Lorraine Duffy Merkl Lorraine Duffy Merkl
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a freelance writer in NYC and author of the novels FAT CHICK and BACK TO WORK SHE GOES.

'RHONY' Dishes Out The Drama With Champagne And Caviar

May 27th, 2015 8:50am EDT
Now that we have finally finished celebrating Ramona’s never-ending birthday, we get to commemorate Dorinda’s.

The two friends go for drinks and talk about the party weekend Dorinda is throwing for herself at her home in the Berkshires. Because no story can’t be topped by Ramona, she shares that Mario has been contacting her. Now that he and Avery have made up, he wants Ramona and his family back, but she did not elaborate past that.

Carole is running for the board of her building. Anyone who knows about the process knows that basically you throw your hat in the ring, write up a summary o...

'RHONY': Bethenny’s Drama Trumps Others

May 20th, 2015 8:37am EDT
There’s housewife drama, and then there’s Bethenny drama. Bethenny wins. We all know her story from her first go round on the show, then from her two spin-offs, and of course, from her talk show: no relationship with her horse trainer father; and being estranged from her mother, who had a number of men, one was a stepfather, John, who Bethenny remembers fondly albeit the fact that he used to physically abuse her mother. After twenty-five years she is going to reunite with him. But first, there’s a party to go to.

Ramona, or shall we call her She Of The Never-ending Birthday, is still celeb...

Our Final Glimpse Into The World Of 'Mad Men'

May 18th, 2015 9:21am EDT
Mad Men Series Finale
Just when I thought we’d be saying, “Goodbye, Don Draper; hello Dick Whitman,” Matthew Weiner once again gives the ad man a reason to return after running away from home – except this time it was more satisfying.

Escaping from NYC/advertising/family life has had many false starts: Don went for a drive to nowhere, picked up hitchhikers who beat him up; took off when he was on a business trip in California without saying where he was going or when he'd return; and propositioned many mistresses to just pick up and "get out of here." But he always ended up begrudgingly back in Ossining and lyi...

'RHONY': ‘Sonja Craps Out In Atlantic City’

May 13th, 2015 9:50am EDT
sonja and bethenny
It's Ramona's birthday weekend in Atlantic City (or as Dorinda calls it, “Atlantic Titty” – home of big hair, bad shoes and short skirts.) Let's roll the dice and see what happens.

What would a trip with the housewives be if it didn’t start off with a fight -- a screaming, deafening, talk-over-each-other knock down drag out.

Heather is livid. The plan was for all the wives (except for Luann and Carole, who are traveling on their own) to meet at 10:30am at Sonja’s house where a stretch SUV would take them to New Jersey.

When Heather, Dorinda and Kristen arrive, Sonja is not ready. Instead...

'Mad Men' Series Penultimate Surprises (Spoiler Alert)

May 11th, 2015 10:04am EDT
Is this “Mad Men” or “Blue Velvet”? This next to last episode entitled 'The Milk And Honey Route' (any route taken which has a promise of better things to come) features only Don, Pete and Betty (plus some family members).

It begins with a mind game: Don is driving at night and gets pulled over. The state trooper raps on the window and says, "You knew we'd catch up with you eventually." Then Don wakes up in a seedy hotel room.

He talks to Sally on the phone and all seems well. They swap stories of their travel plans: he tells her of his post-Kansas sojourn; soon she will be off to Spain.

'The Devil Wears Prada' Was Not Only A Great Movie But Filled With Valuable Lessons

May 9th, 2015 3:30pm EDT
The movie may be from 2006, but since it is always playing on any number of channels at any given time -- and being adapted as a Broadway musical -- the story of the young woman who had “the job a million girls would kill for” has managed to remain relevant.

If you look hard enough, you can see passed the designer duds, diva behavior, and bowing to outer beauty to glean some good advice on how to survive in the workplace.

1. Physically -- And Mentally -- Show Up For Work

“I think I could do a really good job as your assist,” said “Andy Sachs” (Anne Hathaway), when she got her five m...

'RHONY' Recap: Mind Your Business

May 6th, 2015 9:39am EDT
One's too young and the other's too fat and flirtatious; these are the men who beg the question: With all the men in NYC, this is the best alleged wealthy socialites can do? It also brings me back to the real issue of why can't Bravo find actual real wives to be on this show?

Oh well, since this is what we've got to work with, here goes...

This week's episode is entitled "Mind Your Business" (which no one ever does) and bears resemblance to Noah's Ark, with all the wives getting together two-by-two.

Bethenny meets Sonja for lunch because she's heard so much crap about the blonde bombshel...

'Mad Men': Things Look A Bit Lost For Some

May 4th, 2015 11:33am EDT
Transition is their mission -- and things are not going well.

Don gets lost trying to find his new office on his first day at McCann, so he's late, but seemingly excited. His secretary Meredith is acting as decorator picking out furniture and color schemes for his new apartment.

Don heads right to a meeting with McCann honcho Jim Hobart and top account executive Ferg Donnelly. He's the "white whale" they've been courting for years. They invite him to a Miller Lite Beer meeting, but first -- for their own amusement -- want to hear him say aloud, "I'm Don Draper from McCann Erickson."


'RHONY': When Cougars Play

April 29th, 2015 9:02am EDT
It’s May/December romance time – at least for the New York City housewives. And may I say, “Good luck with that.”

They looked more like desperate housewives when they went out with their boy toys to Bethenny’s birthday party.

No big bash, just a few friends in a very lovely private room at a fancy restaurant. Sonja was escorted by Dominic, the puerile plaything she met, courtesy of The Countess, at the nightclub last week. He brought his other young friend for Luann. They both brought another 24-year-old friend. (They all looked as though they could have been friends of Luann's high schoo...

'Mad Men' Gives Us A Glimpse Of The Endgame

April 27th, 2015 10:58am EDT
They've gone from bold entrepreneurs to little cogs in the wheel.

And so it goes when you sell your small business to a major conglomerate. The five partners – Roger, Don, Joan, Pete and Ted – may have made millions on the deal and may still have jobs after the dust settles (because they all signed four year contracts), but they have lost their independence; something that’s more important than anything to mavericks like these.

It seems that parent company McCann-Erickson has reneged on the deal they made with Roger, which was to allow SC&P to retain it’s name, offices, and clients. The g...