The Real Housewives of New York City, affectionately known as RHONY, is a staple amongst Housewives fans. It’s known for the silliness, directness, and overall cohesiveness of its cast. However, viewers like myself have felt a void for the past few seasons, especially with the current one. The vibe just seems off, and it’s not for one particular reason or cast member. To be frank with you, RHONY has been on the decline for a while. It’s not that the show is necessarily boring, because there wouldn’t be so much social media conversation surrounding it if it were. However, there seems to be something missing with this season, and it’s been subtly happening for some time now. So the question that is on everyone’s mind is, what exactly is wrong with RHONY? Let’s take a deep dive into how the casting, direction of production, and the lack of resolution has put the show in an awkward place.
The cohesiveness of RHONY’s cast is what initially set it apart from other Housewives franchises. At its peak, the core cast members seemed to be an actual friend group, even if they were not necessarily friends before the show. The women would hang out when the cameras went down and when the show was in off-season. They would even grab dinner together after going in on each other at reunion. It made their on-screen chemistry absolutely fantastic and gave us arguably the best seasons of RHONY (7-10). I’ve never watched Sex and the City (and I probably won’t, so please don’t start), but I feel like they gave real-life SATC vibes: women with ambition who know how to have a good time.
And then, there was a shift. While The Real Housewives is supposed to depict women who are part of the same friend group, we know this is not the case anymore, especially for franchises that have been on for years. These women are hired to be friends, and honestly, they show it more and more as the season progresses. There’s no way in hell that the five main cast members on the show would hang out in real life. Ramona, Luann, and Sonja are used to their Upper East Side bubble. Leah and Eboni are used to dealing with women like the other three, but they don’t have enough in common to form a genuine friendship.
In essence, it feels like we’re watching two shows, one about women who like to have fun on the Upper East Side and another about women who have influence on NYC and its culture. They’re both amazing groups of women, but they all give off the vibe that they are contractually obligated to hang out with one another, and that makes for a disastrous season of Housewives. This is why you need that one person who acts incredibly enthusiastic about being there, the person you can tell loves doing the show and will welcome new people to the group. Someone who can be in a room with people from all walks of life and fit right in. The bridge between the veterans and the newbies.
That person was Dorinda. What are we doing here without her? She was the middle ground between Leah and Ramona when they would feud, and she also felt like the glue to the group. Her absence is incredibly felt this season, and Bravo would be out of their minds to not hire her back. Also, we’ve seen everything we could see out of Ramona, Luann, and Sonja. One of them has to go next year. They’ve done a lot for the show, but their stories are not as intriguing as they once were.
You Need Your Narrators
With all of the differences and the drama of any Housewives franchise, you need your narrators. Every city has them. They are usually the ones who come across as the individual(s) with the most common sense and the least amount of delusion. (The keyword here is *least* amount of delusion, as every Housewife has to have to be a little delusional and kooky. That’s why we love them.) But your narrators should also be neutral. During its peak (seasons 5-9), Carole and Bethenny were the narrators. And listen, I’m not a fan of the margarita lady—she runs her mouth about Black women a little too much for my liking. However, I do know that it’s hard to replace her presence on the show. Last season, the network tried to make Dorinda and Leah its narrators, which didn’t work because they were the two most embroiled in drama. This season, it’s setting up Leah and Eboni, which doesn’t work either because their conflicts this season are with the other three women. Their takes are obviously going to be more biased. To fill this void, production should have hired one more Housewife—someone unbiased, witty, and the most “calm” one in the group. Someone like Carole.
Conflicts Aren’t Resolved
Despite what some viewers might think, this isn’t the first time RHONY has tackled serious topics. As Eboni has publicly stated, RHONY has had conversations surrounding divorce, abuse, depression, alcoholism, financial loss, and the process of grieving, to name a few. However, the handling of these conversations is different this time around. In layman’s terms, production and the women made the space for these topics to be covered without awkwardness. They acted sympathetic to each other’s situations and seemed like they cared about what was going on in each other’s personal lives. That is not the case this season. We are watching these conversations unfold without resolution. Obviously, race is always going to be an ongoing conversation, but the way it’s being handled is what makes it hard to digest. It’s created this snowball effect of awkwardness, which then makes the viewing experience uncomfortable. What we used to love about RHONY is that the women would go all the way off on each other and then immediately hug and make up. Now, the “resolutions” we do get feel forced and disingenuous.
