It’s only been nine months since we last Kiki’ed with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and yet, after last night’s premiere, our distance apart felt like an eternity. Who are these strange beasts? Why do they wear those clothes? Now that she’s gained ten pounds, does Taylor look good, or just less upsetting? If Kim is sober, what is wrong with her exactly? And precisely who gave a Dutch accent and Human Growth Hormone injections to Ellen Barkin and decided to pass her off as a new cast member?
Hello, everybody. Do you remember me? I’m Julie Klausner. We last saw each other in February, when I recapped what we can now fondly (or otherwise) refer to as “The Suicide Season” of RHOBH. And in addition to preceding the suicide of Taylor’s husband Russell, season two also had the dubious distinction of leading up to a rehab stint for Kim and a vague cleaving of viewpoints between Lisa and Adrienne at the reunion, which is apparently a cornerstone of the new batch of episodes.
When we last left the ladies, Camille was still a full-time cast member and Kim had just parted romantic ways with the Rock Eater from The Neverending Story. Brandi had yet to graduate to full-time Housewife, Lisa was moving, and Taylor was going to parties with an Osteopath who gave her marriage counseling one time. There was a mermaid, a chef who worked for the Malooves whom Paul was slowly altering surgically to look more like him, and Kyle made a fishy face while she did the splits, because she’s an emotional cripple with needs that exceed some hurricane victims’. Also, let’s all just agree that Dana/Pam never existed. Are we on the same page? Huzzah and onward!
Last night’s premiere began with a tour of Lisa Vanderpump’s new flat. Ha-ha! Flat is a British word for apartment. Lisa has a flat for her shoes, and the rest is all classic Vanderpumpian kitschy opulence. Brandi dropped in to show off her perfect ass in a pair of silk pants, and also to bring Lisa and Ken some sex gifts. There was talk of an event Lisa was planning to celebrate at what I understand is a mediocre Italian restaurant in walking distance of William Morris Endeavor, and Brandi said she’d be at the Villa Blanca anniversary celebration with bells on (her clitoris). Furthermore, Vanderpump planted, she would not be inviting Adrienne Maloof, her now-former neighbor, for reasons that are ... frankly, a little confusing to your recapping friend. Help a bitch out? I know Maloofy was originally pissed that Lisa didn’t choose her rats’ toilet/garbage casino place to host Pandora’s bachelorette party, and there was some ridiculous chatter at the reunion about Lisa’s “Maloof Hoof” comment being hurtful. But what was the basis of the story about Adrienne accusing Lisa of selling a story to Radar? In other words, what did Adrienne think Lisa had on her to sell? I am unsure about the rift between those two heavy-hitting broads and whether it originated at the reunion, and I would really appreciate it if you guys could chime in below in the comments section. Is this a real fight, or something the producers orchestrated for the sake of pitting the two Reasonable Heavies hoof-to-pump? If it’s founded, what are its origins? Thank you in advance. This surgically altered face-off could prove more important than the election! (No, it couldn’t. Please vote.)
After this scene, Kyle got a car. I don’t like Kyle. I never have and I don’t think I ever will. I don’t like what she wears or how she acts or who she is, and I’m sure she’d say I was jealous of her hot husband and sporadic acting career, but I’m really not. I have my own stuff going on. Also, they never identified the random old man who came with her new car. Did you guys see him, too, or was he a ghost? Moving on.
Adrienne and her at-the-time-husband Paul went to a restaurant to alternately vex and engage the waitstaff with their complicated orders and palpable hatred of one another. And after Paul took twenty minutes to tell their server he wanted the tri-color salad and an arrabiata sauce on his noodles, Maloof got a call from Taylor, who asked if she wouldn’t mind taking her shopping. You see, Taylor was on the prowl for some new threads for her hot new post-suicide bod, and Adrienne was all too happy to shop alongside Ducklips the Sociopath. The only sticky bit of that invitation came along with Taylor’s leak that Lisa was having a party, and Adrienne was not invited. Oops! See you at the lousy clothing shop anyway, Taylor! Bring your disconcerting eyebrows!
I want to take a moment here to apologize for anything I’ve been saying so far that might resemble “body snarking” or other attacks on these women’s looks. I don’t like picking on people’s appearances when it concerns things one cannot control. However, the culture shock of seeing the outfits these women wear and the heels they hobble around in and the extensions they maneuver around shoulders bonier than Dover Sole filets is taking me a beat to get used to. It’s the STYLE of these ladies that makes me feel like Sir Richard Attenborough narrating a nature film. “The perimenopausal Housewife shows her mate a shoulder in a bright asymmetrical top, in order to flaunt her litheness after her fertility has wavered.” WHO WEARS THIS SHIT? It looks so bad and costs so much! And I haven’t even gotten to Kathy Hilton’s crapola dresses. I seriously am not joking that when I Googled “Kathy Hilton dresses” halfway into the episode, my phone crashed TWICE on her site, if only because that shit is too ugly for OS 6! Back up your files and see for yourself.
