The New 'RHONY' Cast is a Slap In the Face to Long-Time 'Housewife' Fans

new rhony cast
credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo

Bravo has officially announced the new cast of the Real Housewives of New York and fans. Are. Pissed.

The announcement, which occurred at this year’s BravoCon, revealed the seven new cast members who will help reboot RHONY for season 14.

While Bravo honored fans’ desires for a more diverse cast, the network got everything else, well, wrong.

The seven women are all incredibly beautiful, fashionable, thin, and in the prime of life. If it were any other reality show, it would be a total cliché. But for a Housewife franchise, it goes against everything that fans love about the show.

new real hosuewives of new york cast
credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo

The thing that makes the Real Housewives franchise stand apart is the casts are filled with middle-aged women who are desperately trying to hold on to their youth and relevance as they wear clothes that are considered way too young for them, drink like fish, fight like teenagers, and hold on to petty grudges because they literally have nothing else in their lives.

When RHONY first premiered in 2008, they struck gold immediately. The five OGs of the series — Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer, and Jill Zarin — were made for reality television. With the exception of Bethenny, the women were actual housewives whose lives were filled with nothing but frivolity. And when Sonja Morgan joined the series in season 3, RHONY officially solidified itself as one of the best Housewife series of them all.

Sonja embodied everything that was great about the Real Housewives. Her desperate attempts to hold on to her ex-husband’s family name and legacy while dealing with a dwindling fortune mixed with her kooky personality made her a modern-day Little Edie in the making. Combine that with Ramona’s ridiculous and constant self-centered antics, Bethenny’s brutal outspokenness, and everything that is the Countess Luann, and you had perfection.

(Fortunately, Bravo isn’t ditching Sonja completely. She and Luann are set to get their own spinoff with a Simple Life-esque premise.)

rhony cast
Original RHONY cast season 1
credit: Bravo/NBC

The new cast members, however, have actual lives. Jenna Lyons has a long, semi-respected fashion career (depending on who you ask), and has been credited with completely rebranding J. Crew in the 2010s. The rest of the cast members are bloggers, models, and influencers, all of whom have bigger ambitions than merely throwing the best charity gala in town. The show is a means to an end for them, a way for them to promote and expand their “brands”.

In the past, the only stepping stone RHONY has served for the ladies is to failed pinot grigio companies and never-to-be-seen toaster ovens (and that’s the way we like it).

There are many, many reality TV shows out there filled with young, beautiful people trying to make it big on Instagram. But the Real Housewives has never been one of them. And that’s what makes the franchise so brilliant. It’s a peek into the beautiful, glamorous, but ultimately sad lives of women who have too much money and not much else.

new rhony cast season 14
credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo

While the new RHONY cast is certainly a huge departure from the seasons past, it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who’s a fan of Bravo. The network has been trying desperately to introduce younger and younger housewives into all of their shows, only for them to disappear after a season or two, unable to keep up with the powerhouse of women who dominate the series.

And yet the producers at Bravo can’t seem to take a hint. They, like most of Hollywood, think younger is better, despite the outcries from viewers.

By ignoring their fans, they are destroying all that is great with Real Housewives. They’re not merely launching a “reboot” but essentially a brand new show that will likely be unrecognizable to long-time fans.

Will the new show bring in new viewers? Maybe. But at what cost?

The Real Housewives producers hit genius when they first launched the original series, which was set in Orange County, in 2006 but have seemingly lost their way in the last few years.

Because true Bravo fans know that RHONY isn’t the only series to suffer an identity crisis. RHOC struggled the last few years leading to a failed “reboot” that saw the end of OGs Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson. The backlash was swift and in July 2022, Tamra announced she would be returning to the show.

RHOBH has also suffered massively since the loss of Lisa Vanderpump and was only briefly saved by Erika Girardi’s legal woes, a sheer stroke of luck for Bravo. The most recent season, however, was met with bad reviews as fans called out the boring storylines as well as the tiresome and unnecessary viciousness of Lisa Rinna and the rest of the RHOBH Mean Girls.

If Bravo doesn’t figure out ways to mitigate these situations, it could lose its fans forever. And if the RHONY season 14 cast is any indication of the network’s plans for the future, then perhaps they should start working on a plan B.

To learn more about the new RHONY cast, head here. You can also check out the cast members’ Instagram accounts below.

Jenna Lyons

 

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Sai De Silva

 

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Sai De Silva (@scoutthecity) • Instagram photos and videos

Ubah Hassan

 

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Erin Dana Lichy

 

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Lizzy Savetsky

 

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Jessel Taank

 

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Brynn Whitfield

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.