Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: christmas

RHONY S9/Ep 9 Recap - Two Weeks Notice

Glenn Rowley

rhony-recap.png

The craziness in the Berkshires continues on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City as Bethenny breaks down to Luann before facing off with Ramona in a no-holds-barred battle royale. And all poor Dorinda wanted was a nice, quiet birthday celebration. In keeping with the tradition of last year's one-act play format, I present this year's trip to the Berkshires in four scenes...

Scene 1 - It'll Only Get Worse, Luann

One by one, the Housewives join Dorinda Medley in her last-minute intervention of Luann de Lesseps (soon-to-be-D'Agostino). As they wander into the conversation, Ramona Singer, Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill each take a turn expressing the piece of gossip they've heard about Lu's fiancé Tom - that he's forcing himself on ex-girlfriends, carrying on full-fledged affairs behind her back and that she's having serious second thoughts about tying the knot. Ramona particularly claims she's simply trying to protect Luann from getting hurt down the road like she did with Mario. After all, if a man begins married life as a serial cheater, the problem is only going to get worse. Up against the barrage, Luann smacks down allegation after allegation, repeatedly insisting that she trusts Tom, is excited to get married and can't wait to spend the rest of her life with the perennial bachelor about town. The wedding is two weeks away and she is untouchable, always circling back to her well-worn excuse that all the other women are just "jealous bitches" of her fairy-tale romance. However, it's telling that the Countess' last word on the matter is how happy she is with the lifestyle Tom has afforded her - the trips to Palm Beach, the penthouse apartment, the security of a man on her arm at all the UES parties. According to Bethenny, that's what this sham of a relationship is about, but if Luann knows what she's getting into and is happy with it, so be it.

Scene 2 - Burning Down the House and Breaking Down the B

While Carole lights a fire (in a non-working fireplace...using Dorinda's wooden door jams) and Tinsley Mortimer vents her frustrations about living with Sonja Morgan, Luann attempts to create a bonding moment with Bethenny over the latter's recently signed divorce papers. The Countess is all Hallmark card slogans and mantras, spouting out fortune cookie sayings about trusting your heart and embracing each chapter of life as it comes. However, the always no-nonsense B isn't having it, and points out that following her heart led her straight into the hellish torture chamber of a situation with her almost-ex-husband Jason Hoppy. Bethenny alludes that what's going on in her personal life is so bad that the ladies couldn't possibly understand. As Carole reveals to the group that it's worse now that it even was when Bethenny was going through her long, nasty, very public divorce, the Skinnygirl has a full-blown emotional meltdown, leaving the room and dissolving into tears.

Luann follows her out to apologize for upsetting her, which leads to a sobbing Bethenny admitting she thinks the Countess is making a huge mistake marrying Tom. B feels confident - in her heart, gut and soul - that Luann's husband-to-be is cheating on her and promises Lu that she doesn't have to go through with the wedding if she's not 100 percent sure. Of course, Luann claims that this emotional display is simply Bethenny projecting her own trust and marital issues onto the situation, but the Skinnygirl has every reason to be wary. As Carole explains to the other women, Bethenny's ex has been constantly harassing her for months - sending threatening emails, voice messages telling her she's a bad mother and, perhaps most creepily, calling her "Bernadette" (which fans know is the name of Bethenny's own estranged, absentee mom). Considering that her ex was arrested last January in the midst of filming for allegedly stalking Bethenny, the hell she's going through is no laughing matter.

Scene 3 - Manic Chocolate Santa Claus

The women convene to the dining room, where Dorinda serves a delicious-looking dinner of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce. Out of nowhere, Ramona becomes astonishingly manic during the meal, practically falling over herself to gush compliments about the food (so moist! so succulent!) and squealing hysterically when she wins a giant chocolate Santa. Dorinda points out that Ramona seems extra jittery this evening and is intensifying every little thing. Without a doubt, the Singer Stinger has been - as Dorinda says - "emotionally heightened" so far this season but there's no way of telling what's really going on with her yet. But it's certainly something cuckoo, even Sonja describes her bestie's behavior at the table as "off the Richter scale crazy."

Of course, Ramona chooses the moment Dorinda's birthday cake is served to sidle up to Bethenny and deliver a boozy, whispered apology over the Skinnygirl's shoulder. Yet again, she's attempting to make amends for bringing up Bethenny's daughter Bryn in relation to the B's scandalous role in the recently unearthed B-movie Hollywood Hills, 90028. Equally unsurprising is the fact that this apology leaves Bethenny entirely unaffected. Instead of engaging, she hilariously sums for Tinsley all the reasons Dorinda is the only Housewife invited to Luann's wedding. Exhibit A: Carole's boyfriend used to be Luann's chef, who also happened to date her niece. I mean, watch Season 7. It would be weird. Exhibit B: Ramona dated Tom before Luann and is on a completely unsubtle mission to find every ounce of dirt possible on the guy. Exhibit C: Tom's diamond-shooting dick has literally been inside Sonja. Exhibit D: Last year in this very dining room, Bethenny unleashed a fury of epic rage on Luann, calling her a slut, a whore and every other nasty name in the book. Caught up, Tins?

Scene 4: Are You Kidding Me, Bethenny?

Frustrated that Bethenny won't accept her countless apologies, Ramona corners her frenemy in the living room to try apologizing one more time. Finally fed up, Bethenny agrees that it's time to put all the cards on the table, starting with the fact that - all things considered over their nearly decade-long history - Ramona has not been a good friend to her. As someone who takes her status as a friend very seriously, this is an unforgivable insult to Ramona, akin to character assassination. Unbridled rage lights up in the Singer Stinger's eyes as she belligerently stammers "are you kidding me, Bethenny?" over and over again. And just when the powder keg between the two OGs is about to ignite, the episode ends with a startling "To Be Continued..." 

