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Cultural Capital

The Real Housewives of New York Are Really Bad Party Guests

"Hungry! There's no food here. There's absolutely no food."

(Illustration: Noam Galai / Bravo, Hell Gate)

Hello, RHONY lovers and people who email us to stop fucking writing about this TV show alike—I am back, with a fresh perspective (courtesy of my esteemed colleague and former RHONY virgin Adlan Jackson) on the sacred and entirely self-imposed duty at hand: writing about the sixth episode of the fourteenth season of "The Real Housewives of New York." 

I have to be real with you all: Adlan's mystified take on the lone episode he watched made me realize how many batshit elements of this franchise I've totally been taking for granted. Most prominent among these is that I forgot to spell out that the original RHONY franchise, like every "Real Housewives" series, starred women who outwardly display all of the trappings of extreme wealth but were actually impoverished enough, spiritually or literally, to take on a job that revolves around getting explosively upset on national television. In its ideal form, "The Real Housewives of New York City" is not supposed to be lifestyle porn—it's supposed to be the emotional version of the "SAW" franchise for white women who have really strong opinions about Orangetheory or talking about sex at restaurants. That's the gold standard of degradation, of social torture, to which I'm comparing this most recent season. 

Plus, I didn't even remember to tell you all how long the episodes are. 

Oh shit, I thought, as I reflected on my RHONY recaps thus far—you know, the ones focused on authenticity, not absurdity. Have I been doing kind of a bad job at this? 

That is not, however, a thought that seems to have occurred to any of the new RHONY cast members this season, because as of episode six, the majority of these women are continuing to not bring it whatsoever. So in the spirit of all five of them, I trudge on with the premise of these recaps—thanks a lot, Andy Cohen.

In this week's episode, Erin Lichy and her husband—who nobody will let us forget is a DJ (read: partner at a law firm)—have a 10-year anniversary party, and the other women act rude and inattentive at the (admittedly boring-looking) festivities. (Ubah Hassan, who has COVID, is spared from attending.) Minus a few key elements—the women blackout drinking, a balding guy that three of the cast members have slept with, a shoehorned-in charity element, a decades-long frenemy ready to stir the pot for a shot at being billed as a "friend of the show"—this is the closest thing we've gotten to a classic RHONY episode. Sadly, that's not saying a lot. Let's dive in. 

Most authentic NYC moment: Saying there's "no food" at a party where there is obviously food

One thing about New York: We are a city of complainers. That's why Sai De Silva's seemingly hours-long rant about the lack of food at Lichy's anniversary party really struck a chord. "What time do you think Nobu closes?" De Silva asks Brynn Whitfield and Jessel Taank, as Lichy and her husband's friends are giving rehearsal dinner-style speeches. "Kitchen probably closes at 10," Whitfield responds. "It's around the corner isn't it?" one of the other women says, off camera. "Should we go and then come back?" Whitfield muses, before Lichy's sister comes up to them and tells them to stop talking, which mostly quiets them until after the speech portion of the evening is over. But De Silva won't drop it. "I want sushi, I want sushi," she says in a sing-song voice on the dancefloor, over the sound of generic dance music, because Bravo will not shell out for the rights to have any actual songs play on the show. She keeps on beating the proverbial drum on the dancefloor: "Bitches are hungry over here!" "Hungry! There's no food here. There's absolutely no food here," De Silva continues in a confessional. 

Then, she drops the bombshell: "I asked Erin where the food was, and she showed me piggies in a blanket. I'm a pescatarian, I don't eat piggies in a blanket." Sorry, but pigs in a blanket are literally food. Not satisfied that a woman throwing an elaborate party to celebrate her decade of marriage forgot to think about the dietary needs of her friendly acquaintance, De Silva leaves the party to get sushi before a critical Lichy costume change—a move that the latter says makes her "so pissed." Can't wait to hear about Nobu-gate for the next three episodes! 

Another authentic NYC moment (kind of): Pre-party Sweetgreen 

I'm grasping at straws here, but these women are just not living normal lives. Before their blowout 10-year anniversary party in a converted bank, complete with multiple costume changes, hundreds of thousands of dollars in borrowed diamond jewelry, the aforementioned speeches (psychological warfare at an anniversary party, IMO), and a "funky black-tie" dress code that has attendees decked out in furs, suits, and ballgowns, Lichy and her DJ-lawyer husband Abe eat Sweetgreen salads out of those signature hexagonal egg carton-y bowls. Hey! I've eaten that! 

Least authentic NYC moment: What the fuck is "Kirna Zabête"

Before all of the Nobu drama unfolds, Taank takes Whitfield to Kirna Zabête, a store that she describes as "quintessential New York, the best fashion." Like the rest of the episode, this is visibly not true. "Everything's on trend," Taank intones in a voiceover of a shot of—I shit you not—a bejeweled, VERSACE-branded, reusable coffee cup. Sorry, but this isn't fucking Miami. Other items that appear to be for sale in the store include a calf-high cowboy boot made out of some kind of woven material; a dress that looks like if you made a stuffed animal but instead of an animal, it was a dress; and a couple of tan-and-white checked, possibly faux, fur coats. Not my quintessential New York look!

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