Cast Blog: #RHONY

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.

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Dorinda: Hannah Will Always Be First

Dorinda opens up about her relationship with her daughter Hannah and her argument with John.

Mirror mirror on the wall, this one leaves me sad and raw! 

My first thought is OMG! MY VOICE IS IN THE INTRODUCTION! I didn’t realize I sounded so deep and…to be honest…a little sexy. Maybe Lauren Bacall-ish. Luann and I have those sexy speakeasy voices. And I thought I was just nasal, so thanks for that, Bravo!

So this started out a little intense with me, since I know about the fallout that ensues later on. #foreshadowing Heather and Carole looking cute as can be on the High Line, and BAM: We hear Carole is dating the young chef form Luann's house. A bit surprising when I heard about it, but I didn’t know all the complexities at play, as well as her dating habits. I felt this might cause some problems with Luann, as it is a little close to home in many ways. We'll see. I choose to stay out of people's dating lives, as a rule, since it’s none of my business. At this point in our lives (for Carole and I, at least), we make our own choices and what comes of it, comes of it. As Doris Day said, “Que sera, sera.”

The big question on Heather’s mind was, “Was I insulted I was not invited to Bethenny's birthday party?” The answer is simple: Hell. No. For a quick minute, I was a little miffed but then shrugged it off. Only because I wanted to get to know her better, but not because I felt I deserved to be or should’ve been. We only met once, and she doesn't even really know me. It would've been odd if she had invited me, because it would’ve been obvious it was out of obligation. I’m not going to say I would not have gone if I had been invited, since I know Bethenny probably throws a good party. Listen, Bethenny has a lot on her plate, and I think an event like her birthday crept up and surprised even her, so a lot of this was last-minute with no malintent. Must say, I did love the dancing on the tables bit. We old-school girls take any opportunity to get on a table and dance, it seems. It’s a generational thing, maybe? Or did we preempt Coyote Ugly without realizing it? We may not be as cool and laidback as the new generation, but we’re not necessarily uncool, either. We’re just as aware of our sex appeal; we’d just rather have dinner with friends and our partners than be FaceTiming and booty dancing…in public.

Dinner at Cherry was intense on so many fronts. And so unnecessary, right? I think at this point, I am overwhelmed and exhausted by so many things. I wish I hadn't sworn so much, but it was a combination of the frustration, the tension between Heather and Bethenny, the endless “how to rebrand death,” and, of course, the martinis. (Sorry, Mom! Sorry, Dad!)

 Give a me a middle-aged mountain dog over an overly playful puppy any day.

Dorinda Medley

Although it was nice of Heather to be concerned for Kristen, I knew there would not a subtle way of relaying the message to Bethenny…in front of an audience. Duh. Heather was trying to be a good friend, and I do feel bad about how Bethenny responded, but let’s face it: Bethenny does not have an open ear for that kind of stuff. We all have enough going on, and she has three times the amount. There really should be a sign that you read before you meet Bethenny that says, “Headlines only.” Heather needs that memo. I think that’s why I nervously chimed in and tried to use both my situation with John and Hannah as a distraction, and that I wanted to go to the birthday dinner as well. But truthfully…wake me up when this is over…too.

Anyway, not going to the birthday dinner, for me, was like that night I didn’t go to Beautique--it was just another good night’s sleep. I always welcome that with open arms. Besides, the girls were more like babysitters than dates that night, and I just don't do the cougar thing. Never have, never will. Give a me a middle-aged mountain dog over an overly playful puppy any day. Woof! Hannah knows this and she doesn’t shy away from reminding me.

I am happy to see Ramona getting involved with some new interests, both business and pleasure. I really love to see her confidence shine through.

The restaurant business may be a good choice for her, since she does love to be social and make money. And she’s great at both. Downtown is definitely a lot more fun and vibrant than the Upper East Side, so it will help give her a new perspective on things. A new, much-needed spin, so to speak. Surrounding herself with new people is a good move. Running around with the country club membership-only crowd is boring after a while…trust me.

OK. The SCENE WITH JOHN! Breathing, breathing, breathing…

Let me be very clear about this and get right to the point: Hannah will always be first. Always, always, always.

Here’s the thing…it is sometimes difficult when you date a man that A) Has never been married, and B) Has never had a child. I, on the other hand, have been married throughout my adult life and have been a mommy most of it. I only know motherhood and being a mother, and as a mother, we all know friends come and go, husbands come and go, but your children are forever. They're God’s gift and form a huge part of your heart. Additionally, they are always your child, no matter how old they get, or how old you get. For life, there’s a protective bond that outlasts everything and everyone. When I’m old and grey (silver grey by John Barrett, thank you very much) and living in Boca (which might actually be Palm Beach, to be honest), Hannah will be there with my Grande Finale Hairspray and Batiste Dry Shampoo to comfort me. (I just hope she remembers the very dirty Grey Goose martini.)

So, as you may have noticed, John and I sometimes have strong discussions about it, and it’s sometimes difficult for him to understand the constant juggling act I have to do. But, if he loves me enough, and trusts I love him too, love will prevail. (Right?) There is no love like a mother’s love, and all mothers out there know this is undeniable truth, as solid as bedrock can be. Was I a bit too harsh? Maybe. Was I giving him subtle bailout after subtle bailout every time he approached the subject? Yes. There’s only so much you can put up with until you blow a gasket. I blew two. And lost my appetite. (Glad he didn’t lose his, though. #eyeroll) I hope you didn’t! 

See you all again tomorrow! MUAH!

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