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'The Real Housewives of New York City' recap: Kidooze!

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, the finale was on last night. Kidooze!, as Ramona would say, to the ladies for raising $120,000 for the Creaky Joints charity. (All except you Alex, who, despite your supposed email blast, only roped two lousy guests into attending the event.) But the evening was but a bland amuse bouche in preparation for what looks like a humdinger of a reunion show. LuAnn, I do believe I’ve landed permanently in your camp after that preview glimpse of you steely calling Kelly out as a liar. Two hours of drama, woot!

But first, the finale:

Prior to the big charity event Ramona and Jill worked themselves up into a tizzy about the ethics of sponsorship and branding. (Zarin Fabrics-Skinny Girls-TruRenewal-Suez Canal-Naturally Thin-Class with the Countess-Owls.) Jill accused Ramona of trying to bail on her $5,000 commitment. Ramona, rocking her ’80s Cosmopolitan top knot, strangely didn’t bark back. They both decided that Bethenny took advantage of them by plastering her new Skinny Girls logo above the bar. Scuze? Nobody talks about B behind her back. So Bethenny, dressed rather unfortunately in a Breakfast with Tiffany ensemble, pounced on Jill, who was already freaking out playing the hostess and preparing for her big speech.

It was a grim scene. Bethenny, who I’m thinking woke up the next morning with a nasty hangover, chewed into Jill, telling her to apologize. Jill told Bethenny to step off or leave. B looked like she was going to cry and kept fuming to anyone who would listen. It’s the first time all season that Bethenny has behaved poorly, and I’m sure she’s kicking herself for her poorly-timed outburst. It wasn’t good TV. It was awkward and unfortunate and kind of sad watching these friends argue. The two women made up quickly, and Bethenny gave Jill some deep-breathing exercises and danced with her gays later, but the fight cast a weird pall over the evening.

Simon’s lacquered red pants to the rescue! The man is ridiculous, no doubt. His dance moves consist of Karate Kid poses. He nearly wet his pants when Kelly expressed interest in the contents of his closet. (Ha!) But he is good-natured and forgiving. And when Ramona clip-clopped up to him and jibber-jabbered about his outfit (“tutu! fou fou! tutufoufou!”), he spun her around the dance floor and all was forgiven. It was sort of weird and sweet and why is it that I can’t stop looking for evidence of Ramona’s pit stains now that I know she has a sweating problem?

LuAnn, I like you. I don’t care what the haters say. I don’t really care that you are a snob, or that you have no sense of humor about yourself. I think you mean well and that you’re not mean. And I think you’re going to become infinitely more relaxed and likable now that you no longer have to pretend that you’re in a stable, enviable marriage. Shame on you Bravo editing room for all those awkward moments with the Count and his purple-tinted sunglasses. Shame on you for that implied smirk when LuAnn, in her closing remarks, said that she has the gift of seduction (“from seducing the salesgirl to seducing your husband”). Good riddance, Count!

Kelly, you know how I feel about you. You know I groaned when you complimented Jill for not being one of those tiresome New Yorkers who are all talk and no substance, one of those I’m so rich and fabulous types. But my heart went out a little to you when Jill forgot all about you when she was handing out the awards and you stood there in the crowd looking abandoned. Sorry Kelly. I just don’t think The Real Housewives worked out for you like you hoped it might. Good luck. Be nice to your girls. Don’t come back for Season 3.

Let’s be real: The finale was ehh. Points for the scene of Jill and Ally’s sex and booze talk. “Do you know what it is?” snickered Jill. “Awright, awright. Any drinking going on? You know I have the drinking pee on stick test in the closet.” Points for the revelation that Rosie has a boyfriend who she thinks she may be in love with. Though I have to say Bethenny peeved me off a little by her level of amusement for getting dating tips from the housekeeper. (“Rosie’s giving me dating tips. Next I’m going to start talking to Francois and Johannes about dating!”) I know she was just trying to be cute and make a dig on herself, but come on Bethenny. Don’t be a jerk. Points deducted for the unnecessary vision of Mario ogling Ramona’s butt on the StairMaster all those years ago at the gym.

It is what it is. For the most part I love my girls. But it’s a fickle relationship. And if these women tumble any further into their branded identities (“I’m Martha Stewart meets Carrie Bradshaw!”), I’ll relocate. Jersey, I’m looking at you.

What did you all think? Did you cringe watching Bethenny go after Jill? Did you cringe when Simon grabbed Alex from the behind on the dance floor?  Did you cringe when Bethenny tried to crack jokes at the Moroccan fashion show? Do you cringe when you admit to people that you watched every episode of The Real Housewives of New York City Season 2 and that you could see yourself spending a Saturday watching a marathon to boot?

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