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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: michael wainstein

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 12 - Always the Bitch, Never the Bride

Glenn Rowley

rhony-carole-radziwill

It's a wedding gone to the dogs on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City! While Jules launches a new business and Sonja plots to get back in the group's good graces, Bethenny confronts a serious health scare that threatens the ladies' plans for their Mexican vacation. Read on for a full recap of all the drama...

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There's no place like New York City for a charity dog wedding. That's right, Carole Radziwill's puppy Baby has been enlisted as a bridesmaid in the canine wedding of the century between two of Manhattan's most elite pups - Toast, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel belonging to blogger Josh "The Fat Jew" Ostrovsky and Finn, who belongs to socialite Amanda Hearst. And of course, the point of the glamorous event is to raise money and awareness for puppy mill rescues. Like I said, only in the Big Apple. To prep for the wedding, Carole and Baby join the rest of the bridal party for a photoshoot involving a giant swan pool float. Carole's nervous for Baby's big debut, and gets embarrassed when she realizes that her poor pup looks like a drowned pauper next to all the other fancy dogs at the shoot. Baby is definitely the Melissa McCarthy of this Bridesmaids reboot.

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Uptown, Dorinda Medley meets Jules Wainstein at Malia Mills for some good old-fashioned gossip and retail therapy. Dorinda arrives sporting a shirt emblazoned with the phrase "spiritual gangster," which is as apt a description of her as probably any I've ever heard. Naturally, the topic at hand as the 'Wives shop is the upcoming trip to Mexico. Dorinda thinks the dynamic among the women has gotten too intense as of late, and Jules thinks it's unfair that Sonja Morgan isn't being invited on the trip because of the continuing Tipsy Girl vs. Skinnygirl drama with Bethenny Frankel. Dorinda's prepared to advocate for both Sonja and Luann de Lesseps to come on the trip with the rest of the ladies and Jules agrees that when it comes to Housewives vacations, the more the merrier. 

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Speaking of Sonja, she's at her townhouse on the Upper East Side with Ramona Singer. Now that Sonja's stopped drinking, Frick and Frack are back to being BFFs. Lady Morgan will be seeing Bethenny for the first time at the dog wedding and, even though her partners refuse to drop the word "Girl" from the name of her Prosecco, she's prepared to apologize. To help her out, Ramona's even role playing the scenario as Bethenny with her in an attempt to ensure that Sonja doesn't ramble or go beyond the simple message of "I'm sorry, please forgive me." Ramona's aggressive impression of B defending her business is pretty spot on, even though she admits in her confessional that the odds of Sonja sticking to the rehearsal are pretty much slim to none. 

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Meanwhile, Bethenny's meeting Carole for drinks at STK to dish the dirt on her disastrous sit-down with Luann in last week's episode. After recounting the one-sided conversation in which the Countess invited herself on the Mexico trip - including B's hilarious "did you take crystal meth before you got here?" line - the Skinnygirl reveals that she'll be going to the doctor the next day to figure out why she's been bleeding so excessively. She's never one to jump to rash conclusions, but something with Bethenny's body seems to be seriously wrong and she needs to get to the bottom of it before anything gets worse. Because of the doctor's appointment, B won't make it to the doggy wedding, which means that Sonja won't get the chance to apologize she's been so desperately looking forward to.

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Although she's only been on the show for a dozen episodes, Jules isn't wasting any time in using the Housewives platform to promote her new business. Based on a family recipe she learned from her mother, the newbie is launching Modern Alkeme, a line of cleansing tonics and detox drinks. In a meeting with her business partners, Jules surprises her husband Michael with this news, and the revelation that she's developed the idea all the way to a factory prototype without him knowing. In her confessional, Jules admits that she wants to take charge of her financial future and stop depending on a man. Considering the news that the Wainsteins are divorcing over Michael's alleged infidelity, it seems like Jules's intuition to put her future in her hands came at exactly the right time. Go Jules!

