I'm not especially proud of this, but I've watched nearly every show in Bravo's Real Housewives "franchise." I always felt a little dirty afterwards, that is, until I discovered Richard Lawson, Gawker's beyond brilliant (and most-read) 20-something chronicler of the ladies who louche. Richard's recaps of each episode are so much a million times better than the actual show.
Richard, Richard, how to sum up your brilliance? You are Marcel Proust combined with David Foster Wallace, William Faulkner crossed with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nora Ephron dusted with Virginia Woolf. There really is no other way to make my point than to give my readers a sample of your awesome literary chops.
Richard on the RHofNYC:
Meanwhile at the Hamptons chateau that Ramona has fashioned out of waffles and spirit gum, she and her basically-a-hired-homosexual husband languished in their swimming pool and Ramona sang old sea shanties, hoping that her long lost beloved Captain Redbeard would return to her. She stayed there all evening, floating around, kelp and barnacles slowly consuming her.
Back at the brambles, Alex and Simon were bragging about a large inflatable pool that they bought and put in their broken glass-filled horrid backyard. So much better than the Hamptons, they cooed needlessly. Simon lay there, like the king of absolutely nothing, all night, barnacles and kelp avoiding him at all costs.
Ol' Crackerjacks LuAnn invited Bethenny to lunch on the pretension of talking to her about some silly cancer thing. In actuality, she wanted to brag about her book deal. Yes, someone has actually put their head down on their desk and put their hand out, asking for money, and agreed to publish Class with the Countess, a memoir cum travelogue cum etiquette handbook cum cumstain that Crackerjacks has written in her head bone, drawing on her vast experience writing articles for Hamptons Magazine (exactly as real as Social Life). Bethenny, bless her, was sort of horrified that Crackerjacks continues to exploit her bullhockey Countess status. "Are you classy because you're a countess?" she asked, innocently. Crackerjacks said "No, you know, I'm American Indian." By way of... explanation? She then added that her Indian name was Keeps Elbows Off Table. Which isn't true. Her 'Indian name' is actually Crackerjacks O'Reardon, a nom de plume she used back in her days of scuffling around on a creaking wooden stage, disrobing for out-of-work coal miners at the Canary Club, that place just off the interstate, during the late-morning shift. "Go Crackerjacks! It's your birthday!" she would bellow to herself, wheezing and farting, her Capri cigarette dangling off her lip, the muted sounds of Joe Cocker rasping "Love lifts us up where we belong..." coming lilting from the jukebox, a few coughs, a gust of wind. Creak. Creak. "Go Crackerjacks..." Creeeeak.
Richard on the RHofNJ:
Teresa is also a treat because she has three daughters. Their names are Milano, Asti Spumante, and Prosciutto Royale and they are all beautiful talented little bundles of vicariousness. Teresa claims that she is not a stage mother, no way bucko. She just likes to make her six-year-old daughter, Risotto, pose in sexy rapstress poses and would like her to have an acting and singing and dancing and modeling agent in New York City. Because, you know, the little fucker is just plain talented. And there's no denying that. Why fight the spotlight, you know? You can't. You just can't fight the spotlight.
Teresa is very close to two horrible sisters, one named Dina, the other named Caroline. (Isn't that name a little suspicious? What kind of self-respecting Eyetalian is named Caroline?) These two gals are basically mobbed up, which makes me scared to write about them, but I must be strong in my journalistic integrity. I'm basically Veronica Guerin you guys. Which means I'm one step closer to my life's goal of having Cate Blanchett play me in a movie. Anyway. The Sisters Rosensweigissimo. Dina is blonde and prettyish in that sort of mysterious middle-aged suburban lady way—there's something aesthetically pleasing about her whole appearance but when you look at individual features to try and find the source, you're only met with ugliness. The strange protruding lips, the tired wine-soaked eyes, the floppy mass of hair. I guess she's a classic full-on Monet, much like Amber. Best not to inspect too closely.
Dina is also unpleasant and rude, and makes constant, awful references to her enormous bubbies, creations out of a William Pène du Bois novel. She has children, I can't really remember how many, but there's only one important one. Her name is Briannica or Allybeth or Courtniffani or something and she is about twelve years old and has little round glasses and a Wendy's hairdo and you instantly feel bad for her when you see her. But then she opens her mouth! And out tumbles the binky-bonk cadence and word garbage of a horrid New Jersey woman twice her age and you just put your head in your hands and shudder and feel suddenly sorry for the Skidmore class of 2019. Dina and Ashlissa went to play tennis but Dina couldn't play because her bubbies were too big and she couldn't take them off because she forgot their special carrying case back at the house so Morganriley was upset and said "Next time wear two sports bras!" Poor dear. The same poor dear wants to have a nanny that will call her "your majesty" and you put your head in your hands and feel suddenly sorry for that Filipino kid who's moving here in 2022 to be "adopted" and oh sleeping in the broom closet isn't so bad, if anyone asks, tell them you're an exchange student who cleans to earn a little extra pocket money.
The other sister is Caroline, who I will refer to from now on as Strega Nona (perhaps Nona for short). Strega Nona has a little pixie haircut and wild beady features and she has two overgrown sons who have definitely pumped a fist or two. There is Christopher, a 19-year-old wiseacre who wants to see bare bubbies when he's getting his car cleaned. He's a "get rich quick" type-a guy, Dina explains to us knowingly, because, I guess, when you hang out in made-up towns in New Jersey and everyone lives in prefab mansions you probably know a lot of "get rich quick" type-a guys. I don't know any. I'm just putting that out there. Christopher looks a bit like an Italian Tintin, though not nearly as latently homosexual as my favorite Belgian adventurer. And then there's Albie. Ohhh Albie. He of the million-watt smile and breezy confidence. Albie is the 22-year-old golden boy of the family, the only one going to college (and now law school), beloved by the ladies, creepily flirted with by Strega Nona's ancient friends. As Nona herself isn't all that interesting yet, I'm betting that there will be many high jinx with Chrissy and Albie. Perhaps Captain Haddock will be allowed to tag along.
There is also Jacqueline, who is sad and pompadoured. She's a "Vegas girl," which means she's a foundling child, left to sizzle in the desert but rescued by the Franciscan monks who live in the Bellagio. Then she was married off to Dina and Strega Nona's brother and moved to New Jersey. But not before giving birth to a teenage girl. So the family is transplanted here and Jacqueline has fit in well, bossed around by her sisters-in-law, referred to chillingly as like the cool mom from Mean Girls by her own oblivious daughter, who seems to have failed to grasp that Amy Poehler is a comedienne who was deftly parodying a certain kind of modern American maternal horrorshow. Isn't it terrifying how many children, as evidenced by all these iterations of Housewives, are being raised terribly in this country? And these are the rich kids! The poor ones will be eating out of garbage cans and living in the woods by 2019. Good luck with the townies, Skidmore grads.
Jacqueline is the only one who is friends with Garbanzo, a non-Italian woman who I believe was a face double for Pizza the Hut in Spaceballs. I kid, I kid. Her name is Danielle and she is fit as a fiddle and has three or seven or forty-six children, all of whom are named Primavera, even though, again, Danielle is not Italian. I think she might be Croatian-Dutch, or maybe Albanian-Kiwi. It's hard to tell. Garbanzo has made every effort possible to fashion herself in the style of the Romans she mingles with, down to the straw-like wig and eyelid implants. The entire state of New Jersey needs to put cucumbers over its eyes and take a nap. Y'all bitches look tired. Damn, Gina.
Enjoy Richard's latest RHofNJ recap. If you feel bad about the brain cells you are wasting watching this show, just read it. Someday you will thank me. :-)