It’s Season 8 of The Real Housewives of New York City and while both Heather Thomson and Kristen Taekman are out, Julianne Wainstein joins the rest of the returning ladies. Will LuAnn and Carole bury the hatchet? Will Ramona and Bethenny continue to bicker? Will Sonja ever release her toaster oven? So many questions to start the new season, let’s see if we can get to any answers!

Settling In

Bethenny’s apartment is finally refurbished and ready to live in. She shows Dorinda around when she comes for a visit. Apparently her closet is small? I don’t know, it looks big to me but then again, my walk-in closet standards probably aren’t as high as a Real Housewife’s.

Dorinda and Bethenny are planning a boozy lunch with some friends. Of course they’ll invite Carole, even though she’s in the throes of her new(ish) relationship with Adam. And Dorinda wants to invite her friend Jules and her husband, Michael. She warns Bethenny not to bring up Michael’s height, though Bethenny promises nothing.

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We catch up with Carole and Adam as they walk their dog Baby and visit a camera shop. Adam’s taking a trip to Ethiopia and Carole’s surprised at how much she’s going to miss him. She’s can’t believe they’ve been together for almost a year now and how good and serious it feels, despite all the bad-mouthing LuAnn did last year. But she says it only brought them closer together (aw) and now she’s very protective of Adam. She would never force him to be in the same room with her again (why does that make me think it’s going to happen?).

Ramona is single in the city and finally ready to get out there and date. She wanted to save her marriage, but it just wasn’t happening. So she meets some friends, and Avery because that little blonde cutie is 21 now and can go to bars with her moms. It’s so weird, and the look on Avery’s face makes me think she feels the same way. She is not impressed to hold witness to her mom’s drunken bar flirting.

Since both of LuAnn’s kids are off to college now, she sold her place in the city, but Sonja’s offered up a room in her house for whenever she’s in town since her daughter’s at boarding school. Sonja’s sad to see her daughter go, but she’s happy for what attending such a prestigious school is going to afford her. She just asks LuAnn not to bring home any men to her daughter’s bed. You’d think you wouldn’t have to tell Miss Class herself that, but who knows what that wild one will get up to after the sun goes down.

Gossip Girls

Ramona and Bethenny meet for lunch. Bethenny is really happy for Ramona’s new clothes, new boobs and new attitude. They catch up on their gossip from Bethenny’s lack of a sex life to both of their creepy encounters with Dorinda’s troll BF, John. Ramona doesn’t feel comfortable being around him but says she has to ignore things she doesn’t like for Dorinda’s sake (just like Dorinda does). Bethenny gets a shady vibe from him too and doesn’t like how Dorinda feels like she always has to sell him to them, especially because it just seems like she’s trying to sell him to herself.

They also talk about Sonja and LuAnn, whose partying has reached new levels of embarrassing. Ramona says that she goes out less with Sonja now that she’s single because she doesn’t want people to think she’s like her and she’s always falling down drunk. Bethenny says that Dorinda has that side of her too after too many martinis.

Next, we get to meet the new wife, Jules. She and her husband Michael had a fabulous lifestyle full of fashion and travel until they had their kids. Rio is two and Jagger is five. Now her job is to be a mom, even though she needs help with that too. She has a live-in nanny and a housekeeper and she says her parenting style is to bribe her kids. So that’s what we know about Jules thus far.

Dorinda and John go out for their anniversary dinner. Well, an anniversary. John likes to celebrate their anniversary every month because of course he does.

Dorinda’s still not comfortable with PDA. Or the the thought of her relationship with John progressing to anything besides dating. They still don’t live together, and although Dorinda’s daughter, Hannah, is moving out soon, she doesn’t know if she’s ready to live with John.

Bethenny has an amazing new office for her beverage company. She wants to be the CEO of her own life and her company by pushing herself and being more creative. It’s hard though when she’s supporting herself and her daughter and her ex. She says it’s the longest divorce in history and the longer it drags out, the more money it costs her.

Ramona and Carole meet to catch up over lunch. Ramona talks and talks and talks and doesn’t ask Carole a single question about Adam or how Carole’s summer went. Ugh, we all have friends like this, right? But Carole smiles and takes it in good humor because she likes Ramona.

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All Paths Lead to Dry Cleaning

Bethenny and her date, John, meet Dorinda and John along with Jules and Michael for brunch. Jules seems very defensive about her job as a full time mom before anyone has the chance to even call her out on it. Bethenny gets the impression that Jules spends a lot of her husband’s money and doesn’t even know or understand where it comes from.

She also learns that Jules is Japanese and Jewish. But Dorinda just sees “Cher” when she looks at her. Bethenny thinks that Jules also resembles her mother, who she says is “unnaturally” like Jules. Bethenny says she’s an expert on what’s naturally thin because she literally wrote a book about it. That still doesn’t seem like an excuse to comment about the weight of a person you just met.

Eventually, John gets around to pitching Bethenny on his dry cleaning business when he’s talking about her new apartment. He wants to make sure her furniture is fiber protected. Bethenny says all roads lead back to dry cleaning with John and it’s getting old. She says she likes Dorinda a lot, but she’s not a fan of the chubby baby she brought to lunch. Wow, Bethenny is coming hard for John early this season.

Then Bethenny brings up how Dorinda got nasty while completely wasted in the Hamptons over the summer. Dorinda says she gets sensitive when she drinks, and if something is bothering her, she’s going to try to talk about it with people while she’s sober. Uh, yeah, that sounds like the way most adults handle things.

Next episode: Dorinda gets drunk and gets defensive about John. So what’s old is new again.

The Real Housewives of New York City airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV