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
To My Dearest and Realest Housewives,
Thank you for being there for me during this turbulent time in our country. Pre-pandemic, I used to love to get together with a large group of my girlfriends. Brunch, after-work drinks, dinners, you name it—I was there. But when the pandemic made hanging out with the girlies unsafe for my immunocompromised self, I turned to you, The Real Housewives, to fill the void of my missing girl squad, and you did not disappoint. Not only did you keep me entertained, but you satiated my need to socialize—quite possibly forever. Thank you for your service.
Listen, before I discovered your life-changing franchise, I actually missed going to brunch with my gal pals, but now thanks to Ramona and LuAnn, I know that brunch is code for blackmail and should be avoided at all costs. The same goes for cocktail parties and all vacations. I never want to see my friends again.
Watching you fight with each other incessantly didn’t make me feel less alone, but it did make me appreciate my loneliness. Sure, I might have been completely by myself, but at least no one was yelling at me or calling me a “prostitution whore” in front of Andy Cohen. Once I found you, I no longer cared that I couldn’t experience my own life in present day New York. Turns out, watching you wreak havoc in the before times was all I’d ever needed. I fell in love with you immediately, ya habibi.
Unable to see my own friends because my rare immune disorder made even outdoor hangs risky for me, there was something so healing about watching your friendships unravel right in front of my eyes. After going months without seeing a single friend, there’s something very cathartic about watching Ramona Singer berate Bethenny Frankel on the Brooklyn Bridge in a moment that was so peak 2008 that I didn’t even have anxiety about them not wearing masks. Ditto for when Kelly Bensimon told Bethenny, “I am up here and you are down here” when they met for cocktails in Manhattan. So this is what I’m missing? This is what female friendship looks like?? Thank God I’m quarantined with my brother then! He would never scream “Jovani” at me during my cabaret (mostly because he doesn’t know what either of those things are, but still). I love being a guy’s girl, it’s so fun and interesting and I don’t miss my girlfriends at all!
I used to think it was a red flag when a woman said “I’m not friends with other girls. They’re just way too much drama.” But now? I’ve seen the light. Girls really ARE too much drama. I mean, you throw a ravioli in someone’s face ONE TIME and suddenly you stop getting invited places? Grow up, drama queens. It wasn’t even my fault that I upstaged that charity event for a sick baby by bringing twenty Hell’s Angels as my plus-ones. I said I was sorry, what else do they want me to do? Actually donate to the cause? Whatever, I guess it’s true what they say, money really can’t buy you class.
So when my healthy, non-high-risk friends all got covid tests and safely rented a cabin in the Catskills together last summer, I was relieved not to be invited! I’ve seen season 6 of RHONY, okay? I saw how they treated Aviva, and I was not about to let my medical pump suffer the same fate as her prosthetic leg. Besides, I don’t even care that I wasn’t invited, I’m having way more fun watching my brother watch the Michael Jordan docuseries anyway! Have fun in the Bezerkshires, bitches! I don’t need your Scary Island energy in my life, I’ve got the back of my brother’s head to keep me company.
Now that I’m fully vaxxed and the pandemic is seemingly coming to a close, I’ve transitioned into a different state of fear. No longer am I afraid of Covid, now I’m scared of something much more insidious…women. Go to dinner with my friends??? Why? So they can accuse me of having a drinking problem? I don’t think so. Support my best friend’s charity event? What, and get ambushed with questions about my husband’s financial problems?? I don’t care that I “don’t have a husband,” you bitches have had it out for me since I threw those tiki torches in the Hamptons. Get over it already! They were barely on fire and what Ramona did to the Fish Room is way worse. So what, I “ruined your engagement party” because I said your fiancé was cheating on you, are you really still mad about that? And no, I do not want to attend your son’s christening, ok? It’s hard to have FOMO for a party that’s going to end in handcuffs.
Why would I ever choose to venture back out into a world of conflict when I could stay at home and finish bingeing RHONJ? Those ladies would never judge me for flipping a table and unlike some people in my life, they don’t mind a little hair pulling. Plus I’m pretty sure Joe is about to go to prison and I wouldn’t miss that for all the maskless parties in the world (that I’m totally invited to). Screw your brunches, I’d rather hang out with my real friends, The Housewives.
