Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Age-Appropriate Muumuus

Aloha, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans! How was your holiday? Mine was pretty good. Thank you for asking! So. Shall we dive into the ocean together? Or, more specifically, shall we get to last night’s episode? Otherwise we might vex the dolphins of Lanai further.

The episode began where the last one left off, pre-break — when Kyle held a White Party for no reason and lost her shit after she told Taylor and Russell to go away on her lawn. And because the producers of this fine program had the foresight to install a camera in the back of Taylor and Russell’s limo, we got an insight into the Armstrongs’ scintillating, not at all canned, phony, and awkward post-lawn-rejection banter. “We could go back to Vegas,” Russell surmised, before both agreed about Camille having exaggerated the abuse claims Taylor made. And as Taylor pouted, her cavernous face weighed down all of its remaining mass with emotion and giant peacock earrings, and one of her tiny, silver dollar pancake breasts cleaved out of the evening gown she bought at Buy Buy Baby only to need it taken in around the diaper area. It was all pretty hideous, and the only time we came close to any sort of realness was when Taylor said something about how maybe Russell shouldn’t have sent that threatening e-mail, and Russell shot her down, and then there was more pouting, and, thank God, we were done looking at Taylor until later in the episode, when that sockless Osteopath, who has a new chyron credit so he can seem more qualified to dispense therapeutic advice, pointed out that Russell didn’t seem to care whether he was affecting Taylor’s friendships when he sent Camille that e-mail. And that therapy session was such horseshit because, first of all, yes. The guy from Celebrity Rehab who also happens to be the Director of Osteopathy somewhere is not a real shrink, because with the exception of Michael Fassbender as Karl Jung in the major motion picture A Dangerous Method, there are no respected psychiatrists who consent to cameras in their sessions.  A side note about A Dangerous Method: that was bullshit that we didn’t get to see Fassbender’s cock. I know NOW that he’s naked in Shame, not ADM. So, I endured two hours of Keira Knightley going “Full Retard,” and for what exactly? A conversation about anal fixation? No to the thanks. I could peruse Bareback Brotherhood message boards if I wanted that kind of talk in my eyes. Which I do, but I’ll save it for the Rick Santorum fan fiction I’m yet to write, post-election results.

Another reason why Taylor’s session with her osteopath was horseshit is that she lies in “therapy,” so it can’t be effective. And this is only my subjective belief, I emphasize, so if Russell’s ghost is reading this, first of all, Hi, second of all, Weird, and thirdly, please don’t sue me. But I really do believe, after spending some serious times reading your glorious, Taylor-exposing theories in the comments section week to week, while taking this definitive Daily Beast investigative tour de force into consideration, that Taylor knew everything Russell was doing, whether it was grifting investors or sending e-mails to cast members. And to plead innocent to a third party, whether it be a fake shrink or a reality show crew, is sociopathic in its intention and ambition.

Luckily, with the exception of her voice through a phone later in the show, we were done with Taylor this week, and maybe even this season, depending on how the last few episodes shake out. And thank Goodness, because after last week, I’m exhausted — not to make this all about me in a Kyle sort of way, although I do appreciate your concern for my post–New Year’s energy level — thinking about whether or not Taylor was abused. Because if she wasn’t, and if she lied and continues to lie in Russell’s absence from this planet, and her intentions were to justify her separation from him after the charges against them became concrete, I really hope Bravo goes public with footage that damns them both in the ensuing trials. Not just because I want some juicy hidden footage, you monsters. How dare you even suggest I am interested in an extended-cut version of this season (I am). But if television is in the business of employing a sociopath so invested in her own wellbeing around the consequences of her and her late ex-husband’s dastardly doings that she would allege she was abused when she actually wasn’t, the powers that be owe it to the fabric of this very society to set the record straight, if only because every time one woman lies about being hit, the whole world is set back centuries because we can’t automatically believe all victims of abuse when they have the bravery to come forward.

Anyway!

Hawaii! Right? Hooray! A scene about how much these women pack, and then something about how crazy their accommodations are and maybe some footage of them wearing more makeup and jewelry in an airport then you or I would ever consider wearing to a Paris Is Burning–style Vogue-off? Yes, please!

The flimsy premise of this trip had to do with Mauricio’s birthday, and fine, we all have those. So Kyle rounded up her troops, sans Taylor, who was no longer persona gratona, and, so far, without Kim, who, thank God, is the lunatic stand-in for the Armstrongs whenever the “crazy” on this show descends into pitch darkness, when all we require is a dimmer switch.

One quick thing about Kim at the White Party before we go to the Luau — how precious was she when she asked Lisa about the Taylor drama on the lawn? “Has she been drinking?” Kim asked Lisa about Taylor, pre-dance sequence? As though the source of someone else’s troubles could be different than the source of her own! Was that great or was that great? It’s like when a grown-up cries and a baby offers him its cookie! That thing happens all the time, from my understanding of movies and cartoons. Right? And the adult is like, “I don’t need this drool-encased half-nibbled upon Zweiback! I’m crying about an adult thing, like my messy divorce or being out of cocaine.” But the baby doesn’t know! The baby just knows “I cry, too, and cookies make it better.” Kim’s brain is the same brain. “Thank God it’s not me this year!” she misunderstood out loud to nobody, then cackled like Jerri Blank watching a monkey wash a cat. When it comes to empathy, nobody is worse at it than Kim. Because how can you ever relate to another, unless that person is made up of the same bonkers? Even if that peer had once shared the common experience of being a Disney star? I guess what I’m trying to say is that Hayley Mills sends Kim’s calls to voice mail.

