“You Don’t Get Itchy in Gucci” 🇬🇧 Ladies of London Season 3 Episode 8 Recap

Marissa is still crying at the breakfast table, which is a truly unfortunate way to begin any day. Adela removes her altogether and everyone follows; everyone except Sophie, who announces to all that she loves everyone, except perhaps Juliet who is possibly too negative to be loved, and Queen Caroline, who has remained to arbitrate and who doesn’t go for hugs or expressions of concern anyway. Sophie attempts to backtrack but Juliet tells her to buckle up and prepare for TurboNegative. I’m realizing this Sophie seems to be all hair and no common sense. Maybe everyone sounds smarter with an English accent? It’s quite the disguise.

Anyway: they all get all dolled up and pack into their swank minivans to go shopping in Edinburgh, which looks a lot like Diagon Alley. Queen Caroline sends Sidekick Luke off in search of newts and cauldrons while she seeks cashmere; Juliet is interested in vintage crap which makes Queen C.’s nostrils twitch. Caroline F., Adela, and Marissa have split off, because shopping in a pack of seven doesn’t work very well, and settle in for a spot of tea in between Marissa’s breaks to publicly pump, and the settlemen of CF and Marissa into fast friends is confirmed and complete. Meanwhile, the mean girls and Julie Montagu, who is an odd component of this foursome, stop for wine spritzers and out of noplace particular Julie and CS make nice and identify their issue as their “similar” personalities.

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I don’t see it, but all is now right in their shared little corner of the universe. The End.

Back to the castle for Jumpsuits n’ Haggis Dinner in the dungeon. During cocktails, a “whisky sommelier” tortures them with various Scotch blends that taste like feet, farts, gasoline, and bad breath. CF asks him if he is wearing knickers under his kilt and he begs her pardon. A piper leads them all to the dungeon where a server theatrically presents them with a blob of haggis and shouts a graphic paean to the “gushing entrails” these broads, at least one of whom was a confirmed vegan prior to dinner being served. Sophie, ditz that she is, goes for it first and confirms it’s “not bad”, like a dumpling. Given that there are dumplings made of cats and dogs that are presented as food products in this world I am not sold.

By now everyone seems to have realized that Marissa, who has appeared wearing a terribly unflattering plaid jacket that emphasized both overproductive boobs and still-swollen belly, is not doing well at all. Queen Caroline has even quietly enquired as to Sadie’s welfare and apologized for being “too harsh” in confronting Marissa, who is clearly not engineering social intrigue. Julie Montagu, for one, is very concerned that Marissa came out of the birth on a manic high and has collapsed into post-partum depression and left home too soon. So when all the smokers go outside, Juliet stays back with Julie to tell Marissa she’s realized she is in a bad place and is committed to being there for her and laying off the pick-pick-picking. This is the first nice thing I have ever seen Juliet Angus do or say. She is temporarily off my shit list. The Americans are reunited.

With dinner over, they all retreat to the library and summon Sidekick Luke from his bed to make a round eight for a competition to speed-pop balloons using pelvic thrusts. It is indeed hilarious but I am alarmed that Marissa, who is six weeks post-abdominal surgery, is bent over the pool table and getting it up the backdoor with such commitment and vigor by Sophie.

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In the morning, there are eggs, there are onesies, there are dramatic complaints about pelvic bruising by CF (who needs to suck it up), and there are tears from Marissa as she pumps upstairs. She is not having fun and just wants to go home, as would I, but just then the menfolk (Misters Caroline S., Juliet, and Marissa) arrive helpfully early so with Matt now on the scene she should be able to stick it out one last night.

Marissa naps while the rest of the crew engages in Recreation: archery, falconry, croquet, and wayward ATV piloting. The best part was when Sidekick Luke attempted a discus throw of Julie Montagu, hanging off a croquet mallet, and lit’rally hurled her into the ground and she bounced.

Our final dinner, to which the men are wearing kilts whether they like it or not, involves a great deal of toasting and romanticizing relationships to the point that I started to wonder if this was a mere eight-episode season and we were having the finale party. But no, it just appears to be the eve of Caroline S.’ departure for Dubai, and thus we’re all getting a little smoke in our eyes over that. Well, except for Marissa who privately declares Caroline S. to be “an absolute twat” and Julie Montagu, who has decided Sophie has gone over to “the dark side”. Nonetheless, everyone smiles and cha-chings and there are fireworks, the end. I hope Caroline S. doesn’t leave for Dubai too soon because I appreciate her clean hair and fashion choices. Juliet could learn a thing or two.

Next time: Caroline S. has an awkward visit with Mom Stanbury. Sophie realizes she is actually getting divorced and needs to tell her kids (was she wearing her wedding bands in this episode?), and things get testy between Adela and Juliet.

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“She Could Be Her Legs” 🇬🇧 Ladies of London Season 3 Episode 7 Recap

We pick up apparently after Astor, with Sophie trotting along to Julie Montagu’s house still in her hat to share that she lost every bet she made. Tra la la! Considering how inebriated the ladies got the last time we went to Astor with them, I kind of think Sophie seems a wee bit sober and perhaps she just came from the hat shop. Nevertheless. Julie is all worked up because last night she attended a 60-person event with Queen Caroline who got in her face about how Scotland was going to be a NO RULES excursion and she was gonna teach Julie how to have a good time. “I’ll make sure I don’t walk out on your dinner party,” Julie claims she replied, but now she’s all ugly-crying about it and wants Sophie to share her pain about her big debut at Mapperton being a disaster (which I really didn’t think it was, but…). Sophie will not share Julie’s pain, because she is LOYAL, dammit! She’s gotten bitch-slapped by Queen Caroline and is minding her p’s and q’s. For God’s sake, this is crazy, she wails; they are wasting their LIVES! Julie is tweaked. She listened to Sophie’s endless complaints all summer and now Sophie’s not going to reciprocate.

Montages of packing ensue.

Caroline Fleming is meditating because she doesn’t like to fly, even though she does it ALL THE TIME seeing as she’s note teleporting to Denmark for her claimed weekly trips to check on Daddy and the Estate. CF has more crystals than Speidi. Meanwhile, CS is taxiing to the airport with her gay sidekick, Luke, and explaining that her plan is for this to be a girls’ trip (with the exception of Luke), and the men are going to come in at the end to quash any developed drama. Which does seem like a reasonable plan. Julie and Marissa and their very bad hair are in another taxi and both seem a little grim. The flight is brief, and there is no first-class section so CF is forced to clutch Juliet and breathe into a bag in coach.  Upon arrival, they split into two cars, whereupon Julie gets in the one with the mean girls so she can monitor their commentary. Sure enough, Queen Caroline has a bone to pick with Marissa, finding it ironic that the Hermers are selling al their businesses and moving to America just as Marissa is allegedly caught up in gossip about why Caroline is moving to Dubai. (It’s worth noting that Bumpkin, etc. are all still owned by Matt’s business group, Ignite; so much for that.) Julie, in the way back, perks up her ears but does not go to bat for Marissa which is probably smart.

They arrive at Caroline S.’s VRBO castle, which is fabulous, and are greeted by bagpipers and a welcome lady. “It’s very Downtown Abbey” shriek the Brits, of all people. Queen Caroline is delighted to announce the Non-Rules: no one has to come down for breakfast, but they do have to come for lunch and dinner. Also, smoking will take place right on the front steps, and the bad girls go out to do that and cartwheel on the lawn while Luke takes a moment to advise the girls on the outs (Marissa, Julie, and Adela). Julie tells Marissa she is going to have to talk to Caroline S. about these rumors that Marissa is originating and/or spreading Dubai rumors. Marissa is unimpressed; the rumors about why Caroline S. is moving to Dubai are, according to her, the least interesting of all the many rumors about Caroline S., so why would she bother? Indeed, Marissa does in fact have more pressing concerns.

Caroline S. pretends she knows where they are going as the welcome lady shows them all to their rooms. Marissa is assigned the loveliest room until Caroline S. realizes that her room is less lovely, less adjacent to the bath, and further away from Sidekick Luke, and asks to switch. This is also a chance for Caroline to confront Marissa about these Dubai rumors and tell her she is “a little bit disappointed because you are not a stupid woman”. Marissa insists she can’t help it if she heard things, but she never repeated them and let’s get real, she’s barely been out of her house for the last nine months. Caroline S. is the one making this the big thing, and she continues to stalk around in her camel coat to find someone else to yell at. Juliet is the big winner, because SHE brought up the subject with Marissa, accusing her of spreading rumors!

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Juliet is aghast that she is in trouble for trying to help her best girl, but that’s what happens when you try to run with the Queen Bee. All the while Julie Montagu is sitting on the bed seething that Caroline S. is chirping about “loyalty” again. Caroline insists the move to Dubai was what she and Cem agreed was a necessary change to keep their family together (what does that mean? That they were following his job or trying to avoid divorce?) and that all this talk needs to be shut down. Marissa is more than happy to do it as she is over it.

