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Cultural Capital

The Real Housewives of New York City Finally Get Into It

'Tis the season to fight at a wreath-making party.

1:27 PM EDT on September 1, 2023

The cast of RHONY with Andy Cohen.
(Cindy Ord / Bravo)

I'll give it to you straight, people: It's the Friday before Labor Day, and while this was the most exciting episode of season 14 of "The Real Housewives of New York City" so far, it was almost completely devoid of true New York moments. I know. I was upset, too. 

I know you return to this column every week, eager to see what flecks of gritty authenticity I'm able to sift from the silt of reality television. But for this episode, that feels like an almost impossible task. Every place the RHONY girls spent time in this season's seventh installment was either incredibly generic (Jessel Taank, who is growing on me because she's rude and silly, went out to dinner a couple of times at some unnamed, vaguely fancy restaurants) or hyper-specific, to the point of complete unrelatability. Erin Lichy gossiped with her DJ husband in their palatial Tribeca apartment. Brynn Whitfield went classic car shopping with her British ex-fiancé and then made the rest of the cast members go to some weird little event space to make…wreaths? Did Bravo severely cut the budget for this franchise, because what kind of Girl Scout merit badge bullshit is that? The Beverly Hills girls take private jets. 

Still we did get our first legitimate fight of the season this episode, when Lichy walked out of Whitfield's wreath-making party after confronting everyone over how they behaved at her anniversary party: De Silva took heat for leaving early that evening to get food; Whitfield got in trouble for her joke about fucking Lichy's husband, DJ Law Firm; and Lyons and Taank were chided for talking during "the vows." Unfortunately, that meant Lichy missed the bizarre Jenna Lyons™-branded giveaway that happened at the end of the episode, where Lyons handed out what was effectively her own merch to the other women, under the guise of giving a holiday gift of all her "favorite things." OK, Oprah! Also, I totally forgot there was a sixth cast member, and it feels like the rest of the cast did, too, until they remembered to FaceTime the COVID-afflicted Ubah Hassan at the veeeery end of the episode. 

Anyway, here are the moments. Enjoy your long weekend. 

Most authentic New York City moment: They're in a loft

The episode begins with Lyons and De Silva at a model casting call for Lyons's brand of false eyelashes, LoveSeen. That casting takes place in one of those exposed brick, high-ceilinged converted warehouse-y spaces that makes you say, "Oh, that's gotta be a room in the city of New York." This is the best I could do. Sorry! 

Least authentic New York City moment: Brynn met her handsome and suave ex-fiancé on Tinder

Although she mentions that the app was in "beta mode" when they connected, it strains credulity that Whitfield met someone hot, loaded, and nice, and then formed an enduring connection with him, via Tinder, in New York City of all places. I guess it's been, like, a decade, but it's hard to imagine meeting someone with even one of those qualities on Tinder in this area code, in these times. I don't know. Maybe there's something secretly wrong with him—he did, after all, agree to show his face on RHONY.

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