Book Club: Summer Television

The television I tune into regularly is on summer vacation. And that sucks. I miss my Glee and my 30 Rock and especially my Community, and I’m lonely enough to be regularly watching Sidereel for ’90s preteen dramas. And my loneliness and boredom has reached an incredible low: I am watching The Real Housewives of New York City.

Channel surfing:

The Real Housewives of New York City. Photo courtesy of Bravo.

This show is the worst. The cast is, generally, annoying. Their actions are deplorable. And I am going to punch Kelly Bensimon in the face. The third season concludes tonight with the third and final installment of the reunion special, and it is sure to be another screamfest of bitchy proportions. Oh, god. The drama. The catfights. The tears. The Louboutins.

My mother adores this show, and given that I am stuck in suburbia (but newly employed!), I’ve become a regular watcher of Real Housewives reruns. I want to dissect the characters a bit and, later tonight, I plan to do a play-by-play live blog of the ultimate season finale.

The show, in short, is a stage for the rich, famous and crazy women on New York City. Season 3 followed six (er, seven, but I’ll really only talk to six) of NYC’s wealthiest women as they bicker and moan and attention-grab. It’s the clash of the bourge-y – stilettos at ready. The six are, essentially, a group of frenemies with rich husbands, bratty kids and gorgeously furnished pads. Some bare their breasts, some bare their souls and all bare their total insanity.

The cast:

Bethenny Frankel – Bethenny is a natural foods chef. Well-educated, snarky and disarmingly honest, Bethenny is my favorite. I’m totally in her camp. She is a very recent mother and wife with her own new TV show (Bethenny Getting Married?, also on Bravo) and a successful brand of culinary products, Skinnygirl.
LuAnn de Lesseps – The former Countess and a matronly biotch. A former model and nurse, LuAnn sticks her broad-shouldered frame into everyone’s business and harks on the manners of all her castmates. My favorite LuAnn moment? When she chides Bethenny for introducing LuAnn to the chauffeur as her first name. LuAnn released a single, the aptly titled “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”


LuAnn de Lesseps, “Money Can’t Buy You Class”

Alex McCord – I used to hate Alex. She and her husband Simon try far too hard to get their faces plastered all over page six of The New York Times. Simon is clearly hiding deep within the recesses of a well-groomed beard of a closet (mixed metaphors just for you, Ramona), and Alex’s snotty kids Francois (“I know more than you!”) and Johan don berets when they enter French restaurants. Majorly obnoxious. But Alex has grown on me. She grew a backbone in season three, took on the bullies of the group and spoke her mind – and she is a former Wildcat. Round of applause for most redeemed.
Ramona Singer – Ramona is crazy. I really don’t have much more to say than that. She dances like a fiend and like everyone is watching, but her family is fairly cute. Thumbs up. She also mixes metaphors like crazy – “diarrhea of the mouth,” if you will. Check out the video below, in which Ramona attempts to work the catwalk, reworked by a clever YouTuber.


Ramona Singer, Loris Diran finale fashion show

Jill Zarin – Now, given my background, I feel justified in saying this – Jill Zarin is the epitome of a Jewish American Princess. She demands the attention and concern of all others around, and she screeches like a banshee before weeping like a big ol’ baby. I have rarely seen a grown woman throw fits as Jill does. It’s almost impressive. And please don’t get me started with Jill’s daughter Ally. What a total brat.
Kelly Killoren Bensimon – Oh sweet nothingness. This girl is bats**t crazy and insanely vapid. Bensimon used to be married to legendary photographer Gilles Bensimon, but I suspect she went off her rocker long before the divorce. Her hissyfit in St. Barts? Nuts. Totally nuts. The way she squinched her formerly beautiful face. She looks like a Gremlin. “Systematic bullying,” my bum.

So, the women of Real Housewives. Plastic, arguably beautiful, full of suburban rage and plain ol’ insane. I can’t wait for the next season.

Check out what I hope to be a successful live feed next.

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