The evening’s activities are intended as “casual” so CF wears a silver sequin turtleneck and CS gets full professional makeup done. Marissa is having a bit of a meltdown about being away, and Julie wants to have it out with Sophie for not listening to her complaints about Caroline S. Marissa does not want to hear Julie’s complaints about Caroline S. either.

Off they go to dinner where Sophie, continuing her crawl up CS’s behind, mewls about the hole that will be in her life once CS is gone. Somehow this topic turns to s-e-x, with Marissa oversharing that she has bruises all over after finally doing the deed with Matt last weekend, and Adela admitting that she nearly broke her six-month “dry spell” with a locksmith. Somehow this leads to a discussion of Adela’s addiction issues and a past suicide attempt. CF clucks sympathetically, while Juliet barks out that Adela is “selfish”.

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Screech! No one can believe Juliet just said that to Adela’s face, but Juliet insists she “loves life” and cares about her children too much to ever consider such a thing, which makes Adela selfish, and she crosses her arms and plops down on the spot and isn’t moving. Adela goes outside with Marissa to get away from her. CS sternly informs Juliet that she is being “aggressive”. Yeah, pipes up Sophie; Juliet is ALWAYS aggressive! Marissa comforts Adela and confirms that she’s never met anyone quite as awful as Juliet Angus. By the time they get in the cars to go home, Juliet is pouting and drunk Sophie is blathering about “fake plants” which sounds like “fake blondes” and leads CF into an icky discussion about her nether-regions.

Morning dawns and the nanny calls Marissa to check in which provokes tears. Everyone is giving Marissa a hard time for traveling without the baby, whether this trip or New York, which I think is a little ridiculous. For one, when she went to New York it was clearly a long-planned and very short trip for her mother-in-law’s 80th birthday party, rather important, and a baby who has respiratory issues should not get on a plane. There may well have been business aspects, too. It sounds to me like they were able to make the best of a bad situation. As far as this trip, I’m sure Marissa was not allowed to bring Nanny and Sadie as that would have put a big damper on the whole idea of this being a girls/couples trip, wouldn’t it? So anyway, she’s tired and sad and disoriented and generally not having a very good time, and I don’t blame her. I have felt like this every time I have had to travel for a wedding, kids or not.

Down at the breakfast table, everyone gathers in various degrees of intimate wear, and the food choices are: toast, sausages, and kedgeree. Kedgeree is apparently smoked fish, rice, and hard boiled eggs, which does not sound like something I’d like to eat for breakfast and doesn’t meet CF’s longing for eggs. Somehow, this all turns to CF revisiting the time she tried to climb out the window when Marissa came “for a chat”, which forces poor Marissa to again assure CS that she has not been gossiping about her and gives Juliet a chance to jump down her throat, again, and Sophie to jump on Juliet for being negative and aggressive, again, while Marissa bursts into tears and leaves the room. “I’m gonna show you negativity,” snarls Juliet. Show me NEGATIVITY!

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Next time: ATVs, archery, fireworks, and having it out some more with Juliet.

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Prima Donna on a Pub Crawl 🇬🇧 Ladies of London Season 3 Episode 6 Recap

After three loooong weeks, finally everyone is out of my house! It is so hard to get the things done when Things 1-4 are around, needing stuff. Today I am seizing my liberation and charging through all of the things I have been neglecting, although washing the kitchen floor and folding the laundry-that-never-ends can wait for me to get caught up with the Ladies of London. As it turns out, really the last several weeks have been more-the-same, more-the-same, although I do have some questions about the sequences of the editing.

We pick up with Marissa and Caroline F., who are taking baby Sadie (and her empty stroller, as Marissa requires Sadie to be tightly strapped to her torso at all times to prevent anyone from breathing on her) out to a cafe. Ubermommy Caroline nearly gets Sadie’s Bugaboo flattened by a British taxi as she strides out into oncoming traffic. One more checkmark in the “use Bjorn” pro-column. Marissa is trying to get back to her old self and be “fun”, which is why she got totally blitzed on watermelon martinis in the previous episode. I think watermelon martinis would make me throw up.

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Marissa and Caroline have become very close, so close that Marissa allows Caroline to breathe on the baby. Marissa was originally friends with Caroline’s sister, but now that the sister who spreads “untruthful gossip” has moved back to Denmark, Marissa is perfectly comfortable accepting whatever Caroline’s version of facts is as final and they are buds. Speaking of truthful-or-untruthful gossip, Caroline F. shares that there continues to be a spat between Julie Montagu/Sophie Stanbury and Queen Caroline S., and wonders whether Caroline S. is stressed about the move to Dubai either like a 4th grader anxious about changing schools, or perhaps because of the gossip that the CaroCem’s are leaving London due to “legal issues”. “Is that why?” Marissa asks? “I didn’t think so.” Da DUM DUM.

What are the other ladies doing? Caroline S. is boxing in her backyard. Julie Montagu is going to Wisconsin (where?) for her parents’ anniversary celebration. And Juliet Angus finally gets out of her pajamas and goes out to meet with her Blog Assistant and Brand Manager. It seems that Juliet’s blog, which I have never seen or heard of, other than Juliet telling us what a hot shit deal it is, needs more of her attention. Certainly it does to justify paying not one but TWO people to work on it. I hope these are freelance part-time gigs, for Juliet’s sake. The BA and BM plead with Juliet to devote at least one hour a day to doing something blog-related, and encourage her to post more about London because the only reason anyone has ever heard of her is because of this show so more London should be involved; no one is really interested in the Lady. Juliet takes all of this under advisement and apparently doesn’t take it to heart seeing as she hasn’t posted anything since December 22, 2016. Juliet and I are both very active, present mothers. Therefore we are also blog-neglectors. Who am I to judge?

The Hermers, who are still trying to get their mojo back weeks after welcoming darling Sadie (born on April 21) go out for a drinks date. They have supposedly arrived at the six-week sex-go-ahead date, which means we’re filming here in early June. We’ve seen an awful lot of short-shorts in London prior to today, which is curious as the average high in London in May is 62 degrees.

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When it’s 62 degrees here, that’s boots and scarves weather. But I do live in Arizona where we get a bit overexcited about a cool breeze. Anyhoo, Marissa is nervous like she’s heading to prom to actually do it again with Matt. I don’t blame her one bit, especially seeing as its been six weeks + nine months since her last effort at marital duties. The good news is when she finally assumes the position, it should go super-fast.

Since Juliet has had no purpose here other than yipping like a Chihuahua at whoever Queen Caroline is barking at so far this season, she’s planned a pub crawl on the “east side” of London to celebrate The Real Queen’s 90th birthday and do research for her neglected blog, all while wearing a seriously questionable giant bow in her hair (which, idiotic as it may look, does result in her having significantly better-looking hair itself than she ever has previously). Meanwhile, the girls on the outs (Sophie, Marissa, and Adela) are going to play ping-pong at a club on the west side, which is more where these broads normally hang.

Now, The Real Queen’s birthdate is April 24. This is curious to me because while I realize there were about fourteen separate events commemorating The Real Queen’s 90th, the Ladies seem to be the only ones celebrating on this particular date, which if Marissa’s fearful anticipation of prom night is accurately portrayed, would fall around June 10. So I looked this up and apparently there is a national holiday for The Real Queen’s birthday on the second Saturday in June, which this year was June 11. Look at me guessing correctly! Nonetheless, not many normal Londoners appear to be wearing the Union Jack and prancing about today.

Queen Caroline is on the pub crawl outing and is outrageously late, as one might expect. No one is surprised by this, most especially not you or me, but nonetheless sniffy Caroline F. reproaches her for her rudeness upon her delayed arrival. This results in Caroline S. snapping at Caroline F. about all her rules, which “crush individuality”, and for trying to make her consume fruit more than twelve months ago. If Caroline S. has her “individuality” so deeply invested in being a perfectly rude, selfish bitch, then I say let her keep on trucking and leave the rest of us out of it. I just like to look at her on Instagram, with the volume on silent.

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While the nearly-sober pub crawl trolls secondhand stores and Juliet squats like she’s pooping to snap selfies for her blog, the broads at the ping-pong club are getting annihilated. Or, at least, Sophie is, like a wild animal uncaged. Being as Adela is eighteen months into sobriety, she bows out and leaves Marissa to manage Sophie, who is trying to find Prince Harry in her cell contacts and asks her estranged husband to text her the number of a nameless “sexy TRX trainer”, who shoots her down upon receiving her booty call. Methinks the TRX trainer likes his booty calls to have boners. Whoops!

As these two tipsy bitches dance on a bar, alone,

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the pub crawl women have hunkered down around a restaurant booth to hear Queen Caroline issue her decrees on those out of favor. Marissa, she declares, is “shitstirring” about her with Sophie, who is “arrogantly” embracing her “new” life post-divorce. Caroline F. questions why Caroline S. feels she can demand the loyalty of others and yet jab at them so insistently just when she wants such unfettered, unquestioning devotion. Things get snappy again but they kiss and make up. The End.

