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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Shoe-Offs

Adrienne kicks off the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills shoe show.

Well, I’m calling it. Without Kim Richards, this show can be a big, loud snore. If Sonja Morgan from RHONYC is the straw that stirs the drink, Kim is the fun parsley garnish in that same cocktail that may or may not be drizzled with PCP.

Which is to say that last night’s Kim-free episode was sort of a wash. I know: Not every episode can feature throat-vein-throbbing tantrums and crocodile tears, or quotable Kim testimonials that lend themselves to GIFs so beautifully it’s all we can do from launching Photoshop mid-episode. But nothing really happened last night. I mean, sure. Taylor and Russell had a marriage therapy session with a sockless osteopath, and this gorgeous woman showed up in the background of one of Brandi’s shots.

But otherwise, it was filler city. And not the kind Dr. Paul shoots into faces. We got to spend more time with Kevin the Gay-sian wedding planner, who wore a festive candy-cane-striped tie and introduced Lisa Vanderpump to a Top Chef reject who spoke like the lead singer of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (if memory serves, his name was Lieutenant Q Bulldog?). But the gist of this week’s show was that Adrienne loves shoes and designs them — and therefore, she hosted a fashion show at her home. A shoe fashion show. Or something. There were clothes, too. I’m getting ahead of myself.

The episode began with a meeting at Adrienne’s home, the purpose of which was to plan a fashion show that would benefit a charity called Step Up. Which is not the same thing as Step Up 2: The Streets or Step Up 3D, a film I made the mistake of seeing in the theaters many years after I gave up smoking pot. During the meeting, Adrienne said a lot of Phaedra-esque “Everybody knows” kind of statements about how “Every woman loves diamonds” and “What woman wouldn’t love the opportunity to design a shoe?” and other things that made me feel like I was not a woman. Don’t worry — I’ve listened to some Shania Twain since and now everything’s okey dokey. *Cups own breasts*

Then came the couples therapy scene with Dr. Charles “Charlie” Sophy, who wore penny loafers with no socks and was billed as a “Doctor of Osteopathy.” 

Dr. Sophy, it seems, is not only an osteopath but also a psychiatrist who’s appeared on reality shows like this one and Celebrity Rehab (so you know he’s good), and according to this article, he also acts as the medical director for the Los Angeles Country’s child welfare agency. Apparently, Dr. Sophy balances his on-camera obligations to reality stars like Paris Hilton, Russell, and Taylor with the task of being responsible for the needs of 20,000 of Los Angeles’s foster children. So I guess Adrienne isn’t the only multi-tasker on this show! Ha-ha. In all seriousness, somebody should really fire him.

In the Armstrongs’ counseling session. Charlie said things like, “You have to feel emotionally safe around him” to Taylor, whose priority, based on last week’s episode, seemed to be more about feeling physically safe around Russell. But we’re not talking about that on-camera anymore, LOL! Because remember when Camille had the cam-jones to say that Taylor had told all the girls that Russell had hit her? Well, the former Mrs. Grammer had since been punished for that little transgression; Taylor froze her out like she was an Osteopath’s ankles. And now it’s all ix-nay on the itting-hay, or at least it will be, until Taylor needs more money from Entertainment Tonight.

Then Kyle, in a tunic top that my bubbe in Boca Raton would be embarrassed to wear in public, met Brandi for a manicure without so much as a shrug. Remember when those two were bitter enemies? Well, they’re not anymore! Hop la! Tum ti tum! Oh well, who needs drama on a Reality Soap Opera anyway?

While two human beings earned an hourly wage to nip dead skin off the ladies' fingers with a stainless steel device, Brandi pitched a saucy idea to Kyle. What if she hosted a fun event with the other ladies? Kyle nodded. And what if, Brandi continued, instead of doing something active at that soiree, they did something more sedentary? Being as Brandi’s leg is still broken and all. Kyle was still onboard. And therefore, Brandi concluded, wouldn’t it be a cute idea to have a porn star come over and demonstrate to the girls, “how to do better BJs.” WHHAAAAT? Record scratch. Kyle made that face she likes to make in order to seem wacky and “everygirl-ish.” And a nation of ladies leaned into their TV sets and said “WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL PORNOGRAPHY ACTOR’S CONTACT INFO?” Because every woman (are you listening, Adrienne?) on the planet is kept up at night clutching her respective sides with anxiety over whether or not we’re sucking dick properly. It is literally our only problem. So hopefully Brandi, in a future episode, will introduce us to the intercourse artist who can help all women everywhere figure out that most cryptic act, visual demonstrations of which are in no way available as MPEGs online.

Soon it was time for Adrienne’s shoe show. Show shoe? Shoe show. But not before a knuckle-whitening, heart-racing commute scene! Taylor and Russell had an awkward conversation in the back of a limo about how shitty Camille was for saying that Russell had allegedly abused her, and her husband said things like “She started this” and “those allegations were false” like a soulless politician, pinstriped shirt and all. And then Mauricio and Kyle, who was dressed like the mother of a quinceañera celebrant or a letter-turner on a Persian game show, joined them and tried to heighten the non-drama by speculating on what it would be like when Taylor ran into Camille at the shoe show, and wouldn’t it be awkward (it wasn’t).

