Compared to most of Bravo’s Housewives’ Reunions, part one with the ladies of New York looked like an advertisement for effects of Ambien – for the cast members and the viewers. Of course, old disagreement and hurts were rehashed and nothing was resolved, but it looked, dare I say, almost civilized. No one stomped off the stage, no furniture was rearranged, no one grabbed anyone and threw them to the floor and I could actually hear their answers to Andy’s questions. I didn’t have to lower the volume, because they may have raised their voices, but not to the point where neighbors called the cops about the noises emanating from my television. In other words, on the Bravo scale, it was, well, boring and I’ll take that any day from the Housewives.
Their biggest problems are about who should be able to borrow designer dresses and whether ex-husbands should be discussed in a public forum and how many phobias are too many. I’ve been one of the voices who complained about the manufactured drama on the shows, and, while these New Yorkers may have tried to “bring it”, they failed. In my opinion, it’s because, aside from Ramona and Sonja, these women have no real relationships, no friendships, no families who they have to worry about putting at risk. Each and every one of them can go home at the end of the day and forget all about their cast mates. Heather and Carole may have come to like each other, but I can’t see how their personal and professional lives would allow for much time for a real friendship off-screen.
The vacation on St. Barths was brought up because there really was no other drama this season. Aviva proved that she was needy and spoiled and demanding, and the only one who cared was Aviva. She called Sonja and Ramona “white trash”, and her husband tossed in his own insult, but no one was permanently damaged. Ramona wanted to make a point about the constant attacks, but they’re not even close to what we’ve seen at the hands – and mouth – of Jill Zarin. I really believed that Bethenney Frankel was hurt by someone who was really her friend. I believe that Kelly Besimon had a nervous breakdown on Scary Island. I don’t believe that Ramona Singer is going home and throwing herself across her bed, sobbing herself to sleep over anything Aviva Drescher said to her.
What we did get to hear what was LuAnn pretending to be insulted by not being put into the same category as the First Lady, and declaring that she has the same right to wear designer dresses, even if the only place her picture will be seen is in a tabloid. She does, after all, know a lot of princesses and, by her standards, Carole is no princess. Oh, and Carole talks behind LuAnn’s back. This came as a surprise to the Countess because she has never seen or taken part in Bravo’s talking heads. LuAnn is much more comfortable on the phone, keeping her scheming to private conversations between Jill and Kelly and now, Aviva. She is the consummate pot stirrer, something learned a long time ago, and Carole and Heather told her so – this time to her face.
Carole said that she was used to covering wars and conflicts and that was what drew her to the concept of the Housewives. She might want to consider moving to New Jersey. Heather was afraid of a royal war between a countess and a princess, but no real battles ensued – only some civil unrest. I’m sure that a peace accord could be finalized if Ranjana and Naeem gave them both some jewelry and dresses.
Sonja and Ramona wanted to carry one about the white trash, overweight, old women gone wild incidents, but I think their problems with Aviva have less to do with that and more to do with the fact that they’re on “Team Harry”. Aviva’s ex has been a source of a lot of gossip and giggles among the women, and Aviva brought much of that on herself. She said that she doesn’t want to talk about him, but she does, at every opportunity, even when Reid is sitting next to her at Le Cirque. Then again, she also said that she doesn’t like to talk about her accident, but I can recite that story in my sleep. She’s been very busily “not talking” about it on television, in the papers, on Twitter and in her blogs. The same goes for that whole phobia/anxiety business. Ramona was right – get a new therapist. If this is how she thinks she’s supposed to behave to add to the drama, it’s going to get real old, real quick. It’s not dramatic. It sounds whiny and she sounds petty.
Aviva said that she was wanted to off a profuse – her word, not mine – apology to Ramona and Sonja, but that’s an epic fail, too. She’s had ample time, long before this reunion occurred, to make amends. Sonja made the point that it really wasn’t sincere and, again, the evidence is on the blogs, in the newspapers and in her tweets. I wanted to like her when she first came onto the show, but she hasn’t really shown many redeeming qualities. She has her fans on social media, but I’m not seeing what they’re seeing. Maybe she’s a wonderful person in real life. I don’t know. I can only write about what Bravo lets us see and hear – bad editing and all. If she believes that she’s getting the “villain” edit, then there’s a way to remedy that. Don’t give them what they want. They can’t make you be shrill and they can’t make you hurl insults. Those things are on the women, and they can play along or simmer down. No Housewife would have to apologize to anyone if they would just simply stop doing things which require an apology.
Next week is Part 2 of the Reunion and the previews do appear to have a few dramatic moments. I don’t mind that either. If you’ll give me a couple of minutes, I’ll tell you what I do mind. Bravo has decided to bring Jill Zarin back as the only guest on WWHL after the reunion airs. I’m fairly certain that it’s supposed to bring huge ratings and it probably will. I think it’s a huge mistake. Having Jill come back, even for only one night, is like giving in to a toddler who is threatening to hold their breath until they get their way. For all of the wrong reasons, Jill is getting her way. She’s been campaigning for her Norma Desmond moment since she got that phone call telling her she wasn’t a Housewife anymore. She has given interviews, telling anyone who will listen, that the Bravo franchise would be an utter failure without her. She wrote a manifesto about “Dallas” and Patrick Duffy, where she tried, in some crazed rant, to compare her star power to Bobby Ewing’s character. The New York franchise may not be the same, offering the kind of drama it once did, but I’m not convinced that that’s a bad thing. I don’t believe, for one minute, that Jill Zarin should be anywhere near this show – not because I don’t like her, but because it’s exactly what she doesn’t need.