Conversations About Race
I feel like Eboni came onto the show wanting the women to understand her on a deeper level, being the only Black woman in their group of white women. She probably wanted the women to take a moment to step outside of their bubble and understand her. Imagine that you were hired as the first Black cast member on an incredibly popular reality show that only featured white women for 12 years straight. The show is set in one of the most diverse cities in our country, and you are filming your first season during one of the most critical elections in modern American history. On top of that, there is a global pandemic and a massive uprising for the rights of Black people. So, there’s going to be pressure. Not just pressure from viewers, but perhaps pressure that you put on yourself.
I don’t blame Eboni for wanting to see where the women stood on political and social issues. As someone who has been the only Black person in spaces such as academia and work, I tend to ask the same type of questions. To some, it’s taboo to talk about serious issues in formal settings, such as dinner parties. However, this isn’t a formal setting. This is The Real Housewives. These women are filming a show where they are paid to be a part of a specific friend group, and these conversations are vital in order for a friendship to start in the first place. The issue is, the women don’t give a f*ck because they’ve never had to experience racism, and therefore they don’t comprehend the severity of the conversations being had. From Luann repeatedly calling Eboni angry, to that god-awful conversation about the election with Ramona, Eboni has been put in a position in which she has to cater to white fragility.
As a Black viewer of the show, I do feel uncomfortable watching these conversations because not only does it look like the burden of having these conversations is placed on Eboni’s shoulders, but they’re also triggering to watch. Having to deal with white people constantly talking down to you in the most passive-aggressive way is overwhelmingly frustrating, mainly because if we are reactionary, we are labeled as “aggressive”. On the flip side, I do think these conversations could be enlightening to white and non-Black POC viewers of the show. This is an actual glimpse of what Black people, Black women in particular, have to deal with in workplaces that are predominantly white.
I’ve seen conversations from white people about how the political issues and social issues discussed are “ruining the show”, and to be honest, it puzzles me. I can understand why Black people might not want to watch such triggering conversations, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around white people blaming Eboni and her willingness to have these conversations for the demise of the show. It seems to me that the fragility that we’ve seen on the show has extended to its audience. When all is said and done, should the blame be on Eboni for the reported decline in ratings, or on the “offended” audience who can’t sit through a few uncomfortable scenes?
RHONY is iconic. You can’t deny the fact that the franchise has a stamp on pop culture. You also can’t deny that this season will probably go down in history as one of the most polarizing seasons in reality TV. I think that for RHONY to get back on track, some things need to happen. The network needs to rehire Dorinda and possibly the margarita lady. The production team needs a clear understanding of what direction they want the season to go in, and they need to give us more of a balance between the serious topics and fun. Finally, the fandom needs to realize that we will never have the glory days of RHONY and a lot of popular Housewife franchises back, and the demise of the show isn’t on one particular person.
Also, give Bershan an apple, she’s incredibly entertaining.
Obviously, a revamp, à la RHOC, can steer the show in the right direction. It’ll give us a refresh that the show desperately needs, while still keeping the overall vibe of RHONY that we love. However, if you are yearning for the glory days of RHONY, binge the old seasons online. Problem solved.
Image: Heidi Gutman / Bravo
Luann, Luann, Luann. You had one job! And you managed to f*ck it up, and possibly land your ass back in jail. But let me back up a bit. Back in December of 2017 (Jesus, where has the time gone?) Luann De Lesseps got arrested in Palm Beach after a very messy Christmas. If you’ll recall, Luann got wasted and ended up in a hotel room that was not the one registered to her, with some mystery man (been there). What should have been a funny drunken mistake that everybody laughed about instead turned violent, when security was called and Luann and her friend refused to leave the room. Luann then locked herself in the bathroom (also been there), and when one of the officers used a key to open the door, she shoved him in the chest and slammed the door in his face. Okay, I can say confidently that I have not been there.
