After several weeks spent in the over–air-conditioned sprawling homes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, it felt good to be back in tiny, cramped New York again, listening our old loudmouthed friends, Kelly, Ramona, Alex, LuAnn and Jill bickering like they’d never stopped. In this, the honest-to-goodness, that’s all folks, final episode of the second season of The Real Housewives of New York City, “The Lost Footage,” the housewives seemed, compared to their counterparts in the Garden State, more sophisticated, self-aware, and intelligent than they ever have. For the first time, we didn’t mind about their incessant self-promotion, because at least it showed they had some savvy. And we truly appreciated their efforts to use big words. Like in this conversation, which occurred after the reunion host (whom we like to call Beelzebub) asked Jill why she had taunted Ramona by bringing Simon as her partner to that fateful tennis match with her and Mario.
Jill: I didn’t want to play. Let’s go back to the “Page Six” party. I didn’t want to play. And Mario said, “I’m going to pick up my toys and leave, then.” And I was like, “Fine, pick up your toys.” And then they started kissing Alex and Simon’s ass, and Bobby was very upset. He doesn’t show it, but he was …
Ramona: You’re not answering the question.
Jill: [Glares] Annnnyway.
Ramona: You’re not —
Jill: Anyway, calm down!
Ramona Why did you bring Simon?
Jill: CALM DOWN!
Ramona You’re —
Jill: Shut up! Let me —
Ramona You’re interrupting me.
Jill: I did not.
Ramona You interrupted me all the time, before.
Jill: [To Bethenny and LuAnn, who are sitting on the golden couch beside her, looking like startled Kewpie dolls] Did I interrupt her? Did I let her speak all those questions?
Beelzebub [Interrupting] She’s saying you interrupt her figuratively.
Did you see that? Beelzebub picked up the Real Housewives’ strange language problem like a case of the swine flu! It was good to come back for a night, but actually, now that we think about it, we’re glad this season is over; otherwise we’d all start malapropizationing. But before we say good-bye, let’s declare a winner to last night’s episode.
Jill: We’d wondered what happened to the story line in season one in which Jill awkwardly attempts to force daughter Ally to bond with her stepfather, Bobby Zarin. After watching this leftover footage of the new family bowling, we understand why they dropped it. But in the end our eyelids were so droopy we couldn’t distinguish between Bobby’s head and the bowling balls. Less clear was why the producers cut Jill’s meeting with the head of an African orphanage, in which she asks him: “Do you have horses in Africa? Do you have television?” This made us scream aloud, but it lost Jill the episode. Really, Jill. Try and learn a little something about the continent where zebra fabric comes from.
Ramona : Ramona’s eyes were wide — even more than usual — as she described the bounty she and her dog, Coco, observed at the Paws of Style fashion show. “There was a lot of hoopla,” she said. “Richard Belzer was there! And Nikki Blonsky from Hairspray.” When she and Coco sashayed down the runway in matching sequined Rebecca Taylor dresses and Ramona capped it off with her signature wiggle dance, we died. But then she reminded us we hate her by randomly shit-talking Jill’s dog, and lost the episode.
LuAnn: The countess appeared briefly, called a napkin a serviette, and lost the episode.
Kelly: Kelly, as it turns out, has a hoarding problem. “I have so many clothes,” she announces. “Because I am a pack rat. I have clothes people gave me when I was 16.” So she decides to give some away. Because, as she says, “In these times, when banks are closing and people are freaking out and nobody has any money and people are putting money underneath their mattresses, maybe I can lean down a little bit and donate my clothes to people who really need it.” Alms! Isn’t that nice. Also, she might smother in her own home. So she invites a stylist called Issa over to go through her closet while she sits there and discusses her decision with the camera. “There are two kinds of people in New York,” she says. “Talkers, and doers. So instead of being someone who’s like, oh yeah, I’m sooo charitable … I just want to do something nice.” Right? Like she can help it if people want to watch her do it on television. Needless to say, Kelly loses the episode.
Bethenny: One of the things we like about Bethenny is that she always seems up for, well, stuff. Like when she takes time out to help Ally, who at 15 has only ridden a bike “around three times,” wobble through Central Park. She’s game when her second date with sexy Frawnch Phillipe turns into an impromptu photo shoot (and manages to not spill red wine all over his all-white sofa, which is an accomplishment). And when she travels to Fire Island, “or, as I call it, Gay Island,” she announces, “I just want to dance until my tits fall off.” She does do a lot of dancing. But sadly, she does not fulfill this last promise (tits stay on) and loses the episode.
Alex : Hearing Alex talk about how “fearless” she and Simon are about fashion is like wearing vinyl pants without underwear or a bikini wax in 100 degree weather. It just chafes terribly. They’re not facing down any personal demons by wearing wacky clothes, they’re indulging themselves in their need for attention. We weren’t so into their quippy gay friends, either, who remarked, in front of their adopted child: “One kid is an accessory, two is a minivan.” Parenting! But we do have to commend Alex for the way she handled Beezlebub’s broaching of the Is Simon Gay question: “If Simon were gay, he’s be out and proud and marching, and he would have a rainbow flag tattooed on his forehead,” she said, with absolute conviction, and from everything we’ve learned about Simon, we have to concur. If that man were gay, he would be fearless about it. For this, Alex McCord wins the episode.
New York Magazine: For being prominently featured as Gloria reads the now-infamous article in which Simon refers to Jill being from Long Island, “and it shows.”
Mama Gloria: For making a good point about the Van Kempens. “What is this, McCord–Van Kempen? They’re so close together that they practically walked together as one unit, yet she retains her name?”
Brad: For overshadowing everyone else in the “insane outfits of the season” segment. Does that man own a non-patterned suit?
The Editors Who Had the Brilliant Idea to Put All of Simon’s Gayest Moments Into a Fucking Montage: Which you can view here. Bravo, indeed.