This week JZ and Brad make a pitch for their own gay sitcom; Bethenny gets to play covergirl; Ramona rocks a bikini; Silex floats in a backyard pool of denial; and the Count-ass earns her title. Whoopsi, I forgot Kelly. Well on the TV she’s still meh, but in real life… Holy Cow!!
I forced myself to get on the scale this week. Sadly, it turns out that my jeans haven’t shrunk; I’ve just grown larger. I hate that. I’m restricting myself to apple slices and wine. I’m so not a wine drinker and I don’t particularly like apples. I’m a tad bit cranky about the whole thing, so do me a favor and grab something really fattening before taking the jump…
We start this week with JZ’s gay husband, Brad, trying to present his ideas for redecorating JZ’s apartment. Bradley displays fabrics and color concepts, JZ kvetches and moans, and Bobby, the man ultimately paying for all of this drama, gets quietly drunk.
Seriously, I have no idea how Brad and JZ work together on a daily basis. It’s like watching a split personality with serious self-esteem issues. I can’t tell if Brad is in the process of morphing into a Jewish diva from Long Island or Jill is morphing into a hysterical gay man. Either way, they’re taking the Will and Grace theme to the level of a mid-life crisis. Except that Will had a working grasp of basic English and Brad could probably use a few of those toilet paper rolls that have a new word printed on each sheet.
If the point of this segment is to drum up business for the the decorator portion of Zarin Fabrics they might want to rethink their approach. Of course, my idea of redecorating is pretty much limited to cleaning the animal hair off the upholstery, so what do I know? But it can’t be great for business to showcase a decorator who doesn’t listen to his client and keeps insisting on fabric choices that collectively reflect a color palette somewhere in the range of puppy vomit.
Meanwhile, in Silex’s parallel universe, our bargain basement cartoon characters are carrying out their own property facelift. BTW, has anyone seen any sign of their au pair from last season? You know, the young woman who was supposed to be conversing with little Frankie and Johnny solely in French in order to foster their bilingual abilities? Personally, I’m guessing that she went running off into the night as soon as she saw the state of her living conditions.
Anyhoo, it looks like Silex is expecting company, because they’re all gussied up and the children are tucked discreetly out of sight. Go Silex! Work that social life. Sadly, it’s not that kind of guest. Their visitor turns out to be an architect who has come over to discuss the renovation of their house.
Yeehaw!! It looks like Silex is planning on redoing two whole floors of the house. Hell, they might even fix that leaking roof before mold starts spreading through the ceiling. Or maybe they’re just working on strengthening the kiddie’s immune systems by exposing them to a full range of natural flora.
I so want to live in Silex’s universe, where an extensive renovation involving moving the kitchen, knocking down walls and essentially rebuilding entire sections of a house can be done for under $200,000. I’m thinking that it might be a nasty shock when these two decide to move to planet earth. Not that price matters to them. In this economy it’s like a little ray of optimism to hear Alex babbling about the 48 inch oven and state of the art refrigerator that she wants to install. If there’s anything that Alex and Simon do well, it’s maintaining those status symbols. After all, life would be so drab without Robert Cavalli dresses and granite counter tops. Oops, my bad. Granite counter tops are so passe. You know, I had no idea that these two were the ones that started that decorating trend. It’s amazing how far reaching their social influence is. Now that I know Alex is thinking of installing neon green appliances, I’m just dying to do the same. After all, it’s not everyday you get to hear the inside scoop from such fashion forward icons.
Simon doesn’t even need input from their architect. I’m sure that the fellow was totally honored to have had the chance to work with Silex. He probably didn’t even mind Simon’s description of his role as an architect being reduced to a mere draftsman existing solely for the purpose of recording Simon’s amazing inspirations on paper. Really, Alex and Simon are more artists than anything else. They don’t just plan a renovation, they feel it. It would just be inconceivable to them to buy a house and renovate it before moving in. How could they possibly understand the energy and rhythms of the house if they didn’t live in it first. For us less sensitive folks, it’s important to understand that learning about energy and rhythms takes time. In the case of their present house, it’s taken three years of living with leaking ceilings and exposed under-flooring before they were ready to go to work. Obviously, it’s hard for such elevated beings to understand how other people can be so crass as to just buy a house and immediately renovate it.
