The Real Housewives of New York make our diverse, eclectic, gem of a city seem like a snob hatchery (I stole that term from a 1964 Peter Sellers/Angela Lansbury film). New York City is filled with amazing people: rich/poor, gay/straight, old/young, multi-racial, multi-lingual, and so on and so forth. The housewives are a miniscule, niche group of middle-aged gals behaving badly and making the rest of us look bad.
This week, we were subjected to excessive amounts of snobbery and hostility, most notably (and surprisingly) from – gasp – Sonja Morgan. I expect that type of behavior from some of the other ladies but Sonja? I never thought the day would come. It came. And boy-oh-boy, it certainly was Sonja’s “day.”
This episode is also the product of sloppy editing. Let me give you an example. We open up at Sonja’s Upper East Side townhouse. LuAnn has arrived to dress for the Marriage Equality Walk. Sonja is in the makeup chair wearing hair rollers secured to her head by white hair clips. She and LuAnn discuss some wedding dresses and we cut to Kelly arriving with flowers and gifts. Sonja, now wearing one roller with a big brown clip on the top of her head, says to Kelly, “You’re always bearing gifts – cleansing kits, candles…” Before she can finish, Kelly chimes in, “This is the most delicious candle. I love it. Look at you!” Sonja, holding the bouquet Kelly has (seemingly) just handed her, quickly replies, “The coffee has not even kicked in yet.” Except, as she replies, the roller and hair clip are gone and her hair is completely combed out. The entire conversation takes about 12 seconds (I timed it). The back and forth shots between Kelly and Sonja are split seconds. How did Sonja’s hair get unrolled and combed out in a split second? Bad, bad continuity, Bravo peeps. It makes us wonder why there are retakes for unscripted reality and how much is taken out of context or even scripted. Dear Bravo editors, the audience is NOT supposed to know the cast is doing multiple takes because, then, it’s not REALITY. It’s a FUGAZY.
But, back to Sonja and her “day.” By the time the surprise is revealed – that Sonja is the Grand Marshall for the Marriage Equality Walk – Alex has arrived. Remember now, this is a cause Alex is extremely passionate about. She’s not just on the committee, it was her idea to march in wedding dresses. Besides, she’s married to a gay man. If Simon is permitted to marry, why isn’t anyone else in the gay community permitted to marry? It’s a conundrum.
At the townhouse:
Sonja: “Guys, I invited you here today because I am speaking. I’m the Grand Marshall and I need your support.”
Some unimportant chatter about primping…
Sonja: “This is a big day for ME. It’s very important…” followed by undecipherable chatter.
Alex: “We’re walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn in this march and then…”
Abrupt cut off by Sonja: “We know all that. We’re talking about ME now. We’re talking about ME being nervous and my girlfriends being there to support ME.”
Me. Me. Me.
Cut to Lower Manhattan, gathering point for the walk. The brides arrive.
Sonja: “I’m so happy you guys came to support ME.” Some clichéd air kissing.
Simon, in full-on rainbow sequins, embracing two gentlemen, listens to the pre-walk speeches. The brides head for the tent. Alex catches up with Simon and they learn Simon will not be permitted to speak, per Sonja Morgan (because it’s Sonja’s day). Alex politely brings up the issue to Sonja, who, it seems, can give the go ahead for Simon to speak but refuses for no apparent reason. Alex and Simon are disappointed and feel “high jacked.” Sonja goes on and on about the day being about her (“ME”) and with a spiteful air, refuses to give in. LuAnn does her best to shift Sonja’s perspective from the event being about Sonja to the event being about the cause but she gets interrupted by typical, irrelevant Kelly blather. Sonja, fueled by Narcissism and possibly, some pre-event adult beverages, won’t budge. And then, another surprise: Jill arrives and Sonja appears unsurprised (hmmm, wonder why she never mentioned that to anyone). It becomes clear, quickly, that sometime between Jill’s “out-of-town” wedding the day before and the time of the march, offensive strategies were put into place. Sonja has replaced LuAnn as Satan’s minion. You know what they say, the gals who Botox together… (as revealed to Andy Cohen) (maybe they received skunky injectibles, which migrated to their brains).