And speaking of Kathy Hilton — a woman who once claimed to be unable to watch her sisters on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for reasons having to do with her own emotions — look who decided to come around to appear on that exploitative reality show once she had some ugly sweatshop crap to sell! In this scene, Kim, fresh from rehab and weirder/more Jerri Blank–ish than ever, brought her youngest daughter, Kimberly (I never get tired of how funny that is), to look at her auntie’s horrible cocktail-length prom rags. As Kimberly politely pretended not to hate some of the options available to her, Kim hilariously learned the word boutonniere. “I mean, I’ve got a boot, and I can hear!” bleated the wonderful Kim Richards, like when Koko the Gorilla called a ring a finger bracelet. No Sisters Richards would be complete without a Paris name-drop and an awkward Kyle interaction, so after Kim acted a fool, we were treated to both. Kyle dropped in to tell her niece the dress made out of balled-up Kleenex didn’t make her look like a toilet-paper cozy, and also to just generally talk around what was actually going on by gossiping about Kimberly’s dubious virginity. In her confessional, Kyle said that all of their arguments had stemmed from “when [her sister] wasn’t clean,” which is, frankly, bullshit. Their issues have more to do with the reasons surrounding Kim not wanting to be sober, and how they’ve avoided developing as adults, alone or together. But who am I, Dr. Phil? No, I’m actually way more astute. And I can’t prescribe meds. Believe me, I’d be more popular if I could!
Around this point in the show, we also met Yolanda, a former model from Holland married to a huge douche. True: My exposure to David “Not David Foster Wallace” Foster is very brief. Yes: I did look at his Wikipedia page and deduce a thing or two about his pomposity, his attention-seeking credits, and his unappetizing and constant attraction to people like Andrea Bocelli and Mitt Romney. But the most important thing you need to know about David Foster, producer and music personality, is that ONE TIME HE HIT BEN VEREEN WITH HIS CAR. That’s it. I hate this guy. David Foster is dead to me. Yolanda, you’re still a tabula rasa. That’s Ford model for “Let me see your swimsuit photos.”
Back to the monsters we know. Kyle, after making an awkward appearance at the dress thing for Kimberly and speaking vaguely about how she and Kim have been having a hard time of it, decided to allow/command her cute daughter Portia to phone her castmates, inviting them to her birthday party. Taylor said yes, and then Portia phoned Lisa, and because this is a reality show where everybody agrees to go on speaker phone, Brandi, who was over at Lisa’s at the time, said “Hi, I’m here, too,” which caused Kyle to begrudgingly invite Brandi as well, along with her sons. Will they or won’t they pee on Portia’s candles before she blows them out? It’s a cliff-hanger!
After this came a shopping scene, in which Adrienne told Taylor she didn’t look like an asshole in a drawstring skirt and expressed her disappointment in Lisa for not inviting her to her Villa Blanca party.
Then, we were finally at the Villa Blanca party! Which was adorned with Flaming Mo’s as well as babes and hunks dressed up like angels. I have a feeling all of the people wearing wings at Lisa’s party have an opinion about that California proposition concerning whether porn stars have to use condoms. Best of luck with that one, California!
All of the cast members besides Adrienne were in attendance, and Lisa introduced Yolanda to all of the ladies confident enough in their social status to admit not to having met her earlier (KYLE). Brandi, who likes saying raunchy things, asked Yolanda if she’d been married to Lisa’s friend Mohammed, and Yolanda said she had, which prompted Brandi to say something about how she herself had slept with everyone in Beverly Hills. Not a big deal, but Yolanda judged Brandi for it, and then explained to a group of adults who may or may not have college educations but definitely still do live in the year 2012, that Brandi’s comment merely had to do with Brandi being a Scorpio. Taylor backed up the slut shame, solidifying herself as an enemy of the Good Guys. Don’t hate on a girl’s self-deprecating free love ways. That’s somehow more retro than astrology or, like, wheat germ.
Other things that happened during the party include Kim ordering water and then straight up walking away after Brandi approached her. She made like one of Brandi’s crutches and disappeared!
Then came the event of the episode. A random girl in her twenties who was in no way a production assistant told Lisa that she had a special delivery of flowers. And after an obligatory record scratch and procession of curious souls to the aforementioned blooms, a soft, persistent drum-roll sound was provided by Brandi’s braless breasts jiggling percussively. Those very flowers were from … Adrienne Maloof! They were FUCK-YOU FLOWERS!
Actually, they were hardly a bouquet — those passive-aggressive flowers looked like a topiary designed to promote the new season of Grimm, and, when placed on a surface, appeared to spell out something ominous in an otherworldly language. “My marriage is ending and my house is going to be on fire soon, but Just You wait! I’ll get you, My Pumpy, and Your Little Dog, Too”? That’s a little wordy. Maybe she finessed it.
Either way, it was a party-stopper. The Sisters Richards almost couldn’t think about themselves for a minute in order to regard Maloof’s flowery fuck-you. Thank Christ, by the end of the episode, they were back to figuring out that Kim was unreliable and Kyle was narcissistic, and then they forgot it again, only to try to shout at each other in futile hope that the other would finally break their pattern and begin hearing the other.
You see, Kyle invited Kim to her daughter’s birthday party. And Kim, being Kim — sober or no-ber — deferred Kyle’s invitation in her Jerri Blank–ish, distinctive, noncommittal way. She was going to be with her, um, family that day, so … she probably couldn’t make it. Kyle looked hurt because that's what Kyle does, and nobody has demonstrated any maturity or growth since Kim embarked on her recovery. Good job, Richardses! Let’s show the world that you can’t take the “child” out of “former child actor”!
I hope for good things this season, dear reader. The first episode didn’t wow me or blow me out and finish my ends with product, but the sizzle reel of the upcoming season looks promising. A lot of fighting, name-calling, rich jerks, and arrogance. Who says we’ll miss the election when it’s over? Ha-ha! Seriously, though, please vote. Somebody’s got to balance out David Foster at the polls.
Did I miss anything? What were some of your favorite moments? And what the hell did Brandi mean when she claimed Kim’s animosity toward her came from the idea that Brandi had gotten her addicted to pills and alcohol? Did I miss that beat too? Jog an old lady’s brain, and I’ll see you next week! It’s good to be back.