And speaking of Kim’s calls, it was like Christmas Part Two when Kyle hit Speaker Phone in the First Class lounge at the Hawaiian Airline Terminal at LAX, was it not? You see, Kim had not yet appeared for the trip, even though their flight was leaving in 45 minutes. And as the other Housewives pretended to eat breakfast, Kyle decided to call her sister and ask where she was, because she and Siri hadn’t yet developed the relationship where Kyle will be like “Siri, where is my sist … ” and Siri will just say, “In a K-Hole, dummy.” So, soon we learned that Kim was still at her place, looking for her passport, because her driver’s license had expired since she used it for proof of age/W9 Reasons for Tuff Turf. And that Kim was, therefore, going to have to make a later flight. Meanwhile, where was Ken? Or, are we to believe Ken is not Kyle’s Sister’s Keeper/Sherpa? Yes, we are to believe that. But more and most important, it’s still and always all about Kyle, according to her grotesque gesticulations telegraphing suchly. It must be so stressful for poor Kyle Richards to have a mentally ill sister who needs rehab as desperately as I need her to break out of rehab for enough time to film the RHOBH reunion, please God make sure that happens.

So, soon the non-Taylor and Kim girls flew to Hawaii. And Camille, bless her heart, made some ribald remarks about how she would prefer eight inches of freedom to a drink called sixteen ounces of freedom or something equally lascivious, and then added, in a nod to her "sexy Urkel" character, “Did I say that?” which was terrific. And soon after, the ladies had to transfer to a private jet Mauricio had rented, and because it was small and had a propeller, all of the Housewives freaked out. Kyle clutched a copy of the Zohar to her chest, which I choose to blame on Gwyneth not Madonna, and Brandi took some Xanax on top of what I’m going to wager was Kim Juice, as its effect was loopy-making. So when they all finally arrived in Lanai, Brandi was acting out, and that was sort of fun, until it wasn’t.

Lisa, who lost points last week for maintaining her loyalty to Taylor — which was as steadfast as it was recent — gained a leg back up in the proceedings with her eye-rolling toward Brandi’s shenanigans. Because honestly, darling — at some point we all have to choose whether to be more regarded as girls or women, and on this show, you’d do well to identify as more matronly than juvenile, if only for reasons of status. Which is by no means a statement in favor of Taylor’s rickety, ancient case against Lisa that she’s the Queen Bee everybody seeks approval from, but it’s more of a nudge toward how to present oneself onscreen alongside other Women of a Certain Age. Speaking of maturity, Brandi got married this weekend in Vegas to a man who manages female Mixed Martial Arts fighters, before admitting it was a drunken, spur of the moment decision they are now seeking to annul. So that’s cute, right? And a whimsical reminder of how easy it is to get married and then be like, “A doy, I was just Punk’ing you!” on a whim, as long as you’re not gay and looking to marry your lifelong partner! So kudos to Lisa for any and all of her eye-rolling toward this braless chimp. Those are MY two cents.

When the ladies finally arrived at the Four Seasons Lanai — which was so lush, even Adrienne and Paul, once he arrived, had to marvel at how unlike the Palms it seemed — much ado was made about how (a) Kim hadn’t yet arrived and how (b) Brandi enjoys showing off her crazy “Model in Europe in the nineties” body to anybody who will look at it.

And admittedly, so does Camille, when she’s not in her ever-present season two trench. Get those two by a pool and stretch them out on adjacent reclining chairs, and you’ll be treated to a display of rippling ribs, buttered biscuits, and tanned giblets you’d only see on an ad for Tony Roma’s. A fun fact: I always confuse Roma, purveyor of ribs, with Jessica Simpson’s ex. I wonder if, in their courtship process, she did the same.

So, Camille and Brandi stretched out their H.R. Giger–ian physiques and wondered aloud whether a pool boy would be around to rub lotions onto their already-shiny gizzards. And sure enough, a portly native being paid the minimum wage sprayed both women down with what I hope in my heart was a combination of cooking oil and sugar water. “Do my face,” Camille implored, and soon she was preening, mouth open, toward the spraying services of a Asiatic ectomorph who entreated her HD makeup-laden skin with a fine mist of SPF who cares.

Then, Lisa showed up, hallelujah, and it was like she’d summoned the spirit of Patsy AND Edina when she shot Brandi down with a single batted eyelash behind her sunglasses. And while we’re on the subject of Lisa’s lashes, when they wound up on the beach a scene later, even the dolphins in the distance could tell that Duchess Vanderfabulous had woken up hours before fruit was served to glue a pair of spiders onto her lids that would make Lambchop the Puppet look like a bulldyke. Those were really a lot, is all I’m saying.

And soon, Lisa and Kyle, who were dressed in age-appropriate muumuus, were entreated to the cliff-hanger that Taylor’s “marriage is over.” Yes, Mrs. Armstrong phoned Kyle to tell her suchly, and the ladies reacted with mouths agog, and the dolphins in the distance acted out, in Pantomime, what the ensuing few months would bring — suicide, lawsuits, Kennedy’s puberty ... all of it. They may as well have produced a white sheet on which to project footage of Camille getting sprayed in the face from that native Hawaiian person. It was that ugly.

And that, in addition to some phoney baloney tomfoolery having to do with Brandi flirting with Ken in a feat of “let’s put a dirty T-shirt on Grandma so we can pretend she has an R-Rated point of view” Betty White–esque, old people minstrelry, was all for this week’s show. Next week we have a feast of Kim-sanity on our tables, and I, for one, can’t wait to dig in after all of the teasing. She and Ken are coming! And they’re going to wreck havoc on our senses! Until then, Aloha! Which also means good-bye.

Photo: Bravo