With Love From Your Biggest Anti-Socialite Fan,
There are few people that abuse Facetune more than the Real Housewives of literally anywhere. Of course, the Kardashian/Jenners are the world’s worst offenders by far. But Housewives come in a close second. With all the fame and money, many of them are no strangers to surgically altering their appearance. But apparently, that isn’t good enough for them, so they take to using apps like Facetune to blur out every last little line and give themselves entirely new features and a scary cinched waist. I really could do this post with every single Housewife—I can’t even think of one that doesn’t use Facetune. But because I don’t have that kind of time, here is a selection of some of the worst offenders. This is your friendly reminder that what you see online is not reality.
Oh, Teresa. Teresa has been through some sh*t these past few years, and I applaud her strength and the way she’s kept it together for her four kids. Teresa has aged so well, you would never even guess she’s been to prison and endured such an unbelievable amount of stress. That said, even though I hardly see a single line on her face, Teresa takes it upon herself edit her photos by airbrushing her skin completely, painting her face a single shade of beige, making her eyes larger, moving up her hairline, and basically cutting off her entire nose. I’ve said it many times, but your facial features are what make your face your face. You can’t just get rid of your whole nose and think this is what you look like! Stop it, all of you! Also, there seems to be some v strange skin warping from the poor editing. No idea what’s happened there.
Ramona Singer really is basically ageless, she looks absolutely incredible. But this one really made me laugh. I mean, WHO IS THAT in her Instagram version? It doesn’t even look like her! I would have no idea who that is a picture of! It’s like a time warp of what Ramona probably looked like in the 80s! But no, she posted that as a recent photo. If you can’t tell what was done, Ramona erased every single line on her face, shrunk/completely changed her nose, enlarged her eyes and brows, and airbrushed herself beige. Why is it always beige?
I recently watched all of The Real Housewives Of Dallas, and can I just say, I CANNOT listen to LeeAnne talk about her inner child for one more second. I mean, enough, woman! Thankfully that chapter of Dallas is over, because LeeAnne decided to be a piece of sh*t and be racist. Let’s hope she’s learned something. That said, I’m surprised she doesn’t edit her photos more, but it seems like all she really uses Facetune for is to take the MS Paint bucket and color fill BEIGE all over her face. Seriously, have you ever seen a face so matte? It’s like a cartoon. This color must be the foundation default for Facetune because I don’t get it.
NeNe Leakes stars in this article series very, very often, and with good reason. I MEAN, look at her. Who IS this person she edits herself into? And for the love of God, why is she also beige?! NeNe regularly removes her nose, enlarges her eyes, makes her head larger, erases all skin tone and every line and pore, and narrows her face. At this point, should we just call this The Housewife Special?
When I found the real photo of Kyle, I was like, “Hang on, how old is she?” Kyle looks absolutely amazing. She has literally zero reason to use Facetune. Her skin is totally perfect and she has minimal lines. But then I went to her Instagram and found a Facetuned job. I actually had trouble lining up these photos, because as you can see, Kyle has almost zero nose in her own edit. I’m not sure why she thinks filtering herself orange, making her eyes like an anime doll’s, erasing half her nose, and airbrushing every single line is attractive, but I can tell you Kyle, you don’t need it! But hey, at least she’s more orange than beige? That’s new and different.
Because the beige thing is so ridiculous, I actually decided to swatch each of their skintones for you. Behold, the colors of our Real Housewives:
Guys, seriously, stop MSPaint Bucket-ing yourselves beige and accept that you have a nose. I mean, honestly. People are going to look back on this photos and be like, “What the F*CK were these people thinking?!”
Images: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images; Johnny Nunez/WireImage via Getty Images; Michael Ostuni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; Charles Sykes/Bravo (2); @teresagiudice; @ramonasinger, @leeannelocken, @neneleakes, @kylerichards18 / Instagram
There are a number of traits that all good Real Housewives have in common. An aspirational lifestyle, a highly suspect business venture, and a toxic husband are par for the course, but what really sets a Housewife apart from her castmates is the ability to deftly lob an insult, especially at another Housewife. This requires quick thinking and a way with the English language that few of us mere mortals possess, and when it’s done right, the results are simply magical. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best Real Housewives zingers in history and provided real life scenarios where you can use them, so you too can feel like a friend of seasoned Housewife. You’re welcome.
