Is this the deal we’ve made without knowing? That every season of RHOBH that doesn’t lead up to a suicide of a cast member’s husband will, by default, be sputteringly dull, at least at first?
On last night’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, we watched as the ladies all sat in queue, gunning the engines of their pimped-out racecars before Andy Cohen shot a pistol into the air and they could actually start the race.
Three things happened, basically. Kyle, Taylor-like, spent a disgusting amount of money on an excessive, circus-themed birthday party for her little girl. Mauricio and Paul put on women’s shoes to walk a mile for a novelty charity walk that benefitted victims of domestic violence. And Adrienne and Lisa circled their wagons clockwise, then counterclockwise, alternately acknowledging and avoiding a conflict having to do with a tabloid accusation from the reunion that we are still not entirely clear about, since it did not transpire in front of the show’s audience in real time. Also, we got to see Camille. Hooray!
The show began at a children’s clothing boutique, where Kyle and Adrienne browsed three hundred dollar hoodies too small for a pug in preparation for Portia’s birthday celebration. As the two folded and unfolded scarves and onesies like they were two Picasso paintings who worked at Baby Gap, Kyle quizzed Adrienne about her conflict with Lisa. Did it hurt her feelings that she wasn’t invited to the Villa Blanca party? It sure did! Will there be drama between you two when you both attend my daughter’s birthday party? I sure hope so, because half the audience is asleep! We also learned in this scene that Kim Richards will occasionally shop for herself in children’s clothing shops. Can you imagine the sight of a dazed, frowning Kim Richards taking a couple of flirty pieces — maybe some tops and a skirt — into the colorful, cozy dressing room of a Kids “R” Us? I might start hanging out there just in hopes of seeing that vision.
After that, Kyle and her family and Adrienne and Paul spent an evening at Taylor’s house. Taylor was doing “Spanish food for you guys,” because Mauricio is Mexican, and that entailed rolling out a host of hotel buffet-style Sterno servers in her kitchen, so her guests can comfortably spoon beans onto their Pier One plates. Once they were all seated around the table, Taylor explained the premise of the “Walk a Mile” event, which was a one mile walk, in which male participants had to wear high heels. Ha ha! Can you imagine? A man in a lady’s high heeled shoes? That is silly! High heels are for ladies! Men don’t wear those shoes! Ha ha ha! Oh, I am LAUGHING! Ladies’ shoes! And to walk a mile in them? That sounds uncomfortable! And can you imagine how embarrassing? And funny? Because men don’t usually wear those! Do you get it? Do you get the whimsical, slightly homophobic, ultimately unnecessary except for the fact that the gimmick increases the novelty of what would ordinarily be a plain Jane charity event, and if you have enough money, you go to a ton of those, so the idea of putting on high heels makes it slightly more amusing in a “Let Them Eat Cake,” fiddle-while-Rome-burns-kind-of-way?
The ladies couldn’t get enough of the idea of Paul and Mauricio in heels, and it’s a bummer Camille Grammer wasn’t in attendance, because she could have lent those bulging peepers to some exquisite eye rolls when asked whether Kelsey had left any of his size twelve pumps behind in the divorce settlement. And Kyle changed the time of her daughter’s birthday party so Mauricio could do both in the same day. What a hero. Let’s call the Hurricane Sandy first responders and make sure they know what “brave and selfless” looks like.
After this, we were treated to a scene in which Paul and Adrienne shopped for shoes. And they did cheat when they bought Paul a pair of Pinball Wizard boots while a patient Middle Eastern woman smiled. Paul did a funny walk, and Adrienne laughed. Soon their house would catch fire and they would fight in front of a judge for the opportunity to see their children on a regular basis.
Then, came the part of the show I think most people will be discussing today, which is the scene between Yolanda and her daughter, Gigi, a 17-year-old fashion model. Gigi has been modeling since she was three, and, just like her mother, uses her mutated genetics to wear clothes and give beauty face for good money and occasional (hopefully diverted and not Elmo-like!) interactions with sexual predators.
Yolanda, in one short scene, gave us a comprehensive overview of the nightmare it must be to have her as a parent. In under an hour of real time, she food-shamed her daughter, asked wardrobe if she could be put in “something sexy,” asserted her own experience in the industry as justification of her overbearing dispersal of unwanted advice, and made sure the makeup artist brought down the lines on the outside of Gigi’s eyes so she “didn’t look so Chinese.” It was pretty incredible — like we were watching the Dutch section of the Lucille Bluth Parenting Olympics. Bitch won the gold!
We also learned in this scene that Paris and Milan like their models on the skinny side, which is helpful to keep in mind when you’re eating a normal-sized meal on your birthday, and that, one time, Yolanda posed in a one piece swimsuit with a thong backside. Yolanda also said in her confessional that Gigi had been modeling for Guess, and today she’d be modeling for Europe. And I guess I should give Yolanda some slack in the English-As-Her-Second-Language department, but after that comment, I half-expected her daughter to be posing for an ad on behalf of the European tourism council. Soon, Ellen Barkin with Growth Hormone Injections stood behind the camera and evaluated the fruits of her genetic labor by approving of Gigi’s looks to the experts around her, bragging that her daughter had been bred for the task at hand. Like a pig, or an ear of corn! Eugenics—they’re not just for Hitler anymore. Come to Europe! Cut and print.