Caroline S. meets up with Juliet at a sweets shop to discuss the need for the Stanbury Women to make up, for the kids’ sake. Caroline S. continues to huff about Julie Montagu and Caroline F’s shared need to be bossy with all these rules (which others of us may call a regard for common decency), and has decided with Cem to host a weekend for ALL the bitches in Scotland to really show them how it’s done. For Caroline S. hosting is about her guests, not about herself. This ought to be hilarious.

Sophie and Caroline F., meanwhile, have met up to go hat shopping for Royal Ascot, because, you know, this is London and in London we wear hats! And they better snap to it because according to the internets Ladies Day at Royal Ascot was on June 16 this past year and it’s at best June 12. Caroline F. and Sophie relate to each other because they have both embraced divorces and seized control of their happinesses. Caroline F. relates the renewed “dust up” over fruit that broke out at the pub crawl, and tells us in an ITM that “if everyone’s calling you an asshole, maybe you are being an asshole.” AHEM QUEEN CAROLINE. Ooh, girl, you better watch out!

Juliet Angus goes over to Marissa’s house to coo at baby Sadie, Marissa having unwisely invited her to see the baby in the little Anguses former bassinet while under the influence of watermelon martinis. Now that she’s sober she doesn’t even want Juliet in the house, but too late for that, so instead she instructs the nanny to not permit Juliet to even remotely invade the baby’s space, which the nanny proceeds to do with commitment, growling at Juliet and snarling at her to GET OFF when Juliet attempts to sneak a peek at Sadie. So much for that.

Juliet and Marissa return to the kitchen for a spot of posh tea and awkwardly circle the subject of their former close friendship. Marissa thinks Juliet doesn’t miss a chance to be mean to her, most recently chattering about to anyone who would listen about how Marissa left her new baby (then recently released from hospital) in London to go to New York with her husband. As it turns out, the trip was to attend Matt’s mother’s 80th birthday celebration, and whether or not that is the choice you or I would make, that’s not an invalid reason to have made a trip away which I assume was as brief as possible.

Regardless, Marissa thinks it’s curious that Juliet would tell the world at large how concerned she was for abandoned baby Sadie’s welfare, but has never actually called MARISSA to ask how any of them have been during any of the entire dramatic experience that was the pregnancy, birth, and aftermath. AHA! Juliet doesn’t have a comeback for that, so grabs her trusty fearless leader, Caroline S., and chucks her at Marissa, arguing that Marissa has been starting rumors about why Queen Caroline is moving to Dubai. Marissa laughs that off, sharing that aside from the fact that she’s never asserted that to be true, it’s a laughable idea to attribute the origination of “the biggest rumor in London” to her. Which is no doubt true, especially seeing as she’s been housebound for basically the past ten months. Detente. We’ll see you in Scotland.

The Stanburys, finally, sit down to consume air pudding and wind sauce chased by giant glasses of rose and attempt to get things settled out into a reasonably functional shared space for the sake of the kids. Sophie begins by stating that she has never intentionally hurt Caroline, which causes Caroline to snap that she “goes there”, particularly with Julie and Adela. Caroline expects blind fealty, especially in front of her face. Sophie, for her part, thinks Caroline is heavy-handed with the punishment, and doesn’t fight fair. Caroline, at least, explains the series of miscommunications that led to her boys missing Sophie’s son’s birthday party which seems to me something that could have been far more easily and quickly sorted out than it has been, but whatever. The two accept that sometimes they are not going to share the same point of view, e.g. Julie Montagu, but will try to get along. We’ll all start holding our breaths now. (Just wait until CS finds out CF called her an “asshole”. It’s gonna be on like Donkey Kong.)

Next time: get the kilts, we’re going to Scotland! VRBO, baby!

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I’m Really Big in Denmark 🇬🇧 Ladies of London Season 3 Episode 2 Recap

I have to say, I am loving recapping LoL. The scenery, the accents, the novelty, and for all that half the pages of notes. Every bit as posh as Lady Pump (whose home was so accurately described as a “department store perfume display” by Vulture this week) but with style that has moved beyond a Dynasty/Barbie mash up, and none of the silly impress-the-neighbors bullshit of California in general. This Brits are legit and are too cool to care.

So: we resume with our most vulnerable Lady, Marissa, who is still in hospital with new infant Sadie recuperating and getting strength up. Last season a lot of people wanted to pile on poor Marissa but somehow I think she’s going to be given a pass for season 3. One week after the birth baby Sadie is nursing and feeding on her own, and looks amazing for eight weeks premature. Marissa had to have a hysterectomy with bladder reconstruction and lost 2.5 gallons of blood along the way, which is “equal to two times” her body weight. I suspect that was meant to mean she lost twice her normal blood supply, because she may be petite, but I don’t think she was originally equal in weight to 1.25 gallons of blood. I mean, I could lug that home from the grocery store one-handed.

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Julie Montagu, meanwhile, is frantically shoveling her kiddies out the door at dawn so she can pedal over to Clapham Junction (hey, I’ve been there!) and hop a train out to Mapperton. She’s a long way from Sugar Grove, IL, which is itself a long way from anything. I mean, that’s basically noplace. It’s what I referred to as a “place they have tornadoes” when I was a child in suburban Chicago.

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Anyway, Mapperton is more than a house, it’s a destination: 2000 acres, 25 homes, a cafe, a village for God’s sake, and a gift shop, which is the point of Julie’s visit today. It seems that there are two old ladies who sell the same touristy things out of a shed at Mapp that every other gift store at every other London destination sells. Julie is determined to make this shed a SuperShed. She is going to out gift-shop every tourist-gift-shop in Britain and make Lord Montagu a proud believer in her retail prowess. If they are planning to finance the renovation and maintenance of this old place out of that one shed, she’s got her work cut out.

Caroline Fleming dramatically drops in on a friend to collapse and sigh and bemoan Daddy’s Cancer. I think this is all really meant to introduce said friend, Kim, as a FOL. Kim’s claim to fame is that she’s engaged to Elizabeth Hurley’s former fiance and looks a bit like her, too. And, scene.

After Marissa comes home to her two little boys with the newborn little princess who is going to destroy any hope of their being the boss of all things, Caroline F. jets off to Denmark, again, with Juliet Angus of all people in tow. It seems the Elle awards are happening in Copenhagen, Caroline is presenting, and she thinks Juliet ought to be there because she’s been working so hard at her blogging which no one is actually reading other than Caroline Fleming, apparently. Although Caroline claims to be some sort of celebrity big-shot in Denmark – basically to Denmark what David Hasselhoff is to Germany – being as she’s like tenth degree royal, there are no paparazzi tailing them at arrival, no crowds of fans or well-wishers, and she and Juliet not only have to share a hotel room, they are going to have to share the bed, which CF extensively remakes to her standards. Good grief, even that one-BH-season-wonder Horsie attracted attention in Puerto Rico.

Julie Montagu continues to wring her hands at Mapperton, wailing to Mr. Julie that she’s terrified the SuperShed isn’t going to make the 200,000 pounds per year required to keep Mapp ship-shape, and that if she fails her Wikipedia entry is going to say that it was all because of that damn American. Mr. Julie is perplexed and tells her to get her shit together, woman.

Queen Caroline has left the ‘burbs and is in London checking in with her interior decorators on progress of plans for the new Dubai house, and has brought her sister along with her. Now this is interesting: it seems the Stanbury family, in addition to Queen Caroline and Sophie’s Ex, also consists of another brother and this sister, Alex. And Sister Alex is about as far on the other side of the girl spectrum as she can be from Queen C. One can only assume that the nose and lips and eyebrow arch that the far more au naturel Alex is sporting were the original factory-installed models, making Queen C.’s cosmetic improvements all the more glaring by comparison. Oh, and also: the house has eight bedrooms and two are being converted to closets bigger than my house, or yours. In other words, fabulous.

Marissa and Sophie are apparently total bff’s after last season, so Soph is one of the first to stop by to see the new baby (weighing in at 3 kg, or about 6 lbs, 9 oz, which is a pretty healthy size preemie) and then flee the house with the new mommy. They head out to a proper-looking neighborhood non-Hermer-owned venue where Sophie looks a wee bit out of place in her shredded Daisy Dukes, and over a little tipple Sophie fills Marissa in on the state of things between Queen Caroline and Julie Montagu. I love me some Marissa, and lawd knows I think she looks absolutely amazing for newly post-partum, but the way that girl crumples up her face and collapses into herself she looks completely hammered, not like an exhausted new mother. Anyhoo, Sophie tells the Season 3 Voice of Reason she thinks Queen C. has it out for Julie and is not a-tall having it with Sophie failing to fulfill her minion duties and pile on. Girl, you in danger!

Queen C., meanwhile, is out shopping for a new “Dubai wardrobe” with the new FOL that I am going to call Boobs because that’s all the Queen ever talks about as to her anyway. Boobs reveals that The Queen, who used to be a stylist, was once the chaser of trends and most likely to copy her friends’ wardrobe choices for ill or naught. The Queen unloads about Julie while they try on shoes and Boobs tries to defend her, as she sees that Queen C. can be a bit judgmental and intolerant. Queen C. isn’t having any of that; she thinks Julie is trying to recruit The Queen’s friends because she doesn’t have any, and is rilly rilly annoyed that everyone keeps liking her anyway. The shoe store manager huffs deeply in hopes this ridiculous bitches will buy something and clear out so she can actually open the store to real customers.

