The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
There is nothing that upsets me more than when a woman, especially a Housewife, says “my gays.” Gays are not possessions. They are not purses or stacked nude Louboutins or any other sort of accessory. They are people. So when Kyle Richards decides that she wants to have a mixer for “her gays,” where all her lady-friends could invite all of “their gays” and they could set them all up with each other so that they could form a great, big puddle of gay that is beholden to the whims of these women, well, I thought it was about the worst idea I’ve ever heard. Then I realized that my idea of heaven is a room full of attractive single homosexuals looking to hook up, only to be interrupted by a handful of Real Housewives fighting with each other. Then I was just sad that I never got to attend this Shangri-La-La-La-Di-Da.
But seriously, Kyle’s “my gays” party was a little bit of a mess. Maybe it’s because it was planned by two queers who own a business called Game Night Planners. Blink. Blink … Blink. Seriously? Does Kyle think anything having to do with Game Night is a good idea? This is a woman who has lived through two of the worst game nights since Imelda Marcos invited everyone to her palace casino and then burnt it down around them. (That didn’t really happen, but it should have.) She should get a clue, but she should not invite everyone over to play Clue, because it will end up with Brandi murdering someone in the living room with a cheap manicure she got somewhere in the Valley.
So the “my gays” party was technically another game night. First of all, every one of “their gays” was a gay who worked for them. It should have been called what it was: a meeting of the Local 6969, the florists’, hairdressers’, stylists’, retail queens’, and PR workers’ union. Even Brandi’s friend Mark, a Jersey Shore extra who has been camping out on another reality show for about 13 episodes, isn’t her friend. He’s a “houseguest and hairstylist.” Do any of these women know or like any gays that they haven’t paid to make them somehow more rich or more fabulous? The answer to that question is the same as the answer to “Are there any tops in WeHo?” and “Is Kyle Richards really a top?”
Before we get into the Kim/Kyle/Brandi triangle of sadness and death, let’s just discuss a few housekeeping details. I do not quite understand Lisa’s relationship with her son Max, whom she adopted out of foster care. She says she wants to help him find his heritage, like where his people are from, but won’t tell him his birth name for some reason. I feel like there’s something she’s hiding from him or from us, or there’s something that she’s just afraid to say. It’s like she’s going to have a “She’s your sister,” [slap] “She’s your daughter,” [slap] “She’s your sister and your daughter” moment that we’ll never recover from. (Confidential to Faye Dunaway: Where have you been, sister-mother?)
Yolanda Bananas Foster packs for a trip to Italy so her husband can do some charity. Then she was talking all about her son Anwar, whom we met last week when he dined on a breakfast of strawberries and pills, as Ben Rimalower, the associate vice-president of Danielle Staub studies and gift-shop sales at the Real Housewives Institute so astutely put it. Isn’t it weird to anyone that YoBanFo had a son this whole time, whom she was pretty much hiding from us? It’s like she asked the kids if they wanted to be on the show and the girls were like, “Hell yeah, no one will know that we are the human embodiment of Bratz dolls unless we’re on TV!” and Anwar was like, “Mom, I’m trying to play Call of Duty. Go away!” Now she’s forcing him to be on the show because there is no one left. Sorry, toots, but the show must go on.
Alright, is that all the housekeeping? Oh, well, I also have to mention that I sort of love Lisar and Eileen when the shit really goes down. It’s like they don’t know what to do with it. They’re like the Real Housewives color commentators, sitting up above the stadium saying, “Well, it looks like this could be a grand slam for Kyle. What do you think, Eileen?” Lisar is more ready to tussle than Eileen, who is just completely at sea with these women. Last season I hated Joyce, the foil top on one of those San Pellegrino fruity sodas that you can’t figure out why it’s there and can’t wait for it to be gone. Joyce wanted to be in the mix badly, but she was just so awful at it. Eileen, though, is something else. She’s like an astronaut who just crashed her spaceship on a faraway planet and can’t get home, but also can’t for the life of her figure out what the flark the natives are up to. She is entertained and frightened by their violent antics and will never quite be comfortable with them. I find this more and more amusing to watch, especially when she calls Brandi out for being absolutely insane.
This is all to say that Brandi is really wrong in this scenario. Let me tell you why. (Also, let me ask forgiveness of our lord and savior Jill Zarin for siding with Kyle Richards on this fight because, while I think she’s an awful soul-barnacle of a woman, she does have some valid points.)
First, Kyle goes over to Kim’s house after Kim’s gotten out of the hospital for hernia surgery and tells Kim how hurt she was by what Brandi did to her in Eileen’s driveway. The worst part of that argument was that Brandi decided to get in between two sisters. There are some natural phenomena — like the grinding of tectonic plates, nuclear fusion, or anal sex without lube — that you don’t really want to be around. Tantamount among these is a fight between sisters, which can be an act of God as destructive as Britney Spears’s Cheeto farts. Brandi should not have gotten involved. Period.
