Fans of the Real Housewives of New York City were treated to what has to be one of the best reunion specials of Bravo's hit franchise. Within the first minute of the show, it's clear the room's divided: Brunettes on one couch and blondes on the other.
Bravo's star host, Andy Cohen, wasted no time picking up where the last episode left off and asked Ramona Singer if she was in fact "with child." Ramona was not shy about answering the question: "I'm on my period right now." Wow. Okay, so Ramona's not holding back. Little did we know all the ladies took turns shining in the spotlight, ending up in a 90-minute seven-lady shouting match.
The first fight was over the ladies' responses to the drama over Sonja speaking at the New York City Equality for Marriage March. Sonja and Alex disagreed over who had the sole right to speak at the event and rehashed it on the couches. Kelly interrupted Alex's version of the events by repeating "didn't happen" and pretty much called Alex a liar when she said Simon was invited to speak.
We then learn Sonja Morgan was wealthy before her marriage into banking royalty (John Morgan of the JP Morgan family). As Sonja discusses in the third person, "Sonja came from a farm upstate with a great genealogy." Ramona chimes in and vouches for Sonja's assets and investments before her marriage while the two hold hands. Sonja's current occupation is a "restaurant consultant" and defends her fabulous parties because she brings restaurants celebrities and power brokers. Ramona explains, "They comp her."
Andy directs the conversation again with a viewer question about Sonja's house. Sonja calls out Kelly for claiming Sonja was disorganized, lived beyond her means and lived in a dirty house. Kelly at first replies, "For me as a mother, it's very important for my children to know hygiene is very important." Ouch. She then proceeds to tell Sonja it's her life and she can do what she wants. Kelly's "not judging." Noted. Sonja and Kelly continue to banter with Sonja yelling over Jill and Cindy's attempt to jump into the fun.
The conversation goes back to Sonja's attitude toward money with Kelly, LuAnn, and Cindy taking issue with her perceived pretentiousness. Sonja defends herself by telling the ladies, "Of course. I've lived a life only 2 percent of Americans live." Ramona adds it's closer to half-a-percentage.
The drama continues for a while about random events, like Sonja putting her bare hand into a clogged toilet (the water was clear) to fish out her make-up artist's Blackberry. Exciting.
Viewers are then throttled back to one of the first episodes of the season: The infamous wedding controversy where Jill and Alex both wore white to another bride's wedding and Jill was not happy. Swear words fly between Alex and Jill. Alex dares Jill to say it to her face and, well, Jill does. Best friends for life.
Moving on, Andy shows footage in which Jill complains that Ramona drank all of the wine that was supposed to be auctioned off at Jill's anti-bullying charity luncheon. Ramona responds and denies ever being asked to donate the wine and instead says Jill's contact for the party told her to bring her own wine. Jill calls Ramona "immature."
Alex attempts to chime in and Jill gets annoyed and tells her to "stop meddling in everyone's business." LuAnn echoes Jill's sentiment. Alex turns a little bit red.
Andy ushers the conversation forward with a viewer question about Ramona's husband Mario's potential indiscretions that seem to be common knowledge in their "social circles." Uh oh. Jill is calling out Ramona's husband for cheating. Correction, she said he's "rumored to be cheating." Ramona's upset. She finds it to be a "heinous" accusation. Jill doesn't understand since she's just repeating what she's heard. More yelling.
Jill and LuAnn both question Ramona's true youthfulness and believe she is really going through menopause. LuAnn is actually upset over Sonja and Ramona's decision to do a pregnancy test on LuAnn's anniversary party boat. Sonja and Ramona don't care.
Ramona tells Jill she "doesn't know the difference between reality and television" and a fight ensues over previous cast member and now a Bravo star in her own right, Bethenny Frankel. Ramona calls Jill "delusional" and Jill says she is "scared of Bethenny Frankel." Ramona and Jill argue over the demise of Jill and Bethenny's friendship. Jill accuses Ramona of not doing enough to help save the relationship. Ramona and Andy recount the video-taped footage of Ramona facilitating a sit-down between Jill and Bethenny. This doesn't seem to change Jill's perception.
Andy calls Kelly the "voice of reason" for this season and recap footage rolls showing Kelly in semi-rational scenes. We agree. Kelly is much improved from last season's "Scary Island" but perhaps she has a ways to go before she's a shining beacon of normalcy. Kelly feels she's the same as last year, she's just "not being interrupted anymore." Alex disagrees saying Kelly railroaded her plenty of times. Kelly and LuAnn band together and shut Alex down.
On a serious note, Andy asks Kelly about her abusive relationship in the past which she revealed to LuAnn during their Moroccan trip. Kelly doesn't really want to talk about it and tears up when she's pressed. It's a touching and sad moment for what was obviously painful and traumatic.
Sensitivity doesn't last long when Andy brings up Cindy's conference call taken during Sonja's toaster-oven egg breakfast. LuAnn thinks it's rude she took the call at the kitchen table. Sonja's still horrified and repeats the phrase "I cooked for you in my home." Cindy isn't fazed by either of the veterans and holds her own: "It was 11 a.m. during a work week." Sonja's upset. Kelly sides with Cindy and asks if Sonja is using drugs. More yelling. Cindy stands up and hits her chest proclaiming, "I don't need to be told what to do."
Andy briefly asks about the party at Cindy's in Quogue held at an equestrian center. (Quogue is apparently not a very nice part of the Hamptons according to Sonja and Ramona.) Ramona's upset she wasn't allowed to ride her horse outside of the children's arena. Cindy says Ramona was a liability and was too drunk to be allowed to ride the way she wanted. Ramona vehemently denies this.
With just a few minutes left in the show, we think the heat is about to die down. Nope. In the ending scenes, Ramona accuses LuAnn of being a bad mother and asks why LuAnn's daughter, Victoria, has changed schools four times over four years. LuAnn is obviously hurt. Jill is furious and becomes very protective of LuAnn. She stands up looking as if she is about to walk off the set.
Bravo decides this is the best time to end the reunion.
Kelly Killoren Bensimon to Alex McCord: "Cosmopolitan magazine voted me one of the five nicest celebrities."
Cindy Barshop to Sonja Morgan: "The last person I would ever have etiquette [lessons] from is you with your butt hanging out [and] your boob hanging out."
The Housewives managed to fight about every question and every response by each cast member. We sat there thrilled we could be a fly-on-the-wall for this made-for-TV reunion special. The Real Housewives reunion special part two airs next Monday at 6:00 p.m. EST on Bravo.
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