Secrets and Wives- Bravo Finally Nails Long Island

From Left: Liza Sandler, Amy Miller, Gail Greenberg,Susan Doneson,Cori Goldfarb, and Andi Black of Secrets and Wives Photo: Bravotv.com

From Left: Liza Sandler, Amy Miller, Gail Greenberg,Susan Doneson,Cori Goldfarb, and Andi Black of Secrets and Wives
Photo: Bravotv.com

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

Cori Goldfarb, Gail Greenberg, Andi Black, Amy Miller, Liza Sandler, and Susan Doneson. It may read like the roster from my childhood summer camp, but this is actually the cast from Bravo’s latest reality venture Secrets and WivesThis is Bravo’s second attempt to bring us catfights and crazy from Long Island, NY, and I think this time they may have gotten it right. Princesses Long Island was just too young, and the drama was too juvenile. Even myself, who is fluent in the language of the Jewish American Princess, couldn’t get into it. However, with SW, the princesses are all wearing their big girl panties, and dropping them for one another’s husbands. Throw in all the talk of blow jobs and it really is like my summer camp.

The cast of Secrets has all the makings of reality star success. The women are unapologetically raw with their language, they think out loud, and they live over the top in magnificent mansions…some floated by ex-husbands. There are lots of ex-husbands and ex-husband drama to boot. Liza Sandler (@TheLizaSandler) is the typical Long Island blonde tanorexic. She lives in a fabulous home that her ex is trying to sell out from under her. Episode one featured her crying in frustration into the steering wheel of her Mercedes after he pushes her buttons via phone.

No need to worry too much about Liza, as she’s never alone. She’s got her BFF Andi Black (@TheAndiBlack) to share her home and fart in her bed…yes this was really a conversation on the show. I’m still not sure exactly what Andi is doing at Liza’s. I often miss some of the details on the show because I’m trying to tell all these bottle blondes apart, hence why it’s taken me two episodes to review.Thank heavens for Susan Doneson.

Susan (@SusanDoneson) is the token brunette, and Italian (or wannabe Italian…is Doneson an Italian name?) on the show. Italians and Jews are like peanut butter and jelly. We all have the same values…food, family, loud talking, and food. Susan lives on the South Shore of Long Island, which means in comparison to her mansion dwelling North Shore counterparts, she’s slumming it a-la Antonia Gorga in a nice sized colonial. She also works, and doesn’t cease to remind the wealthy housewives around her of that fact. Susan is not only the resident Italian, she’s also the resident pot stirrer. She’s got a story and opinion about everybody and has outed Liza as the group slut. Susan’s husband is a Tony Soprano type who hung out with Liza in high school. Note most of these women have known each other since high school. These days Susan’s husband seems better suited to hang out with Dorinda Medley‘s boyfriend on The Real Housewives of New York City

Amy Miller (@amydmillerr) is the hopeless romantic of the group, in an equally hopeless relationship. She’s sweet and vulnerable, and is with a veritable jerk. Well, he’s only a jerk in front of other people and cameras. Like Snuffelupgas was to Big Bird, this is Amy’s boyfriend to everybody else. Nobody, not even her own son, has seen the supposed soft side of this man. The women all talk about Amy in worried whispers. To me she’s the most down to earth and I hope she gets her happy ending.

Gail Greenberg (@Gailygreenberg) is the group outcast. The second (or is it third) wife of the North Shore’s most prominent plastic surgeon, she shuffles around her palatial estate with her little dog and maid in tow. Whether packing for fabulous vacations, or being the star of Soul Cycle class, Gail is forever chasing the fountain of youth in pigtails…yes she wore pigtails in episode two, just ask Susan.

Cori Goldfarb (@Corigoldfarb) may just be my favorite. She’s an entrepreneur who traded in her Hamptons vacation home to open Truth and Beauty, a luxurious spa that appears to be bleeding money as she and her husband struggle to get it off the ground. Cori is no nonsense and blunt, but retains her class at the same time, which is more than I can say for the others. She raises her daughters with the right dose of love and sarcasm, the same sarcasm with which she nurtures her marriage.

If Secrets and Wives can retain its natural flow between the women of the cast this show could be the reality savior Bravo has been looking for. However, if history repeats itself and the women get caught up in faking drama we will end up with Real Housewives Of New Jersey with a side of Challah bread. For now however I give Secrets and Wives two tackily manicured thumbs up.

She’s A Lady-Why Caitlyn Jenner Looks Better Than We Do

Bruce Jenner no more. The former Olympian reveals his softer side as Caitlyn on July's Vanity Fair.

Bruce Jenner no more. The former Olympian reveals his softer side as Caitlyn on July’s Vanity Fair.

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

She’s he-ere! After months of speculation (What will her name be?What will she wear?When will we see her?) the female is out of the bag, and it’s the bag from a very high end store. Bruce Jenner ‘s long awaited spread with Vanity Fair made it’s debut today and tongues have not stopped wagging.

