‘Princesses’ recap: Shabbat shalom from the Hamptons


Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed there was one princess listed in the opening credits who we didn’t meet in last week’s premiere: The blonde, cocktail waitress/artist Casey. Maybe they just couldn’t fit her in, or maybe due to her residence (Casey lives in Manhattan and not in her mom’s house on the Island) she  just didn’t fit in.

Most likely, though, they were saving Casey as a device to get the drama rolling on episode two. It turns out Erica, the princess formerly known as “the hottest girl on Long Island” (a fact we are reminded of yet again this week), is guilty of stealing Casey’s boyfriend. Earth-shattering news, except not really since it happened 10 years ago, when the princesses were just wee high school students.

Over the course of the hour Erica is established as the series’ bad girl. She shocks the other ladies by gyrating on a stripper pole and speaking openly about her sexual exploits (most notably the ones she has had with herself). Then Erica is in for a shock of her own, when she learns she also slept with Joey’s ex-boyfriend (also back in high school).

Pitted against Erica is sensitive, artsy Casey. Casey is glad to be out of Long Island, where it’s all about the clothing you wear and the car you drive. “Friendship, loyalty, and family life is all important to me,” she explains. “I don’t care about the red bottoms.”

Lest you wonder how she can still be so upset about the whole Erica thing, the producers set up a teary conversation between Casey and her brownie-baking mom, Fran. Apparently the memory of getting cheated on at age 15 brings up memories of being abandoned by her dad at age 2. So naturally Casey is terrified of joining the other cast members on a girls’ weekend in the Hamptons, where Chanel has rented a house.

A bunch of women holed up together in a luxurious destination where tensions are bound to boil over–we’ve seen it all before (like, every week on every incarnation of the Real Housewives). But this, of course, isn’t just any pseudo reality show. It’s a Jewish reality show.

Which means “super Jew” Chanel doesn’t simply want to party in the Hamptons, where in the summer meeting guys is like “shooting gefilte fish in a barrel.” She also wants to teach her less observant friends about the beauty of the Sabbath.

“I know very little about Shabbat, except for that it’s at sundown and it’s a long meal,” Ashlee tells us. Well she’s in for real (if slightly halachically deficient) education.

Chanel has gone all out for this “traditional” dinner, hiring a chef because you’re “not allowed to labor on Shabbat,” and bringing along a big old bottle of Manischewitz.

She covers her friends’ heads with scarves as they light the candles. “Close your eyes and pray for what you want,” Chanel instructs.

For a minute it seems it’s all working, that this is going to be a meaningful meal. “I don’t do Sabbath or the synagogue thing,” Joey says. “But when I see Chanel doing prayers I feel connected to my roots.”

But then Erica starts babbling on about how she likes to meditate and Casey tells her to stop talking and Erica cries and then turns furious that anyone could possibly speak to her that way.

What happens next? We won’t know until next week’s episode, which we’re really, really hoping does not involve a shul visit.

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