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In the Case of J vs. B

Simon talks about Kelly photography skills, Jill and LuAnn's sleepover party, dysfunctional dads and more.

By Simon van Kempen


How to Watch

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So this week kicks off with Bethenny having invited Ramona to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and let me pause from this episode for a minute to state just how far the show has come in three years. Alex and I have never shied away from the fact that we proudly live in Brooklyn and are glad that the show titled Real Housewives of New York City not the Real Housewives of Manhattan, is helping make the rest of the nation aware of our borough. Brooklyn is not the poor relation to Manhattan, indeed there are parts of Brooklyn which easily rival parts of Manhattan, but that’s not my point. Both boroughs are integral parts of NYC and having lived in the both I am proud to call Brooklyn home. Brooklyn PSA over back to the episode...

Ramona is evidently in one of her ‘brutally honest to the point of rudeness phases’ and having called out Bethenny; for planting the Daily News story herself, not having any friends, telling her that she is going to screw up her relationship with Jason (2.0), (oh and being self centered, yet Bethenny was quick to shoot that one down stating that she’d tweeted to her 75,000 Twitter followers about Ramona’s HSN line, the previous week), she then is reminded that she was asked to walk with Bethenny to LISTEN, which to Ramona involves the very foreign and ancient art of silence.

Bethenny is either one of the world’s best actresses or her monologue about Jill ‘winning’ the argument was heartfelt and honest. And I really wonder if at this stage whether a face to face meeting is going to solve much. But if it happens it’s important that no one else is there; and certainly not LuAnn to egg Jill on from the bleachers.

Ramona was definitely surprised by Bethenny’s outburst and lo and behold both she and Bethenny are relieved, nay happy, to meet up with AlexandSimon which hopefully will facilitate a change of topic. We touched on their wild walk a little then all went off and ate.


Next we come across Kelly madly stating ‘sorry’ as she runs up to people on the street; even ones trying to get in cabs. She’s trying to get the street person’s view of how they distill trends from fashion magazines to daily life. At least as far as we see she doesn’t seem to get too far until she just so coincidentally happens to run into Peter Butler; celebrity hairstylist. This conversation is another chance for Kelly to explain that she was once married to Gilles Bensimon. Now, personally I never understand why some women seem validated by the men with whom they were once married and yes I am looking at you Countess, but what really blows this scene for me is Kelly stating that Gilles the best photographer in the UNIVERSE! I suppose a statement like this is pertinent on this the third season of our show with all the other high school crap going on, but seriously didn’t we give up writing our address as:

21 Main St
Big Town,
Large State, 99999
United States
North America
The World
The Universe

… grade school?

I won’t touch on how someone at 41 years of age can not even manage to ensure her camera strap stays out of the front of the lens. LOL.

LuAnn, pops in to the SoHo Partnership’s new store Use Your Head a store selling used designer clothing on the same street as a for profit one; Second Time Around that Alex opened last year. That’s one of the great things about this city; there is room for all sorts of businesses; some people need the cash from selling their old clothes whereas others are just happy to give them away. Anyway it’s great that three seasons in LuAnn has stayed consistent with her televised support of the SoHo Partnership. And I applaud her for that.

We leave a great LuAnn scene and arrive at one that is, let’s just say, um no. I found it strange watching Jill and Bethenny lolling around bed last summer last season, but at least that was in the middle of the day, but this one with LuAnn in her negligee and Jill admitting she’d dressed up in her best night attire (she tells us she only wears sweats for Bobby) is just too much. Were they geeky & gawky adolescents and missed out on being 14, 30+ years ago? And lastly what Jill scene would be complete without Ginger doing something disgusting. Jill’s jealousy seems to know no bounds, this time about how that Kelly and Bethenny had eventually been civil with other at Alex’s Brooklyn Fashion Week[end] meeting. Now I was there for a part of that lunch, I certainly don’t remember Kelly and Bethenny morphing into BFF’s; just two of six people meeting for the purpose of designer selection. But anyway who the hell dictates whether their friends can be friends with others?


