- Real Housewives of New York -Hermione Lodge Is Leaving Riverdale For 'RHONY,' So Let's Imagine Her First Season With The Housewives
Back in Riverdale Season 2, Bravo's Andy Cohen, a "very old, very good" friend of the Lodge family, showed up on the CW show to endorse Hermione Lodge for mayor. Now, the crossover has come full circle. At the end of Season 5's second episode, "The Preppy Murders," Hermione announced that she had joined the cast of Real Housewives Of New York City, for real, after years and years of Andy hounding her to make the leap to reality television.
It's a delightful send off for the character, played by Marisol Nichols, who was slated to leave the show after Season 4, along with Skeet Ulrich, who plays F.P. Jones. COVID-19 related production issues caused Season 4 to bleed into Season 5, meaning this could likely be her final arc on the show.
Which is a goddamn shame, because Hermione would actually make the best Housewife. And as a devotee of both Bravo and Riverdale, I would take an entire season of just watching Hermione integrate herself into the current cast. Who needs Katy Keene when we could have Sonja Morgan and Hermione throwing back martinis at The Regency? Or, better yet, have a night on the town at La Bonne Nuit a la Beautique in Season 8?
There are so many possibilities, so please allow a girl to dream and walk you through Hermione's (imaginary, yet) iconic first season on RHONY.
Hermione is no mere "friend of" the Housewives. Given her close relationship with Andy, she's definitely getting an apple and a good tagline for her first season. Here are some of the taglines she considered:
"You can call me the boss, the mayor, or a bitch. Either way, I run this town"
"My ex may own prisons, but I'm the judge, jury, and executioner."
"I used to run a small town, but Manhattan is my empire."
"Talk is cheap. But my tastes are not."
"Where I'm from, they call me The Boss."
After being chased out of New York City in the wake of Hiram's crimes, the Lodge family no longer has a home base in the Big Apple. However, given her family's penchant for buying up properties to make a point, Hermione wins a bid on Sonja Morgan's townhouse. It's not the Pembrooke, but it has potential!
At first, Sonjarita is happy to finally rid herself of her "Grey Gardens" and put some cash in the bank (cashmere joggers don't pay for themselves!) But when Hermione hangs her self portrait in the entryway and starts ripping up the Old World wallpaper and carpeting to match her more modern taste, Sonja breaks down faster than if Hermione had touched the fucking Morgan letters (which you don't do). Hermione's housewarming party mid-season ends with Sonja mumbling about her roses in the backyard. The two make amends by the end of the season.
Her Main Storyline
The renovation of the Morgan townhouse and her deteriorating friendship with Sonja takes up a lot of the first half of the season. It's not until the cast runs into Dorinda Medley at a charity event, that the women learn, on good authority from Dorinda's ex John (who has laundered for Hiram in the past), about the Lodge family's more nefarious dealings.
Cue a confessional interview with Ramona Singer saying, "Jingle Jangle? It doesn't even sound like a good drug!!!!... No, no, I've never tried it. Never. I don't do that sort of stuff are you kidding me? Wow. Wow. Thats... Wow."
A subplot includes Hermione dabbling in what she calls "politics," but it's really just an Upper East Side community board.
Her Side Hustle
The big question of the season is whether or not Hermione has left her shady business dealings behind, with rumors spiraling that there's no way her cut of Hiram's business is enough to live on. Still, she makes no attempt at a toaster oven, jewelry, or skincare line. In fact, she is downright snarky about some of the women's claim to "entrepreneurship" in her confessionals. "Married to the Mob? Honey, I've been there and NO ONE is wearing athleisure."
A Terrible Getaway
To ingratiate herself with her new friends, Hermione offers to take the women to Lodge Lodge to celebrate the holidays. Luann de Lesseps wanders in first with her bags and sunglasses still on, noting that the place is so rustic, there isn't even a lower level. Leah McSweeney and new cast member Eboni Williams bunk up in a bedroom together where they find a bob-cut wig and some lingerie under the bed. Hermione denies that the items are hers, but it will follow her the rest of the season.
Hermione and Ramona continue to butt heads when the latter starts bossing Smithers around and treating him like a "servant" — and yes, Smithers left Riverdale with Hermione.
Her Relationships With The Cast
Hermione does hit it off with Leah, Eboni, and Luann when she brings the "girls" to see her daughter's friend, Josie, perform in the Lower East Side, "just around the corner" from where Luann's niece and daughter took her to an art show one time. Leah admits to having tried Fizzle Rocks back when she was a party girl.
When Luann earnestly peppers in butchered Spanish in conversation with the former Riverdale mayor, Hermione has to remind her that she grew up speaking English, aside from some choice words. Having both been incarcerated in some capacity, the two end up bonding, with Hermione teaming up with Luann for a charity to support women in prison, complete with a field trip to the Lodge Detention Center. No one on the show mentions that it is a for-profit prison except for some activist fans on Twitter and a snarky producer who gets a death stare from Hermione during her confessional.
Ramona refuses to get over Hermione's questionable past, but everyone knows she's just jealous of the younger, wealthier woman deep down. "How can you support women if you let your daughter run a speakeasy!? It's not right," she barely whispers while at dinner. "Avery would never be allowed to do something like that. Never, oh my God. Wow."
Page Six reports that her relationship with the cast was strained long before the season started filming due to her negotiating one of the highest salaries in RHONY history. (Don't worry, it will be the topic du jour for Part 2 of the reunion.)
Her Bravoverse Controversies
While a guest on Watch What Happens Live (alongside Dua Lipa), Hermione catches some heat after pleading the fifth about her iniquitous past in Riverdale during a game. Fans (and Braunwyn Windham-Burke) go wild trying to turn up evidence of her crimes and the hashtag #LodgeLife goes viral with teens from Riverdale sharing their experiences with Jingle Jangle, Fizzle Rocks, and being traumatized by the Lodge family's misdeeds.
Instead of pulling a Danielle Staub and denying tangible facts, Hermione issues a statement about how the accusations are sexist and that she should be judged only on her own merit, and not her ex-husband or his businesses. She comes out of the season a feminist hero and Shop By Bravo sells stemless wine glasses with her tagline etched on them.
At the reunion, Hermione and Ramona have it out. Ramona storms off the set for a "bathroom break," while Sonja points out that Singer is just jealous. "She's hot! That's why Ramona doesn't like her, it has nothing to do with her ex-husband. Look at that skin!"
Hermione is forced to apologize to Luann and Leah for making some mean comments about their fashion and behavior in her confessionals and the women all agree to put their differences aside. The day afterwards, Hermione posts a selfie on Instagram from the reunion set with the cast... but edits Ramona out, solidifying her apple next season.
Images: The CW, Bravo