The Real Housewives of New York City reunion episode (part one) was just as awkward and awful as we anticipated — more, in fact! Because not only did the terribleness of the events caught on-camera over the last season get discussed, but so did the things that went on off-camera. Jill was able to be funny about her 32G breasts that were surgically reduced to 32DD, and Bethenny
lied laughed off questions about her own bosom and her reported fling with Yankee Alex Rodriguez. Not so lucky were LuAnn and Kelly, who had to go over some truly painful personal events in the midst of a not-always-supportive crowd. "I'm doing okay," LuAnn explained, regarding her recently publicized divorce. "It's really hard after being married to someone over sixteen years, to get an e-mail … it was a real shocker to me." And we were actually sad for her for a couple of minutes, until Ramona started talking.
Before we get to who won the episode, we feel we owe you a transcript of what went on when Kelly addressed the reports that she beat up her fiancé last year. It doesn't really have bearing on the rest of the internecine squabbling, and we hated feeling bad for her, but it was excellent TV:
Kelly: The facts are this: I'd been married for ten years; I got married when I was very young. And then I meet someone that's younger, and I thought this was going to be so much fun. Until everything was always wrong. Everything was always bad. Then I decided that I didn't want to pursue the relationship anymore. I asked Jill to just have lunch. And I said, I have something really important to ask you. I have this boyfriend who's very possessive —
Bethenny: [Interjects] Why was he not on the show?
Kelly: Just wait. I'll tell you. [She never does.] And so I asked Jill about it. And Jill said to me, get rid of him now, if you don't get rid of him now, you're going to have a serious issue. And I really trust Jill, and so, I did. And he just kept coming back, and calling, and calling at five o'clock in the morning, and we'd go out on shoots, and he'd be deleting my Facebook, and just like, you know, constantly harassing and berating me with e-mails. And then he came to my house, and I said, you know, 'Please leave,' and he wouldn't leave. And then he walked to the police precinct, and then he called the Post, and gave a story about how he was abused and beaten by me. I, mean, you guys know me, you don't know me well, but I wouldn't touch anyone unless I had to.
Bethenny: [Manages to look away before she makes a "do you believe this broad?" look with her eyebrows. Turns back to listen intently.]
Kelly: And then the Post runs a story, and then everybody else runs a story. And then all of a sudden, this name that I've built since I was a kid ... [cries]
Jill: Can somebody get Kelly a tissue, please? Instead of all staring at us?
[Producer enters and hands her a tissue. Kelly puts it under her butt.]
Kelly; I don't want a tissue. I've built this name since I was a kid, I've worked like crazy since I was a kid. And then every single day I'm in the paper. Every day.
Bethenny: Wha WHA biatch!? [This was said only by her eyebrows.]
Kelly: And everyone's like, "That's so great, your name is in the paper." But not for me.
[LuAnn appears to be half asleep. Ramona manages for a split second to get her eyeballs to pop entirely out of her face, and then retracts them. Jill purses her lips.]
Kelly: And every time anything happened, it's like, she did it, she's alleged, she assaulted, she's this, she's a that. Has anyone ever asked me what happened? No. Can I talk about it? No. Do I ever want to talk about it again? No. It's over. And he didn't show up in court, so not only does he put me and my kids through this, but then he doesn't show up in court. And then he drags it on for another eight weeks. And I'm sitting here, and I can't do anything. All I can do is take care of my own family, and work. So, the grass isn't always greener. No matter how much fertilizer you have.
LuAnn: Well, he's definitely not a gentleman.
Now that the ugliness is done with, on to who won!Ramona: Ramona by far was the loser of this half of the reunion. Despite her efforts to blame all her problems (and some other people's) on having an abusive father, she came off as a shrill, mean-spirited harridan. Try to follow this logic:
"I grew up in a family where my mother was verbally abused on an ongoing basis, so I put up with it because of the way I grew up. So people will attack me and knock me and I'll let it go, and all of a sudden I'll just throw out a comment. And it comes from my childhood. I grew up in a really horrible household, and I can only talk about it now because both my mom and dad are deceased. But it was tough, and it made me kind of the way I am, that's one of the reasons I'm so successful as a woman, because I said, you know, I'm never going to allow a man to abuse me that way, never. And a lot of times I'm just very glib in social situations because I'm used to just letting things go over."
