Monday, July 11, 2011

RHONY Episode 14 Recap: Put on a Top Hat and Forget Your Troubles

By Sheer Elegance, GTOG Special Guest Blogger

Frankly people, I can’t be bothered to watch this episode a second time in order to write a pithy recap. My normal “process” is to watch the show once through and then again to take notes so I can maybe I can make myself laugh through the tears of the heinousness that is RHONY. But this episode, and this series, is really beginning to fatigue your girl Sheer Elegance. Its gotten so bad that I’m desperately searching the Bravo website to see how may more shows we have to sit through this season. And the answer is 2 more shows and then the reunion show, which will likely be stretched into ten episodes.

Anyway. I’m just going with what stuck out when I watched Thursday. If there are scenes or details missing I apologize. I’ll rally eventually.

Sonja is bankrupt but can’t resist another costume party, so she goes shopping for burlesque themed garments at Patricia Fields with her stylist, Ramona, and Avery. Avery is sharp and skeptical about her mother wearing a bustier and a short skirt, saying wisely, “her ass will hang out” of one chosen skirt and that “she’s not 20 anymore.”

"While I'm at it, Mom, maybe you should try blinking."
She also declines Sonja’s invitation to come to the party. I’m sure she’s too busy running her hedge fund to bother with such time suckage. Sonja seems fun and self-aware as usual and they try things on and look at whips and dildos and such and encounter a lovely drag queen doppelganger that is an expert in fake eyelashes. These types of things tend to happen at Patricia Fields.

Read on for the full recap...

A positive element of this episode was that some of the Housewives actually spent time with their daughters. Ramona and Avery have a dinner where Ramona seems really tired and distracted. Avery complains that she shouldn’t be on her Blackberry while they are dining together (on camera) and that she should text her more often during the weeknights so Avery knows whether to eat dinner without her and Mario. Sad! Then A reads R an essay she wrote that’s basically like a “Wind Beneath My Wings,” kind of thing, and tears sprang to my eyes (though at certain times of the month I can cry at two notes from a radio jingle for Wal-Mart). Also, the more cynical side of me felt like Avery would have been a better writer, given how smart she seems. Ramona was moved. I’m sure that’s when Avery reached into her mom’s purse and stole her Black American Express card. Mama didn’t raise no fool.

Jill gets her scooped out bagel and her magazine for her train ride up to see Ally at school. I always like the parts of the show when these women act like real New Yorkers, though I’m still not ok with people carrying dogs around in bags. Ally is cool as hell and I love her twinkly eyes. Her and Jill seemed a little uncomfortable together at lunch but I loved how Ally was messing with Jill talking about her sex course and theories of sexuality. So freshman year of her! Then they go shopping to quell the tension and Ally is a good sport when Jill makes a few nasty comments like “you look better in a boxy cut” and “that shirt is disgusting.” Oh mother’s and daughters!

"This seems like the perfect forum to discuss my theories of sexuality."
Which brings us to LuAnn and Victoria having a driving lesson in the parking lot somewhere. Vic’s got the need for speed and doesn’t know how to back up. LuAnn is freaked out. Not too interesting. LuAnn didn’t offend me as much as usual this episode. She had a nice scene with Kelly at a bar where they chatted like semi-normal people about love and friendship, until LuAnn got all boastful and said, “I hope someday Kelly finds the Jacques she’s looking for.” Ugh. We also saw her visiting her music producer so he can play her the new single and suggest she make a music video for “C’est L’Vie (Se Bonne, Se Bonne).” I’ve seen it and sure hope you have too. But I think next week’s episode will document the fascinating “making of” the video, so I’ll wait to recap that then.

So, the burlesque party literally looks like every other party these women attend, except that Alex is wearing a leotard and there are a few too many small top hats for my liking. Sonja has “royalty and old French families” in attendance, who take their burlesque seriously. There are a few familiar performers, who I’ve either seen in real life or on other reality shows. Hard to say. Sonja does a pretty gutsy performance with her friend “Tina,” who apparently “tinkles every time she goes shopping.” Hmm. Anyway, Sonja really seemed to move through something with her performance, identifying with this gutsy, small town, outcasty kind of woman who’s down on her luck but still has her bravado and her sense of humor. And of course her friends Jill and Cindy were there to diss every line of her performance. I don’t really blame Cindy, since Sonja and she have some weird petty bullshit left over from Morocco. But Jill is such a snake, and continues to act like she’s a good person, when she’s the worst kind of underminer and hypocrite. Oh, and Sonja’s friend Brian is there with no shirt and suspenders. And Mario practically takes his dick out. And Simon is slurring and being so gross and weird and he and Jill resolve whatever cyber bullying fiasco had everyone bugging out last week, saying things like “it's all good,” and “water under the bridge,” and “tweet me.” Simon was skeeving me out so much I had to turn away from the tee-vee. Yuck.

"What's the problem?"
So in sum: Burlesque is the definition of self-mockery. Sonja can laugh at herself, and try to have some fun. She seems to dip in and out of delusion as much as any of these ladies, but at least she seems authentic. Most of the time, anyway.
LuAnn: Pretensh as all get out. Jill: Captain Underminer. And how did they clear out Grand Central like that? Alex: non-entity this episode, which is ok with me. Kelly: likable in one scene and looks good in a fedora. Simon and Mario: gross and sketchy in top hats. Ramona: overworked and upset at being outed by Avery for her age (54). Cindy: needs to spend more time with her babies and is not long for this show. Avery, Ally, Victoria, cuties all – they need their own show.

Yours in Housewife Drudgery,

Sheer Elegance


  1. So what do you think of the Jill Zarin spin-off show? I am hearing about it on every blog I visit! A London Rhony with Jill?

  2. Hi Anon, what have you heard -- seems like she was just over there with some friends from your link. I guess a London RHONY could be funny in a fish out of water kind of way. I could see her asking a million questions to the straight faced guards at Buckingham Palace until they ran screaming, Monty Phython style. Or maybe it would be like the most recent Woody Allen movies and she would do great in Europe, rediscover her artistic side. But then who would run Zarin fabrics? Brad? There would be nothing for sale but pink taffetta and white pleather. Thanks for reading!!!