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The day of her doctor's appointment, Bethenny spends the morning shopping at Home Goods with Dorinda, which is basically like two kids in a candy store. However, in the middle of the shopping trip, the look on the Skinnygirl's face suddenly changes and it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong. Abruptly leaving the store, Bethenny heads right to the doctor with Dorinda in tow as moral support. Following the appointment, the two 'Wives head to Bethenny's apartment, where we learn in their debrief that Bethenny's instinct was right: she's lost almost 10 percent of her blood and it's being caused by massive fibroids in her uterus that need to be removed as soon as possible. The doctors gave Bethenny three different options that all involve different degrees of surgery: a myomectomy, a complete hysterectomy or a procedure called uterine artery embolization. Any of the scenarios will require Bethenny to stay in the hospital for three days following the operation, so she is understandably frightened and emotional.

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It's time for the dog wedding and the 'Wives descend upon the High Line Hotel with their respective pooches for what turns out to be a more glamorous affair than most human weddings. We're talking 300+ people, a step and repeat and an actual walk down the aisle. Legendary gossip columnist Cindy Adams of Page Six is officiating while the puppy bride is being given away (in custom Marchesa) by Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barneys. I mean, Vanity Fair is covering the event, and they didn't even write about Carole's own wedding...to a Kennedy!

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Once the "puptials" are over, the women start excitedly discussing their upcoming trip south of the border and Dorinda's forced to deliver the bad news: due to Bethenny's health issues, they won't be going to Mexico. In classic Ramonacoaster fashion, the Singer Stinger is particularly shocked at this terrible development. Never mind that Bethenny has to get major surgery, Ramona just bought new bathing suits! However, as petty as the cancelled trip is, the women ultimately rally and express that the most important thing is for Bethenny to get healthy. This is the Housewives sisterhood in action: when one of their own is down, the ladies of RHONY can always be depended on to circle the wagons and look out for each other. The episode ends with Ramona cutting into the wedding cake in yet another classically Ramotional moment and only then does it dawn on me...we just made it through an entire episode without any sign of Luann!

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Was that the dog wedding of the century or what? Should Carole's dog Baby have been the maid of honor? Will you try Modern Alkeme? Are you bummed we won't see the ladies go to Mexico? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 11 - Invitation Interrupted

Glenn Rowley

rhony-season-8

It's a new year on The Real Housewives of New York City and there are big changes afoot for the Big Apple broads. The Countess is in love and ready to shout it to the world, but none of her fellow 'Wives react exactly the way she was hoping. Plus, Bethenny plans a tequila tour of Mexico, but when a couple of the ladies get excluded from the guest list, the group dynamic becomes even more divided. Read on for my full recap of all the drama in the city that never sleeps...

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The episode picks up three weeks after Ramona Singer's ill-fated holiday party, which means our timeline is officially in 2016. Luann de Lesseps is still crashing at Sonja Morgan's townhouse on the Upper East Side. But the Countess has some major news: she's in love and she's moving out to get married! Sonja is baffled by this announcement, but she's even more floored when she discovers that the paramour Luann has been hiding all this time is Tom D'Agostino. In fact, her response is "my Tom?" Apparently Ramona isn't the only Housewife who has a past with Luann's new man - according to Sonja, she's been hooking up with Tom for quite a while. However, Lu refuses to let this revelation rain on her parade because the Countess is in love and doesn't care who knows it. Oh and also, Sonja's decided to quit drinking in the wake of the Tipsy Girl debacle, so there's that.

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Meanwhile, Bethenny Frankel has gathered all the other 'Wives at Añejo in Hell's Kitchen for a night of guacamole and vacation planning. Surprise! B wants to take the ladies on a tequila-tasting trip to Mexico to help her gain inspiration for the latest Skinnygirl flavor. Poor Jules Wainstein is still distressed over her father being in the hospital, but she still shows up for to hear Bethenny's plan. However, the big question is whether Luann and Sonja will be invited on the trip and B proposes that the ladies discuss and vote on it. Ramona doesn't want to leave anyone out and argues that the Countess is always fun on an all-girls trip (pirate Johnny Depp, anyone?) but Carole Radziwill draws a line that if her nemesis is invited, she's not coming. All of the women agree that Sonja and a tequila-tasting trip are not a good combo and it's safer for Lady Morgan to stay behind in NYC. As the hostess, Bethenny just wants the trip to be fun for everyone, so for now it looks like the 'Wives playing Grey Gardens on the Upper East Side are still on the outs. Still, viva la Mexico!