Isn't she saying two opposing things? That she takes guff, and she doesn't? Anyway, even when other people were in the wrong (like LuAnn, who admitted she overreacted to Ramona's comment about the Count's age), Ramona came off looking terrible. We loved this conversation in particular, regarding why she skipped (and then lied about skipping) Silex's housewarming:
Ramona: It was eight to ten, there was no dinner beforehand, I like to have dinner right at eight.
Jill: So, you go for fifteen minutes and then you go to your dinner.
Ramona: It's in Brooklyn.
Jill: Where do you think Brooklyn is? Ohio?
Also, Ramona needlessly spilled the beans on the fact that LuAnn had marital troubles while the show was filming, which of course LuAnn had taken pains to hide, especially since she has two young children. She said that she made the age comment because she was "getting back at" LuAnn for the subterfuge, to which LuAnn quite rightly replied, "For you to want to get back at me for that is very high-school."Kelly: Despite her amazingly even skin tone, Kelly was the second-to-worst performer in the episode, mostly because after winning some empathy with her sad speech at the top of the show, she went on to be completely clueless. Why, when she says all those nice things about Bethenny, did it sound so damn mean? Does "awesome" also mean "a garbage pit of soiled men's underwear" and we didn't realize it? "You're awesome! Why should you be crying over guys! Look at you!" she screamed, as though compliments were daggers. "Hello, can you see yourself in the mirror! You're a fox!" Also, this line made us die: "I'm not going to cry over crying. I'm not going to cry over crying!"
Jill: Jill, the mother hen, fared well enough in this episode. She made some good points about rich guilt and tried to keep the other girls in line, but she just couldn't leave anyone alone. She got in a fight right from the get-go with Ramona about when the latter started her perfume company. Who cares? Everyone in that room can out-argue Ramona; nobody should feel triumphant about it. It would be like Bethenny boasting that she could do more push-ups than Alex. Speaking of which, why does Jill suddenly hate Ramona so much? When Ramona said, "I'm a character," Jill's head nearly fell off from so much bobbing and eye-rolling. It was like watching Joy Behar argue with Ann Coulter, if Ann Coulter had breasts and a frontal lobotomy. (The best was when they were all bickering about the magnum of Champagne that Ramona got LuAnn as an apology, and in the background Jill can be heard whining, "Which I paid for, by the way, and you never paid me back.") Oh, and also, did she allude to marital trouble with Bobby that we didn't know about? "He's not diddling anything anytime soon," she said, of her breast. Hmmmm.
LuAnn: LuAnn kept her cool for most of the episode (perhaps because there's something fishy going on with her forehead muscles), and raised the best question of the night. "Do you have a lot of girlfriends?" she asked Kelly, who said she had a lot. Immediately afterward, she admitted she was lying. She and Bethenny were also the only two who seemed to be polite and apologetic about talking shit behind the other women's backs in confessional. Even so, when all the girls were encouraging Bethenny about her dating prospects, LuAnn couldn't help but blurt out: "Just get that BlackBerry out of your hand … "
Alex: Okay, it's become clear that the other women are terrified of Alex. It may be because they don't understand her, or maybe even because they know she's smarter than they are. But none of them argued with her all night, and everyone let her say her piece. Sure, she was wearing those same expensive earrings that Simon got her, leading us to believe that they are the only pair she owns. And yes, she referred to something Bethenny blogged about as being said "behind her back." But otherwise she seems really sensible, and deflected Ramona in a way that could teach Jill a lesson. "One thing I'll say about my boys is that they've mastered a few things," she said coolly, looking at Ramona. "They know to not say nasty things about people."
Ramona's questioners: Bravo, Bravo watchers! "Do you have your own soundtrack running through your head?" "It seems like you're always giving your two cents' worth. But when Bethenny weighed in on your product branding, you completely tuned her out; do you see how screwed up that was?" "I think you have a secret crush on Simon. Otherwise why would you spend so much energy hating him?"
Andy Cohen: Sure, he didn't really have control of the women, and yeah, he'd look a little younger if he took a page from Jill's playbook and got bangs. But it's hard to ask horrible questions, even to horrible people, and when he faked that the cameras were running out of tape to shut the women up, we loved him a little bit.