Let it be known that the only element of wedding culture I heartily condone is the customary bachelorette party outing to Chippendales. Ladies about to wed: Get male strippers. Pay them to take off their clothes to music. It is worth every penny. Your friends and bridesmaids put up with so much of your shit, including but not limited to wearing dresses you pick out for them and acting happy for you, so truly, the very least you can do is treat your friends to some choreographed peen. Because male strippers are hilarious and wonderful and objectifying men to music is something I heartily condone. Therefore, last night’s episode delighted me. I also want to tip a “cock sock” to Bravo, a network that single-handedly seems to be keeping more male strippers working in the confines of the Real Housewives franchise (hey, Ridickulous!) than in all of the eighties movies featuring Chippendales dancers put together — including Mr. Mom, one of my favorite films of all-time, thanks in no small part to my debilitating and enduring crush on Michael Keaton (hey, Michael Keaton!).
So, this week’s show started out with Taylor, who I guess decided to go light on all of her makeup except for her eyebrow pencil before meeting Lisa Vanderpump for lunch in natural daylight. And that was weird, not just because Taylor’s face looked crazy — like, Geico Caveman crazy — but because those two are friends now.
They just are. Fine! I don’t begrudge them that, I know that they are human beings, technically. But more important, they are fake characters on our picture boxes. Therefore, now Taylor and “Leese” are friends who get surprise pizzas delivered to their table at Villa Blanca by women who look like cool hangout friends but are actually servers. Taylor told Lisa about Dede going off on her and drinking on an empty stomach; Lisa was like, “Oh, dear,” and then we saw a scene in which Camille told Brandi more or less the same thing, with her Judi Dench–in–Notes on a Scandal–ish unrequited yearner/Girl Friday Dedra standing next to her for backup. And Camille was like “Taylor’s eyes looked crazy” and they were like “Yup,” and that was in natural light as well, but it was dusk, so it was fine. Dedra expounded on the exposition around whether or not Camille is responsible for putting Taylor’s daughter in jeopardy by mentioning Russell’s abuse of her on-camera (she isn’t), and we’ll all look forward to future episodes in which Russell sues Camille, won’t we.
Then, the Malooves went on a show called The Doctors, which is hosted by people in scrubs, a trend I think is something Dr. Oz is responsible for? Or maybe Zach Braff. Look, when the apocalypse happens, I don’t believe a higher power will be sorting those two in separate bins.
And meanwhile, Kyle went chandelier shopping with Faye Resnick, who I’m sure saw the new issue of Playboy and thought to herself, “Why is Lindsay Lohan on the cover? Was she best friends with somebody who was recently murdered?” You see, Kyle is having a “white party” for a reason I didn’t catch. And I guess no white party is complete without a lighting fixture you don’t already own. So, naturally, she and Faye Resnick found the fattest chandelier salesman in the land and said, “We’ll take that one” and then Faye broke it. But not before she summoned a magical Jew moments after one of them randomly mentioned how nice it would be to have a mezuzah handy.
But the meat in the episode sandwich was the trip to Vegas, which was double pronged, like Brandi’s permanently erect Skittle nipples. Lisa and her new best friend Taylor accompanied Pandora and her Bridesmaids (my favorite animated New Wave act second only to Jem) to the Hard Rock Café and Casino Family Restaurant Sleepaway Entertainment Palace. And also, coincidentally or not, because, truly, who cares, Adrienne shlepped Camille, Brandi, and Dana-Pam of all people to the Palms. Yes, it turns out the RHOBH audience is done with Dana-Pam, but Dana-Pam isn’t done with us. Not as long as she has more jewelry to brag about! And she does. She has a jewelry that has candy inside of its special jewelry hole! And it’s a million dollars. The end.
Now, some of you (Yes, you! You there, reading! Commenting! Hey girl, hey!) have accused me in the past of rallying behind Mrs. Maloof as a way to angle for a free trip to her casino. Please believe me when I tell you this: I would HATE to go to her casino. It looks awful, and not just because she has a drunk brother who wanders around its premises, slurring his words and grabbing random waitresses. Here’s a fun question: Is Adrienne’s brother George the real-life Arthur? If so, who will break the news to Russell Brand? Oh, Russell and Katy. They really proved us all wrong, didn’t they? Getting married and having it last for less than two years so far.
