Drama! Fighting! Conflict! Spanakopita! Finally, this show woke up from its nap in time to give us a little of what we tune in each week for. It just … didn’t tell us what the root of all the drama was. That’s no big deal, right? It’s perfectly fine for a show to cut around a thing that happened and only show the cast’s reactions to it, right? And to promote the cast’s reactions in its promos for the episode, only to omit the source of the squabble? That’s totally okay and normal, yes? To send curious viewers to gossip blogs so they can speculate there that Brandi had said that Adrienne used a surrogate for her pregnancies, instead of providing that information on the TV show that they’re watching? Okay, good.
Look, I could be whistling Dixie Carter here. Maybe Bravo didn’t air Brandi’s allegation because they’re scared of being sued shitless by Adrienne and Paul, as I’m sure Brandi is. (Quoth her blog: “We all make mistakes, and if I could take this back I would. Trust me! I can't, so now I just have to deal. Boy is it going to be expensive!”) So I’ll give the network the benefit of the doubt in regards to the Great Omission. But if that was artistic license, what chutzpah! (Goyim readers: That phrase is the opposite of “Mazel.”) I will say that this episode was the first interesting one of a yawn-strewn season so far, even though it read like a mystery novel with its final few pages missing.
First off, it looks like the Adrienne versus Lisa squabble on season three was a red herring. The real conflict on this season’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is the one between … filet mignon and bleu cheese! I’m kidding. It’s obviously Brandi versus Adrienne in the ring, with Paul Nassif in his (now-estranged) wife’s corner.
Brandi and the House of Maloof got into it deep into the episode — and we never learned exactly why — but before we got treated to the mute accusation, we were treated to the worst mini-episode ever of My Super Sweet 16. Kyle and Mauricio, whose house and driveway were possibly subjected to the ritualistic and constant, mysterious pelting of eggs, lured their daughter Alexis outside with the promise that she would surely enjoy bearing witness to the latest manifestation of ovular debris on their property. Shortly after Alexis’s parents showed her where the mysterious egg pelters had gotten ‘em good, Mauricio said, “It’s a good thing they didn’t get your car, though.” What? Her car? Alexis doesn’t have a car! Unless she … BOI-YOI-YOI-YOING!!!! Now she does! Yes, Alexis has a car now. It’s her property forever, and white. A reverse Django Unchained! Kyle and Mauricio’s daughter reacted to the good news by saying things like “shut up,” because teenagers come along with their own words for things, and we never learned whether the egg thing was real, or whether Mauricio had been pelting eggs at his own house for weeks in hopes of getting that very payoff.
After that, Brandi took her gay literary agent to a sushi place, where they admired Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang book cover, which won the “most hours spent working on an image in Photoshop” award at the 22nd Annual Graphic Designeys.
Then we were treated to a commercial for Lisa Vanderpump’s new TV show within the context of the TV show we all actually chose to watch. You see, the focus of Lisa’s new show involves her running her various restaurants, and how she deals with her staff and other things I guess. However, last night’s RHOBH scene between Lisa and a random employee who needed to be reprimanded for taking issue with a VIP customer who called her a bitch had nothing to do with the Real Housewives balls up in the air thus far. The next scene, in which Brandi called Lisa to make sure the Sur waitress who bonked her ex wouldn’t be working when she attended an upcoming event at her restaurant, was indeed relevant to our series. But I am not resentful over this integrated advertising for Vanderpump Rules on “my program.” More Lisa Vanderpump is never a bad thing. BTW, is Taylor still on this show? What about Yolanda? Did Bravo pass the Dutchie?
The event at Sur went ahead as planned, sans bonk-tress and featuring a cavalcade of non-Adrienne housewives. Lisa mentioned that Ken was getting hip replacement surgery, which was scary, and Kim showed up on time, which was crazy. Then Brandi and Kim left a “funny” message on Kyle’s voicemail about how they were waiting for her and were concerned, and they giggled the whole time, and that was also weird, but good for them. I’m sure Kim and Brandi’s friendliness will translate seamlessly into loyalty, last forever, and there will never be any more problems between or because of them.
After the ladies made as much fuss as possible over Brandi’s straight hair, they all finally sat down to eat. The purpose of the event was to promote — I MEAN TRY — some of Lisa’s new appetizers, most of which looked stupid and disgusting. I’m sorry, Lisa: Japanese quesadillas with lobster guacamole are things that shouldn’t exist, and I believe you know that in your heart deep down.