“Well, Even Louis Vuitton Makes Mistakes”
Whether you love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Luann has had some of the most iconic lines in the history of The Real Housewives of New York. One of her absolute best came in season 4 when insulting castmate Alex McCord’s “Herman Munster shoes.” Alex immediately clapped back saying they were Louis Vuitton, and without missing a beat, Luann gave us this gem of a comeback, both winning the argument and proving she belongs in the Housewives Hall of Fame.
When To Use It: We’ve all known someone who never misses an opportunity to brag about the various labels they’re wearing. Next time Dorit that person pipes up, you can hit them with a variation of this epic line. For example:
Dorit: OMG could you die over this new purse?! It’s Gucci!
You: Well, even Gucci makes mistakes.
“, You Bald-Headed Scallywag”
OK, so Marlo may not technically be a Housewife, but she is putting in more work this season than many a cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (looking at you, NeNe). She’s long overdue for her peach, and no moment proved this more than in a recent episode on the cast trip to Toronto. As SnakeGate continued to unfold, the entire cast seemed to get into it with each other, with Marlo and Cynthia going head to head about the accusation that someone recorded Cynthia talking smack about NeNe. Cynthia loses it and goes off on Marlo, and out of the clear blue, Marlo refers to Cynthia as a “bald-headed scallywag.” The creativity in busting out a term not used in the mainstream lexicon since the wake of the Civil War leaves me no choice but to stan.
When To Use It: Although Marlo was referring to Cynthia, another woman, I think this jab would work perfectly for that f*ckboy in your life who you’re not quite ready to cut, but who continues to annoy you with his games. If he’s bald or balding, great. If not, then you can take a page out of his textbook with a neg that will surely have him considering a Rogaine purchase. The exchange could go something like this:
F*ckboy: Sry, forgot to press send. U comin over later?
You: Chad, you bald-headed scallywag
“Not Well, Bitch!”
Although Dorinda joined The Real Housewives of New York in season 7, it feels like she’s been there from the beginning. In just a few seasons she has become a fan favorite, and her incredible one-liners have everything to do with it. In season 9 she gave us this wonderfully versatile response when asked by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, of all people, how she was doing after a particularly heated argument with castmate Sonja Morgan. In turn, we were gifted this simple, yet incredibly effective phrase. Dorinda, we thank you for your service.
When To Use It: The beauty of this one is that it can be used in so many different scenarios to capture your mood. The “I’ll tell ya how I’m doing” preamble is optional, but when you use it, it hits so much harder. Either way, it’s a fantastic way to shut up that annoying co-worker Karen who cheerfully asks you how you’re doing at 9:03am on Monday before you’ve even had a sip of your iced coffee. Or it’s a perfect response to the group chat attempting to piece together a blackout girls’ night. Like so:
Jackie (to the group): Really hurting this morning. How are you guys doing?
You: I’ll tell ya how I’m doing: not well, bitch!
“I Don’t Know If She Wants To Be Me, Or Skin Me And Wear Me Like Last Year’s Versace.”
Dina Manzo only appeared on the first two seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (and randomly season 6), but she will always be remembered for her biting zingers, chief among them being her description of the one and only Beverly Ann Merrill Danielle Staub in season 1. After a bizarre encounter where Danielle hugged Dina over and over and awkwardly complimented her boobs, Dina delivered this perfect description of Danielle’s strange obsession with her. We miss you, Dina.
When To Use It: This line is best used when you want to highlight the Single White Female in your life who is seemingly always around and annoying the ever-loving shit out of you. Whether she keeps going after the guys you like, insincerely compliments you in a backhanded way, or is always showing up to frat parties in a sad variation of your outfit from last week, you can describe her as such:
Your Bestie: What’s up with Hannah? She’s basically wearing the same dress you wore last weekend.
You: I don’t know if she wants to be me, or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace.
