It may be summer in real life, but for The Real Housewives of New York, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Like a gossipy neighbor who flat-out refuses to take a hint, pure joy smothers every frame of the show’s most recent episodes. The glint in each cast member’s eyes shines just a little bit brighter, the easy pitch of their cackles rings just a few decibels higher, and each subtle smirk stretches out just a little bit longer. As the show relives the events of December 2017, it’s clear there’s only one explanation for the obvious shift in tone.
That’s right. Luann de Lesseps, a RHONY original cast member-turned-‘friend of’-turned-cast member with the nonsensical confidence that only a true (ex) countess could muster, was arrested in the midst a Palm Beach binge.
While Palm Beach arrests are not exactly new territory for the RHONY crowd (Tinsley Mortimer dealt with a Floridian misdemeanor of her own prior to joining the cast – but was quick to point out that’s very different from Luann’s four felony charges), there’s something about this one that makes it stand out. Perhaps it’s because it’s the inevitably satisfying ending to Luann’s whirlwind romance with her fiance-turned-husband-turned-ex-husband, a journey that fueled the better part of last season (“she’s had a sh** year,” astutely remarked castmate Bethenny). Perhaps it’s because the magicians behind the Bravo cameras produced police car footage of Luann easily slipping her handcuffs, following by court of an uncharacteristically docile Luann being lectured not to drink so much. But whatever it was, there’s no doubt that Luann, who was mostly just a disembodied voice on Dorinda’s phone during the show’s most recent episode (because, as it turns out, they don’t let you film in rehab) was nothing less than its star in spirit.
On almost any other branch of the Real Housewife franchise (**cough** Beverly Hills **cough**), the newsworthy arrest of a show’s key player would be the only event worth talking about for at least a season and a half. But, in true RHONY fashion, the ladies took in the news amidst an epic Carole/Bethenny showdown, Sonja casually hitting on a man almost thirty years her junior, and – yes- a few obligatory scenes in which Bethenny and Ramona got a chance to hock their wares. Still, as the show’s tenth season begins to hit its true stride, it’s clear there’s enough storyline to keep the RHONY machine chugging for years to come.
And in the meantime, of course, we can all prepare for what’s in store upon the (ex) countess” inevitable return from rehab. Lest we forget, elegance is learned, my friends. Elegance is le-er-ehhhr-ehhhr-erhhhhnnnd.
New episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City air 9pm ET Wednesdays on Bravo and are available the next day on-demand.