I’ll admit it: I was simultaneously looking forward to, and also dreading, the Housewives’ trip to Morocco. On the one hand, I hoped that in a new context the ladies could band together and turn their bitchiness onto external forces, thus finally alleviating the pinch of having to create conflict every episode with only seven players. On the other hand, I dreaded the cultural conflict that would inevitably arise. I mean, let’s be honest, if Mark Burnett made a reality show called Seven Assholes Go to a Foreign Country, you’d watch it, right? Because it’s guaranteed good, cringe-worthy television. Anyway, it’s almost Memorial Day weekend, so let’s just get this over with. (And Mark, I’m trademarking that idea, so don’t even try it.)
This week’s episode was a little bit like New York–in-Morocco. The ladies didn’t have to interact with the external world very much, so as usual they were forced to pluck plotlines out of thin air among themselves. Petty fights over clothes hangers and cocktails weren’t really enough to make the whole thing interesting — and unspoken but very much visible was the fact that everything, from the first-class airfare to the attentive hotel workers, was paid for by the Moroccan Tourism board. By virtue of that alone, the utter lake of graciousness and gratefulness on the part of the ladies was frankly appalling. But should we expect anything less? On to who won!
Obviously, Ramona didn’t win. She was fussy about her baggage, fussy about the hand weights that she insists upon using, and as always, fussy about her Pinot Grigio. The one moment of Adorable Ramona came when she said, drunkenly, that Sonja was trying to tell a funny “antidote” about Cindy. But mostly it was just bitchy asides that we got from her. Like, “The first thing that caught my eye was the dust. I don’t like dirt.” This from a lady who willingly traveled to a desert! And, “There’s poverty all over!” Like poverty is dust that should be swept away before her arrival. Once she said that Cindy needed “a hanger up her butt” and LuAnn needed to “get that stick out of her ass,” the audience wrote her off for the rest of the episode. When the fortune teller told her that Mario was cheating on her, I’ll admit, I didn’t even feel bad.
Jill, too, was a little off her game in this foreign territory. “Here’s to those who wish us well,” she says in a toast on the plane, quoting Bobby. “And those don’t can go fuck themselves.” Um, Jill. That’s not how it goes — that doesn’t even rhyme! (You’d think she of all people would know that “wish us well” and “go to hell” was the way to put it.) While Jill rightly observes that most of the girls are only pretending to be happy on the trip, she still showed flashes of Old Jill, like when she shredded Ramona for getting injections in her face, and when she told Ramona her hair looked nice when in fact it looked like a rat’s nest.
I must say, after a couple of weak episodes, LuAnn did pretty well here. She’s clearly taken responsibility for the trip and was very polite, even fawning, over the hotel employees who were helping them. Yes, it was annoying when she taught the girls to say “darling” in Arabic, but that’s her shtick. And she made a very wise observation very early on: “With Ramona I really think you have to pick your battles, and with the hangers, it wasn’t worth it.”
Cindy is really slipping. Either the editors aren’t favoring her down-to-earth asides, or she’s just lost her knack for them. It was hilarious when she bowed to the hotel staff, but then when she got into the whole sex-tape monologue, we lost her. In the end, she was wrong to freak out about the hangers, and generally her attitude of “I can’t believe this! We’re all adults!” is wearing a little thin.
After panicking about the trip last week, Kelly seems genuinely excited by it this week. She calls it “the trip of a lifetime” and cautions others that they need to “acclimate.” I loved her subtly bitchy line, “None of them ever have manicures, why would they want them here in Morocco? It doesn’t make sense.” (Though she took it too far when she went after Sonja, saying, “She lives in her ex-husband's house that hasn’t been renovated or redecorated since the 1900s.” Still, at least it shows some spine!) When she said she spoke French originally, we didn’t quite believe her. Yes, she had a French husband, but she’s never flaunted her language skills the way LuAnn incessantly does. But then when the psychic told Ramona her prediction, Kelly immediately turned and walked out — giving pretty incontrovertible evidence that she very much does speak French. Only Kelly would bolt rather than see the aftermath of THAT revelation.
Sonja doesn’t trust the hotel staff, who are ON-CAMERA, with her luggage. “I’ve stayed in royal palaces before, I’ve stayed in top hotels, and you don’t leave your luggage because things go missing,” she says, leading into an entire episode where she appears to be a spoiled, semi-drunken brat. That’s all I have to say about that.
Which leaves Alex, who came in with the bitchy blondes but managed to hold herself together. “I love Ramona and Sonja, but sometimes they make me cringe,” she rightly observes. “It was as though they had never traveled before and didn’t care whom they offended.” She was super nice about the fashion designer and was mortified by Ramona. “I think it takes a lot of time to ask for things and no time to go out and do it,” she says, about putting a log on the fire. It may be the wisest thing to ever have been said on the show. Alex, you win.
Royal Air Moroc: Don’t know if that plug was worth the twenty thousand or so they shelled out for those tickets. But still.
Ramona’s maid: Those facial expressions are universal.
Brad: He looks really good! Lost weight, looks young. For that, we’ll ignore the fact that whatever beef he has with Jill was left unexplained, and the fact that his birthday party was only attended, it seemed, by the Housewives.
Albert Joaquin: He seemed sweet, but Ramona pounded him like an alpha German Shepherd pounds a Chihuahua.