The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
This week on our favorite program, Rich Women Doing Things: International Edition, the rich women did things. They commandeered the better part of a German twink waiter’s afternoon with their orders of vanilla lattes with differing amounts of milk made out of nuts, so he couldn’t finish his fine-art project for his MFA and had to leave his big-city university and return home to whatever small hamlet he stumbled out of. They couldn’t figure out how to open the door of their giant hotel suites, so they were forced to ask one of the two staff members tasked with their care to get the door open for them. Oh, and they all, almost to a woman, refused to eat veal. When dealing with the rich women, who so rarely have any morals at all when it comes to fur, leather, and blood diamonds, we know where the line is, and that is eating “baby moo-moos.”
The trip to Germany continues to be a little dull, but at least things pick up this episode. There is finally some fighting, a panic attack, and a little bit of tragedy that almost consumes Lisa Rinna (a.k.a. “Lisar”) but doesn’t. Erika, Lisa, and Dorit start off shopping at KaDeWe, which is a huge German department store. They are escorted by their personal shopper Axel who looks like a cross between a dancer on Sprockets and a man playing Geppetto in a community-theater production of Pinocchio: The Musical.
I don’t quite understand why the women go shopping at places like this while they’re on vacation. I love to shop as a form of entertainment, but when I’m in new cities half the world away, I want to find local designers or emerging brands we don’t otherwise have in the United States. At KaDeWe, each of the women drops about €3,000 on brands like Balmain, Gucci, Givenchy, and others that they could just as easily have picked up at Barney’s in Beverly Hills or each of those brand’s boutiques on Rodeo Drive.
Next, Erika takes the women out to a cute little village in the suburbs that looks like Hansel and Gretel live there, and each of these women could be an evil witch lurking in a house made of candy. This was a nice gesture for Teddi and Lisa so that they could indulge in their favorite pastime and Erika could make up some lost ground with Teddi, after tensions that have been simmering over.
Teddi comes in handy, especially when Lisar’s horse decides to just take off across the field like Tom Brady running away from a quart of strawberries. Lisar tries to calm her horse by saying, “Ho. Ho. Ho,” repeatedly in a calm voice like she’s a mall Santa Claus on Haldol, but it doesn’t work. “Put your heels down,” Teddi shouts, coming to her rescue while the dramatic music swells so that we at home can feel like Lisar might take a tumble at any moment. “Put your legs in and your body back.” You know what? It works. Teddi saved the day. She does know what she’s doing. Oh man, I’m falling for Teddi aren’t I? Goddamn it!
Things don’t go nearly as well for Kyle and her horse allergy. She selects a horse that looks more like a plump pony and, as Erika says, looks just like a kid who is too big for the merry-go-round. While she’s on the ride, her allergy gets worse and worse until she totally freaks out about her throat closing and thinks that she’s going to die.
It would be easy to say, “If you’re allergic to horses, don’t get on them!” but I understand that Kyle wanted to seem game on vacation and wanted to enjoy the excursion with the other women. Things get especially heightened when you’re away from familiar things and aren’t sure that there is relief in sight. I’m sure that is what led to her panic attack. But we know it was bad because we actually see the production van and the crew members. If we see a camera, we know that somebody is in trouble. Anyway, I get it. She felt freaked out. But next time, take the allergy medicine before getting on the horse, Kyle.
After Kyle’s incident leads to that panic attack, later at dinner they start talking about anxiety and Lisar shares that one of her daughters had anxiety attacks at 11 and her husband, Harry Hamlin, would have to sit outside of her school all day so that she could stay there. Um, that story is totally insane and I don’t want to make fun of anyone for having anxiety because I know it sucks, but when hearing that story I made a “ZOINKS!” face that you could have turned into a gif if it were on the internet.
That night, Erika hosts a dinner for everyone in her hotel suite and dresses up in a glorious black outfit complete with a black hat with a little veil and curled blonde hair. She looks like the star of Grand Hotel and it is one of the best looks she has ever pulled off.
Dinner doesn’t go nearly as swimmingly, though. Things seem nice and calm until Dorit decides to bring up old shit. Why you gotta bring up old shit, Dorit? She tells Kyle that she was angry that she said something to her at her Bella magazine party in New York. Lisa Vanderpump has Dorit’s back, so Kyle gets angry at Lisa for having Dorit’s back and not understanding her point. Then Teddi tries to defend Kyle and Lisa says, “Teddi, be quiet,” and Teddi mopes like a 10-year-old at a grown-up party who was just told she can’t have another sip of champagne. Poor Teddi, every time she tries to do anything, one of these women slaps her down. Oh man. Teddi needs to stop making me like her.
The craziest part is, Teddi is sort of right. This fight seems to be about the women getting mad when people repeat things they say to other people, so if they don’t want that to happen then they should all stop doing it. Teddi is right, but without that behavior we wouldn’t really have a show. In that way, Teddi is almost an existential threat to the way these women live their lives and must be eradicated — or at least silenced.
Anyway, I don’t even remember what this fight in New York was about. They’re not even talking about the issue of the fight in New York; they’re relitigating who said what to whom and when. Kyle wasn’t wrong to say something to Dorit, but she was wrong to say something at the party. Dorit wasn’t wrong to say something to Erika at Teddi’s beach house, but she was wrong to do it while Kyle was there. Then Pantygate comes back up and I roll my eyes so hard that there is a film of mucus on them that looks exactly like the hollandaise sauce Kyle ordered on the side of her not-at-all-runny eggs. Erika is at the end of the table acting like the silent movie star she’s dressed as because she wants no part of this whole thing. Then she admits that, like us, she has no idea what they’re even fighting about anymore.
The next day, Lisa and Kyle have some sort of meeting about the state of their alliance and I don’t even know what to think anymore. I see why Kyle is mad at Lisa for always taking Dorit’s side, but why are there even sides? What is even at stake? This seems, at best, like a procedural argument, which is the worst kind of argument. I care as much for this discussion as I do about Kyle’s baby-diarrhea-brown velvet blazer, which is to say I don’t care for it at all.
Luckily, the next day, the women go to a beer hall and all wear pigtails. They drink beer and eat pretzels and dance with Germans making ever-widening and contracting circles with their bodies, like the bloom of a flower opening and closing with the seasons.