Then, the story took an even crazier turn, when Luann got arrested, because the fun didn’t stop there. Luann f*cking slipped out of her handcuffs (I need to know how) and tried to jump out of the moving police car! She also allegedly threatened to kill the police officers. Yikes.
When I convince my friend to take another shot even though we’re both blacked out pic.twitter.com/MPQifp0RIY
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) May 23, 2019
Predictably, Luann was charged with a slew of crimes, including battery, trespassing, and disorderly intoxication. She completed two rehab treatments and took a plea deal back in August 2018. Luann was put on probation, and was not supposed to drink. Much like me when I say I’m going out “for one drink and then I’m going home,” Luann’s sobriety did not last very long. She allegedly violated her probation and failed an alcohol test, so she landed back in court on Thursday. And, just like me when I am recounting my night after I browned out, Luann is telling everyone that she drank two mimosas after a performance she had in Chicago.
The judge said Luann wasn’t taking her probation seriously and ordered her back to jail. Now, we don’t know how long Luann is going to be in jail for, or if she will serve any time, but the judge was not happy either way, and Luann is probably going to face some consequences.
This is all especially interesting, considering the Real Housewives of New York reunion filmed last week, but we are only 12 or 13 episodes into the season. Typically, Bravo waits until the season has aired or is close to done airing before filming the reunion. So why did RHONY film early? It’s possible the powers that be at Bravo knew that Luann wouldn’t be around 10 episodes from now to film, so they pushed it up early. And when you consider that last season, Luann was absent from the reunion because she had just checked in to rehab, it makes sense that they would move the timeline up a bit to get Luann on the reunion.
We will have to wait to see what Luann de Lesseps’ consequences for allegedly violating probation are. Good thing money can’t buy you class, but it can buy you bail!
Images: Giphy; Shutterstock
Over the weekend, Instagram basically broke when Andy Cohen had his baby shower. It was hosted by the OG Real HousewivesTeresa Giudice, Vicky Gunvalson, Kyle Richards, Ramona Singer, and NeNe Leakes, and every single current housewife was invited. As you probably know from watching hundreds of Instagram stories, it was a drunken sh*t show. Lisa Rinna was yelling at people on a microphone, and everyone was dancing on the tables. Basically, it was the party of my dreams, and following along was the best day of my life. There were dozens of housewives in attendance, but not everyone showed up. Who were the most important missing wives, and why weren’t they there? Let’s examine the evidence.
Given all of the drama surrounding Lisa Vanderpump recently, I didn’t really expect her to show her face at Andy’s baby shower. She basically ghosted Real Housewives of Beverly Hills halfway through filming the new season, so this party wasn’t high on her agenda. It is interesting considering that the party was organized by the other Housewives OGs, a group that she really should be a part of. Lisa hasn’t acknowledged her absence on social media at this point, but it looks like things aren’t great between her and Andy.
Besides Lisa, Bethenny was the most glaring omission from the guest list. Bethenny has been on Bravo for a decade, and she and Andy have definitely been close at some points during that time. It’s unclear if there’s major drama going on, but Bethenny wasn’t quick to comment on why she missed the shower. Early Monday morning, she finally addressed it in the weirdest way possible, with a picture of two freezing monkeys. Maybe it’s a metaphor for being left out in the cold? She tagged Lisa Vanderpump in the caption, but gave no explanation for why she wasn’t there. Also, she and Lisa have never even really been friends. This whole thing is very confusing, and I need to know more.
Kandi Burruss, one of the most beloved Atlanta housewives, wasn’t there, but she has a very solid excuse. She’s on the new season of Celebrity Big Brother, which means she’s literally trapped in a house with no access to the outside world. That sounds like a nightmare for many reasons, but mainly because she didn’t get to go to this party. Hope it was worth it, Kandi!
Porsha was the other main Atlanta housewife not in attendance, but she also has a good excuse. She’s currently very pregnant with her first child, so it’s understandable that she wasn’t about to hop on a flight across the country. No shade here.
