(July 3, 2012) – Judging from the previews I saw of last night’s episode of the Real Housewives of New York, I was expecting Fourth of July-worthy fireworks. Thankfully they did not materialize, not even slightly.
I say I am thankful because a) I was not in the mood for a death-match round of roller derby; and b) I interviewed Aviva Drescher the other day and I definitely want a chance to reveal what I learned – prior to seeing her double dutch jump rope further into the mind games the women in these casts always seem to play with each other.
No excuses I can come up with – not even my first vacation in years, or the compulsive “throw it all away” cleaning spree that’s occupied my last few days or that bizarre lunch I had late last week, watching an extremely successful media mogul fall in love with my favorite cross-dressing fashion designer – can properly explain why it’s taken me nearly a week to capture how truly fantastic Aviva is when you chat with her by phone.
Among other degrees, she’s earned a masters in French Lit from NYU. What I see so far is a Wallenda-esque diplomat who is walking a strange tightrope, trying to get along with everyone, while knowing conflict is the driving force of all great stories. It’s just a matter of time before Aviva lets loose. I am so grateful I will have the time to give her story enough thought to give it the justice she deserves.
In the meantime, here are my Top 5 Take-Aways from Season 5′s Episode 5: “The Cool Girls”
1. Heather will not easily budge.
Call her stubborn. Start a rumor on Twitter that Jill Zarin has mind control over her. Say whatever you want. Nothing is going to convince Ms. Thompson that she should invite Ramona Singer to join the “cool girls” on her trip to London. Heather may feel yummy, yummy love in her tummy for her son Jax, medical discussions, her father’s poetry, being Jewish “by injection,” and by helping Sonja Morgan launch her fuzzy career. Heck! Heather lives for that!
Still NOTHING is going to convince this shapewear visionary that she should suck it up and let Ramona tag along. Aviva can make all the pleas she wants, citing her own issues with being chosen last for kick ball games when she was a child, Heather has dug her heels in. Ramona is out of their fabulous European vacation plans. What’s more, Aviva better watch it, too. If Ms. Drescher doesn’t tread softly with her cautions that Heather is going to be called an “excluder” if she doesn’t toss Ramona a mercy invite, Heather is more than happy to poetically suggest that Aviva is “crawling up Ramona’s ass.” For these new girls, it’s game on!
2. LuAnn continues to phone it in.
I like Jacques. That’s a new development for me. The second he asked LuAnn’s son if he was having trouble with his math classes because he didn’t like the teacher’s French accent, he had me – and lots of other viewers – at “bonjour.” The former countess? The pompous woman who now wants to be called “Lou,” and who suddenly admits she grew up too modestly to go to college? We’re not there yet. Still I’m easy. I’m open to a reconciliation. She’s just got to try harder convincing me she’s been having “lots of sex” and she’s still surprised she’s still not pregnant, rather than grasping at filming something meaningless.
This woman has to be 45 years old. Not being fertile at that age is not a shocker. Now keep in mind, my mother had me when she was 46, and is just nuts enough to claim she could have EASILY had more children. But give me a break, Lou. You’re not surprised you’re not pregnant. What’s more I am not even convinced you want another child. If you were hellbent on it, you and Jacques would not be sticking to the holistic route, rather than anything more “extreme.” The truth is you are so desperate to give Bravo something to film, with hopes of justifying your $500K paycheck, that you’re letting a British acupuncturist turn you into a voodoo doll. Own it girl. No shame.
3. I should be one of Sonja’s Interns
Truth be told, I have no idea what Sonja Morgan could possibly teach Millsaps or any of her other 20-something interns. I cannot imagine why any of their schools would give them credit for giving her “moral support” as she tends to her five-story house. I am the proud graduate of some of the best (and stone cold worst) schools in the country. Not one of them would give me or anyone else even an iota of a nod for helping Sonja send a fax, or for ensuring she takes her own meds, rather than her dog’s.
Having said all of that, I have to admit, I could and have learned a lot from this woman, particularly in this episode. While definitely I would have, in Sonja’s words, my “knickers in a twist” about the way Ramona spoke to her at Sonja’s Social Life magazine cover party, for Sonja it’s water off a duck’s back.