Their architect is a little more down to earth. He understands the financial strain that two mortgages can impose on less dedicated people who object to living in the substandard conditions of a house desperately in need of renovations. Silex is of course above such earthly considerations. In their universe, children thrive on noise, dust, and chaos, and what an opportunity to expand Frankie and Johnny’s vocabulary.
Despite Simon’s role as the inspiration behind the renovation, he’s gracious enough to allow his architect to present a few ideas of his own. What a surprise, the fellow actually has some worthwhile ideas to contribute. The thought of the French doors opening out onto a balcony brings Alex to the point of a small happy moment, which has to be an unusual occurrence in their marriage. While Simon appreciates the instant pleasure that Alex is deriving from their architect’s sketch, he’s pretty much confused about how to react. Does she want a cigarette? A glass of water? Maybe, if he just awkwardly pets her like she was a large dog, the moment will pass and she’ll lapse back into her normal robotic state.
Those endorphins rocketing through Alex’s brain are inspiring her on all sorts of levels. Now she’s talking about floor to ceiling bookcases that she can fill with the complete works of Shakespeare in hopes of satisfying Frankie and Johnny’s developing literary compulsions. God forbid anyone thinks she’s being pretentious by decorating her house in the theme of a rare/first edition bookstore. In her house bookcases aren’t just for show like they are in other people’s houses. In Alex’s house they read, Goddammit!! Hmmmmm, it might be time to mix girlfriend a drink.
Betheny is presenting herself at the Social Life Magazine estate to pose for a photo shoot, and she’s all kinds of excited about it. I’m pretty excited too, until we meet the editor-and-chief of Social Life Magazine, Devorah Rose. Bethenny describes Devorah as a character. I’m thinking more along the lines of Paris Hilton and Fran Drescher’s love child. Seriously, shoot me now. This might be the most annoying person to hit TV in years.
On the other hand, Devorah is definitely milking this season for what she can get in the way of free advertising. Way to up your circulation. It’s kind of hard to believe that the editor-in-chief of a magazine dedicated solely to the purpose of stroking the collective ego of the NYC/Hampton social scene, might not have watched RHNYC last season. But Devorah claims not to have known who Bethenny was until she saw her at a party dancing on a table top and was immediately drawn to her. To put this in perspective, it helps to know that last year Gawker was circulating some pretty heavy rumors that Devorah Rose had a shady past as a stripper. Of course, her totally strippertastic name helped. Anyhoo, I’m sure that Devorah is only interested in Bethenny’s accomplishments in much the same way that she was only interested in Silex’s friendship when she made a point of inviting them and their camera crew to the Social Life summer bash featured in this season’s first episode.
Except for a little issue of side slipping ta-tas, Bethenny seems to be rocking her photo shoot. I don’t like making a lot of comments about women’s breasts, but I have to wonder if Bethenny didn’t have some implants removed for this season. Her breasts look a lot more natural, and they’re displaying some new and exciting traits like actually responding to gravity. It’s nice to see how excited Betheny is about the shoot, and I’m thinking this is a new, sweet side of her. That is until she voices the thought that surely other people are envious of her. After all, she’d be envious of her too. Careful, darling, true or not, there are just some things that shouldn’t come out of your mouth in front of a camera. Especially, when you’re already in overtime on your 15 minutes.
Ramona might be batshit crazy but that woman can rock a bikini and the camera’s giving her ample time to shake it as she crosses her yard to the pool. Serial killer Mario is waiting for her in the water and, sadly, he’s feeling a little affectionate. Seriously, these two must watch a lot of porn together because their romantic conversations sounds just like some of the cheesier dialogs. Not that I watch alot of porn, that was my husband’s contribution…not that my husband watches alot of porn…oh crap, moving on.
Ramona and Mario are definitely living it up in their house. Their yard, complete with the pool, is gorgeous and serene, and I totally wish I was hanging out there.
