Skip to Content
Morning Spew

The ‘Real Housewives of New York’ Is Becoming a Real Slog

Plus some less boring links for your Friday.

Real Housewives of New York cast member Jessel Taank and a New York City public school.
(Bravo, Ajay Suresh / Flickr)

I pointed out last week that enough members of the new cast of the 'Real Housewives of New York' don't drink that it significantly alters the dynamic on the show from frenetic and unhinged to tedious. I still believe that's true, but my thinking on the situation has evolved—it isn't just a lack of alcohol that's making the start of Season 14 of the Real Housewives of New York incredibly slow. Most of these women's lives are just really boring to watch. 

A cast member's job on Real Housewives, or any Bravo show, is to get really, theatrically upset over something trivial and then be willing to fight about it on screen. Not only are we yet to see any substantial fights on the new season of RHONY, but I'm beginning to doubt these women have the chemistry or capacity to really get under each others' skin—the main drama this episode is that awkward PR maven Jessel Taank called a few of the other women "cackling hags." But she's British, so that actually might be a low key compliment? I don't know. 

In an effort to capture "authentic" New York through the lens of the RHO universe, Andy Cohen and co. might have sacrificed too much. Yeah, the original RHONY cast was made up of women from the Upper East Side who think the subway is scary—and that's funny as hell. Watching a black SUV full of aging blondes lose their minds because they have to go below 14th Street for their friend's cabaret show or whatever is awesome. It's freak shit! It's what I want to see rich, glamorous, slightly tweaked older women doing—not meeting with a "business mentor" to figure out how to better hawk their gourmet hot sauce or dissecting childhood trauma. And those are this episode's storylines from the cast members I actually like! (This week, the other girls chat with their husbands, shop and gossip, then gossip about the gossip, and watch some workers renovate a house. Snooze.)

Ugh. At least this week they finally left the Hamptons.

Most authentic NYC moment: Early decision preschool 

It isn't like we had to watch the new RHONY cast slum it for the first three episodes, but seeing them back in their homes, with their families, provided the realest moment (for a very specific kind of New Yorker) on this week's episode. "By the way, I signed them up for early decision at Montessori," Taank says to her husband, Pavit Randhawa, as they both carry individual MacBooks and perch near each other on a plush-looking sectional. (Side note: you know these people are rich rich because they have two-year-old twins and a spotless white couch.) "But is Montessori the right decision for them?" he responds. "You can tell the caliber of people that go to that school," she counters. "The open house was very elevated. I mean, they had a charcuterie board and wine!" 

"It's the beginning of their educational foray into the world, and it's not just about where they go to school, it's about who you're networking with, who they're friends with, their parents, it sets the tone for everything. But Pavit will always push for the cheapest option," Taank says in a cutaway from the scene. "He wants them to go to public school." 

This is the first moment in the new season that is actually camp. THANK GOD! While this scene is clearly supposed to be in service of a storyline about Taank and her husband's bad relationship, it's actually the kind of rich person hate-fodder these girls should be serving us on a more regular basis. If you don't have comedic chops, the least you can do is radicalize some Bravo viewers with the sickening, opulent reality of your life as a wealthy New Yorker.

Most authentic NYC moment (runner-up): Shoes off in the house

In this episode, Sai de Silva, the fashion influencer who grew up in Brooklyn, hosts a Friendsgiving party for fellow Housewife Brynn Whitfield, who opens up about how the holidays are difficult for her because she had a hard childhood and is not close with the majority of her family members. It's a touching gesture between friends—and one that is mandatorily shoeless, per a text message de Silva sends her guests before they arrive. 

"PSA have your sock game on point or have a pedicure. We're a no shoe household. I hope your outfit didn't revolve around your shoes. Can't wait to hang tomorrow girls!!" the message reads. Lichy, who I guess is too busy doing real estate and defending her Trump campaign donation in the press to read texts, gets pissed when she arrives and has to take her boots off, which is funny.

My gross girl take is that people are a little too precious about being shoeless inside, but I get it. The city is nasty! 

Least authentic NYC moment: Private chefs at a Friendsgiving 

It was very sweet of de Silva to throw Whitfield the aforementioned Friendsgiving party—but, crucially, she hired a team of good-looking private chefs to actually prepare the meal. I don't know, isn't a core tenet of Friendsgiving that you have to eat your loved ones' bad food? Like, I love hanging out with you and I'd put you down as an emergency contact if I had to list three or four, but that doesn't mean I want to eat your green beans. 

Hiring someone who knows how to make a delicious meal—while it's a genuine rich person move—kind of defeats the whole purpose of the Friendsgiving thing. And, OK Carrie Bradshaw, it's pretty New York not to touch your oven. But in that case, they should have Doordash-ed something disgusting to keep it real.

—Katie Way

Some more exciting links for your Friday reading pleasure:

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Give us your email address to keep reading two more articles for free

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

As Lawmakers Gut Tenant Protections, Tenant Advocates Turn to Fighting to Defeat the Budget

A bad deal for tenants shows that they didn’t really have all that much leverage to begin with.

April 15, 2024

Hell Gate’s Tote-ally Spring Sale

Spring has sprung, flowers are blooming, and allergies are at an all-time high. It's time to get your new wardrobe and new ACCESSORIES together. We're here to help.

April 15, 2024

Hell Gate Supports Good Cause Eviction With These Important Exceptions

Not everyone needs to be protected from exorbitant rent hikes and eviction, according to our sage lawmakers.

April 15, 2024
See all posts