The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
I’d like to start this recap with a public-service announcement for Lisa Vanderpump: You do not own the color pink. I know you walk around pretending like you’re the only one who can wear a certain shade of a color usually reserved for lady products — for everything from breast-cancer-walk water bottles to cupcake-flavored lube — but pink belongs to everyone.
You can’t claim dibs on one sliver of the rainbow and browbeat anyone who wears a shade of rose, red, or [puts on my best Carol Channing impersonation] raspberry. You cannot own pink. Can people own the scent of bacon cooking in the morning? The feeling of a warm bed on a cold night? The penny-licking taste of blood from sucking your own wound? No. Give it a rest, Lisa.
I, for one, want to give up on the specters of Brandi Glanville and Kim Richards. They’re still lingering around this season like the stench of a McDonald’s bag the morning after you’ve thrown it in the trash. I get why Erika, my once and future bestie, asks about Brandi after sitting through so many conversations about her, but Brandi is gone. Talking about Brandi is like worrying about the USSR or the beef between Biggie and Tupac. There might be some aftereffects, but those fates have been sealed, so let them rest in peace.
Except for Tupac, who is obviously still alive.
As for Kim … well, that wicket is stickier than her fingers. She keeps getting mentioned at Kyle’s party by Alene 3: This Time It’s Personal. That’s no real surprise; she had just been arrested a few days earlier. It was big national news. However, there are healthy ways to talk about Kim, and there are bad ways to talk about her. Gossiping about Kim in her sister’s store while her sister is yards away is grubby. Making it all about yourself, as Lisar does, is as gross as selling a shearling coat in July. Rein it in, Lisar. Like the sort of rein you’d use on a tiny horse.
Here’s the better way to discuss Kim: Lisa brings her up at dinner, asking Kyle how she could feel less tortured about Kim’s condition. That’s not really talking about Kim, per se — it’s addressing Kyle. Yes, we all know that Kim’s addiction isn’t about Kyle, that black hole of attention, but it does affect Kyle. There’s nothing she can do about it, which is sad. Lisa was trying to help her friend, not by offering advice about Kim, but by trying to solve a problem. Faye Resnick, a morally reprehensible grease fire with lip implants, also handles it well by telling Kyle that she needs to reach out or she’ll never forgive herself. In both cases, these women talk to Kyle about Kyle. They’re not gossiping about Kim, so there’s no need for conjecture. Let Kim figure herself out, then she’ll come back and tell us about it in a Watch What Happens Live one-on-one special. Just as God and Andy Cohen intended.
The way Lisa handles Kyle at dinner is about the only good thing Lisa does at dinner. Man, she really got on my nerves. (Same goes for snippy Ken, who always gets his hackles up when someone has a problem with his wife.) I don’t care that she doesn’t want to apologize to Eileen, but she gets all bent out of shape when Eileen want to discuss it more. Lisa is the one who says, “Are we alright now, love?” She starts it! Eileen is right: Lisa should be more accepting of her feelings. She should even muster up an apology, even if it ends up being a patented Housewives apology. You know, the one where she says, “I’m sorry you were upset,” but never really apologizes for her behavior. I think that would’ve put this tired subject to rest.
What’s even worse, though, is how she reacts to Eileen’s revelation about suffering abusive relationships. From what we see, it fits into the conversation; the women are getting deep and revealing secrets. Eileen says she wanted to air that dirty laundry out in Amsterdam, so it’s already on her mind. In a confessional, Lisa responds, “She’ll talk about being in an abusive relationship, but she won’t talk about a love affair with her husband?”
Here’s the point that Lisa is missing: It’s about disclosure. Eileen wants to let people know about her past so they know she survived. She wants to let all the people watching at home — the people who might be in abusive relationships — know that they can to make it out too. Lisa pumps her for information about her affair with Vinny, even though it’s not exactly the right time to talk about it. Eileen wants to be in control of her own narrative; she wants to control how the public sees her life. That’s not always possible, of course, but for someone who has only smoked once on camera, it’s something that yellow-fingered Lisa Vanderpump should certainly understand.