“Is Your Ass Jealous Of The Sh*t That Comes Out Of Your Mouth?”
I can’t say I’m going to miss Tamra now that she’s gone, but she did leave us with some truly memorable jabs. Tamra does her best work when she’s angry (never forget Jesus Jugs) and she exploded during the season 6 reunion when she sensed that Gretchen was being less than truthful, giving us this truly excellent insult. RIP, Tammy Sue.
When To Use It: This one comes in handy whenever you want to call bullsh*t on someone who is obviously lying. Of course, you can use it for more serious lies like Tamra did, but it also works when you want to joke around with someone close to you about a more harmless lie. Case in point:
You: Hey, just got here. What’s your ETA?
Friend (just got out of the shower): On my way!
You: Does your ass get jealous of the sh*t that comes out of your mouth?
Of course, there are far too many incredible Housewives insults and many of the very best had to be left off this list. What are some of your favorites and how would you use them in the real world? Sound off in the comments. Until then:
Images: Bravo; Tenor (2); Giphy (4)
Any Real Housewives Bravoholic knows that our ladies are at their best when they go on vacation. Something about the change of scenery and being out of their element makes these already unhinged women go completely off the rails, and there’s beauty in the breakdown. But which trips deserve a spot in the top tier of the Real Housewives canon? Fortunately for you, I’ve done the lord’s work and broken down the most iconic trips in Real Housewives history.
10. Hong Kong, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 7
This trip is a standout for two primary reasons. The first is Ms. Erika Jayne’s completely over-the-top “You don’t know what I deal with every night!” freakout at Eileen, which may be the most emotion we’ve seen from Erika, well, ever. The second is Lisa Rinna’s accusation that Dorit was doing coke in her bathroom at a recent party. It came completely out of left field and is totally may not be true, but cut with the producer’s footage from that night, was one of the realest moments we’ve seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And that’s saying something.
9. Whistler, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8
Despite her demotion to “friend of” this season, there’s a reason that Vicki Gunvalson is the OG of the OC, and the cast’s trip to Whistler in season 8 is a perfect example. After Lauri accuses Vicki of having a threesome at an insurance conference, Vicki reacts in a way that can only be described as, “not well, bitch!” Vicki in full ski gear screaming “I HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS IN MY LIFE!” will haunt me for the rest of my days.
8. Anguilla, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 5
This trip cemented Kenya Moore’s status as one of the greatest Housewives of all time. Upon arriving in Anguilla, she somehow manages to take control of the boat and tells everyone to “hold onto your weaves!” She then proceeds to throw a tantrum at the hotel when she finds out her room does not have a bathtub. As if she hasn’t contributed more in this episode than the entire cast of Beverly Hills has in several seasons, she gets into an epic brawl with Porsha that culminates in her proclaiming, “I’m Gone With the Wind fabulous!” and twirling away. For that, I am forever indebted to her.
7. Marrakech, Real Housewives of New York Season 4
There were so many unforgettable moments on this trip. A fortune teller predicting (what we now know is correctly) that Mario was cheating on Ramona. The camel being so sick of the Countess’ pretentious bullsh*t that it tried to buck her off two separate times. The most Ramotional fit of crying ever to be seen on national television. And finally, Alex trying to confront Luann in her “Herman Munster shoes” like a “buffalo,” only to be thwarted by Kelly’s constant demands that she “re-enter” because she’s “not authentic” and Luann saying, “Go back to the cabinet you came out of, witch.” So good.
6. Lake George, Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 5
The Gorga-Giudice dynamic is arguably the most compelling part of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The tension between the two families reached a pinnacle on the cast trip to Lake George in season 5. Melissa literally gets on her knees and begs Teresa to “stop hurting us!” Then, after accusing her brother of being disloyal, Joe Gorga calls Teresa “scum,” triggering an epic Battle of the Joes that leaves these two grown men wrestling on the floor and the venue forever stained with Joe Gorga’s black spray-on hair dye.
