Forget spreading the news; start throwing your legs, drinking wine through a mask, and (most importantly) supporting other women, because the Real Housewives of New York City is finally nearing the dawn of a new age. After a rapid decline in quality and a dreadful thirteenth season, Bravo shut down what was once one of its most beloved Housewives franchises to regroup, reset, and (one hopes) make it nice. That meant clearing the decks entirely, making way for another generation of all-new New York housewives.
More than a year after that announcement sent shockwaves through the Bravo fandom—and after some additional bumps in the road with its new cast—Bravo unveiled the first trailer for the new, rebooted season Monday afternoon. Skeptics can rest easy: RHONY Season 14 looks like a frenzied, contentious, and hyper-glamorous fresh start, combining the highfalutin airs of the franchise’s early seasons with the merciless drama of its heyday.
Season 14 welcomes new Housewives Jenna Lyons, Sai De Silva, Uban Hassan, Jessel Taank, Brynn Whitfield, and Erin Lichy for what will surely be the wildest ride of each of their lives. Though, these women are no strangers to turbulence.
There are model/philanthropists (Hassan), socialites and content creators (Whitfield, Lichy, and De Silva), high-powered publicists (Taank), and even famed designers-turned-former reality stars (Lyons). The eclectic set of careers and backgrounds within the cast is already a breath of fresh air, a total 180 from the homogenous lifestyles of the previous cast, pre-network shakeup. While old-style RHONY was endlessly compelling, it often veered into a study of the dark side of New York social scenes as youth fades, leaving its cast unsure of where to go when so much ground had already been covered.
The Season 14 revamp already promises a return to the glitz that RHONY was founded on. The trailer has Lichy eyeing a diamond ring that costs $1.2 million; Lyon’s designer shoe closet that puts Carrie Bradshaw’s in the Sex and the City movie to shame; and Taank and her husband debating on sending their child to a private school with a $62,000 tuition. “Tom Cruise sent his kid here!” Taank protests. Tom Cruise also rides on plane wings, not sure he’s the soundest guy to follow in the footsteps of.
When new Housewives franchises begin (or have a major cast shuffle), Housewives will sometimes be slow to warm to one another while they figure out what makes good television. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem like the case here. This cast of six appears to have killer chemistry from the jump, with each one fighting to be the star of the trailer. Taank has to clarify whether or not a popsicle got stuck in her vagina (apparently, it did not); Hassan is happy to rip Lichy’s sunglasses off her face during an argument; and De Silva gleefully tells Lyons that they all talk shit behind her back.
But it’s Lyons and Whitfield who really steal this trailer, recalling the frick-and-frack friendship of former RHONY stars Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer, with some slightly more sapphic vibes. Whitfield likens her relationships to Elizabeth Taylor’s serial dating, and catches accusations from her fellow Housewives of cozying up to a married man while cameras are watching. Whitfield even connects with Lyons on a more intimate level. The two of them share an innocent kiss at a gala event, with Whitfield later posing, “Maybe I’ve got a little crush [on Jenna].”
Even with a good friend to come to her defense, Lyons can’t quite escape the fire and ire of her fellow castmates when it comes to her apparent pompousness. Hassan levels a barb against the designer, saying that “Jenna can suck my dick,” before De Silva throws a kicker at her by accusing her of not flying with the rest of the group to a cast trip because Lyons didn’t want to fly in coach.
Anyone who might have had doubts about whether Lyons’ charming, public-facing personality would be good for this kind of reality television should be plenty satiated by this trailer. In fact, it even seems like Lyons’ ambitious and unfiltered nature might make her the Bethenny Frankel archetype of this new cast. Anyone who witnessed RHONY’s speedy descent after Frankel’s exit after Season 11 knows that a slightly delusional, but completely candid power player is necessary for this particular series’ success.
But judging this cast compared to franchise alumni would be a disservice to just how exciting this moment is. We’ve never seen a remodeling like this in Bravo’s history, and the network has staked the success of an entire series’ continuation on these six women. It can’t just be background television, hell, it doesn’t just have to be good. RHONY Season 14 needs to be so great that it dispels longtime fans’ suspicions that Bravo acted too impulsively when axing its beloved seasoned Housewives—even if some of them will soon be returning in Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip Season 5.
I don’t mean to make myself the voice of the people, but as a RHONY devotee who has spent a third of his life incessantly rewatching the entire series on a loop as comfort television, Season 14 has all of the makings for classic New York drama. On top of that, it actually looks and feels like New York City—the one that isn’t comprised entirely of older, rich white ladies. Whether or not this season is good has yet to be determined, but at least it will finally be real.
Season 14 of Real Housewives of New York premieres July 16 on Bravo.
Keep obsessing! Sign up for the Daily Beast’s Obsessed newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.