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The next day, Carole visits Bethenny at home in matching white turtlenecks to reminisce over the couples trip they took to the Bahamas over the holiday break. (B's keeping the identity of the guy she's dating a secret for the moment, though.) Carole's also had a major come to Jesus moment internally. During the holidays, she rather unexpectedly had to give up the kitten she had been fostering to its adoptive family. Losing the cat without getting to say goodbye forced Radzi to realize that she's set up her life story to constantly be a temporary one. Even when she married her husband Anthony, he had already been diagnosed with cancer... Now that she's been seeing Adam for well over a year, is Writer Girl ready for a more permanent happily ever after?

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Over at Exhale, Dorinda's reached out to Sonja to get manicures together. Sonja is still upset by Ramona's hot-and-cold treatment of her as of late, but Dorinda lays down the cold hard truth that it seems the Singer Stinger has taken sides in all the recent drama...and this time it's not Sonja's. Dorinda also informs Lady Morgan about Bethenny's upcoming Mexico trip, including the fact that she's once again not included on the guest list. But don't worry, the silver lining is that this time, neither is Luann! The Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl issue has become a major conflict of interest for Bethenny and Sonja's officially found herself left out in the cold. And in the Housewives universe, there's nothing worse than being excluded from filming with the other women...

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While Carole works with Adam and his gorgeous long hair on their cookbook proposal for The Reluctant Vegan, Ramona invites her daughter Avery as well as Luann to test out a line of hair extensions from Lux Beauty Club, a company she's getting into business with. Since the Countess has been rocking her signature shag for eight seasons straight, Ramona's anxious to get her into some shoulder-length extensions for once. As soon as Luann sits down, she's bursting to tell Ramona and Avery about the new turn her relationship has taken with Tom. When Lu reveals she's planning to marry the guy Ramona recently dated, the fake smile the Singer Stinger plasters on is nothing short of classic. Ramona then proceeds to inform Luann that her supposed soulmate calls his ex every single day, tells her he loves her and even bought the woman a gold bracelet for Christmas. Which was like yesterday. Yet Luann refuses to believe this piece of information and won't let Ramona burst her happy bubble. All the Ramonacoaster can do is warn the Countess to guard her feelings and warns her that only time will tell whether any of the gossip is true.

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Later that night, Dorinda and her boyfriend John Mahdessian meet Jules and her husband Michael for a double date. Dorinda is slaying in a royal shade of purple, but the Wainsteins arrive over an hour late and the tension between them is palpable. Apparently the couple was bickering over Michael looking for a hot nanny earlier in the day and in the wake of Jules's announcement that they're divorcing over his infidelity, the moment is pure foreshadowing for what lies ahead. Dorinda tries to help the situation by counseling her friend with a number of mixed metaphors, but she's already had one too many martinis for the evening and the marital advice comes out in rather amusing soundbytes. I love every version of Dorinda Medley, but Dirty Martini Dorinda might just be my favorite. 

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In the episode's final sit-down, Bethenny meets Luann for drinks at Bar Bordeaux. B shows up to the meeting late and a little disoriented, revealing to Luann that she's been bleeding rather profusely and has to visit an OB-GYN the following day to figure out what's going on. Because she's not at her best, poor Bethenny essentially gets railroaded by Luann during the entire conversation. First the Countess giddily repeats her revelation about Tom being her soulmate for the third time this episode and eventually brings up her non-invite to the upcoming Mexico trip. Bethenny has every reason under the sun not to extend an invitation, but within just a few minutes, Luann has singlehandedly managed to invite herself on the trip to Mexico and follow it up by accepting her own invitation! The Skinnygirl is left baffled as to what even just happened as the Countess sashays away in her winter white to meet her boyfriend at the Carlyle for a Tommy Tune performance and the episodes comes to an abrupt end. Umm...check please?

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Do you see the writing on the wall for Jules and Michael? Is there any way Bethenny could've stopped Luann from inviting herself on the trip to Mexico? Can you really find your soulmate in just six weeks? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

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...

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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?

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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. 

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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.

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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!

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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? 

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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.

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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!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 4 - BBQ, Brunch or Bust

Glenn Rowley

rhony-carole-radziwill

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, we're in the Hamptons for a weekend of BBQs, brunches and awkward confrontations. Whether it's Bethenny vs. John, Carole vs. Luann or a newly brewing feud between the Skinnygirl and newbie Jules, this wasn't exactly the relaxing celebration some of these 'Wives had in mind...