Yup, Brooklyn sure beats the hell out of summering in the Hamptons. Oh look what a surprise, Alex is stripped down to a bikini again. Thankfully, Simon seems resigned to saving the full glory of his speedo for St Barts. Or maybe the neighbors complained one too many times.
We leave Silex’s luxury, above ground, wading pool, to join the Countess and Bethenny for lunch. It seems that Lulu donated Ramona, Bethenny, and JZ’s time to put on a dinner for the residents of Hope House. Hope house offers living quarters to cancer patients seeking treatment in NYC. Somehow the Countess neglected to ask the hausefrau first, but you know those nobles; they’re so capricious. But enough of good causes, what Lulu really wants to talk about is the book deal that she just got. Some publisher is putting a whole lot of faith into the reality TV fanbase. Call me crazy, but I’m kind of doubting that, outside of the hausenfrau viewing audience, a whole lot of people are going to be rushing to buy Class With The Countess. I love Bethenny. This woman has the worst poker face I’ve ever seen. She’s working hard to maintain a politely encouraging expression, but she looks like she just had a stroke. Her facial muscles have gone completely slack in disbelief. In an impressively neutral tone she delicately inquires if the Countess’ concept is that because she has a title she knows more than the average person about class. After all, it’s not like Lulu’s upbringing was anything special since she MARRIED into the title. No, no, the Countess reassures her. The book is about her travels with some tips at the end, because that will be so much more interesting than a standard text book approach. Besides what people really want to know is how she went from being an American Indian from Connecticut to being a condescending, classist, Count-ass with a narcissistic personality living in the upper east side of Manhattan. You just know that’s going to be riveting stuff. Kind of like My Fair Lady without the music or the flair. Lulu can’t help noticing that Bethenny’s not particularly impressed with her title. But Bethenny had better get over her issues with Luanne being a real live aristocrat because, unless Count no-neck decides that the family fortune can handle another alimony payment, the Countess is here to stay and Bethenny can kiss Lulu’s noble tuchus.
Hey look, it’s that sly minx Kelly Bensimon. Who would have thought that such a painfully boring, not to mention leathery, facade would be hiding a total rageaholic, man beater. For those of you that missed it last week, Ms. Bensimon turned herself in to the local precinct because of a warrant out for her arrest. It seems that she felt the need to punch out her thirty year old boy toy, inflicting a large gash on his cheek, massive bruising, and psychological pain. You’ve got to wonder what Bravo’s screening process is for their housewives. Seriously, half the time producer’s don’t even bother about the housewife criteria, but they make damn sure the women are at least slightly demented if not flat out, babbling-on-the-bus, insane.
This week old Leather and Lace is taking Crazy Eyes somewhere special; somewhere near and dear to her leathery heart. You know, I’m kind of fond of Crazy Eyes and I’m not that thrilled about Leather, so I hope Ramona watches herself. Her date’s got fists and she ain’t afraid to let them fly. Anyhoo, to share that special part of her past Leather is taking Ramona to the model museum, which makes perfect sense to me until I realize that they’re not talking Vogue models; they’re talking Richare Meier architectural models. Anybody else thinking WTF? This is near and dear to Leather’s heart, why? Kelly explains that Richard Meier is a really good friend of hers. Well, then that makes perfect sense. I once rode in the same elevator as Michael Baryshnikov, so I’m going to take you all on a tour of Lincoln Center to share a special part of my past. I have to admit I’m impressed. Not everybody can pull off name dropping and coopting a piece of someone else’s past in one smart move.
Before the faux and slightly awkward sharing can begin, the girls have some serious height issues to resolve. Crazy Eyes is going to have to find some serious, lucite, stripper shoes if she ever wants to actually see Leather’s face, because girlfriend is tall. Not to mention being built along stereotypical male lines. Crazy Eyes is all about pointing out how Leather’s shoulders are even wider than Marios, which explains why she packs such a serious punch.
Ramona’s done her homework and every one of the voices in her head can recite a different fact about Richard Meier. She must feel like she took a lot of acid before playing Jeopardy. Seriously, her eyes are whizzing and she’s regurgitating facts at a mile a minute, while the tour guide stares at her and wonders if the cameras really belong to one of those shows where people are punked.