Okay, we should talk another new girl. Oh God, not another. I just can’t handle another person who I’ll reflexively hate, only to fall in love with her two episodes later. I just can’t do it. Right now, my heart is consumed with Erika “the drapes don’t match the waxed hardwood floor” Jaynerardi. There is no room for more. Sorry, Kathryn Whoseewhatsit. I just can’t. Also: At this point in the season, another new girl seems like an affront. It’s like that flaky friend who shows up to the Oscar party after Best Documentary Short and is like, “What did I miss? Are there any more of those cheeseballs?”
We meet Kathryn at some cockamamie award show for dogs that Lisa is throwing. All of her favorite bold-faced names are there, including Lance Bass. This egregious party makes me feel bad about myself, if only because I want to have a threesome with Lance Bass and his husband right there on the steps.
Kathryn, a former model, is 51 years old. She is two years younger than Lisa Vanderpump. Just pointing that out. Kathryn looks flawless, but she’s an Aviva Drescher look-alike, which gives my brain a little palsy and my stomach a little quiver. She’s married to a football player named Donnie Edwards, who just stole the trophy of Househusband Most Likely to Star in Brian Moylan’s Masturbatory Fantasies From Joe Gorga. (I just admitted a desire for extramarital sex with Lance Bass and his fine piece. I am not a proud man.)
What is really interesting about Kathryn is that she was once married to Marcus Allen, who was O.J. Simpson’s best friend. That means she is connected to Faye Resnick and man this is about to go down. Lisar hasn’t seen her for more than ten seconds when she just blurts out “O.J.!” Did the producers tell her to get that exposition out of the way at the top of the hour? (Also, what is up with O.J. all over television these days? Are the Dancing Itos going to go on a reunion tour?)
Anyway, she and Faye are going to rumble next week. I think it’ll make me love Kathryn, so I’m not going to hate her right now. Maybe I can meet a new girl. I’ve got love in my heart and a song in my belly. Here’s your chance, Fancy. Don’t let me down.
There’s another former Housewife at Lisa’s Dawg Pound Awards: St. Camille of Grammer, who arrives in a dress that manages to pull off slutty and classy at the same time. (Only someone who’s danced on Club MTV can pull off that dress.) Can’t Camille take Erika Jaynerardi shopping so she quits buying coochie cutters and thinking she’s an enigma?
As the ladies take Kathryn off for introductory drinks at Diss-Trick, Camille gets into her pale-pink Bentley and drives home through the twisty roads of Beverly Hills. When she pulls into the driveway, she pauses to watch the sun set over the ocean, distilling the sky into purples and umbers. The pale moon shines in the sky, like an earring sunk to the bottom of the pool. Camille walks into the house; DeeDee is waiting for her, putting the cork back into a bottle of red. “Oh, I’m just in time!” Camille says. DeeDee turns around, takes out another glass, and pulls the cork out again.
“Those women always stress you out so much. Why do you keep hanging out with them? It’s not your job anymore,” DeeDee says. She takes their glasses and walks out onto the porch. Camille follows. They lie in two chaises, with a table between them.
“I don’t know. They’re fun,” Camille says with a shrug. “I met the new girl tonight. Kathryn. I don’t know … “
“I don’t know if she’s ready. You’re right. It’s work. Once you let them into your life it’s like — I don’t know. A firing squad? That’s too harsh.”
“Oh, I’ve met those girls, it is not too harsh.” DeeDee holds her glass of wine aloft, waiting for Camille to meet it with her own.
“I guess you’re right,” Camille says, kissing the rim of her glass to DeeDee’s. She sighs into her seat, sinking lower and lower. She sets her glass on the table. Her index finger instinctively looks for DeeDee’s hand and when she finds it, they hold their hands together, fidgeting intimately. Camille looks out across her lawn, across the town, toward the sun stumbling under the horizon, as it drags its yellow cape down with it. There is so much out there, so much she could be a part of, so much she had been a part of. She wishes she could unlatch her head, right between the eyes, and let everything in. No, that isn’t right. She wants to let it all out, release all of her knowledge and chase the fading sun. She wants to let the universe take her secrets. She wants to launch herself, like a missile. A target out there needs her, a target that needs to explode.