For me at least, and I suspect for lots of others, there is a huge lesson there: Let go, let Ramona. We cannot control other people. And we can definitely not control the wackiest of the last original broads left standing on this show. (Ugh! Did I just write broads? These “women” have sent my vocabulary into unmapped waters!)
Still it’s worth the sail. Sonja accepts Ramona and loves it that Ramona accepts her. Aviva can try to enlist Ms. Morgan in trying to get Ramona that coveted invitation, but Sonja is not biting. She knows she cannot make people want to invite Ramona anywhere, and, most important, she’s okay with that. The new, transformational-me understands why. But the old me, the one from six months ago, would have tried as hard as I could to get Sonja to care that Heather simply will not drop the velvet rope, and let Ramona into the club.
4. Carole is Carrie Bradshaw.
I don’t know if this is all an accident. I don’t know if she had this personality before Andy Cohen begged her to join the cast last August. I don’t know if she adopted this persona along the way, much like how Meryl Streep decided to play the role of the Popular Girl back in high school. I don’t pretend to know anything other than that, in this show, at this moment, Carole Radziwill is a Real Housewives‘ Carrie Bradshaw.
She has the funky animal print wardrobe. She has the funky, here-today-gone-tomorrow boyfriend. She has the street cred journalism background. And, most importantly, she’s catting around on dates for “research.” And, and, and, her novel, The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating, is going to be made into a TV show. As I sit here in my jammies, I am psychokinetically sending her the most sincere Mazel the world has ever heard.
Still I admit it. I am very suspicious of this woman. I also admit she’s a breath of fresh air to this show and that her Bravo blog is truly brilliant. I am just not going for “Cool Carole.” That could be because I suspect –without any proof – that she’s just a complete fraud, masquerading as the down-to-earth champion of the 99%, while living it up downtown, from her mental one-percenter penthouse, blessing the tiny heads of the little people. It could also be because “cool” is not one of my ideals. I think I was born slightly too late to get that this is the ultimate compliment. I far prefer geek chic and I love misfits.
Still I beg you, before you pounce on me for questioning “Cool Carole,” I hope you understand I don’t hate her. I love her blog. I think she’s more or less benign. And I really get how treacherous these Bravo waters are. In five episodes, I think she’s done a fine job retaining her dignity. Trust me, I really get that in that period in time I would have already imploded. Please forgive me for not getting Cool Carole just yet.
5. If Aviva Thought Last Night Required a Seat Belt, I’m worried.
I’m as nutty as the next girl. I have lots of phobias. Though I’ve always been very healthy, I spent a good portion of my childhood worried that I had hypochondriasis. Talk about a fear, wrapped up in a phobia, packaged in the irrational – nervously worrying you may be a hypochondriac is absurd. Even I get that.
What I don’t get is why Aviva thought last night’s episode could possibly be explosive. By Bravo’s standards, it was nothing. Though I haven’t read anyone’s blog, other than Carole’s, I suspect, that when the non-dust settles, last night’s episode will go down in the network’s history as a non-event, a filler episode that did nothing to advance the current cast’s storyline: London: The RHONY Excursion and Ramona Singer’s Exclusion.
Having said all of the above, especially about not getting “Cool Carole,” I hope I do soon. I have a sneaking suspicion she and I are from the same neck of the beachy New Jersey woods. We certainly both spent our youths, or maybe just our prom nights in the same bizarre town, from which, thanks to my gays, I am tapping out this very note, hearing the waves crash, as the last crop of kids funnel out of the Stone Pony.
The fireworks shot was shamelessly lifted without permission from ziptivity.wordpress.com. The rest are courtesy of BravoTV.com.
About the Author (Author Profile)
I am a New York City publicist who specializes in promoting luxury products and experiences and occasionally moonlight as a journalist.
Relatively new to the world of blogging, I have watched and enjoyed Bravo’s Housewives shows since the first season of the Real Housewives of Orange County. I created this blog over the 4th of July holiday of 2011 because I enjoy writing and love to figure out how to blend images and words to create something that is both visually compelling and interesting to read.