Real Housewives of New York ends its season after four bonus hours of craziness

Last night, Bravo aired the fourth and final post-season special on The Real Housewives of New York City. In other words, 22 percent of this season’s 18 episodes aired after the alleged finale. As always, the lost footage episode was the least interesting, and didn’t compare to the spectacular three-part reunion, the last two hours of which I watched post-vacation.

As always, Andy Cohen was the moderator, and for the first hour, he actually managed to moderate. He seemed to be growing as a host, never mind dropping lines like this one, which he actually said to Ramona’s face: “You have very pronounced eyes, yes. There’s a lot of discussion about your eyes.” Also to his credit, he laughed when Kathy Griffin hysterically mocked his cross-eyed hosting.

By the second hour, things started to spiral out of his control. “I can’t have tape of every scene!” Andy cried, like a summer camp counselor who’s suddenly found themselves in charge of a bunch of demanding brats. He also continued his obsession with lunch breaks, telling Ramona when she inexplicably stood up, “We’re going to have lunch in five minutes.” Ramona replied, “I just thought the cameras wouldn’t see me,” Ramona. Andy, already exasperated, said, “We’re almost done.”

That was just one of many times someone got up and left, or got up and screamed at someone, or got up just to stand up. Jill walked out after Jill and Bethenny’s conflict was squeezed dry, with Jill apologizing for and then excusing her bad decisions and responded to, among other things, allegations that Jill tried to get the other women to “sabotage” Bethenny’s new show.

Jill’s exit seemed like the logical conclusion to that line of questioning, but when she returned, Andy Cohen turned into robo-host and dutifully went to his blue cards of BravoTV.com e.mail from morons and asked a question from a viewer about something like how Jill could be such an awful, subhuman, evil bitch who’s responsible for the oil spill. Bethenny actually leapt to Jill’s defense and smacked Andy down. “She’s taken enough hits. Jesus Christ. Are we just going to beat the shit–let’s put her on a cross, nail her to a cross and shoot her. Let’s murder her,” Bethenny said, repeating herself, like she does when she repeats herself, and says the same thing again in case you miss it when she says the same thing again, repeating herself.

Although attention later shifted to Kelly and her insanity, it was often the Bethenny show, with Bethenny and her Queen of Hearts-ish dress threatening to swallow half her head and Andy Cohen’s, too. She summed up Kelly perfectly: “Kelly, you have psychological and emotional problems, and we’re all talking to you as if we’re going to make somse sense out of this, and it’s crazy. … This is not a normal person. “It’s like talking to Humpty Dumpty.”

Kelly insisted that on the trip, what she suffered “wasn’t a breakdown, it was a breakthrough,” but also insisted that “I was forced to go on the trip by Bravo.” Yes, they tied her up and put her on a plane. Andy recovered as a host a bit and refuted her claims. “That’s not true; I appreciate it, but it’s not true,” and after they went back and forth, Andy smartly just let her bury herself when she said, “Andy, it is true though, but thank you, I appreciate that.” Appreciate his direct contradiction of your crazy claims?

Meanwhile, Lu Ann was mostly resigned to sitting back and insisting, “I don’t want to get involved. I really don’t.” But of course, she did. And Alex turned red and most of the women said they have no idea if they’ll return next season, but of course they will because who else will give them all the negative attention they crave?

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.