Taking a break from teaching about Richard Meier, whom Leather seems to know nothing about, Crazy Eyes takes a stab at social strategy. I’m thinking that Crazy Eyes is hoping that Leather will become her wingman in her social war against JZ. I’m also thinking that Leather is way too self-centered to be anybody’s wingman. But Ramona still gives it the good old college try and asks if Leather doesn’t think it’s just a little too desperate for JZ to pull together a charity event in eight weeks? Doesn’t Kelly think that ‘s insane? Won’t Kelly agree that Jill’s the one that’s insane? Come on, please, please agree with me!!
Sorry, I got caught up in Ramona’s desperation. Sadly, Leather is impervious to the finer shades of social manipulations going on around her, simply because she only has one interest in life; that being Leather. Instead of answering Ramona’s question about JZ, she intercedes with an irrelevant, but flattering, fact about herself. Did Crazy Eyes know that Leather was the youngest member of the Junior League in New York?
Ramona blinks, while the voices in her head simultaneously ask “huh?” But Ramona’s not about to be derailed by something as simple as a non-sequitar and she soldiers on, pushing for Leather’s opinion about JZ’s eight week timeline. Finally registering that Ramona wants an answer, Leather gives her political best, reassuring Ramona that she’s going to be a rockstar when she helps JZ make her timeline.
We catch up with Bethenny making a rare appearance in Manhattan. It turns out that she’s come to town to spend some time with her publicist, and what a surprise; Devorah Rose just happens to call and ask if she can stop by.
Devorah’s schlepping Bethenny’s pictures up to the office and, with those twig like arms, I’m amazed that she can actually raise the envelope. But the pictures are gorgeous. You go girl!! And there’s more; Devorah wants Betheny to be on the cover of the Labor Day magazine and maybe even host the Labor Day bash. It just goes to show you never know what’s going to happen. One day you can be at a party dancing on the table tops and the next you can be gracing the cover of a magazine.
I’m thinking that Mario has been getting a wee bit jealous of Simon’s camera time, because our friendly neighborhood psycho killer is suddenly in a lot more segments. I for one am just thrilled. Sort of. Anyhoo, good old Mario is hanging out at the rented bat cave/office for his fourth generation family business. For those of you that don’t know, Mario sells religious articles. You know all those crosses that Ramona wears? Those aren’t just a safety precaution against vampires; think walking billboard. But like a breath of fresh air Ramona is breezing in to take control and “develop more fashion into the line”. Crazy Eyes isn’t sounding real optimisitic about the current fiscal health of her husband’s business but she’s determined to help, telling us that “We would like to keep it going and make it successful.” Mario’s still smiling, but he’s smiling that special strained smile of a man whose bat cave has been breached and whose football game has been replaced with a reality show about NY hausenfrau. From the creepy way he’s smiling, despite being massively irritated, I’m guessing one more person in NYC is going to go missing tonight.
In case you’ve been wondering about the Countess’ little dinner shindig at the Hope House, we’re finally getting to see her in action. Of course, the important thing to remember is that this event is all about the Countess; it’s her night. What about the cancer patients, you ask? Well, they’re just oh so lucky to play the role of an appreciative audience. Bethenny is hard at work cooking away in preparation for the feast, and it better be good because the Countess doesn’t want anything messing up her special evening. Silly Bethenny. You know Lulu isn’t going to be happy if you steal her thunder by telling her about the magazine cover. After all, Devorah royally (heh-heh) screwed up when she didn’t ask the Countess to be on the cover instead. After all, everybody knows who the real star of this reality show is. Why it even says so right on the Lulu’s very own website. But Bethenny is being unusually delusional about the Countess’ ability to rise above petty things like envy and jealousy, and she’s blathering on about how her pictures are really pretty. The Countess produces a strained smile complete with clenched teeth and manages to force out a brief “greeeeaaaattttt”.