What did you think of this week's RHONY? How does this year's trip to the Berkshires compare to last season's? Should Luann listen to the other 'Wives? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Ramona? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

RHONY S9/Ep 8 Recap - Return of the Berzerkshires

Glenn Rowley

rhony-recap.png

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the women head to the Berkshires once again to celebrate Dorinda's birthday. However, an argument between Tinsley and Sonja threatens the fun before the ladies stage an intervention for Luann about her pending nuptials to Tom. Read on to find out if the third year in the Berkshires will be the charm...

The annual cast getaway to the Berkshires is upon us, but first we get a scene meant to prep viewers for Bethenny Frankel's new real estate series with Fredrik Eklund of Million Dollar Listing New York, tentatively titled Keeping It Real Estate. Clever, huh? After working together to sell her old Tribeca apartment, B is going into the real estate business with the MDLNY agent and selling her current place in Soho. The two alpha personalities immediately begin bickering over decor and selling points, and the look on Bethenny's face when Fredrik uses the word "clutter" to describe her home is absolutely priceless. Eventually, the new partners settle on listing the property for $5.25 million and it looks like we'll be getting much more of this when the new series premieres sometime later this year on Bravo. 

Over in the West Village, Ramona Singer drops for an impromptu visit with perpetual cat lady Carole Radziwill to spill some serious tea on the relationship between Luann de Lesseps and Tom D'Agostino. Despite promising to drop the Nancy Drew act, Ramona has continued to quietly do recon on Tom and has the texts to prove that Luann's fiancé allegedly forced himself onto a former girlfriend and tried to "stick his tongue" down her throat just one week earlier. This revelation coupled with the bombshell that dropped into Carole's lap last week (via a good friend) that Luann is having serious doubts about going through with the wedding and now everyone is once again concerned that all is not as it appears in the relationship between the Countess and her "dirty dog" of a fiancé. Whether it's a cry for help or something else, the ladies are left with a serious conundrum: do they say something to Luann and risk a redux of last season's explosive cheating drama or not say anything and avoid a confrontation? Which choice falls under the category of being a good friend?

It's time for the 'Wives to head to Blue Stone Manor for the yearly celebration of Dorinda Medley's birthday. Despite the insanity of the last two years the women have gone to the Berkshires, Dorinda has decked the halls of her manor home and remains confident that she can make it nice - and yes, even Sonja Morgan scored an invite this year. The first full day is Dorinda's birthday and, despite a cake catastrophe that would've sent Heather Dubrow into a blind rage in the OC, the weekend starts off surprisingly...pleasant. However, if we've learned anything over the last three seasons, it's that history has set a precedent for drama in the Berkshires so all of the women are wary of an impending blowup. It's kind of like hosting your birthday party on top of a giant powder keg covered in Christmas decorations... 

Luann, en route from Palm Beach, is the only 'Wife who hasn't arrived yet. So naturally, the topic of conversation turns to the rumors and stories swirling around Manhattan about Tom's handsy, philandering ways. In addition to the damning information held by Ramona and Carole, Bethenny's heard a separate piece of gossip that Lu's husband-to-be is carrying on an affair with another woman behind her back. B wonders aloud whether she and the other 'Wives can get Luann out of this seemingly doomed union, but that'll be much easier said than done. With everything going on off-camera with her toxic ex, Bethenny feels a certain responsibility to go to Luann once again and try to keep her from making a similar mistake - particularly since so many stories are coming out of the woodwork. However, rather than shouldering the brunt of the task, Bethenny decides all the damaging news would be better received with Dorinda running point in a tag-team effort with all the other women.

Gathering in front of a cozy fire in the great room, the 'Wives begin to compare their notes on Tom as they prep for Luann's arrival and one by one lay all the information in Dorinda's reluctant hands. Talk about a great birthday present...Cut to the Countess pulling up in the driveway and Dorinda is now obligated to share all this information with her so that Luann can, in her words, "either leave, stay or shoot someone." 

Luann arrives as the party move into the dining room for some Christmas cookie decorating and the women make some rather stunted, uncomfortable small talk about, ya know, how the wedding planning is going now that the big day is just two weeks away. Then suddenly, seemingly out of left field, the festering roommate drama between Sonja and Tinsley takes center stage. The former socialite (accurately) accuses Lady Morgan of complaining about her behind her back and somehow the argument devolves into a screaming match over the time Tinsley asked Sonja's assistant to open the door and receive a delivery of hats for her. Apparently this display of poor etiquette is grounds to start WWIII because Sonja feels Tinsley and her privileged, Southern upbringing are beginning to take advantage of her kindness. The second Sonja stays the words "chain of command" in her confessional, I'm checked out of this ridiculous fight, but all I know is that next time Tinsley will be sure to GET HER OWN GODDAMN HATS! PERIOD!

Bringing it back to the real issue at hand, Dorinda pulls Luann aside for a private chat. Going straight to the point, Dorinda shares the group's collective concern over Tom. Revealing the text messages, hearsay and rumors swirling behind her back, Dorinda asks point blank whether Luann trusts Tom and really, in her heart of hearts, wants to go through with the marriage. Unsurprisingly, Lu remains deliberately unaffected by all the gossip, repeating the party line that she trusts Tom completely, knows that this is the right choice and all the women saying otherwise are just "jealous b*tches." Regardless of any concern, evidence or amount of scandal thrown in front of her, Luann is marching down the aisle come hell or high water. Got it ladies?

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Did the 'Wives handle their concern about Tom the correct way this time? Is Luann choosing to be willfully blind to red flags? Does Sonja and Tinsley's arguing make any sense? Tell me in the comments below!

