It became all too clear last night that the Real Housewives of New York City is a show about adult women fighting. Which we sort of knew, previously, but had until now had the luxury of ignoring blissfully. Sometimes these women renovate their apartments, we reasoned. And walk their unusually large shih tzus! And help people! Well, with cocktail parties, at any rate. But last night, as we were sad, bored, and a little bit tipsy, we realized: This is a show about women on the verge of nervous breakdowns, and the cause is the very show on which they all signed up to star. Still! Even in the deepest depths of battle, there can still be a winner, and we've picked ours.
Here's how they fared:
Kelly: The chameleon-faced one, in this episode, did a few things right. She knew that one simple compliment would completely disarm wide-eyed Ramona, so she employed it (and no others). Also, she advised Ramona just to ignore Simon Van Kempen, rather than engage him, which is also the (obvious) best approach. Unfortunately, Ramona didn't listen, and Kelly engaged in the kind of self-sabotage we haven't seen since Sarah Palin thought the United States should hear more from her. See, Kelly didn't think it was cool for Bethenny to be so confrontational at last week's charity meeting, so she decided to confront her about it at Brass Monkey, of all places. She was wearing, not incidentally, a green sweaterdress and pink rubber boots. The meeting did not go well for either party, but especially not for Kelly, who had pretended not to know Bethenny until this conversation, during which she revealed that she remembered their entire history. We transcribed the entire fight, in order to examine it and scientifically deduce who, if anyone, won.
Kelly: (Arriving a half hour late) How are you? Thanks for coming and meeting with me.
Bethenny: I've been waiting a half an hour.
Kelly: Really? That's too bad. Listen, I just want to make something perfectly clear with you, so that we're on the same page? We're not friends.
Kelly: Okay. So, your attitude, it's for kids. You want to play with me, you come up to me, I don't go down to you.
Bethenny: Excuse me? I don't do anything you want me to do.
Kelly: (Laughs) Honestly, Bethenny?
Bethenny: I'm waiting to hear what you invited me here to say.
Kelly: I will not indulge you in this. We're not the same. This is you (gesturing downward) this (she lifts her hand) is me.
Bethenny: You're here (hand-lifting) because why?
Kelly: Because I will not put up with your antics and your bullshit. It's totally inappropriate and I know you think it's really cute and fun, but you embarrass yourself. You really — I mean, I felt so badly for you, because I was like, oh my God, that poor girl.
Bethenny: You felt badly for me? We were talking about an arthritis charity and you said, "Oh, that's so cute."
Kelly: You know what? You know, the difference between you and me is that while you're busy talking, I'm busy doing things, so you need to, like, realize the situation. I don't like you, I don't think you're funny, I don't think you're charming, I don't — we are not friends, we will never be friends.
Bethenny: Correct, we won't.
Kelly: Okay good, so I'm just glad you understand.
Bethenny: Okay, so you just invited me here so you could feel better? You're up here (hand again) because you're a model and because you'll put your name on any invitation because you collect celebrities as friends, because you've met me ten times and pretend you've never met me before?
Kelly: Okay, you want to reflect back? Let's go down memory lane. You came to my house with a guy, that owned Wire —
Bethenny: You flirted with him the whole night.
Kelly: Okay, I flirted with the man who was taking my picture for Wire Image? I don't think so. He's hired.
Bethenny: He wasn't hired, actually, he was my boyfriend, he came with me.
Kelly: Okay, YOU were invited to MY house?
Bethenny: Yes, by Ginny Hilfiger, she's a friend of mine.
Kelly: Okay, well, Ginny has her opinion of you. But I was so disgusted by your behavior.
Bethenny: My behavior doing what?
Kelly: You tell me doing what. You tell me.
Bethenny: You're making up things just to make yourself feel … it's really hard to watch.
Kelly: Oh, REALLY? I'm making things up? So, let's ... I'm really confused by the whole conversation you and your little friend had.
Bethenny: My little friend? I had never met her. She didn't even know who you were.
Kelly: Oh, really.
Bethenny: There are a few people who don't know who you are.
Kelly:: And who are you?
Bethenny: I'm no one.
Kelly: So therefore it's your place in life to tell people and make fun of people … I'm a stranger. I don't know you.
Bethenny: You're not a stranger, I've met you seven times. I'm not famous enough for you to pay attention to.
Kelly: I'm not talking to you. Have a great life. (She walks off, only to confront Bethenny again when she gets downstairs)
Kelly: You need to chill out. You are so inappropriate.
Bethenny:: I'm completely calm.
Kelly: Oh my GOD. You're crazy.
The weirdest thing is, they weren't even drinking alcohol. And then Kelly went on a date with her actual imaginary boyfriend Maximiliano Palacio, as Bethenny predicted.
Bethenny: Against all odds, she won the fight, but that is only by default, because Kelly was 9,000 times worse than her. By bringing up the boyfriend situation and making sarcastic remarks about how Kelly was "too fabulous" for her, she descended to her level, and, just barely, it lost her the episode. In spite of her spot-on imitation of Kelly later in the episode.
Jill: Jill's presence in this episode started out kind of mundanely, focusing less crazily on her redecoration and how she went over budget but her husband, Mr. Potato Head in Tinted Sunglasses, didn't care because he owns all the fabric in the world. But then she showed up to the Page Six Magazine party with gigantic fur cuffs and fought with Ramona's husband Mario. Since Mr. Potato Head didn't quite defend her hard enough, and since we had a hard time caring about a single one of her tennis- or home-related problems, she lost the episode.
Ramona: Ramona took Kelly, the former model and wife of a fashion-magazine creative director, to the Badgley Mischka runway show, to which every single person in New York City is invited. Then, she got mad when Kelly wrote in her Page Six Magazine column that she was introducing the Housewives to high fashion. "Why would she write that?" she fumed to her husband Mario. "I'm like, Miss Fashion," she said. Adding, "I don't know, maybe she's just really brain dead." When she said this, we thought it was maybe the best thing she'd ever said. But then, when she confronted Kelly about the sitch, starting out with, "So now, did you go to college?" we decided that was the best thing she'd ever said. But Ramona lost us by getting into a fight with Silex after even Kelly told her to drop it. Her obsession with Simon gives us the gross feeling she's attracted to him. Also, does it strike anyone else that she is desperately afraid that handsome Mario is going to cheat on her and leave her? And, additionally, the blinking has got to stop.
LuAnn A fairly strong episode from the woman we were about to start calling "The Cuntess." We were reminded of what we like about LuAnn, which is that she doesn't suffer fools. She thought Kelly's confrontation of Bethenny was stupid, and she told her. She though Kelly's dress was slutty, and she told her. If she'd only added that her boobs were in the wrong place, and her skin was the wrong color, LuAnn would have taken the episode.
Simon and Alex: Silex, also mid-renovation, announced to their decorator their intentions to put a giant Alice Cooper photo in their living room. Later, Simon responded to Ramona's line that she was embarrassed by Alex's nude photos by saying, "You kissed a Playboy model on the lips at your pool last summer. On television." Also, when Ramona snaps that Alex denies everything about herself, Alex doesn't skip a beat before replying, "You're rude, so there we are." Then the couple walked away, which is a skill that, until now, no Housewife seems to have mastered. Against all odds, victory goes to Silex.