Type keyword(s) to search

Quick Hits

Finally, Some Real Housewives Who Love to Eat

The RHONY Season 14 cast's obsession with food is a welcome change of pace.
  • The women of The Real Housewives of New York City Season 14 aren't afraid to eat on camera. (Photo: Bravo/Peacock)
    The women of The Real Housewives of New York City Season 14 aren't afraid to eat on camera. (Photo: Bravo/Peacock)

    For 13 seasons The Real Housewives of New York made it clear that nearly each and every cast member had a weird thing about food. Episode after episode, these women would show up to their dinner reservations hours late only to let plates of small bites go to waste in front of them. Rarely would any of them touch their food let alone eat it; instead they’d down pinot grigio on an empty stomach while touting toxic diet culture. Bethenny Frankel made a whole side hustle out of it with her Skinnygirl empire, and whenever food was the center of the drama, it was usually her “guilt-free” (free of guilt caused by eating food?!) muffins or low-calorie margaritas in the spotlight. But Season 14 of the series has a brand new cast with a brand new attitude, and these women love to eat.

    Before cameras were even rolling this new friend group — Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Dana Lichy, Jenna Lyons, Jessel Taank, and Brynn Whitfield — was plagued by two food-related crises. They jump right into the drama in Episode 1, “New Era, New York.” First Erin calls out Sai and Brynn for saying they “wouldn’t be caught dead at” a famed New York City restaurant where she invites them to have a meal. (The name of the restaurant was bleeped out and there’s been much speculation about the location. Internet sleuths believe it to be Catch, censored because it was opened by Bravo’s own Top Chef winner Hung Huynh.)

    Then Sai and Erin come to verbal blows over what’s now known as Cheese-gate. At an unfilmed gathering, Sai supposedly told Erin it was weird that she had cheese at an event. While litigating the situation later, it comes to light that Sai was perhaps upset because there was only cheese to nibble on. Right off the bat the tone was set for a season that so far has revolved more around the women being hangry than anything else.

    Erin is the biggest offender for causing food-adjacent drama. In Episode 2, “Oh Christmas Tree!,” she welcomes the women to her Hamptons house with just caviar, causing Ubah to sneak out to (and lovingly name drop) Provisions, a nearby market and cafe with incredible sandwiches. Then in Episode 3, “Two Truths and No Shakshuka,” Erin refuses to make her signature shakshuka after Jenna calmly states that she doesn’t want to eat before working out, leaving the women without a meal once again. And later in Episode 6, “Anniversary, Not Sorry,” the passed apps at Erin’s anniversary party aren’t enough for the ladies who leave the party without saying goodbye to get burgers. She does not take it well.

    But even with all these indiscretions, Erin is still not afraid to take a big bite out of a juicy burger of her own on camera, just like the other women. In a complete reversal of past seasons, there’s hardly a moment where these ladies don’t have snacks ready to pop into their mouths every time they’re on camera, because if they’re hungry, they’re going to eat, dammit.

    It’s a refreshing change that makes the cast more relatable — who among us hasn’t said or done something they regret because they were hungry? — and marks a shift in the values and expectations of the casts of this series. There’s no real tension over what is “proper” when it comes to being a woman of a certain status in New York City as there was in seasons past, no bristling over frank conversations about sex, and (mostly) no judgment of the women who are just fine not being wives and mothers. These women aren’t on fad diets or pushing low-cal anything — Ubah’s line of hot sauces is about flavor over all else. They’re proving that they can be just as entertaining (if not more) as the cast of other franchises by being unapologetically themselves with a big ole sandwich in one hand and a plate of cheese in the other.

    The Real Housewives of New York City airs Sundays at 9:00 PM ET on Bravo and streams next day on Peacock. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Real Housewives of New York City, Bravo, Peacock, Bethenny Frankel, Brynn Whitfield, Erin Dana Lichy, Jenna Lyons, Jessel Taank, Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan