THE COUNTESS AND THE TOAD (RHONY RECAP)
This week, the capricious reality tv gods finally showed mercy by dispensing with the unrelenting psychologically torture that was the Berkshires weekend getaway. The last three episodes of RHONY were like a real life What Ever Happened to Baby Jane but with everyone playing the psychotic Bette Davis character. As an aside, according to Wikipedia, Baby Jane is credited for creating the sub-genre “Psycho-Biddy” which “features a mentally unstable, dangerous, or insane woman of advanced years with a somewhat glamorous past, living a life of relative wealth.” It’s like Andy Cohen saw that description and raised it a million.
Anyway, we can forget the Berkshires for at least another year because this episode was all about celebrations--a Christmas holiday celebration, a wedding celebration, and a crappier post-wedding celebration for those who weren’t invited to the wedding but should have a chance to snark at the newlyweds on screen. Honestly, I would be okay with the ladies celebrating the opening of a manhole if it meant we could LEAVE THE BERKSHIRES. So this. is. progress.
But before the festivities, we check in with Sonja who confesses that her tenderfooted frenchman boy with benefits has maybe moved in with her. Sonja feels no pressure to label the relationship because, according to her, the French don’t care “who’s dating who”. Sonja has always been my favorite cultural anthropologist. Tinsley, who is also living with Sonja, in a more defined ‘Evil Stepmother/Ungrateful Cinderella’ relationship reveals that Sonja was supposed to set her up with Frenchie. Sonja obviously took one look at this Parisian jailbait and was like “Mama like” and also “here’s a pun about watering my gardens and trimming my hedges’ cuz Mama loves thinly veiled horticulture-vagina jokes.
Next up, we check in with Bethenny who is hosting a swanky holiday party, equipped with copious amounts of caviar, oysters, and a Skinny Girl Margarita™ ice luge, which is supposed to make drinking diet alcohol fun, I guess? Bethenny’s even created customized holiday decorations immortalizing the faces of each housewife except Ramona, because you don’t call Bethenny a bitchy witchy bitch witch who itched and bitched while getting rich for five episodes in a row and still get invited to her Skinny Girl™ holiday party. Everything is branded Skinny Girl™ because why else does Bethenny agree to be on this show.
Ramona is distraught about being Skinny Girl™ snubbed (brought to you by Skinny Girl Margarita and don’t you fucking forget it™) but you can’t keep a crazy-eyed millionairess down. She turtle-times her way into drinking with her college-aged daughter Avery and Avery’s friends and thus ascends to her rightful place as the coolest of cool moms.
Ramona suggests that they all hang out again and the girls are like, “Ugh, sure you old crone, if you keep on picking up the tab.” And Ramona’s like, “Great, I’ll get you drunk, then drink your blood so I stop aging and also my body is 90% Pinot Grigio and I need some regular human blood.”
To her credit, Avery seems to have a good head on her shoulders. In fact, all the kids on RHONY do. This is truly a testament to the fact that even at their most delusional, the RHONY have the good sense to hire the best nannies money can buy.
And now the piece de resistance, the moment we’ve all been waiting for or dreading, or both because they aren’t mutually exclusive...Luann’s nuptials.
It’s the day of the wedding in Palm Beach and amid a flurry of last minute preparations, Luann declares that, “Tom is like finding home again.” Tom, who probably is cheating on Luann during their vows, is a little cranky baby and is like, “Where’s my wine. I want to sit down.” Can someone check if Tom was a successful child star because that’s the only thing that could explain his abhorrent behavior. Whatever. Dorinda is late for her bridesmaid duties because she can’t get through this day without a sweet Bloody Mary buzz to help her forget that she set her friend up with the world’s slimiest Lothario.
The ceremony is huge and joyous and very expensive because chic, c’est la vie. Luann giggles that, “There’s nothing better... to feel loved, to feel wanted, to feel whole, as a couple.” I truly hope Luann finds that type of love but it ain’t gonna be with Tom, the undisputed adulterous fuck boi champion of the world. A busty burlesque performer jumps out of a cake during the wedding reception and Tom seems pleased. That should tie him over for like, five minutes until he can find someone else to diddle post haste.
Luann squeals “I have somebody to play with all the time and I love my new playmate.” BLECH.
This is overcompensation on steroids, in part because Luann’s marrying a bald horndog but no doubt because she’s also marrying a commoner, and thus losing her beloved French Countess title. Countess is an integral part of her identity and maybe all this pomp, circumstance, and repulsive romance is intended to make the transition to hoi polloi less painful.
Do you think that when the penthouse is quiet and Tom is out walking the streets of Manhattan with his dick hanging out hoping someone jumps on, Luann furtively tries on her countess tiara and weeps into a mirror while singing the Marseillaise in her whiskey-soaked voice? Yeah, me too.
And just like that, we’re jolted back to New York where Bethenny takes Carole out for dim sum. Carole is a world-weary journalist but has never heard of dim sum and possibly the country of China because she’s deeply confused by Chinatown. Carole tells Bethenny that her boyfriend Adam finally moved out which is cool and everything is fine in their relationship and nice and normal and chill and it’s about balance. Bethenny nods along like a good friend who can’t figure out how to brand dim sum with Skinny Girl™.
Finally, it’s on to the shittiest celebration of the episode-- a post-wedding party for the wedding discards to celebrate Tom and Luann’s “love”. This party is mostly for good friends who have called Luann a slut, a whore, a phony, a great pretender, and delusional. Tom charms his guests by complaining about wearing a wedding ring (quelle surprise) while Luann looks on with a huge smile and dogged determination to Keep. Up. The. Charade. For. Ev. Er.
Tinsley shows up with Chad (ew), a 23-year-old finance guy, (ew) who spends the night chugging wine like he’s part of some frat hazing ritual. Sweet Chad, this is definitely worse than anything Sigma Alpha Epsilon can do to you.
And as a throwback to last season, lurking in the background is Dorinda’s boyfriend John, who can be heard quietly remarking to Carol that he can “shrink her dress smaller if she wants.” Last year, this comment would have had a five-episode arc but this year, compared to Tom’s lasciviousness, it just seems kind of quaint.