The Real Housewives Of New York City Weekly Recap: Season 4 Episode 1 "Grin and Bare It"

By: Helen Cooper Welcome back, kiddies! It's another year of catfights and confessionals. That's right, the LBD of the Real Housewiv...

By: Helen Cooper

Welcome back, kiddies! It's another year of catfights and confessionals. That's right, the LBD of the Real Housewives franchise has returned. Most of the original cast is still intact, sans Bethenny Frankel, who made a swift exit from Crazyland for her own show. Have you guys seen it? Her dog, Cookie, is there, and Jason is flopping around trying to not get yelled at. There's that baby that she just popped out and the food that she apparently makes (but doesn't eat much of), and all the while, Bethenny's jutting cheekbones are threatening to cut anyone in a 5-foot radius. It's really something. Something devoid of the delicious drama that my little eyes and heart crave, so thanks, Andy Cohen, Our Lady of Programming, the New York bitches are back!

And not a moment too soon. Faster than you can say, "And while you are in high school, I'll be in Brooklyn," the ladies have won me over all over again. But I suppose we should begin at the beginning, which is to say: review last semester's lesson plans. Alex and Jill are still fighting after the great Messenger of Bethenny Battle stewed for an entire season. Ramona is rejuvenated, having put in enough Turtle Time for the whole lot of them and blinked herself into a state of clear-eyed happiness. Kelly is perfectly fine. She's fine. She's balanced. She's running in traffic and eating jelly beans and speaking out against bullying and harvesting satchels of gold. But most of all, she is just fine. No problems here. None whatsoever. And why would you ask? The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps is still countessing all over town, singing her little French ditties and snogging her handsome? French boyfriend. (Can I just take a moment here to mention how much her daughter looks like Jennifer Connely circa 1985? Absolutely stunning. They should have a spin-off called "LuAnn's Beautiful Daughter Tries on Pretty Clothes and Puts the Rest of You Housewives Children to Shame." I would watch that.)

Cuter than your favs.

So that's where we find ourselves, continuing on this fateful journey toward nothing and everything, all at the same time.

Right away, Bravo sets up what will seemingly be the two cliques of the season. Alex (wearing a totally adorable Rolando Santana cocktail dress) and Simon (oh, how I've missed your kilts and leather pants and vaguely European airs) join Ramona for a party. But this isn't just any party--it's a party to celebrate the drink of the century: Ramona Pinot Grigio! The girls talk about Turtle Time and I think about my own (numerous) Turtle Times, three-quarters of the way through a bottle of the corner store's finest $12 PG, rotating between lamenting the fact that I never made a real go of trying to be the world's first actress/veterinarian/wedding planner and dancing around arrhythmically to the '90s pop station on Pandora. (This happens almost every weekend. I am totally awesome.)

Turtle Time. All day. Everyday.

So there are Alex and Simon, Ramona and Mario, just having a good old time, and in walks Jill, wearing some sort of royal blue prom dress with a giant bow on the shoulder. It looks a bit like upholstery fabric, but wait! Jill owns a home fabric store! God, I hope she's coming out with a fashion line ala She by Sheree.

High-fashion fabulous. Who gonna check me, boo?
So, there's Jill in in her giant bow and her hubby Bobby, looking very Tommy Mattola.

And boy is it awkward. Alex and Jill are avoiding each other like the plague. But under the watchful guidance of Simon's Kilt, Alex decides to be the bigger person and head over to chat with Jill and her posse. Except, what actually transpires makes me literally squirm in my seat. Alex approaches the circle of women (including Ramona and Jill) and instead of including herself in the circle, greeting everyone and making conversation like adults do, she stands just outside of the circle, turning her back to the ladies, offering suspicious and darting eyes toward Jill, generally lumbering over all of these society women in an uncomfortable way. Um... "Hi, everybody. How's your night going. Isn't Ramona's wine great?" That's maybe how I would have approached the situation, but you know, potato, potaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-I'mgonnaberealweird-aboutthisperfectlynormalsituation-to.

Just standing on the outside of the circle, avoiding speaking to anyone. No big deal.
After making a whole group of women at the party uncomfortable--as well as a few million gay men, rich young people and me--she then invites them all to an equality march she's doing to raise awareness for gay marriage rights. Ramona's on board, Jill seems to be too. One of the other ladies says something like, "I'm pro-small government! Can I march for that?", which is basically a biggotted way of saying, "I don't think that the government should be allowed to judge you for loving someone, but I'm gonna do it all day long." Alex has to run (after one more glass of champagne--THAT IS NOT RAMONA PINOT GRIGIO, ALEX) and it's clear that nothing has been resolved between the two feuding parties.

This is how I sit when I hang out at my friends' houses.
Back at the Zarin Cave, Jill is packing for a trip to Australia and Kelly is helping her out. Mostly she's just laying on her bed, trying to find her best angle for the camera while Jill talks about all of the things she needs to pack, but doesn't actually pack anything at all. Jill still feels the loss of her friendship with Bethenny--blah, blah. The girl has moved on (Jill thinks that she's too big for her britches, with her new show and her successful SkinnyGirl brand and her happy family, to need Jill anymore) and I say, good for you. This show is no place for a tiny just-born babe and a sweet man from a small agricultural town. The best part of the scene is when Kelly pulls a classic 17-year-old pretty-girl move and puts down the entire fashion scene in Sydney. Jill says she needs an extra suitcase because of all the clothes she's going to bring back, to which Kelly replies, "I've been to Sydney, I don't remember non-stop shopping." "Oh, there's shops there," Jill replies. And then comes the kicker: "Really?" Kelly replies--but it's filled with subtext. She's actually saying, "Oh, you think that that's fashion? OK, but my Louboutins would never shop there." Oh, Kelly. You have been pretty for far too long, and been told far too many times not to act a little like Regina in Mean Girls.