Back in Copenhagen, Caroline flitters around endlessly until they are half an hour late (Juliet’s own beauty efforts during that lengthy prep window resulting in her looking just as bedraggled and pointy as always) before heading out to the Elle awards where the other big celebrity appearance is, inexplicably, being made by Tori Spelling and her dirty bird husband. That should tell Caroline F. what list she is on, but she soldiers on, undeterred. After the awards, she gathers three or four reporters around her and breathlessly reveals that her father has cancer, in clear violation of his sacred, inviolable desire for PRIVACY. (Already compromised by the fact that Caroline F. is featured on her third or so reality television show, which may be why Caroline is not actually seeing her ailing father while she happens to be in the same country in which he battles his deepening illness.) This, of course, immediately results in HEADLINES, blaring breaking news headlines. Caroline, she of tabloid fodder and one love child, has misstepped, again. LE SIGH.

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It’s time for the Stanbury Showdown. Queen C. has summoned Sister (-in-law) Sophie to her suburban rental to have the kids play while they have it out over Julie Montagu, who I think would be slightly mortified to be in the middle of this fiasco. Caroline is perfectly furious and feels Sophie set her up by clling crying about how Julie had “a go” at her and then totally abandoned ship when Caroline showed up all loaded for bear and ready to let Julie have it. I’m honestly a bit befuddled by what is actually going on here, but there is a lot of pointing, loud voices, shouts of “fine!”, accusations that The Queen can’t trust her family (which I think is a little over the top) and a blurt about the Stanbury Divorce that brings everything to a halt because the lil’ Stans, who are playing nearby with their cousins, are unaware that Mummy and Daddy are getting one. Queen Caroline declares that Sophie is vurry vurry confused and needs friends and is going about it the wrong way. She’ll learn.

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Next time: everyone’s going to Mapperton! All except Marissa whose baby goes back into hospital.

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“The Village Foghorn” 🇬🇧 Ladies of London Season 3 Episode 1 Recap

I’m back, kids! What a nice long blogging break it’s been since RHONY wrapped up, even as I did disregard the reunion episodes altogether. I have watched nearly nothing of RHOC and am not entirely sure how I feel about returning to BH; dumping Yo may just not be enough wholesale change for me to make time in my overcrowded existence.

While I’ve been offline I actually spent a good stretch across the pond with Mr. Little Mama on a nice anniversary/birthday/why not tour of London, Paris, the Mosel Valley area of Germany, and Alsace. We left Big, Medium, and Small in the capable hands of The Manny and away we went for twelve fabulous days seeing sights, dining and drinking, and connecting with old and older friends currently living overseas, and I am more smitten with Cool Brittania than ever. So I am rested and ready and super excited to resume spending time with you and beautiful, fashionable, clever and witty Ladies of London!

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In the LoL offseason, that crabby old bitch who broke her pelvis and clearly did not want to deal with this shiitake took her pool toys and stormed off, and good riddance because she was grumpy and a drag at all times. And not a mention is made. Instead, we pick up with vegan yogi Julie Montagu at Mapperton, which is looking far less shabby than the average English estate, let alone than the last time we saw it. It seems that Julie’s in-laws, the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, handed over full responsibility for the estate just one month ago, and the Montagus are in full swing bringing Mapp up to speed. It also seems that Mr. Julie is actually Colin, God of Sex, from Love Actually:

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Who knew?

It’s going to be some time before all the lil’ Montagus relocate from London itself, specifically at least two years to get the kids farmed out to the appropriate boarding schools, but for now they are getting this show on the road and maximizing Julie’s LoL/health-guru profile to increase Mapp’s visibility and, presumably, tourism which would pay for the necessary improvements and restorations to make this crumbling pile nearly as profitable as the castle from Downton.

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Meanwhile, back in the Chelsea district of London itself, fellow American Marissa Hermer is getting ready to leave her bed for the first time in nine months and go to hospital to deliver Baby Girl Hermer. It seems Marissa got pregnant right after the previous season, and was quickly diagnosed with some unspecified, life-threatening condition (apparently: placenta accreta, where the placenta is too deeply embedded in the uterine wall) which could cause massive hemorraghing. As a result, Marissa is going in for a C-section to deliver the baby two months early and also undergo a hysterectomy, which is really unfortunate and more than a little scary. Marissa asks Mr. Marissa to fetch the “big pants” from her knicker drawer as he packs her hospital bag. You know the ones.

While Marissa faces a scary medical situation, Caroline Stanbury and erstwhile sister-in-law Sophie are facing medical miseries of their own making as they get tandem banana bags to compensate for the extreme hangovers they gave themselves at the previous evening’s 40th birthday extravaganza thrown by Mr. Caroline S. for his lovely wife.

#americanhustle #aboutlastnight 💃🏾

A photo posted by carolinestanbury (@carolinestanbury) on

Groovy gold jumpsuit!

The Stanbury ladies are both going through life transitions at the moment. Caroline is adjusting to life as a mere housewife now that her business enterprise, Gift Library, is no longer a thing; Sophie is in the process of divorcing Caroline’s brother after seven years of marriage. In-laws or not, they were friends first and intend to remain friends after. Also friends are Sophie and Julie Montagu, which does not make Queen Caroline a’tall happy. Queen Caroline sniffs that Julie Montagu is the “village foghorn” and complains about her efforts to drive a wedge between herself and Juliet last season. I don’t really get why Caroline S. bothers with Juliet in the first place and I suspect Sophie agrees with me, privately sharing with us that Julie does better work in the friendship department than Caroline does in the first place.

The Other Caroline, Fleming, the Danish one, is over at her Chelsea townhouse packing for a trip and allowing her five-year-old son Nico to consume a crunchy granola bar on her bed, which is a terrible idea whether or not you have OCD and/or an abiding preferences for clean, debris-free sheets. Caroline F. is off again to Denmark to see her dad, who has cancer, which has increased the frequency of her visits from monthly to weekly. Exhausting; I hope he appreciates it. Caroline F. and her dad’s relationship has at times been strained due to her career and “occasional love choice”, but presently they are on good terms. I have a feeling we will be visiting Denmark a lot this season.

At hospital, Marissa is whisked into a delivery room without Mr. Marissa who has to wait elsewhere and dither with his sister, and the cameras. Marissa and/or the baby might die but no sign of either of their parents? Ultimately they sneak into the surgery wing and find a nurse who assures them that everything went just fine, not a thing to worry a bit about. Phew!

Banana bag emptied and hotel checkout complete, Queen Caroline has returned to her temporary residence in Surrey to unpack, having moved house. It seems that Mr. Caroline S., Cem, has accepted a tony job offer in Dubai, and as a lease on their fully-furnished-and-fabulous family home was immediately snapped up and one does not go to Dubai in the summer months, the Stanbury/Cems have had to find an extremely regular rental home of their own in which to wait out the heat. When we were visiting our ex-pat friends in London we stayed at their home in Surrey and I kept one eye peeled for Queen C.; from the looks of things, she may have been closer than I had hoped. Anyway, Queen C. summons her makeup artist and her dear friend Adela to help her “unpack”. It would appear this entire situation is intended to introduce Adela as a FOL, and not much info is shared about her except that she is a party girl whose primary attention getting device is her boobs.

Sophie, meanwhile, has gone for a walk with The Village Foghorn to tell her about the upcoming Divorce Lunch she’s hosting and also make sure she’s well-informed about the shit Queen Caroline has been saying about her, which predictably causes The Foghorn to blast. Julie Montagu is aghast that Queen Caroline would describe her as “dangerously loose lipped”, as the word “dangerous” attached to her, the future Countess Sandwich, not only attacks her character, but also threatens her brand, her yoga empire, everything! Her husband would tell you Julie is really quite secretive. This must be about the fact that Julie has a title coming to her and Queen Caroline does not.

After the stroll, Sophie returns to Chutney – excuse me, Putney – to have a picnic with her two little boys in some very high grass before their dad comes to collect for his weekend visit. The Sophie Stanburys have ended their marriage over Dad’s unrelenting party boy ways, and Sophie appears understandably anxious about sending the two little boys and one big one off unsupervised. Clearly Sophie did not get the memo from Yo Hadid Foster Hadid about ticks in tall grass which is another risk she should have considered. Tsk tsk!

Time for the Divorce Lunch at a pub with a patio. Julie Montagu arrives attired for a ladies’ garden party in a floral frock; everyone else is in Breton stripes and shorts, except Queen Caroline who inexplicably selects a denim coverall shorts look from the Britney n’ Justin 2003 “Canadian Tuxedo” collection. This woman used to be a stylist?

