The season finale of the Real Housewives of Orange County ran last night. The end. Whatever else happened was totally eclipsed by the absolute brilliance that is the Real Housewives of New York.
These two shows have the same basic concept but the differences are far more than East coast/West coast. RHOC has pettiness and sniping; this one, heretofore known as RHONY, has scheming, smack talk and retaliation.
Let me get it on the record right now: I'm on Team Jill. I love how she gets right into it. There was a dust-up over the summer between the van Kempens and Jill - first he said, then she said. What she said - that Simon was a fall-down drunk - hit the NY Post because she said it to Cindy Adams. She called them right up to say in essence, "I feel bad that it was in the paper but I'm not sorry I said it." then she followed up by saying "I don't want bad blood because of this. Let's put it behind us." That's an adult talking. You gotta love that.
Bethenny Frankel is definately the girlfriend to have as the third party when you're having a strained conversation over the telephone. Part Greek chorus; part mime, she's good with the instant interpretations ("She's pissed!") and with the exaggerated reactions and facial expressions. No romantic angle for her this week but the previews for next week show her crying, so it won't be a long wait.
The van Kempens! Strivers! The opening scenes showed them in their messed-up, forever work-in-progress Brooklyn townhouse. Alex was sitting in the basement playroom next to the exposed electric meters. She's stringy and bulbous at the same time and is one of the few people in America who could be made better looking by the application of hair extensions. Here's a tip - don't expose those toes. It's bad enough we have to look at that lightbulb-shaped head of yours.
Check out the July 4th Hamptons rental they took to keep up with the Joneses. Keep an eye out for the "strangely lavish pool reminiscent of ancient Babylonia." Not too many first-hand reports around about ancient Babylonian pool decor, so maybe it is but if that's the case, I'm pretty sure that suburban New Jersey is chock full of ancient Babylonia as interpreted by Staten-island transplants who made it big in asphalt paving.
Did you catch that TV in the bedroom action? Even Sybil's mother was less insane. Those kids are doomed. I'm very fond of the moment from last season was when the subject of school came up, someone said to Alex that her son Francois might have a tough time of it because of his name. Alex admitted that she had thought of this and even went so far as to suggest a nickname for him. "I was thinking of Fronk." Fronk!?
Fast forward to the charity fundraiser for Kenyan orphans - not a Kenyan in sight but plenty of Hampton eccentrics. Which is your favorite - the lady with gold lipstick or the man dressed in a pizza shirt? I'm going with the pizza shirt guy, not so much for the shirt as for the wig that was unnaturally black and perched sideways on his head. "I only paint tomatoes."
Oh, that Countess. Love that 3rd person reference. A former model (catalog and commercial) who bagged a Swiss count as his 4th wife, she's now writing a book on etiquette and manners. Pul-eeze. Anyone who's read Dear Abby more than once knows more about etiquette and manners than this one does. Am I mistaken or does good manners mean that you put others at their ease and never make them feel uncomfortable? Would that include the gentle put-down to a friendly offer of a cold beer on a hot night? "Sweetheart, the Countess doesn't drink beer from a bottle." A simple no thank you might have been more graceful.
I must admit to a moment of fear when Jill took to the mike and thanked the group for coming, announced that there were gift bags that contained a 3% discount coupon at her husband's fabric business and then exhorted everyone to buy fabric from Zarin's. "Fabric! Fabriiiic! Fabriiiic!" was her closer and she all but screeched it. I should have known better than to doubt her, though, because she immediately turned to her husband and said "There. Are you happy now?" which, as you all know , is the mantra of anyone married more than 5 years. "Are you happy now?" That's our catch phrase. That's on the lunch boxes. that's on the t-shirts. That's in the trailer. That's on the posters. "Are you happy now?"
Also, a 3% discount?