Real Housewives of N.Y.C.: Extreme Makeover: Housewives Edition

Photo: Mike/Fame

In the fourth episode of the Real Housewives of N.Y.C., it was home facelifts galore as two of the housewives begin extensive renovations on their multimillion-dollar apartment and townhouse. Along with remodeling drama, there was also some magazine makeover drama, courtesy of the Countess, the self-appointed queen of manners.

“I’m having a nervous breakdown,” exclaimed a stressed-out Jill as she began choosing colors and prints for her apartment. Jill amusingly quarreled with her gay “husband” Brad on his choice of fabrics and color palette and shot down every idea that he brought up. “Sometimes I want to get a divorce from him because he makes me so mad. He has a one track mind … it’s annoying,” said a bewildered Jill.

And the reason for the remodel? “People’s taste change. You redo your apartment every seven years,” she admitted. Meanwhile in Brooklyn, an architect visited Alex and Simon to help design the gut renovation of their multi-level townhouse. As usual, the attached-at-the-hip couple agreed with each other on all design elements, even adamantly poo-pooing the granite counter top craze. “Granite was five years ago,” said Simon. Alex chimed in, “We were on the beginning of the wave of the granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances and now everyone’s doing it, so I’m thinking I can do with a neon green oven,” said the self-appointed kitchen trendsetter.

And while other couples may be slotting in a space for a new 40-in. flat-screen TV, Alex was making sure built-in bookshelves would have a place in their newly-renovated home–for all the literary works of Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare, so sons Fran ois, 5, and Johan, 2, can pluck them right off the shelf and read. “Some have bookshelves in their houses just for show — that’s absolutely not the case here,” she said in all seriousness.

Then cut to Ramona wearing an itsy-bitsy bikini at her picture-perfect Hamptons home having a steamy PDA session with husband Mario in their swimming pool. Immediately the cameras pan back to Alex and Simon lounging in their backyard in a 10 ft by 3 ft deep kiddie pool. “People who live in apartments in New York City don’t have that luxury,” said Simon. The juxtaposition was priceless!

Over twenty minutes into the show, new Housewife Kelly and Ramona visited the Richard Meier Model Museum to get to know each other. The only interesting about this time-filler trip was Ramona’s comment about Kelly’s figure. “She’s very tall. I mean, her shoulders are wider than my husband’s,” said Ramona.

Back in the Hamptons, LuAnn and Bethenny met up for lunch, and Bethenny agreed to cook a meal for Hope Lodge, a charity event sponsored by the American Cancer Society that the Countess is hosting. Later on during their lunch, the Countess revealed she is working on a book about manners and etiquette called Class with the Countess. “I don’t know what a Countess means in regards to manners,” remarked Bethenny. “Just because you are a Countess doesn’t mean you know more that the average person on how to have class.” After that comment, LuAnn looked angry and agitated. Uh awkward!

A few days later at Hope Lodge kitchen, it was LuAnn’s turn to fire back. While preparing the dinner for the cancer patients, Bethenny revealed that she was chosen to be the cover girl for Social Life Magazine. LuAnn then asked her if they were going to do any “retouching,” which hurt Bethenny’s feelings. “That was a catty remark,” said Bethenny. “Basically she said you’re ugly and need some help.” Holding in her emotions, she decided not to confront the Countess.

Cue in Ramona at the Hope Lodge. Soon her conversation about setting up Bethenny with a guy friend and telling her to “go out and date, and date and date” quickly took a turn for the worst. The Countess did not agree with Ramona and said, “Going out too much and being seen with different men … that builds a bad reputation in my world,” which caused Ramona to go on the defense. She countered her reasoning and said, “It works. I helped three women get married. What do you know? You got married at a young age to a man twice your age.”

LuAnn charged back with her claws and said in a stern voice, “Don’t be rude, Ramona, especially in front of my daughter. My husband is 15 years old than I am. Is that what you call an older man? I got married when I was 27. You cannot judge by the number. People have young minds, young bodies and young hearts. That’s what matters. I love that you think Alex is an old man.” She added, “How dare you judge me.”

The self-appointed queen of manners then walked away from the kitchen disgusted, saying, “I’m so pissed.” Later, the Countess returned and Ramona apologized but the Countess quipped, “I was about to knock your head off.”

But the drama didn’t end there with the Countess. With Bethenny’s feathers ruffled with the “retouching” comment, the natural foods chef confronted LuAnn at a lunch date in the Hamptons. She didn’t exactly get the apology she was looking for. LuAnn said, “Sorry, but you are being ultra sensitive.” Later, at the Social Life Magazine cover party, the editor in chief brought up the airbrushing scandal to LuAnn on camera. As a result, LuAnn left the party early that night. Whoa!

Missing out on the drama were Alex and Simon, who were busy moving their belonging into boxes for the home renovation and also packing for their annual Speedos trip to St. Barts. –Paul Chi

Tell us: Who was more out of line — Bethenny (for her comment about the Countess’s book), the Countess (for her air-brushing remark) or Ramona (for her comment about LuAnn’s husband)? Is Kelly a good addition to the show?


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