Sweet merciful crap, I think the second–and mercifully last–half of the Real Housewives Of New York Season 4 reunion was one of the most annoying bordering on infuriating 90 minutes of television I’ve ever put myself through. The waves of pomposity and petty, mean girl nonsense washing out of my TV were reaching tsunami levels. The worst part? Not that I won’t get those 90 minutes back. Not that it’s like watching adults cluck “I’m rubber, you’re glue” for a combined three hours. Not because it actually made my brain hurt when they were trying to shout over each other. No, the worst part was that I actually used to like (some of) these women. I actually caught a Season 2 rerun a few weeks back and it was shocking how nice and normal these people were. Sure, Ramona’s clear alcoholism was there early on as well as Kelly’s third grade mentality, but it was all toned down so much more. I’m not sure if they were hiding their craziness from the cameras or if the cameras and the ensuing fame wound up feeding what was already there like Seymour the man-eating plant. With no one left to care about or even root for and rage being the only emotion I feel at the end of each episode, I’m done with the season.
But before I bow out, I’ve got a few things to say about each woman and how they’ve each contributed to my dislike of the show overall. But before I do, I’ve got to say that the set-up of having the blondes on one side and the non-blondes on the other was a bad move. Watching them toss insults across at their frenemies or whatever only to then turn to their fellow mean girls, laugh and give little high fives about their sick burns was skin-crawlingly awful. They also all have this tendency to not listen to whoever they’re talking about, throw out pointless jabs at one another and ask for proof about claims followed immediately by said evidence and then brushing it off as inconsequential while also making a huge deal out of their own perceived sleights. It’s awful. Okay, now on to the rundown.
Cindy. Man oh man, what a waste of space. A more humorless woman I’ve never seen on television. At first I liked how she seemed to be the “man on the street” persona of the show, but the fact that she never ever got a joke or did anything productive or interesting aside from starting drama with people pushed her into my mental dustbin which is a shame because a single woman with two young twins should be interesting. I appreciate her not wanting to put up with Sonja’s nonsense about social levels or whatever, but taking a call in the middle of breakfast? Classless. Oops, don’t tell Alex I used the c word.
Speaking of Alex, she’s easily my favorite. I would definitely watch a show with just her, Simon and their two kids, even though it would border on pretentious. However, her incessant need to be the righter of wrongs this season got old, quick. I like that she’s found her voice, but she needs to learn how argue down and dirty like these awful specimens of humanity she’s surrounded by. LuAnn is MEAN and doesn’t listen to anyone, you can’t just roll into a restaurant and expect to lay out how she’s been mean. She’ll just make fun of your shoes or your skin (super classy) and walk away.
Ugh. LuAnn. I used to like her. She should have been likable to some extent this year considering she just went through a divorce, but not a chance. Hurling insults with a smile and while putting on some bullshit French accent still makes you a bitch. Not admitting to being mean compounds the issue. Saying you’re not trying to school people on manners after literally writing a book on the subject is just ridiculous. How do people like this exist? She’s so completely out of her head or reality that it would actually make me sad if she wasn’t such an awful awful person to watch. Also? Totally a weekend mom.
Speaking of moms, where were Kelly’s kids this season? Okay, enough of that segue. I’d say Kelly’s the worst, but, really, most of these women are so uninteresting, mean and bad in their own ways, that you can really pick your flavor of haughtiness. Kelly’s always been a head-in-the-clouds kind of person on these shows. That episode I mentioned seeing from a while back happened to be the one where she told Bethenny she was on one level and Kelly was on a higher one. You could see her strange view on life back then as well as her complete lack of real world view. How many times did she tell someone they were being weird as if that’s the world’s greatest insult? How many times has she commented on Alex getting red? This is a woman we saw lose her mind on camera last season and yet never owned up to any of it. I really think she has the mentality of a child. She believes what she wants to, ignores everything else and just wants everything to stop being weird and not nice. Also, did anyone else notice that she didn’t really have any of her own storylines this season? Everything was a lunch with someone else or piggybacking on other peoples’ drama. That’s odd, right?
I have no good way of connecting Kelly and Sonja. Maybe they didn’t even have a scene together. Ah well, whatever. Sonja’s the closest thing the season has to a character you can root for. She’s gone through a divorce, she’s having money problems. She’s also the one who told Cindy there was a pecking order and continues to make a fool of herself by not wearing parts of her costumes and doing awkward burlesque shows. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that older women can be gorgeous and beautiful, but when they try to throw it in your face at every single moment, it reeks of desperation. Otherwise, she was okay. I wouldn’t want to watch a show about her, but she could be the wacky neighbor who comes over every now and then.
Ramona fits a similar bill, though should would be the character that embodies irony in every sense of the word. She’s stand there talking about how someone else has a drinking problem with downing another bottle of her signature pinot grigio at 10:30AM or explaining how much she trusts her husband as he flirts with the delivery boy in the background. I mean, seriously, does anyone think she’s not an alcoholic? Doesn’t everyone have at least an inkling of a notion that Mario’s fooling around with someone? She tries to play it all off as wacky and fun, but I’m not buying it. Her daughter clearly has a strong desire to be with her parents, though they’re not around. She absolutely never listens to anyone or apologizes for anything (even a simple slip of the tongue). What redeeming qualities are there? I got nothing.
And finally, Jill. Blech. The way she carried herself through this reunion was appalling. Whispering little jabs to LuAnn, tossing fourth grade insults at Alex and Ramona, getting upset when talk of children came into play and yet attacking Ramona’s parenting and even going after Ramona’s marriage (that’s something for snarky bloggers and Tweeters to do from behind a wall of anonymity. All of this would be bad enough, but after a whole season of Jill being Jill, I’m just done. At the beginning of every season she talks about how much she’s changed which she echoes at every reunion only to be followed by a montage of her being awful. She then follows that up by saying she likes who she is and doesn’t want to change. Which is it? Have you changed or haven’t you? Just pick one and stick with it.
A lot of people–including some of the Housewives–will blame editing for the way they’re portrayed on the show, but I’ve never bought that excuse. The cameras pick up what’s there. The editors might mess around with the timing and the regularity of those moments, but they’re there. I’m sure they all have their good moments and aren’t horrible people, but that’s what I’ve been shown and I’ve had enough. There was a time when the show was built around the relationships these women had either as friends or business associates. They didn’t always like each other or get along, but there was enough realness to hold onto as a viewer who isn’t only in it for the trash factor. With all that, I’m out. Good luck with next season, but I won’t be watching.