RHONJ Season 7 Premiere - Jingle Bells and Prison Cells

Glenn Rowley

real-housewives-of-new-jersey-season-7

Jersey is back! After what seems like a million years away, it's finally time for Season 7 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Teresa is home from prison, Melissa is becoming a modern woman and Jacqueline is back as a full-time Housewife. Plus, newbies Dolores and Siggy join the show! Read on for my full recap of the season premiere we've all been waiting for...

melissa-gorga-rhonj-season-7

The premiere starts in the early hours of December 23, 2015, the day Teresa Giudice was released from Danbury Federal Correctional Institution. As flashbacks of past seasons play on the screen, Teresa's long nightmare is finally over  After making the long-awaited drive back to her home in Franklin Lakes, Tre walks through door and just as we hear Joe Giudice say "Hi honey, welcome home"...we rewind to two weeks prior. Such a tease! Before we see Teresa's homecoming, we get to catch up on what her fellow 'Wives have been up to since Season 6 ended way back in 2014. First up is Melissa Gorga, who's becoming a modern woman by opening up a clothing boutique of her very own, Envy by Melissa Gorga. To turn the boutique into a reality, Melissa's found a business partner and invested all her own money - the only way Joe Gorga is helping is as a hired contractor to renovate the space. Teresa's brother isn't exactly fond of his wife's new business venture, complaining that it takes away from Melissa's job as a full-time wife and mother. However, Melissa is determined to make the two worlds work - she is woman, hear her roar!

jacqueline-laurita-real-housewives-of-new-jersey

Next we get an update on Jacqueline Laurita, who's back after spending Season 6 as a last-minute, part-time Friend of the Housewives. Ever the vigilant mother, the OG's focus remains on her family - particularly youngest son Nicholas and his journey with autism. Nick has continued to improve since he was diagnosed back in Season 4, and has reached the point where, though he's not speaking conversationally, he can say phrases like "I love you" all the time. Jac's oldest daughter Ashlee has also moved back home to New Jersey temporarily, so the Lauritas are all under one roof for the holidays. 

siggy-flicker-rhonj

We're introduced to new 'Wives Dolores Catania and Siggy Flicker through Jacqueline as well. Dolores has been friends with the original Jersey 'Wives for decades. In fact, she goes back with Jacqueline, Teresa, Dina and Caroline more than 20 years, so she seems like a completely perfect fit. We've even seen glimpses of her in the early seasons of the show (like the gang's trip to the Catskills back in Season 3). She and Jacqueline arrive for lunch at a dimly-lit speakeasy and Siggy shows up with her entire head wrapped in bandages because...she just got a facelift! Talk about possibly the most iconic intro in Housewives history! I could not get over how hilarious the relationship Siggy is, whether she was sipping her lobster bisque through a straw or trying to figure out how to get in the restaurant's secret door via bookshelf. And she adds a new dynamic to the Jersey franchise as well - as an Israeli Jew born in a Jerusalem bomb shelter during the Six-Day War, The Sig is the first non-Italian Housewife in RHONJ history. All I know is I love these two ladies already.

melissa-gorga-joe-gorga-rhonj

The Gorgas are planning to host the traditional Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve at their house with family. Since it will be the day after Teresa's release, the OG will have to get special permission from her probation officer to go celebrate with them per the rules of her home confinement. In the past year, things have been great between Melissa and her in-laws, so she's understandably a bit wary about her sister-in-law re-entering the picture - particularly considering that she hasn't spoken to or seen Teresa since the latter went away to Danbury. It's going to be a fragile situation, but everyone is hoping for the best when Teresa comes out, and want to just be one happy family again. 

teresa-giudice-jacqueline-laurita-rhonj

As Joe Giudice and the four girls prep the house for Teresa's return, the Lauritas are planning a holiday party at their house for all the 'Wives both past and present. However, Jacqueline is feeling more confused than festive ever since Teresa's attorney sent her a note from her former BFF from prison. Mockingly imitating Tre's voice, Jac reads the note aloud to Chris. While what Teresa wrote is light and friendly, Jacqueline can't help but throw in a few digs at her expense - even questioning Teresa's motivations behind sending the note in the first place. And yet, in the very next breath, Jacqueline is lamenting her broken friendship with the OG, and saying how much she wants their old dynamic back. Flashbacks from Seasons 4 and 5 roll across the screen as we're reminded of just how bad the pair's feud got at its peak as Jacqueline explains that they never quite recovered from the fallout, despite their attempts following the trip to the healing retreat in Arizona back in Season 5. At this point, can this friendship ever be salvaged? 

melissa-gorga-rhonj-premiere

The night of the party arrives, and while Teresa's attorney heads to Danbury to pick her up, Melissa and Joe head over to the celebration at Jacqueline's house. Along with Dolores and her family, the party is filled with plenty of familiar faces, including Teresa's cousins Kathy Wakile and Rosie Pierri (who are both official Friends of the Housewives this season). Still preoccupied by Teresa's note, Jacqueline pulls Melissa aside to question her about it. Keep in mind, the most amusing part of this exchange is that Tre sent Melissa a note too, but the latter didn't feel the need to let it consume her or even mention it to Jac...As Joe Gorga chats with Dolores's very attractive son Frankie, Jacqueline openly wonders what has changed for her to think that Teresa reaching out is sincere this time around. Melissa empathizes with the situation, but Jacqueline concludes on her own that she'll really know how she feels once she actually sees Teresa for the first time. All everyone can hope for is peace on Earth and good will toward Housewives...right?

dolores-catania-rhonj

Making a fashionably late entrance, Siggy arrives with a "happy holidays everybody!" and thankfully, her face is finally showing signs of movement. After commiserating over the agony of facelifts, the subject of Teresa's impending release is brought up and Dolores explains via confessional that Tre was like every other girl who grew up in her neighborhood - with strict Italian parents and always following the rules, until one day she had to tell her mom and dad that she was going to prison for a year. How could something like this happen? As the party winds down, Jacqueline gathers everyone for one last toast, wishing everyone a merry Christmas and tearfully reminding the Gorgas to enjoy their holiday with Teresa finally home.

