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.