Kyle is even more right about Brandi saying that she’s there for Kim while Kyle is not. Kyle tells Kim that Brandi is wrong to compare their relationship, and Kyle is right. Brandi says to Kim, “I feel like we’ve been through more this summer …” This summer? That’s what Brandi is basing their close friendship on? The span of time encapsulated in a Porky’s movie? Kyle has been there for Kim for decades. She is the Blanche to Kim’s Baby Jane (whom Kim actually looked like, with all that blush she was wearing). Kyle has picked Kim off the floor literally dozens of times. She has taken her to parties at C. Thomas Howell’s mansion. She has, according to Kim, stolen her house and then had an altercation with her in the back of a limo about it. Brandi has no idea what these two have been through, and no one will ever have a relationship like Kyle and Kim’s.
Anyone that thinks that Kyle hasn’t been there for Kim is absolutely bonkers. Yes, when Brandi talks to Kyle about Kim’s problems, she might be like, “Oh, that’s Kim!” because Kyle has seen these problems cycle through their lives so many times that she knows there is nothing anyone can do to stop them. She just has to stand there on the shore, binoculars in hand, watching Kim sink and sink and sink until she can figure out how to swim on her own. Brandi is still alarmed, fearing that Kim will drown, but Kyle knows that sometimes, when you’re dealing with an addict, drowning is what it takes.
Yes, Brandi is entirely wrong in this scenario. I’m not saying that Kyle is a saint, but she and Kim have a very unique relationship, and Brandi should respect it and stay out of it. That doesn’t mean Brandi can’t be a friend to Kim, but she needs to see that they can both be there for her without it becoming a competition. If Kim has a problem with the way Kyle is treating her, that is between the two of them, and Brandi is stupid to think that, in the long run, she’s going to win Kim over from Kyle.
But that brings us to the fight at the “my gays” party. Everyone was kind of wrong here, but no one was as wrong as the morally corrupt Faye Resnick, who swooped down like one of Satan’s queefs with the two most Botoxed homosexuals this side of the Rocky Mountains. Ugh, just when you think she’s gone for good, Faye rears her ugly head (I mean that literally) to make you vomit the Pinot and guacamole you just finished.
Really, all three of them are wrong. Kim is wrong to bring Brandi without telling Kyle first. Kyle is wrong to try to start something with Brandi there at the party. Brandi is wrong not to be more gracious about it after Kyle started it (though she does at least warn Kyle that she’s going to knock her teeth out). Kim is wrong not to get between Kyle and Brandi when they start fighting and try to add some kind of perspective to this. She could tell them both to get along. She could tell them, as she told Kyle on her bed, that she will always be Kyle’s best friend no matter what, but that she needs to make room for Brandi, too.
This isn’t really a fight between Kyle and Brandi at all. This is a fight between Kim and Kyle, one that started three years ago, when Kim got sober, which has never been resolved. Kim is such a pleaser that she can’t stand up to Kyle, and now I think she’s sort of enlisted Brandi to do the dirty work. The real moment of the fight came when Kim said, “I’m not standing up for [Brandi], I’m standing up for me. I’m standing up for Kim.” She has never done that to her sister before, and she’s been such a mess for so many years that now she’s in no position to make Kyle trust her to act on her own. Now that she can, their dynamic is stuck in such a paradigm of Kyle helping Kim that the latter doesn’t know how to get out of it other than to send Brandi in to blow it the hell up. Though she may be the aggressor, Brandi is only collateral damage in this scenario. This is about Kim needing help and attention for her hernia and taking pain pills and Kyle making it all about herself. It’s not Brandi’s problem — it’s Kim’s.
That’s why the episode ends with Kim sitting there in a booth at a “my gays” mixer party, nursing her electronic cigarette while Brandi and Kyle scream each other into a stalemate — a Mexican standoff of mouths. For just a minute, the noise goes out of the room: the women’s screeching, the boys’ yammering chats about Grindr pics and the new Katy Perry single, the hum of the traffic, the slight buzz of the power lines as they move in the breeze, the endless whoosh of the highway, the engine of a jet as it flies out of LAX to some place in the Pacific, the air of the clouds as they fly in a collision course with the mountains, the churning of the planets and the stars and the galaxy and the orchestra of the heavens as they slowly, slowly, slowly expand like the eternal inhale of the creator. It all goes quiet as Kim exhales the smoky concoction from her cigarette — the gears in her head stop turning and she finally knows the answer. She looks up to tell Kyle, or Brandi, or whoever is nearby. She looks up with her dark eyes and her hand in front of her face shielding her from whatever she just realized. She looks up and forgets it all, the din returning in a rush and closing in around her like a rib about to crack.