There comes a time in every New Yorker’s life when you wish you possessed selective amnesia. Regret having foolishly stepped into the empty subway car? Sorry you Googled to find out what’s really in your favorite cart’s street meat? Couldn’t avert your eyes when you spotted your creepy neighbor and his even creepier paramour naked through your window across the alley?
Some things witnessed in our not-so-fair city are so disconcerting you can do nothing more than pray for a mental rinse-and-spit in the hopes of getting rid of the figurative aftertaste.
Which brings us to the sixth episode of “Million Dollar Listing New York.” Outside of a brief appearance by The Real Deal‘s Zachary Kussin (he’s one of the two reporters in the show), the latest installment of the Bravo reality series forces us to see and hear some things that have us begging for a sort of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” mind. Sadly, Duane Reade does not sell brain floss for when the Three Little Pigs of Real Estate are subjected to racial slurs and sexual- orientation insults, along with various unsavory innuendos and allusions to dead grandparents. Remarkably, the boys seem oblivious to the apish behavior — clearly a case of speaking, hearing and seeing no evil.
Still, when it comes to our beloved MDLNY, we can’t seem to look away.
Here are some things we wish we could unsee and unhear:
1. “I thought this was a drag queen party” — Luis is invited to a talent show by his crazy friend Sonja who knows everyone. It is hosted by developer Ian Reisner, who, aside from hosting drag queen events, has 25 units at 230 Central Park South to sell. Luis is hoping to get an intro. But when Sonja shrilly mentions this to Ian, he replies, “I do real estate from 9-5, not 5-9.” although he makes it fairly clear he’d like to “do” Luis 24/7, comparing him to a young Ricky Ricardo. Our ears burn when Luis answers, “Who the f**k is Ricky Ricardo?” Blasphemy!
The aural assault on the viewers’ ears continues when Ian comments that Luis is so cute he must be gay. Luis explains, he is “very straight” and the group rebukes that with, “Maybe we can change him.” Throw into the mix a few lame “pianist”/“penis” jokes, and Ian calling Sonja a slut and we begin to wish we could be graced with sudden memory loss.
When Luis is forced to don a bright pink wig and sing as a drag queen we are left reaching for earplugs and a mental loofah.
2. One house, two offers — Once again we see Ryan trying to sell his recently exorcised Murray Hill townhome. While we are hoping we are not going to be forced yet again to peer down into the basement, things appear to have turned around. Prospective buyers feel a new lightness to the place, which leads Ryan to gleefully scream, “A bidding war, bitches!”
Technology is apparently not seller Patricia’s strong suit. She has no cell phone or email. Ryan responds in frustration: “What am I supposed to do, call the Pony Express?” He finally reaches her to tell her he’s received his first below-asking offer. Patricia urges him to try to have it increased.
Although we are thankfully spared glimpses into the dolls that haunt the house, one spooky entity remains: Patricia. When looked at for too long, she morphs into a combo of Jessica Lange on “American Horror Story” and a young Angie Dickinson circa 1980 in “Dressed to Kill.”
When Ryan forces a best and final offer, he ultimately closes the deal with an above list, all-cash offer of $4 million. We are also relieved to get an answer to last week’s burning question of “What’s with all those creepy dolls?” Turns out Patricia is an artist who uses them for sculpture.
3. Devil with a red suit on — While Fredrik tells us the “devil is in the details” in regard to his negotiations between Zeke and Zach, the respective owner and potential buyer of his 101 Warren Street listing, clearly the devil is actually in a red suit. Our retinas burn when we see Fredrik clad in bright crimson without a hint of irony. He’s far more pimped out than the $11 million unit he is trying to sell.
Zeke is seeing red, although not quite as much as viewers are, because of Zach’s lowball offer of $100,000 for the furniture in his Tribeca unit. Fredrik’s assistant Jordan tries to ascertain the retail value of the rugs and housewares bought two years ago. When they are alerted that the items cost $800,000 — eight times what Zach is offering to pay — Fredrik does something unusual: he has the two Z’s meet to hash it out together.
And speaking of zzz’s, it will not be too soon if we never hear “Rugs silkened and wool, hand loomed” again. We’re deeply saddened that it has come to this: Two grown, successful men having a battle over floor coverings. Thankfully Fredrik puts us out of our misery by scolding Zeke, telling him the offer is a good one and pushes him to counter with $250,000 for the aforementioned furnishings.
