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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: the countess collection

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 10 - Unhappy Holidays

Glenn Rowley

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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....

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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.

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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?

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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.) 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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 5 - Birthday Bashing

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, it's one OG's annual birthday celebration while the rookie of the group opens up about a shocking personal secret from her past. Read on to find out what the newest Housewife on the block revealed while trying to bond with Bethenny Frankel...

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While Bethenny packs for a trip with her five-year-old daughter Bryn, Carole Radziwill meets Dorinda Medley at Tasca Chino for tapas. As Carole sits down, she asks Dorinda if they can get catty for a moment. (Hello, of course you can, this is Housewives!) Radzi jokes that she didn't quite understand Jules Wainstein's house in the Hamptons - the newbie said it had been under renovation for years, but there was no equipment or construction tools to be seen. More importantly though, the brunch Jules held for everyone was full of nothing but tension and awkwardness. Jules arrives late to the meal and Carole immediately brings up the brunch and apologizes for her mean girlish behavior. However, Jules quickly brushes off Carole's behavior, choosing instead to pin the disastrous morning on Bethenny. After just a select few interactions with her, Jules hasn't come away with a positive impression of the Skinnygirl, and proceeds to air her multitude of grievances to Carole and Dorinda. Carole promises that Bethenny is better once you get to know her, but for now the newbie's not buying it. However, she's willing to give B a second chance to make a good first impression and decides to invite her to lunch one-on-one later in the week. 

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Meanwhile, Ramona Singer drops by Sonja Morgan's townhouse on the Upper East Side with big news: her divorce from Mario is final and she has the papers to prove it. Regardless of how much she and Sonja butcher the word "solemnize," her marriage to Mario is officially over. However, Ramona has more on her mind than just her newly-christened single status. When Sonja makes the excuse that she missed Bethenny's birthday BBQ in the Hamptons because she was away with her daughter, Ramona corrects her by informing her that she simply wasn't invited. Ouch. According to Ramona, Bethenny didn't want Sonja at the party because she's embarrassed by how drunk she gets and didn't want Lady Morgan causing a scene.

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All of a sudden, Ramona is staging an impromptu intervention for her bestie, explaining that she's tried to distance herself from Sonja lately because her drinking has gotten so out of hand. Sonja, however, is having none of this talk, and hilariously thanks Ramona for "sharing" her feelings. Lady Morgan then deftly changes the subject by filling Ramotional in on Luann de Lesseps' housing situation - or lack thereof. Apparently Sonja has agreed to let the Countess move in with her on a sort of trial run to see how it goes. Ramona thinks this is a terrible idea and opines that Luann will be a terrible influence on the Frack to her Frick. Keeping up with the Countess's hard-partying ways is the last thing Sonja needs.

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A few days later, Jules and Bethenny finally meet one-on-one for lunch. Bethenny goes into the meal knowing she needs to apologize for the brunch in the Hamptons, and cops to feeling uncomfortable because of the lingering tension with Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian. Now, I'm not sure if Jules is just nervous about the meeting or intimidated by Bethenny but the newbie stumbles over her words and struggles to even form a sentence as she tries to tell Bethenny how offended she was by the Skinnygirl's comments about her home. In fact, it reaches a point where Bethenny is essentially helping the rookie construct her own argument against her - in the case of Frankel v. Wainstein, Bethenny turns into the lead prosecutor!

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As the two 'Wives finally begin to bond, Jules opens up about the fact that she never graduated from college despite going for seven years. Naturally, Bethenny asks why and the rookie reveals that throughout her teens and early twenties, she struggled with an eating disorder. Jules fight with the disease was so bad that she eventually reached a meager eighty pounds and questioned whether she would ever be able to have children because of it. It's true that you're never cured from an eating disorder, but 13 years later she's happy and at a healthy weight. The newbie confides in Bethenny that she's very open about the eating disorder because it helps keep her accountable and not fall back into old behaviors. Having watched her estranged mother battle an eating disorder for most of her life, this topic is right in Bethenny's wheelhouse and she tearfully empathizes with Jules while applauding her bravery for opening up about her struggle. These two got off to a rocky start, but it finally feels like they've bonded over something real, deep and genuine in their lives. 