Finally came the event itself, which I’m going to call Breaking Yawn because I’m topical and I love whimsy. The biggest confrontation at the fashion show came when Adrienne took Lisa aside and said it hurt her feelings when Lisa chose the elegant Planet Hollywood Casino, Resort, Waterpark and Chicken Finger Destination for Pandora’s bachelorette party. And Lisa said something about how she didn’t ask to stay at Adrienne’s casino instead because she didn’t want to impose, but was sorry. And then her “sorry” wasn’t good enough, and there was some back-and-forth, and honestly, who cares. It’s all fine. Whatever. I don’t have time to linger on the details of two reasonable women’s reconciliation over a casino-related matter. Not when that mermaid girl from four episodes ago is still roaming free, to the best of my knowledge.

Shortly after Adrienne and Lisa’s non-frontation (words made of different words!), Taylor ran into Camille, who was exiting the bathroom in a fun white cashmere lab coat, and the two talked about how a lot of women were in the bathroom for what seemed like fifteen full minutes. “I didn’t know you were in there!” “Everybody’s in there!” “It’s a party!” “We should put a disco ball inside of there!” And so on. I would have appreciated an off-camera wail of “PLEASE, SOMEBODY HELP ME, I HAVE HORRIBLE DIARRHEA AND THERE IS NO TOILET PAPER IN THIS STALL,” but I’m not showrunning this thing.

And then Taylor wrapped up their awkward run-in by decreeing, “We’ll talk, but not tonight,” and Camille was like “Er, all right.” Blecch. This is why I don’t leave the house. First of all, nothing looks as good on me as Lisa’s purple dress, and secondly, I constantly fear that some ghoulishly skinny person will say something like, “Hi! I have something to say to you — but I’m not going to say it to you NOW.” Ominous! And also boring. Am I alone in thinking that sneak previews of conversations to come are social Ambien? All coming attractions should be exclusively for the Rock of Ages movie starring Tom Cruise. I want to see that so badly. Can you think of anything gayer? I cannot, and I’ve seen last week’s American Horror Story in which Zac Quinto went shopping for a rubber gimp suit.

So Camille sought comfort in the company of Brandi, who commiserated with her blonde pal about how much it sucks to have a lab coat but no degree in physics. I’m joking, they talked about being jilted by their despicable ex-husbands. And meanwhile, Adrienne’s lackeys were tending to her every need, from applying kohl eyeliner-shadow to her naturally orange lids to telling her how busy she was, so she could agree. And right before the show, one of the charity reps in Adrienne’s extensive entourage demonstrated incredible BJ technique when she said to Ms. Maloof, and I quote: “You can do it. It’s not even the fact that you can do it, it’s the fact that you can do it and that you’re willing to show the Step Up girls that you care enough to support them.” I had to rewind that to make sure that I still understood English, because I didn’t know what any of that meant. And then, Adrienne made a speech about Step Up, which in all sincerity, I’m certain is a terrific charity, but you wouldn’t have known what the hell they actually do if you were to go by Adrienne’s speech. “May you find inspiration in the big picture and may you find love in the details,” she toasted. “And now,

. So get ready to rock and roll.” These are words she said in front of her guests and cameras and God, even. And where was Kim? Do you think she was slowly unpacking box after box of framed photos and Mickey Mouse figurines, and making them talk to each other in tiny ventriloquist voices? I can’t even speculate about it because it just makes me angry that Bravo wasn’t there with a camera at the time.

Then the fashion show happened. And, yes, as the women all repeated like a chorus of billy goats, the way the outfits were displayed you couldn’t see Adrienne’s shoes at all. And afterwards, Adrienne expressed her intention that it was the charity meant to be on display, not the shoes. She didn’t want the show to be too “in your face” or something. Again — whatever. At this point I had really checked out anyway. Even Lisa Vanderpump’s testimonial about “The Maloof Hoof” and “The Vander-pump” seemed forced and melancholy. I was just done. I think I was eating graham crackers at this point. Do you like graham crackers? I do, but I think they’re a little dry. Look, you don’t come here for me to NOT speak my mind.

The end of the show brought with it a measly coda about Planet Hollywood–gate. Kyle and Taylor listened and nodded when Lisa told them about her non-fight with Adrienne, and then Lisa took offense when Taylor sided with Adrienne. Snoozetown, USA. Come on, Bravo, if I wanted help falling asleep, I’d still be watching Boardwalk Empire! My friend Chris tells me that two episodes ago, Nucky shot a grandfather clock and earlier in the season, Paz de la Huerta got a record player. I was positive he was joking.  

At least next week’s RHOBH looks more rambunctious. Taylor does some throat-screaming, and there looks like there will be some hair-pulling, even? And Kyle does her splits again, which I hate so much. That and her “pay attention to me!” fishy-face. Until then, my recap-reading pals, here are some other stray things that happened in last night’s episode that I would love your two cents on:

- The circus music over the flashbacks of Taylor slobbering over that cotton candy. Funny and creepy!

- Brandi’s fun Union Jack clutch purse. Do you think she calls it the “Oy, ‘guvnor”?

- Dana’s non-presence. Bravo is clearly done with her, right? I mean, we know she was at the fashion show — Taylor said she saw Dana in the bathroom during that extended scene. But no camera time for Dana-Pam! Her behavior at Game Night, combined with her bragging about those stupid sunglasses must have cemented her reputation as persona non grata to RHOBH fans. Good riddance, I say. Good riddance to Wilkey Rubbish!

- Russell saying Charlie the Osteopath fixed their marriage. Did Charlie need that bad PR? He most likely did not.

Photo: Bravo