Snow be damned, spring’s sweet thaw is upon us at last. The grass is green, the trees restored to their leafiest luster. A gentle breeze sings the song of summer, an inviting preview of the sunny days yet to come. I feel nothing but warmth, I see no ice nor sleet nor snow. The calendar on my phone says March 6, but the calendar in my heart says April 25. Trapped in a cruel extension of winter, you may wonder why I alone am immune to the ongoing ravages of the season. The simple, honest answer is that today is the day “The Real Housewives of New York City” returns to Bravo.
In celebration of the women who have kept us company for 11 remarkable years, I’ve compiled a list of what I believe constitute the best moments of each season. It’s an impossible job, and the competition was fierce, but some events (a certain Vassar graduate’s leg toss, for instance) made my work easier than a bottle of Ramona Pinot. Speaking of which, these women have somehow managed to get better with age, boldly defying one of reality television’s most undiscriminating patterns.
The best way to read this list is with with jelly beans and Skinny Girl (and don’t ever come without Dorinda), but fear not if neither is readily available to you. The housewives themselves are enough. They always have been.
Season 1: Episode 8
The moment Bethenny, travel-weary after trekking all the way to Brooklyn, walks into Alex and Simon’s bizarrely crumbling townhouse and is “shocked” to find it in “shambles,” which turns out to be a fitting symbol for the emptiness behind their pretentious self-presentation.
Season 2: Episode 10
Kelly Bensimon’s Halloween party, to which she was so late that every woman had left by the time she arrived. Jill was horrified by the cash bar. Alex was dressed as Sarah Palin. Bethenny literally roller skated away from the party.
Notable quote: “It’s a recession, I don’t need four costumes.”
Season 3: Episode 12
It’s the Scary Island Jelly Belly meltdown that inspired lyrics to “Chic, C’est La Vie.” I remain both confused and impressed at how Kelly managed to invoke Al Sharpton in a blowout with Bethenny, whom she believed was plotting her murder. Not only is this the best moment of Season 3 (although Ramona’s trip down the catwalk is a close second), it’s one of the best moments in Bravo history.
Credit to Sonja for being the voice of reason. #LollipopsAndGummyBears #ChefOrCook
Season 4: Episode 15
Spurned by the other housewives, Luann heads to Atlantic City with Jill and Kelly to film the “Chic, C’est La Vie” music video, where Jill is exhausted by the task of walking back and forth on a marble floor. This one wins because it’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at history: The final product was a masterpiece.
As great as the Morocco trip was, perhaps the second best moment of the season also came in episode 15, when Ramona, Sonja, and Alex took a dance class. This gif pretty much says it all.
Season 5: Episodes 13-15
The ladies’ trip to St. Barths includes many of the show’s most iconic moments, from Ramona and Sonja googling “white trash” after Aviva hurls the insult at them, to everything that had to do with Tomas, the Johnny Depp lookalike who romanced a not-so-single Luann. Carole’s recollection of one particular evening stands out as perhaps the best single line in RHONY history: “I was awoken in the middle of the night by two male voices. One was Luann’s.” Guess who the other person was.
Here’s Ramona and Sonja trying to figure out what “white trash” means.
The St. Barth’s trip also included one of Ramona’s finest moments, when she shouted “TAKE A XANAX! CALM DOWN!” at Aviva.
Season 6: Episode 20
Le Cirque will never be the same. Greatest RHONY moment of all time?
Honorable mention goes to Ramona and Sonja ordering an air conditioner to Heather’s house in the Berkshires, and forcing Luann, also known as “Lumann” and “Luann the linebacker,” to carry the canoe because of her “broad shoulders.”
Season 7: Episode 15
I’ve changed my mind about the best single line in RHONY history. Luann’s utter indifference in the face of Heather’s hysteria during their Turks and Caicos trip was perfect. “Be cool, don’t be all, like, uncool,” she chided in her signature rasp, wrapped in a plush robe over a bikini. Meanwhile, Ramona avoided the conflict by pretending to be asleep upstairs.
Season 8: Episode 19
“It’s about Tom.”
The Miami episodes also gave us all these wonderful, multipurpose images.
Honorable mention goes to the insane fight between Bethenny and Luann in the Berkshires, specifically Luann’s hilarious attempt at an apology text.
Season 9: Episode 16
A very inebriated Luann tumbling into the bushes. Obviously.
Honorable mention goes to Dorinda accidentally stabbing herself with a knife at the dinner table.
Season 10: Episode 17
The best moment of last season was not “Jovani,” not the Berzerkshires, not even the cabaret rehearsals. It was the disastrous boat ride in Cartagena. What a trip.
Titanic (2018) pic.twitter.com/d28FyH3VCY
— T. Kyle (@tkylemac) August 2, 2018