While the ladies wondered where Adrienne was, Brandi remarked that maybe she wasn’t there because she was working on her book. And come to think of it, did Adrienne even have a book deal? Perhaps she did not! Then, Lisa asked Brandi what precisely had gone down between her and Adrienne previously, and Brandi took that as an opportunity to just go to town on Adrienne. It was a shit-talk Talk Show, hosted by Brandi. Brandi Lately! Brandi Chitty Chat Bang! Among her talking points:
- How Adrienne and Paul wanted Brandi to retract some of the Lisa-supporting statements she had made on Twitter.
- How Adrienne had wanted to get together with Brandi to shit-talk Lisa.
And finally —
- A MYSTERIOUS THIRD THING ABOUT ADRIENNE’S FAMILY THAT WE WERE NEITHER SHOWN OR TOLD.
Again: Bravo. Please be straight with us, because Watch What Happens Live did not shine light on this still-dark fact. Did you omit the specifics of Brandi’s gossip item because Adrienne and Paul are litigious? I mean, you must have. Right? Why else would you edit out the one thing the rest of your characters spend the episode talking about, so they’re just talking around it instead? Please don’t tell me you did this on purpose. I despise titillation without release. I can only hope you’re being threatened with lawsuits. What a nice and weird thing to say in a recap or in general!
Anyway, the awful thing that Brandi accused Adrienne of doing was reacted to. I know I’m using the passive voice, but Bravo has forced me to. I am being passive-voice aggressive because I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE DEALING WITH HERE! Did Brandi allude to the divorce rumors between Adrienne and Paul that we now know are true? Did she repeat the item Adrienne has since disseminated about how Paul had been drunk around his kids? Did she know anything about the abuse allegations that have surfaced? Was it the surrogate thing? Please shine some light on this in the comments below, pals. I trust you not to build me up with futility, buttercup.
After this scene — and my repeated rewinding of it to make sure I wasn’t alone in missing anything — we got to see Paul and Adrienne getting along at home, around frankfurters. And those two have been doing less bickering this season so far, which I wonder about. Will their demise sneak up on us or is their getting along a symptom of things going south due to their keeping their emotions bottled up? Either way, Adrienne telling Paul he doesn’t know what to do with lettuce is the nicest I’ve ever heard her speak to him. And for the record, I have no problem with the hair on Paul’s back. It’s nice to see somebody in that counterculture of hairless, HD makeup-laden, extension- and glitter-strewn Christmas tree people who has some natural fuzz on his monkey tail area.
Then, we got to tag along while Mauricio celebrated himself. You see, he started his own real estate agency this year. It’s called the Agency, and in order to commemorate its existence, he and his partners tried to sell Camille a condo. Camille, looking luminous with that particular Klonopin Glow she’s patented, arrived at Mauricio’s party on the arm of her Greek boyfriend, Dimitri, whose genitals are comprised of a doric column, two veal medallions and a groin vault. We learned in the process of meeting Dmitri that he liked to cook, and when asked to be specific, Dmitri said so quickly that he enjoyed making “spanakopita” that I thought he was being fed “Greek food specifics” by a hack writer off–camera. Oh, really? Can he also make lamb? Yes, he can make lamb. Does he know Paul Tsongas? Yes, he has his cell. Come on, everybody! It’s Camille’s boyfriend’s theme song! “Get her to the Greeeeeeeek!” *Jazz Hands.*
In his breathtakingly lit testimonial, Mauricio bragged to the camera about how much money he made last year, and I can only hope that his chance to do precisely that — and show the condo he’s trying to unload — was part of some kind of quid pro quo arrangement. Did he have to show Andy Cohen his inverted sombrero for the privilege of such primo screen time? Happy Hanukkah!
And while Kyle built up her husband’s event as something classy and sacrosanct instead of just a glorified open house, the ladies began obligatorily rolling in. Brandi entered, in a floral tube dress she’d later pair with a fur vest, Kim was a vision in black and a high pony, and Taylor arrived alongside the Beverly Hills Dwight, who is less gay than the Atlanta Dwight. Incidentally; all of the Cockettes having buttsex in sync to the original cast recording of Oh Calcutta! is less gay than the Atlanta Dwight. Happy Kwanzaa!
