The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
This week on our favorite program, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did things. They rocked a Gucci fanny pack like they were really stylish extras in the Salt-N-Pepa “Shoop” video. They visited Girl Cult, a series of speeches about female empowerment that was curiously founded by a man who looks like he has at least one backpack with a Sesame Street character on it. They went to a restaurant called Sweet Butter, as if they would actually ever ingest anything that was made of either sugar or butter in their entire lives. Mostly, they just feigned delight when one of the rich women gifted them with her floor-dragging sweaters that she hocks on a home shopping channel. (I mean, if someone gave me one, I would wear it, too.)
Really, this week the women are mostly defined by their guests. The first is Lois, Lisa Rinna’s 89-year-old mother who looks smart and spry well into her eighth decade. Lisar’s father also lived into his 90s, which means that Lisar has the longevity gene. (Longevity Jeans, now available on HSN.) She’s going to be 114 years old and she will be wearing her dusters, Depends, and that same damn haircut until the day she dies. The curious thing about Lois is that she had a stroke a few years ago, and it seems to have zapped the part of her brain that feels sadness, regret, anxiety, and angst. Lois is just happy all the time, doing a soft-shoe in Lisar’s kitchen while wearing a leopard-print top and a pair of pleather pants like she’s got a hot date at Beautique. How have we not turned this kind of stroke into a surgery? I would like to have that done to me, please.
Lois is amazing, and I found her story about wanting to be an actress but not moving to New York because no one would go with her to be horribly sad. It’s no wonder that Lisar turned out the way she did, not only craving fame but also always hustling and willing to take the risks her mother never could. Also, Lois orders French toast at brunch where everyone else is pushing around some avocados on a plate and calling it a meal. When I am Lois’s age, all I’m going to eat are pancakes and opioids, and I might have to give up on the opioids if it screws up my pancake habit.
We need to take a minute to mourn the loss of Lisa Vanderpump’s dog. (Because, if we don’t, she will confront us about it at a cocktail party and beg for our sympathy.) We also need to take a moment and discuss the names of Lisa’s dogs. Her animal Pink Dog died, and I’m not trying to take away from the loss of a pet because that sadness is deep and real. I’m here to question naming a dog Pink Dog, and then also dyeing that dog pink so that the pink dog is called Pink Dog. That’s like if you had a baby and just decided to name it Blonde Girl, or if I started going by Mustache Daddy in real life and not just on my Grindr profile.
To make things worse, Lisa’s dog Pikachu ends up in the hospital on a ventilator. Now, if I am too old to have really watched Pokémon then Lisa is for sure too old to have watched it. Just where does her affinity for that lightning-zapping, round-bellied creature come from? Is this a dog that she rescued that just came along with the name? Does she think that the dog’s name is really Peek-at-you and doesn’t know the difference? Either way, someone needs to start coming up with some decent names for all of the animals in Lisa’s menagerie. Can she start with Dwight? I think that the next animal Lisa gets, no matter the type or gender, she should name it Dwight. From there, maybe we can reset all of the other names and get her back on track.
The only real fight this week is between Erika and Teddi, and Erika apologizes for losing her temper at Teddi. As Teddi tells Kyle, it was like an alien took over Erika’s body, and Kyle tells her that is just what happened in Hong Kong. That’s what Erika’s anger looks like. It’s not pretty, but now we all know. At least she knew to apologize. Still, it was a bit of a “Housewives’ apology” where she says sorry for yelling, not sorry for the substance of what she actually said.
Teddi accepts the apology and says that she and Erika are “moving forward in an effort of convenience to our other friendships.” That is just the perfect description of what is happening here and what so many more of these women need to do. It’s not about being right or being wrong; it’s about being able to put up with each other for the sake of the show and for the sake of the true camaraderie they share with the other women. Why let their beef get in the way of a good time? Man, this Teddi is starting to grow on me, and I don’t know if I like it.
The second guest this week is the psychic Rebecca and, boy, have I been saving the best for last. On a franchise that is known for its loony paranormal seers, Rebecca really goes out of her way to be both the looniest and the goofiest. First of all, she tells us that she gets phone calls from heaven. “I’m bridging the gap between spirituality and technology,” she says, sounding like someone hawking a praying app at Y Combinator. “Prair, available now in the iTunes Store and wherever the hell people with Samsung Galaxies get apps.”
She tells us that heaven has technology and she can prove it. Really, honey? Oh, honey. No one can even prove that there’s a heaven, honey, so how are you going to prove that it exists, honey, that they have cell phones, honey, and that they have reliable LTE service, honey, because I can’t even get that at the East Broadway stop of the F train, honey, and that’s like, honey, on earth, hoooooonnnneeyyyyyy.
Then she tells them that she actually talks to God, but she doesn’t call him God. She calls him “Papa God,” but that’s only because he can deliver a pizza to her house in 30 minutes or less. She seems to have some good intel, especially about Lisar’s father and Kyle’s mother, but I am as skeptical of her powers as the rest of the women. Now, I could believe that their family members (and Lisa’s dead dogs) would be hanging about the place close to their loved ones, but why the hell would John Lennon be in the room? Is he one of those real men who watch Bravo, but from beyond the grave? I feel like John Lennon would have his own places to haunt and not be messing with a bunch of middle-aged women in a city a continent away from where he lived (and died).
But the best is when Rebecca tells Erika that she has strong psychic power as well, which I can totally believe. She knew what I was thinking every time that we hung out together because what I am usually thinking on any given day is “Let’s have Shake Shack for lunch,” and then we would order it and everyone would be happy. But seriously, Erika tells us that she was a Spanish prince who was kidnapped and his family sent a knight to go rescue him. Once the knight rescued the prince, they spent the rest of their lives together living happily ever after. This explains it all. Of course in her past life, Erika was a hot, gay Spanish prince. I mean, duh.
As the night was getting spookier and the candles were glinting off of the crystal orbs in the center of Kyle’s dining-room table, Rebecca had another feeling. “I’m seeing someone. A woman,” she said, looking around the room for reactions that she could play off of. “Maybe her name starts with a C. No, an E. Yes, it’s an E. I see her wearing denim. Lots of denim. And maybe clogs. She seems to be carrying a script and has some unfinished business. Do any of you know who that could be? Does anyone have an idea?” Just as her question lingered in the air for a second, like the gray ribbon of smoke dancing up from an extinguished wick, the doorbell rang and everyone jumped. Not because they had seen a ghost, but they felt one rumble through their bones.