Tamra’s extremely classy faux-sex fiesta is over now and all that remains is the faint scent of discount-priced lube in the air and the very real need to pull duct tape off of body parts in one quick and incredibly painful motion. But just because terrible fetish wigs have been removed from the heads of Housewives all over town does not mean that any of them have forgotten what went down at a party where the guests were required to watch Tamra and Eddie’s oh-so-clever play on a sex tape that was really a workout video and then not vomit when the scene mercifully faded to black after we all got to hear that Tamra is really tight. See, just because it’s a brand new day doesn’t take away the fact that Vicki told Meghan’s husband that he married an asshole or that Meghan’s husband is a total asshole or that people have questioned the veracity of Brooks’ illness or that Shannon is never happy when she’s sober. Isn’t it sad when we realize that all of life’s greatest problems do not dissipate the moment we remove the leather collar and leash from around our necks? Oh, misery.
When last we saw these grown women, they were decked out in sequins and strange necklines and discussing incredibly private matters while being filmed by cameras. The battle royale about Carole dating Adam is still going strong tonight and leading the charge against the relationship like she’s a born-again suffragette who likes wearing turquoise, taking moonlit walks on the beach, and shaming other women is Luann. I do not understand Luann’s behavior. Does she not realize that the demise of Carole and Adam’s relationship could lead to the vegan cookbook they collaborated on (she wrote the text and he prepared things made entirely of kale) never seeing the light of day? Can Luann not even imagine the scenario where she performs her hit songs at signings for that cookbook atop a stage made entirely out of heaps of quinoa? Do they not teach “Thinking Ahead” in Countess Class or was it on the curriculum but Luann missed that lecture because she was banging a twenty-three year old in the bathroom?
Sure, I write Real Housewives recaps. I sit in front of my television set two nights a week with my laptop propped open and resting on my leg and I take copious notes. I type out in a rhythmic pitter-patter what these women say and what they wear and the ways in which they deflect their odious behavior and my hands actually cramp by the end of the evening, so busy are my fingers as they hit the keys to form words I never could have imagined I’d ever transcribe. By the way, try explaining to a man you’re dating that you can’t hang out on a Monday or Tuesday night in the middle of summer when you’re not working because you have to watch Bravo and then compose ten pages about what Vicki said to Meghan and see how he reacts. Before you do it, I’m going to recommend that you only say such a sentence while wearing lingerie because I find that you’ll be forgiven far more quickly.
But just because I watch this franchise faithfully does not mean that I engage with any other aspect besides the show itself. I do not follow any of these women on Twitter and I have never bought a single item that any one of them endorses. I also did not tune in to watch something recently aired that I think was called The Housewife Awards and I certainly didn’t participate in the voting process. Since I didn’t watch, I have no idea what the categories were or who won or if any Housewife made a pilgrimage to some podium to accept an award, which I’d bet several of them would happily do as there might have been a red carpet there and maybe the trophy looked shiny and perhaps some of the women believed that they could melt the thing down and turn it into a pair of matching golden bangles like Wonder Woman used to wear.
What I have decided to do, however, is hand out a few of my own awards to the Housewives past and present and I will even fashion a tiara out of generic aluminum foil to give to any who have been craving a pop of silver. And the winners are…
If I have to listen to one more human being – or whatever species wants to claim Ramona Singer as one of its own – so much as murmur that Sonja Morgan has any sort of right to claim that all of the other women around her were wrong and innately cruel to have had doubts about the validity of Sonja’s clothing line and that it would actually become a reality and was not instead simply a long-running hallucination festering in the mind of crazy woman, I’m going to strangle that person with one of Sonja’s jodhpurs, which I’m imagining are being sold on her website and will be eventually shipped to my home by her Mailing Intern, Francois. Let’s just look logically and empirically at all that’s gone down. Was there clothing on the bodies of the models at Sonja’s fashion show? Yes. Was the clothing decently designed and styled well? Yes. Did every single person with whom Sonja had interacted with prior to that event have several exceptionally good reasons to doubt that those clothes existed in the first place due to the fact that Sonja seemed to have no clear idea of what her line was about or where it would be sold and because nothing else she has ever attempted on this show in the name of business has ever fully come to fruition? Fuck yes.
It’s Fashion Week on The Real Housewives of New York and that means that we will all be privy to exquisite beauty and unadulterated elegance and we will gain access to the elite of the elite and…I’m sorry, what’s that? Oh, Ramona Singer will be there? Then fuck elegance and class because all Fashion Week on this show really means is that it’s time once again to tread through the bargain basement of blonde muck, but we needn’t despair because once we emerge, we’ll be treated to a New Beginning.
There was a time – I think maybe it was a Thursday – when I truly believed that an original storyline and complex and compelling characters were essential when it came to getting a television show on the air and allowing it to be renewed for about eight seasons.
I also used to believe that a monster lived in the back of my closet.
I got over the monster fear eventually, but I’m not certain that my subconscious has because sometimes in the very dead of the night I find myself picturing the most horrifying hybrid creature ever seen outside of a James Cameron movie. It’s vivid, this image. It has the hardened eyes of Tamra and the pursed and ever-angry mouth of Shannon and it sounds exactly like Vicki and it wears Meghan’s headband. It is nothing short of terrifying and I shake and tremble when I think about that blonde creature, so I sometimes try to calm myself by remembering the days when things on television brought me comfort, like the Smoke Monster from Lost and Scott Baio singing saccharine pop songs off-key on Joanie Loves Chachi.
I attended a Game Night once. There were about twenty of us gathered in a rustic living room, one of those great places with wooden beams across the ceiling and a roaring fireplace in the corner, and all of us were splayed out comfortably across the rug. I don’t remember seeing any theme decorations on the tables, but I know there was alcohol on the counter in the kitchen. We played a bunch of different games, but my favorite was the one where we were all presented with some initials and we had to come up with what those initials stood for and one person had the actual answer and the point was to guess who had the correct response. The one I remember the best was P.A.S.S. Turns out those initials stand for a group who call themselves “Parents Against Subliminal Seduction,” which I guess holds sit-ins outside of Disney movies in an effort to finally put a forever stop to animators doing shit like making Aladdin get an erection or from having the castle in The Little Mermaid sculpted from perfectly formed penises, a monument to both royal majesty and circumcision.
There’s talent and then there’s fame – and sometimes the two collide into a smoldering inferno that can singe anything within its path. And I could almost smell the ash in the air and feel it catch in my throat as I watched the new documentary about Amy Winehouse.
The truth is that I’m far more a fan of documentaries that I am of Amy Winehouse. Sure, I’ve got about eight of her songs on my old iPod and I’ve danced on leather banquettes to Rehab and I read the withering Rolling Stone cover story on her back in a year that I think might have been 2011, but other than that I never felt any real tie to her. I found her voice gravely and gruff – and truly great – and she certainly looked differently than anyone in the harsh glare of the public eye at that time did with a beehive that got taller and rattier the more substances she ingested and the pinup girls tattooed on her arms appeared more pronounced as her frame shrank to emaciated proportions noticeable to even a casual fan like myself.