So apparently, to set something in motion, Sophie has told Queen Caroline that Julie Montagu is all worked up because Queen C. associated her with the word “dangerous”. However, things go sideways when Julie arrives having realized that Queen Caroline doesn’t have anything nice to say about anyone, so who cares what she says? So now no one knows what to do, and when Juliet, resident of Queen Caroline’s armpit, shows up expecting to jump in on the beat-down, it’s on, sort of half-assedly, but on, and goes around for a while without ever really amounting to much, let alone the tears Queen Caroline was hoping to elicit from Julie, before Julie picks up her handbag and goes home.

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Still to come: that beautiful baby! Julie tackles Mapperton, Caroline Fleming wrings her hands over media attention, and Caroline S. and Julie keep butting heads.

cheerio

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“We’re Too Old For This” 🍎 RHONY Season 8 Finale Recap

Here we go, kids! We pick up with Queen B, still inexplicably in her thong despite all the heavy bleeding we’ve been forced to endure discussion of for weeks on end (don’t forget: we couldn’t go to Hawaii because of her gyney issues so we had to come here to boring old Miami), as she exposes Fiance Tom for the cad he is to The Kountess in her stripey rainbow housedress. She’s not only in her thong, she’s pointing the business end right at poor Lu.

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The Kountess is not only unprepared to learn a bad thing about the man she barely knows but is about to marry, because she likes to plunge in headfirst like that, but she also has forgotten her room card and ends up trapped in the hallway with the Bravo camera crew. “Oh f*cking hell,” she barks, barging into Doritos’ room and locking the cameraman out. They are still miked, however, and The Kountess tells Doritos that Fiance Tom got busted and the Queen knows about it.

The Queen, meanwhile, having had her big moment in the spotlight has now put some clothes on, and when The Kountess ping-pongs back to her room to follow up texts her The Photo. She is very, very sorry, but the fact is that Tom, who was utterly blootered, made out with this chick for over an hour right in front of the Regency bar and then ditched her with the bill for whatever he managed to imbibe in between slobbers. Doritos and Julie Toothpick are astounded; could the photo be old? No, the Queen made sure she had a timestamp. And also confirmation from the general manager, the bartenders, bystanders, and whoever else she could drum up to support this campaign. Doritos is aghast and disgusted, and can’t understand why this couldn’t have been handled in a quieter, gentler manner rather than dragged out to the end of the weekend for a full-blown dramatic expose, and that makes two of us.

Team It’s Really All About Me, however, fully supports the Queen’s tactics, because (a) as Mo knows firsthand, it’s better to find out from a non-friend on nationally-broadcast television as opposed to a writeup in Page Six, which is a distinction without a meaningful difference in my book (and for that matter, I think RHONY has a far bigger audience and the moment of reveal is actually on display, so in those respects this is so much worse in so many ways), and (b) they know what side their bread is buttered on. #teamB. “Give me one of those bottles!” shrieks Queen B, who is handed the requisite bottle of Skinnygirl and begins to chug directly from it, label facing the camera.

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All of this torment and drama and excuse-making and product-placement continues for a solid 15+ minutes until we finally leave Miami behind. On the one hand, the Kountess appears to have realized that not knowing Fiance Tom all that well means she really has no idea whether he has motives for pursuing her that may be more financial and practical than romantic. Also, he may be a bit of a sot. On the other, she really really really really wants to get married, ideally on her own Bravo special. What to do?

So back to NYC we go to wrap this up, and The Kountess, embroidered butt wings and all, checks into a hotel to regather her wits apart from that sloggard. She’s gonna keep him after all, but they need to work things through to convince the world she’s not just putting up with his shittake. Part of their strategy is to put Doritos in play, conspiring with not one but TWO Regency Hotel waiters who are going to deny that the well-documented and -investigated public snogging happened at all, which Tom, Trumplike, thinks is actually gonna work. Doritos tells Mo all this when Mo makes a housecall to Doritos who is wrapped up in green JLo velour and recuperating from the Zika she picked up in Miami. Mo is shocked that they think such an idiot plot would actually work at this point, and doesn’t get why admitting it and moving on isn’t a viable option? Doritos says she told Tom she wasn’t going to participate in this charade, who shouted back that she was going to get uninvited from the unlikely-to-actually-occur wedding spinoff and slammed the phone in her ear. So there! (Queen B and Radzi discuss the same at the Skinnycave, and it appears their short-lived shared empathy has turned to scathing disgust with The Kountess’ motives and choices.)

Also: the Queen is hosting the Finale Party, which is going to be a fiesta featuring a whole lotta GIANT WATERMELONS. I wonder if this could possibly, just maybe have something to do with the carefully coordinated public launch of Skinnygirl Watermelon Lime Margarita that – oh my goodness! – just happened last week?!

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The Queen is even supporting the watermelon theme by letting her factory-installed melons hang out the front of her very Halston plunging jumpsuit and adjusting the alignment of the ones Mo bought after the divorce while she’s at it. Everyone is here, including the pretend boyfriend (So’s new fuckbuddy Rocco, who I actually think swings the other direction), the loathsome drycleaner (Big Fat John, permitted attendance via Production waiver), the Help (who mercifully eliminated the man bun), and the next Househusband to get the predestined RH divorce papers, Mr. Toothpick, who pre-filing arrives as the meat in the Julie/Lu midget sandwich. The only relevant person who is not here is Fiance Tom, who no doubt refused to come and who The Kountess is determined to avoid talking about even as she is committed to “clearing the air” with Bethenny The Spy.

To that end, cocktail hour commenced, The Kountess stalks up to the entire assembled remaining cast, who are discussing the Skinnygirl Watermelon Lime Margarita Pinata full of $10K worth of jewelry that the ‘Wives and ‘Wives ONLY will be permitted to smash and grab imminently, and barks at The Queen to stop talking about her or she’s LEAVING! Fine, the Queen says, no pinata for you even though we weren’t talking about you anyway!

This party, as with every Finale Party, is about tidying up loose ends and embedding others in cement blocks that will be thrown into the Hudson and left for dead. Doritos demands an apology she does not get from The Kountess, who makes smoochy-nice with The Help and ignores Radzi, which seems fine by her. The Queen and Julie Toothpick attempt to resolve what outstanding issues may remain after the dinner confrontation provoked by The Village Shitstirrer, Doritos, who gets yelled at and has her damp armpits patted dry by Mo, who manages to stay out of most of it all. So is stymied by tamales at the buffet and The Queen snaps at the caterer for deigning to serve “vegetarian ceviche”, which isn’t really a thing.

And finally, after they all crowd into the “photo booth” for cheesy snaps taken with carefully curated props tied to season 8 themes, The Kountess and The Queen have it out over Fiance Tom. Fiance Tom is still the fiance, they are determined to make it, and The Queen declares it “sad” that The Kountess has no respect for herself. The Kountess retorts that The Queen is not to talk about Tom anymore, Queen B says don’t worry, I won’t, and The Kountess leaves in a dramatic huff while the rest of the ‘Wives bat down that pinata and claim the hoochie jewels inside before toasting to men who steal from them which seems a thinly-disguised swipe at one recently-eliminated Skinnyboy. The End.

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So after allllllll that, I really don’t think this dramatic reveal of Tom’s Secret Snogging was all that interesting let alone worthy of three extra episodes. The Queen is now busy running her mouth that if she had to do it again she wouldn’t say anything (always a pro at having it both ways!) the reunion is going to be super-dramatic and hinting she might quit this whole three-ring shitshow. Will we be so lucky? I stopped drinking Skinnygirl a while ago, and I am not really into Bethenny After Ever After Forever. She’s just not my girls’ kind of girl.

See you next week on the couches!

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“We’re Not Still Talking About This, Are We?” 🍎 RHONY Season 8 Episode 19 Recap

I decided to get a massage this weekend rather than write up my recap. NO REGRETS WHATSOEVER. After all, this episode was really all about Queen B and the action side of things – what The Kountess is actually going to do about it all – comes on Wednesday. To be followed by the much-anticipated Reunion which The Queen has been alluding to as a whole fiasco for weeks. I don’t know; I am really underwhelmed by this “revelation” about Tom, so I am not expecting a lot, other than hoping The Queen moves along to new pastures because I’m tired of her.

So again, we’re back in The Queen’s room where she’s dithering about with Mo and Radzi over The Incriminating Photo of Tom making out with a Playmate in the hotel bar.

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Radzi advises her that this is all hearsay and she can’t repeat it, but confirms that the bald head in the photo does in fact appear to belong to Tom. She can tell bald heads from bald heads. How do we know, for sure, that this photo was even taken “Wednesday”, and not six months ago? Whoever this friend is who keeps feeding The Queen Tomformation, she is certainly committed to her cause. Mo flees all atwitter and goes to get her hair and nails done. When Lu arrives in the pop-up salon Mo is sorely tempted to drop the bomb herself, because this is really all about AIRTIME and not about The Kountess in the least.

