The Essential LuAnn de Lesseps

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Five episodes to watch while you do cocaine with Italian diplomats.

Welcome back to The Essential…, where I propose five episodes that embody the perfect madness of one special Housewife. LuAnn de Lesseps is the Madonna of RHONY, always in some new phase of reinvention: The Countess, The Cool Countess, The Bride (with all of the Tarantino-esque implications of that title). Here’s our personal Countess Collection.

S02E07: “Kelly vs. Bethenny”
Best known for its titular conflict, where Bethenny aggressed Kelly unprovoked at the Brass Monkey [citation needed], this episode features Countess-era LuAnn at her most out-of-touch and embarrassing. In a horrifying, endless scene reminiscent of the “Scott’s Tots” episode of The Office, LuAnn visits some inner city teens at the community centre to graciously give them life advice. Best viewed in ten second instalments with a stiff drink on hand.

S05E13: “Pirate Booty Call”
“LuAnn fucks a pirate and then badly botches the cover-up” is some of the best broad comedy in television history.

S07E15: “Don’t Be All, Like, Uncool”
A nice counterpoint to “Pirate Booty Call,” “Don’t Be All, Like, Uncool” showcases two years of personal growth for our heroine, who has since realized that the best reaction to someone hassling you the morning after your vacation sex romp is to palm their face out of the way and hunt down some Advil.

S08E09: “December: Berkshires County”
Warmly remembered as the best ensemble piece in the Housewives canon, the quintessential RHONY Christmas episode is also a LuAnn showcase. There’s a real joy to watching the women scatter into separate rooms to avoid the wrath of Lu as she spirals deeper and deeper into drunken psychosis. A must-watch for any Skinnygirl truther.

S08E19: “Tomfoolery”
Bethenny reveals photos of Tom cheating on LuAnn at the Regency. A chaotic masterpiece that birthed a million iconic quotes, “Tomfoolery” is the climax of eight years of Bethenny/LuAnn angst and eight weeks of LuAnn/Tom angst. No episode better encapsulates the delicate mix of absurdity and emotional urgency that defines D’Agostino-era LuAnn.



S01E04: “Social Wife”
LuAnn ditches her kids to go out partying in Manhattan.

S04E11: “Debt Becomes Her”
LuAnn gives Alex McCord some fashion advice.

S04E15: “Video Killed the Countess”
LuAnn records the music video for her timeless second single, “Chic, C’est La Vie.”

S05E08: “Blinded by the Wine”
LuAnn fumbles an attempt to publicly humiliate Ramona.

2 thoughts on “The Essential LuAnn de Lesseps

  1. great list! luann in particular has so many great character MOMENTS. she might be the housewife who i can remember the most specific, random scenes of? to this day i’m still waiting for the opportunity to use “i’m not going to let her get away with being inappropriate” irl.

    just throwing it out there, but i’d love an Essential Phaedra, Lisa Rinna, and Jackie Gillies although i’m sure you’ve already got a Phaedra one drafted.

    1. there is of course an essential phaedra coming down the pipe! i’m still waiting on the rinna one; i think i’ll probably have enough material after one more season. rinna is great but imo she only truly hit her stride this past year. jackie’s a good one, too; i’ll undertake a melbourne rewatch soon enough and that will let me know. i have the next essential planned out though and it’s none of the above so stay tuned~

      and yeah, luann is forever expressing her personality on a micro scale. i think she’s such a defined character nine seasons in and it’s largely because of small moments building on top of one another.

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