Meanwhile, Kyle couldn’t go to either shitty Las Vegas hotel because she had to plan this chandelier party and also, P.S., news flash, she has a book coming out! WHAT? I know. She and Joan Didion are both incredibly prolific, hard-working writers who also happen to look great in Bob Mackie. So Kyle, who’s been writing a book this whole time about her passion for fashion or something, had to pose for the cover of her book, Passion-Fashion, because no book in the history of book-writing has ever not had on its cover a photograph of its author lounging on some sort of table. And therefore, Kyle had to summon all of her gay slaves — her wardrobe mouse! Her hair squirrel! Her photography possum! — to snap glamour shots of her in an evening gown while her dog ate cheese.
But everything was not perfect that day for Kyle, because Kim didn’t show up. And she was supposed to! It was obviously Kyle’s big day! Actually, every day to Kyle is her big day, and every appointment to pre-rehab Kim is negligible and, ideally, begged out of with a crazy phone call we get to listen in on. But Kyle merely got her sister’s voice mail, which asked that callers leave their number, then made sure they knew she wouldn’t check her messages. It was straight out of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, it was! But Kyle just summoned her best acting abilities and complained about her sister’s absence to her poor daughter, who was all of a sudden in an improv scene with her mom in a closet (everyone’s worst nightmare). “Oh, Kim’s supposed to be here and she’s not and I’m hurt because I have a book,” Kyle said to Farah, who nodded like a kindly Creole hired to look after a blathering infirm patient.
Speaking of mother-daughter scenes, I must admit I did shed a tear when Pandora did that “Are you gonna cry?” setup to Lisa, before saying “Because you’ve never seen me in a wedding dress before” and then revealed the dress she may or may have not said yes to. And Lisa was touched and I was, too, because I am a human being who has a lot of good things inside of me, such as organs and pizza. I was also taken aback when watching the “wedding dress shopping” scene, by (1) What Giggy looks like when he’s not being hoisted like a prop and (2) How incredible Lisa’s tush is. Calm down, fellas, I still bat for your team. Ha-ha — that’s not a thing that straight girls say at all, is it? Er … er ... (Hurriedly eats a cupcake, gets a pedicure, tweets about Ryan Gosling.)
Speaking of Sapphic titillation, I must admit to emitting a Rick Perry–ian homophobic howl when Brandi and Camille rubbed their sinewy leatherbodies against each other, like they were marking the jilted territory Kelsey Grammer and Eddie Cibrian left to dry. This was after a painful scene in which bra-less Brandi auditioned for the part of “Animal in heat presenting” as she, Camille, Dana, and Adrienne bowled a game in the classy and elegant “Lebowski” suite of the Palms Casino and Fun-time Calamari Palace.
And while that was happening at the Palms, Lisa, Pandy-Bear, and Tay-Tay, who arrived at the Hard Rock a vision in shorts, were following up a steak dinner with a trip to the aforementioned Chippendales. Now, I know many of you share some of my affections for Lisa Vanderfabulous, but with reservations. You say, “Oh, she’s manipulative or cold or calculating,” and I will agree with you only on this matter: That bitch knows what she’s doing. That “chipmunks” stuff? Sound bite city, baby. She’s hungry like the wolf and malapropism-spoutingly dumb as a fox. With a donkey booty! So many animals, so few zoos to buy. Are you guys going to see We Bought a Zoo this weekend? I hear it’s Cameron Crowe’s return to form. John Cusack hoists a zebra above his head at one point, and it sings Peter Gabriel!
I wish I could spend the rest of my recap just describing the show they attended and the Buster Bluth/Crunch Gym “hand chairs” the Chippendales dancers sat upon while Pandora, Lisa, and Taylor shyly grinded their laps with their behinds. But if I went too into that now, I would neglect Kim, and I can’t do that. None of us should be neglecting Kim right now or arguably ever.
So, just when you thought this episode would have to do without a hysterical, starving blonde screaming and crying until her veins looked like they were going to pop, Kim showed up. And before she appeared, Kyle was shopping with her mother-in-law Estella for a dress for her White Party at Kathy Hilton’s consignment shop.
Which, a couple of things.
First of all, I’ve seen VHS tapes arranged on a blanket next to alarm clocks for sale on Avenue C that look less disgusting than Kathy’s consignment shop/tax write-off. I could practically smell the mold through the screen when Kyle and Estella walked into that place, and that was before I saw the terrifying saleswoman who professionally lurks there, like some kind of female version of Michael Jackson’s son, Blanket, if he were also the Phantom of the Opera. Secondly, the whole notion of anybody “running into” anyone else on these shows is so LOL-ly, Dana-Pam could keep it in her necklace. Did that joke work? You have to spell “lolly” in a bizarre way, but sometimes those things pay off for people who like wordplay.
My theory is that the production company, knowing it had been a full three episodes of however many shoot days/moving weeks that translated into, set up some kind of trap inside of Kim and Ken’s new home. Maybe it was a picture frame that needed dusting connected by a string to a rigged butterfly net, set up in her den, right in front of the bridge/ship wall hanging over the fire. Shortly after their varmint was nabbed, the producers shoved Kim into a van marked “Telephone Company” — the same one that had been parked outside her house for days — and sped off to the strip mall, where they unceremoniously dumped her in the parking lot between the Manicure Hut and Kathy Hilton’s Cabinet of Second Hand Clothing Curiosities. And there Kim was, in a Texas Tuxedo (a jean jacket with jeans), waiting to be runned-into by her alpha sister.
And a good thing, too! Because there was a breakdown to be had, and Kim was going to have it. She hadn’t eaten “much” in days, and she was freaked out about talking to Estella, even though Estella is terrific and merely asked where she was living, which is a reasonable thing to ask somebody who’s recently moved. Somebody who’s not in some kind of drug-fueled paranoia who wouldn’t get defensive around innocent chatty questions from sweet foreign ladies who’ve been duped by their daughters-in-law into paying $300 for horrible linen dresses you wouldn’t wear to scrub your toilet.
So once Estella left, Kim and Kyle popped a sit on one of the visibly bed bug-strewn and mothball-scented couches at the front of Kathy Hilton’s store so Kim could freak out in her sister’s face. The freak-out couch together was right in the storefront window, so people passing by could be like, “What’s this store, a Goodwill? Oh, no — it’s a … uh-oh. Yeesh. Let’s get away from this. I don’t want to watch two former child actors being upset around that much velvet.”
Here is the essence of Kim’s crying fit: She is having a hard time adjusting to life with Troll Doll Ken, who she feels is controlling of her, especially as it relates to her time with her children, who are important to her. She also hasn’t been eating much, and also some other things, probably addiction-related, I’m not sure. I hope she gets the help she needs, and I hope she does it soon, because if she is not at that reunion, I swear to God, I will enlist Phaedra Parks as my lawyer or someone more qualified, and then I will kidnap Giggy and hold him ransom for Jackpot AND Kyle’s cheese-dog. So basically, yes, my agenda is to trade dogs for dogs. But I also want Kim on that couch! Not the one in her half-sister Kathy’s House of Mold. The one near Andy Cohen and seated next to, say, Taylor and across from Brandi at the reunion! I also want her in a pearl choker. Don’t you tell me how I can and can’t dress up my pretty dollies!
So, in reaction to Kim’s meltdown, Kyle acted compassionate and mature and vaguely smug in her own validation that yes, maybe Ken wasn’t good for Kim, and boy, it really is a burden being the sibling with her shit together. And while everyone still speaks in vague terms around Kim on this show, I’m sure what she is going through is much more straightforward than the roundabout, hysterical, and likely alcohol- and/or drug-influenced way she’s been shrieking about it. But we did get treated to Kim’s list of situations during which she has felt lonely, and it was sort of like that part of the song “Do Me” in which Bell Biv Devoe lists all the places and times in which you can do them ("In the morning/in the night/when you want to do me"). But Kim isn’t taking care of herself, and Ken isn’t doing that for her, and maybe she thought he would. That’s the gist of what I could understand through her tears, veins, and denim — which is, oddly enough, the name of Leann Rimes’s next record! But hopefully we’ll learn more now that Kim is, thank Christ, back in the mix. What drama awaits her at next week’s white party with Kyle? Have we seen the last of Ken? And can you imitate Lisa’s knock-kneed stripper dance or do I have to do everything around here? Until then, my holiday spirits.