Luann de Lesseps
The Countess Luann was not in attendance on Saturday, because the event probably wasn’t classy enough for her. Jk, I don’t know why she wasn’t there. Lu quickly addressed her absence on Instagram by reposting one of my favorite memes ever, but like Bethenny, she didn’t give a reason for not being there. She was promoting her cabaret show on social media the same day, but she didn’t actually have a performance or anything, so it’s unclear why she didn’t show up. Hopefully she did the Countess-like thing and RSVPed with the proper amount of notice.
When Kelly, from Orange County, didn’t show up, people immediately guessed that she wasn’t invited because she would cause drama. Unfortunately for my messy soul, that was not the case. Kelly was on a skiing vacation that had been planned for months, and she sent Andy a gift. She also posted this photo at the ski lodge with Lil Wayne, because her life is cooler than mine will ever be. I’m not sure what she’s doing with her hand, but hopefully it’s not an offensive gang sign. We may never know.
Out of the current Real Housewives of New Jersey cast, Melissa Gorga was the only one who didn’t show up at the baby shower. Sadly, she was busy attending her daughter Antonia’s cheer camp, because like family comes first or something. Cheer camp sounds lame AF, but whatever.
RHONY wasn’t super well-represented at the baby shower, with Luann, Bethenny, and Tinsley Mortimer all missing. While Bethenny and Lu have at least acknowledged that they weren’t there, there hasn’t been a peep from Tinsley. I don’t think Tins and Andy are super close, but that didn’t stop the randos of Potomac from showing up. What’s up, Tinsley?
The Entire Cast Of ‘Vanderpump Rules’
While all of the Real Housewives were invited to the party, the cast of Vanderpump Rules was notably absent from the baby shower. These people are probably the biggest stars on Bravo at this point, but they will always be treated like second-class citizens. It’s probably a good thing that James Kennedy wasn’t there, considering how wasted everyone looked, but it does seem like a snub. Stassi wasn’t afraid to say so, and posted multiple times about stalking the party on Instagram. I have never related to Stassi Schroeder so hard in my life.
There were several other Housewives not in attendance, but they’re pretty much randos who no one give a f*ck about. Too bad for them, because they clearly missed the party of the century. Andy’s baby is reportedly due as soon as this coming weekend, so hopefully there will be some great housewife Instagram posts when the baby is born. Can Lisa Rinna please be my aunt?
Images: @bethennyfrankel / Instagram; @countessluann / Instagram; @rhoc_kellyddodd / Instagram; @stassischroeder / Instagram
When it comes to Halloween costumes, celebrities should really have it easy. All they have to do is choose something fun and non-problematic, pay someone else to make it for them, and go to whatever lame party the Getty Images photographers are at. Unfortunately, there are always some celebs who mess up what should be easy. Some of these costumes are way too over-the-top, while others are just sad, wasted opportunities. While we already dealt with all of the Kardashian costumes this year, here are some other celebrities who could’ve done better this Halloween. Behold, our ranking of the worst celebrity Halloween costumes of 2018.
Heidi Klum hosts one of the biggest Halloween parties in Hollywood, and she always goes all out with her costume. In recent years, she’s gotten into prosthetics, and it’s officially gone too far. Sure, her Princess Fiona costume is impressive, but I’m getting physically upset looking at it. With her boyfriend as a matching Shrek, it’s really more than I can handle. Someone please tell Heidi to relax next year, it’s just Halloween.
Luann de Lesseps
According to Luann’s Instagram caption, she asked her stylist for an “outfit that says nurse, pop-star, and countess.” I’m not sure why that was her desired look, but I’m just getting a slutty race car driver vibe here? Luann looks fantastic and healthy (thank god), but this outfit is just so confusing. Money can’t buy you class, but it can definitely buy you a coherent Halloween look.
While I am a huge fan of Ariana Grande, her brother Frankie is more than I can handle. His troll costume is the exact brand of extra we’ve come to expect from him, and I need a f*cking nap. I really hope that paint takes two weeks to come off just as punishment for this costume.
Oh, Nina Dobrev. I’m not sure exactly what she’s been up to since The Vampire Diaries ended, but this costume has me concerned. Her take on A Star Is Born is at least a little more creative than a half-assed Lady Gaga attempt, but the execution could definitely be better. The weird cage around her waist is really taking me out of it, and I just can’t look at an adult with a pacifier in their mouth. Sorry, no.
