The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Hello, everyone. I am Brian Moylan, Vice-President of the Real Housewives Institute, filling in for Danielle Henderson. Some of you might know my Real Housewife recaps from Gawker and some other sites, and I’m very excited to be filling some mighty big shoes this week.
And what a week it was! This season has been a collection of half-baked offerings and silly squabbles about whether or not Lisa tousled her hair at Joyce in a flippant manner. It’s been, at times, downright boring. But last night – whoa, Nelly. Between the Sisters Richards’ fame-mongering pathology, all the talk of witchcraft, and Carlton’s Eyes Wide Shut Pool Party brought to you by Fist Pump Tequila, Fat Burger, and Snooki Polizzi Brand Thong Undergarments, this was the most memorable night we’ve had since, well, at least since Andy Cohen decided to shave that pathetic dappled patch of fur he called a beard.
Let’s start with Kim Richards first. Oh, I love Kim Richards so much. She’s like Blanche DuBois come to life. Kyle Richards, the Baby Jane to Kim’s Blanche, must have gotten in with one of the editors or something, because this whole episode was structured to make her look like a big winner with a big part on a big soap opera who has an ongoing career, and to make Kim into some sort of troll who has to go back and relive her past with gap-toothed former teen idols at ballrooms at the Comfort Inn in Thousand Oaks.
Yeah, Kyle, you were on Days of Our Lives. We get it. You were in Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis, and you learned how to memorize your lines before you learned how to read. We get it. You’re the best. But will you let your sister have something? Anything? She was the big star, you were just the least petrifying thing about Watcher in the Woods. Cut poor Kimmy a break.
I was all ready to be sad about Kim’s trip to the Autograph and Pop Culture Expo where the only thing scarier than the lifelike Were-Puppy replicas are the owners of such things that also happens to look exactly like a grown-up Were-Puppies. I mean this convention shindig was pretty pathetic. Kim was rubbing shoulders with Richard Chamberlain of The Thorn Birds, Marilyn McCoo of Solid Gold, Diane Franklin of Better Off Dead (does she chase after deadbeat autograph seekers shouting “I want my $2”?), and Ami Dolenz of Pumpkinhead II and Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway. This sounds like a list I made up. It’s not. This is the real cast of characters that adults in 2014 paid money to meet.
That seems pretty damn sad. But look at Kim. Kim had the longest line there. Kim has fans. Lots of fans. Sure, they were there because she was on Real Petticoat Rufflers of Tascaloosa Gulch, but they were there. So these were mostly cute gay Bravo fans, but they are fans. There were even some fans of Hello, Larry, a show so bad it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. (Just kidding. It does.) These admirers gave Kim something to live for. They gave her hope, they gave her something outside of herself and her addiction to focus on. They were her tether to this mortal coil, no matter how unsavory some of them might be. They’re the ones the help her make it one day at a time. Sadly, there was no one from One Day at a Time in attendance.
At one point Kim said, “Kyle’s never done a show with me,” which I think she meant as some kind of insult, but it’s not really. It just means that Kyle has moved on and has kids and a career and a well-monitored Twitter account whereas Kim, well, she has memories. She has those faded old journal pages of parties at C. Thomas Howell’s house and that time Jimmy McNichol grabbed her ass and roared like a lion.
Kyle read those pages once, and still teases Kim about them, her throaty judgment cackling up at dinner parties when Kim is getting too much attention. She thinks it’s embarrassing to drag Kim back to that place, where she was so naïve, a pedestal she’s fallen off of thanks to so many vodka martinis. But Kim doesn’t mind. She loves it. She loves basking in her glory when the Walt Disney Company made all her decisions and she was invited to parties and driven around by boys who owned DeLoreans. That’s when Kim Richards was high on the hog. Sure, she’s been flopping in the slop ever since, but back then — well, she was something. She was a star!
Now it’s time to visit Carlton’s Americana-themed pool party, because there is nothing more all-American than stripper poles, gift bags, and girls painted to look like gilded skeletons hawking some brand of liquor that no one needs. When preparing for the party, Carlton unironically wore a pair of Ed Hardy Daisy Dukes with his brand scrawled across the ass. This is the problem with Carlton in a buttshell. She does not realize that this is not only shamelessly out of date but also striving so hard to be sexy that it misses the mark entirely and ends up somewhere in the vicinity of Vulgartown.
