This week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City was like a tickle on the inside of your elbow: It was giggly and confusing at first, but as time went by, you realized that it might just somehow be connected to a nerve that could potentially shut down one third of your brain. It all began with characters going through some personal upgrades. Jill Zarin was doing a "face-lift" (of her apartment, silly. What do you think bangs are for, anyway?), Silex was renovating its Brooklyn
brownstone house thingy, and Bethenny was getting a makeover for a magazine shoot. LuAnn was planning on turning herself into an author, and Ramona? Well, she had bigger plans.
So who won this episode? Let's walk through this:
Jill: Jill traipsed down to the Lower East Side to her own family's fabric store, where she wandered around abusing her gay husband, Brad, over his color choices. This gave us the only opportunity we've had in the entire history of this show to have any sort of empathy for Brad. Does he work at the store? Or was he just assigned the task of redecorating because he is a gay, the way all gays everywhere are subjugated to the whole fag hag "OMG, you're gay, and I have this other gay friend who is not attractive at all and who doesn't have anything in common with you, but I think you guys should date anyway" shtick? We don't know. Unfortunately for Jill, afterward she was relegated to the sidelines.
Kelly: Kelly, once again, was a nonentity in this episode, except for the poorly planned trap she laid for Ramona by inviting her to the Richard Meier model studio in Long Island City. When Ramona flouted her nefarious plot, Kelly made one last effort by interrupting her frenemy's charity story. "Did you know I was the youngest member of the Junior League of New York?" she shrieked, after which Ramona paused, looked her up and down, and said: "Anyway." Sorry, Kel. Better luck next time.
Silex: Even though Kelly and Jill performed poorly, Simon and Alex performed such a mind-boggling, elaborate show of willful obliviousness to the point of the show that we have to hand them the booby prize for this week. Let's make a little list of moments, shall we:
• "People who live in apartments in New York City, as a lot of people do, don't have that luxury," breezed Alex, regarding her inflatable, above-ground pool.
• "Granite was in vogue five years ago," Simon complained, finding an excuse not to put in stone countertops in their kitchen. Which they decided, apparently, to put on the second floor.
• "I could do a neon-green oven," Alex added, emphasizing her desire to be "different."
• "I just want to go to the Strand and get the complete works of William Shakespeare," Alex also said.
• And finally, was that a futon they were sitting on, sipping Champagne, as they interviewed the architect about the home renovations? We're pretty sure it was, as later in the episode they folded it up and moved it to the basement along with a pair of pink jeans.
LuAnn: In the episode wherein she announced her book deal for Class With the Countess, LuAnn managed to hint repeatedly to the audience that the tome would be filed under the "Satire" section at Barnes & Noble. She picked fights, she dropped nasty comments, and got really defensive about her Countess-ness. "Bethenny doesn't realize what a contribution the de Lesseps gave to this country," she grouched, forgetting again that America doesn't have royalty. The best, though, was when she picked a huge fight with Ramona after the latter commented that she'd "married a man twice her age." "I was 27 and he was 42!" LuAnn howled, not really getting us on her side.
Bethenny: The natural-foods chef made a really strong showing this week, looking pretty on the cover of Social Life magazine. She was at her best, though, when she kept hammering at LuAnn to explain why she thought marrying a count suddenly gave her "class" enough to write a book on the subject, and calling LuAnn out on one of her many undermining comments. Also, she was a great sport about the fact that the Bravo cameramen kept focusing so obviously on her rack.
Ramona: Oh, Ramona, this was truly your episode. From the moment you did research on Richard Meier in order to foil Kelly's plans to make you look like an idiot, we knew you were on fire. "She knew nothing about [Richard Meier]!" she laughed afterward, adding, "She's so tall, Kelly. I mean, her shoulders are wider than my husband's!" Did you see that? It sounded like it was going to be a compliment, and then it wasn't. She also cheerily caused LuAnn to spazz in front of the cameras (and her daughter), and was caught at the Social Life party hilariously — but unabashedly — dancing by herself. Victory goes to the blonde!
Devorah Rose: Once again the socialite and sometime editor made it big on the show, lending her pseudo-magazine much-needed relevance. "If you're not in [Social Life]," she sneered, "then I feel really bad for you." We liked it when she ran over to Bethenny's table with a bottle of Bacardi Limón. You wouldn't see Jason Binn pulling that move at a Gotham party.
The Ladies of Hope Lodge: As Ramona and LuAnn's battle raged on and on over the beleaguered crudités, LuAnn's daughter and a couple of women — seemingly bald from chemo — flitted about in the background actually preparing the dinner that the Housewives were supposed to be making. We felt for them triply in this episode.