Since Doritos is the “hostess” of this fiasco, she has planned a dinner to which only The Queen and SoMo arrive on time, and of course, Mo, who The Queen labels as “Krissy from Three’s Company“, has told So all about The Incriminating Photo. So they all talk about it some more, criticizing The Kountess for trying to “sell” her relationship (hmm. Maybe that’s because her compainions are relentlessly making her do so?) and being “manic”, in Queen B’s words, for diving into it in the first place. Queen B is one to talk about “manic” relationships and mixed motives after getting herself knocked up (televised pregnancy test and all) and flying headfirst into a Bravo-celebrated wedding and Ever After. So is all emotional about Tom allegedly kissing someone in a bar sometime unconfirmed, because after all, the last time she gave him the Boots of Convenience was just two weeks before he took up with The Kountess, so really she feels cheated on, too. The Queen warns Mo to find a way to contain her diarrhea of the mouth and Mo says anytime she’s nervous she poops, literally and figuratively, so more poop remains to come.

Everyone else is 90 minutes late because they waited for Radzi, who was having “pants issues”. The Queen spots them finally arriving, and she and her minions scramble to claim the end of the table where The Queen can maintain a safe distance from The Kountess in order to extend the storyline to as dramatic and Queen-focused a reveal as possible. Doritos conveniently asks The Kountess what Tom is doing that evening, and The Kountess says she doesn’t know and doesn’t ask. AHA! mentally crows The Queen. Doritos, who is deep in the bag, then is asked what their plans are for the following day; she utters one word: SANDBAR. They are going to SANDBAR. Mo immediately commences bitching about this plan, and Doritos snaps at her not to be a diva because it doesn’t suit any of them. And with that, The Queen and So go home to sulk and try to call Tom themselves, while the rest go to a Carmen Miranda bar where Julie Toothpick gets kinky with a trombone and after contouring her neck Mo leaves to pick up straight men someplace else, alone.

Morning dawns and there’s a delicious looking breakfast buffet featuring eggs Francais in the suite and, AGAIN, discussion of So’s relationship with Tom and whether it was a one-night stand, as The Kountess likes to think, or something more involved. Doritos walks in in the middle of this and audibly rolls her eyes. She’s as tired of this nonsense as the rest of us. You know who else is tired? MO, who has been rode hard and hung up wet, and is not going to SANDBAR, thank you, she’s going to claim she’s staying home to nap but is actually going to stuff herself into her brownest crochet and go to Bagatelle. “Macrame again,” remarks So. “You said no more macrame,” which earns her a sock to the ear and a drag from the suite by Mo. So and The Queen decide to not-so-covertly sneak out to Bagatelle with Mo, but not before The Queen tells Doritos she’s “the Village Idiot” for not being in the loop on Tom’s nefarious doings, which was a completely unnecessary and nasty thing to say.

So everyone else, which includes Radzi who thought going along with the original itinerary was the safer plan, heads out on a boat to go to SANDBAR, which is very literally a sandbar, currently covered by high tide, where marine roach coaches congregate and boatfuls of rowdy gays serenade The Kountess with her own hit song, “Chic C’est La Vie”. Doritos is severely tweaked that this vacation, which she has replanned now TWICE around The Queen’s supposedly cranky uterus, is not being “respected” by those selfish broads. She thinks Mo needs to make herself look important and whoa and behold no one cares. Sounds about right. While over at Bagatelle So moans some more about her broken heart, having lost (and been summarily dissed by) her “lover”, Radzi commandeers a passing kayak to get herself a hot dog and the other ladies some ice cream cups. Personally, I think this excursion to SANDBAR looks like the better choice. Sun, fun, singalongs, and hot dogs!

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The Kountess tells everyone about The Queen’s bizarre query whether she and her newly betrothed are actually monogamous and shares that her “open marriage” was really what The Kount wanted as things fell apart, not something that she sought or engaged in her entire 16 years of family life. And who is The Queen to give her advice? She’s been divorced twice and this current dissolution proceeding has dragged on longer than the actual marriage. The Kountess does have the corner on how to gracefully unwed, that is for sure. She is growing suspicious of The Queen’s motives here, as she should be.

Dinnertime again, and this time The Queen is bringing some “world famous artist” (just ask her) named Romero Britto, who looks like a Latin Richard Simmons and doesn’t seem to actually know The Queen in the least, along as her social barricade. No one else has a clue who this guy in the pajamas is.

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Mo is in Mo Macrame and So wears her tiara, while Doritos’ boobs are hanging out her white jumpsuit and The Queen has gone full Saved By The Bell in crop top and mom jeans. Doritos takes Mo to task for rudely sneaking out to Bagatelle and splitting the group trip into cliques, so The Queen yells at her for “yelling”. So complains some more about how she lost her part-time lover, and The Kountess declares herself to be The Tomslayer who would “kill for him”. Uh oh.

Morning again, and The Queen has summoned The Kountess for The Reveal, for which she has dressed herself in a thong. Because there is NOTHING MORE ATTENTION SEEKING than inserting yourself into a bit of less-than-credible gossip and sharing it with everyone you possibly can in drawn-out, television-filmed exchanges, except for having your buttcheeks hanging out when you finally launch the grenade. The Kountess, on the other hand, is wearing her giantest sunglasses, and kicks things off by telling The Queen she upset (and embarrassed) her with the monogamy inquiry. The Queen apologizes, takes a deep breath, and begins: it’s been dumped in her lap. She just can’t HELP being the one to reveal the terrible news and show The Kountess the photo, allegedly taken on Wednesday, of Tom smooching someone else. IT PAINS HER. But there it is. “Don’t do this to me,” sobs The Kountess, who flees in tears, unable to get into her hotel room and away from the camera crew. I think more of The Queen’s ass than the cheeks was actually showing this episode.

Next time: LE GRAND FINALE! How will The Kountess move along? Stay tuned, kittycats.

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“I Should Put Underwear On” 🍎 RHONY Season 8 Episode 18 Recap

My radio silence for the last two weeks was due to my annual exodus to the Bravo-free zone, where the squawks of obnoxious giant flying rats, also known as Canadian geese, replace the barks of Queen B each late summer. We’ve returned, and to commemorate my children’s first day of the school year yesterday my evening was capped off with a detour to Palm Beach, where the ‘Wives are gathered to “celebrate” The Kountess and Tom’s impending marital bliss, the Queen’s vag having declared another, more desirable trip to Hawaii cancelled. She’s not even in Palm Beach for this event so I don’t understand why the other vags can’t go to the Aloha State without hers. Chaka Khan knows I wouldn’t want to have to go to Hawaii with Queen B, with or without her gyny issues. She’s a fangs-bared muskrat this season.

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So apparently this party, like so many Housewives parties, is going to take place on a yacht. Why is that? Perchance for the view, perchance because there are limited venues willing to participate in this shitshow? SoMo and Radzi are down in a cabin gossiping and stalling their big entrance. While they connive, a curious mix of pocket gays, salivating Viagra users, and a Palm Beach doyenne or two assemble with our betrothed Lu and Tom. So is feeling a little conflicted about being here to celebrate her old bootknocker getting married to her former houseguest, which makes a certain amount of sense both directly and in considering the Ethical Mores of LuAnn De Lesseps: it’s unseemly for her houseguest (Radzi) to take up with The Help, but it’s okay for her as a houseguest to take up with her host’s occasional pipelayer. Radzi romantically muses that “in another age”, So and Tom’s horizontal encounters would make them “lovers”; what does that even mean? In this age they are just middle-aged farts in need of a hump? Basically. Up the stairs they go.

I was pretty taken aback by So’s eye-popping cleavage in her 1990s Elizabeth Hurley bondage dress, but that was before SoMo encountered the bounteous “Kimberly” and her mighty assets on the stair landing. Or Doritos, who appears to have neglected to put on her pants. So declares the crowd “iffy” and not real Palm Beach, and having met “Kimberly” I have to agree. Lu realizes the ‘Wives have emerged and tries very hard to ignore them, physically blocking Mo’s access to Tom, causing her to peep under the Kountess’ armpit and holler “HELLO!”. Radzi, not really friends with the Happy Couple or anyone else, is delighted to be here for the sideshow anyway.

While Doritos tellingly tries to connect Julie Toothpick with a random available dude for a quickie, and So considers showing a Sopranos/Harry Caray hybrid what she isn’t wearing under her gown, Radzi tells Tom, who is trying SOHARD not to talk to SoMo that she needs the information of his “diamond guy” for a girlfriend who is getting engaged. HMMM. How I wonder whether that relates to this. Julie Toothpick, apparently bored, decides to elevate things by playing Cocktail behind the bar while the exasperated bartender commands that she may NOT throw the shaker into the air, dammit! Mo shows her recently retrained dancing skills by whirling like a dervish, alone. Finally a tiny cake is presented and Doritos makes a drunken, slurring toast to “MAWWAIGE”. The Kountess suggests Doritos do the “elegant” thing and quietly disappear below deck. G’night, y’all!

In the morning, we see The Kountess walking Tom toward the mainland and getting totally dissed when she tried to give him an affectionate smooch, while Julie Toothpick calls home and finds out Tiny Husband is still not there and the kids are still dumped with his parents. What the grandparents think about their son’s priorities is unaddressed. Meanwhile, Doritos wakes Radzi up at about noon and is shocked to realize her roommate was sleeping in the near-nude right there next to her! What if there’s a fire?! Mo joins them and now we can talk about Tom.