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It's the weekend of Bethenny Frankel's tailgate-chic birthday BBQ and all the 'Wives are in the Hamptons to celebrate. Dorinda Medley and her boyfriend John Mahdessian are staying with Jules Wainstein and her husband Michael at their Water Mill home, and Dorinda's still anxious about the residual fallout between her boyfriend and B. As they get ready for the party, Dorinda says point blank that John needs to apologize to Bethenny for his drunken assault at the bra party earlier in the week. However, Jules has perhaps the best solution for an conflict that may arise at the BBQ: just stuff your face with food.

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Meanwhile, Bethenny's prepping for the party at her gorgeous house in Bridgehampton. (For the record, the Skinnygirl mogul's house is literally my dream home. And Bethenny, if you're reading this, can I really come over any time I want?) In between setting up the giant mobile BBQ and the fire pits, Carole Radziwill arrives with her dog Baby. Sitting on the front porch, she and the birthday girl commiserate over their respective dramas with Luann de Lesseps and John.  Carole's plan is to maintain a friendly distance with her nemesis throughout the afternoon, but seeing as this is the first time Luann will be joining the rest of the Housewives at an event this season, things are bound to get interesting. 

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The rest of the Housewives arrive and the party gets into full swing with an open bar of Moscow Mules and Spiked Hot Chocolate (featuring Skinnygirl liquor, of course.) Ramona Singer's in a cowboy hat and there's a whole lot of plaid going on, but when Dorinda and John arrive with Jules and Michael, it quickly becomes apparent that Bethenny is in no mood to have any kind of conversation with Dorinda's dry cleaner boyfriend at her party. In fact, she avoids him at all costs, telling some of the other partygoers that it feels like there's an obstruction in her home that she has to move around. With the hostess refusing to give him so much as a greeting, John is left to sulk in the corner with his Skinnygirl-branded cup, looking like an awkward, lonely puppy dog.

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Always one to make an entrance, Luann arrives fashionably late and saunters into the party with a hula hoop on her arm. She's quick to bust out her hula-hooping skills and all I can wonder is "how has she not used this party trick before?!" Carole, however, is less than impressed with the Countess's ploy for attention and thinks she should've left the hula hoop at home. Carole immediately flees the scene and now this party has two low-speed chases going on: John's after Bethenny and Luann wants to force a conversation with Writer Girl. In fact, at one point the Countess's path crosses with the show's resident voice of reason like two ships passing awkwardly in the night, and point blank tells Carole she can't keep avoiding her forever. Hilariously, Carole's response is that actually...she can. 

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Eventually, the two 'Wives come face-to-face over the fire pit, where everyone except Luann is roasting s'mores (the Countess does not eat marshmallows, darling). With Luann eyeing her from across the fire, Carole shoots out "I don't know what you're looking at, Lu," which finally opens the door for a confrontation between the two former friends. The Countess wants to have a conversation away from the group, but Carole insists that whatever she has to say can be said in front of everyone. When Luann tries to start by saying how nice it is to finally see Radzi after such a long time, the latter shoots back that of course it's been a long time - the last time they were together, they were screaming at each other at the Season 7 reunion. Luann claims that the pair said quite a few hurtful things to each other last year, but Carole immediately counters that there's no "we" in this situation. From her perspective, Luann was the one who had a lot of hurtful and nasty things to say about everything from her relationship with Adam to herself as a person. To prove her point, Carole challenges the Countess to come up with one single thing the writer said about her, and Luann dismisses the idea by insisting she doesn't want to rehash the past. 

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Switching gears, Luann brings up the lengthy social media war the two engaged in as their drama played out on TV, but again Carole points out that she was only trying to defend herself. After all, the Countess was the one who accused her of being a pedophile, made up stories about her relationship with Adam and claimed that the chef had still been dating her niece when Carole "broke them up." Luann insists she wants to move forward, but Carole simply has no intention of being friends with her erstwhile pal again. As the conversation continues to go in circles, the two Housewives refuse to see eye-to-eye and eventually just agree that they'll never be friends again, but to be polite when they see each other. I mean, they do have a show to film over the next several months right? They might as well get used to being forced into interacting once in a while...The big secret here is that if Luann had just given Carole a genuine apology and said "I'm sorry," I think their confrontation could have had a much more positive outcome. Maybe they can try again at Jules's brunch the next day?

