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May 19, 2011  | by: Dania McDermott

The Real Housewives of New York City

Bravo’s fourth installment of The Real Housewives of New York City may be its least impressive yet – and not just where fans are concerned. Disappointed with its current line-up, the brass at Bravo are said to be recasting the show completely (according to dubious gossip source Page Six, anyway).

Though the network has never actually replaced an entire slew of Housewives, an operation this grand wouldn’t be a total shocker. Ignited by Bravo’s impromptu decision to delay the premiere in February, the rumor mill has clamored its collective notion ever since: Season 4′s a bust.

But trouble began brewing for the Housewives long before news of a suspicious scheduling swap hit. Following the explosive highlights of season 3 (e.g., Bethenny vs. Jill, Bethenny vs. Kelly, etc.), the New York ladies who lunch were faced with maintaining their drama-filled relevance with or without fan-favorite Bethenny Frankel in tow.

No Love Lost: Former Housewife Bethenny Frankel

And since Frankel’s punchy sense of comedic sanity is noticeably absent this season, the cast restructuring can’t help but change things.

While we (mostly) love Sonja’s scene-stealing narcissism, the season 3 add-on’s “pecking order” lecture aimed at newest cast mate, Cindy Barshop, rang slightly presumptuous from a Housewife with less than half a season under her belt.

Whether there’s any validity to Bravo’s rumored quest to cast more affluent gals in the hopes of mirroring the success of its Beverly Hills counterpart, viewers can at least take solace in the familiar for the time being: Jill’s still socially inept and pathetic; LuAnn’s still in love with her fledgling “status”; Kelly’s still nauseatingly adolescent; Ramona’s eyes still bulge with the grandeur of a true nut-case, and Alex…. well, she’s still keeping up appearances with her sexually questionable beau, Simon.

So Bravo, if you’re reading: We’re not entirely convinced that the whizbang of seasons past will be recaptured with the introduction of  ”fresh” meat. In fact, we’re afraid it may turn rancid upon arrival. Rather than excavating the women whose bitchery has maintained audience interest for the past few years, let the ladies end on a high note – or a low one –  after all, there’s something to be said about sticking with the ones you’ve already learned to love loathe.

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