Feeling Sonja Fresh
Episode 1: Bravotv.com's Editor ponders a new "New York," liver transplants, and threatening texts.
Well hello RHONY fans! It's been awhile. I've missed you, and moreover, our gals so much. What mysterious adventures did they get into while we were away? How many pregnancy tests did Ramona take on boats when we at Bravo weren't watching? No matter, I suppose. We're here now, and we'll go with this.
Par usual, I'll divide each episode into my five favorite moments as they relate to the boroughs of our fair city. Follow along on your map or DVR.
No Attractive Women Is A Staten Island
We open at the Central Park Boathouse, a divine place for a drink with a new friend. LuAnn is meeting Aviva. They met years ago, because all attractive people know each other. Seriously, LuAnn remarks that she saw Aviva across the room because "We were looking at each other, as attractive women do." Turns out they have much more in common than just their fair faces and social graces -- they've both been entangled with Harry Dubin and speak fabulous French. Yes, LuAnn and Sonja have also all been involved with Aviva's ex. That's something.
Not only does Aviva find beautiful friends wherever she goes -– she does it with a handicap. At the most illuminating pedicure ever, Aviva pulls out a lovely bag that Eric Clapton used to carry his pool cues in. But instead of gaming accoutrements, the bag is holding Aviva's third legs. Sonja looks more surprised then when they asked her if she wanted a glitter top coat.
Indeed, meet our first Housewife who is down a limb. She lost her leg in a farm accident as a child, and now she has flat and heel prosthetic legs and the strength to live as normal as possible. It's so normal in fact that in mere moments the talk turns to Roberta's psychic powers and what kind of popcorn Sonja, LuAnn, and Harry ate on all their dates. . .Kudos to you Aviva for making it work.
The Major Manhattan Moment
Let's talk about Sonja's party. Have you been to one of those stale brioche parties she speaks of? Gross. People there just sit around with dry bread in their mouths, waiting to leave. But not at a Sonja Morgan affair. At a Sonja party you have properly chopped pillows, vases with water (when Millsaps remembers), and men in leather culottes. It was Sonja Fresh!
Also at this Mentos-fresh affair where our other new power players: Heather (wearing her own Yummy Tummy and a very Asian-inspired red topper) and Carole (in hotpants). Carole is a single best-selling author with Kennedy connections, downtown vibes, and a low threshold for women talking about their kids or forcing her to relive the grief-filled years that inspired her book. Heather is a fashion impresario who speaks limited Italian and whose father just passed away. I find myself heavily enamored of both.
But all those new faces weren't enough to sweep old feuds under the rug. LuAnn approaches Ramona to discuss their parenting tiff, and it doesn't go well at all. . .
Nothing was more blissful though than Aviva's reaction to Ramona's heart palpitations. Get used to -- being Ramotional has physical effects. In the end, Ramona ponders giving The Countess her blood, while LuAnn ponders Ramona's reaction to conversation ("She feigns illness and runs away"). I seems Ramona has become the fainting goat of confrontation.
The Queens of the Learning Annex
Ladies and gentleman, meet what I would bet solid money on will be a reoccurring theme of the season -- Heather and Ramona locked in a state of tension. It begins when Ramona comes to visit Heather at her office. They're both chatty business ladies, how could this go wrong, you say? Unclear. Perhaps it was when Ramona whipped out her Learning Annex cover story? Or maybe it was their differences about office hours? Or the bummer turn their meeting took once they started discussing liver problems and stillborn children?
As oddball as that was, the gals try again over drinks, this time with Sonja. However, once again, the bicycle never hits a great stride. Heather drops her father's death into the convo (You can't really blame her for it being awkward, what's the easiest way to mention your died just died? I can never remeber if it comes before or after the cheese course.). The LuAnn topic is broached and shot down. Someone’s blind friend comes up. Yipes. Strike two for that evening.
And then attempt (and biffed effort) three comes along. Ramona's having a dinner party. She's invited a possible gent for Sonja. (How delightfully Sonja was her reaction to the set up? "After a glass of wine he's going to look even better," she says. "After another glass of wine he's going to look amazing."
Aviva and Heather arrive, shots are poured. The conversation flows -– until it doesn't. Ramona thinks Heather is interrupting Mario and talking too fast. They make a pact to slow down, but with the seating chart not in Heather's favor dinner gets even more awkward. And then Sonja has a hard time remember to call her ex her "ex." Thankfully Yiddish is discussed the mood lifts. Learning new languages is really a theme of this episode.
Brooklyn Goes Hard – at opening wine bottles
What Ramona has found to drink, let know very complicated wine opener or hired help put asunder. I can't blame our gal. Those things are uber complicated.
Rumble in the Bronx
Meanwhile in a garage in the Hamptons, Victoria is showcasing some of her delightful artwork. Sure it's a little dark, but not everything is "rainbows and bunny rabbits" as Aviva remarked. And indeed, it's not. LuAnn is sad Sonja is so Team Ramona that she's skipping Victoria's art show. Why can't everyone just love art and get along?
And then over lunch things get even less bunny rabbit: LuAnn blows in, orders a decaf cappuccino (really) and mentions that Ramona has sent her a threatening text. Ramona mentions via text that she wants to go there with the kids, but then texts again that she doesn't want to go there. But as quickly as she recounts the tale of woe LuAnn is gone, darting across the street and leaving the newest 'Wives to recap for Heather and ponder exactly what they've gotten into with these gals.
Whew. What a gigantic first episode. And we have so much to look forward to: topless swimming, doomsday plans, strip clubs. What are you looking forward to most friends? What was your favorite moment of this episode? Leave your picks in the comments and try your best to hang on until next week.