teresa-giudice-rhonj

Four hours later, the day of Teresa's freedom arrives and we're back where the episode began. After the long drive from Connecticut, avoiding eager paparazzi the whole way, Teresa is home. She walks through the door to be greeted by Joe before all four girls nearly tackle the mom they've only been able to visit once a week for the past year with screams of pure joy. As little Audriana jumps into Teresa's arms, I'm already sobbing and tears continue to stream down my face as Teresa breaks down at the homecoming she's waited eleven and a half months to experience. You guys. I can't even begin to imagine how this day felt for Teresa, Joe and especially those four little girls. I'm getting teary again just thinking about it. 

teresa-giudice-rhonj-season-7

The premiere ends with Teresa reveling in simply being back with her family. After enduring an endless nightmare since 2014, Teresa expresses in her confessional that she's finally made it. It's over. She explains that her naivete was really what landed her in prison, and she won't be making the same mistake twice. Teresa is back, and ready for a new chapter that will be better than ever. I couldn't be happier for her, or for the season ahead.

What did you think of the premiere? Was Teresa's homecoming as emotional for you as it was for me? Are you happy Jacqueline is back full-time? What's your first impression of Dolores and Siggy? Tell me in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 10 - Unhappy Holidays

Glenn Rowley

sonja-morgan

Have yourself a merry little Christmas? This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the festive drama continues as Dorinda's explosive sleepover in the Berkshires reaches its conclusion and Sonja rejoins the ladies at Ramona's holiday party. Who's on Santa's naughty list? Did any of the 'Wives make the nice list? Read on to find out....

rhony-bethenny-frankel

This insane sleepover in the Berkshires is now spanning the course of three episodes. Think about that for a second - three episodes is usually the amount of time we get for a major cast trip to somewhere like Turks and Caicos, Morocco or Montana. That's how full of can't-miss drama this night in Blue Stone Manor is. Picking up where last week left off, Bethenny Frankel and her gray onesie walk in on Luann once again dissing her just moments after the Countess sent her an apology via text for their earlier squabble over the creation of Skinnygirl. Now, round two of the argument pits Luann against the double-team of B and Carole Radziwill, who take turns painting a crystal clear picture of the reputation the Countess has developed for acting hypocritically and put on a facade about how proper and very Countess-like she is. According to her fellow 'Wives, in reality Luann has a "cunning, crafty, slithery" side to her and no man is off the table when she sets her sights on him - even if he's married or recently dated one of her friends.

rhony-countess-luann

Luann obviously disagrees with this assessment, insisting that she's the most loyal friend anyone can have and speculating that her fellow 'Wives are "making a list and checking it twice" (nice Christmas reference, Lu) to take her down. Plus, it's not her fault if the guy Ramona Singer was going on dates with ended up liking her better than the Singer Stinger. So there. Carole laments that that type of attitude is exactly what she and Bethenny are talking about, but the Countess refusing to see anything wrong with the way she chooses to live her life. Inevitably, Ramona gets dragged into the conversation as well, siding with Carole and Bethenny that Luann essentially swiped Tom D'Agostino right out from under her. Of course, the most hilarious part of this tense confrontation is that in the next room, Dorinda Medley and Jules Wainstein are blocking out all the drama with a classic game of Twister. Nothing like a good old-fashioned board game to drown out your friends screaming at each other just next door, right girls?

rhony-dorinda-medley

Thankfully, there's a break in the arguing just long enough for Santa Claus to make a surprise appearance! Santa gives gifts to each of the 'Wives around the dining room table, which turn out to be personalized wine glasses for the women - Bethenny's is inscribed with "Skinnygirl," Luann's is "The Countess" and Dorinda even had "Madame Martini" etched in the one for herself. The best part about the glasses is that they actually fit an entire bottle of wine in them. Does Dorinda know this group or what? (Side note: it's amusing to me that Dorinda's sister was the one playing Santa - for obvious reasons, she seems to have chosen to keep boyfriend John Mahdessian out of the equation for the evening.) 

rhony-jules-wainstein

Early the next morning, all the 'Wives are suffering from an argument hangover, except for Jules that is. Having stayed largely out of the line fire the night before, Jules declares to Dorinda that the getaway has been the best 24 hours of her life without any kids or a husband to take care of. In fact, the newbie literally forgot to call her kids the night before - that's how much she enjoyed being away. Bethenny and Carole feel much differently about the sleepover and hide in bed while they plot their escape from Dorinda's country estate. Putting their boots and coats on over their pajamas, the pair make a run for the car, but not before Luann notices their not-so-stealthy attempt at a getaway. Recognizing that the other 'Wives will start sensing a pattern following their abrupt exit from Jules's brunch in the Hamptons, Bethenny and Carole somewhat reluctantly go back in the house to say their goodbyes, making the excuse that they were just putting their things in the car. Still, after a quick round of hugs - including one incredibly awkward embrace between Carole and Luann - the two 'Wives hightail it out of there, wondering if they should avoid going to the Berkshires altogether in the future. 

real-housewives-of-new-york-city-season-8

After getting back to the city, all the 'Wives take a couple of days to recoup from the drama before one final holiday party Ramona's throwing at Black Barn. Dressing up in the most festive outfits they can muster, the women warily converge on the restaurant in an attempt at a happy holiday. Ramona's rocking a white (faux?) fur stole, but the OG isn't so sure how she feels about the red lace jumpsuit Luann is wearing from her Countess Collection and wastes no time in offering her unfiltered opinion on it. Dear Ramona, never change. As Bethenny and Carole arrive with gifts in hand, Luann saunters over to the pair for a (hopefully) calmer chat. Bethenny's already over their earlier fight and expressed remorse for how she spoke to Lu in the Berkshires, but the Countess actually wants to speak more to Carole. Luann apologizes again for all the drama that went on between her and Writer Girl last year when Radzi started dating her former chef Adam Kenworthy. Luann explains that she misses having Carole in her life as a friend and the apology sounds more sincere than her attempt over text, but Radzi just isn't sure. Regardless of how bad Luann says she feels for calling her a pedophile and attacking her character, Carole's choosing to keep her former friend at a comfortable distance. 

