Real Housewives of NYC Show Big Changes in Season 11 Premiere

Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Barbara Kavovit on The Real Housewives of New York City Season 11, Episode 1
Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Barbara Kavovit, Photo: Heidi Gutman/Bravo

Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City Season 11 premiere on Wednesday was a dramatic and Hamptons-heavy beginning to what should be another rip-roaring car crash of a season. The ladies were back at it, sharing plenty of gripes and gossip, and even a little sexual harassment, courtesy of Southampton resident Ramona Singer!

Right away, we see that nerves are especially frayed as Bridgehampton’s Bethenny Frankel attempts to deal with the untimely and tragic death of her boyfriend Dennis, and Sag Harbor resident Luann de Lesseps tries to navigate the world following an intervention and her second stint in rehab. Sonja Morgan, meanwhile, has left her fabulous NYC townhouse and is adjusting to her new, less grand digs—though the apartment is nothing to scoff at.

After watching last season and finally realizing she’s TERRIBLE when drunk, Dorinda Medley has given up booze and made positive changes in her life. But she hasn’t dealt with the growing tension with Luann, who she hasn’t seen since heckling her cabaret show five months before. “I just realized nothing good happens when you have a couple drinks, and I don’t handle alcohol well,” she tells her friend and stylist Luke Henderson during a power walk in Manhattan. Ya think? This group has the worst alcohol-fueled behavior of all Bravo’s housewives, and Dorinda has had some of the nastiest incidents of the bunch.

Dorinda Medley and Ramona Singer gossip on The Real Housewives of New York City Season 11, Episode 1
Dorinda and Ramona, Photo: Heidi Gutman/Bravo

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Wednesday, Dorinda cited the cringeworthy disaster-relief trip to Puerto Rico with Bethenny as one of the hardest episodes to watch from last season. “But, by the way, as I always say about the Housewives, it’s therapy, and you learn tremendously from it and you grow. Otherwise, you’ll be too upset all the time,” she added.

Along with gossiping about Luann with Dorinda, who was staying at her house in Southampton, Ramona’s painful moment came while flagrantly flirting with—pretty much sexually harassing—a swim instructor during a lesson at her Southampton home. The visit began with her awkwardly holding her hand out for him to kiss it, after which she laughed, saying she was nervous and didn’t know why she just did that. But things got worse from there.

During the lesson with her hunky instructor, Ramona peppered him with comments that would kill a man’s career had the roles been reversed. Some choice quotes include: “Nice trunks, pretty nice, kinda sexy…you match my noodles” (said while leering at him as he stripped down to his bathing suit and tried to keep talking in a professional manner), and “I can only do the breaststroke, I have good breasts if I say so myself,” and “I’m very flexible,” and “I’m feelin’ it. I feel a lot of different things.” As she says in the interview portion of the show, “Flirting I’ve got down pat, floating I need a little help with.”

During a scene at her Sag Harbor home, Luanne explains to pal Barbara Kavovit that the lawsuit from her children, who stopped her from selling the house, sent her into a relapse. “The sh_t hit the fan for me—and it literally did [what does THAT mean?! We shudder to think.]—you came to my rescue with Bethenny, and I will never forget it.”

Recalling the intervention, Barbara says, “She wasn’t of sound mind and body. She was a mess.” She noted that after watching Luann make mistakes with her husband Tom, “I was not about to watch her make a detrimental mistake to her life, and it was the right time to go back to rehab.” Luann was 53 days sober at the time of the scene, which is really good for her. It’s nice to see Luann get it together.

Finally, at her home in Bridgehampton on Tumbleweed Tuesday (the day after Labor Day), Bethenny chats with Paddle Diva Gina Bradley (a water bottle promoting her stand-up paddle boarding business was placed prominently on the counter) and two other friends, sharing her pain over losing her boyfriend Dennis, who died from a drug overdose three weeks before. When she got the call from Dennis’ daughter relaying the horrible news, Bethenny says, “I started screaming into the phone.” She and her daughter Bryn texted messages to Dennis after he died as a way to grieve. “I have never in my life experienced this moment, this feeling, this hysteria,” she adds.

Clearly, emotions are already running high this season, and from the previews, it looks like the best is yet to come, including a freakout by Tinsley Mortimer and a new cameo by former NY Housewife and Southamptonite Jill ZarinThe Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

The Real Housewives of New York City Season 11 cast photo
The RHONY Season 11 cast Photo: Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo

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