One fascinating thing we learned last night was that the dinner party where The Kountess “introduced” Tom was not the first time we’ve met this gentleman; flash back to the first season of filming, when Mo was the first to encounter a prowling, eager bald guy out on the town picking up chicks. Tom’s been circling for years!

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Further, Radzi is now here to confirm Mo’s account that she did in fact go out with Tom many more times than the “one or two” (which is it?) dinners Tom now claims, proven by the fact that Radzi first met Tom when he was out with Mo on their third or fourth date. Mo and Tom may not have done the deed, but he did draw “RS+TD” hearts on various of her appendages and attempt to lure her to his apartment to teach her “backgammon”. Mo found him funny and nice but there was no chemistry. She insists she does not care that he’s now with Lu, just finds it all very peculiar, especially in light of his history with So, and speaking of her erstwhile BFF goes off to find her and confirms that yes, having been encouraged to weave herself into the situation So is in fact feeling quite sorry for herself today.

The Kountess, however, couldn’t give a shit about So if she tried, but once Doritos reports that the Downstairs crew is busy rehashing all aspects of The History of Tom And Who Forked Him becomes furious that Mo, who The Kountess invited aboard to celebrate their engagement, is continuing to foment speculation about The Groom, she has a real shitfit to throw at Mo, and she does. The Kountess storms downstairs and starts shrieking at Mo like an enraged mother of ill-behaved children that she needs to STOP talking about Tom and STOP generally being a jealous bitch. “Let’s talk about YOUR inappropriateness,” Mo retorts, and it’s on.

Apparently, some reporter asked The Kountess for comment about Mo’s history with Tom, and The Kountess not only confirmed that there was a history but took it a step further and confused the reporter into reporting that MO was Tom’s Friend With Benefits whereas SO was the one who only wanted to learn backgammon. The Kountess attempts to deny but Mo goes and fetches the clipping and shakes it in Lu’s face, shrieking about how The Kountess “perpetuated” this misinformation, putting Mo’s “name in the press” where she does not want it to be and screwing up her “discreet dating life”, even though all this crap is going to be shown on the show and widely reported for months. So is now feeling sorry for herself that she’s long since forgotten. They stomp upstairs for brunch on deck, where The Kountess and Mo yell at each other some more, eventually including resentful Nopologies, SoMo weakly fake tears over So’s “heartbreak”, and they flash topless military guys as they set off for Miami. Le Sigh.

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Up in Miami, Our Lady of Skin and Bones explodes into her hotel room clad only in a bikini and hooker heels and throws on a coordinating caftan. Normal people cover up to tromp through the public areas of the hotel, not stride through like it’s their own private fitness competition only to put some clothes on in private. She phones up her co-conspirator, Radzi, to ominously inform her that she got the “incriminating texts” and is ready to derail The Happy Couple. The Queen has “no one else to turn to” to assist her in the takedown.

The happier gals arrive and find their rooms, with The Kountess conveniently receiving the wrong key and letting herself into Queen B’s lair, where The Queen launches her attack with an incredulous inquiry. Is she really marrying this guy? Does she really think it’s a good idea? Does she really know him? How well? Is she SURE she can trust him? Is this some sort of open relationship “European” deal like The Kountess had with The Kount? Hmmm? HMMM?! The Kountess, shocked, starts to stammer and extricates herself, writing the interrogation off as a result of The Queen’s nasty divorce, that’s all.

When The Kountess leaves, Radzi darts in, with Mo sneaking in on her heels just before the door closes shut, and they get The Report:

  1. Tom’s money is all inherited or borrowed and he isn’t really independently wealthy by his own efforts.
  2. He dates only wealthy women in hopes it will rub off.
  3. The Queen’s secret source caught him making out with a Playboy Playmate for one hour in a public bar of The Regency Hotel just days ago, and has provided The Queen with photo evidence to prove it.

FACTS. These are FACTS, according to Bethenny The Spy. The Photo is proof, never mind that unless The Queen is some sort of hacker she really has no way to know whether the photo was ACTUALLY taken when she was told it was. The Queen does not know what to do. She just wants to keep things superficial and wait till August when it airs nationwide. No, no, she HAS to tell The Kountess. Go get her! Go get her, minions!

Next time: more caca about So’s shenanigans with Tom and the timing thereof, which I thought we had established we cannot care less about? The Kountess loses it on a cocktail cruise. The Queen calls Tom and demands he account for himself, and Julie Toothpick belts it out on a trumpet. At least someone’s gonna have a good time.

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You’ve Dialed the Bethenny Business Bureau 🍎 RHONY Season 8 Episode 15 Recap

It’s been too hot to think the last few days and I am on my last nerve. This Pokemon Go bullshit is not making matters any easier. We brought Big home from camp on Monday, and first thing Tuesday he’s in and out slamming doors and wandering around in the street every 20 minutes. You know, it’s enough entirely without invisible gremlins letting hot air into the house. I’m TARRRED.

But we must resume with the latest episode of Bethenny After Ever After, and in NYC, it’s still chilly winter and I am jealous. It’s not too cold for Doritos and Julie Toothpick to take a smoke break, and they are venturing back in when they encounter a furious Kountess storming out. She has absolutely HAD IT with all these jealous bitches and is going home. Julie looks like Big Bird in her fur fluff. Back at the table, Mo demands to know exactly what Doritos told The Kountess, which as we all know was that Mo thinks the Kountess is acting all pretentious and big in the britches, but Mo wants to pretend she never said that and Doritos wants to pretend she never told The Kountess that, so instead Doritos says she told The Kountess the girls thought she was separating herself from the group, and makes everyone happy. Except Queen B, who insists that’s all crap and The Kountess is in fact acting all fancy-like. Meanwhile Mo is furiously texting a Mopology to The Kountess that they are all actually happy for her and her newfound romance. “No we’re not,” pipes The Queen.

Radzi is all nodding like she wears pink on Wednesdays and says it’s totally okay to talk about your “friends” behind their backs. It’s not okay with Julie Toothpick, who thinks if you have a problem you should talk to the person directly, nicely. Queen B says she’s perfectly happy that The Kountess is happy, but she still thinks the Kountess is a snot who doesn’t ask anyone – such as The Queen – any questions about themselves. “You don’t ask about me, either,” snarks Julie Toothpick. And: it’s on. The Battle of the Banged Up Vaginas.

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Julie has had enough, dammit. Enough of The Queen making her look stupid, making fun of people, snarking about Julie’s marriage (which at this point everyone is snarking about so she better get used to it). And she’s also mad that The Queen is insensitive about Julie’s disordered eating, which remains a current issue as she just threw up the other day. The Queen does not want to have anything to do with this eating disorder topic because it’s too delicate – for HER. Yes, her mother having an eating disorder makes it too much for HER to involve herself with Julie. She doesn’t think Julie understands HER at all, how Julie’s eating disorder relates to HER. Yes, Julie might die, but it’s BETHENNY’S feelings that matter here. Never mind that she has written something like four or five diet books about how to carefully skate along the edge of the eating disorder cliff and has created an entire enterprise dedicated exclusively to the subject. Never mind that her first Skinnygirl product was a laxative. She just cannot be bothered with it when the issue is Julie Toothpick, not herself. Doritos is actually buying this justification from The Queen, because it’s The Queen we’re dealing with, but as to Radzi she thinks she’s just a mean girl. “Let’s all go to Mohican Sun!” barks Mo, changing the subject.

The next day, Mo and The Kountess meet up on the street to yell at each other for a while about whether or not Mo has been talking crap about The Kountess and how it’s basically all Doritos’ fault, anyway. Mo insists she is just concerned about The Kountess because she is “in lust”. The Kountess insists she knows when she knows and it’s a gift and too bad for Mo that she doesn’t have it. They argue some more about the Mark Hotel and whether The Kountess stole Tom from some chick, and The Kountess don’t care because he left willingly, too bad so sad. In other news, The Kountess feels like she’s over a hump with Radzi and she’s off to Vail with Tom, goodbye. No trip to the casino for her.

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Doritos and Queen B come over to Radzi’s apartment so The Help can make them all heart-shaped vegan pizzas on cauliflower crust. Yummy? Why bother? If you want to eat tofu and poo, just eat tofu and poo. Don’t call it pizza, for God’s sake. The Mean Girls think Julie is wrong to be mad at them, and that what she should have done is approach them separately. Yes, she should have been rational and calm and made the whole thing an arduous chore rather than lose her temper and blurt out what was on her mind. The Queen has decided she shall not speak to Julie Toothpick. She’s banished. Goodbye. I love how Bethenny expects everyone to act all mature and reasonable and she’s really a childish prat.

Over at the SoStone, So has borrowed a butler because she’s having Doritos and Julie Toothpick and their respective mens over for a fancy dinner and Julie’s bringing a setup for So. The butler is totally irritated that So does not have a clue what she’s doing with the table or how to manage help even as she pretends to be all Lady Morgan. Plus, she isn’t paying him for this shit and he is not an intern. The guests arrive and BFJ is wearing a velvet smoking jacket; Mr. Toothpick managed to get them there reasonably on time even though he came home late and leapt into the shower, again. And here’s the guy they’ve brought for So: his name is Rocco, he has an accent, and the epaulets on his rumpled jacket are making him look like Sgt. Pepper.

