The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
This week on our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things. They tried to cajole their home-schooled second daughter to quit being a working model for just one second and worry about driving the Tesla to get her learner’s permit. They gave their husband a strange 3-D-printed figurine of themselves holding their children and then watched as that husband, a bloated pustule of arrogance and regret, knocked it off the table, sending the little plastic head of their daughter skittering across the floor. They watched as their employee, in a tight pink shirt, emptied out the contents of a whole bag of puppies and then rolled around in their cuddly cuteness like they were Gisele Bündchen posing on the beach for the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
But mostly, the women fought, as they are wont to do. Man, did this fight confuse me. It all starts when Lisa Vanderpump has the lawsuit against her and her husband dismissed. That is good news indeed for Mx. Vanderpump and she is very excited to share that news with one of her oldest friends and a screeching ventriloquist’s dummy that refuses to ever believe that she is wrong and refuses to apologize.
When Lisa gets to dinner with Dorit and Kyle, Dorit is already 30 minutes late, once again blaming traffic, even though, as Lisa points out, the two of them live in the same neighborhood and Lisa arrived on time. It’s so annoying but so typical of Dorit that she is constantly 30 minutes late to meet everyone and then blames it all on traffic or a lost limo driver or the nanny not knowing how to change a diaper or Mercury in Retrograde. (Dorit is so into Mercury in Retrograde.)
Anyway, Lisa quickly brings up the lawsuit and the women say, “Great,” but then drop it to talk more about the fight that happened last episode between Dorit and Teddi about which wine goes in which stupid glass. Dorit says Kyle shouldn’t have said anything, because a friend doesn’t do that. Dorit has a weird idea of what friends do. I mean, if I was behaving like an ass, I hope that one of my friends would step in and set me right. But no, Dorit is like Trump: It’s either total loyalty or get out. Kyle is mad because she thought Lisa Vanderpump had Dorit’s back and Dorit didn’t care that she was “butting into the conversation,” but was mad at Kyle for doing the same thing because she didn’t agree with Dorit.
It’s all silly and stupid and Kyle gets quickly frustrated with the fight because Dorit is an idiot who can’t see Kyle’s point or admit that she is wrong. Kyle starts crying and then Dorit says, “Well, now I feel awful!” and runs over to comfort Kyle. Maybe she should have used some of that mock sympathy to try to understand why Kyle had a point in the first place. It seems like this is what sets Lisa off. She says she’s had enough, throws a bag at Dorit, and then hustles out to have her driver take her home, much to the ladies’ protestations.
Lisa tells us that she is upset that two of her best friends didn’t pay much attention to her lawsuit being dropped. That sounds pretty reasonable to me, since they did elide over it really quickly to get to their stupid gossip anyway. But the reaction does seem outsized. Upon later reflection, it seems like she was upset that Kyle was accusing her and Dorit of getting together to attack Kyle. Lisa says she wouldn’t do that at all. The rest of us say, “Hmmmm. Maybe?”
After Lisa leaves, Dorit and Kyle decide that the real reason Lisa got upset is because they were having a fight between the two of them and Lisa wasn’t involved. That is partially true, of course, because she wanted more attention for her lawsuit celebration, but I think Lisa’s gripe is apt. It’s not wrong to want attention from your friends for something good and these two were being too selfish in their own drama to see it.
What is strange is how this manifests itself at Teddi’s beach house (which turns out to be humble, lovely, and could use just a bit of refreshing, much like Teddi herself). Lisa lets them know why she was upset, but Dorit and Kyle tell her that she’s lying about the reason. They think she’s mad because she wasn’t getting enough attention and they aren’t going to do anything until Lisa admits why she’s really mad. That must be incredibly frustrating, not only to have your feelings invalidated twice, but also to be told that you aren’t even sure how you’re feeling. How do they know? Because they watched a few dozen episodes of Dr. Phil and now they can diagnose everyone?
Finally, everyone is sitting outside around the bonfire while the sun sets and St. Camille of Grammer takes pictures of it on her iPad. (She didn’t do that, but doesn’t it seem like she would?) Lisa and Kyle get into it again and Kyle apologizes to Lisa for saying that they were trying to team up against her and Lisa apologizes to Kyle for being harder on her than Dorit.
All of that happened in one episode and I’m still kinda like, “What happened?” Did it make a dent? Do any of us care? Is this whole enterprise really that shallow? Have the self-involved ravings of these women been this tedious all along and now I’m just finally waking up to them or are they just especially vague and boring in this particular instance? And if the latter is true, do I need to stop watching this show altogether?
One reason I won’t stop watching is because of Erika Jayne. We haven’t said much about her this season because she’s been in the background, but when she gets onscreen and cackles that she “left [her] Jell-O salad at home!” to the idea that Teddi is having a potluck, well, that is all she needs to do. That and when the Kyle vs. Lisa vs. Dorit fight is breaking out, she says, “Um. We’re petty.” It is absolutely perfect. It is what all of us were thinking and we had Erika to drive it home for us. Then she wore that amazing pyjama suit that looked so luxurious and expensive that I just wanted to cuddle up in it and wrap myself in the silken folds like I was a baby kangaroo just settling into my pouch.
The other reason I won’t stop watching is Lisar, who was back on Days of Our Lives and reunited with the wardrobe supervisor on the show and it was just like Valerie and Mickey on The Comeback and it killed me in the best possible ways. Lisar had a very busy week, filming both Days and an episode of The Middle, so she was spending a lot of time reading her scripts.
Backstage at Days, a woman was walking down the hallway, lined with identical-looking dressing room doors, that was so familiar to her. She and Lisar had spent so much time there together, discussing their kids, sharing salads, whispering about which of the writers had a thing for them and always wanted to turn them into drug-addicted strippers, or back into drug-addicted strippers. Finally, she found the door labeled “Lisa Rinna” and saw that it was slightly ajar. “Lisa,” Eileen Davidson asked, with a slight knock as the door swung open. “Are you in there?” But as the door opened fully, Eileen saw it was just an empty couch and an empty director’s chair at a desk facing a mirror ringed with light bulbs. They were still switched on, and in the place where all of the lights came together in the center of the mirror, Eileen could see the light bending her own reflection, making her seem even more there and entirely absent all at once.