The Real Housewives of New York City Reality Check: 'Dueling Labor Day Parties'

Bravo's Real Housewives franchise is so riddled with catty fights, extravagant parties and shameless publicity stunts, that it is hard to decipher which tear-filled moments are genuine and which are just the creation of self-loathing PAs hired to continually escalate the drama quotient (DQ). Fortunately, Movieline is here to deliver that slap-across-the-face that each housewife (especially Ramona) deserves, with its Reality Check recaps. Each week, we will call out the truest and most fake moments from the previous night's Real Fake/Jackpot and recognize the most offensive housewives along the way. So let's begin shall we, with last night's episode, "Dueling Labor Day Parties."

For those who missed last week's third season premiere, there were two important lessons steeped inside 60 minutes of fakery: "A shot of Patron is the best remedy to an uncomfortable yacht party" and "To most effectively deny having plastic surgery, just lament that you've gained five pounds." With those words in mind, let's examine the moments that hit the Real/Fake Jackpot.

REAL: A Housewife's Daughter's Depression, After Breaking Both Wrists Trying to Escape Her Mother's House in the Hamptons


Finally, a character that viewers can relate to! Victoria, 15, the sullen daughter of "Countless" LuAnn de Lesseps, managed to garner sympathy from every viewer last night in only two minutes of screen time. Victoria's existence doesn't really fit into the busy lifestyle of her recent divorcee mother, but she was forced into a scene that day to show off LuAnn's softer side. A softer side that was further established by a visit from their ex-housekeeper, Rosie.

Upon entering the Hamptons residence, the housekeeper embraced Victoria and exclaimed "Look at your wrists!" Like a bad one-act about teenage cutting, the depressed daughter insincerely mumbled "Silly me" while LeAnn led cameras outside and sang, "Silly Victoria!"

LuAnn continued her generosity campaign, serving her former housekeeper ("This is a nice switch Rosie. I'm bringing you the tea now!"), moaning about her difficult life and then voicing regret that her new housekeeper wasn't present to learn Rosie's "wonderful red snapper recipe." Victoria sat captive to the exchange with bandages around both wrists -- an image that producers probably realized at the last minute looked like Victoria spent the summer botching suicides. Fortunately, LuAnn was available for a reshoot, in which the housewife cheerfully explained her daughter's injury: "She fell off the roof. She's lucky she only broke her wrists. I think she may have been trying to sneak out."

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