In the season premiere, Ramona and Alex team up to surprise Jill, who gives everyone a pinched smile while muttering "that bitch" under her breath.
Credit: Joe Pugliese/Bravo

Here’s where we stand, according to the New York Housewives new opening zingers: LuAnn is just getting started, which may mean more etiquette-inspired pop singles that go big in Eastern Europe are in our future. Jill knows who she is and she claims to own it. (As if!) Alex was always a little bitchy opinionated, she’s just finally realized letting it out means more air time. Kelly is living the American dream, one mistake at a time. Oh for the love of... And new Housewife Cindy, who claims to have made hair removal sexy, and has baby twins and a Chrissie Hynde haircut, likes things on her own terms. Some things never change: Ramona still can’t help it if she’s honest and Sonja has retained her taste for luxury, and by luxury she means men who look like a cross between Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie.

Judging from last night’s premiere, this is going to be the season of Alex looking pained and radish-necked as she tries to instigate drama with Jill. The redhead will pay! But Jill, desperate to convince the public that she is actually pure of heart, seems bent on killing her new nemesis with acidic smiles. At Ramona’s party for a new Pinot Grigio — put me down for a case — Jill oozed onto the scene in an Orange County one-shoulder number and a trimmer-looking Bobby. Happy New Ye-ah, Happy New Ye-ah, Happy New Ye-ah, Jill told everyone. At least Simon, who looked like he was on his third bottle of Ramona, was happy to see her. That guy is aces in my book. He doesn’t hold a grudge, he’s unapologetic about his taste for pink shoes and red-leather accented pants. If his wife denies him a weekday liquor lunch, well then tea time it is. If Jill wants to make nice, then he’s ready to drink to that.

Oh Jilly. I love how much you keep telling us you’ve changed. I’m endeared by how much you crave approval. But honey, you were right last year when you said you could never change. You can tell Ramona over and over how beautiful she looks, oh what a gorgeous dress, what a beautiful day. But that pinched smile of yours isn’t fooling anyone. Let it out girl. Own your toxicity. Towards the end of the party, Alex loomed like a hungry giraffe outside the circle of women. (Joni sighting!) Cutting in, she invited the ladies to join her on a March for Marriage Equality. Jill looked at her with that same tense smile, her eyes sending death rays. The exchange sent Alex tumbling back to the bar where she glugged another round of Ramona.

Time for some girl time with Kelly on Jill’s bed. You remember when Kelly went batsh– last season, when her head turned into a cleverly highlighted cuckoo clock that spouted tearful malapropisms. Well, Jill stuck by her through that because that’s what real friends do. They hold your hands through the hard times (you know, like when your Dad dies). They don’t just put you on speaker phone, snickering behind your back, and tell you that your friendship is done. They’re loyal, and Jill knows from loyal, unless she’s trashing you to a Vanity Fair reporter. Anyway, she was there for Kelly when the rest of the world thought she was a total nut. “I’m not crazy,” Kelly swears, which by the way is usually the tip-off that someone actually is crazy. “Am I put in precarious circumstances a lot with these women? Yeah. Do I navigate those situations well? Nope.” She’s done a lot of growing and self-reflection during the hiatus.

Jill took a few minutes to mourn the loss of Bethenny. “You got dumped!” said Kelly, with glee in her voice. Bethenny needed Jill when she didn’t have a husband or a child and once those roles were filled, after a thorough auditioning process by Bravo, don’t think Bryn just got the part without killing it in her table read, she kicked Jill to the curb. “But I still love her to a certain extent in some weird, sick psychotic way,” moaned Jill. On this we agree. (Ramona for one isn’t buying Jill’s sob story. She blames the Bethenny blow-out on Jill’s Jillousy.) By this point Kelly was starting to look a little bored—yeah, yeah, love lost — and her restless eyes started darting around the room looking for a candy dish.

On the other side of the bridge, Alex and Simon were working hard in their basement office that was decorated by their pot-smoking teenage neighbors. Maybe one more black sheet over this brick? A strand of pink Christmas lights would really make that filing cabinet pop. Simon has left the hotel with the intention of starting a social media company. Alex is now a model. I love this season already!!! Kelly will have us all know that just because you’re a model doesn’t mean you’re pretty. It means you’re photogenic, so suck on that McCord.

NEXT: There’s a new Housewife in New York. (The unmarried working kind.)So far I’m digging Miss Cindy well enough, although I’m unclear of her Completely Bare enterprise. Is it waxing? Is it skin bedazzling? I am certain of one thing: Cindy may be a downtown badass but she can’t do shots. Cindy co-hosted a party for a supposedly hip artist and her 10-month-old babies are cool enough to stay up late and attend art gallery events. Jill got a look at those babies, gave Cindy another once-over, and had some questions. “Would it be too personal if I asked a couple of questions?” Jill wondered. IVF, Cindy responded, while skirting the question of a Baby Daddy. Kelly brought her legs as her date to the party. Sonja, who was determined not to get arrested again after this party, brought a hunk named Brian. Later she’d go on a double date with LuAnn and Jacques and then did her best not to ask LuAnn if she could take Jacques home with her and Brian for a Thursday sandwich.

Oh no, Ramona needs another assistant, which means a few young ladies had to endure her unique interviewing style. “Your name sounds like a country,” she told Tunisia, who announced that she was sensitive and then looked like she was going to cry as Ramona blabbered on about her impatience. Another girl got reamed for being shy. But then that last one, oh, what a dear, her mistake was droning about what an energetic person she was. Ramona pounced on her panty hose, black tights next time, you Midwestern dolt. “I should give you some of my skin care,” said Ramona, as the girl’s face fell. “You look like you could use some help with skin.” Honey child, why did you let the Bravo producers talk you into signing that release form? I hope you at least got a bottle of Ramona to go with your TruReNewal.

At a wedding in the Hamptons, Jill told everyone again and again how nice she was but was then caught ragging on Alex. “That bitch Alex McCord, socializing at a party that is so above her,” she sneered. (On Watch What Happens Live Jill complained that she’d said that off camera to a producer and she didn’t expect it to be on the show. Oh, Jill. Own it!) Anyway, who is she to judge, but she wouldn’t have worn ivory to a wedding like that classless Ramona and Alex. At least wear a print over the ivory base, but that’s just her. To each her own, what a lovely day, she’s nice! Alex sauntered over and tried to goad Jill for not making it to the March for Marriage Equality. Then Alex needled her a little more about whether or not Jill knew she was coming. Jill ground her teeth together and smiled that lemony Season 4 smile. Ramona was hungry so she jabbed her finger in the wedding cake, but don’t worry she has a product that can fix that.

Seriously guys, Ramona has something to say and it’s serious so put on your serious faces and seriously listen up. She was making fun of Cindy’s brother’s cigar, because it was kind of weird-looking; it’s not her fault. Well then the guy goes and tells her the cigars belonged to her dead best friend and why did he have to go and share that. Oops! Howie’s girlfriend, a real Cindy look-a-like apparently the fiance of the original cigar owner, was right behind her and heard the whole thing. Ramona messed with the wrong woman this time. That woman looked like she was going take Ramona behind the hedges and cut her open.

Next week: Even Louis Vuitton makes mistakes.

Who else thinks this is going to be the best season yet? Is Cindy a good addition? Is Kelly “speaking de Renglish” this year or is she still nutso as ever? Why was Jill dressed like a hybrid of Madonna circa “Express Yourself”/Grease 2 extra on WWHL last night? Who’s cuter: Jacques or Brian? Do you miss Bethenny? Do you like Jill again?

Episode Recaps

The Real Housewives of New York City

Ramona, LuAnn, Sonja, Carole, Heather, Kristen, and Dorinda — and oh, yes, Bethenny — are in a New York state of mind.

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