Just look at this party. There were two stripper poles on one end of the pool, both with their shiny steel column pointed up to the heaven as if, at any moment, the ecdysiast throttling them with her thighs might be hurled up into the clouds in some sort of stripper rapture. In much of the footage there was only one girl working a pole at any give time. Not only is that poor symmetry, but it’s horribly creepy. There is nothing sadder than an empty stripper pole. It just sits there with some sort of sad potential energy.
Not that much happened at the party itself. Carlton greeted her guests, made a V in front of her mouth with her fingers and stuck her tongue through it, and then hung out with her nanny Elizy (which isn’t a name as much as the last five tiles you drew in an unlucky game of Scrabble). Of course Kyle showed up and brought a bottle of wine as a gift. Oh, Kyle. Sweet, sweet Kyle. What a wonderful and sophisticated gift to bring to such an affair. That’s like showing up with a copy of The Seventh Seal to a high-school slumber party.
Kyle’s other big entanglement was when she looked at Carlton’s new tattoo and exclaimed, “Is that a Jewish star?” Now, in Kyle’s defense (God help my soul for doing this), that tattoo does look like an Iron Maiden album cover, and not even one of the good ones. It is all blurry and awful and covered in children’s scrawl. Kyle probably just didn’t get a good look at it.
Carlton took some sort of awful offense to it and claimed that Kyle has some sort of nefarious plot in not recognizing a Wiccan pentagram. Now, there is not much that is real about the Sisters Richards. They are never really transparent or genuine. But I can tell you one thing: Their ignorance is real. That is not an act. That is just Kyle having no fucking clue. Don’t get worked up over it, Carlton.
But Carlton won’t let it drop later when Yolanda has some ladies over for a “Let’s paint pictures for my daughter before she goes off to college party.” When Yolanda is sitting around with Brandi, Carlton, and Joyce, a video game that hasn’t been plugged in, Carlton brings up that she thinks Kyle is talking shit about her. Why? Because she woke up from a dream that said that Kyle was talking shit about her religion. What? Okay, that is bananas bonkers talk. I once had a dream that I was a billionaire who took a trip to Mars with my husband John Stamos, but that doesn’t mean that was even possibly true. For any person to even entertain what happens in a dream as some sort reality is just hilarious. I do love that this show has turned a corner from being a reality drama into something else. It has embraced its supernatural element. It is now Passions.
As much as I hate to admit it, Joyce, a Strawberry Shortcake that is missing a leg, is right about this. Carlton can’t be all, “If Kyle has a problem she should say it to my face,” while talking shit about Kyle behind her back. That’s like trying to have your Fatburger and eat it too.
Somehow this conversation lead to Joyce, a helium balloon entangled in some electrical wires, to ask about Carlton casting spells, and Carlton saying that she would, and Joyce saying that spells don’t work on her because she believes in Jesus who has real power, and Carlton saying that in England she gored a virgin pig at the center of Stonehenge so she is the most powerful mage of the post-Arthurian age, and then Joyce saying thirteen Hail Marys and hoping that the cootie shot she got in the third grade is enough to protect her.
Basically it was like that scene in Lord of the Rings: The Second Movie where Gandalf and Saruman are tossing each other around that tower trying to see whose silly stupid magic is the more powerful silly stupid magic.
After that scene, Carlton went home and threw open the heavy oaken doors to her library. She stood in the middle of the room and took out one of the three-pronged candles left over from the Hustler gift bags. She lit the first wick and said, “I call on you maiden,” then she lit the second wick and said, “I call on you mother,” and then she lit the third wick and said, “I call on you crone.” Then she began to hum. No, it was not so much a hum as a controlled utterance at a pitch so low most on this plane couldn’t even hear it. She tilted her head up into the air and, if you were looking down you would see that, as she opened here eyes, there were no pupils or irises just milky white orbs. She exhaled but air didn’t come out – smoke did.
Across town Joyce was with her husband, Augustus Gloop, when he started coughing. He swizzled on his feet, about to fall over when he put his fat paw up to his mouth. He lurched forward, pushing her out of the way as he just made it to the bathroom and emptied out the contents of his stomach in the sink. He was up the entire night and Joyce could do nothing but stare out the window. There was the hum of the street lights and the trees not so much objects but shadows of objects, outlines of things that she took for granted. She touched the diamond crusted crucifix she always wears, glinting like the stars above her. But she let it go as another round of sickness seized her husband. She knew it had no power here.