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The next day, Carole and Bethenny join Ramona for lunch at her apartment while Jules meets Dorinda for pedicures on the Upper East Side. Naturally, the topic of conversation in both groups is a rehash of the aforementioned lunch. Both Jules and Bethenny feel much better about developing a relationship with one another and came out of the meal with a newfound mutual respect. Jules alludes to the fact that she was very forthright and honest in their conversation, but Bethenny doesn't say a word about the eating disorder - explaining in her confessional that it's absolutely not her secret to tell. Ramona's also anxious to discuss her upcoming birthday lunch - the storied, annual event that shuts down a restaurant on the Upper East Side and brings together her 60 closest girlfriends. The OG wonders if Carole will be OK with seeing Luann there since it's such a large group, and Radzi insists she will be more than fine. Bethenny, on the other hand, isn't quite as sure where she stands with the Countess. It turns out that when she hosted Kyle Richards and the rest of the RHOBH ladies at her house in the Hamptons over the summer, Luann badgered her endlessly to get an invite to the dinner party and accused her of being "uncool" when she explained that it wasn't her party to invite people to. While the two OGs bonded upon Bethenny's return to the series last year, the Countess has slipped back into her old slithery ways and B wants to keep her at a safe distance. 

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At last, Ramona's yearly birthday luncheon is upon us and, much to her chagrin, many of the 'Wives show up in varying shades of her signature Ramona Red. As Ramotional's off-camera girlfriends fawn over her eight-month-old haircut, Bethenny makes the hilarious observation that it appears these Upper East Side ladies who lunch seem to have put themselves on ice for the last year. They literally look exactly the same as they did at Ramona's birthday lunch last season! Luann arrives bearing two separate gifts - one for the actual birthday girl and one for Bethenny, since her present apparently wasn't ready on the day of her party. This is less-than-ideal gifting etiquette to begin with (especially for a birthday diva like Ramona), but the situation gets worse when the two 'Wives open their gifts next to each other. The Countess decided to get Bethenny a monogrammed Carlos Falchi purse while regifting Ramona a necklace from her Countess Collection that she had to get fixed. I wonder what Class with the Countess has to say about this birthday faux pas...

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Pulling her aside, Luann tells Bethenny in her most heartfelt voice that she wanted to give her the handbag as a way of telling her how much she loves her and considers her family. Bethenny, however, is somewhat perplexed by the gift and points out that Luann has given her incredibly mixed signals as of late. One minute she's chewing the Skinnygirl out over text for not including her in filming with the RHOBH women and the next she's buttering her up with an expensive purse at another 'Wife's birthday party. Bethenny then pointedly accuses the Countess of constantly failing to own her behavior - in her on-camera life or otherwise. Luann seems blindsided by Bethenny's issues with her and argues that her fellow OG has had over four months to bring them up with her. Further, when it came to Kyle and the other Beverly Hills 'Wives coming to the Hamptons, Luann explains that she merely wanted to be included. After all, with her younger son Noel off to college, she's officially become an empty and it gets lonely. Even now, she doesn't have an apartment in the city and is living out of a suitcase. Eventually the pair manage to hug it out, but it seems that Bethenny isn't quite ready to buy into a renewed friendship with the Countess, engraved Carlos Falchi bag included.

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As the gaggle of women sit down for lunch, Sonja and Luann corner Dorinda for the details on her life. Remember how they haven't been involved with any of the season's drama yet? Dorinda briefly gives them the rundown on the drama between the other 'Wives and John, and throws out that her costars must be putting her boyfriend through the ringer because they're just jealous that she's in a happy, committed relationship. Hmm...based on Ramona and Bethenny's reactions to this comment, I'm not sure that assertion holds much water. Dorinda stands to address the roomful of Ramona's closest girlfriends and gives a heartfelt toast to the birthday girl that's chock full of subliminal messaging. As Ramona happily looks on, Dorinda toasts to friendships with women who support and uplift each other, and are there no matter what. Dorinda has made it clear in her confessionals and other scenes that her 20+ year friendship with Ramona has permanently changed because of the drama with John at the lingerie party. Maybe now the OG will get the message? Either way, cheers to the ladies who lunch!

What did you think of this week's episode? How does Jules's eating disorder revelation change your perception of her? Does the Countess need to take a page from her own book when it comes to gifting etiquette? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!