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With the disastrous party winding down, Bethenny finally agrees to give John five minutes of her time for Dorinda's sake, but the conversation doesn't exactly go well either. John attempts to apologize for barging into his girlfriend's lingerie party and attacking Bethenny, but the Skinnygirl points out that he probably has very little recollection of what he actually did or said that night. She pointedly reminds him that he came into the party thinking he had a giant smoking gun to take her down by accusing her of stealing her brand's name from the founder of Skinny Cow. But here's the thing: when you attack Bethenny's business, the claws are going to come out. Not only were John's allegations incorrect, they were flat-out uneducated and ignorant. John defends himself by claiming that he was just trying to protect Dorinda after all the horrible things Bethenny had said to her about him, but the Skinnygirl once again puts him in his place by pointing out that he doesn't even know what she said to Dorinda. Was telling Dorinda to stop selling John so hard to the other ladies such an awful thing to say? However, John goes back to his excuse that he was just protecting the woman he loves and the discussion ends with a petulant apology. 

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Obviously, this wasn't how Dorinda envisioned the conversation going between her boyfriend and her friend, and comes close to breaking down in tears that the situation somehow just keeps getting worse. As Luann and Jules attempt to calm an emotional Dorinda down, Bethenny realizes that she has to put aside her feelings about John for the sake of her budding friendship with her cast mate. I personally love Bethenny and Dorinda together so I'm relieved that the Skinnygirl wants to make this difficult situation work so they can continue being friends. At some point a petty feud with a boyfriend isn't worth all the anguish and tears it's causing for poor Dorinda. As she states in her confessional, Bethenny has to find a way to wrap this giant problem up into some kind of bow so that her guests stop crying and don't spend the evening in a mental institution. So, she marches right up to John and pronounces that they can be completely fine from here on out for the sake of his girlfriend. The clean slate is all for Dorinda. And with that, the most awkward BBQ birthday party in the history of Bravo finally comes to an end.

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The next morning, Jules and Michael host a brunch at their expansive home in Water Mill for most of the other 'Wives except Ramona, who went back into the city for a date. Mario who? Needless to say, after all the awkward confrontations at the BBQ, Bethenny and Carole are less than thrilled to be there and vow to duck out as quickly as possible. Upon arrival, Bethenny doesn't make the most gracious impression on her hosts, offering her unsolicited opinions on the massive construction projects going on in their home. Getting a taste of B's know-it-all tendencies rubs Jules the wrong way, and the new 'Wife demands to know in her confessional who gave Bethenny the right to judge her house. Stay in your lane, B. However, Bethenny sees more than just the seven-year construction zone the Wainsteins seem to be living in. The Skinnygirl takes note that Jules doesn't seem to be eating anything at the schmear, opting instead to push copious amounts of food onto her guests. The new 'Wife's ultra-skinny stature has come up more than once already this season, and Bethenny sees this behavior as a textbook red flag that there might be a serious issue with Jules and an eating disorder. Yikes, I have a feeling we've heard far from the end of this subject and there is no way it can end well.

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Once Luann arrives with a date in tow, Carole is ready to hit the road and she and Bethenny plan a quick escape from the Wainsteins' schmear. Taking a quick tour of the room that will eventually house an indoor pool, B and Radzi make a beeline for the exit, avoiding nails, sawdust and dog poop on their way out. This mean girl escape doesn't sit well with Jules, who wonders openly to Dorinda why Bethenny had to be such a Debbie Downer during the whole meal. As Bethenny and Carole drive away giggling, it would appear that perhaps battle lines are being drawn between the new girl and the OG. Watch out Jules, the Skinnygirl is not a foe you want to mess with...

What did you think of the episode? Was that just the most awkward BBQ and brunch you've ever seen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below...

RHONY Season 8 Premiere - Start Spreading the News

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of New York City is back for Season 8! I could not be more excited. I love pretty much all of the Housewives shows, but out of all the cities in the franchise the RHONY ladies are my people. That being said, this season has a lot to live up to - I considered Season 7 to be a pretty perfect Housewives season and it's going to be hard to top it for me. In fact, I loved last year so much that it's what inspired me to start That Housewives Guy. This season, the dynamic is already bound to have changed, what with the departure of Heather Thomson and Kristen Taekman (RIP Holla!) and the introduction of newbie Jules Wainstein. So it's going to be different and my expectations are pretty high this year, but I feel confident my Empire State girls can exceed them. 