Oh, Lulu, if only you had stopped there and shut that iron trap jaw of yours. But no, she continues on asking “Are they doing retouching?”, which is roughly the same as asking if you’re getting a face lift before you go for a job interview. And, wham! That hits home like the sucker punch it was meant to be. Seriously, Bethenny, you’re supposed to be a little more wordly and cynical than to be taken off guard by a delusional, narcissistic, meglomaniac, titled-by-marriage, beyotch.
Bethenny kind of falters and answers “They said they weren’t touching them up that much.” The Countess, not content with having inflicted a mere flesh wound, goes for a final blow muttering “Well I hope so.” Yup, that’s nice. That’s just the kind of support that I want from my friends. On the other hand, maybe the Countess is shopping a new market for her etiquette book. It’s just that kind of behavior that’s likely to turn the book into comedy gold. Hell, I might purchase it just for the sake of inserting her quotes into my recaps. For example, straight off her website blog:
Why are we drawn to them? The Obamas are alluring people whom we NEVER see doing the following:
2.Yawning (in public mind you)
3.Biting their nails or displaying nervous habits
4.Losing their temper
5.Putting on airs
I can readily admit that we never see the Countess displaying items one thru three…well…I do seem to have a memory of her yawning. But anyway, I think we should bear in mind items four and five as we discuss her subsequent interaction with old Crazy Eyes.
Crazy Eyes is dutifully working away on the salad, and trying to get Bethenny to agree to a blind date with a gentleman that Ramona seems strangely unwilling to dish about. Seriously, I’d be a little concerned about the date as well. In the course of the conversation, Bethenny passes on one of Ramona’s dating tips to the Countess; “take the guy’s card and say you’ll call them. That way you’re in control.” Lulu looks down from the Olympian heights of her etiquette expertise and says “That’s not how I operate.” Of course not, darling. Count No Neck would be much more likely to find out about your little liaisons, I’m guessing that you employ much shadier ways of meeting men, possibly picking them up for dark groping encounters in the alleys outside of clubs. Crazy Eyes has absolutely no sense of discreetness or secrecy. Whatever else you want to say about her, Ramona just puts herself out there for better or for worse for all to see, and I’ve got to say, I kind of like her for it. As far as dating goes, she’s thinking that Bethenny needs to take six months and just date alot of guys and have fun. You know, honestly, I don’t think that’s bad advice. But the Countess isn’t buying it, saying frostily, “That builds a bad reputation in my world.” Well, Countess, your world consists of what? .0002 percent of the world population, if that?
I think we’ve fully covered item number 5 “putting on airs”, so lets move on to #4 “losing their temper.” At this point, the Countess has made it very clear that by her standards Ramona is operating under low class, slut rules, which could understandably be construed as, you know, insulting. I’m guessing that roughly 900 of the thousand voices in Ramona’s head were pointing this out to her. So Crazy Eyes hits back, noting that the Countess got married young to a man who was twice her age, so what would she know about dating? Okay, a valid point and a solid hit. I think it’s safe to say that the Lulu has officially lost her temper. Here’s the score card for the ensuing argument: Ramona lands a total of two strikes with the comments “your husband is twice your age” and “he looks like an old man standing next to you”.
The Countess quickly recovers and rattles in to land a bunch of punches, including a few glancing blows such as “don’t be rude Ramona” and “Mario doesn’t look that young” along with some flush hits, such as “your eyes are like this for a reason; because you’re totally out of your head” and “My love; It’s so rude. You don’t have any manners for God’s sake”.
I’m thinking that the Count-ass gets the title of Queen Bitch from that encounter. Especially, when she storms off, ranting about how pissed she is, in front of one of the cancer patients. Who, I should add, everybody has been steadily ignoring. Sheesh ladies.
Our helpful editors give us a clip of the Lulu continuing to rant at the camera demanding, “How dare you judge me? I don’t judge her or her husband.” Because condescending remarks about how Ramona’s advice would be viewed in the Countess’ elite world are so not judgmental.
Thankfully, for the residents of Hope House, the Countess gets a grip and decides not to behead Ramona in the middle of the dining room. But she’s still pissed when she marches back in and demands an apology from Ramona for both herself and her daughter. Holy cow, this wretched woman is like a pit bull and she just can’t let go. Not only does Ramona apologize, she actually says the words “I’m sorry” eight times during the rant, and two more times subsequent to it. For her part. the Countess doesn’t see anything to apologize for, but that’s probably because she’s begun to believe that royalty is divinely appointed and she’s just a title or two away from being called Queen.