Meanwhile, Ken got hip surgery from an orthopedic surgeon who seems like a good person to ask for advice about where to get the best corned beef sandwich in the Beverly Hills area. Lisa was nervous and made a fuss over her husband, and Pandora Spotify-Limewire Vanderpump-Hot Guy’s Last Name showed up, as did her punky brother, with whom I would like to one day attend a Bad Brains show. Ken was fine after his surgery, hooray. Ken is great and so is Lisa and this is a strong family unit and Vanderpump Rules, on Bravo! Monday night, January 7! Wah-wah. Also, is that not a piece on Ken’s head if they put a shower cap over it before surgery? Please advise.
As Ken recuperated, across town Adrienne and Paul casually entered Mauricio’s party, as though they weren’t about to be momentarily blindsided, then furious.
Sure enough, after the Malooves’ hellos, Kim, who had previously expressed concern at Sur over the conversation being excessively cruel to an absent Adrienne, approached Adrienne and Paul and just got right into it.
She told Adrienne that Brandi had called her a liar, and then referred to the Thing That Shall — in the tradition of the first RHONJ “You know what you did!” reunion, starring Caroline Manzo in angry tears over a vague Danielle Staub–related offense we later found out was custody-related — Remain Nameless. Kim called the Thing “something very private and deep about Adrienne’s family.” What was it, her original nose? Ha ha. I kid — that thing disintegrated internally while Jimmy Carter was still in office. Did you guys see Argo? I did too. Okay.
Adrienne and Paul became predictably furious. Adrienne said she was going to slap Brandi with a lawsuit and Paul just wanted to slap her. Kim, meanwhile, seemed lost in space. I don’t think she meant to cause trouble by telling the Malooves what had gone down at Sur, but I am also certain that Kim’s brainwaves are ... well, different than yours or mine or even those of the late Keith Moon’s.
Paul and Adrienne decided that they would leave the party because of “that bitch over there,” a comment Brandi heard. And then Paul confronted Brandi, telling her to come to him if she had something to say about his family.
Kyle asked Kim whether she had said anything to Adrienne and Paul about what Brandi had said, and of course she had. Kim didn’t even have the wherewithal to act guilty or to lie, because Kim didn’t know that she had done bad all by herself. Like when babies just fart when they’re looking you in the eye, Kim was just like, “Yeah I told them,” in her pre-apple bite, Eden-nude state of innocence. Remind me to be reincarnated as a child actress one day, just to see what it’s like to have no empathy and not be a psychopath.
“Dear God,” Kyle blasphemed, “Not here. Not at Mauricio’s party.” Well, yes, Kyle. Yes at Mauricio’s OPEN HOUSE, because you’re a Real Housewife on a TV show and you invited your fellow castmates over, and they didn’t fight at your daughter’s birthday party but now that there’s alcohol and no children within spitting distance (plus a powderkeg in the form of your delightful-to-me, frustrating-to-your-sister) you better believe this shit will run its course, whether or not your husband pressured somebody over the course of the evening to spend 2.5 million dollars on an apartment with a view of a stadium.
Brandi and Adrienne and Paul shouted over each other about how Brandi was a liar and how what she’d said was defamatory, and Brandi said “my children!” and Adrienne said “My children!” and Brandi said “fuck you” and then Paul called her a piece of shit.
Taylor’s single contribution to this episode came with her remarking, in her testimonial, how she’d never seen Paul that angry and it made her nervous. All right, Taylor. There was some “get your finger out of my face” business and “did you call my wife a bitch?” stuff, and then Adrienne said “You lie! You lie!” like she was sampling her own voice. Then Brandi told Adrienne that her employees talk shit about her all the time, and Adrienne accused Brandi of sleeping every day until 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, Kyle was really embarrassed, and then the Malooves left. Next week, she will confront her damaged sister and possibly endanger Kim’s recovery by holding her to the standard of a normal person! Also — the return of the morally corruptible Faye Resnick, and Kyle versus Lisa? Was there ever a showdown with a side so easily picked?
What side are you on in the Adrienne and Paul versus Brandi debacle? I’m torn, because I’ve always liked Paul, but Brandi is a vulgar delight and so far this season Adrienne has been unanimously in the wrong. Maybe it would help if I knew exactly what was said? Or if I knew precisely where Adrienne stood, in general? It’s like she’s this fog of provocation, always showing up and picking fights with the good guys. But then, is the enemy of my enemy my gay literary agent? Only time will tell.
Set me straight in the comments below and I’ll see you guys next week!