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We have a new intro! Well, partially. The first thing we notice is that there's new intro music, which seems a bit random. Andy Cohen tweeted that the new music is an attempt to freshen things up - and it clearly signals the start of a new chapter in NYC - but as of right now, I miss the old theme music. Get back to me in a few weeks though. We also have new taglines! However, for some inexplicable reason only Bethenny and Dorinda got updated looks for the opening, which I'm confused by. I need some answers, Bravo! Compared to years past, I'm a little let down by the new taglines...as a group they're not quite as memorable as previous seasons'. My vote for best tagline definitely goes to Dorinda for "Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend, martinis are!" because it is so her. Quick thoughts on the others: Bethenny's is obviously true, but gets points docked for being kind of a redux of Ramona's in Season 5. (In the same vein, Dorinda's echoes Camille Grammer's from Season 2 of RHOBH a little too closely as well. Dorinda still wins.) Carole's is easily the weakest of her four years on the show. C'mon princess, where's the quippy one-liner about your great a**? Sonja continues to defend her party girl antics and Jules' "a Jew and an Asian walked into a bar..." one-liner is amusing, if a little corny. Luann is still milking the Cool Countess thing for all it's worth, but wouldn't this have been more appropriate as her tagline last season? And Ramona finishes us off with a completely on-brand cliche about her love of pinot while reminding us how old she's getting. There you have it. Dorinda easily comes out on top, all while looking fabulously gangster in her beaded minidress. 

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The premiere kicks off with Dorinda Medley visiting Bethenny Frankel at her newly completed apartment. B gives her the grand tour, including her bedroom (which surprisingly isn't decorated in much Skinnygirl red) and gorgeous walk-in closet. Now that the summer is winding down, Dorinda wants to get some of the girls together for a boozy lunch. Bethenny informs her that Carole Radziwill won't be able to come because her boyfriend's parents will be in town, but Doris wants to invite her friend Jules and her incredibly short husband Michael to come. Dorinda warns Bethenny that Jules isn't like them - she's still hopeful and kind. Don't worry, the RHONY broads will knock that out of the new girl real quick.

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Speaking of Radzi, she's deep in the honeymoon phase with Adam the hot chef. They've been together for nearly a year now, and have even adopted a puppy together, ironically named Baby. Via confessional, Carole explains that she's been in full-on nesting mode, and is super bummed that Adam's leaving on an extended trip to Ethiopia. However, it may be a wise move on his part considering that filming has started again. Last season's drama with Luann de Lesseps is still fresh in Carole's mind (Adam was working as Luann's family chef when they met and had previously dated her niece), and she isn't eager to put her boyfriend in the same room as her friend-turned-nemesis any time soon.

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OG Ramona Singer is officially single and on the prowl. After spending the majority of last season attempting to move on after Mario's cheating scandal, she's finally filed the papers for divorce. Now, she's on a new path, dating men and loving her life. In the shock of the night, her daughter Avery is apparently 21 now and going out to bars with her mom. Wait, what?? I swear Avery was 18 like...two seasons ago. How is that possible? Either way, Ramona still can't remember the name of her daughter's friend, who apparently spent an entire weekend in the Hamptons with them over the summer. Classic Ramona. I will say, the Ramonacoaster looks genuinely happy and I am here for it, people!

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Meanwhile, Luann and Sonja Morgan are each dealing with empty nest syndrome. Both Victoria and Noel have left for college, the Countess sold her place in the city and Sonja's daughter has gone off to boarding school, so the pair came up with a solution: bunking together! That's right, Luann will be crashing at Sonja's townhouse when she's in the city. As the two veterans debate eskimo teeth and blowjob techniques, I can't help but think my what a difference a year makes. At the start of Season 7, Lu didn't want anything to do with Lady Morgan and now they're playing a female version of The Odd Couple, or maybe it's just a younger Grey Gardens.