Alex has convened a meeting at New York Model Management’s office, Bethenny arrives first, clearly troubled by something and here Alex gives Ramona a master class in listening skills. She allows Bethenny to off load some pretty upsetting news, helps her get her thoughts straight and never imposes or talks over her. Yes, I love and am proud of my wife! Anyway what is it this season with dysfunctional Dads? Over the years Bethenny has been brutal about her Father and his apparent lack of parenting skills and I suppose one could wonder why she’d be upset over his terminal illness. To me this is the bond of blood. However much she might have resented him in life he was still her blood relative & his illness understandably reopened old wounds. She was right to go see and try and see him.

As Kelly arrives I must wink at the editing Gods as Bethenny’s prior line was just a great intro. Ramona, Derek and then Loris Diran arrive to select models, fortunately Bethenny seems to relax a little until Ramona tells her she should come visit next week as Jill’s coming over.

This week’s scene caught amongst the ads is a nice little run down of LuAnn’s pied-à-terre demands as she seeks to reclaim her little Manhattan footprint. Of course what we didn’t hear was her budget (or bedroom requirement) but let me tell you, satisfying that wish list would have added up to anything between $5,000 & $15,000 per month. I wonder if we’ll ever get to se what she chose?

We get a second visit to Brooklyn this episode (wow in just 35 minutes four housewives have made the trip across the bridge – see it’s not so bad!). This meeting was an attempt for Alex and Jill to clear the air over some of the things she’d said about our chums. Watching Jill, in talking head mode, deny she’d ever said anything about the boys that brought Alex to a head at Saks, displays a serious rewrite of history. And I think that’s not the first, nor the last time this season she will attempt that.

Anyway as they sit down Jill says she won’t bring up that Alex was mad at her but as Alex starts explaining her and others involvement you see Jill tense a little; needing to know everything and whether Bethenny’s involved. Initially Jill seems remorseful that her phone call with Bethenny didn’t go very well, but as Alex tries to explain to Jill that now would be a good time to reach out, Jill guesses (knows?) that the issue is B’s Dads illness. I suppose relationships are all that’s left in this world but all the more reason for Jill to understand that Bethenny might need help at this time.

Back across the East River luAnn and Jill arrive at Ramona’s to go through her closet. Ramona evidently didn’t get the memo that the Countess would only be working with a HIGH END thrift store; which to me is an oxymoron if ever there was one.


Bethenny arrives, which to me is surprising, as I’m somewhat shocked that she’d be complicit in what is an ambush of Jill. Maybe Ramona was right, and this was the only way to get them to talk and in the end they did sit down. The problem with meetings like this is that Bethenny had had the time to prepare and Jill was caught off guard. Just when they’re breaking it down the tea ladies come in. Why? I am not sure.

But then I am not sure why LuAnn barged in stating their car was outside, although clearly Jill was not going to give any ground. Anyway Jill after promising, she wasn’t going to tear up; finally showed her softer side; about time. I can’t help but laugh that LuAnn was also upset that Bethenny ‘didn’t even say hello.’

I’ll let next weeks previews speak for themselves – but it looks like we’ll finally get to see Ramona’s well-trailed walk/waltz/saunter down the runway.

This week has been a big week for us. Last week Alex and I live tweeted on the Bravo Talk Bubble, helping #RealHousewives to trend on Twitter for the 1st time, after a weekend of Easter egg hunts on Monday Alex and I rang the closing bell of NASDAQ, Tuesday our book, Little Kids Big City was published, Wednesday, we held our first signing at our local independent book store, BookCourt and tonight we were at Columbus Circle for a Manhattan signing. Next week we’re off to LA, Orange County, and then Dallas and then the following week to Boston and then Miami and surrounding areas.


When news first broke about our book many were shocked that we could be writing a parenting book; but we didn’t. What we wrote are our stories of what we discovered along this mad path of parenting. If you buy it and I hope you do, read it and enjoy it. You’ll surely laugh and just as surely scream with and at us. But if it’s made you think a little about what it’s like to parent then our book has done its job.

Oh, and if you do read it; let me know here. I do try and read all of your comments that you take the time to write me on my Blogs.

Until next week where I’ll be writing from Orange County!

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