I never thought I’d say the name “Joey Fatone” in 2018, but here we are. The third most famous member of NSYNC is really trying to give me nightmares with his The Shining-inspired costume, and this will probably keep me up tonight. Also, the horrific wig aside, why does Joey look like he hasn’t slept in six years? If anyone has any miracle dark circle remedies they’d like to recommend, feel free to slide into Joey’s DMs.
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro & Jen Harley
Okay I thought these two had, like, restraining orders against each other? I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in the world of Ronnie and his baby mama drama, but this is definitely a weak-ass Joker costume. The Harley Quinn (lol because her last name is Harley) is a bit better, but no one is winning any costume contests here. I’d love to know what they dressed their baby as for Halloween, because I bet it’s something sad and outdated.
@heidiklum / Instagram; @countessluann / Instagram; @frankiejgrande / Instagram; @nina / Instagram; @realjoeyfatone / Instagram; @tt_kittymeow / Instagram
If you’ve ever watched even one season of a Real Housewives show, you know that the most important element of the show is the group trip. Prepare yourself, because the Real Housewives of New York just took a cruise from hell. Over the years, the New York housewives have taken a wide variety of exotic trips, including St. John (aka Scary Island where Kelly lost her mind), Morocco (cue Luann saying “ya habibi” seven million times), and even the far-away land of Montana. But nothing could have prepared Luann, Ramona, Bethenny, and the gang for this trip to Colombia.
The ladies are currently filming for season 10, and they headed down to Cartagena, Colombia, presumably because one of them slept with someone who owns a fabulous vacation home there or some shit like that. There’s always a connection. From there, they were supposed to spend the day on a luxury yacht. This is usually the part of the trip where nothing really goes wrong: Ramona has her Pinot Grigio, Luann pretends to be reading a book, and Sonja is tanning while ass naked. Yaaaaawn. But this time, the day on the yacht turned into the boat trip from hell, and we seriously can’t wait to see it unfold on Bravo.
Let’s just say, the boat wasn’t as luxurious as it was supposed to be. Page Six reports that, to start with, “Once they were ushered on board, the boat couldn’t even move. The anchor got stuck, so the crew had to saw the anchor off before they could sail anywhere.” I’m already laughing my ass off from the thought of these women watching them saw off the anchor, and it gets so much better.
After leaving the dock, the engine on the boat reportedly caught fire, which like, isn’t supposed to happen. There was apparently no fire extinguisher on board, and the crew didn’t speak any English. Yikes. As if that wasn’t enough, the seas were very rough, and “the seats and other things on board that weren’t nailed down started flying about.” OKAY. So just picture Luann the fucking Countess on a boat that is literally on fire and there are seat cushions just fucking pummeling her in the face. Darling, it’s a nightmare.
According to the reports, the housewives were screaming, throwing up from seasickness, and genuinely convinced they were going to die like it was the fucking Titanic. Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is how you make reality TV. They were eventually rescued by a passing ship, but Bravo has reportedly offered the ladies counseling for their traumatic experience.
With this and Luann’s wild Christmas in Palm Beach, the next season of Real Housewives of New York City is shaping up to be an absolute shit show. Thanks to our lord and savior Andy Cohen, we’ll surely get to see the whole messy thing. Why do we love this shit so much?
Images: Bravo; Giphy (3)
If there’s one thing that The Real Housewives of New York City has taught us over the years, it’s that nothing keeps Countess Luann de Lesseps down for long. She survived a tough divorce, her dance song getting terrible reviews, and another tough divorce, and now Luann is back from rehab. Break out your etiquette books ladies, because class with the Countess is back in session.
In case you need a little refresher, Luann went to Palm Beach over Christmas weekend and lost her fucking mind, getting arrested for being in a random hotel room with a random dude, giving us one of our favorite celebrity mugshots of recent years. She also slipped out of her handcuffs and tried to escape from a moving police car, which is obviously one of the most important lessons you learn at etiquette school.