I don’t know what the end game is on Bravo’s part in all of this. Maybe they’re actually considering bringing her back, as an addition to the cast or to replace someone who is leaving. We won’t know for a while, because Bravo keeps that kind of stuff under wraps as if they were matters of national security. I do know this, and I’m speaking only for me, but either way, if Jill Zarin comes back in a full-time role, I will finally, at last, throw up my hands and go cold-turkey with Bravo. This network has aired scenes of a marriage that ended in a man’s suicide. They’ve played with story lines and editing to the point that a family in New Jersey has been smashed to pieces. I don’t think that Jill Zarin is a healthy person, but rather I see her as just another addict, where fame is her crack pipe and Bravo is her dealer. She hasn’t seen much success in her other ventures, and she wants to go back to where she believes she was a star. Maybe they should ask Kelly to return and they could give Dr. Sophy a prominent role on both coasts.
Here are the ladies’ blogs, but I’m on standby for Aviva and LuAnn.
Aviva’s and LuAnn’s blogs.
FWIW… I have a nightgown JUST like the dress Lulu was wearing.even Mr ford giggled when he saw it. I was BORED by the whole thing..AVIVA..what a piece of work….Carole..hope she does NOT come back…If I want commentary on social experiments I’ll go back to school..i just dont see her book becoming a tv show ….that is all…for now…off for more java..
Hey dd, I have a question about that social experiment thing. Are the cast members the focus of the study or are we?
Hi. Are you going to recap Jersy Part 2?
I’m not doing a real one. I wrote my fictional version of the Jersey girls a couple of days ago. I have links to some very good writeups in my Blogroll. Stars99 at LynnFam.com did a terrific job and I think you’ll enjoy reading it along with the comments.
The dynamics and dialog in this reunion were refreshing. From Lulu’s drive by coffee convo to the wrap up at Carole’s book birthing – as more information became available their opinions of each other changed. IMO, Bravo was correct in recasting because once again there is a franchise about women in a fabulous city, wearing designer clothes and supporting worthwhile charities.
Windy, I like most of the cast, too. As long as Carole treats this as her “guilty pleasure” and Heather doesn’t lose her mind, I think they’ll do very well. It is fun to watch Lulu trying to navigate without backup – the newbies don’t seem to be all that impressed with Her Royal Haughtiness.
I feel so sorry for Aviva because she can’t fly with her daughter to Paris by herself.
How very sad for her.
I know. It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it. I managed to make it to the feed store and back – wasn’t easy, but I did it. Rah Rah!
Aviva … is it possible to Maunchausen’s by Prothesis? Sort of like the multi-purpose buggaboo to explain assshat behavior?
Jill Zarin … Yuck. Ick. Zzzzz. She seems so suburban and small compared to the current cast. She might fit in with George Polident of Boca Raton’s set of desperate advancing age snow birds.
LOL! George and Jill – oh, mommy wouldn’t be happy. Love your name, BTW. I have a very large supply of tin foil hats, just in case. 😉
I think bringing back Jill Zarin to the “Real Housewives of New York” would be suicide for Bravo. She has used up her fifteen minutes, and I think Bravo may have given her an extra two just to be nice. The first part of the reunion was boring, and I hope part two picks up speed. Unfortunately, I will miss the second part of the reunion because of my new work schedule at DISH. I’ve already pre-set my Hopper to record par two when it airs; there’s a ton of DVR recording space so I can capture all the drama. It looks like Luann will finally have to answer about her night with “French Johnny Depp,” it’s too bad Jacques isn’t sitting next to her when she does. I’m glad this season is finally over, now I can focus on Beverly Hills and Atlanta when they premiere.
Hi Chris, Re: Jill – from your lips to Bravo’s ears, but I don’t know if they’re hearing us. I have trouble trying to use “Bravo” and “nice” in the same sentence.
As for Part 2 of the NY reunion, I’d say that the Countess has some ‘splainin’ to do. My only real issue with BH is that Taylor is returning for at least part of the season.
I agree that bringing Zarin on-for a pre taped/edited one-on-one interview, no less- is a major mistake, both for Jill and for Bravo. Your assessment is spot-on: Jill is a junkie, Bravo is her drug. I caught a snippet where Andy asked her if she bought Twitter followers, she gave him “that” look, and lied through her teeth, no batting of eyelashes or upward liar’s gaze. She’s a pro, alright. I understand she’s been Tweeting up a self promotion storm, but cannot bring myself to see it for myself. Forget about having people on staff with some psychological insight…is there no one on Bravo’s upper echelons with some comon sense?
Hi Wrecksie, She is in a Tweeting frenzy. I’ve also seen her, in the past, tweet about spending the day in bed with her dog, watching Law & Order marathons, too tired to take a shower and go out for dinner.
Jill is being used, just like Bravo has done before and will do again, with their casts. She doesn’t see it because she’s too giddy right now. If this appearance is edited in such a way that she looks bad – well, heaven help whoever is left to pick up those pieces.
The upper echelon isn’t concerned with common sense or responsibility – just show me the money.
The Bravo network reality tv scheme is feeling like a morph of Big Brother, Days of Our Lives and Survivor.
Just mix some new blood with an exiled reanimated villain and Watch What Happens!
We’re all used to certain tv shows doing it. In this case it’s an entire network’s suite of franchises.
I’m going to miss Heather. I liked the reunion it wasn’t crazy and everyone got their digs into someone else. I loved the look on Aivia face when she heard Heather and Carole agree she was out of line and should have apologized, she looked shocked. That told me the apology Aivia gave was apart of PR package.
Hey Becky, Aviva’s apology and subsequent statements on social media don’t ring true to me, either. I think you’re absolutely right about a PR goodwill campaign – too little and too late.