The Real Housewives of Potomac Recap: Light-Skinned Problems

Gizelle Bryant. Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Potomac
Episode Title
All Shades of Shade
Editor’s Rating

I genuinely believe that Real Housewives of Potomac could have something on its hands if it didn't spend every single moment recapping what we saw last week. Doesn't Bravo trust us to have DVR and Watch What Happens Live? I guess they don't because we're still dealing with the fallout from that decade-long beach trip. But we'll get to that later because Gizelle is doing what she does best: trying to be a paltry, light-skinned imitation of Iman by launching her very own makeup line.

Gizelle has a lot of makeup needs because her makeup can't be chalky or ashy and her skin is very sensitive. Instead of just going to Sephora and getting her Color IQ match like a decent woman, Gizelle is working with a skin chemist to mix together a bunch of caramel-colored powders and call it foundation.

I don't even know if I have enough time to get into the bizarre colorism that Gizelle indulges throughout this entire episode. It's almost like a reaction to light-skinned privilege (which does exist in the black community, so I don't want to hear it in the comments section) to imagine that you're being discriminated against for being light-skinned. Does Gizelle actually think that black people can be reverse racist against light-skinned black people? To that I say: Girl, please.

Gizelle throws out a few possible names for her makeup line. I'm pretty sure "Caramel Cutie" is the name of a very popular Ebony porn site. "Just Buy It" is something I would actually buy.

Up next, Katie is at home with all her children clothed in khakis and olive greens when Andrew arrives with balloons for the two little girls' birthday. Katie catches up Andrew on the girls' weekend, which makes me believe that Katie only sees him when the producers allow it and otherwise keep him quarantined. Katie makes him the saddest-looking sandwich (English muffin, some sort of ham, and cucumbers) and tells him that she isn't going to Gizelle's makeup party. In the wrong light, Andrew looks like a preppy Sasha Baron Cohen character who thinks date rape is hilarious.

The whole episode is leading up to Karen's big pre-gala charity launch-party event. Y'know, one of those. She's having a cocktail party to announce that she's having a gala in honor of her mother-in-law to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Karen's eyes narrow and declares that she wants cherry blossoms and nothing will stop her. While her assistant, Eny, suggests praise dancers because it must be the blackest event possible, Ray comes down and says he's not comfortable with a big event because he's still grieving. Karen says she won't uninvite people, but she might not post another message to the Facebook event.

Gizelle is holding her makeup test party. Y'know, one of those. Everyone is stunned by the light-skinned bartender with the light eyes. He's a sexy blend of Rick Fox and Jesse Williams and I need him to get a spin-off or a cameo in Magic Mike XXXL.

The ladies all show up in some very appropriate daytime looks: Ashley is wearing patterned shorts, Charrisse is wearing a bandage maxi dress, and Karen has squeezed dem titties into a leather bustier. Bless that old fabulous bitch. Ashley wants to take this opportunity to support another female entrepreneur and Karen is going to confront Ashley about the weekend because that's what a woman of quality does. Bless that shady bitch.

Gizelle explains that being pretty and light-skinned was always a problem because everyone always assumed because she was mean, stuck-up, and arrogant. No Gizelle, everyone assumed you were mean, stuck-up, and arrogant because of the things you say and do and also your personality. Karen names several brands of makeup that are doing the same thing as Gizelle but she's gonna support her anyway.

Katie is appearing as the master of ceremonies for a Washington Life magazine swimsuit fashion show. Y'know, one of those. She insists she's doing "real work" instead of whatever Gizelle is doing. I don't think announcing someone else with some fake color-block weave on your head is real work, but whatever girl.

Karen and Ashley face off with their unblended contouring about Bethany Beach and Karen's "uncomfortability." Karen decides that maybe it's best for their husbands to deal with it.

Robyn and Juan share a confusing day at home and set up some recent Home Depot purchases. They reminisce about their courtship when Juan was dropping corny pickup lines and Robyn was hanging around to meet other guys. Juan tells her that she's the love of his life, but Robyn is still nervous because Juan cheated and she doesn't know whether to let him back in. I have never related to a Real Housewife more than in this moment. Robyn still remains the only capital-H Housewife I would befriend.

Ashley, Kangaroo Jack, Karen, and Ray all get together for a round of golf and whatever process medieval lords engaged in to assert ownership over their women. Is that what cricket is? Michael and Ray argue about whether it's appropriate to see each other's wives in skimpy outfits and putt terribly. If anyone wanted a three-minute clip of "#masculinitysofragile," you got it.

Charrisse is learning to swim and because I can only paint so clear a picture with my words, I can't tell you exactly how ridiculous and hilarious it is to see a grown woman learn to swim in full makeup and lashes. I want you to just go watch this segment. Find a clip. Subscribe to Bravo. Upgrade your cable package. Do it.

Karen is out buying flowers for her event. When the florist tells her that cherry blossoms are out of season all over the world and there's no way to get them, she flips out because the florist is unable to manipulate space and time to get her the goddamn flowers she wants. She settles for 89 roses to celebrate Ray's mother's life. Okay, I can't be mad at that. Curse you, Karen.

It's time for the cocktail pre-gala launch party fun run race for the cure. Karen's boobs are hiked up for the gods and I'm here for it. She may be an evil manipulator who adheres to impossible social etiquette but the grande dame can certainly dress.

Brynee shows up. It's debatable if she was invited.

Katie and Andrew show up and Katie is furious that this is what Karen calls a gala yet she couldn't help Katie with her fundraiser (that is currently "on the back-burner"). Gizelle tells Katie that she missed her at the makeup party and Katie responds with the flattest "Oh my goodness. I was so sad I couldn't come." I'm pretty sure she briefly morphed into Daria from Daria. Katie says she'll eagerly await samples. Robyn shows up without Juan as Karen is telling the ladies about the Ray versus Kangaroo Jack showdown. Ashley arrives fashionably late during Ray and Karen's speech about his mother. Ashley keeps ringing the bell until a member of the jazz band answers, wearing a vest and a kofia looking like everyone's African History professor.

Gizelle immediately asks Ashley who gave whom the business and Ashley says there's no business to give and starts wondering about the lies Karen has devised. Ashley drops a little shade on Karen by saying, "Her hair looks good tonight. It's been slipping a little bit but it looks good tonight."

Ashley tells the other ladies that Karen doesn't want them around Rayvin, Karen's daughter. I guess Ashley completely misinterpreted her conversation with Karen in order to cause more drama. Now that I write it out, that sounds completely right. Karen promptly shuts the rumor mill down and says that she doesn't want her daughter around Ashley, then drives Ashley out of her home with witchy laughter and black eyeshadow. I guess we have more drama to hear about for the next three weeks!