After the incident, Luann made a statement about how she lost her fucking mind because it was her first time in Palm Beach since her divorce from Tom, and then she went away to rehab. Well, it’s approximately a month later, and the Countess is back!!! She tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that she was home and thanked everyone for their “continued support good wishes and support.”
So what’s next for Luann? Well, it looks like she wasted absolutely no time before reuniting with her fellow RHONY castmates, which we know thanks to Ramona Singer having literally no filter on social media. Ramona posted, and then quickly deleted, a photo of all the housewives at dinner, with Luann proudly at the head of the table. Andy Cohen must have screenshotted and put Ramona on blast for posting the photo, because that shit got taken down real quick.
If the rumors are true, and Luann is already back to filming for the show, there’s sure to be some legendary drama when she comes back from rehab. Also, we’d really love to know what the Count thinks about all this.
The holidays are a time that’s all about giving, and the story behind Luann de Lesseps’ arrest last weekend just keeps on giving. Earlier this week, we got all the juicy details about why she got arrested, but it turns out Luann wasn’t done with the crazy shit once she got in the police car.
The official police report about the case contains the new information that Luann allegedly fucking slipped out of her handcuffs and tried to escape from the police car. Countess Luann de Houdini is iconic, and she is not here to play around. We’re seriously dying at the mental image of a wasted Luann trying to escape from the back of a moving police car, and there needs to be a movie of this someday.
The report also states that they allegedly had to stop the car and take Luann out to get her back into the handcuffs, which is when she allegedly threatened to kill the officers (for the second time, not like we’re keeping track), and tried to hold the door open with her foot. Luann was on a fucking mission Saturday night, and she usually gets what she wants.
Obviously the police officers were eventually able to get her in the car and back to the station, but she didn’t go easily. Seriously, Bravo must be rewriting her contract for more money right now, because Andy Cohen couldn’t come up with this shit in his wildest dreams.
Okay, listen up, we’ve got major shit to talk. Remember yesterday how we told you Countess Luann had a sloppy-ass Christmas Eve in Palm Beach and got arrested and shit went down? Well, we’ve got all the details now, and the story is literally unbelievable. Like, as in, I had to read this shit three times to make sure I understood the storyline happening here. Buckle up, Betches.
Over the weekend, Luann was staying at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. Luann was registered to be in Room 327, but the drama all started when she was found Saturday night in Room 407. AKA not the room she was supposed to be in. She went into the room with a random dude who still hasn’t been identified, and a security guard found them in bed and told them they needed to leave.
After that didn’t work so well, the security guard came back with two police officers. When they arrived, mystery dude was gone (but not forgotten, RIP mystery dude), but Luann was still there with her friend Julie Olson. They were both obviously v drunk and the cops told them to leave. Julie listened like a good nicegirl, but Luann took a more dramatic route and locked herself in the bathroom. When the cops finally used a key to unlock the door, Luann slammed it in one of the officers’ faces and shoved him in the chest. Yikes.
That was enough to get arrested, and then she also yelled that she was going to fucking kill everyone as she was brought to the police station. We thought we had seen Luann at rock bottom, but this is most definitely not Countess behavior.
On Tuesday, Luann broke her silence about the incident, releasing a statement that’s peak Real Housewives drama: “This was my first time in Palm Beach since my wedding, and being here brought up long-buried emotions. I want to offer my sincere apologies to anyone I might have offended with my behavior. I am committed to a transformative and hopeful 2018.”
Okay, we’re kind of obsessed with this statement. First of all, she’s not saying she’s sorry for what she did, she’s doing that half-apology thing where you apologize if anyone was offended. Like, “Sorry you didn’t like it that I called you fat, but it wasn’t a lie.” Very high school, and I love it. Luann is also referencing her short-lived marriage to Tom, and yeah, we’re pretty triggered by that too, thanks Luann. And then she caps it off with nice vague New Years resolution, because what better time for that? Seriously, just carve this statement on my tombstone.
So Luann is facing some felony charges, but with the lawyers that she can afford, we’ll be surprised if she ends up with anything more serious than a fine and maybe some community service. Please judge, can we PLEASE get some footage of Luann in an orange jumpsuit picking up trash on the highway? It’s all I want in 2018.