rhony-ramona-singer-dorinda-medley-carole-radziwill-luann-de-lesseps

Next, Sonja Morgan arrives fashionably late, which is a cue for Bethenny to make her exit. In the wake all the over the Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl fiasco, the Skinnygirl told Lady Morgan that she didn't want anything to do with her and she was serious. Apparently, while in the Berkshires both Ramona and Luann repeatedly texted Sonja regarding her issues with Bethenny, with each OG telling her bluntly to make up with the Skinnygirl. However, Sonja rather appropriately reads the room and when Bethenny bolts, she doesn't chase after - opting instead to take a seat at the couch and point out that she and Carole showed up in matching red pantsuits. Almost immediately, Ramona and the Countess question why Sonja didn't address Bethenny, and it puts Lady Morgan quickly on the defensive. Naturally, she's still hurt about being excluded from the Berkshires sleepover by Dorinda, but the latter stands by her decision as the best way to protect Sonja from being attacked. However, from Sonja's perspective she's simply being excluded and we all know that being shut out by the rest of the cast spells impending doom in the Housewives universe. An angry Sonja decides to stand up for herself and after accusing the other girls of constantly picking on her, she storms off to make a dramatic exit from the party. 

rhony-sonja-morgan-luann-de-lesseps

Seeing that Sonja is on the verge of tears, Luann runs after her, but her friend doesn't seem to want a shoulder to cry on. When the Countess opines that maybe the party wasn't the right time to talk to Bethenny, Sonja lashes out that the right place would've been at Dorinda's - had she been invited. Sonja then storms into the stairwell, where she continues to vent (loudly) to Luann about being excluded from the group. As she stomps down the stairs, Sonja reminds the Countess that Carole just barely told her inside the party that Bethenny didn't have any hard feelings toward her. Well, if these aren't hard feelings then what are they? Soft-boiled? With that, Sonja leaves the party in a huff and we'll have to wait until the new year for the drama to heat up again...

What did you think of RHONY this week? Would you trust Luann or do you think she's cunning and crafty? Is it right for Sonja to be excluded from the group? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 8 - All the Countess's Men

Glenn Rowley

luann-engaged

It's Christmastime in the City! As The Real Housewives of New York City get into the holiday spirit, the fallout from last week's blow-out between Dorinda, John and Ramona lingers while Bethenny and Luann get into it in the Berkshires and Sonja finds herself on the outs. Read on for my complete breakdown of all the drama from the Big Apple...

rhony-jules-wainstein-dorinda-medley

The morning after the major confrontation at her boyfriend John Mahdessian's Madame Paulette party, Dorinda Medley engages in some serious retail therapy at Jonathan Adler with Jules Wainstein. Dorinda has plenty to say about her fight with Ramona Singer, and since Jules ran away from the action, she gets to hear all about it. When it comes down to it, I'm still baffled that this blow-up was about some random ex-fling of Luann de Lesseps. (Hint: here's the first instance where the episode's title comes into play.) Why Ramona would insist on coming to the defense of her costar's creepy quasi-stalker is simply beyond me. The two 'Wives are also casually looking for presents to bring to Bethenny Frankel's upcoming Secret Santa holiday party. When Ramona spots a collection of jars with labels like "Uppers," "Quaaludes" and "Prozac," Dorinda suggests that Jules gets them for Ramona's gift. But don't worry Doris, Jules is already 90% done with her gag gift for the temperamental OG. 

rhony-bethenny-frankel

Speaking of Bethenny's holiday party, the Skinnygirl has her entire apartment decorated for the merry affair. She's even arranged  a giant spread of caviar to be served, although the Petrossian girl looks a bit more like Elsa from Frozen than a server at a holiday party. Before Dorinda shows up, Ramona rolls in with a bottle of pinot, ready to regale the room with the tale of her screaming match with Dorinda. However, as she lays out every salacious detail about Rey and reenacts John putting his hand in her face with the help of Carole Radziwill, Jules notes that Ramona conveniently leaves out any part of the fight that explains why Luann literally bolted from her deranged former paramour or makes her look bad. Just as Jules pipes up that there's another side to the story, Dorinda walks in and Ramotional promptly shuts down the entire conversation. 

rhony-dorinda-medley

Thankfully, Bethenny manages to intercept Dorinda before she overhears and sits her down for an impromptu pep talk prior making her grand entrance. Still reeling from the night before, Dorinda is feeling particularly vulnerable and opens up to Bethenny about just how much all this drama between her boyfriend and her friends is affecting her. Tearfully, the usually tough Dorinda explains that she's feeling lost. This feud with Ramona triggered something inside her and has left her wondering if maybe she doesn't have her life as under control and put together as she thought. For the first time, she's acting out of fear and can't quite tell how to get a handle on it. Bethenny advises her to take some time alone to ensure that she's taking proper care of herself and putting Dorinda first. For once, it's not about John or Ramona or anyone else - Dorinda needs to take care of Dorinda. 

rhony-luann-de-lesseps-sonja-morgan

The same night as the Secret Santa party, Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan are out on the town, rehashing the dramatic events of the showdown on Second Avenue. (Neither of the 'Wives seem to have scored an invite to B's party.) According to the Countess, this guy Rey was just a summertime fling she happened to go on a trip to Ibiza with one time. She insists to Sonja that he wasn't ever her lover, but he wasn't exactly just a one-night stand either. Somewhere in between, I suppose. Nowadays, Luann has a rotating door of male paramours, though one man in particular seems to be winning the race for Luann's heart. And let it be known that this mystery man sure is less of a hot mess than poor Rey. However, she's keeping her lover's identity a secret for now, considering that both Ramona and Sonja happen to know him and she's not sure where exactly their relationship is going. 

