Real Housewives of New York, Episode Two Recap
The hashtag for this episode is #BookGate, so I knew I was in for something good.
We open with Carole and Aviva at lunch so that Carole can give her advice about the book and just get it over with. As we learned last week, Aviva has written a memoir (It’s called Leggy Blonde, in case you’re interested.) Aviva puts on her eyeglasses, and Carole is weirded out and annoyed because she copied the same frames Carole has for her glasses. Aviva freely admits this, saying “I Single White Femaled you a long time ago.” Carole tells the camera, “Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. Flattery is the sincerest form of flattery.” It’s all downhill from there. Aviva insists that she wrote her book herself, and implies that Carole used a ghostwriter for her memoir, What Remains. Carole is offended, and for good reason. She’s been a journalist for twenty years — she’s a professional writer. Aviva said she had a lot of fun doing it. (That’s a red flag right there. Anyone who’s written a book by themselves would not describe it as “a lot of fun.”) Aviva says, “It was kind of like emailing. It was no big deal.” Um, yeah.
Next, Ramona and Aviva are at a wine shop. Ramona is helping Aviva pick wine for her upcoming party. (There’s a joke in here about Aviva only having one leg. I hit pause to Google this and it’s a crazy story.) They are having fun, joking around, and Ramona tells the camera that she’s seeing the side of Aviva that made her fall for her “really quick.” As they do a wine tasting, Aviva tells Ramona about her bitch-fest lunch with Carole. She tells Ramona that she felt, “One-upped and put down.” Ramona is making weird faces, like she’s constipated. Aviva tells her nasty gossip about how “her” publishing company “passed” on Carole’s novel. “Wow,” Ramona starts barking. “Wow. Wow.”
Meanwhile, Carole meets Heather and Kristen for a walk in the park. Kristen tells the camera, “I love Carole. I get along with her famously. Our friendship is definitely blossoming. I think it’s true love.” Carole tells them her version of the lunch, and that Aviva insulted her twenty-year writing career by suggesting that she used a ghost writer. (Kirsten seems very lost at this point. I think she might think a ghost writer is literally a spectral being who comes down and types out the book.) Heather tells the camera that of course Carole wrote the book. “She was on Oprah to promote it, for god’s sake.” While Heather is totally Team Carole, Kristen is torn. How can she deal with all this second-hand gossip? She tells the camera, “I’m just going to have to wait and make my own opinions.” Don’t work that brain too hard, Kristen.
At Kristen’s apartment, we see her barely keeping it together with her kids, even with the help of her nanny, Gem. She tells the camera, “I am the most amazing mother ever [laugh].” She amends, “I’m the best mom I can be.” Kudos for honesty. Heather and her son Jax arrive, and Kristen’s husband Josh greets him warmly. Heather has known Josh for many years, and she tells the camera that she thinks Kristen and Josh are a great couple and really love one another. Heather’s husband Jonathan shows up.
Heather: How was work?
Jonathan: It was okay.
Heather: Just okay? No money? No money in the bank day is a no sex night.
Kristen tells Heather that her seventeen-month-old daughter, Kingsley, needs leg braces because she’s not walking yet. Kristen acknowledges that Heather has “been through so much.” Apparently, Heather’s son Jax had, at one point, been near death waiting for a liver transplant. For all the frivolity of this show, this conversation shows that kids are the great equalizer, and no one is immune from the worry and vulnerability of parenthood.
Aviva is moving into a new apartment on the Upper West Side. We see her cute two year old daughter, Sienna. Her ex-husband, Harry, arrives with their eleven-year-old son, Harrison. She gives him a tour. Aviva tells the camera that after a bump in the road, she and Harry are in a good place. “He’s back to being my fifth child.” Aviva asks what he is doing that night, and he says going out with Sonja. “Is it a date?” she asks. “Could be,” he says. Avvia tells the camera that she doesn’t care who he dates, and yet she continues to grill him about the nature of his relationship with Sonja. “Well, does she think it’s a date?” He tells her that she has a lot more to worry about than this. She acknowledges that this is true, then asks, “Are you f-buddies?”
The next scene is just uncomfortable to watch: Kristen arrives at Sonja’s apartment for a spray-tan session. While Kristen is undressed and getting tanned, Sonja stares at her in a really creepy way. “Amazing butt,” she says. They discuss the Carole-Aviva spat. Kristen defends Carole. “She’s been telling us for how long that she sat for five years writing the book.” Sonja is snarky: “I wish I had five years to sit around writing a book.” Maybe she would if she wasn’t so busy spray tanning. Her final verdict is that maybe Carole wrote the book, maybe she didn’t. But that’s not reason for her to “get snooty on Aviva.”
Sonja and Harry are on a dinner date. He asks what she’s doing late, and she’s like, you’re already talking about later? She tells the camera she doesn’t mind dating more than one guy at a time, but it’s tough because now things are heating up in all corners. They discuss business (apparently Sonja knows the king of Saudi Arabia) and that Harry dates women in their twenties. He tells Sonja that she is timeless. After dinner, they go back to her place. “One drink,” she tells him. Somehow, that seems doubtful.
Aviva has a housewarming party. Her new apartment is two floors, with ten rooms. The elevator is broken. She hopes “this is not a sign of how the evening is going to go.” (I’m thinking it definitely is.) Ramona arrives with husband Mario. Sonja shows up with Harry. They go into Aviva’s bedroom and Aviva and husband Reid follow soon after. Lots of weird jokes ensue that it used to be Harry’s bed.
Carole tells the camera that homes are like their owners, and when she walked in she got a “bad vibe.” And for good reason: Aviva is busy telling Kristen and Ramona that Carole didn’t write her own book. She insists, “It takes a village to write a book.” Kristen is having none of it. She tells the camera, “In the modelling world, there is always a team of people helping, but there is only one model. Unless someone super-imposed someone elses face on my body. Which they do, but…”
Carole confronts Aviva. She tells her there is no competition, and she shouldn’t compare her experience with her book to Carole’s career: “It’s like apples…and spaceships.” Aviva tells Carole she was condescending “out of the gate.” Carole says well, you were lying about your process. Aviva insists Carole had a ghostwriter on What Remains. (For the record, I read that memoir and it’s a gorgeous book and didn’t read like a ghostwritten book.) Carole tells Aviva she is a lyer and a phony. Aviva says, “My publisher told me you shopped your book…” Carole says yes, six publishers bid on it. “There was a bidding war.”
What do you think about this? Has anyone out there read both books? I’d love to hear your thoughts.