The Return of RHONY

| 31 Mar 2021 | 09:43

“You’re a ho, you’re a ho, you’re a ho.”

Who else could the comments be referencing but “The Real Housewives of New York” returning to Bravo on May 4th at 9 p.m.

As seen in the trailer, the name caller is Leah McSweeney who pointed to RHONY OGs Ramona Singer, Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan (with former wife Heather “Holla” Thompson back as a friend) using a cadence reminiscent of Oprah when she’d point to audience members and announce, “You get a car, you get a car, you get a car.”

It remains to be seen if new cast member, attorney and television host Eboni K. Williams, will be joining the ho-down. She by the way is the first POC housewife in this franchise. Yes, after 13 years (the show premiered in 2008) someone realized that black women live in our borough.

There are rumors that perhaps Tinsley Mortimer might want to return now that Scott Kluth, the man for whom she quit the show and moved to Chicago, has broken their engagement.

Female-Owned Companies

For almost a decade and a half, I have watched this series both empower and debase my gender — as well as embarrass those of us who make Manhattan our home. I don’t know if I can take it anymore.

On the positive side, it has given women, most notably Bethenny Frankel, a platform to get a business off the ground, which turned the Skinnygirl into a millionaire philanthropist, and has helped promote other female-owned companies such as McSweeney’s Married to the Mob fashion line, as well as whatever Sonja, Ramona and Jill Zarin were peddling. The show brought to our attention Heather’s former business Yummie Tummie shapewear, and Kristen Taekman’s Pop of Color nail polish. It’s also given Luann an opportunity to showcase her cabaret career.

But all that good is eclipsed by the relentless displays of uncouth behavior, screaming accusations, and the cheesy, contrived “girls trips” where they get fall down drunk, hook up with “pirates,” and have breakdowns a la Scary Island. This season, filmed in 2020 during the pandemic, the ladies venture to Salem, Mass. (insert “witch” joke here) because they could not travel to their usual out of the country haunts. Regardless, I’m sure that as usual they’ll fight over rooms and Ramona will request the staff unpack her bags.

I really don’t understand how this series got so far afield from the original concept: “Manhattan Moms,” showing the world what it’s like when wealthy socialites try to get their kids into private school, attend galas, and party in The Hamptons — all to reveal how the other half lives.

Inebriated and Belligerent

Sure, Bravo wants to make “good TV” but the cast makes fools of themselves, which spills over into viewers outside Manhattan thinking they represent our day-to-day. As a native New Yorker, who has been out and about our city as a single woman, married woman, and mother, I have never been any place where people have acted as they do.

The trailer is only two minutes and change, yet I’ve already seen all I need to. Much of it quite frankly is the same old-same old: an inebriated and belligerent Sonja, Leah partying a little too hard, Lu getting a new man (and tattoo), and everyone getting in each other’s faces (yawn).

As seems to be her M.O., Ramona gets into it with the new person. Last season she started with Leah, and in previous seasons it was with Heather, and Kristen. Unlike other years though, Season 13 gets racial, with Eboni taking umbrage when Singer refers to the cater waiters as “the help.” She also comments that she’s “not Toni Morrison,” there to school them about living while black.

The one laugh out loud moment, which might be worth tuning in for, is Ramona dressed as Holly Golightly posing the question: “Elegance. Class. Where did it all go?” Well, the show was void of both from day one (despite the best efforts of The Countess). You can’t miss what you never had.

Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the upcoming novel “The Last Single Woman in New York City being published by Heliotrope Books.