In last night's premiere episode of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City no one bothered to stay in New York City very long. They all flounced off to their gaudy Hamptons manses or, in one ridiculous case, to the classy-talk speaking island of St. Barth's. Ramona, the most image conscious of the leathery ladies, flirted with her nincompoop tennis pro and got drunk poolside with her dopey friends, much to the chagrin of her stick-up-her-ass daughter. Betheny, some sort of aspiring Martha Stewart (and the youngest and only single member of the group) didn't do anything memorable. Jill, the one from the Long Island "Jewish ghetto" who does bulk resale, pranced around playing tennis and sending her perfectly healthy looking daughter off to some sort of weight loss detox program. LuAnn De Lesseps (the countess) barked at her maid and talked about money. And then there's Alex, the stern-jawed Brooklynite (she's the only one who doesn't live on the Upper East Side) who, with her fey Australian husband and forcibly French speaking children, trotted off to St. Barth's to avoid the crush of the Hamptons. There she and her husband wore hideously skimpy bathing costumes and bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of ugly dresses.
So yeah, they're all awful. But the most awkward, and only marginally interesting, thing about the show is how remarkably and painfully self-aware these women are about their outsider-looking-in status. They're not old money, they admit, so they have to work twice as hard to get anywhere in the highfalutin milieu they so desperately love. The sad trouble is, the key to "high society", especially in the pinched wilds of the Upper East Side and the Brahmin corners of the Hamptons, is to present the air of trying very little and having everything come to you. (Or is this an old idea? Am I being naive?) No wonder real UES ladies think the show is "a joke". It's not half as entertaining as Orange County, mainly because I recognize the landmarks and personalities and can detect that it's not, in fact, representative of anyone except a few gaudy idiots. At least Orange County is far away and mystical. Are all the mothers there drunk child neglecters? Sure! Why not? But in New York, in places I've seen and experienced often, it just doesn't seem authentic, or even worse, exciting. Sure these women are "real" in that they exist, but as for "New York", well, they may as well live in Coto, CA. Needless to say, I'll be watching every episode. Below find video of crazy Ramona (who's a bit of a Mrs. Malaprop: "Double duo!") putting goop on her face and drinking champagne, and the countess LuAnn ordering her maid Rosanna (the hero of the show) around the house while packing for the Hamptons.