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I’ve Dug My Own Grave With the Real Housewives of New York City

Plus, the women go to the beach or some bullshit.

3:17 PM EDT on September 13, 2023

The Real Housewives of New York City Season 14 cast, in negative.
(Gavin Bond / Bravo)|

This is how it feels to recap this show.

A good Real Housewives franchise is made up of women who are in on the joke. They understand that the entertainment value of Housewives essentially comes from allowing the audience a peek behind the curtain of glamor and excess into these women behaving like "trash"—sleeping around, getting wasted, getting into fights at parties with themes like "Around the World" or "S'mores and Whores." (They also understand that they're supposed to be funny while they do it.) 

Nine episodes into the rebooted season 14 of the "Real Housewives of New York City," it's becoming increasingly clear that the current cast isn't even in on the fact that there is supposed to be a joke

It's hard to believe how tedious it is to watch these ostensibly elegant and classy women spend time together. They fail to hit the mark for aspirational content, because I don't aspire to have an annoying husband or a job that involves me in front of a ring light, and they fail to entertain on a classic Housewife level. There isn't even enough chemistry to muster up believable feuds—at most, the group seems to pick someone to get faintly annoyed with, then we have to hear about someone's tragic backstory, then we cut to a shot of someone's young child behaving badly or someone shopping, then someone plugs their business. Rinse and repeat. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. 

Unfortunately, it does not appear that we're at the end of this season. We checked pretty extensively, because watching these episodes and knowing I'll have to wring some kind of entertaining content out of them is starting to give me that "coyote in a bear trap" feeling of wanting to gnaw my proverbial leg off. So, although there are only two upcoming episodes listed on RHONY season 14's Wikipedia page—sweet release!—I was dismayed to find that the Wikipedia page for RHONY as a franchise listed the number of episodes this season as "TBA." Furthermore, the classic mid-season "Still to come, on this season of Real Housewives of New York…" trailer aired after this season's episode seven, which leads me to believe we're in for around 13 to 15 episodes of this shit. That would make sense, because previous seasons of RHONY have run pretty long—season 13 was 18 episodes long, and season 12 was 25. 

If this season passes the 20-count of episodes, I will be faking my death and fleeing the country by boat to avoid having to write that many articles about this show.

But luckily for the people who have the pleasure of knowing me, I think this season will be shorter than that, not only because this cast sucks and I can't imagine ratings are awesome, but because one of the original cast members, a self-ID'ed Zionist influencer, left the show mid-season (under dubious circumstances) and all the footage she was in had to be cut out. That probably saves us like… two or three hours of screen-time? 

I pray that I'm right. Anyway, I don't know, this week the ladies continued to vacation in Anguilla. They bullied Jenna Lyons to tears and made her open up about her mother's Asperger's. Then, they went to the beach, Sai De Silva talks about her mother's alcoholism, and Erin Lichy says something rude about Brynn Whitfield freezing her eggs. Nobody is even close to throwing a drink at someone else this season, and it's making me really depressed.

Most authentic New York City moment: Jessel Taank obfuscates her nice childhood 

Either these women are obsessed with talking about childhood trauma, or the editors were going through it this season, because it feels like we're getting into someone's trauma every episode. After the aforementioned Asperger's revelation from Lyons, the group of women turn their attention to Jessel Taank (who already caught flack from the group earlier this season for being a princess who gets whatever she wants) and ask her about her upbringing. So, like every New York City transplant who has loving and let's say financially generous parents but feels the need to pretend otherwise for social caché, she absolutely fails to beat those allegations, and instead talks about how her uncles were homeless artists when they emigrated to Europe. Classic! 

Call me a cynic, but I think some of these women are leveraging admittedly tough pasts to justify their extravagant, frivolous present—and to feel superior to Taank, who's insecure enough to try and play the game they've thrown her into. 

Aw, rich women, they're just like us! 

Least authentic New York City moment: Everything else

Look, they're not even in New York for this one, and I don't think they kill it on the authenticity front even when they are, so I don't have a lot to say here. However, I do want to talk about the singular funny moment from this episode. After De Silva describes taking her mother off of life support—AS THE WOMEN ARE DRINKING MIMOSAS ON THE PATIO OF THEIR VACATION HOUSE IN TROPICAL PARADISE, THE PERFECT TIME FOR THIS KIND OF CONVERSATION, OBVIOUSLY—she mentions that she has her mother's ashes in a shopping bag in her closet, back in New York. The show cuts to a confessional shot of Taank, who remains the sole woman on this show who understands what she is getting paid to do. She quips: "I hope it's an Hermes bag or a Chanel bag. You wouldn't want that to be, you know, Target or Walmart." 

This is an objectively terrible thing to say, and it's also exactly why anyone who watches these kinds of shows is watching. Unfortunately, I foresee these moments remaining few and far between, however long this season drags on.

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