and evidence to back you up. The only person who enters blog entries into the record correctly is Andy Cohen. He doesn't say, "You called her mean in your blog" like the ladies do in some vague abstract way. He says, "Sonja, in your blog, you wrote..." and then reads off the actual sentences. This is the only way to do it. If you aren't willing to show up with evidence, then it has to be stricken from the record.
Hating Manners: Last night when discussing both Carole saying things in interviews she wouldn't say to the women's faces and Heather being nice to Ramona but telling other people they haven't clicked, both the women got accused of talking behind people's backs. No, that's just manners. Heather said it. She had met Ramona twice and she didn't think they got off on the right foot and told other people that because she was being honest but still wanted to work it out with Ramona, which is why she was nice to her face. That is just how people live in the real world. Same with Carole, who got a little annoyed in person with the ladies and then joked about it in her interviews. That is also real life. I think Carole showed that if she had a real problem with someone (like LuAnn hitting her friend up for dresses) she would address it. The rest is just silly stuff to laugh and joke about. I'm sorry that the three grizzled Housewives have lived in this warped reality for so long that they forgot how to get along with other people, but it's not a character assassination to say people talk behind each other's backs when all they're doing is trying to act like actual human beings.
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]