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Ramona meets Bethenny at iconic New York eatery Sarabeth's for a gossipy chat about their dating lives and some of the other women. Bethenny relates a story of seeing Luann and Sonja at a birthday party over the summer and on a scale of one to hammered, they were at a 9 and a 20 respectively. Ramona explains that she has stopped going out with Sonja at night because she doesn't want people to get the idea that she has the same wild habits and hard-partying ways as Lady Morgan. It's just not a good look for anyone. Bethenny's also been spending plenty of time with Dorinda, and along with her comes her shady boyfriend John Mahdessian. B says she feels like Dorinda is constantly trying to sell John to her, to the point where a great deal of their conversations consist of boyfriend propaganda and half-truths. Obviously, this isn't how Bethenny operates, and she surmises that Dorinda feels self-conscious about the relationship because she knows what type of person John is. Ramona says she's trying to warm up to John for Dorinda's sake, even letting the couple stay with her in the Hamptons soon, but still doesn't feel comfortable around the man. 

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Next, we're properly introduced to newbie Jules and her family, which includes her venture capitalist husband Michael, five-year-old son Jagger, two-year-old daughter Rio and dog Zoe. The Wainsteins live in a spacious loft apartment in the Flatiron District and have been married for eight years, despite knowing each other since they were kids. Jules' parenting strategy apparently comes down to bribery and with her long flowing locks and statuesque figure, she represents a pretty stunning, yet down-to-earth, new class of Upper East Side Jewish mothers.

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Dorinda and John are out on the town to celebrate their anniversary, but don't ask which one because apparently John celebrates this benchmark monthly. At Valbella Ristorante, Dorinda is a happy girl with her extra dirty martini with olives, but not quite so jazzed about John wanting to be so constantly touchy-feely in public (read: in front of the cameras). The couple have reached a point of transition in their relationship. With Dorinda's daughter Hannah finally moving out on her own, John may or may not be moving into her Upper East Side pad sometime soon. Though, I just have to get this out of the way. With his constant fawning, positive affirmations and need for attention, is anyone else getting a little bit of a vibe that John could become New York's version of Brooks Ayers?

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Bethenny's also in a time of transition with her Skinnygirl empire, and has moved into a hip office downtown with an elevator that smells overwhelmingly of pot. Popping into the office, B gives her small army of employees a quick pep talk. It's a new world where the Kardashians have becomes the Kennedys and in order to compete, she has to get creative. Bethenny's committed to doing disruptive things if it means getting Skinnygirl to another level, and gives her employees free reign to be innovative as long as the job gets done. In her confessional, Bethenny explains that she's still in the midst of the divorce that never ends with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, and is juggling the bills for three different properties: her new apartment, her office space and her old apartment in Tribeca where her ex is still living. It seems outrageously unfair that her ex is sitting pretty in the apartment that used to be hers - all while she foots the bill - but until the divorce is final, Bethenny doesn't have any choice but to make it work. 

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Next, Ramona and Carole meet at Mon Petit Cafe for some lunch and catch-up girl talk. The two 'Wives couldn't be at more different places in life - Ramona is out on the town every night with friends and dates and gentlemen callers, while Carole is in full nesting mode at home with Adam. Naturally, Ramona is talking a mile a minute, regaling Carole with stories of late-night parties, trips to the Hamptons and reg-GAY bands, and Writer Girl has to hit the pause button to teacher how to properly pronounce the word "reggae." For all her endearing malapropisms, Ramona seems genuinely sunny these days and there's no way anyone is going to get her to "talk less, smile more" just to impress a man.

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Finally, the weekend arrives and Bethenny and Dorinda converge on Catch for their boozy lunch. Naturally, John is attached to Dorinda's hip and B's brought along a date as well, conveniently also named Jon. Jules and Michael arrive and Dorinda makes introductions between her two sets of friends. Right off the bat, we learn two very important facts about Jules' identity: she's really Jewish, like kosher-level, and she's half-Japanese. Dorinda vouches for how fabulous and fun Jules is, but Bethenny remarks that the new 'Wife's tiny frame and long locks eerily remind her of her estranged mother. Bethenny also opines that Jules appears to be more than just Naturally Thin - skinny enough that there could be a problem here. Strange first impression, right? So far, I think Jules seems lovely and I'm looking forward to seeing what she brings to the table this season. And just like that, the season premiere ends with the promise of more much drama coming quickly down the pipeline. 

What did you think of the season premiere? Are you excited RHONY is back? How well do you think Jules will fit into the group? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and click the "Share" button to post this recap on social media...