5. Turks and Caicos, Real Housewives of New York Season 7
Despite how insufferable Luann has been in recent seasons, I can never completely forsake her. This trip is the reason. Hungover and clad in a white bathrobe and sunglasses, Luann is confronted by Heather about an unattended naked man in their house. Luann simply responds, “Be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.” She gives negative f*cks and it is not just a mood, it is the mood. This star turn allowed Luann, who’d been demoted to “friend of” that season, to ascend right back to a full-time cast member the following season, where she rightfully belongs. I stan.
4. Amsterdam, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 5
If the women of Beverly Hills could give up the dog drama and channel some of the energy from the season 5 trip to Amsterdam, we’d be back in business. Brandi, who I sorely miss, slaps LVP. In another scene, Kim goes in on Rinna, implying that she knows something untoward about Rinna’s husband. Eileen tries to intervene, but Kim snaps and calls her a beast. Eileen summons her years as a storied soap opera star and responds with the perfect “Beast? How dare you.” Kyle literally flees the entire restaurant, too overwhelmed to deal even a little bit. And if that wasn’t enough, Rinna smashes a glass on the table. It’s heaven.
3. The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 8
They don’t call it the Berzerkshires for nothing. Though the ladies have been there several times now, this is the one that will go down in history. Bethenny mercilessly takes down Luann for sleeping around and not owning it, screaming “You f*ck EVERYONE!” and calling her every synonym for “slut” in the thesaurus. Just when we think things may finally calm down, Luann makes the fatal mistake of insulting Dorinda’s mom’s cake, sending Dorinda into an epic tirade that will live on in Housewives history: “I decorated, I cooked, I made it NICE!”
2. Cartagena, Real Housewives of New York Season 10
Just when we think the New York ladies have peaked, they outdo themselves. This trip has it all: not one, but two fights happening simultaneously at a dinner table, a drunken Dorinda slurring her words with red lipstick smeared across her face, a boat ride so frightening that the women fear for their lives and nearly sh*t themselves, and, finally, a bout of food poisoning that causes almost all of them to actually sh*t themselves.
1. St. John aka Scary Island, Real Housewives of New York Season 3
No one travels better than the women of The Real Housewives of New York, and this trip is the jewel in the crown. There are so many quotable moments that it would be virtually impossible to list them all. Jill Zarin’s “HAAHHAIIIIIIII” as she crashes the trip is bone-chilling. Alex’s attempt to walk seductively during Kelly’s “photoshoot” while channeling her “Johan face” was blood-curdling. But nothing was more frightening than Kelly’s complete and utter mental breakdown “breakthrough” where she rambled on about Al Sharpton, satchels of gold, and jelly beans. I couldn’t GO TO SLEEP even if I tried. At least among all of the darkness we had Turtle Time.
St. Barth, Real Housewives of New York Season 5
“TAKE A XANAX, CALM DOWNNN!”
Beaver Creek, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2
Taylor in a suitcase.
The Berkshires, Real Housewives of New York Season 6
“Who are you to get me wet?”
Cape Town, Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4
Shereé and Marlo’s fight, comprised entirely of unintelligible shrieks.
Bali, Real Housewives of Orange County Season 9
Lizzie provoking Tamra to run away and threaten that we would never see her face again (unfortunately she did not make good on that promise) should have earned Lizzie another season.
Of course, only crowning 10 trips with this distinguished honor means that some memorable trips had to be left out. Which were your favorite trips? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (9)
The ladies of The Real Housewives are the gifts that keep on giving. I love the franchise because it’s a space where women are not only allowed, but encouraged, to be unabashedly themselves. Many are quick to dismiss the show as frivolous and superficial, but for me and my fellow Bravoholics it’s a fascinating sociological study on what it means to be a woman in today’s world. This inevitably gives us a glimpse into the men our gals choose, and more often than not, the results are pure, unadulterated trash not pretty. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I ventured into the deepest, darkest depths of House Husband Hell and compiled a list of the most garbage men to grace our screens over the years.
9. Bill Aydin
Bill is a relatively new addition to The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but he immediately made an impression with his condescending attitude towards his wife, Jennifer, and insistence that she stay at home with their children at all times. Jennifer memorably had to ask Bill for permission to go on a “girls’ trip” (in other words, do her job), a request that displeased her controlling traditional husband. This should end well.