rhony-ramona-singer

Conversation at the holiday party turns to the ladies' upcoming trip to Dorinda's house in the Hamptons. To mitigate the Tipsy Girl vs. Skinnygirl issue, Sonja won't be invited on the overnighter - though she doesn't know that yet. Carole remarks that she would rather not sleep under the same roof as Luann, but Dorinda insists that Blue Stone Manor is a big house and it should be easy for Writer Girl to avoid her nemesis over the course of the one-night trip. Carole may think she's over last season's drama with the Countess, but it's clear that she might not be. Ramona also takes a minute to apologize profusely to Dorinda for their latest fight, and quickly dismisses Doris's notion that maybe their relationship has changed. Ramona's not going anywhere and neither is Dorinda so forgiveness should be what's on the menu. The night ends on a positive note, as the women's Secret Santa gifts range from sentimental (Carole gives Dorinda a cute ornament for her tree) to downright hilarious (Bethenny's now the proud owner of a vibrating Thighmaster courtesy of Dorinda and Jules made Ramona an amusing kit to pregame with her wine.) Merry Christmas, and God bless us everyone?

rhony-new-york-post

The next morning, Luann and Sonja go full Grey Gardens in Lady Morgan's townhouse, waltzing into the kitchen for breakfast literally draped in furs. Luann spent the evening at a sleepover with her mystery man, but before Sonja can get any details out of her the Countess shrieks that they're in the New York Post! Turns out that the paper's infamous gossip column has picked up the drama from the Madame Paulette party, though it quickly becomes clear that with John described as a "dry cleaning magnate" and painted as the hero for kicking Ramona out on the street that the mafioso boy toy most certainly leaked the story himself. 

rhony-sonja-morgan

Later, Sonja meets Dorinda for a walk, and the latter breaks the news to Lady Morgan that she won't be joining the rest of the 'Wives on the trip to the Berkshires. Couching it in the excuse that the other women might gang up on Sonja, Dorinda explains that it's just not the right time for Sonja to go away with the rest of the Housewives. Instead, Dorinda proposes that the women are going to come up for one night and she'll invite Sonja up for some quality time one-on-one. Sonja is naturally confused and hurt by the dis-invitation. After all, wasn't Ramona the one Dorinda was screaming at the other night for making a giant scene at John's party? Plus, she argues that the other girls love having her around! She's the life of the party! The straw that stirs the drink! But her argument falls on entirely deaf ears - straw or no straw, Sonja is getting excluded from the weekend away.

rhony-jules-wainstein

Before the rest of the 'Wives head to the Berkshires, Luann is hosting an intimate dinner at Empire Steak House to introduce her new man to some of her friends. In her confessional, Luann explains that out of everyone in the group, she's only invited Dorinda and Jules with their significant others because she knows they're the two 'Wives who won't judge her. Plus, Dorinda happens to be the one who set her up with her new love! As the Countess arrives, it's revealed that the new man in her life is Tom D'Agostino Jr., a dashingly handsome bald guy who happens to share a romantic history with both Ramona and Sonja. (It turns out that "knowing" the two veteran Housewives meant much more than just being socially acquainted.) Tom seems lovely as he enthralls the table with the story of how Dorinda introduced him to Luann and Dorinda opines in her confessional that the two newly minted lovebirds are absolutely perfect for each other. Score one for Dorinda's matchmaking prowess!

rhony-dorinda-medley

The overnighter to the Berkshires is finally upon us and Dorinda has decorated her house top to bottom to be as festive as possible for the Christmas season. Ramona is the first to arrive, and Dorinda promptly reminds her that she wants this weekend getaway to be as calm and relaxing as possible - after all, Blue Stone Manor is her sanctuary away from the world. However, once Luann and Jules arrive, the Countess immediately begins chiding Dorinda for excluding Sonja - who's back in the city licking her wounds - from the trip. Dorinda's reasoning holds water for me, and technically as the hostess she's allowed to invite or not invite anyone she wants. Ramona agrees, arguing that Sonja shouldn't be around any drinking and really needs to take some time to work on herself, "spiritualation" included. Besides, it's just one night. How much drama can realistically happen? 

bethenny-frankel-berkshires

The answer to that question turns out to be "a lot." Bethenny is the next to arrive, and as she joins the other women at the table, Luann happens to mention that she's temporarily living with Sonja and trying to mentor her. Bethenny finds the assertion that the Countess can mentor anyone, let alone Sonja, to be hysterical, and Luann bristles at her suggestion that it would be like "the blind leading the deaf." Is that really what Bethenny thinks of her? Luann doesn't find this sentiment to be amusing at all, but when she shoots back that Bethenny has issues with Sonja over the Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl controversy, B shoots her down. In fact, the Skinnygirl mogul found Sonja's latest business idea to be nothing more than a joke - she was just offended that Lady Morgan used her to stir up gossip about Tipsy Girl and drag her through the press.

rhony-luann-de-lesseps

Bethenny argues that Sonja can't play smart one minute by claiming she has a major "international lifestyle brand" and then stupid the next by playing dumb to the fact that Tipsy Girl sounds an awful lot like Skinnygirl. According to Bethenny, Sonja should've named the new Prosecco line "Stupid Girl" or "Drunk Girl" to be more on brand. No one pulls one over on Bethenny Frankel, sweetheart. As Bethenny points out that more than one person (and Housewife) has copied her business model for Skinnygirl, she jokes that Luann still thinks it was her idea way back in Season 2. The Countess maintains that she and Bethenny tossed the idea around late one night and B decided to run with it and make it happen. However, before the brewing tension can escalate into a full-on argument, we're left with a "To Be Continued..." cliffhanger and have to wait until next week to watch what happens. 

