Last night’s “Princesses: Long Island” was seriously high in the drama department, containing several genuinely novel elements. Amazing, right? I mean, how could the producers have know certain cast members would act in such surprising ways and reveal things they managed to withhold from us for the past 9 episodes? It was like a Rosh Hashanah miracle or something, in line with the women all showing up in their clubbiest outfits for Rebbetzin Chanel’s tashlich ceremony. But more on that later.
First, following a big fight with Joey, Ashlee goes missing and ends up in the hospital. We don’t ever see her there, which could mean one of two things: A) She spent a total of 30 seconds in triage before her dad showed up, or B) The whole thing was so real and scary that even an exhibitionist such as herself would not allow cameras inside.
Based on Ashlee’s choked up description of the visit (“I got to the hospital and they had to give me a Benadryl!”) we’re going with the former, although we’ll likely never know the truth. What we do find out is that last year Ashlee was actually very sick — she suffered a stroke that left her bed-ridden for eight weeks and temporarily unable to speak.
In other news, after talking marriage all season long, Jeff doesn’t propose to Amanda. Instead, brace yourself, he presents her with a promise ring. “Jewish people don’t give promise rings,” Amanda tells us, which does actually seem accurate. Still, she seems pretty thrilled. Mazel tov, guys.
Okay, so now that we’ve got the breaking news out of the way, we can talk about the best thing about the episode, which is that it was almost exactly like every other episode. While this might sound like a slight, it’s not. This predictability, this “Real Housewives” attend a never-ending bat mitzvah formula, is what imbues this show that certain awful-yet-compelling quality we find so irresistible. Sometimes it’s knowing what to expect (even when what we’re expecting is sort of awful) that makes something good. Here, 10 examples from the finale.
- There were Jewisms galore, beginning with an out of context “Shabbat shalom” from Erica’s boyfriend Rob, and ending with an avalanche of misguided lines about the meaning Judaism at Chanel’s tashlich ceremony.
- A doting, enabling father makes an appearance. This time it’s Erica’s. He’s the “best daddy ever!” presumably because he takes Erica and her friends out on his boat, the Hat Trick.
- A fight — this one between Joey and Ashlee — is dragged out and rehashed at mind-numbing length.
- Chanel cries when recounting said fight.
- Casey, who has somehow been pegged as the reasonable one, attempts to mediate said fight.
- Erica says gross things, such as “I broke my vagina bone.”
- Amanda delivers witty zingers, such as “If you like it put a yacht on it.”
- Amanda and Jeff induce nausea with a make out session, this time, during the pseudo promise ring proposal, which occurs on the Long Island Railroad, where they first met.
- A Jewish custom is misrepresented. It’s kind of interesting that the show introduced tashlich, which most viewers are likely unfamiliar with. And it’s fitting too, seeing as how it’s all about casting away your sins and wow, have these girls sinned in so many ways. But tashlich is usually performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, not at a random time determined by a Great Neck resident named Chanel. Plus, it involves the recitation of a specific blessing — not half-assed statements like, “Thank you for giving me this wonderful life,” or “I apologize for keeping myself too guarded.” Real sincere, ladies.
- The evening ends with the promise of more drama. “Being Jewish means you can cast aside your sins from the previous year,” Erica begins, then cut to Joey: “and begin again with a clean slate.” Then Amanda chimes in with, “Now we just have to make sure not to make a mess of next year!” Right before the credits roll, Chanel says “Amen,” arms lifted skyward.
Next year in Long Island, ladies!