8. Brooks Ayers
While not technically a husband (despite Vicki’s numerous attempts to make him fill her love tank), Brooks may as well have been one with the amount of screen time he took up during his tenure on The Real Housewives of Orange County. He immediately pinged fans’ creep radars when Vicki’s daughter Briana recounted that he sexually harassed her while she was pregnant. Brooks really cemented his status as the Dirty John of Bravo when it came out in season 10 that he perpetrated a cancer scam that Vicki was definitely *not* in on. Just thinking about him makes me want to take several showers.
7. Michael Darby
Ashley’s marriage to Michael was shaky even in the earlier seasons of The Real Housewives of Potomac, with the two arguing over their fledgling restaurant and having children together, culminating in a separation just two years ago. Unfortunately, Michael is looking even worse this season with allegations that he sexually assaulted a cameraman on the show. Despite the charges being dropped, more allegations persist. And now he and Ashley have a baby together, which won’t complicate things at all.
6. Jim Edmonds
This marriage always seemed suspect to me, not only because it was lucky number three for Jimbo, but also because he appeared completely and utterly checked out in every interaction with his wife. His abandonment of Meghan during her painful IVF treatments was particularly damning. Just when it seemed he couldn’t be more awful, news broke earlier this year about Jim’s involvement in a nude text message scandal in which, among other things, he was sexting a woman while Meghan was about to give birth to their twins. Inexplicably, they are still together.
My advice to Meghan:
5. Shane Simpson
There’s no way around it: Shane sucks. This human embodiment of the word “twerp,” as he was brilliantly called by castmate and certified genius Kelly Dodd, has been a walking wet blanket since his debut last season on The Real Housewives of Orange County. He threw Gina out of his home last season for being too loud during a party and proceeded to handle the aftermath with the same grace as a whiny toddler who’s been denied his binky. Shane has done nothing to redeem himself this season and can’t be bothered to hide his disdain snark in every scene with Emily, even going so far as to leave his family at home to escape to a hotel under the guise of “studying for the bar” (which he failed, btw). Instead of being grateful to his wife for singlehandedly taking care of their children and throwing a party for his parents in his absence, he snaps at her for disturbing him. Emily can do so much better.
4. Jason Hoppy
This is where the list really starts getting dark. Like many serial killers eligible men, Jason initially seemed like the dream guy Bethenny had been searching for her entire life. He supported her dreams and together they started the family she always wanted. For a while, it looked like Bethenny really did have it all. But cracks started to show in her spin-off Bethenny Ever After and it quickly became clear that Jason had a dark side he’d been hiding from the viewers. Once Bethenny filed for divorce, Jason fully unleashed his crazy by refusing to leave their apartment, threatening her, and bad-mouthing her to their daughter. Yikes.
3. David Beador
Seeing old footage of David Beador and his White Walker eyes still sends a chill down my spine. Shannon was completely humiliated when she revealed during season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County that David had a long-term affair. Though the pair did try to work through their problems, David’s attempts to reconcile always seemed forced and inauthentic. During season 11, Vicki alleged that David was physically abusive towards Shannon during their marriage. Though both David and Shannon denied any physical abuse, David was arrested for domestic battery years earlier. The stress of the allegations led Shannon to gain 40 pounds, and instead of supporting his wife during this difficult time, David began aggressively working out as if to mock her and would eat in front of her in a way that can only be described as hostile. Thankfully, Shannon divorced him.
2. Jim Marchese
Until I began preparing this list, I had somehow forgotten that this O.T. (Original Twerp) ever existed. Jim was hated by just about every cast member during his mercifully short run on The Real Housewives of New Jersey for getting in the women’s faces repeatedly like a rabid dog on crack and saying unspeakable things about his castmates. Jim has continued to reach new lows after his stint on the show. He revealed during his appearance with Amber on Marriage Bootcamp that he blamed her for getting cancer, was arrested shortly thereafter for felony domestic violence against Amber and, most recently, has been accused by his own son of refusing to continue paying his college tuition because he is gay. What a mensch.
1. Joe Giudice
It admittedly doesn’t get much worse than Jim Marchese, but Juicy Joe still reigns supreme as the worst of the worst husbands. The repeated rumors of infidelity were bad enough. Who could forget that uncomfortable scene where he was caught on camera talking to his mistress one of his workers and referring to Teresa as “my bitch wife” and a “c*nt”? But Joe cemented his status on this list by committing fraud and implicating Teresa, causing her to serve time in prison and miss out on valuable time with her mother, who died less than two years after her release. It’s unforgivable, but it does look like karma is coming for Joe and he’s probably getting deported.
Of course, this isn’t a complete list because choosing among the toxic men on these shows is an embarrassment of riches. There were many more I wanted to include (looking at you, Jim Bellino, Kelsey Grammer, Slade Smiley, Paul “Peekay” Kemsley and Simon Barney), but I can’t afford to quit my day job. Sound off in the comments with your worst House Husbands!
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HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Coming to you LIVE from my hotel room. The reigning queen (and my personal idol) is leaving The Real Housewives of New York City. Bethenny Frankel. We have seen her on RHONY since it first aired 2008, then she left to do her own spinoff and talk show for a few years, only to triumphantly return to us in 2016. But this time, her leaving feels final. And personally, I need some time to process this news.
When we first met Bethenny back in 2008 she was considered by some cast members “the underdog.” She wasn’t married, didn’t have children, and was out here trying to make something of herself. She came in hot with her one-liners, and quickly befriended Jill Zarin. But Bethenny was a force from the jump. She doesn’t take sh*t, period. And when she had an opinion, we heard it. She was a breath of fresh air, and the no bulls*t Greek chorus of the show.
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I wanted to take a moment to write a personal note to you. I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything. You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held. I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get there. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you. I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of. I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together. GO for it. Whatever it is. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking. Thank you so much for your love and support. And stay tuned, you haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come. I love you all and am so lucky to have you in my life! PS: New York City is still my playground. . ♥️xo♥️ . B
Throughout her tenure on the show we have seen her ups and downs—her pregnancy, the breakdown of her marriage to he who shall not be named, and finding HUGE success with her company SkinnyGirl. (Which btw, she sold for a record-breaking $100 million dollars.) Mind you, when she started RHONY she has said she only had $8,000 to her name. Business. Woman. Goals.
Variety broke this devastating news, and at first I thought, this is untrue, she wouldn’t do this to us. But then it read “it’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership…”. *cue jaw drop* As Luann de Lesseps once said, “How could you do this to me, question mark”. RHONY is truly an ensemble cast. They have perfected the art of reality television, and I personally don’t know what it is going to be like without her. Bethenny then confirmed her departure in an Instagram post, which you can find above.
Some of you may ask—why are you taking this news so hard? Why are you sitting in your hotel room and pondering life’s existence? Well, if you must know (going to get deep for a minute), honestly, because Bethenny is more than just a housewife to me. She is someone I look up to and admire. Someone I relate to in the most chaotic ways. Maybe it’s because we are both Scorpios, but she is a complex female character and moves through life unapologetically. Personally, I think the most interesting thing about Bethenny is that she is self aware in a way we rarely see in life or on The Real Housewives. She is hyper-cognizant of how she comes across, and even in her most manic states, she recognizes that. Bethenny never deflects her behavior onto someone else, and that is something I will definitely miss. Also, her ability to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes is great TV. Her old BFF Carole Radziwill once said “she’s either wound tighter than a top, or crying”. That sums her up perfectly.
What makes her exit different than Vicki Gunvalson’s recent demotion on RHOC is that Bethenny left at her peak. Last season was a great season for Bethenny, and we got to see a softer side to the tough B. She was still trying to cope with the loss of her longtime on-and-off boyfriend/best friend Dennis. Still, every single week she delivered iconic lines, snarky confessionals, and humility. Vicki, on the other hand, was demoted because RHOC has been struggling the last few seasons. (That’s a conversation for another time though.)
I will finish this up by saying what every celebrity public relations firm advises their clients to say after a break up: “I wish her nothing but the best and I enjoyed our time together. Please respect my privacy at this time”. But also don’t, because I just looked up how to get cookies delivered to me so I can eat my feelings. I am reeling.
Images: Shutterstock; bethennyfrankel, betches / Instagram
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!
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