Personally, I’m thinking that the residents of Hope House should get the award for demonstrating the most poise under duress. Seriously, if I was undergoing chemo and a bunch of drama queens and their cameras descended on my residence to have a knock down drag out spat, I’d toss them out and lock the door.
Over in the parallel universe of Silex, the Van Kempen family is getting ready to leave for their much touted St. Bart vacation, during which time the renovation is supposed to start. In preparation, they’re moving as many of their belongings as possible into the basement. Simon informs us in anguished tones that he is shvitzing like a pig. Alex is clearly disapproving of her husband’s disheveled state and tells him tartly that she can see that, which is totally the wrong answer. How could Alex forget Simon’s constant, yet manly, need for reassurance. It would have been so much better to reassure him that he’s not a pig. Aw, well, Simon’s bruised feelings are bound to recover quickly. After all, he has his wardrobe of pink jeans and loafers to look forward to. I’m guessing that Simon is talking about the pink jeans that were part of Armani’s spring 2008 collection:
It always amazes me how so many people, who claim to be cynical and worldly, actually turn out to be romantics at heart. Me, not so much. I tend to think that if someone behaves badly, and they don’t rectify it on their own, then they’re probably behaving that way for a reason and I’m not going to be the one to change them. Take the Count-ass for example. She’s a sneaky little beyotch, who tries to hide her nastiness amidst her “my love” “my sweet” terms of endearment. It’s been working for her and she’s probably not going to change, or appreciate being called on it. So, I have no idea why the heck Bethenny thinks that bringing up the bitchy “touch up” comments to the Countess, in terms of “you hurt my feelings”, is going to produce any feelings of remorse. Lulu doesn’t care about Bethenny’s feelings. She just wants to get away with behaving badly.
Regardless, Bethenny invites the Countess for lunch and dredges up the whole issue, including her own personal pain. You can almost see the Lulu switch into political damage control mode as she reassures Bethenny that “it wasn’t meant in a mean way, my sweet”, then points out that Bethenny’s just too sensitive, and, finally, explains that the insult was simply a way to protect Bethenny. After all, it’s so much better for a close friend to tell you that you need to be touched up before you read about it on the Gasm.
Realizing that the Count-ass is not seeing the error of her ways, because nobility can do no wrong, Bethenny tries again and again to elicit some real remorse. Her feelings were hurt, God dammit!! Okay, I’m squirming now. Either throw a f-ing glass of wine at her ladyship and storm off, or let it go already.
We wind up this week’s exercise in bitchiness at the much touted Social Life party hosted by Bethenny. Except that Bethenny arrives kind of late to be hosting it, so maybe that little detail changed. All the hausenfrau minus Kelly and Alex are present. And, boom!! Devorah is all over the Countess about the airbrushing scandal. I’m thinking that Devorah has got to be pushing for her own reality show. I so bet she’s sending Andy Cohen flowers on a regular basis.
Ramona is having the time of her life as she and her thousand voices hit the dance floor, because there are times when imaginary friends are so much better than real ones. Of course the booze and our serial killer, Mario, show up at the same time. In fact just in time for the Countess to swoop down and make a gracious toast before excusing herself to go rescue her husband from the kids. Seriously, how bizarre is it for her to casually say “I’ve got to go. My husband is alone with the kids”. Especially when the kids are teenagers. Is he going to beat them? Eat them? Or bore them to death? Who knows with these wacky aristocrats. Lulu goes scuttling off to rescue her noble progeny and far be it from me to suggest that she might be in a snit.
Well, Gasmi, that’s it for this week. I don’t know about you, but the Kelly scandal surprised the heck out of me. It’s always kind of fun to see which housewife is going to unravel in real life while the TV drama chugs along.
I love you guys. It’s supposed to be in the fifties tomorrow, so HAPPY SPRING!!
***To read Chapter Eleven of Yenta’s novel, The Traveling Prayer, click here.