Alex (to Jill, errrr, Satan, rather sweetly): “Committee member, I’m glad you came.”
Satan squirms, clutching Ginger, ready to pounce.
Alex : “Sonja is going to speak. You were asked to speak, too, right?”
ABRUPT cut off by Satan (Sonja nodding supportively): “You have a misunderstanding. You keep going… like… I feel like you think I was coming to this today. Everyone knew, when they asked me, that I had a wedding this weekend.”
So the question is this: Why are you even here, oh cloven-hoofed one?
Satan (continuing): “I don’t know why you’re making such a big issue of it. LEAVE ME ALONE! STOP PICKING ON ME! YOU’VE BEEN PICKING ON ME SINCE YOU SAW ME! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!”
What the fu@#? Now we’re really lost.
Poor Alex has already suffered several, rather violent hoofings and pitchforkings from Satan and Sonja, respectively, and the march hasn’t even begun. You can see the hurt in her face. You can feel it through the television.
Meanwhile, Satan and Ginger are Frenching off to the side. Sonja takes the podium – blah, blah, blah – and away we go, crossing over a river of madness to the dark side, specifically, to Alex’s and Simon’s Gothic townhouse for a champagne toast. Alex throws an olive branch to Jill. They need to talk but Alex is wounded, severely wounded. Not now.
After the march, LuAnn and Sonja meet for a champagne-infused lunch. Sonja insists she treated “Bridezilla and her man” with the utmost respect. So the term, “Bridezilla” is a form of respect, then? Who knew?
Skipping ahead, Ramona has purchased a table at an event for “Mr. Gucci from Italy” (background cameos by Caroline and Albert Manzo) and has invited some friends, including Alex and Sonja, amongst others, to sit at the table. Ramona passed on sending an invite to Kelly since Kelly can be a “Wackadoo,” Ramona says. Alex confides to Ramona what transpired at the march but Ramona doesn’t know what to make of it.
Sonja arrives with Kelly and looks a bit sauced. She’s stammering and having difficulty pronouncing “peri-menopause” and other words. She wears the same unkind, snobby expression she wore at the march. Something’s amiss. Ramona scrambles to make room for Kelly at the table but Kelly isn’t staying. Sonja tells Ramona her side of the story. Still, Ramona can’t make heads or tails.
Fast forward to Sonja’s townhouse. Sonja is having another “Me” moment with a party to unveil the portrait her younger beau, artist Brian Farrell, has painted of her. We had a preview earlier in the episode but it wasn’t good. We’re talking saggy face, saggy boobs – the works. Brian promises Sonja it’s unfinished. Tonight we get to see the “finished” product. Sonja, surprisingly, has invited, Alex (sans Simon) (didn’t Alex and Simon go everywhere together at one time?) (maybe they can’t afford the French Au Pair anymore and Simon has to babysit) and then ambushes Alex the moment she arrives. Sonja seems a little “off” again. She kind of remembers Simon’s name, she expresses offense with his sequined rainbow jacket, that his bigness was somehow overpowering behind her ear and some other nonsensical ramblings. When Alex replies (or at least tries to), Sonja flies off the handle and refuses to allow Alex to speak or say anything. It get’s heated. Alex, re-pitchforked by an overly vicious Sonja, heads back to Brooklyn, nursing fresh fork wounds and passing LuAnn and Cindy on the way out.
Finally, the painting is unveiled. Aside from the addition of a dress to hide the saggy boobs, the portrait is relatively unchanged. None of the other women are impressed with the Golden Girl-esque rendering. And it’s interesting to watch Sonja navigate her townhouse carrying a handbag on her arm – just like Sophia Petrillo.