She doesn't even go here.

But we can't stay too long at the Zarin Cave, there's work to be done by Bravo. The new girl on the block has to begin mingling with the old stalwarts. So they all (Sonja, looking ravenous in a little black halter-top dress), The Countess, who does not age, Jill and Bobby, Kelly, Ramona, who is old friends with the newbie, and Alex and Simon, who has blessed us with some sort of plaid smoking jacket/red-and-black leather pants combo) meet up at an art show that Cindy (Barshop, the owner of Completely Bare Salons--"I had a bikini problem, and I fount a solution." Ew) is hosting.

LBD City, NY, NY
It's the most "appropriate" setting to introduce the single mom of twins because she's supposed to be the edgy, downtown Housewife. You know she's downtown because she wears black and takes shots in dimly lit bars and owns the world's coolest highchairs, which she houses in her Greenwich Village apartment.

Taking shots is so downtown.

The art show is surprisingly peaceful and fun. Everyone seems excited to be there and to get to meet Cindy. Sonja has invited a beefy hunk of man meat that looks to be about 15 years younger than her (get it, girl!). He's an "artist", but I think that maybe he told her he was a painter and she misunderstood. Kelly's acting really chill and cool, getting her feet messy in the interactive art project and not even complaining a little bit. I like this Kelly. She seems nice. I'm not worried about her at all. This is definitely not The Countess' scene, but she seems to be more open-minded and lighthearted since finding her new love, Jacques. Good for you. Alex seems to be the only one buying art (even though Kelly took a swipe at her by saying that she'd come to the opening of an envelope, but not buy any art--hey, I'd go too if there was free champagne or free Ramona Pinot or free anything, really). The extra cash must be coming from all of the modeling gigs Alex has been getting since being signed ("My parents were both very attractive. I got good genes").

Every last (free) drop.

Jill's being a lot like her dog (who she compares to Cindy's children as if the dog were a real person), yipping away for information about how old she is and how she got pregnant and who the baby daddy is and how she does it all. I'll tell you how she does it all. She has her assistant hold one baby and her Hispanic nanny hold the other. Just the way my mom raised me.

It takes a village: All you need is love... and the world's coolest highchairs... and a few dozen people to help.

Speaking of assistants, Ramona needs another one. She's been so busy with Ramona Pinot Grigio and the Ramona Jewelry Line and the Ramona Skincare Line that she just can't handle it all. So she's interviewing the cream of the crop for the job: people who work at mattress stores, women named after war-torn North African countries ("Tunisia? That sounds like a country"), just-graduated scared girls. The best part of this scene is when Ramona, after making it clear that she's not going to get the job, tells a girl that she can have some free Ramona Skincare--she "looks like she needs it." Oh, my.

Sonja, demonstrating how simple it is to take off her shirt and expose her tatas.

The Countess and Jacques and Sonja and her Man Meat go on a double-date that's mostly just crass double entendres and The Countess' eyes popping out of her head. Nothing much to report here. Sonja is still fierce. The Countess is still stunning. Jacques still looks like a cross between Adrien Brody and my dog, Homer.

The resemblance is uncanny.

The big dramatic event of this episode is the Hamptons wedding fight. See, a society friend of the ladies is getting married at a quaint little chapel in NYC's bourgiest summer retreat, and the whole gang is coming! Alex is staying at Ramona's giant Hamptons house (15 of my apartments could fit in that thing) and she's going to shock Jill when she shows up at the wedding.
Just making out in the Hammies with your friends in the room, like you do.

There's a whole thing about Jill saying that she couldn't make it to the march (even though she's a co-chair on the committee) because of a wedding, but Alex is driving back so why can't she. Ugh. Sounds like a bunch of none-of-your-business to me. What ensues is a whole mess of tackiness.

It's all about the bride. And me.

First of all, Ramona and Alex show up to someone else's wedding wearing white. I don't know if I even need to go any further with this, as there is nothing that any one of these people could do that would be worse than this offense. Nothing. But let's get on with the lesser offensives anyway. Alex spots Jill right away (who is so taken aback by the sight of her nemesis that she needs to be held by Bobby--nice editing, Bravo) and marches right up to her to give her a piece of her mind. Look, it's obvious to anyone watching that Jill's lying. And I get Alex's desire to call Jill out on her lies. But right now? For this stupid lie? THIS IS SOMEONE ELSE'S WEDDING. STOP.
Hold me, Bobby. The world is too much.

Some highlights from the wedding:

-The remark about Alex and Simon being at a party that's "above them" makes me want to punch things. Old money vs. Young Money. Some things never change.

-Ramona talking ish about Cindy's brother AND THEN HE WALKS UP BEHIND HER AND HEARS IT ALL. Awesome.
You's talkin' bout my brother?

-I've been to plenty of white-trash weddings--PBR cans, camouflage ties, brides being too young to legally drink--but I've never seen people act this classless. You're at a wedding, not a honky tonk.

-Ramona actually sticks her finger in the cake, causing a frosting flower to fall off onto the table. In the immortal words of one Countess LuAnn de Lesseps: Money can't buy you class, elegance is learned.
Ooooh, so pretty. Lemme touch it.
Episode Rating:

Drama: 7
Snootiness: 8
Turtle Time: 4
Sonja Being Fabulous: 10
The Real Housewives of New York City 4327847200059857976

Post a Comment

  1. this is so good it's OUT OF CONTROL, love it.

  2. watched this like 10 times already (thanks for the reruns, Bravo.. Andy Cohen) and you know what I got out of it? Jill is a horrible person, Alex is delusional, and I don't mind her and Ramona wearing off-white at the wedding. For some reason, I just don't!

    Great sitting next to you tonight at the #ACToppicks!





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