What did you think of this week's RHONY? How does this season just keep getting better and better? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

No Place Like Housewives for the Holidays

Glenn Rowley

housewives-christmas

Give a ho-ho-ho for the Housewives! Since we're right in the midst of the holiday season, I decided for this week's feature to take a special look back on all the times the 'Wives have celebrated good tidings of great joy (and even greater drama) throughout the history of the franchise. So bust out your sleigh bells and sugar plum fairies because it's time to send Old Saint Andy back on his way through the Christmases of Housewives past...

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 8 - Holidazed and Confused

melissa-gorga-christmas-cocktail-party-season-3

The holiday season took up the bulk of the middle part of New Jersey's third season, with Christmas alone taking up four episodes. The first episode kicked off at the conclusion of Teresa and Melissa's very first tentative truce. To launch the busy holiday social calendar, Jacqueline Laurita was hosting a cocktail party and invited Melissa and Joe as a ceremonial olive branch on behalf of Teresa. There were still no Wakiles allowed on the guest list, but it was a tiny step of progress. Meanwhile, the Giudices' legal problems were just beginning and when Teresa went off in court at bit player Monica Chacon (Joe's ex-partner's lawyer's wife), the aftermath was far from pretty. As a note, this was also the first time we heard "On Display." 

joe-gorga-christmas-season-3-jumpsuit

At the Lauritas' low-key cocktail party, most of the 'Wives managed to be in the same room together without any table-flipping or literal brawling. As Jacqueline began to point out, the Gorgas didn't seem so bad...maybe they could all actually have fun together! The party consisted of lots of bubbly drinks, sparkly dresses, courtroom reenactments and Joe dressing up in Jacqueline's sequined, spaghetti-strap jumpsuit. By the end of the night, Melissa was inviting everyone to HER Christmas party - hoping that everyone could keep the good times rolling without any of Teresa's eye-rolling. 

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 9 - Twas the Fight Before Christmas

teresa-giudice-kathy-wakile-christmas-season-3

The next episode focused on the Gorgas' charity Christmas party for children with cancer. At the party, Kathy tried to extend an olive branch to Teresa (remember, the two hadn't spoken since Kathy's infamous "unattended" comment at the Posche Fashion Show), which was handedly shut down by Tre with a "Oh so now it's good to see me?" Melissa took Kathy's side as she retreated to lick her wounds, but almost immediately Melissa's brother-in-law decided to confront Joe Giudice about a sum of money he supposedly owed him, which had the hostess rushing to put out a second fire. Then, for the party's grand reveal, Teresa's nemesis Kim G. waltzed in with none of than...Monica Chacon! Desperate for camera time, much? Clearly the unofficial Friend of the Housewives came to the party looking to cause trouble, but the Housewives effectively circled the wagons, with Melissa and Joe eventually kicking the uninvited plaintiff in the Giudices' lawsuit out of the party and Jacqueline standing up to her neighbor on behalf of her then-BFF.

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 10 - There Arose Such a Clatter

caroline-manzo-christmas-fight-season-3

The impending fight between the 'Wives and Kim G. bled over into the next episode, with matriarch Caroline eventually joining the fray in an attempt to stop the nonsense. Accusing Kim G. of coming to the party with the intent to cause hurt, she laid down the law and actually kicked the troublemaker out of the party - in a home that wasn't even hers! Chris Manzo emerged in the end as the fight's primary collateral damage, considering that Kim G. was the mother of his best friend Johnny. However, once Mama Manzo starts laying down the law, there's basically no stopping her. For Christmas Eve, Teresa and Kathy throw dueling parties - leaving Melissa and Joe feeling caught in the middle. Traditionally, they always spent Christmas Eve at Teresa's, but with the entire Giudice family there, they weren't so keen on breaking bread so soon after the christening disaster. As yet another peace offering, Melissa makes sure to bring pignoli cookies to Teresa's rather than the Italian sprinkle cookies that got thrown in the trash the year before. However, Joe Giudice wasn't even close to being on his best behavior, trashing Melissa behind her back all night and calling her a "raccoon face witch."

RHONJ Season 3/Episode 11 - A Very Jersey Christmas

teresa-giudice-christmas-morning-season-3

In the end, the Gorgas decided to stay at Teresa's house for about an hour before heading to the Wakiles' for the rest of the night, where they could let their hair down and relax. This decision obviously caused drama with Teresa, who had set places for them at the table and everything! To Tre, taking her brother away from her on Christmas Eve made Kathy a bad cousin, and she wasn't about to forget it any time soon. Christmas morning, however, was a success all around as the 'Wives were gifted with gold Rolexes, Louis Vuitton luggage, a recording studio, a diamond ring at the spot where Albert proposed, a brand new laptop, a sparkly robe and...nothing from Ashley. Poor Jac. A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

RHONY Season 5/Episode 10 - You Want to What Me in the Where?

christmas-ramona-singer-season-5

Christmas arrived roughly halfway through the fifth season in NYC when the 'Wives came together for Luann's Life & Style party/coat drive for the homeless. Decked out in red, the ladies navigated through a number of battles and tiffs while getting in the Christmas spirit. Just a couple of episodes earlier, Luann and her boyfriend Jacques had played a mean-spirited prank on Ramona by setting her up with a blind taste test of her own Ramona Pinot Grigio. Mario had already stood up for his wife over a group dinner at Le Cirque, but when Ramona was the first to arrive, the Countess decided to raise the issue again. Insisting that the trick had been a ploy to showcase Ramona's wine rather than put her in an awkward situation, Luann attempted to downplay the incident and minimize the devious set-up that it was in reality. However, for once Ramona refused to take the bait and shut the conversation down by "taking the fifth."