Then, Taylor accompanied the Malooves and Kyle and Mauricio to the charity walk on a private jet. I don’t know where the charity walk was located. Burbank? Seattle? Either way, it’s good to know, even after an election that swayed left, that there are still people in this country selfish enough to burn fossil fuels like they were restaurant matches in the bathroom. There was more talk on the plane about Adrienne and Lisa, and how they were fighting, and when would they confront each other, and would they apologize? And it was all hot air and so condescending — like, “Won’t it be great when these two finally get together and something actually happens?” instead of “Wow, so much is going on, I can barely imagine how exciting it will be when those two finally have it out!” It’s a bummer, and I wish Bravo could just dive in, instead of tuning its instruments for a chunk of episodes before starting the symphony.
Then, came Kyle’s preparations for her daughter’s excessive, garish celebration. The camera lingered on the animal handlers hired to bring in llamas and ponies who would soon be adorned, humiliatingly, with cardboard “horns,” while Kyle freaked out over a bee on her tennis court. I would like to take this part of the recap to remind you once more how much I dislike Kyle. I find her to be hollow, juvenile and narcissistic to the extent that only a former child actress can truly be. Also, when she makes a little “joke” in her confessionals about how, say, “One day she’s going to bring an elephant into Lisa’s house and not bring a pooper scooper,” and then she does that little, thin-lipped smile and her “Did I just land that joke adorably?” double-blink, I want to bite into something hard and shiny to contain my nausea, like the blade of a machete.
Lisa, Ken and Giggy arrived early at Portia’s party with a big, pink present for the girl and a hard out. You see, Lisa had to leave early to meet some wine sellers from Napa Valley at her restaurant, so she would be missing the chance to confront Adrienne about their long standing conflict at a child’s birthday party. Kyle, meanwhile, had blue balls around the affair. She was aching for her home to be the site of action! Please, she begged Lisa, stay and have it out with Adrienne! And, later, to Brandi: Please stay, and confront all of the tens of thousands of women around me who hate you! It will be a good substitute for a party clown! And sure, Lisa brought the llama through Kyle’s house to get to the backyard, and I felt so bad for that llama.
Meanwhile, Kudos to Brandi for showing up solo in Lolita glasses, and being upfront to Kyle about being nervous, a fact that Kyle deferred as quickly as she could, so as to smooth the waters of her social event, but more specifically, to not to be bothered by the needs of others. And then came Camille, in a matching tweedy shift. My gentleman friend remarked that she showed up looking like “Thirty Million Dollars,” and good for her. Go on, Camille! Nice to see Dee Dee as well. Do you and the Greek ever … ? Never mind. None of my business.
We also got to see Dana-Pam, that hoarse-voiced apparition of bravado and vulgarity. I have to admit, in a season so far devoid of drama, it was refreshing to see a woman disgusting enough to have one time announced on-camera that her sunglasses cost 25 thousand dollars, if only because she had the balls to ask Kim, once she showed up to the party, what had happened between her and the Rock-Biter from The Neverending Story. The answer was they were no longer together, which is a tautological masterpiece of Kimpossibility.
As far as Brandi was concerned, she was miffed that Taylor didn’t say hello to her, and uncomfortable around Kim, to whom she is loudly dead, and, having only Camille to talk to since Lisa had left early, snuck out of the party quietly, sending Kyle a text once she was gone. That annoyed Kyle, who is incapable of empathy, and she wondered why all the women around her couldn’t just get over their differences and get along. I’d say it’s a good thing Kyle’s not the EP of this show, but I do think there’s somebody behind the scenes with her wishes in mind, since so far, this season has been a triumph of conflict avoidance, if not outright peace-making and resolution. Mix it up, ladies! Get out the claws and jaws! Maybe next week that very thing will happen, in that Caroline Manzo/Danielle Staub-style “Table for two in an empty restaurant” showdown.
Finally, the Malooves arrived. Taylor tried unsuccessfully to talk shit about Brandi, and how Glanville had told Yolanda that she’d fucked all the men in Beverly Hills, and Kim was like “Whoa!” because you can take out a laser pointer and captivate her attention, but Kyle (TO HER CREDIT! Which I will always give when it is due!) walked away. Then, her husband called the ponies “burritos,” and Adrienne reacted negatively to the fact that Lisa had left before she had arrived. The end.
Next week, we get to see just how dastardly Yolanda’s husband is, beyond the fact that he once hit Ben Vereen with his car. Plus, the Adrienne/ Lisa showdown, and Taylor won’t give up her Brandi slut-shaming, nor will she extend her eyebrow to the end of its natural destination, which drives me only a little less crazy than her addiction to a smoky eye and pale lip — a good look for Adele, but a bit disconcerting on Taylor, because it looks like two flesh-colored earthworms have landed on her face from space, and are spooning around her mouth-hole. No disrespect.
What did you guys think of the episode? Am I being too harsh about the lack of drama so far? At least I am being harsher than the lighting Mauricio got in his confessional shot. What is he, a Renaissance painting? Stop backlighting Mauricio! Put it on a bumper sticker! And with that, dear readers, I leave you. See you next week.