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With all assembled, So swans in to make her Entrance, carrying her purse with trumpets blaring. It turns out she knows this Rocco dude already and Julie pats herself on the back for bringing him over for a sure score. They dine, with So positioned to see the kitchen as the temp butler directed her, and using 200-year-old giant sheets as napkins. So explains that back in the old days, The Morgans used the same napkins for a week and these are them. I thought they were cloth diapers. They are so big you could swaddle BFJ in one, and that’s saying something. I wonder if dinner was made in the toaster oven. I do think this entire event was staged to talk about the napkins.

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It’s time to board the chubby bus and go to the casino, kids! Mo has loaded it up with a full selection of Skinnygirl products and even a few bottles of RAMONA Pinot Grigio stuck in the back. So is delighted to get to go on a trip this season. Since she’s not drinking she scheduled a dental service for immediately before and is loaded on Percocet instead. Once everyone is on board, away they go and they toast to The Kountess who went and got herself engaged the previous few days. The ring is an eight carat yellow diamond of which Doritos got a text photo, which she passes around. So sniffs that eight carats is so nouveau and four is more like it for truly rich old school people whose napkins are bigger than everyone else’s.

The Queen parks herself two feet from Julie Toothpick and starts talking about her to Doritos, who seems nervous and tries to get her to pipe down. Julie rolls her eyes. Next The Queen moves on to So and declares her banishment lifted. So is so relieved, and thanks The Queen for the forgiveness. She always knew she had a good heart. The Queen blushes and looks down in smug satisfaction. This is such bullshit.

Next time: despite her broken vag, The Queen performs handstands in public. Julie’s campaign against The Queen continues. Mo tries to meddle with Tom, and The Kountess returns, betrothed.

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“Edith Bunker Calls It a Brassiere” 🍎 RHONY Season 8 Episode 14 Recap

I misplaced my notes from last week so never got that one recapped; suffice it to say that Julie Toothpick tried to dose the calzone with lidocaine and forks; The Kountess cannot be bawthered with Radzi; and Queen B is still being overly graphic with us about her ladybits issues. The End.

We resume to find it has snowed in NYC! And it looks so fresh and pretty, which will change real fast. There’s nothing ickier than dirty snow. Queen B is arriving at Skinnygirl Central wearing a shirt that reads “I am not okay today”. She really loves the message shirt, doesn’t she? I think she’s a little old for it. When she’s 90 is she going to wear one that says “please change my Depends”? Despite still feeling less than 100%, The Queen is going to fulfill her commitment to appear at the launch of Skinnygirl Candy, which is either an oxymoron or a diarrhea producer (I suspect the latter now that Skinnygirl Fiber Supplements have left the product line; covert poop-enhancer would need to make it’s way in somewhere), and she’s getting dolled up with a red wig and a giant Skinnygirl Chocolate wrapper clutch for the occasion, threatening to bed a stranger who is unaware of the biohazard risk. She’s only invited Radzi to attend the event because she’s her only real friend, but acknowledges that Mo has been supportive, showing up with an ugly mixed bouquet and the promise to stay in the next room reading on at least one occasion.

Speaking of Mo, she’s reunited with her better half, So, and they are taking a hip-class from a go-go dancer who performed at a recent Kountess Lu event in order to update their “moves”. This is also a chance for Mo to complain about The Kountess, who she feels is so absorbed in her own romantic life that she isn’t being a true friend to others. So thinks they all need to cut The Kountess a break and accept that she’s obsessed with closing the deal with Tom after just four weeks, as any rational person would be. SoMo ends up working on their Axl Rose impressions and that’s as far as the dancing goes.

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Queen B’s party is going to take place at Dylan’s Candy Bar, where I think Skinnygirl Candy is unlikely to be sold. Nothing says “skinny” quite like beverages garnished with mini doughnuts. The only people in attendance besides The Queen and her minions are Radzi and basically four people off the street. The Queen thanks Radzi for coming and complains that she doesn’t have a mother whose breast she can nuzzle over her gyney issues. She needs a message shirt that says “I have mommy issues”. Radzi offers to come with to El Doctor as she has lots of experience with hospitals.

Speaking of gyney issues, Julie Toothpick makes her way to her plastic surgeon’s office to check on her ladybits after the still-unexplained window climbing accident. (Had anyone but So, who climbs through windows and bangs up her bits regularly, been the audience for that scene we might have learned something useful.) Julie wants to make sure the big ball sack she’s toting around is resuming its “perfect pistachio” original appearance, and Dr. Retainer and the neighbors across the street, who can see right up the stirrups through the office window, assure her things are going in the right direction. I have never bothered with a mirror to see what’s going on down there, because I don’t think it’s really any of my concern, but I am thinking small green shelled nuts is not the first resemblance that would come to mind, and I haven’t had a close crotch encounter with any windows.

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Queen B and Radzi are on their way to not the hospital, even though The Queen is all weepy like she’s being rolled in for her execution, but another lady doctor for a second opinion, one she doesn’t even have to take her clothes off for. Although Radzi cautions The Queen not to doctor shop because it will never end, this German lady recommends taking a short breather and trying a little progesterone to see if things die down. A little medical marijuana might help here, too.

From there we’re back to Bethenny’s Place, where all the girls she likes and none of the bitches she doesn’t are invited for a tea latte, whatever that is. She’d do a real latte but coffee gives Mo the shits. The Queen updates Mo, Doritos, and Radzi (who was there already) on what the German lady said and how it could all be because The Queen is too delicate for hormonal birth control. Mo suggests she get a diaphragm which The Queen dismisses out of hand as altogether too 1983. Speaking of 1983, how is Radzi feeling about The Kountess? Well, she thinks she’s a big fat phony and hasn’t adequately apologized, as we’ve all heard 10,000 times. Doritos rolls her eyes, but this is Mo’s chance to unleash the Singer Stinger and get The Kountess declared narcissistic and unlikeable. The Queen agrees that Lu is acting uppity like it is 2011, then bestows her favored subjects, Doritos and Mo, with one-piece bathing suits for reasons that go unexplained. Mo is concerned her nipples will show.

Doritos leaves this shitshow to meet The Kountess for an egg sandwich, hold the bread between your knees please, and tell her everyone is badmouthing her. She thinks Lu needs to come to Doritos’ upcoming dinner party and get this shit straightened out once and for all, and promises to referee. They agree that Mo is insanely jealous and her asshole is showing.

Dinnertime! Julie Toothpick is first to arrive in a giant fur shrug and a half shirt, followed by a stuffy Kountess, who isn’t going to stay to eat thank you, and Radzi, who is wearing giant bell-shaped cuffs that will make it impossible for her to consume food, either. I find it odd that Radzi, who notably does not eat, is so focused on the eating foibles of others. Takes one to know one methinks. The Queen arrives in a fembot uniform (or, as this Tweeter observed, a Beetlejuice costume) and the awkwardness may now commence.

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The Kountess explains that she’s not staying long because she’s under the weather; The Queen sniffs that her neverending period trumps The Kountess’ sniffles. Try telling that to a man with a mancold. The Queen demands to know the status of The Kountess’ relationship, and Lu tells us that she’s moved into Tom’s UES penthouse, complete with terrace, and he’s ring shopping. Radzi quite politely congratulates her before questioning if you do that, which is not meant meanly but simply because one is to offer best wishes to a marrying couple, not congratulate someone for landing the beast.

So arrives and takes a seat at the opposite end of the table from The Queen, who she feels fearful of after the beating she took at their last meeting. Queen B sniffs that the whole thing “was handled badly”, as though she bore no role in it, and demonstrates that things are cool by elevating a discussion about the state of The Toothpick’s healing cooter into loud shouting about who has had sex most recently, at which point Mo arrives and gets all huffy that she hasn’t been greeted with streamers and the receiving line to which she has become accustomed.

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Lu, however, is all too accustomed to Mo’s self-involved bullshit and immediately calls her on the carpet for talking shit about her behind her back. Mo stutters that Lu is “seeing hesitation” from her because she’s simply concerned that The Kountess is rushing into things. Which is crap, and Lu says so, and points out that everyone else is happy for her so this is Mo’s jealousy nip slipping out. At which point The Queen decides to pipe up about how Tom is yet another case of SoMoLu banging the same guy, which may or may not be accurate, but gives So an opportunity to offer that she and Tom had been “friends with benefits” for ten years. She intends this to mean that despite her history of spreading it like peanut butter and jelly for Mr. Lu, she’s perfectly happy to have passed the butter knife on, but what The Kountess hears is yet another bitch not being happy for her. She does not care about Tom’s personal history Before Lu, and everyone is being awful except Radzi of all people, and she storms out.

Next time: the Toothpick takes on The Queen and The Princess; So has an awkward dinner party, and Mo thinks they all need to go to the casino on the res, because that went so well last year.

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