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Real Housewives

RHONY Season 9 Premiere Recap - Talk of the Town

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of New York City is back for Season 9 and the Big Apple broads remain at the top of their game. Between renovations, wedding plans and an eerily familiar presidential election, the show continues to progress faster than a New York minute. Read on for a full breakdown of all the exposition in the premiere as the women set the stage for what will be another fabulous chapter...

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A new season means new taglines... AND a brand new look for the intro! At first it's a bit jarring to see a giant "NYC" behind the ladies rather than the famous skyline, but I can confidently say that every single Housewife looks nothing short of spectacular holding her golden apple in a mix of red and black dresses. For the second year in a row, my vote for best tagline goes to Dorinda Medley for "I tell it like it is, but I always make it nice." It's sassy and iconic while making clever reference to her most famous one-liner from Season 8. 

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That being said, the rest of the ladies' taglines are equally fabulous; it's quite a strong bunch this season. Carole Radziwill comes in a close second for me with "In the politics of friendship, I win the popular vote." It's no secret that Radzi will be all about the election this season, so her tagline is a rather perfect tease to her storyline. Quick thoughts on the others: Ramona Singer's "acquired taste" and Sonja Morgan's "nothing grey about my gardens" zingers are both laugh-out-loud funny. Luann de Lesseps (now D'Agostino)'s tagline is my least favorite of the bunch, but she doing nothing short of slaying in that fab red jumpsuit. Newbie Tinsley Mortimer is trying to do damage control with a witty reference to her 2016 arrest, but I would've much preferred something about becoming an It Girl twice. (Have I come up with my own tagline for Tinsley? Yes I have.) Last but not least, Bethenny Frankel closes things out with a tagline inspired straight from The Wire, but who's trying to take down the queen of NY this season?

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It's fall in NYC and there's plenty to catch up on in the lives of the 'Wives: Bethenny's divorce has been finalized (hallelujah!), the Countess is waist deep planning her fairytale wedding to Tom and Ramona renovating away any last traces of Mario from her apartment on the Upper East Side. Coming off the contentious Season 8 reunion, Dorinda has a serious bone to pick with Sonja, who's avoiding any drama by starring in an off-Broadway production of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. Never mind that it's the last night of the show and Lady Morgan still hasn't memorized her lines; she's winging it with her bawdy sense of humor and international following is eating her performance up. In other news Carole and Dorinda have renewed their lovely friendship, a decision I fully support and am more than a little happy to see.

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One positive result of her divorce being finalized is that Bethenny finally got her old Tribeca apartment back. You know, the one she bought once Skinnygirl blew up and her ex refused to move out of after they split. Well, now that it's finally back in her hands, all B wants to do is get rid of it once and for all. She enlists the help of friend and fellow Bravoleb Fredrik Eklund to do so, and insists on selling the property for a whopping $6.995 million. The Million Dollar Listing NY star isn't so sure the apartment can go for such a record-breaking number, but Bethenny reminds him that a private parking spot in Manhattan should be worth at least half a million alone. In less than a day, Fredrik manages to sell the apartment for the Skinnygirl's full asking price in cash. Watch out Fredrik, the B clearly knows a thing or two about Big Apple real estate...

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Under the guise of picking up hand-me-downs for Dress for Success, Bethenny stops by Sonja's townhouse and the 'Wives conversation quickly turns to the status of Sonja's friendship with Luann. From Sonja's perspective, the Countess seems too wrapped up in her picture-perfect relationship with Tom for friends these days. In fact, none of the women are even invited to the wedding other than Dorinda, and she probably only made the guest list because she's the one who introduced Luann to her fiancé in the first place. Lu claims she's not inviting her cast mates because she wants the wedding to be completely drama-free. Bethenny, however, reminds us that when one Housewife's dated Tom, another's slept with him and a third uncovered him cheating last year, Tom's inability to keep it in his pants may be the real reason no one is going to the wedding.

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Carole, meanwhile, has only one thing on her mind these days and it definitely isn't the guest list at Luann's wedding. All the veteran journalist can talk about is the upcoming presidential election, much to her BFF Bethenny's obvious annoyance. The Skinnygirl claims Radzi is "deep in the Hillary hole," but can you blame her for feeling hopeful about the possibility of the first female president in the nation's history? I know I certainly was back when the ladies started filming last fall. With the benefit (can we call it a benefit?) of hindsight, we all know Carole's Hillary-loving heart is in for nothing but crushing disappointment. And while it may feel like it's too soon to be reliving the 2016 election, I for one am glad the most intellectual Housewife in the franchise is bringing something she cares so passionately about to the forefront of the season. #ImwithHer.

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The premiere ends with a confrontation between Ramona and Luann about the latter's relationship with Tom. Isn't it always about Tom? The Countess has caught wind that Ramona's been doing more digging into Tom's past, even going as far as to call up his old girlfriend in the middle of the night in California for dirt. Now Ramona claims to have even more damning information involving Tom's past (and current) indiscretions, but once again Luann isn't interested in hearing about any evidence the Singer Stinger has unearthed. Even if what Ramona's suggesting is true and they have some kind of open relationship, Luann is happy with Tom and tells her frenemy point blank that it's time to stop the Nancy Drew impersonation and get on board. So, to demonstrate just how supportive she is, Ramotional delivers the most aggressive toast in the history of Housewives, promising that she wishes Lu "nothing but happiness" while saying she hopes the Countess doesn't "fall flat on [her] face with this guy" in the very same breath. Cheers to that?

What did you think of the RHONY premiere? Should Ramona give up snooping about Tom? Are you glad Carole's talking about the election on camera? Whose tagline is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!