Caitlyn Jenner (I was still hoping for Jennerfer), as he has chosen to be called, graces the cover of the latest VF in a champagne body suit with killer hair and makeup. Stealing the thunder from stepdaughter Kim Kardashian, who announced she is expecting her second child with Kanye West just yesterday, Jenner’s big reveal seems to be the hot topic du jour.

Now I could go into the family’s reaction, the quotes in the article…blah blah blah, but really you can find that on dozens of sites. I want to take another perspective, the one that you, me, and most of the female population is thinking. God-dammit why is “he” prettier than me?

Jenner looks stunning in a very glamorous larger than life Jessica Lange kind of way. She’s got flowing hair, radiant skin, and breasts so round and perky that even my 18 year-old former self is jealous. So why is Bruce more beautiful than the rest of us who were born with a double x chromosome?

For starters the photos were shot by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz. You can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig, but if you put lipstick on a pig and have Annie Leibovitz photograph it, it’s Christie Brinkley. In addition to the best photographer, Jenner also had the best of the best when it came to her beauty squad. Oribe for those amazing locks, Mark Carasquillo for makeup, a Deborah Lippmann  manicure (we know she loved that), and designer threads from Donna Karan, Badgley Mischka, and  Zac Posen. Toss in the magic of high end fashion mag air brushing and who wouldn’t look good?

Even though us average females may pale in comparison to Caitlyn Jenner, I’m still overjoyed for her, as is the transgender community. I reached out to  Lauren Foster, one of the first transgender models to be in Vogue magazine in the 80s (and on Housewives as a recurring appearance on Real Housewives of Miami), to get her thoughts. Foster, who is working on a website for the transgender community (she describes it as the “Cosmo for #GirlsLikeUs) had this to say to me when I asked her for her thoughts on the big reveal:

“I’m very proud of Caitlyn Jenner’s moment,” Foster says. “ I hope she continues to open minds and hearts by living on her own terms.”

Still, as happy as we are for the hard C of the Kardashian empire, it’s enough to make any average lady feel a little intimidated when the former Olympic champion face of Wheaties can rock a bustier better than she can. However, when you wait 65 years to put on a dress, in the words of RuPaul, “I’ve got one thing to say…you better work!”

You can follow Caitlyn Jenner on her new Twitter account @Caitlyn_Jenner. I bet this is why the name was so secret, so she could protect that handle!

Mad Men: A farewell

By Lesley Rousso (@MommyRou)

Today, I’m a little heartbroken.  I know what you’re thinking, get over it, it’s just a TV show.  My logical head agrees with you but the other side, not so much. I happened upon Mad Men a few years ago when I was looking for something new to binge watch.  I think I had just come off of Brothers & Sisters, another great show.   I was working on the Preschool  yearbook and I started watching.  It took me an episode or two but hooked me fast.  I’m a Virgo, and I’m very much in my head thinking, a lot of the time.  Mad Men was thought provoking, it left me asking questions and wondering about life in the 1960’s.  From what I’ve heard, it seemed a pretty accurate depiction.  I watched this season, especially those last seven episodes, breathing in every last scene. It was basically torture because I knew it was ending.  I’m a television addict, we all know this but there are few shows that latch themselves on to me like Mad Men did. As much as I love a good reality show or Scandal type soap opera, a great drama can really grab me.  Like I said, there are few shows.  Friday Night Lights falls into this category as does American Dreams.  Anyone remember that show? Brittany Snow was in it, she was a dancer on Bandstand.  It was so good.  Then NBC just ended it, leaving us hanging.  At least last night, we got a resolution.  There are spoilers ahead so if you haven’t watched yet, what the hell are you wating for?  Go watch and then come back.

I thought last night’s episode was perfect. That montage in the beginning, set to Times of Your Life by Paul Anka had me ugly crying. By the way, I downloaded it immediately and have listened to it way too many times this morning. My only real negative is that there was a little too much Stephanie for my taste, but we had to get Don to that retreat.  I loved Peggy & Stan‘s little game of telephone. Let’s face it, I was just glad that Peggy wound up with someone.  I was starting to think that she’d end up alone, married only to her job.  Roger & Marie were just okay for me.  I wanted him to end up with Joan. I knew it wouldn’t happen though, I think that ship sailed.  Pete & Trudy hop a lear jet and I’m sure have a very nice life in Witchita now.

This of course now brings me to Betty Draper Francis. Poor Bets, all those cigarettes and cocktails at the kitchen table didn’t fare her well.  I think I felt worse about her cancer than she did.  She honestly took her diagnosis much better than I thought she would’ve. Don calling her Birdie on that last phone call was everything.  I mean, they clearly didn’t belong together, but they loved one another. Remember that encounter when they were visiting Bobby at sleepaway camp? One of my favorite episodes.  The ending was brilliant and true to Don Draper, who we all know is a very complex character. Or is he?  You had to love him and root for him, no matter what bad things he did. Everything for Don, was really just about his next great idea.  That was his high. He looked for that high in every woman and every drink but only truly found it, when he had his next great ad, and, every experience, good, bad or otherwise, led him to it. Hence the retreat.  I’d like to buy the world a coke, and keep it company.  That’s the real thing…  1431960293_don-draper-ohm-lg