Zach bites and it is a closed deal. Jumping on the pricey furniture ensues.
4. “I apologize for the smell. Someone’s grandmother died here” — Luis is back meeting with Ian at His Park Avenue building. After seeing a recently gutted 3,200-square-foot apartment, Luis tells Ian, “I will do whatever it takes to get this listing…everything…anything.” When Ian comments on how handsome Luis is — and Luis reiterates he’s straight — Ian responds, “straight to my bed.” The unsavory conversation gets worse when Ian tells Luis, “If you are really Puerto Rican then you are bisexual.” Instead of saying something along the lines of “This is harassment and I don’t have to take it,” Luis yammers on about how the fridge is as big as a Mini Cooper. And in his continuing effort to make us stick a steel rod through our eardrums, Ian says, “You can bury your grandparents in there.”
We then find out the unit Luis is lusting after is already sold and that Ian just wanted to show him his “workmanship” in the building. Ian does say he has another project he may be interested in having his Ricky Ricardo handle. He notes that it’s a derelict apartment, to which Luis responds, “Someone named Derek licked the apartment?”
We learn that Ian’s plan (aside from bedding Luis) is to combine four units into another 3,200- square-foot dream. One of the apartments had someone living in it for years and currently has a “Brady Bunch kitchen” (our eyes!), monkey wallpaper and leopard-covered stairs. While we try futilely to unsee all that, Ian gives us a one-two punch by again talking about dying grandparents, saying, “I apologize for the smell. Someone’s grandmother died here.”
In another of the units, we meet Chris, a vagrant type/Russell Brand-lookalike who is living on an air mattress. Ian assures us he will be gone by reno time. The extended scene only gets worse when Ian’s new puppy comes and pees on the rug (with Ian’s encouragement), and Ian follows up by kissing the dog’s underside.
Luis gets the exclusive and concludes: “The more time I spend with Ian, the more I realize he is generally crazy.”
5. From oven to “the back burner” — In the previous week’s episode, Fredrik and his husband Derek discuss becoming surrogate parents, but Fredrik notes that they have to first decide on who their “oven” will be. Things seem to have changed slightly by Episode 6. While at his husband’s first New York art opening, Fredrik boasts about his and Derek’s planned surrogacy. But when asked about it, Derek responds that it’s “on the back burner.” Overhearing, Fredrik “can’t believe what [he’s] hearing” and confronts Derek, who brushes it off, making it clear he is not ready to be a father. Fredrik is heartbroken and leaves.
The party itself is a virtual fur-fest. There’s a woman in a purple fur, men in fur, fur everywhere. Another lady discusses Derek’s “gold one,” referring to a painting that she finds “very linear…very musical.” She then tells Derek “the birds are beginning to work, coming from the two-dimensional space.” Speaking of other dimensions …
6. “I plan on taking half the commission” — The Ricky Ricardo joke gets old as Ian refers to Luis by this name while in a meeting with his architect. After agreeing to allow Luis to have the exclusive on the combined units upstairs, he tells Luis that he just got his real estate agent’s license that day and plans on taking half the commission.
Luis is dumbfounded and tells Ian they did not agree to that, and that he is “done with this s**t.”
7. “I just want to eat raspberries and not talk about myself” — Ryan and his girlfriend both have things they do not want to hear and wish they could forget. What starts as a nice night with Emilia making a Greek salad, turns into a battle royale when she informs Ryan that her sister will be in town from Greece and is hoping they could take her to dinner. Ryan brushes it off, telling her he can’t. “I’m pretty sure she is going to be your sister for a very long time,” he explains. His girlfriend implores him to take this seriously and not to belittle the request.
Ryan is content to ignore her, play with his phone and say he “just wants to eat raspberries and not talk about myself.” Emilia pushes further and explains she’d be happy to meet his family and that they should get to know each other better. Ryan doesn’t see the need, saying he doesn’t want to speak about the matter at that moment. Emilia says that doesn’t work for her and storms out — leaving Ryan with raspberries.
As we sit in our collective living rooms—the blue lights of the tv flickering, telling undecipherable tales upon our walls—we are struck with the feeling that in NYC we are all in the same boat. Both the seers, hearers, and speakers of evil and also the recipients of it; none are immune from witnessing things we wish we hadn’t. We all suffer the same slings and arrows that our city and its unruly inhabitants hurl at us, no matter rich or poor, seller or buyer, broker or developer.