Watching Season Three of Bravo’s hit series, “The Real Housewives of New York City,” it’s hard to remember what was so likable about this show to begin with. We’ve got Cuckoo Kelly flying around, Jill and Bethenny on the outs, an insufferable and condescending Countess LuAnn and more Housewives than Bravo knows what to do with (seriously, it’s time to purge some Housewives, and I think we all know where to start – first word Cuckoo, second word Kelly.)
The Season One DVD (available exclusively at Target) takes us back to a simpler time in “The Real Housewives of New York City” universe. There were only five Housewives and it became apparent early on where allegiances would fall. Bethenny with her caustic wit and Jill Zarin with her endless supply of connections were both charming and entertaining and it was clear these two would go on to form a special bond. Meanwhile, Countess LuAnn’ s cool, down-to-earth demeanor and endearing self-deprecation (“I was kind of chunky with bad hair”) made her a fan fave (I could almost forgive that “Mrs. DeLesseps business with her, Bethenny and the driver.)
In the other camp was crazy-eyed Ramona who wore trashy clothes, but because they were designer labels, it was okay and social climbers Alex and her husband, wannabe sixth Housewife, Simon who relished being one person in two bodies. In a defining moment from Season One, Alex and Simon gnash their teeth over a dinner party invitation from Bethenny that was marked “girls only.” After much back and forth over what they perceived to be the deeper meaning behind the invite, Silex concluded it would have been bad form for Alex to attend solo. Ramona became severely unglued by Simon’s presence in their midst and like an erstwhile balloon escaped from the helium tank, fled the party in a fit of indignation. Ramona was clearly the Season One villainess as her ongoing tit-for-tat with Jill and desperate clutching for Countess LuAnn’s approval made for compelling television.
Other memorable moments include Bethenny trying to push the immovable Jason 1.0 towards a commitment, Simon’s deep homosexual panic, Jill and Countess LuAnn trouncing Ramona on the tennis court and Alex wondering why women can’t plug in their vibrators.
What set “The Real Housewives of New York City,” apart from their sun-soaked Orange County counterparts was the glitz and the glamour as well as the debate over whether or not they were true socialites. While “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” represented some unattainable high-gloss dream behind the gates, “The Real Housewives of New York City” were somehow more relatable. Yes, even with their Hamptons abodes, Fashion Week invites and multimillion dollar shopping sprees, not all of us aspire to live in the suburbs, most of us have a friend like Jill and have run across a boyfriend (or two) who won’t put a ring on it.
“The Real Housewives of New York City” Season One features three DVD’s with the Season Preview, all seven episodes from the debut season, the Reunion Special, Lost Footage, Bonus Scenes and an Interactive Quiz. The Lost Footage and Bonus Scenes are a yawnfest, so skip those, though the Interactive Quiz is a pleasant one-off time-waster.
Bottom line, if you’ve been a fan of “The Real Housewives of New York City” from day one, or are a new viewer trying to get up to speed and can’t wait for a Bravo marathon, add this DVD set to your library.