christmas-heather-thomson-carole-radziwill-jingle-bells

Next, the ladies and their men all congregated around a banquette where a sloshed Sonja took the opportunity to give an unsuspecting Jacques an ultimatum about his relationship with Luann: put a ring on it or get out while you can. Sonja claimed that her drunken tirade stemmed from a conversation she'd had earlier in the episode with Luann about her wanting to have a baby, but it seemed very clear that Lady Morgan was simply deflecting some deep-seated anguish over her own failed marriage. Let's face it, a drunken Sonja is never a Sonja with a sexy J. The Christmas festivities capped off with all the ladies stepping into the spotlight to sing a rather off-key yet fun rendition of "Jingle Bells." That is, once Aviva stopped freaking out over not knowing the lyrics. For the event, Luann had hired a punk band called The Stumblebum Brass Band, who proceeded to turn the song into their own rendition called "I Wanna F*** You in the A**!" Great use of your fifteen seconds of camera time, boys. It certainly landed you on the naughty list for the next year. 

RHONJ Season 6/Episode 2 - O Christmas Tre

kathy-wakile-rosie-pierri-christmas-season-6

New Jersey's sixth season rang in both a major cast shake-up AND the holiday season. In the second episode, the 'Wives celebrated Christmas with varying degrees of success. While Amber Marchese had her family practicing emergency fire drills, fellow newbie Nicole Napolitano got a major Christmas fail from her boyfriend Bobby in the form of a high heel-shaped wine bottle holder from the local Colts Neck pharmacy. Meanwhile the Giudice/Gorga/Wakile/Pierri clan got together for a family gag gift exchange that quickly turned sour. While Rosie could laugh at the vibrator Joey Gorga gave her, Teresa wasn't so impressed with the dictionary Kathy purposely sent her way. Kathy claimed she brought the gift because the whole family had a "hard time with the English language," but Teresa felt insulted and singled out. Eventually, the dictionary came back to haunt Kathy when she asked Teresa to write a blurb for her cookbook, which the OG refused to do after the so-called insult. Points for the family at least trying to get in the holiday spirit, right? 

teresa-giudice-joe-christmas-season-6

Later on, Christmas took a somber and emotional turn in the Giudice home as Teresa and Juicy Joe exchanged gifts by the fireside and contemplated the possibility of both going to prison over their legal issues and having to wait years to spend Christmas together again. As Joe opened up about how difficult it would be to leave his wife and daughters, Teresa resolutely promised that, despite what people say, it wouldn't be their last Christmas together. And as we know from this year's Christmas festivities, she was right! Now it'll just be another four years before they do it again...

RHOC Season 9/Episode 4 - Pretty Ugly

christmas-lizzie-rovsek-christian-ugly-sweaters

In Season 9 in Orange County, brand new Friend of the Housewives Danielle Gregorio invited Tamra and Heather, somewhat randomly, to an ugly sweater charity party. In fact, it was so random that the first time we learned of the event was actually in a flashback of Danielle dropping an invitation off at CUT Fitness...which we hadn't seen before. (Season 9's use of flashbacks was weird, you guys.) At the party, a decked out Tamra, Eddie, Heather and Terry met new Housewife Lizzie Rovsek, a former Miss Kentucky who had brains to match her beauty and a sexy AF husband. Despite her past as a pageant queen, Lizzie and her poinsettia'd sweater made a grand entrance by promptly falling in the foyer and spilling a drink all over the floor. It was a shockingly endearing introduction to all the wonderful things about Lizzie and I knew right away that I would love her. Not much actual charity may have occurred at the party (besides giving poor Danielle the majority of her camera time all season), but Terry and Heather managed to win the ugly sweater contest with their matching snowflake-bedazzled ensembles. (For those who were wondering, my Christmas wish this year is for Lizzie to come back as a full-time 'Wife next season. Make it happen Santa!)

RHOC Season 9/Episode 8 - Not So Silent Night

christmas-tamra-season-9

Just a few episodes later, the holidays were in full swing when newbie Shannon Beador brought all the 'Wives together for her annual Christmas party. Plenty had happened in the interim including Chairgate at Javier's, Heather's hoedown-themed groundbreaking party, Vicki's trip to the forgotten state of Oklahoma and more. Needless to say, through more than one of the events above, the animosity and bad blood had quickly begun building between Heather and Shannon, and the latter's party was the perfect time for it to boil over. The drama first started when Heather was offered a guest co-hosting gig on Good Day L.A. and offered Tamra a segment on the show to promote CUT Fitness. For some reason Tamra took offense to this because prior to filming, the show had a rival fitness studio on when Heather was a guest host and Tammy Sue assumed that Fancy Pants had something to do with it. Yeah, I didn't quite follow it at first either. I mean, talking about shooting a gift horse in the mouth...

christmas-heather-dubrow-season-9

Naturally, Tamra had a passive-aggressive conversation with Heather when she was surprised by the news, and then proceeded to gather Shannon, Lizzie and Danielle together to badmouth Heather behind her back. (Meanwhile, Heather was in the other room trying to console an upset Vicki about Briana's impending move to Oklahoma.) When Heather and Vicki joined the other women, Fancy Pants was rightfully blindsided when Lizzie tried to put all the cards on the table and force the conversation between her and Tamra. In what felt like a gang-up, Shannon sided with Tamra and blew up at Heather for "talking so condescending." In a fortuitous moment, Heather's cell phone rang with a call from a sick Nicky at home asking her and Terry to come home. There was debate over whether or not Heather faked the phone call, but she gracefully and furiously exited the party by telling Tamra "I don't even like you right now." #TeamHeatherForever

Sadly, we've never seen Christmas in Beverly Hills, Atlanta or Miami. Maybe this year? To all you readers out there, I hope your holiday was all things merry and bright!